Micropower — Micro energy sources and components for energy capture

Micropower devices are one of the main research areas at the university college. The Micropower research group thus has a comprehensive research programme that extends from power generation to energy storage, including relevant theory, design, modelling and microfabrication techniques for generators, storage elements and associated sensors. For micropower generators, the main focus is on mechanical to electrical energy conversion using electrostatic or piezoelectric transducers. 

One major challenge being addressed is making these energy harvesters work under conditions with nonsinusoidal vibrations when the bandwidth of the vibrations is substantially larger than that of conventional resonant energy harvesters. The group is addressing this problem by investigating novel design concepts for nonresonant devices and devices that have their resonance broadened by mechanical nonlinearities. For storage elements, the focus is on supercapacitors that exploit modern high aspect ratio etching techniques to create patterns with three-dimensional structures. This results in a significant increase in the electrode area per unit capacitor volume compared to planar structures with the same footprint. The key processes are deep reactive ion etching, electroless plating and electropolymerization

 

(Einar Halvorsen)