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Title: Reverse Electrowetting-On-Dielectric Energy Harvesting Integrated with Charge Amplifier and Rectifier for Self-Powered Motion Sensors
This paper presents a reverse electrowetting-on-dielectric (REWOD) energy harvester integrated with rectifier, boost converter, and charge amplifier that is, without bias voltage, capable of powering wearable sensors for monitoring human health in real-time. REWOD has been demonstrated to effectively generate electrical current at a low frequency range (<3 Hz), which is the frequency range for various human activities such as walking, running, etc. However, the current generated from the REWOD without external bias source is insufficient to power such motion sensors. In this work, to eventually implement a fully self-powered motion sensor, we demonstrate a novel bias-free REWOD AC generation and then rectify, boost, and amplify the signal using commercial components. The unconditioned REWOD output of 95-240 mV AC is generated using a 50 μL droplet of 0.5M NaCl electrolyte and 2.5 mm of electrode displacement from an oscillation frequency range of 1-3 Hz. A seven-stage rectifier using Schottky diodes having a forward voltage drop of 135-240 mV and a forward current of 1 mA converts the generated AC signal to DC voltage. ~3 V DC is measured at the boost converter output, proving the system could function as a self-powered motion sensor. Additionally, a linear relationship of output DC more » voltage with respect to frequency and displacement demonstrates the potential of this REWOD energy harvester to function as a self-powered wearable motion sensor. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1933502
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10185881
Journal Name:
ASME 2020 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. This paper presents a reverse electrowetting-on-dielectric (REWOD) energy harvester integrated with rectifier, boost converter, and charge amplifier that is, without bias voltage, capable of powering wearable sensors for monitoring human health in real-time. REWOD has been demonstrated to effectively generate electrical current at a low frequency range (< 3 Hz), which is the frequency range for various human activities such as walking, running, etc. However, the current generated from the REWOD without external bias source is insufficient to power such motion sensors. In this work, to eventually implement a fully self-powered motion sensor, we demonstrate a novel bias-free REWOD ACmore »generation and then rectify, boost, and amplify the signal using commercial components. The unconditioned REWOD output of 95–240 mV AC is generated using a 50 μL droplet of 0.5M NaCl electrolyte and 2.5 mm of electrode displacement from an oscillation frequency range of 1–3 Hz. A seven-stage rectifier using Schottky diodes having a forward voltage drop of 135–240 mV and a forward current of 1 mA converts the generated AC signal to DC voltage. ∼3 V DC is measured at the boost converter output, proving the system could function as a self-powered motion sensor. Additionally, a linear relationship of output DC voltage with respect to frequency and displacement demonstrates the potential of this REWOD energy harvester to function as a self-powered wearable motion sensor.

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  5. Abstract

    Increasing demand for self-powered wearable sensors has spurred an urgent need to develop energy harvesting systems that can reliably and sufficiently power these devices. Within the last decade, reverse electrowetting-on-dielectric (REWOD)-based mechanical motion energy harvesting has been developed, where an electrolyte is modulated (repeatedly squeezed) between two dissimilar electrodes under an externally applied mechanical force to generate an AC current. In this work, we explored various combinations of electrolyte concentrations, dielectrics, and dielectric thicknesses to generate maximum output power employing REWOD energy harvester. With the objective of implementing a fully self-powered wearable sensor, a “zero applied-bias-voltage” approach was adopted.more »Three different concentrations of sodium chloride aqueous solutions (NaCl-0.1 M, NaCl-0.5 M, and NaCl-1.0 M) were used as electrolytes. Likewise, electrodes were fabricated with three different dielectric thicknesses (100 nm, 150 nm, and 200 nm) of Al2O3and SiO2with an additional layer of CYTOP for surface hydrophobicity. The REWOD energy harvester and its electrode–electrolyte layers were modeled using lumped components that include a resistor, a capacitor, and a current source representing the harvester. Without using any external bias voltage, AC current generation with a power density of 53.3 nW/cm2was demonstrated at an external excitation frequency of 3 Hz with an optimal external load. The experimental results were analytically verified using the derived theoretical model. Superior performance of the harvester in terms of the figure-of-merit comparing previously reported works is demonstrated. The novelty of this work lies in the combination of an analytical modeling method and experimental validation that together can be used to increase the REWOD harvested power extensively without requiring any external bias voltage.

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