Self-powered piezo-floating-gate smart-gauges based on quasi-static mechanical energy concentrators and triggers

Nizar Lajnef, Wassim Borchani, Rigoberto Burgueno, Shantanu Chakrabartty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Changes in physical processes like ambient temperature or pressure variations occur at frequencies that are significantly lower than 1 Hz. This poses a challenge for designing self-powered sensors that monitor these quasi-static physical processes and at the same time scavenge operational energy for sensing, computation, and storage from the signal being monitored. In this paper, we present a novel paradigm for designing a self-powered sensor/data logger that exploits the physics of negative-stiffness mechanical energy concentrators with the physics of our previously reported piezoelectricity driven impact ionized hot-electron injection (p-IHEI)-based sensors. The operational principle is based on the sudden transitions from unstable mode branch switching during the elastic postbuckling response of slender columns, which are used to generate high-frequency deformations as an input to the p-IHEI-based sensor. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed self-powered sensor based on an integrated circuit fabricated in a 0.5-μm CMOS technology can count and record the number of quasi-static input events with frequencies spanning less than 1 Hz.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6882137
Pages (from-to)676-683
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • energy scavenging
  • floating-gate
  • frequency modulation
  • Self-powered sensors


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