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About this book

This book explores the fabrication of soft material and biomimetic MEMS sensors, presents a review of MEMS/NEMS energy harvesters and self-powered sensors, and focuses on the recent efforts in developing flexible and wearable piezoelectric nanogenerators. It also includes a critical analysis of various energy harvesting principles, such as electromagnetic, piezoelectric, electrostatic, triboelectric, and magnetostrictive.

This multidisciplinary book is appropriate for students and professionals in the fields of material science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and bioengineering.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. MEMS/NEMS-Enabled Energy Harvesters as Self-Powered Sensors

Chapter 1 reviews the recent progress in kinetic MEMS/NEMS-enabled energy harvesters as self-powered sensors. Recent advances and challenges in MEMS/NEMS-enabled self-sustained sensor working mechanisms including electromagnetic, piezoelectric, electrostatic, triboelectric, and magnetostrictive are reviewed and discussed. Recent advances in Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor networks reveal new insight into the understanding of traditional power sources with the new characteristics of mobility, sustainability, and availability. Individually, the power consumption of each sensor unit is low; however, the number of units deployed is huge. As predicted by Cisco, trillions of sensors will be distributed on the earth by 2020. Conventional technologies which employ batteries to supply power may not be the choice. Energy harvesting systems as self-sustained power sources are capable of capturing and transforming unused ambient energy into the electrical energy. Intensive efforts during the last two decades toward the development of micro-/nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS)-enabled energy harvesting technologies have yield breakthroughs in self-powered sensor evolutions.
Kai Tao, Honglong Chang, Jin Wu, Lihua Tang, Jianmin Miao

Chapter 2. Flexible and Wearable Piezoelectric Nanogenerators

In this age of advanced smartphones and wearable devices, the need of unlimited power has become a basic necessity. Most of the gadgets rely on some sort of power source in the form of batteries or power adapters. For example, smart watches have become very common these days and have a huge potential for implementation of energy harvesters. In near future it will be really desirable to have self-powered smart wearable devices which meet their energy needs by scavenging mechanical energy produced by physical activities. In order to solve the problem of fast battery depletion in modern smart devices, a lot of research has been carried out in the field of energy harvesters especially using thin film technologies and polymer nanofibers. Most interesting among them are the nanogenerators using polymers with piezoelectric properties like PVDF due to their low production cost and high conversion efficiency. Polymer-based nanofiber energy harvesters are not only relevant for wearable devices and smartphones but also for biomedical energy scavenging applications primarily due to their biocompatibility. Chapter 2 particularly deals with current scenario of different types of nanofiber-based energy harvesters. A comprehensive review related to current research work going on in the field of nanofiber-based energy harvesters is presented here.
Debarun Sengupta, Ajay Giri Prakash Kottapalli

Chapter 3. Nature-Inspired Self-Powered Sensors and Energy Harvesters

Chapter 3 presents a comprehensive review of the various biomimetic self-powered and low-powered MEMS pressure and flow sensors that take inspiration from the biological flow sensors found in the marine world. The sensing performance of the biological flow sensors in marine animals has inspired engineers and scientists to develop efficient state-of-the-art sensors for a variety of real-life applications. In an attempt to achieve high-performance artificial flow sensors, researchers have mimicked the morphology, sensing principle, materials, and functionality of the biological sensors. Inspiration was derived from the survival hydrodynamics featured by various marine animals to develop sensors for sensing tasks in underwater vehicles. The mechanoreceptors of crocodiles have inspired the development of slowly and rapidly adapting MEMS sensory domes for passive underwater sensing. Likewise, the lateral line sensing system in fishes which is capable of generating a three-dimensional map of the surroundings was mimicked to achieve artificial hydrodynamic vision on underwater vehicles. Harbor seals are known to achieve high sensitivity in sensing flows within the wake street of a swimming fish due to the undulatory geometry of the whiskers. Whisker inspired structures were embedded into MEMS sensing membranes to understand their vortex shedding behavior. At the outset, this work comprehensively reviews the sensing mechanisms observed in fishes, crocodiles, and harbor seals. In addition, this chapter presents an in-depth commentary on the recent developments in this area where different researchers have taken inspiration from these aforementioned underwater creatures and developed some of the most efficient artificial sensing systems.
Debarun Sengupta, Ssu-Han Chen, Ajay Giri Prakash Kottapalli


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