Silicon Friendly Materials and Device Solutions for Microenergy Applications Call (part) Identifier: FP7-NMP-2013-SMALL-7

Duration: From 2013-11-01 to 2016-10-31

This proposal selects a series of relevant examples of power microgeneration and storage (thermoelectric generators, vibrational harvesters and microstructrured batteries) and pushes them further into their development and performance maturity.
With that goal in mind, emphasis is given on the materials themselves and their integration route into a technology able to bring the eventual solutions closer to an exploitable phase. For this reason, we consider novel silicon technology compatible materials as our starting point. The combination of those materials with device-making silicon micro and nanotechnologies is especially well positioned to make breakthrough developments in the microdomain regarding energy harvesting and storage.
This approach enables:

  • Nanostructuration of the materials themselves
  • Dense device architectures by means of 3D high aspect ratio microstructures -which increase the resulting energy density, and
  • Open the path for miniaturized complete systems through the compact assembly of the different elements involved (e.g. harvesters, batteries, power control electronics, and devices to be powered) by means of hybrid or monolithic integration strategies.

Wafer level processes will be favored to assure an easier transferability of the results to a fabrication stage. The high-density architectures and system manufacturability provided by silicon micro and nanotechnologies endorse the use of silicon friendly materials even when their intrinsic properties may lag behind other technologically exotic material alternatives. Two application scenarios, engine/machinery fault prevention and tire pressure monitoring systems, relying on self-powered wireless sensor networks, have been chosen as frame of reference for our microenergy developments since they offer different harvesting opportunities (vibrations and waste heat) and realistic and long term scenarios to work on.

Free Keywords: thermoelectric generators, vibrational harvesters, microstructured batteries, nanowires, thin films, silicon compatibility, silicon micromachining, high aspect ratio architectures

Project budget: The overall budget of the project is of 4,824,461.00 €, of which 3,794,913.00 granted by the European Commission.