With the trends towards system integration and miniaturisation, there is a need to carefully consider the means by which such systems can be efficiently powered. Examples of such systems include wireless sensor nodes where, for extension of lifetime and efficiency, the use of energy is critical and portable electronic products where miniaturisation and improved efficiency are also important considerations. The research activity of the Micropower - Nanomagnetics Group is concerned with the provision of power to Microsystems. This encompasses
Micro Power generation:
The coming decade will see the rapid emergence of low cost, intelligent, wireless sensors and their widespread deployment throughout our environment. A key issue for these wireless node designs is that they achieve high degrees of power-efficiency for autonomous, maintenance-free operation, where it is likely that nodes will require deployment for periods of years since the cost of battery replacement will be prohibitive and impractical. This can effectively be described as a “deploy and forget” scenario. In such a scenario, the ability to scavenge energy from the environment to power the system is highly desirable. The road map for micropower-nanomagnetics group is progressing from miniaturised vibration energy harvester to MEMS and NEMS based devices.
Power conversion for Microsystems:
In portable electronics systems where multiple dc-dc converters are required for optimum system power performance, miniaturisation of the power converter is critical. Miniaturisation and integration of the magnetic components remains one of the major challenges for achieving small integrated dc-dc converters. One of the main focuses of this research is the miniaturisation and integration of the magnetic components such as micro-transformers, micro-inductors and power supply on chip (Silicon).
Nanostructured magnetic materials:
Much of the above research is underpinned by the development of next generation of magnetic materials which facilitate miniaturisation and performance improvement. These includes nanostructured, advanced soft magnetic materials (thin films, multi-nano-layers) for high frequency power conversion applications and super-hard nano-magnetic materials for use in miniaturised/MEMS/NEMS power generators.
|Assembled Micro Power Generator||Fabricated micro-inductors/transformers on 4" Si wafer|
R&D Leader: Micropower - Nanomagnetics
Phone: +353 21 490 4331
e-mail: saibal.roy (at) tyndall.ie