Sensors are becoming ubiquitous and increasingly integrated with and on the human body. As these devices grow in number and decrease in size, there grows a critical need to find sustainable and convenient power sources. We demonstrate a touch interrogation powered energy harvesting system which transforms the kinetic energy of a human finger to electric energy. As is well known for touch display devices, the proximity of a finger can alter the effective value of small capacitances, and these capacitance changes can drive a current which is rectified to charge an energy storage component. We show this energy harvesting method is compatible with a standard 180nm IC fabrication process. One application of this technology is integrating this device with paper for smart books. Preliminary data shows finger tapping on smart paper can harvest 8.5nJ of energy. This technology illustrates the ability to communicate with and operate low-power devices with natural human motions already used for interfacing with devices.
Project end date: 08/10/20