ISSN 10637397, Russian Microelectronics, 2012, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 107–121. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.
Original Russian Text © V.P. Dragunov, D.I. Ostertak, 2012, published in Mikroelektronika, 2012, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 120–135.
Modern achievements in microelectronics and
microelectomechanical system (MEMS) technologies
opened up the possibility for developing wireless intel
lectual sensors and wireless sensor networks (WSNs)
with very low energy consumption [1, 2]. Moreover,
wireless equipment becomes a symbol of progress [3, 4].
The functioning of WSN elements necessitates
having reliable selfcontained power sources. At the
moment, the main power source for wireless selfcon
tained devices are batteries and accumulators requir
ing periodic servicing, replacement, or recharging that
is not always possible, as many WSN units are diffi
culttoaccess. Moreover, the WSN elements during
its operation are in the waiting state (i.e., very low
energy consumption) for up to 99% of the total opera
tion time. In this case, the selfdischarge of the battery
often exceeds the consumption of energy by a WSN
element. For example, the selfdischarge for Li–Ion
batteries is on the order of 2–3% per month; for lead
acid batteries, 4–6% per month; for Ni–Cd ones, 15–
20%; and for Ni–MH, even up to 30%.
The most suitable alternatives to traditional batter
ies and accumulators are power sources that allow har
vesting the energy from the environment directly at the
place of operation [5–7]. Interest in them is con
stantly increasing with the steady decrease in energy
consumption by modern integrated circuits.
There are different power sources in the environ
ment, namely, solar light, electromagnetic radiation,
temperature gradients, air and fluid flows, and
mechanical vibrations. Since mechanical vibrations
are widespread in many spheres of human activity [8–
11] (see, e.g., Fig. 1) and the technique for fabricating
electrostatic MEMSs is compatible with the integral
technology, the most universal solution to this prob
lem is to use electrostatic (capacitive) converters
(MEMCs) of the energy of mechanical vibrations to
At the same time, the analysis shows that in many
cases, the application of traditional power sources
cannot be completely excluded. Thus, the most opti
mal solution to the problem of a selfcontained power
source for WSNs is a combination of a device convert
V. P. Dragunov and D. I. Ostertak
Novosibirsk State Technical University, Novosibirsk, Russia
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Received April 27, 2011
—The results of theoretical and experimental investigations of microelectromechanical energy con
verters based on variations in the plane capacitor geometry are given. The peculiarities of operation, the state,
and the prospects of the development of microelectromechanical energy converters are considered.
0500100 200 300 400
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Typical spectra of vibrodisplacement (a) and
vibroacceleration (b) amplitudes for a window facing a
busy street .