Ultra-High Energy Density Piezoelectric Nanocomposites for Lightweight Power Harvesting Micro-Systems
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
The proposed phase I research effort will develop a highly efficient MEMS energy harvesters that utilize a novel nanocomposite technology recently developed by Sodano Engineering LLC. Unlike existing piezoelectric nanocomposites, the material proposed here has an electromechanical coupling coefficient higher than the monolithic piezoceramics typically used in MEMS processing. The high coupling is achieved through the use of single crystal PZT nanowires which more effectively couple with the polymer matrix and lead to more than an order of magnitude improvement over existing nanocomposites. This nanocomposite technology will be further developed and will be used to create bimorph power harvesters that capitalize of the fracture toughness of the polymer matrix to offer robustness to damage for use in harsh battlefield conditions. The nanocomposite will also lead to resonators with significantly lower natural frequencies than silicon technologies, which will allow more efficient energy conversion at the frequencies typically available for harvesting. At the conclusion of the phase I effort a micro-scale energy harvester will be produced to demonstrate the system performance. We will seek to commercialize all three technologies developed under this contract, namely the piezoelectric nanowires, the nanocomposites and the energy harvesters to maximize the commercial impact of the work.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Harp Engineering LLC (formerly Sodano Engineering
1716 South Sycamore Mesa, AZ 85202
Number of Employees: