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MEMS based pyroelectric thermal energy harvester

United States Patent

August 27, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A pyroelectric thermal energy harvesting apparatus for generating an electric current includes a cantilevered layered pyroelectric capacitor extending between a first surface and a second surface, where the first surface includes a temperature difference from the second surface. The layered pyroelectric capacitor includes a conductive, bimetal top electrode layer, an intermediate pyroelectric dielectric layer and a conductive bottom electrode layer. In addition, a pair of proof masses is affixed at a distal end of the layered pyroelectric capacitor to face the first surface and the second surface, wherein the proof masses oscillate between the first surface and the second surface such that a pyroelectric current is generated in the pyroelectric capacitor due to temperature cycling when the proof masses alternately contact the first surface and the second surface.
Hunter; Scott R. (Oak Ridge, TN), Datskos; Panagiotis G. (Knoxville, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
12/ 874,407
September 2, 2010
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.