Self-Powered Monolithic Accelerometer Using a Photonic Gate

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Nguyen, T., Dinh, T., Phan, H.-P., Dau, V. T., Nguyen, T.-K., Joy, A. P., Bahreyni, B., Qamar, A., Rais-Zadeh, M., Senesky, D. G., Nguyen, N.-T., & Dao, D. V. (2020). Self-powered monolithic accelerometer using a photonic gate. Nano Energy, 76, 104950.

Date created: 
DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2020.104950
Self-powered sensor
Photonic gate
Light harvesting
Silicon carbide

Harvesting sustainable energy resources from surrounding environments to power small electronic devices and systems has attracted massive research attention. Herein, we develop a novel technology to harvest light energy to self-power and simultaneously sense mechanical acceleration in a monolithic structure. When the photonic gate is illuminated the operation mode of the device changes from conventional mode to light harvesting and self-powered operation. The light illumination provides a gradient of majority carrier concentration on the top semiconductor layer, generating a lateral photovoltage, which is the output voltage of the sensor. Under acceleration, the mechanical inertial force induces stress in the sensor material leading to the change of mobility of the charge carriers, which shifts their diffusion rate, and hence changes the gradient of the majority carriers and the lateral photovoltage. The sensitivity at 480 lx light illumination was measured to be 107 , while it was approximately 30  under the ambient light illumination without any electrical power source. In addition, the acceleration sensitivity is tunable by controlling parameters of the photonic gate such as light power, light spot position and light wavelength. The integration of sensing and powering functions into a monolithic platform proposed in this work eliminates the requirement of external power sources and offers potential solutions for wireless, independent, remote, and battery-free sensing devices and systems.


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