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MIT Researchers Develop New MEMS, Harvest Energy from Low-Frequency Vibrations

Two geniuses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new microelectromechanical system (MEMS) to harvest energy from low-frequency vibrations.

The new MEMS, sized nearly the same as a U.S. quarter, feature a bridge-like structure that can be attached to the chip on both ends with the addition of a single layer of PZT, researchers announced.

The MEMS have been developed by Sang Gook Kim, a professor and study leader in the mechanical engineering wing at MIT, and Arman Hajati, a PH.D student.

The new microchip features an enhanced frequency range and power density, thus enabling it to extract power from even lowest frequency vibrations such as those originating from foot traffic or humming machinery.

"In the lab, you can move and shake the devices at the frequencies you want, and it works. But in reality, the source of vibration is not constant, and you get very little power if the frequency is not what you were expecting," Arman Hajati said, according to a GizMag report (opens in new tab).

"Our target is at least 100 microwatts, and that's what all the electronics guys are asking us to get to," he added.