MSc thesis project proposal

[2022] Highly Efficient Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting for Wearable Devices

Along with the popularity of smart watches and smart bands, wearable electronic devices have been playing important roles in the past several years. Not only patients need wearable health monitoring, but healthy people also tend to use these devices to monitor their health data during sport, daily life and sleeping. Despite the popularity, the limited battery life forces users to periodically interrupt health monitoring to charge the batteries, which is undesirable, and sometimes dangerous, for patients and aged people.

As human bodies continuously release considerable amount of heat, thermoelectric energy harvesting (TEH) has become a promising way to power wearable devices. Compared with other energy harvesting topologies employed to power wearable electronics, TEH provides a stable and reliable power solution, which is crucial for health monitoring.

Several TEH circuits and systems have been proposed in recent years to achieve higher energy efficiencies [1][2]. However, most TEH techniques still suffer from cold-start issues, large form factors due to off-chip components, insufficient maximum power point tracking (MPPT) performance, etc. In this project, we are going to design a thermoelectric energy harvesting IC to power wearable electronics, like health monitors, smart watches, smart bands, etc. The designed system enables highly efficient energy extraction efficiency, small form factor with a fully integrated design, dynamic MPPT, cold startup ability at various circumstances and system integration with wearable electronics.

[1] S. Bose, B. Shen and M. L. Johnston, "26.5 A 20µW Heartbeat Detection System-on-Chip Powered by Human Body Heat for Self-Sustaining Wearable Healthcare," 2020 ISSCC, pp. 408-410.

[2] Q. Wan and P. K. T. Mok, "A 14-nA, Highly Efficient Triple-Output Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting System Based on a Reconfigurable TEG Array," IEEE JSSC, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 1720-1732, 2019.

Assignment

1. Literature review of thermoelectric energy harvesting topologies and associated power management circuits.
2. Design of a highly efficient CMOS circuit for the proposed thermoelectric energy harvesting system. Tape-out is possible depending on the design and available time.

Requirements

You should be familiar with analog IC design and Cadence environment. If you are interested, please send your CV, BSc transcripts and MSc grades (obtained to date) to Sijun Du at email: Sijun.Du@tudelft.nl

Contact

dr. Sijun Du

Electronic Instrumentation Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2022-01-06