We are currently developing a self-sustained hybrid micropower supply for powering
autonomous MEMS and other microsystems. The hybrid power supply includes an energy
conversion device, microscopic batteries for energy storage, and control/interface
Components of a hybrid micropower system
Comparison of the hybrid approach with single power sources (either a battery or energy conversion device alone) shows that it offers several potential advantages including reduced size, increased flexibility, long lifetime and increased reliability. Such an approach is well suited to the expected duty cycles of remote microsensors. Realization of the advantages of a hybrid system depends on the availability of 1) a microbattery with the required characteristics, 2) low power interface circuitry for power management to enhance system efficiency and lifetime, and 3) low power switches to permit fabrication of a flexible system suitable for a variety of different applications and duty cycles. We are actively advancing technology in each of these areas, as well as in the integration of individual components to form a micropower system.