The mechanical amplification effect of parametric resonance has the potential to outperform direct resonance by over an order of magnitude in terms of power output. However, the excitation must first overcome the damping-dependent initiation threshold amplitude prior to accessing this more profitable region. In addition to activating the principal (1st order) parametric resonance at twice the natural frequency ω0, higher orders of parametric resonance may be accessed when the excitation frequency is in the vicinity of 2ω0/n for integer n. Together with the passive design approaches previously developed to reduce the initiation threshold to access the principal parametric resonance, vacuum packaging (< 10 torr) is employed to further reduce the threshold and unveil the higher orders. A vacuum packaged MEMS electrostatic harvester (0.278 mm3) exhibited 4 and 5 parametric resonance peaks at room pressure and vacuum respectively when scanned up to 10 g. At 5.1 ms−2, a peak power output of 20.8 nW and 166 nW is recorded for direct and principal parametric resonance respectively at atmospheric pressure; while a peak power output of 60.9 nW and 324 nW is observed for the respective resonant peaks in vacuum. Additionally, unlike direct resonance, the operational frequency bandwidth of parametric resonance broadens with lower damping.
Bibliographical noteContent from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Jia, Y., Yan, J., Soga, K., & Seshia, A. A. (2013). Multi-frequency Operation of a MEMS Vibration Energy Harvester by Accessing Five Orders of Parametric Resonance. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 476(1), . https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/476/1/012126