Technologies
PDF


WARF: P01129US

Direct Charge Radioisotope Activation and Power Generation for Microelectromechanical Systems


INVENTORS -

Amit Lal, James Blanchard, Douglass Henderson, Hui Li

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an electrical power generator that has several advantages over conventional power sources for microsystems.
OVERVIEWMicroelectromechanical systems (MEMS) have the potential to revolutionize modern sensing systems. The circuits and sensors that make up these systems have been successfully miniaturized; however, the power sources needed to make the systems autonomous are still quite large in comparison. For example, the smallest conventional batteries are still much larger than microsystems, severely limiting the size of the overall device. Thus, there is a need for a power source that can be integrated with the mechanical and electronic components of microstructures to make totally autonomous microsystems. 
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed an electrical power generator that has several advantages over conventional power sources for microsystems. Specifically, the energy carried by particles emitted by radioactive decay is captured and converted to mechanical potential energy that is stored in an elastically deformable element. The energy can be used to activate other mechanical parts directly or can be converted to electrical energy.
APPLICATIONS
  • Power source for MEMS
KEY BENEFITS
  • Low cost
  • Reliable energy source
  • Miniaturization of energy source for MEMS device
  • Very long-lifetime operation
  • Very high energy density
  • Can provide output voltages at levels suitable for driving conventional integrated circuit electronics
  • Does not require thermal insulation
  • Requires little control complexity
  • Does not need to operate at high internal temperatures
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at mstaudt@warf.org or 608-960-9845.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.