Development of a Smart Secondary Microscopic Battery 2002-01-3244
MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems), as a technology, represents a new paradigm for integration of computational functions with elements that interact with the physical world. By combining mechanical moving parts with more traditional integrated circuits, new capabilities exist for sensing/actuating systems not previously possible. In developing MEMS, fundamental issues of packaging and fabrication have required considerable attention.
An analogous group of technologies are emerging which combine chemically reacting elements with computational functions. These might be referred to as Microelectrochemical Systems. Examples include chemical sensors and actuators, as well as on-board chemical sources of energy, such as microscopic batteries, fuel cells, energy harvesters. The merger of chemical systems and computational capabilities requires us to address a host of issues such as packaging and fabrication, as was (and is) needed with MEMS.
We report our own efforts at fuzzy-logic based management of microscopic batteries, made with traditional photolithographic processes. The result of these efforts will be an integrated, “smart” microscopic battery, which can be recharged using miniature energy harvesters such as photovoltaic cells. As such it represents a merger of microscopic chemical systems with computational functions in a single device, and has required addressing of the issues mentioned.