Nanoscale Energy Harvester of Ambient RF Signals

Vasyl Tyberkevych, Oleksandr Prokopenko, Steven Louis, Elena Bankowski, Thomas Meitzler, and Andrei Slavin
Oakland University, Michigan, United States

Keywords: Spintronics, energy source, nanoscale, microwave detector

We present a nanoscale spintronic microwave energy harvester capable of producing a DC voltage when in the presence of wideband ambient RF radiation. With this design, a single spin-torque diode can convert the energy of multiple low energy microwave signals into a single DC voltage. We envision that when implemented, this dual-use technology will benefit military systems that rely on portable electronics (e.g. remote sensors) and can benefit from wireless field charging. We also envision a variety of civilian applications, including providing wireless energy to cutting edge “internet of things” devices. The design features a totally passive spin torque diode with a perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, which does not require a bias field or a bias current. In comparison with semiconductor diode energy harvesters, our design has a nanometer scale cross section, a very low microwave power threshold, a favorable volt/watt sensitivity, and a possibility of radiation-hard construction. A nanoscale spintronic microwave energy harvester based on our design has already been simulated numerically and implemented experimentally [3]. In this work we have developed an analytical theory that provides intuitive insight into how this technology functions and effective methods for the optimization of device working characteristics.