ECE Seminar Lecture Series

Energy Harvesting Photovoltaics and Thermoradiative Cells: Delivering Wireless Power for Systems Ranging From Bio-Implantables to Deep Space

Jamie Phillips, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Delaware

Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Noon–1 p.m.

Wegmans Hall 1400

phillips.jpgSelf-powered systems are a key component of today’s digital age, where there is a continued exponential growth in devices that form the Internet of Things. Wireless power delivery to these systems faces many challenges as system dimensions are reduced and applications are placed in unique environments with unpredictable or scarce resources. At dimensions near 1 millimeter and below, radio-frequency for inductive wireless power transfer does not provide a tenable solution due to low antenna efficiency at these small dimensions. Alternatively, optoelectronic devices can be scaled to the microscale with high conversion efficiency, enabling wireless power conversion and data communication. In this work, the design, underlying physical operation, and optimization of high-efficiency GaAs photovoltaic systems will be presented, including integration with self-powered systems such as “the world’s smallest computer” with far ranging applications from security to ecology to bio-implantable sensors. In addition, a relatively unexplored method of energy harvesting is through thermoradiative cells. The thermoradiative cell concept is essentially the inverse of the photovoltaic cell, providing a mechanism to generate electrical power from a heat source through higher radiative emission rates from the cell in comparison to the ambient. This approach is of particular interest for energy harvesting in space. The principles of thermoradiative cells, predictions on efficiency, and experiments to realize this concept will be discussed. 

Jamie Phillips is a Professor and Chair of the ECE Department at the University of Delaware. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining UD, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Sandia National Labs from 1998-1999, research scientist at the Rockwell Science Center from 1999-2001, and a faculty member at the University of Michigan from 2002-2020 where he was an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. Prof. Phillips received an NSF CAREER award, DARPA MTO Young Faculty Award, IEEE Paul Rappaport Best Paper Award, and IEEE Theodore E. Batchman Best Paper Award.


Refreshments will be provided.