Prospects of Tunnel FETs in the Design of Power Management Circuits for Weak Energy Harvesting DC Sources

David Nunes Cavalheiro, Francesc Moll, Stanimir Valtchev
2018 IEEE Journal of the Electron Devices Society  
In this paper, a new tunnel FET (TFET)-based power management circuit (PMC) is proposed for weak dc energy harvesting sources. Thanks to their particular carrier injection mechanisms, TFETs can be used to design efficient energy harvesting circuits by enabling the power extraction from sources which are not only at very low voltage levels (sub-0.1 V) but also at very low power levels (a few nW). As TFET devices are designed as reverse-biased diodes, changes in conventional circuit topologies
more » ... rcuit topologies are required in order to take full advantage of these emerging devices. The circuit design techniques proposed in this paper represent an improvement in output voltage and input power range with respect to previously published TFET-based PMCs. Simulation results show that the TFET-based PMC can sustain itself from a 2.5 nW@50 mV dc source, powering a load at 0.5 V with 29% of efficiency. INDEX TERMS Boost converter, energy harvesting, low-voltage, nanopower, power management, tunnel FET. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. For more information, see DAVID NUNES CAVALHEIRO received the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal, in 2012 and the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Spain, in 2017. His current research activities include the design of ultra-low power circuits for conversion. Other interests are power management circuits, emerging transistor technologies, and energy harvesting. FRANCESC MOLL received the equivalent of the M.Sc. degree in physics from the University of Balearic Islands, Spain, in 1991, and the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia, Spain, in 1995. Since 1991, he has been with the Department of Electronic Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia, where he is currently an Associate Professor. His current research activities include methods for energy harvesting oriented to low-power microelectronic circuits. STANIMIR VALTCHEV received the M.Sc. degree from TU Sofia in 1974 and the Ph.D. degree from IST, Lisbon. He worked on semiconductor technology, medical equipment, and then as a Researcher in industrial electronics (laser supplies and high-frequency power converters). He is currently an Auxiliary Professor with UNL and an Invited Full Professor with BFU, Bulgaria. His research includes power converters (also resonant and multilevel), energy harvesting, wireless energy transfer, electric vehicles, energy management and storage, bio energy-harvesting, and biosensors.
doi:10.1109/jeds.2018.2808950 fatcat:6xpp6wprzbcabnunvg4rywcysu