Energy harvesting from mechanical vibrations, thermal gradients, electromagnetic radiations, and solar radiations has experienced rapid progress in recent times not only to develop an alternative power source that can replace conventional batteries to energize portable and personal electronics smartly but also to achieve sustainable self-sufficient micro/nanosystems. Utilizing micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) and microfluidics technologies through selective designs and fabrications effectively, those energy harvesters can be considerably downsized while ensuring a stable, portable, and consistent power supply. Although ambient energy sources such as solar radiation are harvested for decades, recent developments have enabled ambient vibrations, electromagnetic radiation, and heat to be harvested wirelessly, independently, and sustainably. Developments in the field of microfluidics have also led to the design and fabrication of novel energy harvesting devices. This paper reviews the recent advancements in energy harvesting technologies such as piezoelectric, electromagnetic, electrostatic, thermoelectric, radio frequency, and solar to drive self-powered portable electronics. Moreover, the potential application of MEMS and microfluidics as well as MEMS-based structures and fabrication techniques for energy harvesting are summarized and presented. Finally, a few crucial challenges affecting the performance of energy harvesters are addressed.
- energy harvesting