Electrostatic energy harvesting by droplet-based multi-phase microfluidics

Yildirim E., KÜLAH H.

MICROFLUIDICS AND NANOFLUIDICS, vol.13, no.1, pp.107-111, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10404-012-0946-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.107-111
  • Keywords: Energy harvesting, Droplet, Droplet-based microfluidics, Electrostatic, Capacitive, GENERATORS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper presents an energy scavenging technique, merging microfluidics with electrostatic energy harvesting. The method employs droplet-based microflow of two phases with different electrical permittivities, resulting in a capacitance change across the microchannel, to harvest electrical energy. The technique is implemented on 3 mm wide, 1 mm deep minichannels. It is shown that 0.4 nW can be harvested using a single electrode pair, with air and water as the two phases flowing at 1 ml/min. The generated power can be increased significantly by microscale implementation, where the number of electrodes can also be increased for further improvement.