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Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems (CEHMS)

Columbia University

Virginia Tech

Last Reviewed: 12/19/2019

CEHMS will address an important problem of our generation facing the sensor networks, wireless communication and microelectronics industry related to power source.

Center Mission and Rationale

Mission: Providing integrated solutions to microelectronics, mobile and wireless technology problems through modeling, analysis, fabrication and demonstration of intelligent systems. Develop the architecture for “self-powered sensors” and open the pathway for distributed power sources. Demonstrate harvesters utilizing single and multimodal conversion mechanisms, adaptive energy harvesting circuits, intelligent energy management system, and conformal storage media.

Vision: Lead the global research and development in the area of energy harvesting by providing comprehensive expertise in all the related aspects including materials, components, system design, analysis, characterization and prototyping.

Research program

Energy Harvesting for Sensors and Wireless Communication

Energy Harvesting for Sensors and Wireless Communication 

Solar and Thermal Energy Harvesting

Solar and Thermal Energy Harvesting 

Energy Harvesting in Transportation

Energy Harvesting in Transportation

Ocean Energy Harvesting

Ocean Energy Harvesting

Facilities and Laboratory

Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems (CEHMS) at Virginia Tech is currently housed in a 6,000 sq. ft. facility in Durham Hall, dedicated to the administrative, educational, and technical activities of the Center. Additional CEHMS–specific lab spaces are located in Kelly Hall and ICTAS II building  and Goodwin Hall for a total space of about 10,000 sq. ft.  Several large facilities including a wind tunnel, a wave basin, a modal testing laboratory, numerous testing machines an acoustics facility and equipment in the fiber optics and wireless centers of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are available for CEHMS faculty to perform their research. Examples of other state-of-the-art facilities available to CEHMS include: the electrical characterization laboratory, the power electronics facility, an x-ray laboratory, an electron microscopy laboratory, a mechanical testing lab, and a thermal processing and characterization lab. Facilities are also available for the processing and characterization of dielectric materials, both for bulk and thin layer forms.  CEHMS has a 4-circle goniometer for reciprocal space mapping, which is equipped with a hot-stage for T-dependent studies and state-of-the-art optics and the equipment needed to make epitaxial thin-layers, grow single crystals, process bulk ceramics, tape cast layers, and to make intricate patterns using a miniature rapid prototyping method. CEHMS has an atomic force microscope, capable of operating in piezo-, magnetic, and dielectric-force modes. In addition, CEHMS has a scanning electron microscope with an environmental stage, and a new high resolution TEM. These structural tools, in conjunction with our polarized light microscope with an electric field stage, allows CEHMS researchers to characterize the structural aspects of dielectric materials at various length scales ranging from the atomic level and up. Furthermore, VT has one of the nation’s best facilities for functional property and device evaluations. These include dielectric, magnetic, piezoelectric, and magnetostrictive functionalities that are highly relevant to this program. We also have a SQUID magnetometer, magnetoelectric measurements, and a magnetically shielded test environment that has a noise rejection capability of ~105x at low frequencies.

Other facilities available on the VT campus, which can be used for a service fee include:

  • Ceramic tapecasting, hot isostatic pressing and uniaxial pressing
  • Thin film magnetron sputtering, sol-gel chemical deposition, e-beam evaporation
  • ADL and Crystalox single crystal growth systems
  • Automated Scintag and Philips X-ray diffraction units, X-ray PSSD residual stress analysis units
  • Scanning electron microscope, Environmental scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, Raman spectroscopy.
  • Neutral beam state secondary ion mass spectrometer, high resolution scanning auger ion scattering analyzer for surface analysis
  • X-ray florescence spectrometer
  • State of the art ceramic processing laboratory
  • Nanoscale Fabrication and Characterization Laboratory (http://www.ictas.vt.edu/ncfl/)
  • MicrON – clean room facilities (microelectronics, optoelectronics, and nanoelectronics): E-Beam Evaporation, Thermal Evaporation, PECVD, RIE, Deep RIE, Photo Resist Spinners, Mask Aligner, Thermal Anealer, Dicing Saw, Acid/Corrosive Wet Deck, Solvent Wet Deck, P,N and Thermal Oxide Furnaces, VASE, DekTak Profile measurement, FilmMetric, Optical Microscope, Critical Point Dryer, Wet Etching (TMAH, KOH).

The Pao Sustainable Engineering and Materials Laboratory is located at 7 Industry Street in Poughkeepsie, NY, with 16500 square feet of office and laboratory space.

Between and 2016, the facility was occupied by Atlantis Energy Systems, Inc. (AES). AES specialized in Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) solar modules. Frank Pao, owner of AES, donated all the solar manufacturing equipment to Columbia University in early 2017. The laboratory is now dedicated to the field tests of renewable energy sources with a focus in solar energy.

Locations

Virginia Tech

310 Durham Hall (0261)
1145 Perry St

Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061

United States

540-231-8355

540-231-2903

http://www.cehms.com

Columbia University

610 SW Mudd Building

New York, New York, 10027

United States