Published in Nov 2014
Simon Hemour and Ke Wu
The roadmap evolution and historical milestones of electromagnetic energy conversion techniques and related breakthroughs over the years are reviewed and presented with particular emphasis on low-density energy-harvest technologies. Electromagnetic sources responsible for the presence of ambient radio-frequency (RF) energy are examined and discussed. The effective use and recycling of such an ambient electromagnetic energy are the most relevant and critical issue for the current and future practicability of wireless energyharvesting devices and systems. In this paper, a set of performance criteria and development considerations, required to meet the need of applications of ambient electromagnetic energy harvesting, are also derived from the radiating source analysis. The criteria can be calculated from a simple measurement of the I-V nonlinear behavior of RF rectification devices such as diodes and transistors, as well as linear frequency behavior (S-parameters). The existing rectifying devices are then reviewed in light of the defined performance criteria. Finally, a technological outlook of the performances that can be expected from different device technologies is assessed and discussed. Since the proposed spindiode technology would present the most promising device platform in the development of the most useful ambient energy harvesters, a special highlight of this disruptive scheme is provided in the presentation of this work.