SPARC Webinar: August 19
Near-Zero Power Integrated Microsystems for the IoT
The slides and video presentation of the August 19th webinar is now available online!
The fifth webinar of the SPARC (Seminars to Promote ALERT Research and Collaboration) Webinar series will continue on August 19 from 11:30am – 12:00pm EDT. More information on the presentation can be found below:
Title: Near-Zero Power Integrated Microsystems for the IoT
Presenters: Prof. Matteo Rinaldi, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University and Prof. Zhenyun Qian, Research Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University
Abstract: As a consequence of the internet-of-things revolution, the number of connected devices worldwide is expected to increase to 50–200 billion by 2020. To maintain such a large network, there is a need for wireless sensors with dimensions and power consumption that are orders of magnitude smaller than the state-of-the-art. Energy is the key challenge. Batteries have limited capacity, and existing sensors are not “smart” enough to identify targets of interest. Therefore, they consume power continuously to monitor the environment even when there is no relevant data to be detected. This talk presents a new class of zero-power microsystems that fundamentally brake this paradigm, remaining dormant, with zero-power consumption, until awakened by a specific physical signature associated with an event of interest. In particular, we demonstrate infrared digitizing sensors that consist of plasmonically enhanced micromechanical photoswitches (PMPs) that selectively harvest the impinging electromagnetic energy in design-defined spectral bands of interest and use it to create mechanically a conducting channel between two electrical contacts, without the need for any additional power source. Such a passive IR digitizer is capable of producing a wake-up bit when exposed to a specific IR spectral signature associated to a target of interest (such as the exhaust plume of a car, a forest fire, or a human body) while rejecting background interference. The capability of these zero-power sensors of consuming power only when useful information is present results in a nearly unlimited duration of operation, with a groundbreaking impact on the proliferation of the IoT.
Matteo Rinaldi is a Full Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Northeastern University and the Director of Northeastern SMART a university research center that, by fostering partnership between university, industry and government stakeholders, aims to conceive and pilot disruptive technological innovation in devices and systems capable of addressing fundamental technology gaps in several fields including the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Quantum Engineering, Digital Agriculture, Robotics and Healthcare. Dr. Rinaldi received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in December 2010. He worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Northeastern University as an Assistant Professor in January 2012. Dr. Rinaldi’s group has been actively working on experimental research topics and practical applications to ultra-low power MEMS/NEMS sensors (infrared, magnetic, chemical and biological), plasmonic micro and nano electromechanical devices, medical micro systems and implantable micro devices for intra-body networks, reconfigurable radio frequency devices and systems, phase change material switches, 2D material enabled micro and nano mechanical devices. The research in Dr. Rinaldi’s group is supported by several Federal grants (including DARPA, ARPA-E, NSF, DHS), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Keck Foundation with funding of $16+M since 2012. Dr. Rinaldi has co-authored more than 150 publications in the aforementioned research areas and also holds 11 patents and more than 10 device patent applications in the field of MEMS/NEMS.
Dr. Rinaldi was the recipient of the IEEE Sensors Council Early Career Award in 2015, the NSF CAREER Award in 2014 and the DARPA Young Faculty Award class of 2012. He received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2009, 2011, 2015 (with his student) and 2017 (with his student) IEEE International Frequency Control Symposiums; the Outstanding Paper Award at the 18th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems, Transducers 2015 (with his student) and the Outstanding Paper Award at the 32nd IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2019 (with his student). Prof. Rinaldi is the founder and CEO of Zepsor Technologies, a start-up company that aims to bring to market zero standby power sensors for various internet of things applications including distributed wireless fire monitoring systems, battery-less infrared sensor tags for occupancy sensing and distributed wireless monitoring systems of plant health parameters for digital agriculture. Prof. Rinaldi is also the owner of Smart MicroTech Consulting LLC, a company that routinely provides consulting services to government agencies, large companies and startups in the broad areas of Micro and Nano Technologies, Internet of Things, Wireless Communication devices and systems, Radio Frequency Devices and Systems and Sensors.
Zhenyun Qian received his B.S. degree in Electronic Science and Engineering from Southeast University, Nanjing, China, in 2011, the M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, in 2013 and 2017, respectively. His research interests include piezoelectric/thermo-mechanical transducers, 2D materials enhanced NEMS devices, low-power/zero-power sensors, MEMS-based optical switches, and flexible electronics. He has published more than 40 papers in the field of MEMS/NEMS. Zhenyun Qian was the recipient of the Outstanding Paper Award at the 18th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems (Transducers 2015) and the Best Paper Award at the 2017 European Frequency and Time Forum & International Frequency Control Symposium (IFCS-EFTF 2017).
If you are interested in attending or have any questions, please reach out to Tiffany Lam at [email protected] for more information.