Breaking the Efficiency Barrier for Ambient Microwave Power Harvesting With Heterojunction Backward Tunnel Diodes


Harvesting low-density ambient microwave power as an alternative power source for small ubiquitous wireless nodes has been proposed in recent papers discussing emerging technologies like the Web of Things and Sensible Cities. But, a literature review of the state-of-the-art Schottky diode primarily based microwave rectifiers shows that a maximum potency has been reached for such devices operating in the low-power regime, as is the case for ambient microwave power-harvesters. This work examines the underlying physical mechanisms accountable for this RF-to-dc power conversion potency limitation, and explores a high I-V curvature backward tunnel diode to overcome this potency limitation. Measurements of the two.4 GHz RF-to-dc power conversion potency at $-$ 40 dBm input power demonstrates that the backward tunnel diode outperforms the HSMS-285B Schottky diode by a factor of 10.5 and therefore the Skyworks SMS7630 by a issue of five.5 in an exceedingly lossless matching network situation. A prototype built using a new GSG probe embedded with an identical circuit showed a complete power conversion efficiency of 3.eight% for $-$forty dBm input power and 18.two% for $-$30 dBm input power at two.35 GHz.

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