A Finite Element Model of Self-Resonating Bimorph Microcantilever for Fast Temperature Cycling in A Pyroelectric Energy Harvester


A self resonating bimorph cantilever structure for fast temperature cycling in a pyroelectric energy harvester has been modeled using finite element method. Effect of constituting material properties and system parameters on the frequency and magnitude of temperature cycling and the efficiency of energy recycling using the proposed structure has been investigated. Results show that thermal contact conductance and heat source temperature play a key role in dominating the cycling frequency and efficiency of energy recycling. Studying the performance trend with various parameters such as thermal contact conductance, heat source temperature, device aspect ratio and constituent material of varying thermal conductivity and expansion coefficient, an optimal solution for most efficient energy scavenging process has been sought.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Guyomar, D., et al., Toward Heat Energy Harvesting using Pyroelectric Material. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 2009. 20(3): p. 265–271.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Sebald, G., D. Guyomar, and A. Agbossou, On thermoelectric and pyroelectric energy harvesting. Smart Material Structures, 2009. 18: p. 5006.

  3. 3.

    Ikura, M., Conversion of low-grade heat to electricity using pyroelectric copolymer. Ferroelectrics, 2002. 267: p. 403–408.

  4. 4.

    Kouchachvili, L. and M. Ikura, Improving the efficiency of pyroelectric conversion. International Journal of Energy Research, 2008. 32(4): p. 328–335.

  5. 5.

    Fang, J., H. Frederich, and L. Pilon, Harvesting Nanoscale Thermal Radiation Using Pyroelectric Materials. Journal of Heat Transfer, 2010. 132(9): p. 092701.

  6. 6.

    Nguyen, H., A. Navid, and L. Pilon, Pyroelectric energy converter using co-polymer P(VDF-TrFE) and Olsen cycle for waste heat energy harvesting. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2010. 30(14–15): p. 2127–2137.

  7. 7.

    Varona, J., M. Tecpoyotl-Torres, and A.A. Hamoui, Modeling of MEMS Thermal Actuation with External Heat Source, in Proceedings of the Electronics, Robotics and Automotive Mechanics Conference. 2007, IEEE Computer Society. p. 591–596.

  8. 8.

    Holman, J.P., Heat Transfer. 8th Edition ed. 1997: McGraw-Hill.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Salwa Mostafa.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mostafa, S., Lavrik, N., Bannuru, T. et al. A Finite Element Model of Self-Resonating Bimorph Microcantilever for Fast Temperature Cycling in A Pyroelectric Energy Harvester. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1325, 404 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2011.1255

Download citation