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Self-powered optical sensor systems

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Author: Wu, H. · Emadi, A. · Graaf, G. de · Leijtens, J.A.P. · Wolffenbuttel, R.F.
Institution: TNO Industrie en Techniek
Source:TRANSDUCERS 2009 - 15th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems, 21 June 2009 through 25 June 2009, Denver, CO, conference code: 78628, 1373-1376
Identifier: 272504
doi: doi:10.1109/SENSOR.2009.5285827
ISBN: 9781424441938
Article number: 5285827
Keywords: Electronics · Energy scavenging · Optical system · Photodiode · Self-powering · Sun sensor · Angle of Incidence · CMOS processs · Electrical power generation · Energy scavenging · Incoming light · Low Power · On-chip integration · Optical position measurements · Photodiode arrays · Self-powered · Self-powering · Sun sensor · Supply voltages · Test structure · Voltage amplifiers · Actuators · Microsystems · Optical sensors · Optical systems · Photocurrents · Photodiodes · Piezoelectric transducers · Position measurement · Sun · Voltage regulators · Solid-state sensors


A 0.35 μm CMOS process has been used for on-chip integration of a sun sensor composed of a 2x2 photodiode array and a current-to-voltage amplifier. Unlike conventional sun sensors, a shade profile proportional to the angle of incidence of incoming light is projected onto the photodiodes. This concept enables an autonomous self-powered optical system with two the main functions (electrical power generation for the amplifier and the optical position measurement) implemented in the photodiodes by having these operated simultaneously in the photovoltaic and photocurrent mode respectively. The low-power current-to-voltage converter is used to readout the differential photocurrent, while powered from the photodiodes at minimum supply voltage level. Test structures have been designed, fabricated and used for validation of the concept. ©2009 IEEE.