Ultraminiaturized high-speed permanent-magnet generators for milliwatt-level power generation

Florian Herrault, Chang Hyeon Ji, Mark G. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This paper presents the design, fabrication, and characterization of millimeter-scale rotary electromagnetic generators. The axial-flux synchronous machines consist of a three-phase microfabricated surface-wound copper coil and a multipole permanent-magnet (PM) rotor measuring 2 mm in diameter. Several machines with various geometries and numbers of magnetic poles and turns per pole are designed and compared. Moreover, the use of different PM materials is investigated. Multipole magnetic rotors are modeled using finite element analysis to analyze magnetic field distributions. In operation, the rotor is spun above the microfabricated stator coils using an off-the-shelf air-driven turbine. As a result of design choices, the generators present different levels of operating frequency and electrical output power. The four-pole six-turn/pole NdFeB generator exhibits up to 6.6 mWrms of ac electrical power across a resistive load at a rotational speed of 392 000 r/min. This milliwatt-scale power generation indicates the feasibility of such ultrasmall machines for low-power applications. [2008-0078].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1376-1387
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008


  • AC generators
  • Micromachining
  • Permanent-magnet (PM) machines
  • Power microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)


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