A Micromachined DC-to-DC Boost Converter for Powering High

A Micromachined DC-to-DC Boost Converter for Powering High
A Micromachined DC-to-DC Boost Converter for
Powering High-Voltage Transducers
Kabir Udeshi and Yogesh B. Gianchandani
Left – Schematic of a DCto-DC Boost Converter
using a micromachined
self-oscillating switch.
Right – SEM image of a micromachined self-oscillating switch.
The goal of this project is provide miniaturized voltage conversion for microsensors and microactuators with high-voltage requirements. These include, for example, micro-Geiger counter and electrostatic actuators. The device is intended to
provide 300–800V AC or DC output voltage with up to 1W of power, while being
powered by a 3–10V DC supply. The target area is <1cm2. The typical implementation of a voltage converter involves storing energy on an inductor, breaking the
current flow by opening a relay, and pulling the energy off the inductor. The inductor generates a high voltage because of the inductive kick. The approach used in
this effort uses a self-oscillating DC-driven switch as an autonomous relay. This
essential component of the boost converter results in a reduced footprint, making
integration and localized customization attainable. The initial component of this
effort was directed at developing the self-oscillating DC-driven switches (see
above). This was used to make a prototype of the voltage converter that generates
spike of magnitude up to 500V from a 4V DC supply. Present work is directed at
structural and fabrication process improvements for enhancing longevity and performance of the micromachined self-oscillating switch. This project is supported
primarily by the Engineering Research Centers Program of the National Science
Foundation under Award Number EEC-9986866.
WIMS ERC Annual Report 2004
121
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