Post-doctoral fellow position on energy harvesting and power management for smart textiles
MINES Saint-Étienne

Post-doctoral fellow position on energy harvesting and power management for smart textiles

France 22 Apr 2021

ABOUT THE INSTITUTION

École des Mines de Saint-Étienne is Frances oldest elite engineering school outside Paris, and the fifth oldest among Frances 250 « Grandes Écoles ».
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OPPORTUNITY DETAILS

State University
Area
Host Country
Deadline
22 Apr 2021
Study level
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This opportunity is destined for all countries
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Environment

The research activities of Flexible Electronics Department are dedicated to the development of technological bricks adapted to the achievement of flexible or/and stretchable electronic components for applications in smart electronics (human machine interface, IoT, smart sensing, bio robotic/mimetic… Fabrication of autonomous, thin, flexible and conformable devices spread the research from nanomaterials, energy harvesting and storage to heterogeneous integration on flexible/stretchable substrates. The project will take benefit of microfabrication and characterization facilities made available by the 660m2 clean room and the technological platform “MicroPackS”.

https://www.mines-stetienne.fr/en/research/scientific-departments/flexible-electronics-department-fel/

Context & Objectives

Electronic textiles or smart textiles are advanced textiles that include electronic functionality ranging from conductive tracks to sensing/actuating, communications, microprocessing and power management. The market for e-textiles is projected to reach $2 billion by 2029. E-textiles provide a platform that should enable an imperceptible deployment of sensors and actuators, with many areas of applications (military, safety clothing, sport, health). One of the key issues remains the powering of e-textiles since energy is usually supplied through rigid batteries which impede the imperceptiveness of the entire device. In addition, these batteries must be changed or recharged regularly. This therefore poses a major problem if access to a charging point is limited or an ecological problem if non-rechargeable batteries are used. Nowadays, in-situ power harvesting is mostly carried out using photovoltaic panels, which have the drawback of only operating during the day, in the open air and in clear weather.

In this context, the overall objective of this project is to develop a flexible autonomous power supply system integrated into the textile, in order to supply low consumption systems, of the order of a few mW in instantaneous, such as long term physiological monitoring. This autonomous system will be composed of a fabric based on tribogenerator textile yarns with its own flexible electronics for passive charging and energy storage.

Description

The post-doctoral student will design, develop and integrate, into a garment, the passive system (charger) which  harvests the charges generated by the triboelectric textile and accumulate them in the flexible battery. The key element of this charger will be the transformer made up of coupling coils.

State of the art on electronic integration technologies in textiles

The first task will be to establish the state of the art on the latest research carried out on the integration of electronic functions within textiles. Through this study, the limitations of physical interconnections for their use in highly deformable circuits will be highlighted, as well as the impact of deformations on the efficiency of coupling between coils. The latest developments in wireless interconnection based on the use of radio frequencies will also be studied. This bibliographical study should lead to the definition of options for the development of the technological building blocks of the charger.

Charger study and development

This study will first focus on the charger's transformer made up of primary and secondary coils. The optimization and stability of the inductive coupling between the coils will be the key to the efficiency of the charger. The impact of mechanical deformations on the coupling will be studied by combining an experimental approach (characterization of the coupling under calibrated mechanical tests) and a modeling approach (simulation by finite elements of the device). Then, the transformer will have to be integrated in the whole of the charger on flexible substrate. Its integration into the garment and its connections with the generator and the battery will be the last part of this work with the aim of making a complete final demonstrator.

The post-doctoral fellow should have a background in materials science, physics or microelectronics and have autonomy and good communication skills. He will have to work with different actors, mainly in charge of triboelectric textile development and flexible batteries. This is a good opportunity for a talented candidate who shows curiosity and taste for prototyping in the “maker culture”.

Starting date: from March to June 2021

Duration: 12 months

Gross salary:

-              3080 €/month for less than 3 years of experience

-              3213 €/month for more than 3 years of experience

To apply, please send a short CV (max. 2 pages), the list of publications, and two recommendation letters to:

Pr. DJENIZIAN Thierry (thierry.djenizian@emse.fr)

Professor, Head of FEL department

Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne,

Campus Georges Charpak Provence

880 route de Mimet

13120 Gardanne

France
 

Pr. BODDAERT Xavier (boddaert@emse.fr)

Associate Professor, FEL department

Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne,

Campus Georges Charpak Provence

880 route de Mimet

13120 Gardanne

France
 

Dr. DELATTRE Roger (roger.delattre@emse.fr)

Assistant Professor, FEL department

Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne,

Campus Georges Charpak Provence

880 route de Mimet

13120 Gardanne

France

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