Magnetic Machines for Microengine Power Generation
Arnold, David Patrick
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This dissertation presents an investigation of miniaturized magnetic induction and permanent magnet (PM) machines, intended for use in a microengine. Similar to a macroscale turbogenerator, a microengine comprises a small, gas-fueled turbine engine for converting chemical fuel energy into mechanical power and an integrated electrical generator for converting mechanical power to electrical power. The microengine system is proposed as a revolutionary, high power-density source for portable electronics. In this research, miniaturized magnetic induction machines and PM machines were designed, fabricated, and characterized. Both types of machines used axially directed magnetic fields and were nominally 10 mm in diameter and 1.5-2.3 mm in thickness. Innovative microfabrication techniques were developed to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating magnetic machines within a bulk-micromachined, silicon-based microengine system. Two-phase, eight-pole induction machines were constructed within silicon substrates using Cu coils in a laminated, slotted ferromagnetic NiFe or CoFeNi stator core. Silicon etching, wafer bonding, and electrodeposition were used to form all of the magnetic machine components. The induction machines were characterized in motoring mode using tethered rotors and demonstrated motoring torques of up to 2.5 uN-m. Also, three-phase, eight-pole, surface wound PM machines were built using a hybrid microfabrication/assembly approach. The stators were fabricated by electroplating Cu coils on ferromagnetic NiFeMo (Moly Permalloy) substrates. The rotors were formed by assembling a magnetically patterned SmCo PM with a FeCoV (Hiperco 50) back iron. The PM machines were tested as generators with free-spinning rotors, powered by an air-driven spindle, and demonstrated 2.6 W of mechanical-to-electrical power conversion with continuous DC power generation of 1.1 W at 120 krpm rotor speed. The primary contributions of this work are (1) the demonstration of microfabricated magnetic machines integrated within bulk-micromachined silicon and (2) the demonstration of multi-watt power conversion from a microfabricated PM generator. These achievements represent progress in the ongoing development of silicon-based microengines, but in addition, the fabrication technologies and device structures may find application in other microsystems.