A review of the recent research on vibration energy harvesting via bistable systems

R. L. Harne, K. W. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1205 Scopus citations


The investigation of the conversion of vibrational energy into electrical power has become a major field of research. In recent years, bistable energy harvesting devices have attracted significant attention due to some of their unique features. Through a snap-through action, bistable systems transition from one stable state to the other, which could cause large amplitude motion and dramatically increase power generation. Due to their nonlinear characteristics, such devices may be effective across a broad-frequency bandwidth. Consequently, a rapid engagement of research has been undertaken to understand bistable electromechanical dynamics and to utilize the insight for the development of improved designs. This paper reviews, consolidates, and reports on the major efforts and findings documented in the literature. A common analytical framework for bistable electromechanical dynamics is presented, the principal results are provided, the wide variety of bistable energy harvesters are described, and some remaining challenges and proposed solutions are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023001
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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