Insights into Tunnel FET-Based Charge Pumps and Rectifiers for Energy Harvesting Applications

David Cavalheiro, Francesc Moll, Stanimir Valtchev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, the electrical characteristics of tunnel field-effect transistor (TFET) devices are explored for energy harvesting front-end circuits with ultralow power consumption. Compared with conventional thermionic technologies, the improved electrical characteristics of TFET devices are expected to increase the power conversion efficiency of front-end charge pumps and rectifiers powered at sub-μW power levels. However, under reverse bias conditions the TFET device presents particular electrical characteristics due to its different carrier injection mechanism. In this paper, it is shown that reverse losses in TFET-based circuits can be attenuated by changing the gate-to-source voltage of reverse-biased TFETs. Therefore, in order to take full advantage of the TFETs in front-end energy harvesting circuits, different circuit approaches are required. In this paper, we propose and discuss different topologies for TFET-based charge pumps and rectifiers for energy harvesting applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7725525
Pages (from-to)988-997
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Charge pump
  • energy harvesting
  • passive rectifier
  • thermogenerator
  • tunnel field-effect transistor (TFET)
  • ultralow power


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