MSc thesis project proposal

[2024] Highly Efficient Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting for Wearable Devices

Along with the popularity of smart watches and smart bands, wearable electronic devices have been playing important roles in the past several years. Not only do patients need wearable health monitoring, but healthy people also tend to use these devices to monitor their health data during sports, daily life, and sleeping. Despite the popularity, the limited battery life forces users to periodically interrupt health monitoring to charge the batteries, which is undesirable and sometimes dangerous for patients and aged people.


As human bodies continuously release considerable heat, thermoelectric energy harvesting (TEH) has become a promising way to power wearable devices [1]. Compared with other energy harvesting topologies employed to power wearable electronics, TEH provides a stable and reliable power solution, which is crucial for health monitoring.


Several TEH circuits and systems have recently been proposed to achieve higher energy efficiencies [2][3]. However, most TEH techniques still suffer from cold-start issues, large form factors due to off-chip components, insufficient maximum power point tracking (MPPT) performance, etc. In this project, we are going to design a thermoelectric energy harvesting ASIC to power wearable electronics, like health monitors, smart watches, smart bands, etc. The designed system enables highly efficient energy extraction efficiency, small form factor with a fully integrated design, dynamic MPPT, cold startup ability under various circumstances, and system integration with wearable electronics.


[1] S. Bose, B. Shen and M. L. Johnston, "26.5 A 20µW Heartbeat Detection System-on-Chip Powered by Human Body Heat for Self-Sustaining Wearable Healthcare," 2020 ISSCC, pp. 408-410.

[2]    Y. K. Ramadass and A. P. Chandrakasan, "A Battery-Less Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Interface Circuit With 35 mV Startup Voltage," IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 333-341, 2011, doi: 10.1109/JSSC.2010.2074090.

[3]    Q. Wan and P. K. T. Mok, "A 14-nA, Highly Efficient Triple-Output Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting System Based on a Reconfigurable TEG Array," IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 1720-1732, 2019, doi: 10.1109/JSSC.2019.2899973.


1. Literature review of thermoelectric energy harvesting topologies and associated power management circuits.
2. Design and tape out a highly efficient ASIC for the proposed thermoelectric energy harvesting system.


You should be familiar with analog IC design and Cadence environment. If you are interested, please send the following documents to Sijun Du at email:

  • Your up-to-date CV
  • BSc transcripts
  • MSc grades (obtained to date)

Suggested courses to appear in your IEP:

  • Analog Circuit Design Fundamentals
  • Measurement and Instrumentation
  • Analog CMOS Design 1 and 2
  • Digital IC Design 1 and 2
  • Analog Integrated Circuit Design

Not a must in your IEP, but you are encouraged to learn some course materials at least:

  • Nyquist-Rate Data Converters
  • Power conversion techniques in CMOS technology (Only the SMPC and SCPC parts)
  • Semiconductor Device Physics


dr. Sijun Du

Electronic Instrumentation Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2024-06-11