Prof. Amirtharajah’s research activities encompass integrated circuits, power electronics, and low power embedded systems. One major focus is on the development and implementation of electronic systems that are powered by energy harvested from their environment. This includes the conversion of incident light (solar energy harvesting), radiation (betavoltaic energy harvesting), RF energy, and environmental mechanical vibrations, power electronics to generate stable supply voltages, and load circuits that consume less than one milliwatt. These systems form the foundation for self-powered wireless sensor networks which have applications in green building design, infrastructure and environmental monitoring, medicine, and defense. Current projects include RF energy harvesting for wearables and betavoltaic energy harvesting for implantable devices.
A second major focus is on high power density power electronics and embedded systems for portable devices, computing, and robotics. Applications include mobile devices, data centers, and agricultural robots. Current projects include resonant switched-capacitor converters implemented using gallium nitride power FETs and advanced clocking schemes that achieve unprecedented power densities and the development of query vehicles/data mules for wireless sensor networks in smart farms.