Many recent advances in electroelastic energy harvesting have benefitted from the use of nonlinear effects that reshape the potential well of the device and lead to bandwidth improvement. In this letter, the merits of using impact barriers for potential well shaping and bandwidth improvement in nonlinear electroelastic energy harvesters are considered. A bistable piezoelectric cantilever beam with symmetrically placed impact barriers is developed and tested through numerical simulation and experiment. Preliminary results indicate that impact barriers prolong the stability of large-amplitude attractors across a wider frequency range than an equivalent nonimpacting device, albeit at the expense of a greater peak amplitude. A mathematical model and simulation parameters are provided, and the system is investigated through both numerical simulation and experiment. A nontrivial relationship between barrier placement and the linewidth of the frequency response was observed in experiments. Future work will seek to improve the mathematical model to more accurately capture the behavior seen in the experiment.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.