Self-Powered Sensors: Applications, Challenges, and Solutions

Shumaila Javaid, Hamza Fahim, Sherali Zeadally, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sensing technology has long been an integral part of modern developments that have brought several benefits to various domains ranging from civil and military to commercial and healthcare applications. However, the sensor's inadequate energy is the primary concern that affects their long-term sustainable operations and remote location deployment. Therefore, self-powered sensors with the ability to scavenge energy from the environment to self-drive the sensor's operation have received significant attention in recent years. Self-powered sensors with energy harvesting technology can convert the ambient energy available in the environment, such as mechanical, thermal, wave, and solar energy, into electric energy to self-power the sensors for long-term sustainable operations. Self-powered sensors have been a vital part of technological advances since the 21st century, and the existing literature has thoroughly studied the fabrication material of self-powered sensors and their energy harvesting mechanisms. However, the current literature lacks a comprehensive review of state-of-the-art design solutions for self-powered sensors and their implementation challenges. To address the limitations of past and current reviews, we have reviewed state-of-the-art architectures of self-powered sensors and their applications in various domains (such as civil, automotive systems, environmental, robotic, human-machine interactions, healthcare, and fitness applications). Moreover, following the study of existing designs of self-powered sensors, we provide a general architecture for a self-powered sensor design, and we discuss the implementation challenges of self-powered sensors that affect their long-term operations. These challenges include energy, size, cost, robustness, stability, and artificial intelligence (AI). We also discuss possible solutions to address the implementation challenges that we have identified to enable the design of cost-effective self-powered sensor-based monitoring systems for diverse applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20483-20509
Number of pages27
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2020AAA0108905, in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61825303 and Grant 62088101, in part by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Science and Technology Project under Grant 19511132101, and in part by the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Major Project under Grant 2021SHZDZX0100.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2001-2012 IEEE.


  • Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT)
  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • energy harvesting
  • nanogenerators
  • self-powered sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-Powered Sensors: Applications, Challenges, and Solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this