Application and research in piezoceramics

author: Jürgen Rödel, Darmstadt University of Technology
published: Jan. 10, 2011,   recorded: October 2010,   views: 3684


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The world’s market on piezoceramics is about 10 billion dollar per year. Main applications are actuators, e.g. for fuel injection and for piezomotors, sensors e.g. for parking pilot and airbag, transducers for ultrasound investigations and transformers for example for mobile phones. Legislation in the European Union has taken the lead to push for the elimination of lead in piezoceramics, which would eliminate the main material, lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) and has lead to a world-wide effort for the quest of lead-free piezoceramics. A pathway on how to conduct a search for a completely new material based on an only approximate understanding of the current material is presented. It entails simple procedures like searching for appropriate elements based on toxicity, price, formation of appropriate crystal structures and ionic polarizability. Then it discusses some of the materials under investigation and the salient scientific questions. In particular, examples from in-situ investigations, respectively field-dependent transmission electron microscopy, field-dependent synchrotron investigations and others are highlighted. The required electrical properties are also discussed.

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