Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Squeezed Crystals Deliver More Volts Per Jolt

Date:
February 4, 2008
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
A new discovery has opened the door to a new generation of piezoelectric materials that can convert mechanical strain into electricity and vice versa, potentially cutting costs and boosting performance in myriad applications ranging from medical diagnostics to green energy technologies.

A discovery by scientists at the Carnegie Institution has opened the door to a new generation of piezoelectric materials that can convert mechanical strain into electricity and vice versa, potentially cutting costs and boosting performance in myriad applications ranging from medical diagnostics to green energy technologies.

High-performance piezoelectric materials used today, such as those in probes for medical ultrasound, are specially grown crystals of mixed composition known as "solid solutions," making them difficult to study and expensive to manufacture. But in the January 31 Nature a research team* led by Ronald Cohen and Russell Hemley of the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory report that at high pressure pure crystals of lead titanate show the same transitions seen in more complex materials. Moreover, theory predicts that lead titanate under pressure has the largest piezoelectric response of any material known. This suggests the exciting possibility of low-cost but extremely high-performance piezoelectrics.

"The most useful piezoelectric materials have a critical range of compositions called the morphotopic phase boundary, where the crystal structure changes and the piezoelectric properties are maximal," says Muhtar Ahart, a co-author of the study. "These are usually complex, engineered, solid solutions. But we showed that a pure compound can display a morphotopic phase boundary under pressure."

For the study, the researchers placed powdered crystals of lead titanate in a device called a diamond anvil cell, which can generate pressures exceeding those at the center of the Earth. They monitored the changes in crystal structure with pressure using high-energy X-ray beams of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Using this data and calculations based on first-principle theoretical computations, the researchers were able to determine the piezoelectric properties of the pure crystals at different pressures.

"It turns out that complex microstructures or compositions are not necessary to obtain strong piezoelectricity," says Ahart.

The use of piezoelectrics has boomed in recent years and is rapidly expanding. Their ability to convert mechanical energy to electric energy and vice versa has made them invaluable for acoustic transducers for sonar and medical ultrasound, and for tiny, high-precision pumps and motors for medical and other applications. High-performance piezoelectrics have also opened up new possibilities for "energy harvesting," using ambient motion and vibration to generate electricity where batteries or other power sources are impractical or unavailable.

"This is a field in which theory, experiment, and material development work side-by-side," says Ronald Cohen, a staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution and a co-author of the study. "Delineating the underlying physics of piezoelectric materials will make it easier to develop new materials and improve existing ones. We're now poised on the edge of hugely expanded applications of these technologies."

This work was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. Support was also received from the Carnegie/Department of Energy Alliance Center (CDAC). High-pressure X-ray diffraction at the HPCAT facility of Advanced Photon Source was supported by DOE-BES, DOE-NNSA (CDAC), and the W. M. Keck Foundation. Use of the Advanced Photon Source was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

Authors: Muhtar Ahart, Maddury Somayazulu, R. E. Cohen, P. Ganesh, Przemyslaw Dera, Ho-kwang Mao, Russell J. Hemley, Yang Ren, Peter Liermann, and Zhigang Wu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Squeezed Crystals Deliver More Volts Per Jolt." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080130130644.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2008, February 4). Squeezed Crystals Deliver More Volts Per Jolt. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080130130644.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Squeezed Crystals Deliver More Volts Per Jolt." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080130130644.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins