Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lead-free piezoelectric materials of the future

Date:
September 27, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Over the past 60 years, lead zirconate titanate, or PZT, has been the material of choice for piezoelectric applications from ink jet printers to gas grill igniters. Despite this success, many scientists would like to find a more environmentally-friendly, lead-free material. The theoretical potential of another class of materials has now been shown.

Piezoelectric materials have fantastic properties: squeeze them and they generate an electrical field. And vice-versa, they contract or expand when jolted with an electrical pulse. With a name derived from the Greek word meaning to squeeze or press, the piezoelectric effect was just a curiosity after it was discovered in several crystals in 1880. But in 1917, a quartz piezoelectric crystal was at the heart of the world's first submarine-detecting sonar.

Piezoelectric materials really took off after the 1950s, with the development of a superior man-made piezoelectric ceramic crystal: lead zirconate titanate, or PZT (the initials of its chemical symbols). Over the past 60 years, PZT has been essential for myriad high-tech applications: from inkjet printers to digital camera shutters, ultrasonic imagers, fuel injector actuators, and igniters for gas barbecue grills.

Despite this success, many scientists now want to replace PZT with some as yet undiscovered lead-free material that would be more environmentally benign and that would enable new piezoelectric applications in biological settings. To date, however, no suitable successors have been found. Candidates are typically too feeble in their piezoelectric effect and/or physical durability.

A Swiss scientist, Dragan Damjanovic, thinks researchers should be looking more broadly. He says nearly all of today's efforts are focused on materials whose ions and electrons -- the ultimate source of the piezoelectric effect -- behave in a particular manner, called polarization rotation. His theoretical calculations have shown that another, overlooked behavior -- polarization extension, present in other classes of materials -- can also generate an enhanced piezoelectric effect.

An article by Damjanovic in the journal Applied Physics Letters, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, details his ideas and supporting evidence. In particular, he proposes a particular type of phase diagram that he believes will lead to improved, lead-free piezoelectric materials.

"What I have done is at odds with the dominant thinking," Damjanovic admits. "But I offer a different approach to an important problem."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Damjanovic et al. A morphotropic phase boundary system based on polarization rotation and polarization extension. Applied Physics Letters, 2010; 97 (6): 062906 DOI: 10.1063/1.3479479

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Lead-free piezoelectric materials of the future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914095922.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, September 27). Lead-free piezoelectric materials of the future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914095922.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Lead-free piezoelectric materials of the future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914095922.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
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