Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A step toward lead-free electronics

Date:
October 5, 2010
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Materials engineers reveal the potential of a new artificial material to replace lead-based ceramics in countless electronic devices, ranging from inkjet printers and digital cameras to hospital ultrasound scanners and diesel fuel injectors. This may pave the way toward 100-percent lead-free electronics.

Research published October 4 by materials engineers from the University of Leeds could help pave the way towards 100% lead-free electronics.

Related Articles


The work, carried out at the UK's synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, reveals the potential of a new artificial material to replace lead-based ceramics in countless electronic devices, ranging from inkjet printers and digital cameras to hospital ultrasound scanners and diesel fuel injectors.

European regulations now bar the use of most lead-containing materials in electronic and electrical devices. Ceramic crystals known as 'piezoelectrics' are currently exempt from these regulations but this may change in the future, owing to growing concerns over the disposal of lead-based materials.

Piezoelectric materials generate an electrical field when pressure is applied, and vice-versa. In gas igniters on ovens and fires, for example, piezoelectric crystals produce a high voltage when they are hit with a spring-loaded hammer, generating a spark across a small gap that lights the fuel.

The most common piezoelectric material is a ceramic crystal called lead zirconium titanate, or PZT.

Using a high intensity X-ray beam at the Diamond Light Source, the University of Leeds researchers have now shown that a simple, lead-free ceramic could potentially do the same job as PZT.

"With the 'Extreme Conditions' beamline at Diamond we were able to probe the interior of the lead-free ceramic- potassium sodium bismuth titanate (KNBT) to learn more about its piezoelectric properties. We could see the changes in crystal structure actually happening while we applied the electric field," said Tim Comyn, lead investigator on the project."

"PZT is the best material for the job at the moment, because it has the greatest piezoelectric effect, good physical durability, and can be radically tailored to suit particular applications," said Adam Royles, PhD student on the project. "The lead-free ceramic that we have been studying is lightweight and can be used at room temperature. This could make it an ideal choice for many applications."

In the medical field, PZT is used in ultrasound transducers, where it generates sound waves and sends the echoes to a computer to convert into a picture. Piezoelectric ceramics also hold great potential for efficient energy harvesting, a possible solution for a clean sustainable energy source in the future.

The Leeds team will continue to work at Diamond to study the transformation induced by an electric field at high speed (1000 times per second) and under various conditions using state of the art detectors.

The results of the work are published online in the journal Applied Physics Letters.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. J. Royles, A. J. Bell, A. P. Jephcoat, A. K. Kleppe, S. J. Milne, T. P. Comyn. Electric-field-induced phase switching in the lead free piezoelectric potassium sodium bismuth titanate. Applied Physics Letters, 2010; 97 (13): 132909 DOI: 10.1063/1.3490235

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "A step toward lead-free electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004112145.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2010, October 5). A step toward lead-free electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004112145.htm
University of Leeds. "A step toward lead-free electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004112145.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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