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30 March 2010 Enhanced piezoelectric properties of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) sol-gel derived ceramics using single crystal PZT cubes
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Piezoceramic materials have attracted much attention for sensing, actuation, structural health monitoring and energy harvesting applications in the past two decades due to their excellent coupling between energy in the mechanical and electrical domains. Among all piezoceramic materials, lead zirconate titanate (PZT) has been the most broadly studied and implemented, in industrial applications due to its high piezoelectric coupling coefficients. Piezoceramic materials are most often employed as thin films or monolithic wafers. While there are numerous methods for the synthesis of PZT films, the sol-gel processing technique is the most widely used due to its low densification temperature, the ease at which the film can be applied without costly physical deposition equipment and the capability to fabricate both thin and thick films. However, the piezoelectric properties of PZT sol-gel derived films are substantially lower than those of bulk materials, which limit the application of sol-gel films. In comparison, single crystal PZT materials have higher piezoelectric coupling coefficients than polycrystalline materials due to their uniform dipole alignment. This paper will introduce a novel technique to enhance the piezoelectric properties of PZT sol-gel derived ceramics through the use of single crystal PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 microcubes as an inclusion in the PZT sol-gel. The PZT single crystal cubes are synthesized through a hydrothermal based method and their geometry and crystal structure is characterized through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). A mixture of PZT cubes and sol-gel will then be sintered to crystallize the sol-gel and obtain full density of the ceramic. XRD and SEM analysis of the cross section of the final ceramics will be performed and compared to show the crystal structure and microstructure of the samples. The P-E properties of the samples will be tested using a Sawyer-Tower circuit. Finally, a laser interferometer will be used to directly measure the piezoelectric strain-coupling coefficient of the PZT sol-gel ceramics with and without PZT cube inclusions. The results will show that with the integration of PZ0.52T0.48 crystal inclusions the d33 coupling coefficient will increase more than 200% compared to that of pure PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 sol-gel.
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Yirong Lin, Clark Andrews, and Henry A. Sodano "Enhanced piezoelectric properties of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) sol-gel derived ceramics using single crystal PZT cubes", Proc. SPIE 7644, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2010, 76440C (30 March 2010);

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