Materials have played a revolutionary role in the development of the modern technological age, and their various applications have made our lives increasingly comfortable here on our home, the beautiful blue planet Earth. With the application of heat, pyroelectric materials produce electric current, qualifying them for use in uncooled infrared detectors. Infrared detectors are encountered in a vast number of applications in both war and peace—many of their uses are routine to us in everyday life.
With the advent of new technologies, thermal sensing and imaging have become useful diagnostic tools for medical, industrial, and military applications. In medicine, infrared thermal imaging is applied to detect vascular disorders and arthritic rheumatisms as well as to monitor muscular performances and make preclinical diagnoses of breast cancer. Recently, these materials have been used in nuclear particle generation, and their usefulness in energy harvesting is currently under exploration.
This monograph contains comprehensive cutting-edge information on pyroelectric materials and their preparation, properties, and applications, such as uncooled wideband infrared detectors, particle generators, and ambient energy harvesters. The complete lifecycle of a pyroelectric material is presented here for readers—from the theory of operation, to structure, and processing and applications—providing a cohesive overview of all of the necessary concepts, including theoretical background and current developments in the field of pyroelectric devices. It describes the preparation, structure, properties and figures of merit for practical pyroelectric materials such as triglycine sulfate, lead zirconate titanate, lithium tantalate, lithium niobate, barium strontium titanate, lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate, polyvinylidene fluoride, zinc oxide, and others, including the merits and demerits of their use in devices.