This paper deals with the simulation of membrane actuators based on thick film piezoelectric ceramics with
interdigitated electrodes using the finite element method. A modified piezoelectric coupling matrix is introduced to
account for the piezoelectric non-linearity due to poling and actuation at high electric fields. Electrodes were fabricated
on top of 250 μm thick PZT substrates which were characterized. The experimental data verified the simulation results
and proved the necessity of the modified coupling matrix.
This paper leads to a one-side-actuated piezoelectric membrane showing an upward deflection under forward bias. It is also shown
that one-side-actuated piezoelectric membranes achieve comparable and higher deflections as common piezoelectric actuated
membranes with similar dimensions. The piezoelectric substrate functions as complete active element, since it is both actuator and
deflectable membrane, which offers an important simplification in the fabrication process.