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Novel Piezoelectric Sensors and Actuators
Keywords: Novel Actuators , Rapid Prototyping, composite
Fused Deposition of Ceramics (FDC) process, a Solid Freeform Fabrication technique, have been used to rapidly prototype a variety of novel piezoelectric and electrostrictive actuators and sensors such as telescoping and spiral. Spiral actuators have shown giant displacements up to several mm under AC and DC voltage, making these actuators suitable candidates for high displacement applications. We have also initiated a research to develop monolithic multi-materials actuators of piezoelectric and electrostrictive materials to enhance field-induced strain in monomorph and bimorph design. Applying the concept of Templated Grain Growth (TGG), we have made bismuth titanate and lead niobate components using material with small amounts of anisometric seeds in the fine matrix. The extrusion nature of FDC process facilitate primary orientation of the seeds, so grain oriented net shape components can be fabricated. Also, we have utilized Direct-Write Technology by MicroPenTM to make thick film patterns for a variety of applications. MicroPenTM can write films with thickness in the range of a few microns to several tens of microns. Piezoelectric (lead zirconate titanate, PZT), electrostrictive (lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate, PMN-PT), and paraelectric (barium strontium titanate, BST) films as well as optical waveguides (erbium-doped aluminosilicate) have been made on different substrates. To make thick film pastes, ceramic powders were first coated with suitable surfactants and then added to a solution of terpineol-ethyl cellulose. The solid loading was in the range of 30-50 vol.%. After writing, the patterns were allowed to level, followed by drying, binder removal (600C), and sintering at elevated temperature. The FDC Processing and electromechanical properties of novel actuators and the microstructure and dielectric properties of the PZT thick films will be discussed.
Ahmad Safari, Professor
Rutgers University
Piscataway, NJ

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