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LTCC Electromechanical Devices Based on PZT Thick Film Technology
Keywords: PZT thick film, LTCC, piezoelectric
PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate) thick film technology has been already successfully applied in various applications including medical imaging, vibration sensing and energy harvesting. The portfolio of compatible substrates includes Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic (LTCC), which has been successfully applied in various microsystem applications including: sensors, actuators, microreactors, etc. Very often the required function of a microsystem involves electro-mechanical coupling, for example: micro-valve or micro-pump actuation. In many cases a hybrid approach is used, where the mechanical movement is created by electromagnetic actuator made in MEMS technology. Recently a new solution has been proposed involving integrated screen printed PZT thick films developed and offered by InSensor A/S. According to the published results the PZT thick films are of a good quality, stable and exhibit repeatable properties. The well known problem of chemical incompatibility has been overcome by applying special processing of the thick films and an effective barrier layer. Test devices of various generic structures including membranes and cantilevers with piezoelectric thick films have been manufactured and characterised. The selected test devices can easily be tailored to the application in order to create structures like micro-pumps or micro-valves. In addition a possibility of using PZT thick films together with LTCC for acoustic transducers has been presented. The thick film material and the test devices have been characterised using: a Sawyer-Tower setup, a d33-meter, an impedance analyser, a pulse echo system and an optical profilometer. The presented work has demonstrated that piezoelectric thick films can be successfully integrated into LTCC devices offering a variety of solutions and the tested structures can be applied to a number of different applications. This includes microsystems, integrated sensors, actuators and even multi-element acoustic transducers.
Tomasz Zawada, Project Manager
InSensor A/S
Kvistgaard 3490,
Denmark


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