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Bismuth-Alkali-Titanate Based Ceramics for Piezoelectric Actuator Applications
Keywords: Lead free piezoelectric material, Actuator application, Multilayer devices
For some decades researchers and engineers try to replace the „working horse“ Lead-Zirconate-Titanate (PZT) in piezoelectric applications. Several kinds of lead-free materials have been suggested to take over in certain applications or devices, but PZT is far from being retired. In the field of piezoelectric actuators engineers look for materials with a high piezoelectric charge constant (d-constant) combined with a high coupling constant. To bring them near to the state-of-the-art soft PZT materials special technologies, e.g. for texturing, would be necessary. The discovery of large strains induced by electric field in Bismuth-Alkali-Titanates triggered new research activities. The observed strains exceed that of PZT-based materials by a factor of four to five (at electric fields increased by a factor of three). As they are connected to a phase transition, engineers have to deal with a number of challenges to turn the material into a device, including synthesis of a material that fits to the desired temperature range of operation and fulfills the requirements concerning dielectric strength and losses. This contribution will summarize the approaches and concepts for lead-free piezoelectric actuator materials addressing issues of materials synthesis and device fabrication. The electromechanical performance of Bismuth-Alkali-Titanate based ceramics will be evaluated and compared to PZT based materials.
Klaus Reichmann, Associated Professor
Christian-Doppler-Laboratory for Advanced Ferroic Oxides, Graz University of Technology
Graz, Styria

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