These engineered films have great potential for energy harvesting applications, as well as in micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS), micro actuators, and sensors for a variety of miniaturized systems, such as ultrasound imaging, microfluidics, and mechanical sensing.
Piezoelectric materials can transform electrical energy into mechanical energy and vice versa. Most MEMS utilize silicon, the standard material for semiconductor electronics, as the substrate. Integrating piezoelectric thin films onto silicon-based MEMS devices with dimensions from micrometers to a few millimeters in size will add an active component that can take advantage of motion, such as a footstep or a vibrating motor, to generate electric current, or use a small applied voltage to create micron level motion, such as in focusing a digital camera.
Previously, the best piezoelectric MEMS devices were made with layers of silicon and lead zirconium titanate (PZT) films. Recently, a team led by Chang-Beom Eom of University of Wisconsin-Madison synthesized a lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT) thin film integrated on a silicon substrate.
The Penn State team, led by Susan Trolier-McKinstry, professor of ceramic science and engineering, and including research associate Srowthi Bharadwaja, PhD, measured the electrical and piezoelectric performance of the thin films and compared the PMN-PT films against the reported values of other micromachined actuator materials to show the potential of PMN-PT for actuator and energy harvesting applications.
In a recent article in Science, the team reported the highest values of piezoelectric properties for any piezoelectric thin film to-date, and a two-fold higher figure of merit than the best reported PZT films for energy harvesting applications. This increase in the effective piezoelectric activity in a thin film will result in a dramatic improvement in performance. For example, energy harvesting using such thin films will provide local power sources for wireless sensor nodes for bridges, aircraft, and potentially for human-body sensors.
Along with the researchers from Penn State and UW-Madison, the participating institutions included the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), University of Michigan, University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University, and Argonne National Laboratory. The paper, titled “Giant Piezoelectricity on Si for Hyperactive MEMS,” appeared in the Nov. 18 issue of Science. Work at Penn State was supported by a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship. Other support was provided by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Air Force Office for Scientific Research, and a David Lucile Packard Fellowship.
For more information, contact Susan Trolier-McKinstry at 814 863-8348 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Materials Research Institute and its new home in the Millennium Science Complex at www.mri.psu.edu.
Susan Trolier-McKinstry | Newswise Science News
Breaking bad metals with neutrons
16.01.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional
16.01.2018 | Rice University
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering