Among the above smart materials, piezoelectric materials are of great interest, asthey are commonly used as sensors, actuators and memory devices. As technology isadvancing, efforts are being made to use piezoelectric materials in combination withother smart materials for power harvesting.
1.1.1 Piezoelectric Materials
Piezoelectric materials are smart materials used in Micro Electromechanical Systems(MEMS). They possess a unique property called piezoelectricity, when mechanicallystressed generates a potential in volts. These materials also obey converse piezoelectricity, where the deformation of piezoelectric materials takes place due to avoltage applied across the material. Piezoelectric materials occur naturally and alsooccur in the form of multiphase ceramics and films. Berlinite, quartz, cane sugar,rochelle salt are some of the naturally occurring piezoelectric materials. Some of the manmade piezoelectric ceramics are barium titanate, lead titanate, lead zirconium titanate(PZT), and lithium niobate.Barium Titanate (BaTio
) is the first piezoelectric ceramic introduced for applicationsin ultrasonic transducers as fish finders . After that PZT was introduced this has better piezoelectric properties than barium titanate. Lead Zirconium Titanate (PbZrTio
) is awidely used piezoelectric material in sensors and actuators applications. The major advantages of PZT over the other piezoceramics are:
High electromechanical transformation efficiency.2