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Published by: api-3738612 on Oct 15, 2008
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Smart Materials
Smart materials are different from every day materials due to the flexibility in alteringits properties which can be significantly altered in a controlled fashion by external stimulisuch as stress, temperature, electricfield, and magnetic field. Representation of the smartmaterials based on the response to the stimuli is shown in Table I [1].
Table I. Representation of various smart materials based on response/stimuli
ElectricalMagneticOpticalMechanicalPiezoelectricElectrostrictiveMagnetostrictiveMagneto chromic Negative Poisson Ratio MechanicalOpticalMechanicalThermo ChromicShape MemoryThermalElectricalOpticalPhotoconductor Photo Chromic
MechanicalElectro Chromic, ElectroOptic, ElectroLuminescent
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 [2]. After that PZT was introduced this has bette 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
Flexibility in the change of characteristics due to varying stoichiometry of thePZT.
Better machinability and suitable for mass production.
Easy accessibility in the market because of commercial viability.
1.2Lead Zirconium Titanate (PZT)
PZT is a pervoskite crystal with lead atoms at corner and oxygen atoms at the facecenter of unit cell. The atomic size of the lead and oxygen is 1.4 Å; titanium or zirconium atoms are located at the center of a unit cell.
Figure 1. Face centered cubic structure of the PZT.
Lead, oxygen and titanium/zirconium atoms together form a face centered cubicarray, as shown in Figure 1. PZT is manufactured by the sol-gel process and the radiofrequency magnetron sputtering process. They are usually available in the form of discs,wires, plates and rods. To understand the properties of PZT it is important to be familiar with the following terms below.
Lead (Pb)Titanium/Zirconium (Ti/Zr)Oxygen (O

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