Ultrahigh piezoelectricity in ferroelectric ceramics by design

Journal: Nature Materials

Published: 2018-03-19

DOI: 10.1038/s41563-018-0034-4

Affiliations: 4

Authors: 12

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Research Highlight

Putting the pressure on designer materials

© Tomekbudujedomek/Getty

© Tomekbudujedomek/Getty

Scientists have created a new material with enhanced piezoelectricity, which could lead to better-performing ultrasound and sonar devices, according to a study in Nature Materials.

High-performance piezoelectric ceramic materials, such as lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT), have the ability to generate an electric current when pressure is applied, and are used in a range of applications, such as sensors and electromechanical devices like transducers and actuators.

Now, an international team of scientists, including researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia, has produced a new material with twice the piezoelectric response than in standard PMN-PT by adding small amounts of samarium, a rare-earth metal, to crystals of PMN-PT.

“The majority of existing useful materials are discovered by trial-and-error experiments,” Long-Qing Chen, one of the study’s authors, told Nanowerk. “But here we designed and synthesized a new piezoelectric ceramic guided by theory and simulations."


Supported content

  1. Nature Materials 17, 349-354 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41563-018-0034-4
Institutions FC
Materials Research Institute (MRI), Penn State, United States of America (USA) 0.42
School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (AMME), USYD, Australia 0.25
Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM), UOW, Australia 0.21
MOE Key Laboratory of Electronic Materials Research Laboratory (EMRL), XJTU, China 0.13

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