Effect of grain size on actuator properties of piezoelectric ceramics

Wesley Hackenberger, Ming Jen Pan, Venkata Vedula, Patrick Pertsch, Wenwu Cao, Clive A. Randall, Thomas R. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Properties of piezoelectric ceramics important for actuator applications have been measured as a function of grain size. Fine grain piezoelectrics (≤ 1 μm) have been found to exhibit improved machinability and increased mechanical strength over conventional materials. Actuators made from fine grain ceramic are, therefore, expected to have improved reliability, higher driving fields, and lower driving voltages (from thinner layers in stacked or co-fired actuators) over devices fabricated from conventional materials. TRS Ceramics in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University's Materials Research Laboratory, has developed fine grain piezoelectric ceramics with minimal or no reduction in piezoactivity. New chemical doping strategies designed to compensate ferroelectric domain clamping effects from grain boundaries have been successful in yielding submicron grain sized ceramics with both low and high field properties equivalent to conventional materials. In the case of Type II ceramics, reduced grain size results in a very stable domain state with respect to both electric field and compressive prestress. Work is in progress to develop both epoxy bonded stack and co-fired actuators from fine grain piezoelectrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998
EventSmart Structures and Materials 1998 SMart Materials Technologies - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 4 1998Mar 5 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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