Low-field and high-field characterization of THUNDER actuators

Z. Ounaies, K. Mossi, R. Smith, J. Bernd

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33 Scopus citations


THUNDER (Thin Unimorph DrivER) actuators are pre-stressed piezoelectric devices developed at NASA LaRC that exhibit enhanced strain capabilities. As a result, they are of interest in a variety of aerospace applications. Characterization of their performance as a function of electric field, temperature and frequency is needed in order to optimize their operation. Towards that end, a number of THUNDER devices were obtained from FACE Inrnational Co. with a stainless steel substrate varying in thickness from 1 mil to 20 mils. The various devices were evaluated to determine low-field and high-field displacement as well as the polarization hysteresis loops. The thermal stability of these drivers was evaluated by two different methods. First, the samples were thermally cycled under electric field by systematically increasing the maximum temperature from 25°C to 200°C while the displacement was being measured. Second, the samples were isothermally aged at 0°C, 50°C, 100°C and 150°C in air, and the isothermal decay of the displacement was measured at room temperature as a function of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001

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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