PFI:AIR - TT: Textured Piezoelectric Ceramics

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

This PFI: AIR Technology Translation project focuses on translating piezoelectric ceramic science to fill the need for high performance sensors, actuators and transducers. The piezoelectric effect is the ability of certain materials to generate an electric charge in response to an applied mechanical stress. Piezoelectric ceramics are important because they play critical role in daily use devices including automobiles, aircrafts, medical instruments, food processing, and house-hold electronics. This project will result in scale-up of the manufacturing process of a particular type of piezoelectric ceramic: textured piezoelectric ceramics. Textured ceramics have the following unique features: three-to-five times higher transduction coefficients, thermal stability over high temperatures, and mechanical robustness as compared to randomly oriented polycrystalline ceramics. These features provide the following advantages: higher efficiency, resolution, cost savings, miniaturization, and power density. Textured ceramics can be synthesized using the same process as that established for random ceramics and thus do not require any new tooling or equipment.

This project addresses the following technology gaps as it translates from research discovery toward commercial application. The sintering stages in achieving textured ceramics will be analyzed to identify the challenges associated with scaling the manufacturing process to ensure consistent production. This includes establishing the process for synthesizing the seeds in large quantities with adequate morphology and dimension, and tailoring the binder-burnout and sintering profiles. The effect of processing variables that play a deterministic role in achieving the large grain brick-wall like microstructure will be evaluated. Matrix/seed template interfaces in the microstructure will be investigated using high resolution microscopy to understand the nature of domain wall motion with applied electric field. This, in turn, will provide assessment of the processes controlling the mechanical and electrical aging behavior. In conjunction with the time-temperature dependent sintering studies, the field-stress dependent domain migration studies will provide a full understanding of the electromechanical behavior of the textured ceramics.

In addition, personnel involved in this project, undergraduate and graduate students, will receive innovation and entrepreneurship experiences through Virginia Tech's Catalyst program, KnowledgeWorks entrepreneurship events, participation in the Nexus Conference, and participation in the iScholars program.

The project engages Harris Corporation, Prime Photonics, and the Virginia Tech Intellectual Property Office to augment the team's research capability, provide access to industrial testing and manufacturing environment, and guide commercialization aspects in this technology translation effort from research discovery toward commercial reality.

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/175/31/18

Funding

  • National Science Foundation: $199,999.00

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