Characterization of hard piezoelectric lead-free ceramics

Shujun Zhang, Jong Bong Lim, Hyeong Jae Lee, Thomas R. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


K 4CuNb 8O 23 doped K 0.45N a0.55NbO 3 (KNN- KCN) ferroelectric ceramics were found to exhibit asymmetrical polarization hysteresis loops, related to the development of an internal bias field. The internal bias field is believed to be the result of defect dipoles of acceptor ions and oxygen vacancies, which lead to piezoelectric "hardening" effect, by stabilizing and pinning of the domain wall motion. The dielectric loss for the hard lead-free piezoelectric ceramic was found to be 0.6%, with mechanical quality factors Q on the order of >1500. Furthermore, the piezoelectric properties were found to decrease and the coercive field increased, when compared with the undoped material, exhibiting a typical characteristic of "hard" behavior. The temperature usage range was limited by the polymorphic phase transition temperature, being 188°C. The full set of material constants was determined for the KNN-KCN materials. Compared with conventional hard PZT ceramics, the lead-free possessed lower dielectric and piezoelectric properties; however, comparable values of mechanical Q, dielectric loss, and coercive fields were obtained, making acceptor modified KNN based lead-free piezoelectric material promising for high-power applications, where lead- free materials are desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5183577
Pages (from-to)1523-1527
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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