Optical microactuation in piezoceramics

Sarita Thakoor, Patcharin Poosanaas, John M. Morookian, Andre Yavrouian, Lynn Lowry, Neville I. Marzwell, Jeffrey G. Nelson, Ratnakar R. Neurgaonkar, Kenji Uchino

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


Optically/electrically operable flexible film microactuators that can offer up to two orders high efficiency of photonic to mechanical conversion compared to ceramic actuators are conceptualized. A polarized ceramic wafer of non- centrosymmetric perovskite ferroelectric ABO3 compounds, such as lead lanthanum zirconate titanate (PLZT), when exposed to an illumination (approximately 350 to 400 nm wavelength) close to the bandgap energy, can generate a large photovoltage (approximately 1.0 kV/mm) across its length, and by the inverse piezoelectric effect cause the piezoceramic wafer to deflect in the direction away from the illumination. The optical actuation effect in piezoceramic wafers is investigated as a function of thickness, composition, and surface roughness. Such flexible microactuators would enable a new generation of micro- electro-mechanical and micro-opto-mechanical systems where the actuation will not be restricted by the clamping effect due to the rigid substrate as in the current silicon based micromachined structures. To deposit the piezoceramic film directly onto a flexible substrate, the substrate must have high temperature stability, high strength (Young's Modulus approximately 4.9 X 1010 N/m2), a close match of thermal coefficients of expansion with the piezoceramic film, and a tailorable crystal orientation in order to provide a desired template for growth of oriented PLZT. This paper also presents a comparison of a variety of flexible substrate films and fibers and our recent results on polybenzoxazole (PBO), a polymeric candidate for a flexible high temperature substrate. Variation of the properties of PBO as a function of temperature are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-391
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
EventSmart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Electronics and MEMS - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 2 1998Mar 2 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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