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Ceramic

ceramicsceramic materialstemper
Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress.
General properties such as high melting temperature, high hardness, poor conductivity, high moduli of elasticity, chemical resistance and low ductility are the norm, with known exceptions to each of these rules (e.g. piezoelectric ceramics, glass transition temperature, superconductive ceramics, etc.).

Pierre Curie

PierreCurie, PierreCurie
French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered piezoelectricity in 1880.
Pierre Curie (15 May 1859 – 19 April 1906) was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity.

Scanning probe microscopy

scanning probe microscopescanning probescanning probe microscopes
It forms the basis for a number of scientific instrumental techniques with atomic resolution, the scanning probe microscopies, such as STM, AFM, MTA, and SNOM.
This is due largely because piezoelectric actuators can execute motions with a precision and accuracy at the atomic level or better on electronic command.

Ultrasonic nozzle

spray nozzleultrasonic spray pyrolysis
Piezoelectricity is exploited in a number of useful applications, such as the production and detection of sound, piezoelectric inkjet printing, generation of high voltages, electronic frequency generation, microbalances, to drive an ultrasonic nozzle, and ultrafine focusing of optical assemblies.
Ultrasonic nozzles are a type of spray nozzle that uses high frequency vibration produced by piezoelectric transducers acting upon the nozzle tip that will create capillary waves in a liquid film.

Quartz clock

quartz watchquartzquartz movement
It also finds everyday uses such as acting as the ignition source for cigarette lighters, push-start propane barbecues, used as the time reference source in quartz watches, and in amplification pickups for some guitars.
However, quartz is also a piezoelectric material: that is, when a quartz crystal is subject to mechanical stress, such as bending, it accumulates electrical charge across some planes.

Pyroelectricity

pyroelectricpyroelectric effectpyroelectric crystal
The pyroelectric effect, by which a material generates an electric potential in response to a temperature change, was studied by Carl Linnaeus and Franz Aepinus in the mid-18th century.
The side between kinetic and electrical corners represents the piezoelectric effect and produces no heat.

Antoine César Becquerel

Antoine Becquerel
Drawing on this knowledge, both René Just Haüy and Antoine César Becquerel posited a relationship between mechanical stress and electric charge; however, experiments by both proved inconclusive.
In 1820, following the work of René Just Haüy, he found that pressure can induce electricity in every material, attributing the effect to surface interactions (this is not piezoelectricity).

Sonar

asdicvariable depth sonaractive sonar
The first practical application for piezoelectric devices was sonar, first developed during World War I.
Although piezoelectric and magnetostrictive transducers later superseded the electrostatic transducers they used, this work influenced future designs.

Ultrasound

ultrasonicultrasonicsultrasounds
In France in 1917, Paul Langevin and his coworkers developed an ultrasonic submarine detector.
The piezoelectric effect, discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880, was useful in transducers to generate and detect ultrasonic waves in air and water.

Hydrophone

hydrophoneshydroacoustichydroacoustics
The detector consisted of a transducer, made of thin quartz crystals carefully glued between two steel plates, and a hydrophone to detect the returned echo.
They developed a piezoelectric hydrophone by increasing the power of the signal with a vacuum tube amplifier; the high acoustic impedance of piezoelectric materials facilitated their use as underwater transducers.

Barium titanate

BaTiO 3 barium titanate, BaTiO 3 barium-titanate
This led to intense research to develop barium titanate and later lead zirconate titanate materials with specific properties for particular applications.
It is a ferroelectric ceramic material that exhibits the photorefractive effect and piezoelectric properties.

Lead zirconate titanate

PZTLead zirconate titanate (PZT)lead zirconium titanate
For example, lead zirconate titanate crystals will generate measurable piezoelectricity when their static structure is deformed by about 0.1% of the original dimension.
Also called PZT, it is a ceramic perovskite material that shows a marked piezoelectric effect, meaning that the compound changes shape when an electric field is applied.

Paul-Jacques Curie

Jacques
French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered piezoelectricity in 1880.
Along with his younger brother, Pierre Curie, he studied pyroelectricity in the 1880s, leading to their discovery of some of the mechanisms behind piezoelectricity.

Guitar

guitarslead guitarrhythm guitar
It also finds everyday uses such as acting as the ignition source for cigarette lighters, push-start propane barbecues, used as the time reference source in quartz watches, and in amplification pickups for some guitars.
Electromagnetic pickups, and sometimes piezoelectric pickups, convert the vibration of the steel strings into signals, which are fed to an amplifier through a patch cable or radio transmitter.

Near-field scanning optical microscope

near-field scanning optical microscopynear field scanning optical microscopyscanning near-field optical microscopy
It forms the basis for a number of scientific instrumental techniques with atomic resolution, the scanning probe microscopies, such as STM, AFM, MTA, and SNOM.
The detector is then rastered across the sample using a piezoelectric stage.

Stress (mechanics)

stressstressestensile stress
Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress.
Stress may also be imposed on a material without the application of net forces, for example by changes in temperature or chemical composition, or by external electromagnetic fields (as in piezoelectric and magnetostrictive materials).

Gabriel Lippmann

LippmannGabriel Jonas LippmannGabriel Lippman
The converse effect was mathematically deduced from fundamental thermodynamic principles by Gabriel Lippmann in 1881.
In 1881, Lippmann predicted the converse piezoelectric effect.

Paul Langevin

LangevinPaul-LangevinLangevin, Paul
In France in 1917, Paul Langevin and his coworkers developed an ultrasonic submarine detector.
His most famous work was in the use of ultrasound using Pierre Curie's piezoelectric effect.

Piezo ignition

piezoelectric igniterpiezo spark generatorpiezo-electric
Major Japanese piezoelectric developments included new designs of piezoceramic filters for radios and televisions, piezo buzzers and audio transducers that can connect directly to electronic circuits, and the piezoelectric igniter, which generates sparks for small engine ignition systems and gas-grill lighters, by compressing a ceramic disc.
Piezo ignition uses the principle of piezoelectricity, which, in short, is the electric charge that accumulates in some materials in response to high pressure.

Potassium sodium tartrate

Rochelle saltSeignette crystal
They combined their knowledge of pyroelectricity with their understanding of the underlying crystal structures that gave rise to pyroelectricity to predict crystal behavior, and demonstrated the effect using crystals of tourmaline, quartz, topaz, cane sugar, and Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate tetrahydrate).
Potassium sodium tartrate and monopotassium phosphate were the first materials discovered to exhibit piezoelectricity.

Ferroelectricity

ferroelectricferroelectricsferroelectric effect
During World War II, independent research groups in the United States, Russia, and Japan discovered a new class of synthetic materials, called ferroelectrics, which exhibited piezoelectric constants many times higher than natural materials.
The combined properties of memory, piezoelectricity, and pyroelectricity make ferroelectric capacitors very useful, e.g. for sensor applications.

Piezotronics

ZnO is the most used material in the recent field of piezotronics.
Piezotronics effect is using the piezoelectric potential (piezopotential) created in materials with piezoelectricity as a “gate” voltage to tune/control the charge carrier transport properties for fabricating new devices.

Gallium phosphate

gallium(III) orthophosphategallium-orthophosphate
Gallium orthophosphate (GaPO 4 ), a quartz-analogous crystal
GaPO 4 is isotypic with quartz, possessing very similar properties, but the silicon atoms are alternately substituted with gallium and phosphorus, thereby doubling the piezoelectric effect.

Lithium niobate

LiNbO 3 LiNbO3
Lithium niobate (LiNbO 3 )
It has a trigonal crystal system, which lacks inversion symmetry and displays ferroelectricity, the Pockels effect, the piezoelectric effect, photoelasticity and nonlinear optical polarizability.

Tourmaline

schorldraviteolenite
They combined their knowledge of pyroelectricity with their understanding of the underlying crystal structures that gave rise to pyroelectricity to predict crystal behavior, and demonstrated the effect using crystals of tourmaline, quartz, topaz, cane sugar, and Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate tetrahydrate).
All hemimorphic crystals are piezoelectric, and are often pyroelectric as well.