piezoelectric effect is the ability of certain materials to generate an
electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress and vice-versa.
Besides their wide use for sensors, actuators and ultrasonic applications
piezoelectric materials could be used for energy harvesting, which has become a
hot topic of research and development during the last few years. However 3 main
challenges need to be solved before piezoelectric films can be introduced in
our everyday lives for local energy harvesting applications.
1) Lead (Pb)
being progressively phased out in most industrialized countries, it is
necessary to replace the current Pb-based piezoelectric materials by others
that don’t contain this toxic element.
2) It is
important to produce piezoelectric films with a high degree of microstructural preferential
orientation to optimize their efficiency.
potential applications require flexible films, conditions that cannot be
fulfilled by present-day substrates that would otherwise lead to preferential
The aim of
this project is to perform pioneering work to solve all these problems together
with a new and unique manufacturing process taking advantage of flexible metal
substrates able to induce preferential orientation of piezoelectric films made
of compounds that do not include Pb or other toxic elements such as SrTiO3,
HfO2 BiFeO3 or Niobates.
During this project you are going to:
films on various substrates using green chemistry deposition techniques.
characterization of your samples by means of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron
microscopy, as well as various techniques for evaluating physical parameters.
data collected on your samples by our collaboration partners (University of New
South Wales - Australia).
results using theoretical models and compare them with published data.
At the end of
this project you will be able to:
principles of piezoelectricity and of its potential applications.
experimental characterization tools (X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, thermal
analysis, magnetization, etc.) and explain their basic principles as well as
evaluate your results.
between processing parameters, microstructure and performance.
efficient literature search and compare your own results to published data.
results to a scientific audience under conditions equivalent to an
draft of a scientific publication.
I samarbejde medUniversity of New South Wales