Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT)
Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) ceramics are technically and commercially important piezoelectric materials produced by Morgan Technical Ceramics ElectroCeramics (MTC ElectroCeramics).
PZT’s attributes of producing an electrical charge when mechanically compressed or vibrating when an electrical charge is applied, make it very conducive for passive sensing, active transmitting and mechanical displacement applications.
PZT was developed at the Bedford, OH location by the Clevite Corporation, which is a predecessor to the current MTC ElectroCeramics division. Numerous PZT formulations exist that have been engineered for specific characteristics that ultimately enhance their use in many applications. MTC ElectroCeramics currently manufactures 36 PZT compositions that meet the DOD 1376-SH Navy classifications.
PZT is a machineable ceramic and can be precision dimensioned into tubes, rings, discs, plates, and hemispheres. The PZT material is also versatile from a forming aspect as it can be net shaped by pressing, extruding and casting into these same shapes as well as complex components including, co-fired bimorphs and multilayer actuators. Sizes range from microns to centimetres. Electrode choices are extensive including fired silver, electroless nickel, sputtered or vacuum deposited Nickel-Chrome, Gold, Tin, Aluminium and Vanadium.
Quality of each PZT component is ensured by a rigorous testing regimen. Characteristics such as frequency, capacitance, dissipation, coupling, d33 and mechanical properties are measured and verified against MTC ElectroCeramics’ and customer provided specifications.
Typical PZT characteristics include:
- Wide range of frequencies in transmit and receive (sub-audible, audible, ultrasonic)
- High output, low drive material
- High frequency, fast response time
- High sensitivity for active or passive use
- Ability to use with low voltage or high voltage drive circuits
- Good mechanical and acoustic coupling
- Wide variety of shapes and sizes that can be customized to meet specific requirements and applications
- Wide variety of compositions that can be selected to meet specific requirements and applications
Typical PZT applications include:
- Undersea exploration (sonar, beacons, imaging, current meters)
- Aerospace (gyroscopes, accelerometers, level sensing)
- Medical products (Doppler blood flow, oncology therapeutics (high intensity focused ultrasound), imaging, level sensing, intra-operative tools for ophthalmology (phacoemulsification), dental descaling, general surgery, tissue ablation, medication delivery, hearing enhancement, bubble detection)
- Consumer products (ultrasonic toothbrushes, jewellery cleaners, contact lens cleaners, computer hard drives, touch screen displays, integrated, ultra-thin speakers and cosmetic enhancement)
- Industrial and Commercial (flow and level sensors, ultrasonic cleaning, ultrasonic welding, intrusion alarms, fabric needle positioning, solder dispensing, machine vibration monitoring, bubble detection, sonochemistry for improved chemical mixing)
- Telecommunications (optical switching of telecom lines, buzzers and alarms, Haptics feedback, mobile phone cameras)
- Automotive (power seat controls, reversing/collision avoidance sensors, anti-knock sensors)
- Scientific research (nano positioning stages and analytical tools, scanning probe microscopy, advanced acoustics)
- Oil Exploration (flow and level sensors, down hole drill tool monitoring)