The synthesis and characterisation of lead-free piezoelectric ceramics

Roberts, William Michael (2012). The synthesis and characterisation of lead-free piezoelectric ceramics. University of Birmingham. M.Res.


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With a growing awareness of the environmental and health hazards of lead, there has been renewed interest in developing lead-free alternatives to lead zirconate titanate (PZT), which currently dominates the market for piezoelectric materials. Some of the most promising lead-free piezoelectric materials are those based on potassium sodium niobate (KNN). This project involved the fabrication and characterisation of lithium-doped KNN ceramic, which has been reported to show excellent piezoelectric properties. Samples containing 0-9 mol% Li were synthesised by a conventional mixed oxide method, before their key functional properties were analysed. The addition of lithium was found to promote grain growth within the microstructure, resulting in a denser ceramic. A phase transformation from the orthorhombic to tetragonal crystal structure was also identified. Optimum piezoelectric properties were observed in KNN samples containing 7 mol% Li (k\(_p\)=0.33, k\(_t\)=0.37, d\(_{33}\)=126 pC/N). Further optimisation of the fabrication route and continued investigation into the most effective dopants could potentially bring KNN on a par with many commercial lead-based ceramics.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Metallurgy and Materials
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
T Technology > TP Chemical technology
T Technology > TS Manufactures


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