Piezoelectric Materials

Research at IMRE on ferroelectrics and piezoelectrics, from materials development to device applications, has been started since the beginning of the institute more than 20 years ago, with more than 250 publications and 40 patents filed.

Piezoelectric materials, with non-centrosymmetric structural feature, possess the inherent ability of effective conversion between electrical and mechanical energies, or electromechanical coupling effect. Electrical potential or signal can be generated in piezoelectric materials under mechanical stress through the piezoelectric effect; and vice versa, mechanical strain can be generated through converse piezoelectric effect under applied electric field. They have therefore seen widespread applications in various electromechanical coupling, from hydrophones, accelerometers, mechanical energy harvesters, high precision actuators, SAW (surface acoustic wave)/BAW (bulk acoustic wave) filters, MEMS, ultrasonic imaging transducers, to mechanical vibration controllers (Refer to Fig. 1). Ferroelectric material, a subgroup of piezoelectric materials with switchable spontaneous polarization, has even stronger electromechanical coupling effect.

Our team is focused on development and customization of ferroelectric and piezoelectric ceramic and polymer materials, covering compositional and structural designs, processing of ferroelectric and piezoelectric bulk ceramics, multilayer structures, coatings, thin films, foams, nanotubes and fibers, to address a variety of challenges for multiple applications in aerospace, oil and gas, marine off-shore, NDT, buildings and electronics.

piezoelectric-materials-capabilities
Piezoelectric materials for electromechanical energy/signal conversion applications

Capabilities

Capabilities on piezoelectric materials, from design, preparation, characterisation, to their devices applications have been established at IMRE, with a dedicated R&D team of more than 20 years’ experience:

  • Bulk ferroelectric ceramics: solid state synthesis, wet chemistry, low temperature composition, lead-free compositions
  • Piezoelectric ceramic multilayers and thick films: tape-casting, printing and thermal spraying
  • Ferroelectric ceramic thin films: chemical solution and sputtering depositions; lead-free compositions
  • Ferroelectric polymer coatings and multilayers: spin-coating, dip-coating, casting, aerosol spraying,electrophoretic deposition
  • Piezoelectric composites and foams
  • Piezoelectric fibers and nanotubes

Highlights & Achievements

The team has solid domain expertise and intellectual properties from piezoelectric materials to device applications are contributing to achieving technical solutions, particularly in the areas of advanced sensors and transducers (refer to Figs. 5-7 as examples).
  • The team has developed and commercialized a UV sensor commercialized in collaboration with local company using a ferroelectric material. The invention has also been awared the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award in 2018.
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  •  The team has developed the ability to do piezoelectric ceramic sintering at low temperature. The technology is currently licensed by an MNC.
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  •  The team has developed a method to produce and obtain piezoelectric nanotubes capable of performance as a high frequency ultrasonic transducers with high resolution
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  •  The team has developed multilayer ceramic structure by metal-ceramic co-firing method

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  •  The team has developed lead-free ceramic films with outstanding piezoelectric performance

lead-free ceramic films
  •  The team has developed piezo-enhanced foam with superior noise absorption performance
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Contact

Dr. Yao Kui, k-yao@imre.a-star.edu.sg

Dr. Chiam Sing Yang, chiamsy@imre.a-star.edu.sg

General: industry@imre.a-star.edu.sg

We welcome queries and collaboration partners for both the research and commercialization of piezoelectric related materials, technologies and devices.