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Effects of Corner Frequency on Bandwidth and Resonance Amplitude in Designing PZT Thin-Film Actuators: An Experimental Demonstration

[+] Author Affiliations
Chia-Che Wu, Cheng-Chun Lee, G. Z. Cao, I. Y. Shen

University of Washington

Paper No. IMECE2005-79102, pp. 437-441; 5 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Design Engineering, Parts A and B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4215-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


In the last decade, Lead Zirconate Titanate Oxide (PZT) thin-film actuators have received increasing attention because of their high frequency bandwidth, large actuation strength, fast response, and small size. The PZT film thickness is usually less than several microns as opposed to hundreds of microns for bulk PZT patches that are commercially available. As a result, PZT thin-film actuators pose unique vibration issues that do not appear in actuators with bulk PZT. Two major issues affecting actuator performance are the frequency bandwidth and the resonance amplitude. As an electromechanical device, a PZT thin-film actuator’s bandwidth and resonance amplitude depend not only on the lowest natural frequency ωn of the actuator’s mechanical structure but also on the corner frequency ωc of the actuator’s RC-circuit. For PZT thin-film actuators, the small film thickness implies large film capacitance C and small ωc . When the size of the actuator decreases, frequency ωn increases dramatically. As a result, improper design of PZT thin-film actuators could lead to ωc ≪ ωn substantially reducing the actuator bandwidth and the resonance amplitude. This paper is to demonstrate this phenomenon through calibrated experiments. In the experiments, frequency response functions of a fixed-fixed silicon beam with a 1-μm thick PZT film are measured through use of a laser Doppler vibrometer and a spectrum analyzer. The silicon beam has multiple electrodes with a wide range of resistance R and corner frequency ωc . The experimental results confirm that the actuator bandwidth and resonance amplitude are substantially reduced when ωc ≪ ωn .

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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