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Actuation Enhancement of PZT Thin-Film Membrane Actuators via Stress Relief Grooves

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

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Paper No. DETC2008-49283, pp. 613-617; 5 pages
  • ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 20th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Second International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, August 3–6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4328-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3831-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Lead Zirconate Titanate Oxide (PbZrx Ti1−x O3 or PZT) is a piezoelectric material widely used as sensors and actuators. For microactuators, PZT often appears in the form of thin films to maintain proper aspect ratios. A common design is PZT membrane microactuator, whose actuation portion takes a form of a thin diaphragm driven by a PZT thin film. To maximize actuation displacements, finite element analyses are conducted to identify critical design parameters of the PZT film. In the simulation, a constant driving electric field is maintained and boundary conditions of the PZT film are varied. The finite element analyses lead to two important results. First, the actuator displacement increases as the PZT film thickness increases, but saturates at a critical PZT film thickness. Second, when stress relief grooves are introduced and the PZT film surrounding the membrane area is removed, the actuator displacement increases substantially by at least a factor of 5.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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