Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure and heat. A piezoelectric bimorph is a cantilever used for actuation or sensing which consists of two active layers. One active layer contracts and the other expands if voltage is applied, thus the bimorph bends.

Amplified piezoelectric actuators

Amplified piezoelectric actuators are specific actuators using piezoelectric materials as active material and have a specific design to overcome traditional limitations of classical direct piezoelectric actuators, the limited stroke. Read more

Piezoelectric bimorph

In actuator applications, one active layer contracts and the other expands if voltage is applied, thus the bimorph bends. In sensing applications, bending the bimorph produces voltage which can for example be used to measure displacement or acceleration. This mode can also be used for energy harvesting. A bimetal could be regarded as a thermally activated bimorph. The first theory about the bending of thermally activated bimorphs was given by Stoney. Newer developments also enabled electrostatically activated bimorphs for the use in Microelectromechanical systems.

Piezoelectric actuation is the foundation for a myriad of mission-critical high-technology applications, from semiconductor manufacturing to genomic sequencing and medical devices. Known for nanometer precisions, piezoelectric principles are proving highly adaptable to new configurations and modalities. Recently-developed mechanisms built on a variety of novel applications of piezoelectric technology have burst through the former travel limitations familiar from classical nanopositioning mechanisms. But like those time-tested mechanisms, those built on these newer principles offer high axial force, exceptional speeds, compactness, fieldlessness, and stable position-hold without dither. These long-travel piezomotors offer valuable, proven solutions for engineers grappling with tough technical and economic needs. Read more