Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 44, Issue 19, pp 5393–5407 | Cite as

Factors affecting the performance of piezoelectric bending actuators for advanced applications: an overview

  • Tao Li
  • Y. H. Chen
  • J. MaEmail author


The behaviors of piezoelectric bending actuators both in static and dynamic conditions driven by a high electric field were investigated and are summarized in this paper. In the static condition, the polarization and the displacement were measured and analyzed. It was found that the displacement hysteresis loop is the superposition of displacement loop induced by each layer of the actuator. The shape variation of the hysteresis loop is affected by the actuator configuration, i.e., the arrangement of electric field and poling direction. When the poling direction is parallel to an even electric field, such as parallel bimorph, the domain turns to switch at the exact coercive field of the piezoelectric material. However, when the poling direction is antiparallel to the electric field, such as series bimorph, the effect of electric field redistribution will take place during the domain reorientation, which reduces the actual electric field in the electric field–poling direction antiparallel layer, therefore prohibiting further domain reorientation. As a result, the series bimorph is noted to be more resistant to domain reorientation than the parallel bimorph. In the dynamic condition, the functions and relations of vibration velocity, heat generation, stress, and frequency were examined both theoretically and experimentally. It was found that the stress effect dominates at low frequency. At low frequency the failure mode of the actuator is often the physical fracture of the material. However, at high frequency, the failure modes mainly resulted from heat generation, unstable operation, depoling, and domain reorientation of the actuators. The vibration velocity will also decrease accordingly at the high frequency range due to more losses and heat generation.


Poling Direction Coercive Field Functional Grade Material Piezoelectric Actuator High Electric Field 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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