It's Never Happened Before: Multilayer Actuators in Resonant Operation

Generating Ultrasonic Oscillation with Battery Power

You are going to say either "yikes!" or "so what?" - but, I'd like to explain why this particular combination is so special.

Piezoceramic multilayer actuators (PICMA®) consist of several layers of piezoceramic material that are just a few micrometers thick. Basic information under Fundamentals of Piezo Technology: Principally, the displacement of the piezo actuator is proportional to the electric field applied, which determines the direction of the inner structure of the piezo material as a result. In turn, the electric field is calculated from the quotient of the applied voltage divided by the thickness of the actuator layer – or put more simply, the thinner the layer, the less voltage is required for achieving displacement of the actuator.

How the Combination Works

It is not easy to produce multilayer actuators because ceramic films that are just a few micrometers thick, have to be cast and processed. The procedure is very exciting, read more about it here.

Generally, "ferroelectrically soft" Materials are used for this purpose, which in turn, have a relatively low mechanical quality factor and this means that they cannot be operated in resonant mode and are therefore restricted in their dynamics.

Why "yikes": High dynamics operation is achieved at low operating voltages!

In the case of the dynamics, we are talking about several 100 kHz, e.g., for generating ultrasonic oscillation. Low operating voltages of just a few volts are necessary for generating the oscillation - battery operation is therefore possible without voltage transformation. 

Who Benefits from it?

Generating ultrasonic oscillation from battery power is useful for mobile measuring devices or medical devices. Atomizers for asthma therapy from Aerosol Production or so-called ultrasonic scalpels in eye surgery are good examples of this.

If you have been following the links provided in this blog, and you would like to know more about piezo technology, manufacturing processes, or possible applications, contact us!


About this Author

Steffen Arnold

Leiter Marketing & Kommunikation, Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG

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About this Author

Steffen Arnold

Head of Marketing & Communication, Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG

More posts from this author