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Ferroelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) is the main industrial product in piezoelectric ceramic materials used for sensor and actuator applications. High precision in manufacturing of microelectromechanical systems is essential to get demanded performance accuracy. An adequate and preferably non-destructive measurement technique is desired to characterize the materials properties at various stages of device fabrication as well as to find correlation between the processing parameters, microstructure and functional properties. We report on a new pulsed technique, which has been employed to characterize all relevant properties of special machined array of PZT channels quickly, reliably and reproducibly: dielectric constant, loss factor tan σ, electromechanical coupling coefficient, resonance frequency and mechanical quality factor Q as well as temperature dependencies of these parameters.
We report on comprehensive characterization of piezoelectric shear mode inkjet actuators micromachined into bulk Pb(Zr0.53Ti0.47)O3 (PZT) ceramics. The paper starts with an overview of different inkjet technologies such as continuous jet and drop-on-demand systems, whereat main attention is turned on piezoelectric systems particularly Xaar-type shear mode inkjet color printheads. They are an example of complex microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and comprise a ferroelectric array of 128 active ink channels (75νm wide and 360νm deep). Detailed information about manufacturing and principles of operation are given. Several techniques to control manufacturing processes and to characterize properties of the piezoelectric material are described: dielectric spectroscopy to measure dielectric permittivity ε and loss tanσ; ferroelectric hysteresis P-E loop tracing to get remnant polarization Pr and coercive field Ec, and a novel pulsed technique to quantify functional properties of the PZT actuator such as acoustic resonant frequencies and electromechanical coupling factor. Stroboscope technique has been employed to find correlation between the degradation of ink-jet performance and heat/high voltage treatment resulting in ferroelectric fatigue.
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