This paper describes a new technique by which the d31 coefficient of piezoelectric thin films can be characterized. Silicon substrates coated with lead-zirconate titanate (PZT) are flexed while clamped in a uniform load rig. When stressed, the PZT film produces an electric charge which is monitored together with the change in applied load. The mechanical stress and thus the transverse piezoelectric coefficient can then be calculated. Experiments were conducted as a function of poling field strength and poling time. Results are dependent upon the value of applied stress, which itself is dependent upon the mechanical properties of the silicon substrate. Because the substrate is anisotropie, limiting d31 values were calculated. In general, d31 was found to be ∼20 pC/N for field strengths above 130 kV/cm and poling times of less than 1 minute, d31 was increased more than a factor of three, to ∼77 pC/N, when poled at 200 kV/cm for ∼21 hours.