APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Data storage devices
- Diesel fuel injectors
- Sonar devices
- Made of a lead-free and abundant substance
- Higher efficiency than conventional piezoelectric materials
- More affordable than conventional materials such as lead and zirconium
In a breakthrough discovery, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Robert Zeches, and their research team at Berkeley Lab have developed a technology for lead-free piezoelectric materials using thin-film bismuth ferrite. In addition to being less hazardous to human health and the environment, the Berkeley Lab invention offers an order of magnitude more efficient performance, for all applications, than conventional lead-based piezoelectric materials. The invention can be used to fabricate rewritable data storage memory and may open the door for lead-free, environmentally sustainable data-storage components such as computer chips.
The Berkeley Lab researchers demonstrated that the piezoelectric effect—the conversion of mechanical strain to electrical energy, and conversely the conversion of electrical energy to mechanical energy—strains or deforms thin-film bismuth ferrite up to approximately 1.5% of its original dimensions. This is a significant improvement over conventional lead-based piezoelectric materials, which are limited to a piezoelectric strain on the order of less than or equal to 1% only, and thus do not efficiently generate mechanical or electrical energy.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Modeled concept.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Zeches, R.J., M.D. Rossell, J.X. Zhang, A.J. Hatt, Q. He, C.-H. Yang, A. Kumar, C.H. Wang, A. Melville, C. Adamo, G. Sheng, Y.-H. Chu, J.F. Ihlefeld, R. Erni, C. Ederer, V. Gopalan, L.Q. Chen, D.G. Schlom, N.A. Spaldin, L.W. Martin, R. Ramesh. “A Strain-Driven Morphotropic Phase Boundary in BiFeO3,” Science, Volume 26, November 13, 2009.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Compact Microchip Gas Sensor, JIB-2689
Miniature Airborne Particle Mass Monitors, IB-1850, IB-2149
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2779