A Possible Paradigm Shift Within Piezoelectricity

Piezoelectricity is used everywhere: Watches, cars, alarms, headphones, pickups for instruments, electric lighters and gas burners. One of the most common examples is probably the quartz watch, where the piezoelectric material quartz is a prerequisite for the watch’s function. Piezoelectric materials have the particular property that their shape changes when applying an electrical voltage to the material. It also works the other way around: Exposing them to a mechanical impact will create an electrical voltage. Piezoelectricity is often used in sensors, actuators, and resonators. In small devices, they are known as MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems). Here, materials other than quartz must be used. These materials, however, often contain lead in the form of lead zirconate titanate (PZT).

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