, Volume 44, Issue 19, pp 5049-5062,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 07 Jul 2009

Review: environmental friendly lead-free piezoelectric materials

Abstract

Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) based piezoelectric materials are well known for their excellent piezoelectric properties. However, considering the toxicity of lead and its compounds, there is a general awareness for the development of environmental friendly lead-free materials as evidenced from the legislation passed by the European Union in this effect. Several classes of materials are now being considered as potentially attractive alternatives to PZTs for specific applications. In this paper, attempts have been made to review the recent developments on lead-free piezo materials emphasizing on their preparation, structure–property correlation, etc. In this context, perovskite systems such as bismuth sodium titanate, alkali niobates (ANbO3), etc. and non-perovskites such as bismuth layer-structured ferroelectrics are reviewed in detail. From the above study, it is concluded that some lead-free compositions show stable piezoelectric responses even though they do not match the overall performance of PZT. This has been the stimulant for growing research on this subject. This topic is of current interest to the researchers worldwide as evidenced from the large number of research publications. This has motivated us to come out with a review article with a view that it would give further impetus to the researchers already working in this area and also draw the attention of the others.