Electromechanical properties and defect chemistry of high-temperature piezoelectric materials
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Langasite and gallium phosphate are shown to exhibit piezoelectrically stimulated bulk acoustic waves up to at least 1,400 and 900 °C, respectively. Most critical issues are stoichiometry changes due to, e.g. low oxygen partial pressures, and high losses. Therefore, the paper discusses the atomistic transport and defect chemistry of those crystals and correlates them with the electromechanical properties. First, the defect chemistry of langasite is investigated. As long as the atmosphere is nearly hydrogen-free, the transport of charge carriers is governed by oxygen movement. A dominant role of hydrogen is observed in hydrogenous atmospheres. Based on the developed defect model, donors are expected to suppress the oxygen vacancy concentration and, thereby, the loss in langasite. The prediction is proven by niobium doping and found to be valid. A one-dimensional physical model of thickness shear mode resonators is summarized. The analysis of the resonance spectra showed that the loss of the resonators can be described satisfactorily by mechanical and electrical contributions expressed as effective viscosity and bulk conductivity, respectively. The mechanical loss in langasite is significantly impacted by the electrical conductivity due to the piezoelectric coupling. The effect of the piezoelectric coupling on the loss is negligible for gallium phosphate since it shows an extremely low electrical conductivity.
KeywordsLangasite Gallium phosphate Piezoelectricity Gas sensors
The financial support of the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) made this work possible. The authors thank Prof. H. L. Tuller and Dr. H. Seh from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a very fruitful collaboration. In addition, the authors thank Mr. E. Ebeling for mechanical machining and preparation of the samples.
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