Dielectrics and Piezoelectricity

  • John D. Clayton
Part of the Solid Mechanics and Its Applications book series (SMIA, volume 177)


A dielectric material by definition is an insulator, i.e., a non-conductor of electricity associated with mobile free charges, which can exhibit polarization in the presence of an electric field. Chapter 10 provides an introduction to dielectric material behavior in the context of geometrically nonlinear continuum mechanics. Electromechanical behaviors of general interest include piezoelectricity, pyroelectricity, and ferroelectricity. Piezoelectricity may refer to the coupling between electric field or polarization and stress or deformation. Specifically, the direct piezoelectric effect refers to electric polarization induced by mechanical strain, while the inverse piezoelectric effect refers to mechanical strain induced proportionately to an electric field (Maugin 1988). In continuum theories, piezoelectricity of first order is attributed to the particular choice of thermodynamic potential (e.g., free energy or internal energy) for the body that may depend, for example, on a scalar product of elastic strain and electric polarization or electric field.


Electric Displacement Electric Polarization Piezoelectric Coefficient Maxwell Stress Pyroelectric Coefficient 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.US Army Research LaboratoryRDRL-WMP-BAberdeenUSA

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