Journal article

Comparison of Lead Zirconate Titanate Thin Films for Microelectromechanical Energy Harvester With Interdigitated and Parallel Plate Electrodes

Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films on insulator-buffered silicon substrates with interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) have the potential to harvest more energy than parallel plate electrode (PPE) structures because the former exploit the longitudinal piezoelectric effect, which is about twice as high as the transverse piezoelectric effect used by PPE structures. In this work, both options are compared with respect to dielectric, ferroelectric, and piezoelectric properties, leakage currents, and figure of merit (FOM) for energy harvesting. The test samples were silicon beams with {100} PZT thin films in the case of the PPE geometry, and random PZT thin films for the IDE geometry. Both films were obtained by an identical sol-gel route. Almost the same dielectric constants were derived when the conformal mapping method was applied for the IDE capacitor to correct for the IDE geometry. The dielectric loss was smaller in the IDE case. The ferroelectric loops showed a higher saturation polarization, a higher coercive field, and less back-switching for the IDE case. The leakage current density of the IDE structure was measured to be about 4 orders of magnitude lower than that of the PPE structure. The best FOM of the IDE structures was 20% superior to that of the PPE structures while also having a voltage response that was ten times higher (12.9 mV/mu strain).


Related material


EPFL authors