High Piezoelectric Longitudinal Coefficients in Sol-gel PZT Thin Film Multilayers
A five-layer stack of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films with Pt electrodes was fabricated for potential applications in nanoactuator systems. The 1 mu m thick PZT films were deposited by a sol-gel technique, the platinum electrodes by sputtering. The PZT films were crack-free, in spite of the use of silicon as a substrate, suggesting an increased toughness of the metal-ceramic composite. For piezoelectric characterization, the intermediate electrodes were liberated by successive etching of the PZT and Pt layers, obtaining a functional three-layer stack. A total thickness change of 5.2 nm was achieved with 10 V, measured by double beam laser interferometry. The small signal response was obtained as 0.49 nm/V. Finite element simulations were made to account for the thickness change in the substrate due to the transverse piezoelectric effect. The average response corresponds to an average d(33,f) of 120 pm/V. The multiple annealed buried layers show clearly a better performance with up to 175 pm/V. It is concluded that the electrode interfaces in the interior exhibit higher qualities, as supported by transmission electron microscopy, and that the multiple anneals were beneficial for PZT thin film quality.