A gravity-driven sintering method to fabricate geometrically complex compact piezoceramics

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number6066
Journal / PublicationNature Communications
Online published18 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021



Highly compact and geometrically complex piezoceramics are required by a variety of electromechanical devices owing to their outstanding piezoelectricity, mechanical stability and extended application scenarios. 3D printing is currently the mainstream technology for fabricating geometrically complex piezoceramic components. However, it is hard to print piezoceramics in a curve shape while also keeping its compactness due to restrictions on the ceramic loading and the viscosity of feedstocks. Here, we report a gravity-driven sintering (GDS) process to directly fabricate curved and compact piezoceramics by exploiting gravitational force and high-temperature viscous behavior of sintering ceramic specimens. The sintered lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics possess curve geometries that can be facilely tuned via the initial mechanical boundary design, and exhibit high piezoelectric properties comparable to those of conventional-sintered compact PZT (d33 = 595 pC/N). In contrast to 3D printing technology, our GDS process is suitable for scale-up production and low-cost production of piezoceramics with diverse curved surfaces. Our GDS strategy is an universal and facile route to fabricate curved piezoceramics and other functional ceramics with no compromise of their functionalities.

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