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Piezoelectric transducer

A transducer is a device that converts energy from one form to another. Presently, piezoelectric material is commonly used as a basic component of transducers. Piezoelectric devices are a very reliable and inexpensive means of converting electrical energy into physical motion and exhibit a high tolerance to environmental factors such as electromagnetic fields and humidity. A piezoelectric element is a crystal which delivers a voltage when mechanical force is applied between its faces, and it deforms mechanically when voltage is applied between its faces. Because of these characteristics a piezoelectric element is capable of acting as both a sensing and a transmitting element. Piezoelectricity is a phenomenon in which positive and negative electric charges appear on opposite sides of some non-conducting crystals when subjected to mechanical pressure. The converse piezoelectric effect, electrostriction, is the property of some non-conductors, or dielectrics, that deform slightly under the application of an electric field. Piezoelectricity exists because some atomic lattice structures have as an essential cell a cubic or rhomboid atomic cage, and this cage holds a semi-mobile ion which has several stable quantum position states inside itself. Piezoelectric transducers have been conventionally used to convert electric signals into sound waves or other mechanical vibrations, or to convert mechanical vibrations into electric signals. A piezoelectric transducer includes a vibrating piece which has on both its surfaces electrodes for providing an electric field to the vibrating piece. The piezoelectric transducer converts electric signals into mechanical vibrations or vice versa by utilizing the morphological change of a crystal which occurs on voltage application, or conversely by monitoring the voltage generated by a pressure applied on a crystal. Piezoelectric transducers have many applications. In particular, piezoelectric diaphragms have been employed as pressure sensors, in speakers for audio equipment, fluid ejection, fluid pumping and printing applications. Piezoelectric transducers commonly employ a ceramic piezoelectric element having electrodes on its oppositely polarised surfaces. A change of stress in the piezoelectric element produces a temporary potential difference across the electrodes. Piezoelectric ceramic transducers have found many important applications in adaptive structures for vibration control and acoustic noise suppression in modern space, civilian and military systems, such as launch vehicles, space platforms, aircraft, submarines and helicopters.

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