Piozoelectric Ceramic Actuator Technologies ()
The actuator design has several differences from conventional piezoelectric actuators. Because of its radial design, this actuator exhibits out of plane movement when electrically stimulated, and does not transmit any substantial mechanical strain beyond the boundary of the ceramic element. This behavior is distinct from all other "bender" type actuators.
The actuators consist of a piezoelectric ceramic wafer encased in a polymer film onto which an electrode pattern has been etched. One example is comprised of a thin circular piezoelectric ceramic disk sandwiched between two dielectric films with copper-etched spiral electrodes. On each spiraled electrode pattern, positive and negative electrodes spiral inward to the center of the disk. This novel electrode pattern induces an electric field into the piezo-ceramic that extends out radially from the wafer. The resulting radial electric field causes the piezoelectric wafer to deform in a conical shape, and hence the term Radial Field Diaphragm (RFD) is used.
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