Application of gel-casting to the fabrication of 1-3 piezoelectric ceramic-polymer composites for high-frequency ultrasound devices

L. García-Gancedo, S.M. Olhero, F.J. Alves, J.M.F. Ferreira, C.E.M. Demoré, S. Cochran, T.W. Button

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    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A modified gel-casting technique was used to fabricate a 1-3 piezoelectric ceramic/polymer composite substrate formed by irregular-shaped pillar arrays of small dimensions and kerfs. This technique involves the polymerization of aqueous piezoelectric (PZT) suspensions with added water-soluble epoxy resin and polyamine-based hardener that lead to high strength, high density and resilient ceramic bodies. Soft micromoulding was used to shape the ceramic segments, and micropillars with lateral features down to 4 m and height-to-width aspect ratios of ~10 were achieved. The composite exhibited a clear thickness resonance mode at approximately 70 MHz and a k eff ~ 0.51, demonstrating that the ceramic micropillars possess good electrical properties. Furthermore, gel-casting allows the fabrication of ceramic structures with non-conventional shapes; hence, device design is not limited by the standard fabrication methods. This is of particular benefit for high-frequency transducers where the critical design dimensions are reduced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number125001
    JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
    Volume22
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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