Characterisation of PZT thin film micro-actuators using a silicon micro-force sensor

Fabrice F. C. Duval, Stephen A. Wilson, Graham Ensell, Nicolas M. P. Evanno, Markys G. Cain, Roger W. Whatmore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reports on the measurements of displacement and blocking force of piezoelectric micro-cantilevers. The free displacement was studied using a surface profiler and a laser vibrometer. The experimental data were compared with an analytical model which showed that the PZT thin film has a Young's modulus of 110 GPa and a piezoelectric coefficient d(31,f) of 30 pC/N. The blocking force was investigated by means of a micro-machined silicon force sensor based on the silicon piezoresistive effect. The generated force was detected by measuring a change in voltage within a piezoresistors bridge. The sensor was calibrated using a commercial nano-indenter as a force and displacement standard. Application of the method showed that a 700 mu m long micro-cantilever showed a maximum displacement of 800 nm and a blocking force of 0.1 mN at an actuation voltage of 5 V, within experimental error of the theoretical predictions based on the known piezoelectric and elastic properties of the PZT film. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-44
    Number of pages10
    JournalSensors and Actuators A - Physical
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2007


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