Effects of the material properties on piezoelectric PZT thick film micro cantilevers as sensors and self actuators

Jae Hong Park, Hwan Kim, Dae Sung Yoon, Soo Yoo Kwang, Jinhyung Lee, Tae Song Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In general, PZT thick films fabricated through screen printing show porosity ranging from 10% to 40%. Unfortunately, these high porosities of thick films greatly affect the electromechanical characteristics of PZT thick film cantilevers. In this paper, we report a systematic analysis on the effect of thick film porosity on the electromechanical characteristics of the PZT thick film cantilevers in order to make the PZT thick film cantilever a highly controllable micro mass sensor or micro self actuator. The theoretical calculations of mass sensitivity and actuating force of the optimal PZT thick film cantilevers are presented with respect to the material properties and geometry of PZT thick films, which are based on experimentally verified material properties and geometrical parameters. The 400×300 cantilever with 20% porosity of active material was evaluated to be reliable as an optimal mass sensor and self actuator. The thick film cantilever indicates both high mass sensitivity (∼48 pg/Hz), the same as sensitive thin film cantilever sensors, and high actuating force (∼1.7 N), similar to strong bulk cantilevers. From the results of the modeling, it was found that the harmonic oscillation response according to material properties including the porosity, and geometry of the fabricated thick film cantilever, is quite controllable and predictable, thus enhancing the actuating force and mass sensitivity. Also, it was confirmed that controlling the porosity of PZT thick films is more efficient than controlling the cantilever geometry to increase the cantilever resonating force. However, optimizing the geometric constituents is more effective than controlling the densification of PZT thick films to increase the mass sensitivity of the cantilevers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electroceramics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Actuating force
  • Actuator
  • Cantilever
  • Mass sensitivity
  • Piezoelectric
  • Porosity
  • Sensor
  • Thick film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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