Technology is able to provide solutions for the challenges that the modern world needs, and one of the great new ideas is the development of a network of small autonomous, communicating sensors. A combination of microtechnology and energy harvesting is needed for such a network to operate. The detection of vibrations, which can be found at many places such as on a road or from body movement, can be achieved using the piezoelectric effect. This piezoelectric effect transforms pressure, or vibrations, into electrical energy and thus, it could also be used for autonomous energy harvesting, replacing batteries. However, new developments are still needed to really achieve that goal. For that, in this project, the material barium titanate, well known for decades as a piezoelectric crystal, has been investigated with modern research tools and modified into a new form not ever found before. It has been grown as a thin film on top of another crystal to make it light and efficient. The new finding is that this material naturally rotates its internal electric field continuously, contrary to other materials where it is done in discrete steps. That continuous rotation makes this material the most efficient non-toxic piezoelectric found so far, operating at room temperature. This specific material is still not feasible for large scale processing because the crystal where it is grown on is too expensive. However, this piece of fundamental research will be able to provide new research directions for other materials that are more suitable for industrial application.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[Groningen]|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|