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Experimental Determination of Bending Resonances of Millimeter Size PVF2 Cantilevers

Author(s): Niloy Mukherjee | Amit Shukla | Rodney D. Roseman | David F. Thompson

Journal: Sensors
ISSN 1424-8220

Volume: 3;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 263;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: piezoelectric | polymer | polyvinylidene fluoride | cantilever | bending | vibration

The polymer piezoelectric polvinylidene fluoride has found widespread use in sensors and actuators. The bending mode of piezoelectricity offers very high sensitivities and low mechanical input impedance, but has not been studied in as much detail for sensor applications. We report the dynamic electromechanical properties of millimeter size cantilevers made from electroded films of PVF2. All devices tested had a single polymer layer. Several resonances are found below 1 kHz and the experimentally observed resonance frequency dependence on cantilever thickness and length are seen to agree well with published models which take the properties of the electrodes into account. It is found that bending resonances are also modulated by the width of the cantilever. Therefore, though the length and thickness control the resonance frequency most strongly, the actual realized value can be fine-tuned by changing cantilever width and the electrode material and its thickness. Further, all resonances display high piezoelectric coupling coefficients (keff), ranging between 0.2 - 0.35. The data presented here will be extremely useful in the design of sensors and actuators for a number of applications, since the combination of millimeter size scales and high piezoelectric sensitivities in the low audio range can be realized with this marriage of polymeric materials and cantilever geometries. Such an array of sensors can be used in cochlear implant applications, and when integrated with a resonance interrogation circuit can be used for the detection of low frequency vibrations of large structures. If appropriate mass/elasticity sensitive layers are coated on the electrodes, such a sensor can be used for the detection of a wide range of chemicals and biochemicals.
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