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History and recent progress in piezoelectric polymers

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1 Author(s)
E. Fukada ; Kobeyasi Inst. of Phys. Res., Tokyo, Japan

Electrets of carnauba wax and resin have exhibited good stability of trapped charges for nearly 50 years. Dipolar orientation and trapped charge are two mechanisms contributing to the pyro-, piezo-, and ferroelectricity of polymers. Since the 1950s, shear piezoelectricity was investigated in polymers of biological origin (such as cellulose and collagen) as well as synthetic optically active polymers (such as polyamides and polylactic acids). Since the discovery of piezoelectricity in poled polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) in 1969, the pyro-, piezo-, and ferroelectricity were widely investigated in a number of polar polymers, such as copolymers of vinylidene fluoride and trifluoroethylene, copolymers of vinylcyanide and vinylacetate, and nylons. Recent studies involve submicron films of aromatic and aliphatic polyureas prepared by vapor deposition polymerization in vacuum and the piezoelectricity of polyurethane produced by the coupling of electrostriction and bias electric fields. Gramophone pickups using a piece of bone or tendon were demonstrated in 1959. Microphones using a stretched film of polymethyl glutamate were reported in 1968. Ultrasonic transducers using elongated and poled films of PVDF were demonstrated in 1972. Headphones and tweeters using PVDF were marketed in 1975. Hydrophones and various electromechanical devices utilizing PVDP and its copolymers have been developed during the past 30 years. This paper briefly reviews the history and recent progress in piezoelectric polymers.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 6 )