About Zirconates

Strontium Zirconate

Zirconates are compounds which contain zirconium oxyanions. They are most commonly used in the production of advanced ceramic materials. These materials frequently exhibit dielectric and ferroelectric properties that make them useful in electronics applications, and additionally can be used as components of high-temperature solid electrolytes in fuel cells.

One of the most common and useful zirconate ceramics is lead zirconate titanate (PZT). It is a ceramic perovskite material similar to barium strontium titanate (BST) and shows a marked piezoelectric effect—it produces an electrical charge when mechanically compressed, a phenomenon exploited in the production of sophisticated electronic sensors. The piezoelectric effect also works in the opposite direction—PZT can be induced to physically change shape when an external electric field is applied, making it very valuable in actuator applications.

PZT is also pyroelectric, meaning that it develops a voltage difference across two of its faces when it experiences a temperature change, making it useful as a heat detecting sensor. It is also ferroelectric, which means it exhibits a spontaneous electric polarization which can be reversed in the presence of an electric field. These properties make PZT-based compounds one of the most prominent and useful electroceramics.

Commercially, PZT is rarely used in its pure form; rather, it is typically doped with either acceptor dopants or donor dopants. In general, acceptor doping creates hard PZT while donor doping creates soft PZT, which generally differ in their piezoelectric constants. Soft PZT has a higher piezoelectric constant, but larger losses in the material due to internal friction. In hard PZT, domain wall motion is pinned by the impurities, decreasing losses in the material but at the expense of a reduced piezoelectric constant.

PZT-based compounds are used in the manufacture of items such as ultrasound transducers, STM/AFM actuators, high-value ceramic capacitors, FRAM chips, uncooled staring array infrared imaging sensors for thermographic cameras, and other types of sensors. PZT is also used in the manufacture of ceramic resonators for reference timing in electronic circuitry.

Recent Research & Development for Zirconates

Durability of Gadolinium Zirconate/YSZ Double-Layered Thermal Barrier Coatings under Different Thermal Cyclic Test Conditions., Mahade, Satyapal, Curry Nicholas, Björklund Stefan, Markocsan Nicolaie, and Joshi Shrikant , Materials (Basel), 2019 Jul 11, Volume 12, Issue 14, (2019)

Ultrafast Carbon Dioxide Sorption Kinetics Using Morphology-Controllable Lithium Zirconate., Liu, Fa-Qian, Li Guo-Hua, Luo Shu-Wen, Li Wei-Hua, Huang Zhao-Ge, Li Wei, Su Feng, Li Chao-Qin, Ding Zhen-Bo, and Jiang Qinglong , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2019 Jan 09, Volume 11, Issue 1, p.691-698, (2019)

Highly-Loaded Thermoplastic Polyurethane/Lead Zirconate Titanate Composite Foams with Low Permittivity Fabricated using Expandable Microspheres., Petrossian, Gayaneh, Hohimer Cameron J., and Ameli Amir , Polymers (Basel), 2019 Feb 07, Volume 11, Issue 2, (2019)

Characterization and Design Improvement of a Thickness-Shear Lead Zirconate Titanate Transducer for Low Frequency Ultrasonic Guided Wave Applications., Zennaro, Marco, O'Boy Dan J., Lowe Premesh Shehan, and Gan Tat-Hean , Sensors (Basel), 2019 Apr 18, Volume 19, Issue 8, (2019)

A molecular perovskite solid solution with piezoelectricity stronger than lead zirconate titanate., Liao, Wei-Qiang, Zhao Dewei, Tang Yuan-Yuan, Zhang Yi, Li Peng-Fei, Shi Ping-Ping, Chen Xiao-Gang, You Yu-Meng, and Xiong Ren-Gen , Science, 2019 03 15, Volume 363, Issue 6432, p.1206-1210, (2019)

Flexible Porous Polydimethylsiloxane/Lead Zirconate Titanate-Based Nanogenerator Enabled by the Dual Effect of Ferroelectricity and Piezoelectricity., Ma, Si Wei, Fan You Jun, Li Hua Yang, Su Li, Wang Zhong Lin, and Zhu Guang , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2018 Oct 03, Volume 10, Issue 39, p.33105-33111, (2018)

Role of the doping level in localized proton motions in acceptor-doped barium zirconate proton conductors., Noferini, Daria, Koza Michael M., Rahman Seikh M. H., Evenson Zach, Nilsen Gøran J., Eriksson Sten, Wildes Andrew R., and Karlsson Maths , Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2018 May 23, Volume 20, Issue 20, p.13697-13704, (2018)

Direct-Write Laser Grayscale Lithography for Multilayer Lead Zirconate Titanate Thin Films., Benoit, Robert R., Jordan Delaney M., Smith Gabriel L., Polcawich Ronald G., Bedair Sarah S., and Potrepka Daniel M. , IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control, 2018 May, Volume 65, Issue 5, p.889-894, (2018)

Direct-Write Laser Greyscale Lithography for Multi-Layer Lead Zirconate Titanate Thin Films., Benoit, Robert R., Jordan Delaney M., Smith Gabriel L., Polcawich Ronald G., Bedair Sarah S., and Potrepka Daniel M. , IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control, 2018 Mar 09, (2018)

Unexpectedly high piezoelectricity of Sm-doped lead zirconate titanate in the Curie point region., Seshadri, Shruti B., Nolan Michelle M., Tutuncu Goknur, Forrester Jennifer S., Sapper Eva, Esteves Giovanni, Granzow Torsten, Thomas Pam A., Nino Juan C., Rojac Tadej, et al. , Sci Rep, 2018 Mar 07, Volume 8, Issue 1, p.4120, (2018)

Influence of Nonstoichiometry on Proton Conductivity in Thin-Film Yttrium-Doped Barium Zirconate., Ding, Jilai, Balachandran Janakiraman, Sang Xiahan, Guo Wei, Veith Gabriel M., Bridges Craig A., Rouleau Christopher M., Poplawsky Jonathan D., Bassiri-Gharb Nazanin, Ganesh Panchapakesan, et al. , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2018 Feb 07, Volume 10, Issue 5, p.4816-4823, (2018)

Detrimental Effect of Sintering Additives on Conducting Ceramics: Yttrium-Doped Barium Zirconate., Han, Donglin, Uemura Shigeaki, Hiraiwa Chihiro, Majima Masatoshi, and Uda Tetsuya , ChemSusChem, 2018 Dec 11, Volume 11, Issue 23, p.4102-4113, (2018)

Fatigue characteristics of deformable mirrors caused by fatigue of lead zirconate titanate., Wang, Jiaqiu, Luo Shuai, Ling Fang, Zhong Zheqiang, and Zhang Bin , Appl Opt, 2018 Dec 10, Volume 57, Issue 35, p.10102-10108, (2018)

Dielectric Properties and Switching Processes of Barium Titanate⁻Barium Zirconate Ferroelectric Superlattices., Sidorkin, Alexander, Nesterenko Lolita, Gagou Yaovi, Saint-Gregoire Pierre, Vorotnikov Eugeniy, and Popravko Nadezhda , Materials (Basel), 2018 Aug 14, Volume 11, Issue 8, (2018)