2022 journal article
Mechanical characterization of piezoelectric materials: A perspective on deformation behavior across different microstructural length scales
JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 132(12).
Piezoelectric materials (PEMs) find a wide spectrum of applications that include, but are not limited to, sensors, actuators, semiconductors, memory devices, and energy harvesting systems due to their outstanding electromechanical and polarization characteristics. Notably, these PEMs can be employed across several length scales (both intrinsic and extrinsic) ranging from mesoscale (bulk ceramics) to nanoscale (thin films) during their applications. Over the years, progress in probing individual electrical and mechanical properties of PEM has been notable. However, proportional review articles providing the mechanical characterization of PEM are relatively few. The present article aims to give a tutorial on the mechanical testing of PEMs, ranging from the conventional bulk deformation experiments to the most recent small-scale testing techniques from a materials science perspective. The advent of nanotechnology has led materials scientists to develop in situ testing techniques to probe the real-time electromechanical behavior of PEMs. Therefore, this article presents a systematic outlook on ex situ and in situ deformation experiments in mechanical and electromechanical environments, related mechanical behavior, and ferroelectric/elastic distortion during deformation. The first part provides significant insights into the multifunctionality of PEM and various contributing microstructural length scales, followed by a motivation to characterize the mechanical properties from the application's point of view. In the midst, the mechanical behavior of PEM and related mechanical characterization techniques (from mesoscale to nanoscale) are highlighted. The last part summarizes current challenges, future perspectives, and important observations.