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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X018679/1
Title: Porous Piezoelectric Single Crystal Sensors (POPSICALS)
Principal Investigator: Bowen, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Khanbareh, Dr H
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Bath
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 October 2022 Ends: 30 September 2024 Value (£): 202,046
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Jun 2022 New Horizons 2021 Full Proposal Panel Announced
23 Jun 2022 New Horizons Materials and Mechanical Engineering Panel June 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Piezoelectric materials generate an electrical charge in response to mechanical stress. These properties make them important materials for pressure sensors, medical transducers and vibration energy harvesters and the market is estimated to be £28 billion by 2025. Current commercial materials are based on dense ceramics since they generate a high charge in response to mechanical stress. However, they have a range of disadvantages.

(i) current materials are lead-based, such as lead zirconate titanate (PZT), and generate over 2500 tons of lead electronic waste per annum,

(ii) existing materials are high density and high stiffness, leading to poor impedance matching with biological tissue or water,

(iii) the high permittivity of dense materials leads to poor performance for sensing and harvesting since performance indicators are inversely proportional to permittivity,

(iv) ceramic elements can only be produced in limited geometries since they are made by pressing ceramic powders and subsequent high-temperature sintering.

POPSICALS will overcome the disadvantages of existing ceramics by developing a new manufacturing process based on a magnetic field enhanced freeze-casting process to create single crystal-like lead-free porous piezoelectric materials. This will combine the high piezoelectric charge coefficients of single-crystal materials with the low permittivity, low density and low stiffness of porous materials.

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Organisation Website: http://www.bath.ac.uk