Converse piezoelectric responses in non-piezoelectric materials implemented via asymmetric configurations of electrodes
Francis, Sebastian Maliyakal
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This thesis work is devoted to exploring the possibility of fabricating a type of piezoelectric actuator by exploiting the converse flexoelectric effect. The phenomena of flexoectricity demonstrate that inhomogeneous external stimuli that are either a mechanical stimuli or electric stimuli can break the inversion symmetry and induce the piezoelectric response even in non-piezoelectric dielectrics. This method is also aimed at providing an alternate solution to overcome the negative influence of the Casimir force on micro- nano-scale devices. It has been noted that the Casimir force is one of the fundamental physical mechanisms that cause stiction and mechanical instability for the fabrication and operation of MEMS/NEMS devices. Flexoelectric effects describe the electromechanical coupling relationships under inhomogeneous fields. They were often neglected in practice as their magnitude is small in bulk materials but they could have a considerable influence on micro- nano-scale devices. I conclude my thesis work by proposing a method to design a piezoelectric actuator by using non-piezoelectric dielectrics, in which the working mechanism is based on the converse flexoelectric effect in solid materials.