What is the Pyroelectric Effect and how can it be prevented?

If your sensors use piezo ceramics, your electronics could be at risk of damage from the pyroelectric effect. Read on further to find out what the effect is and how Ionix can provide solutions using our HPZ technology.

What is a pyroelectric effect? Simply put – the pyroelectric effect happens when there is a change in the temperature within the piezoceramic crystal, this change can generate an electrical reaction.

A spark from the pyroelectric effect

There are three key reasons why this effect is not ideal –

  1. It can present an electric shock, a voltage of >1000v / mm can occur.
  2. It can cause damage to equipment.
  3. It can generate a lot of electrical noise in some environments.

Low temperature piezoelectric materials such as PZT can suffer from this effect greatly and can create a lot of energy which can either damage yourself or the equipment (neither of which you want).

Ionix HPZ has a high operating temperature and is therefore far less susceptible to the pyroelectric effect. No spark is generated from HPZ when following the same heating and cooling profile. This makes it ideal for applications which need to be deployed across a wide range of temperatures. It also makes it suitable for deployment in hazardous environments.

In the video below you can see how a PZT disc and the Ionix HPZ disc react differently when heated. With the PZT you can see the amount of energy released when shorted, in contrast, no energy is released when using the HPZ disc. This clearly shows that our HPZ technology can withstand high temperatures and not be affected by the pyroelectric effect.

Ionix can integrate HPZ into your sensors, actuators and transducers now to help you to avoid unnecessary damage from the pyroelectric effect. Contact us today for more information about what solutions our HPZ technology can provide.

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