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Printing 2-D piezoelectric materials for sensors and energy harvesting

By Paul Grad |

A new, inexpensive method to print large-scale sheets of two-dimensional (2-D) piezoelectric material has been developed by a team from RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia; www.rmit.edu.au) led by professor of electronic engineering Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh (now a professor of chemical engineering at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia; www.unsw.edu.au)). The method is simple, scalable, low-temperature and cost-effective, and significantly expands the range of materials available at such scales and quality, offering the opportunity for new piezo-sensors and energy harvesting. Until now, no 2-D piezoelectric material has been manufactured in large sheets, making it impossible to integrate into silicon chips or use in large-scale surface manufacturing. The new inexpensive process allows integrating piezoelectric components directly onto silicon chips. The RMIT University team has produced large-scale (several centimeters), wide-bandgap, 2-D gallium phosphate (GaPO4) nanosheets of unit-cell thickness. Gallium phosphate is a quartz-like crystal used in piezoelectric applications such as pressure sensors and microgram-scale mass measurements, particularly in high temperatures and harsh environments. Because it does not…
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