Piezoelectric materials are a special class of materials that produce an electrical signal when strained or flexed. We pattern these materials at the small scale using microfabrication technology, and we use them in both actuating and sensing applications. Because of our familiarity at Silicon Audio with piezoelectric materials and their properties, we have been able to identify applications in different industries where piezoelectric materials offer a unique performance advantage. As an example, they offer design flexibility for realizing special, unconventional transducers like biologically inspired directional microphones.
Silicon Audio leverages distinctive characteristics of piezoelectric materials to create our directional microphone, which has potential applications where small size and low power are imperative.
Looking to the future at Silicon Audio, piezoelectric materials are uniquely suited for our work on surface-mounted shear sensors.
D. Kim, N. N. Hewa-Kasakarage, and N. A. Hall, "A Theoretical and Experimental Comparison of 3-3 and 3-1 Mode Piezoelectric Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)," Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 2014 (accepted/in production).
D. Kim, N. N. Hewa-Kasakarage, S. H. Yoon, K. D. Kirk, M. Kuntzman, and N. A. Hall, "Electrical Admittance Spectroscopy for Piezoelectric MEMS," Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, vol. 22(2), pp. 295-302, April 2013.