Miniaturized piezoelectric sensors integrated into a highly expandable polymeric network.
My research activity is part of a bigger project “Morphing Locally and Globally Structures with Multiscale Intelligence by Mimicking Nature” (MORPHOSIS), funded by European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant 2012) which is related to the realization of intelligent morphing materials by integrating several innovative materials/technologies. Within this framework, my research is related to the realization of miniaturized piezoelectric-based devices and their integration into a highly expandable polymeric network. The research activity goes all the way from the material fabrication to the device realization and integration into the network. The piezoelectric material chosen for this study is lead zirconium titanate (PZT) which is ceramic perovskite characterized by a marked piezoelectric effect. Sputtering deposition technique is the key process which start from pure targets and take advantage of substrate heating for film crystallization. Suitable substrate and electrodes, as well as buffer layers, is used to overcome temperature compatibility with the crystallization process and to permit epitaxial growth of improved piezoelectric coefficient films.
Magnetron Sputtering System at ITA, Istituto Tecnologie Avanzate in Trapani, Italy