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See detailInkjet-printed piezoelectric films for transducers
Godard, Nicolas UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films are a popular choice for piezoelectric devices such as microelectromechanical systems, micro-pumps, micro-mirrors or energy harvesters. Various fabrication ... [more ▼]

Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films are a popular choice for piezoelectric devices such as microelectromechanical systems, micro-pumps, micro-mirrors or energy harvesters. Various fabrication techniques exist for the deposition of PZT in the form of thin films. Physical vapor deposition (PVD) methods are particularly cost-intensive, as they require vacuum conditions and expensive infrastructure. Fabrication costs can be decreased by the use of chemical solution deposition (CSD), where the metal precursors are dispersed in a solvent medium and coated onto a substrate. Thermal treatments convert the liquid precursor into a functional solid film. Spin coating is a conventional coating technique allowing for the deposition of homogeneous layers over large-area substrates. However, it is inherently wasteful, as most of the precursor material is spun off the substrate in the coating process. In addition, as spin coating results in complete coverage of the substrate, layer patterning requires lithography, which adds up extra steps and costs to the overall process. Inkjet printing is an additive manufacturing technique that has the potential to address both of these issues, thus further decreasing manufacturing costs and the associated ecological footprint. The working principle of inkjet printing can be described as the deposition of individual ink droplets at digitally determined locations on the substrate surface, which then merge into a continuous film. Inkjet printing is compatible with CSD processing of PZT thin films, as demonstrated by the previous works in the field. However, the adaptation of standard CSD processing for inkjet printing comes with several challenges, which have to be considered to obtain state-of-the-art functional PZT layers. In the present work, we explore several issues related to the processing of PZT thin films by inkjet printing and we provide possible solutions to address them, in a way that had not been described yet by the state of the art. In particular, we describe a novel strategy that uses inkjet-printed alkanethiolate-based self-assembled monolayers for direct patterning of PZT thin films on platinized silicon. Then, we present a systematic study of the pyrolysis step of the process, which enabled us to print dense and textured layers with state-of-the-art electrical properties. We also developed a proof-of-concept piezoelectric energy harvesting device based on inkjet-printed PZT films. Finally, we unveil a comparative study where we identified an alternative solvent for CSD processing of PZT thin films. [less ▲]

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