Piezoelectric materials within a vacuum

  1. Would a piezoelectric crystal create a negative voltage if held within a vacuum? Perhaps it's my misunderstanding of the materials properties, but it seems that if there is zero net output within the "creation"(0) atmosphere, and any slight elastic deformation shows its self in the form of an output, then a decrease in the pressure in which the material was created would produce some minute negative voltage output.
    Is there something I am overlooking?
    Thank you for your consideration.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. I guess an increase in the pressure would also be an applicable question.
     
  4. UltrafastPED

    UltrafastPED 1,919
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  5. DrDu

    DrDu 4,191
    Science Advisor

    There is a duality between pressure and volume on one hand and stress and strain on the other.
    Piezoelectricity is due to stress, not pressure. Hence changing the pressure will not induce a piezoelectric voltage, at least as long as the material is stress-free.
     
  6. But there would be stress in the crystal if it was under pressure no?
     
  7. DrDu

    DrDu 4,191
    Science Advisor

    Pressure, by definition, is the isotropic part of the stress tensor. If the crystal is homogeneous, there is no reason why pressure should go in hand with a non-isotropic stress.
     
  8. Thanks for your responses, gentlemen. Back to the drawing board!
     
  9. UltrafastPED

    UltrafastPED 1,919
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    Gold Member

  10. DrDu

    DrDu 4,191
    Science Advisor

    Typically, you have a piezoelectric membrane which separates the area with pressure p from some vacuum chamber. It is then clear that a change of pressure will lead to stress, too. However, I understood that the OP was asking for what happens if you bring a piezoelectric crystal completely into vacuum.
     
  11. Indeed, I was curious if there would be any stress due to expansion resulting in negative voltage.
     
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