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High performance lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics with aligned porosity for sensing applications were fabricated by an ice-templating method. To demonstrate the enhanced properties of these materials and their potential for sensor and hydrophone applications, the piezoelectric voltage constants (g33 and g31), hydrostatic parameters (dh, gh, -d33/d31, dh·gh and dh·gh/tanδ) and AC conductivity as a function of the porosity in directions both parallel and perpendicular to the freezing temperature gradient were studied. As the porosity level was increased, PZT poled parallel to the freezing direction exhibited the highest dh, -d33/d31 and figures of merit dh·gh, dh·gh/tanδ compared to the dense and PZT poled perpendicular to the freezing direction. The gh, g33 and g31 coefficients were highest for the PZT poled perpendicular to the freezing direction; the gh was 150% to 850% times higher than dense PZT, and was attributed to the high piezoelectric activity and reduced permittivity in this orientation. This work demonstrates that piezoelectric ceramics produced with aligned pores by freeze casting are a promising candidate for a range of sensor applications and the polarisation orientation relative to the freezing direction can be used to tailor the microstructure and optimise sensitivity for sensor and hydrostatic transducer applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4203-4211
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number12
Early online date3 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


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