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Inexpensive, high-perforMance, lead-free piezoelectric crystals and their applications in transducers for ultrasonic MEdical DIAgnostic and industrial Tools and Equipments

Inexpensive, high-perforMance, lead-free piezoelectric crystals and their applications in transducers for ultrasonic MEdical DIAgnostic and industrial Tools and Equipments

Objective

KNbO3 and its recently discovered modifications exhibit properties that can be advantageous in a variety of piezoelectric devices, in particular for medical and industrial ultrasonic transducers. However, due to a high production cost, crystals of these compositions have not been considered up to now for commercial use in ultrasonic transducers. The present proposal addresses both the issue of implementation of pure and modified KNbO3 based transducers in the product line of SMEs and the cost reduction issue in the crystals fabrication. The issue of the cost reduction will be addressed by growing crystals from dense ceramics using template-assisted Solid State Single Crystal Growth (SSCG) method and by domain engineering. These cost-effective procedures will be implemented on industrial scale by the SME specialised in crystal growth. Ceramics used as substrates for SSCG will be further optimised and commercialised by the SME who specialises in piezoelectric ceramics. The crystals prepared by SSCG method and domain engineering will provide device SMEs with high performance transducer materials that are substantially less expensive than those produced by traditional crystal-growth methods with added value of being biocompatible and environmentally friendly. Since new modified KNbO3 compositions exhibit overall properties comparable to those of presently used lead based ceramics, the results of the project will potentially have a significant impact on the wide spectrum of piezoelectric applications and provide a leading edge on the global market to all participating SMEs, even beyond applications that will be directly evaluated in the project. The project conforms to the co-operative action by the close integration of activities of non-competing SMEs and RTDs, by introducing a radically new processing technique, improving devices used in health and safety domains, and by addressing environmental issues by removing lead from the production and device exploitation lines.

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Coordinator

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FÉDÉRALE DE LAUSANNE

Address

Epfl-Sti-Imx-Lc, Mxc 241 (BÂTiment Mxc), Station 12
Lausanne

Switzerland

Administrative Contact

Nava SETTER (Professor)

Participants (6)

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CERAM AB

Sweden

FERROPERM PIEZOCERAMICS A/S

Denmark

FORSCHUNGSINSTITUT FÜR MINERALISCHE UND METALLISCHE WERKSTOFFE, EDELSTEIN/EDELMETALLE GMBH

Germany

IMASONIC SA

France

JOZEF STEFAN INSTITUTE

Slovenia

MEDIZINTECHNIK BASLER AG

Switzerland

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 17569

  • Start date

    1 July 2005

  • End date

    30 September 2007

Funded under:

FP6-SME

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 314 002

  • EU contribution

    € 837 137

Coordinated by:

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FÉDÉRALE DE LAUSANNE

Switzerland