Additive manufacturing of piezoelectric sensors
Piezoelectric materials are used in a large variety of sectors due to their abilities to self-generate power. Piezoelectric polymers in particular, show interesting properties in terms of flexibility and compliance as opposed to ceramics. However, their naturally low piezoelectric properties remains a challenge since they have to sustain cost and time intensive post fabrication processes in order to be fully efficient. In addition, to become usable sensors, the piezoelectric materials need to be connected with conductive electrodes (in order to transfer the energy they have gathered) which is an issue in the case of complex shapes. Prof Therriault and his team managed to develop both a piezoelectric ink that does not require post processing techniques and a one-step fabrication of interconnected piezoelectric and conductive material that can provide on demand and custom made sensors.