What is piezoelectricity? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Wireless and mobile glossary:

Piezoelectricity, also called the piezoelectric effect, is the ability of certain materials to generate an AC (alternating current) voltage when subjected to mechanical stress or vibration, or to vibrate when subjected to an AC voltage, or both. The most common piezoelectric material is quartz. Certain ceramics, Rochelle salts, and various other solids also exhibit this effect.

A piezoelectric transducer comprises a "crystal" sandwiched between two metal plates. When a sound wave strikes one or both of the plates, the plates vibrate. The crystal picks up this vibration, which it translates into a weak AC voltage. Therefore, an AC voltage arises between the two metal plates, with a waveform similar to that of the sound waves. Conversely, if an AC signal is applied to the plates, it causes the crystal to vibrate in sync with the signal voltage. As a result, the metal plates vibrate also, producing an acoustic disturbance.

Piezoelectric transducers are common in ultrasonic applications, such as intrusion detectors and alarms. Piezoelectric devices are employed at AF (audio frequencies) as pickups, microphones, earphones, beepers, and buzzers. In wireless applications, piezoelectricity makes it possible to use crystals and ceramics as oscillators that generate predictable and stable signals at RF (radio frequencies).

This was last updated in August 2012
Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Wi-Fi HaLow (802.11ah)

    - HaLow is based on the WiFi Alliance 802.11ah specification and is expected to play an important part in the Internet of Things. (WhatIs.com)

  • Apple Smart Keyboard

    - Apple's Smart Keyboard is a detachable, full-size, text input device designed for the iPad Pro. Its conductive material means the keyboard never has to be charged, and it can be unfolded to functio... (SearchMobileComputing.com)

  • Apple 3D Touch

    - Apple 3D Touch is a pressure-sensitive feature first included in iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that triggers different actions based on how much force the user puts on the screen. (SearchMobileComputing.com)

Glossaries

  • Wireless and mobile

    - Terms related to wireless and mobile technology, including definitions about consumer mobile technology devices and communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX and LTE.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About piezoelectricityPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.