Effect of Ceramic Processing Methods on Photostrictive Ceramics

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Lanthanum-modified lead zirconate titanate (PLZT) ceramics (3/52/48) doped with 0.5 at.% WO3 were prepared by three different processing methods, coprecipitation, sol-gel and conventional oxide mixing techniques, to investigate the effect of processing route on photovoltaic and photostrictive properties. The piezoelectric constant (d33) was observed to be independent of processing technique. Photovoltaic and photo-induced strain were found to get enhanced with decreasing grain size and increasing relative density. PLZT ceramics prepared by the coprecipitation route possess unique combination of favorable properties namely: high purity, higher degree of homogeneity, uniform distribution of doping, stoichiometric compositions, finer grain size and highest density. This resulted into enhanced photostrictive properties in coprecipitated PLZT ceramics.

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