Direct Piezoelectric Fabrication of 3D Structures


Reference #: 01086

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a novel additive manufacturing methodology that can produce lead-free, multifunctional 3D piezoelectric devices using a single polymer processing and fabrication step.

Invention Description:

The subject invention describes a method of producing lead-free, 3D piezoelectric polymer devices directly by combining multiple processes into a single step. This polymer processing technology enables the construction of multifunctional devices with high volumetric densities and both high degrees of alignment and uniformity.

Potential Applications:

·       Precision sensing using 3D structures made of piezoelectric polymer

·       Lead-free sensors, actuators, and energy harvesting designs

Advantages and Benefits:

1.    Combines polymer processing and fabrication into a single, additive manufacturing process

2.    Produces continuous piezoelectric polymer fiber, including micro/nano fibers with β-phase conformation

3.    Replaces toxic lead zirconium titanate with non-toxic polymer



Currently, the majority of piezoelectric devices used in sensors are constructed from lead zirconium titanate  (PZT), and thin films of piezoelectric polymer used to fabricate sensors and actuators limit designs to 2D.  Moreover, fabrication is a multi-step process of stretching, heating, and poling. This technology is expected to replace the current polymer-based piezoelectric device fabrication processes and create improved, 3D-structured devices using a completely transformative single manufacturing process.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Joshua Tarbutton
Chabum Lee
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