A trapezoidal flexoelectric accelerometer
In this article a new acceleration sensor using flexoelectric barium strontium titanate cantilever was designed, fabricated, and tested for vibration monitoring. The flexoelectric sensors were configured as a trapezoidal unimorph with a barium strontium titanate layer bonded onto a steel substrate. Seismic mass was attached to the unimorph tip to amplify the transverse flexoelectric response of the barium strontium titanate layer. The theoretical model was developed and validated by vibration tests using the prototyped flexoelectric unimorph. The prototyped accelerometer with thickness of 0.1 mm and length and width in millimeters showed a stable sensitivity of 0.84 pC/g over the frequency range of 100 Hz-1.6 kHz. The aging property of the flexoelectric material was demonstrated to be much better than that of the reported piezoelectric materials right after poling. Scaling effect analysis was also performed for flexoelectric unimorphs. The test results and initial scaling effect analysis indicate that micro/nano flexoelectric sensing holds promise for a broad range of applications. The Author(s) 2013.