Nonlinear dielectric response in piezoelectric materials for underwater transducers
SONAR transducers based on single crystal lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMNT) have demonstrated improvements over conventional lead zirconate titanate ceramics. Compositional modifications to PMNT have combined the high piezoelectric coefficient (d33 > 2000 pC/N) and electromechanical coupling factor (k33 > 0.90) with the low mechanical losses (QM > 1000) of "hard" piezoelectric ceramics. The dielectric losses of single crystal PMNT have not been investigated as extensively as the mechanical losses but may significantly affect the performance of a device when water loaded. In this work, nonlinearities in the dielectric permittivity and losses have been investigated as a function of applied electric field, measurement frequency, and temperature. It is shown that electromechanically "hard" single crystals offer greater stability of the dielectric properties while maintaining a high permittivity with respect to conventional lead zirconate titanate ceramics. 2012 American Institute of Physics.