The shear piezoelectric behavior in relaxor-PbTiO 3 (PT) single crystals is investigated with regard to the crystal phase. High levels of shear piezoelectric activity, d 15 or d 24 >2000 pC N -1, are observed for single-domain rhombohedral (R), orthorhombic (O), and tetragonal (T) relaxor-PT crystals. The high piezoelectric response is attributed to a flattening of the Gibbs free energy at compositions close to the morphotropic phase boundaries, where polarization rotation is easily accomplished by applying a perpendicular electric field. The shear piezoelectric behavior of perovskite ferroelectric crystals is discussed with respect to ferroelectric-ferroelectric phase transitions and the dc bias field using a phenomenological approach. The relationship between the single-domain shear piezoelectric response and piezoelectric activities in domain-engineered configurations is also given in this paper. From an application viewpoint, the temperature and ac-field drive stability for shear piezoelectric responses are investigated. A temperature-independent shear piezoelectric response (d 24, in the range of -50 °C to the O-T phase-transition temperature) is thermodynamically expected and experimentally confirmed in orthorhombic relaxor-PT crystals; a relatively high ac-field drive stability (5 kV cm -1) is obtained in manganese-modified relaxor-PT crystals. For all thickness shear vibration modes, the mechanical quality factor Qs are less than 50, corresponding to the facilitated polarization rotation. The shear piezoelectric behavior in relaxor-PbTiO 3 (PT) single crystals is systematically investigated with regard to the crystal phase. High levels of shear piezoelectric activity, d 15 or d 24 >2000 pC N -1, are observed for single-domain rhombohedral (R), orthorhombic (O), and tetragonal (T) relaxor-PT crystals. These properties are investigated with respect to the temperature and electric field. The results demonstrate that the single-domain relaxor-PbTiO 3 crystals are promising materials for high-performance transducers. Copyright 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.