Ferroelectric materials possess a spontaneous electric polarization that can be reoriented between crystallographically – defined states by the application of an external electric field. There are some 250+ materials that possess ferroelectric properties. All ferroelectric materials are pyroelectric, which means they are also inherently piezoelectric as well. Thus, it is possible to change the magnitude or the direction of the spontaneous polarization as a function of temperature, pressure, or applied electric fields.

The unique properties of these materials make them suitable for a wide range of applications, many of which are related to electronics or biomedical applications. Some examples of technology areas impacted by ferroelectric materials include capacitors; non-volatile memory (RAM); piezoelectrics for ultrasound imaging, sensors, and actuators; electro-optic materials for data storage, oscillators and filters, light deflectors, modulators, and displays, to name just a few examples.

Links and Resources

Center for Dielectric Studies (CDS)

International Center for Actuators & Transducers (ICAT)

Related Topics

Biomaterials, Semiconductors, Optical Materials

Research Experts

Long-Qing Chen
Long-Qing Chen
  • Hamer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering,
  • Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Mathematics
(814) 863-8101
T.C. Mike Chung
  • Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
(814) 863-1394
Roman Engel-Herbert
  • Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Physics
(814) 867-4325
venkat gopalan
Venkatraman Gopalan
  • Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Physics
(814) 865-2910
Zi-Kui Liu
  • Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
(814) 865-1934
Dr. Gary L. Messing
Gary Messing
  • Distinguished Professor of Ceramic Science and Engineering
(814) 865-2262
Susan Trolier-McKinstry
Susan Trolier-McKinstry
  • Steward S. Flaschen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering
  • Director, W.M. Keck Smart Materials Integration Laboratory
  • Director, Nanofabrication Facility
  • Lead, Piezoelectrics, Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP)
(814) 863-8348
Jianjun Wang
  • Assistant Research Professor