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