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Proceedings Paper

Ferroelectric thin-film active sensors for structural health monitoring
Author(s): Bin Lin; Victor Giurgiutiu; Zheng Yuan; Jian Liu; Chonglin Chen; Jiechao Jiang; Amar S. Bhalla; Ruyan Guo
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Paper Abstract

Piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) have been proven a valuable tool in structural health monitoring. Piezoelectric wafer active sensors are able to send and receive guided Lamb/Rayleigh waves that scan the structure and detect the presence of incipient cracks and structural damage. In-situ thin-film active sensor deposition can eliminate the bonding layer to improve the durability issue and reduce the acoustic impedance mismatch. Ferroelectric thin films have been shown to have piezoelectric properties that are close to those of single-crystal ferroelectrics but the fabrication of ferroelectric thin films on structural materials (steel, aluminum, titanium, etc.) has not been yet attempted. In this work, in-situ fabrication method of piezoelectric thin-film active sensors arrays was developed using the nano technology approach. Specification for the piezoelectric thin-film active sensors arrays was based on electro-mechanical-acoustical model. Ferroelectric BaTiO3 (BTO) thin films were successfully deposited on Ni tapes by pulsed laser deposition under the optimal synthesis conditions. Microstructural studies by X-ray diffractometer and transmission electron microscopy reveal that the as-grown BTO thin films have the nanopillar structures with an average size of approximately 80 nm in diameter and the good interface structures with no inter-diffusion or reaction. The dielectric and ferroelectric property measurements exhibit that the BTO films have a relatively large dielectric constant, a small dielectric loss, and an extremely large piezoelectric response with a symmetric hysteresis loop. The research objective is to develop the fabrication and optimum design of thin-film active sensor arrays for structural health monitoring applications. The short wavelengths of the micro phased arrays will permit the phased-array imaging of smaller parts and smaller damage than is currently not possible with existing technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6529, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2007, 65290I (19 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.714862
Show Author Affiliations
Bin Lin, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)
Victor Giurgiutiu, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)
Zheng Yuan, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio (United States)
Jian Liu, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio (United States)
Chonglin Chen, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio (United States)
Jiechao Jiang, Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)
Amar S. Bhalla, Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Ruyan Guo, Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6529:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2007
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Victor Giurgiutiu, Editor(s)

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