Piezoelectric effect

Piezoelectric effect

News: Recently, scientists have reported evidence of the Piezoelectric effect in liquids. The effect has been known for 143 years and in this time has been observed only in solids.

What is Piezoelectric effect?
 The piezoelectric effect is a phenomenon in which certain materials produce an electrical charge in response to mechanical stress or pressure. This effect occurs when the material is subjected to a force that causes its molecules to become polarized, meaning that the positive and negative charges within the material are separated from each other.
 When this polarization occurs, an electric potential is generated across the material, and if the material is connected to a circuit, a current can flow. The reverse is also true: if an electric potential is applied to the material, it can cause a mechanical deformation.
 Piezoelectric materials are used in a variety of applications, such as in sensors, actuators, and energy harvesting devices. Some examples of common piezoelectric materials include quartz, ceramics, and certain types of crystals.
 Example - Quartz is the most famous piezoelectric crystal: it is used in this capacity in analog wristwatches and clocks.
 The Piezoelectric effect was discovered in 1880, in quartz, by Jacques and Pierre Curie.

Significance of Discovery:
 The discovery opens the door to applications that have previously not been accessible with solid-state materials and are more readily recyclable and in many instances pose fewer environmental issues than many currently used piezoelectric materials.
 The liquids also displayed the inverse piezoelectric effect: they became distorted when an electric charge was applied, this fact could be used to control how the liquids bent light passing through them by passing different currents through them.
 That is, using this simple control mechanism, vials of these liquids could be lenses with dynamic focusing abilities.
 The new finding challenges the theory that describes this effect as well as opens the door to previously unanticipated applications in electronic and mechanical systems.

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