Piezo is used to describe materials that accumulate a charge as a result of the piezoelectric effect. Piezo materials, including crystals and ceramics generate a voltage in response to an applied mechanical stress. In what is known as the inverse piezoelectric effect, these same materials will lengthen or shorten in response to an applied voltage.
WHAT IS “PZT”?
PZT, or lead zirconate titanate (Pb[Zr(x)Ti(1-x)]O3), is one of the world’s most widely used piezoelectric ceramic materials. When fired, PZT has a perovskite crystal structure, each unit of which consists of a small tetravalent metal ion in a lattice of large divalent metal ions. In the case of PZT, the small tetravalent metal ion is usually titanium or zirconium. The large divalent metal ion is usually lead. Under conditions that confer a tetragonal or rhombohedral symmetry on the PZT crystals, each crystal has a dipole moment.