Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Xiaoli Tan


Piezoelectric ceramics have traditionally been used in commercial applications such as actuators and sensors. By far the most popular piezoceramics currently in use are Pb(Zr,Ti)O3-based (PZT) ceramics. PZT ceramics are able to produce large strain and polarization with the application of an electric field, and this is due to the Morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). A MPB is associated with the boundary between tetragonal and rhombohedral perovskite phases. A disadvantage of PZT ceramics is that they contain ≥ 60 wt. % of lead. Since lead is toxic, this poses an environmental and health hazard because lead is released into the surroundings during fabrication and disposal. Because of this, there is a push to discover lead-free alternatives that have comparable properties to PZT but none of the health risks. One possibility is Bi1/2(Na0.8K0.2)1/2Ti0.985Ta0.015O3 (BNKT-1.5Ta). In addition to comparable electrical properties, any lead-free alternatives must have decent fatigue resistance to be useful for applications.

This thesis focuses on the fatigue properties of BNKT-1.5Ta. The composition demonstrates high strain for a given applied electric field. To determine the fatigue resistance of BNKT-1.5Ta, data was gathered on how strain and polarization changed over number of cycles. Furthermore, fatigue tests at different temperatures were performed to ascertain if temperature affected fatigue life. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns and dielectric measurements were also collected to further examine any change in crystal structure and relative permittivity, respectively, before and after cycling.

Copyright Owner

Daniel Sommer



File Format


File Size

54 pages