Home » Blog » What is a piezoelectric sensor

What is a piezoelectric sensor

What is a piezoelectric sensor

Last Updated on April 4, 2023 by You Ling

Piezoelectric sensors are an important part of many industrial sensors and are used more and more. This article will introduce the knowledge related to piezoelectric sensors in detail, hoping to help everyone.


  • What is a piezoelectric sensor
  • How does a piezoelectric sensor work
  • What are the advantages of piezoelectric sensors
  • piezoelectric sensor VS piezoelectric transducer
  • What is the history of piezoelectric sensors
  • Types of Piezoelectric Sensors
  • Manufacturers of Piezoelectric Sensors
  • Applications of Piezoelectric Sensors
  • Development Trends of Piezoelectric Sensors


1、What is a piezoelectric sensor?

A piezoelectric sensor is a type of sensor that is based on the piezoelectric effect. It is a self-generating and electromechanical conversion sensor. Its sensing element is made of piezoelectric material. When the piezoelectric material is subjected to force, it produces charges on its surface. These charges are then amplified and transformed into an electric output that is proportional to the external force it receives.

Piezoelectric sensors are commonly used for measuring flexural motion, touch, vibration, and impact. They can be used in various fields, including medical, aerospace, consumer electronics, and nuclear instruments.

2、How does a piezoelectric sensor work?

A piezoelectric sensor works based on the piezoelectric effect. Piezoelectric comes from the Greek word “piezein,” which means “to press” or “squeeze.” As the second method describes, we are using pressure to create a voltage. Therefore, the working principle of a piezoelectric sensor is to apply mechanical energy to a crystal, and its working process is as follows:

2.1 Place the piezoelectric crystal between two metal plates, which are usually balanced (even if not symmetric) and do not generate current.


2.2 The metal plates cause a charge imbalance in the crystal due to mechanical force or force acting on the material. On the other side of the crystal, there is an excess of negative and positive charges.


2.3 The metal plates can gather these charges to generate voltage and transfer current to the circuit, which is then converted into low-voltage electricity.


The characteristics of the piezoelectric crystal determine the key to the piezoelectric effect. A piezoelectric sensor is a new type of piezoelectric sensor with transverse, longitudinal, or shear action, which has little effect on electric fields and EM. The sensor has high linear characteristics in a large temperature range and is an ideal sensor suitable for harsh environments.


3、What are the advantages of piezoelectric sensors?

High-frequency response: This means that it can easily sense on a very rapid parameter.

High transient response: Because they can detect what happens in a small amount of time and generate a linear output.

High output: Refers to the ability to measure with electronic circuits.

Small size, sturdy structure: This means that they are easy to use.

4、What is the difference between a piezoelectric sensor and a piezoelectric transducer?

A piezoelectric sensor converts physical, acceleration, pressure, or other inputs into electrical signals as inputs to the data processing system. It can only convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

A piezoelectric transducer is a device that uses the piezoelectric effect of certain single crystal materials and the electrostrictive effect of certain polycrystalline materials to convert electrical energy into sound energy and vice versa. It can perform mutual conversion between electrical energy and mechanical energy.


5、What is the history of piezoelectric sensors?

Since the mid-1990s, research has begun on plug-and-play smart TEDS hybrid mode interface sensors. In 1983, Honeywell in the United States developed the first smart sensor – a smart pressure sensor for process control. After that, many companies have developed their own smart sensor products. These smart sensors have the advantages of fast response speed, non-contact measurement, high accuracy, high resolution, and good reliability. Since then, sensors have been widely used in military and industrial detection and control fields, and the intelligentization of sensors has received widespread attention and rapid development.


6、Types of Piezoelectric Sensors

Piezoelectric sensors can be roughly divided into four types:

Piezoelectric force sensors

Piezoelectric pressure sensors

Piezoelectric acceleration sensors

Polymer pressure sensors

7、Manufacturers of Piezoelectric Sensors

Major companies involved in the development and manufacture of piezoelectric sensors include PCB, Honeywell, IST, CAS, CBT, ITC from the United States, Proxitron, Knick, OPTEK, Ahlborn, polytec, FCG from Germany, MEMBRAPOR and Kistler from Switzerland, Senstronics from the UK, Micron from Japan, B&K from Denmark, NOVA from Canada, and Vit from Finland, among others.


8、Applications of Piezoelectric Sensors

Sensor technology has developed rapidly and is widely used in experiments and measurements, aviation testing, data acquisition using KiDAQ, space testing, dynamic weighing, speed enforcement, biomechanics and force measurement tables, cutting force measurement, thermos-acoustics, high-speed dynamics, and rail technology.

9、Development Trends of Piezoelectric Sensors

The Sensor Technology (ST) department of piezoelectric sensor technology has developed highly specialized sensors and systems for measuring tasks in extreme environments. Whether measuring thermoacoustic phenomena at high temperatures, dynamic high-pressure measurements, or performing challenging testing and measurement applications, our extensive range of pressure, force sensors, and accelerometers are used.

Through a detailed analysis of the development trends of piezoelectric sensors, it can be seen that the current sensor systems at the current technological level are developing towards miniaturization, intelligence, multifunctionality, and networking. In the future, with the continuous development of CAD technology, MEMS technology, information theory, and data analysis algorithms, it is predicted that future sensors will become more standardized, miniaturized, integrated, multifunctional, intelligent, and systematic.