Piezoelectric Sensors Information

Piezoelectric sensorsPiezoelectric sensors measure the electrical potential caused by applying mechanical force to a piezoelectric material. Piezoelectric sensors are used in a variety of pressure-sensing applications. A few examples:

  • alumina ceramics
  • single crystals
  • ultrasonic transducers

A piezoelectric sensor works on the principle of conversion of energy in mechanical and electrical energy forms. When a polarized crystal is put under pressure, some mechanical deformation takes place in the polarized crystal, which leads in the generation of the electric charge. The generated electric charge or the mechanical deformation can then be measured using a piezo sensor.


There are many types of piezoelectric sensors. Examples include:

  • piezoelectric accelerometers
  • piezoelectric force sensors
  • piezoelectric pressure sensors

A piezoelectric accelerometer is widely used for OEM applications and is suitable for working at a lower power consumption and wider frequency range. Piezoelectric force sensors are low impedance voltage force sensors designed for generating analog voltage signals when a force is applied on the piezoelectric crystal and are widely used in machines for measuring force. A piezoelectric pressure sensor is also known as a piezoelectric sensor pressure. Piezoelectric pressure sensors are used for measuring change in liquid and gas pressure. Other piezoelectric sensors are commonly available.


There are several ways in which piezoelectric sensors function. Piezoelectric material consists of polarized ions within the crystal. A piezoelectric sensor applies pressure on the piezoelectric crystal in proportion to the charge output. The resultant displacement in the ions within the crystal position is measured and recorded using piezoelectric vibration sensors. A piezoelectric accelerometer has a charge frequency response capacity ranging from 20 Hz to 10 KHz. A piezoelectric accelerometer can have electromagnetic sensitivity of 0.0009 equiv.gm/gm and base strain sensitivity of 0.008 equiv.gm/micro strain. Piezoelectric force sensors should display a 5-volt full display signal. Piezoelectric force sensors should have an operating temperature range from -50 to 350 ºC and should have sensitivity of approximately 105 pC/N. Piezoelectric pressure sensors should have rise time less than 2.0 micro seconds. The maximum pressure applied by piezoelectric sensors can be 1,000 psi and the voltage measurement range can be up to 5 volts. Piezoelectric sensors are designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications.


Piezoelectric sensors are used in many applications. Piezoelectric sensors are used in shock detection and machine monitoring applications. In addition, piezoelectric sensors are also used in structural dynamics, vehicle dynamics, and low power applications. Piezoelectric sensors should adhere to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards.

Related Information

Engineering360—Piezoelectric Sensors Could Generate Energy on Texas Roads

Engineering360—Shock and Impact Sensors Information

IEEE Spectrum—Piezoelectric Graphene Ink Enables Thin-Film Pressure Sensors of Any Size

Image credit:

PI (Physik Intrumente) L.P.