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Piezoelectric (PZT) Device Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

PZT, or piezoelectric, devices are very useful because they generate a voltage when mechanically deformed or vice versa.

PZT’s are typically composed of lead, zirconium and titanate, which are processed at extremely high temperatures. PZT devices present the same challenges as polishing other brittle materials; however, they present the additional challenge of preparing other materials with significantly different properties (packaging materials, solders, coating, etc.). Specimen preparation must eliminate the preparation induced artifacts, as well as maintain the planarity of the specimen.


Diamond wafering blade - medium grit/low concentration (if required)

Castable epoxy or acrylic resins




Force/ sample



1200 grit SiC gridning paper


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

Until plane

1 um DIAMAT diamond on GOLDPAD polishing pad


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

3-5 minutes

0.05 micron Nanometer Alumina on BLACKCHEM 2 polishing pad


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

3-5 minutes

SIAMAT colloidal silica on a BLACKCHEM 2 polishing pad


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute

PZT cross section

PZT cross section with sputter coating, 200,000X, as polished

PZT void
Undesirable void in PZT, 31,000X, as polished
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