Piezoelectrics have been widely used in different kinds of applications, from the automobile industry to consumer electronics. The novel multilayer piezoelectrics, which are inspired by multilayer ceramic capacitors, not only minimize the size of the functional parts, but also maximize energy efficiency. Development of multilayer piezoelectric devices is at a significant crossroads on the way to achieving low costs, high efficiency, and excellent reliability. Concerning the costs of manufacturing multilayer piezoelectrics, the trend is to replace the costly noble metal internal electrodes with base metal materials. This paper discusses the materials development of metal co-firing and the progress of integrating current base metal chemistries. There are some significant considerations in metal co-firing multilayer piezoelectrics: retaining stoichiometry with volatile Pb and alkaline elements in ceramics, the selection of appropriate sintering agents to lower the sintering temperature with minimum impact on piezoelectric performance, and designing effective binder formulation for low pO2
burnout to prevent oxidation of Ni and Cu base metal.
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