Hana Hughes


ProjectMILPEDE - Microfabrication of Lead Free Piezoceramic Devices

Person in Chargeprof. Tim Button

Host InstitutionCentre for Advanced Materials, CEITEC BUT

Country of Origin: Czech Republic

Previous place of Work: Great Britain

Project duration: 36 months

Scientific PanelEngineering and Information science


This project proposal is concerned with two fundamental issues facing technological progress in modern day society – the relentless drive towards miniaturisation of mechanical and electronic components and systems, and legislation restricting or prohibiting the use of materials known to be toxic and/or harmful to the environment. Research aimed at developing an environmentally friendly ‘lead-free’ replacement for lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT), the primary piezoelectric ceramic material used for electromechanical devices such as actuators, transducers and sensors, has been actively pursued over recent years, and some candidate materials are now emerging, although the reported functional properties are generally inferior to those of PZT, and many possess complex composition-process relationships which are poorly understood.

The aim of this multidisciplinary project is to investigate and develop lead-free piezoelectric ceramic materials with the appropriate functional properties and in physical form suitable to replace PZT. Together with development of cost effective fabrication routes for lead-free piezoceramic microcomponents, the effectiveness of these materials will be verified in demonstrator devices in collaboration with South Moravian partners. The applicant brings 12 years of international research experience in academic and industrial environments and will be based in a recently formed research group in the new Central European Institute of Science and Technology (CEITEC) in Brno, and benefit from access to the state of the art facilities and infrastructure. She will bring new knowledge, contacts, skills and technology to support the development of excellence in the institution, and her strong track record of producing high quality, commercially relevant science, and keen interest to ensure its effective exploitation will also benefit the wider South Moravian region.