Piezoelectric Sensors

Piezoelectric thin film sensor array.
© Fraunhofer ISC
Piezoelectric thin film sensor array.

Piezoelectric Sensors based on lead zirconate titanate (PZT) are widely used in technology and exhibit high strain and pressure sensitivity. Deformation of the piezoelectric elements by pressure or strain produces a charge shift within the sensor, which is used as a direct voltage/current measurement signal.

In contrast to ceramic thick films or disc elements, piezoelectric thin films on steel foil substrates (thicknesses of 25 - 500 µm) are flexible and can be easily adapted to curved components down to radii of curvature of 5 mm. As flat elements, they can be used as buttons for operating elements. The coating is extremely robust and allows significantly higher (percentage range) elongations than conventional piezo elements.
Production is carried out using the immersion process of the sol-gel process developed at Fraunhofer ISC. Large areas (up to m²) can thus be produced at low cost.

In principle, piezoelectric elements react to deformation with an intrinsic charge shift as a measured quantity. This deformation can be caused by direct pressure on a hard piezo element or by elongation, i. e. deflection or tension of the piezo element. Thus it is possible to record the two physical measured variables.


  • Material know-how for piezoelectric coating of stainless steel substrates
  • Process for the large-area production of array measuring fields
  • Know-how in assembly and connection technology


  • Adaptation of design and performance to customer-specific requirements
  • Production of prototypes incl. evaluation electronics for integration into components