US20180222802A1 - Piezoelectric material, piezoelectric element, and electronic equipment - Google Patents

Piezoelectric material, piezoelectric element, and electronic equipment Download PDF

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US20180222802A1
US20180222802A1 US15/901,760 US201815901760A US2018222802A1 US 20180222802 A1 US20180222802 A1 US 20180222802A1 US 201815901760 A US201815901760 A US 201815901760A US 2018222802 A1 US2018222802 A1 US 2018222802A1
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piezoelectric
electrode
dust
mol
liquid discharge
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Jumpei Hayashi
Takayuki Watanabe
Shunsuke Murakami
Miki Ueda
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Canon Inc
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Canon Inc
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Priority to JP2013014613 priority Critical
Priority to JP2013-014613 priority
Priority to PCT/JP2014/052186 priority patent/WO2014119703A1/en
Priority to US201514764121A priority
Application filed by Canon Inc filed Critical Canon Inc
Priority to US15/901,760 priority patent/US20180222802A1/en
Publication of US20180222802A1 publication Critical patent/US20180222802A1/en
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    • C04B35/495Shaped ceramic products characterised by their composition; Ceramics compositions; Processing powders of inorganic compounds preparatory to the manufacturing of ceramic products based on oxide ceramics based on vanadium, niobium, tantalum, molybdenum or tungsten oxides or solid solutions thereof with other oxides, e.g. vanadates, niobates, tantalates, molybdates or tungstates
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    • B06B1/02Methods or apparatus for generating mechanical vibrations of infrasonic, sonic, or ultrasonic frequency making use of electrical energy
    • B06B1/06Methods or apparatus for generating mechanical vibrations of infrasonic, sonic, or ultrasonic frequency making use of electrical energy operating with piezo-electric effect or with electrostriction
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    • H04N5/217Circuitry for suppressing or minimising disturbance, e.g. moiré or halo in picture signal generation in cameras comprising an electronic image sensor, e.g. in digital cameras, TV cameras, video cameras, camcorders, webcams, or to be embedded in other devices, e.g. in mobile phones, computers or vehicles
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Abstract

There is provided a lead- and potassium-free piezoelectric material having a high piezoelectric constant and a satisfactory insulation property and a piezoelectric element that includes the piezoelectric material. The piezoelectric material contains a perovskite-type metal oxide having the general formula (1): (NaxBa1-y)(NbyTi1-y)O3 (wherein x satisfies 0.80≤x≤0.95, and y satisfies 0.85≤y≤0.95); and at least one rare-earth element selected from La, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu, wherein the rare-earth element content is more than 0 mol % and 5 mol % or less of the amount of perovskite-type metal oxide. The piezoelectric element includes the piezoelectric material.

Description

  • This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 14/764,121, filed Jul. 28, 2015, which is a National Stage filing of International Application No. PCT/JP2014/052186 filed Jan. 24, 2014, which claims the benefit of Japanese Patent Application No. 2013-014613, filed Jan. 29, 2013, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to a piezoelectric material and more particularly to a lead-free piezoelectric material. The present invention also relates to a piezoelectric element, a multilayered piezoelectric element, a liquid discharge head, a liquid discharge apparatus, an ultrasonic motor, an optical apparatus, a vibratory apparatus, a dust removing device, an image pickup apparatus, and electronic equipment, each including the piezoelectric material.
  • BACKGROUND ART
  • In general, piezoelectric ceramics are ABO3 perovskite-type metal oxides, such as lead zirconate titanate (hereinafter referred to as “PZT”). However, PZT contains lead as an A site element, and its effect on the environment is regarded as a problem. Thus, there is a demand for piezoelectric ceramics of lead-free perovskite-type metal oxides.
  • NPL 1 discloses that, in a solid solution of a small amount of barium titanate in an antiferroelectric material sodium niobate, sodium niobate converts into a ferroelectric material. NPL 1 also discloses the remanent polarization, coercive field, piezoelectric constant, and electromechanical coupling coefficient of a compound having a barium titanate concentration in the range of 5% to 20% sintered at a temperature in the range of 1200° C. to 1280° C. The material described in NPL 1 is free of lead and potassium. Potassium is responsible for poor sinterability and low moisture resistance. The Curie temperature of the material described in NPL 1 is higher than the Curie temperature (110° C. to 120° C.) of a typical lead-free piezoelectric material barium titanate. NPL 1 discloses that the Curie temperature of the composition (Na0.9Ba0.1)(Nb0.9Ti0.1)O3 having the maximum piezoelectric constant d33=143 pC/N is 230° C.
  • PTL 1 discloses that the addition of cobalt to a piezoelectric ceramic that is a solid solution of sodium niobate and barium titanate (NN—BT-Co) improves the piezoelectric constant. It is also disclosed that a sample of the piezoelectric materials described in PTL 1 was difficult to polarize because of a low insulation resistance as low as approximately 106Ω.
  • CITATION LIST Patent Literature
    • PTL 1 Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2009-227535
    Non Patent Literature
    • NPL 1 J. T. Zeng et. al., Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 2006, vol. 89, pp. 2828-2832
    SUMMARY OF INVENTION Technical Problem
  • However, known piezoelectric materials that are solid solutions of barium titanate in sodium niobate (hereinafter referred to as NN—BT) unfortunately have insufficient piezoelectric performance. Because of its poor insulation property, NN—BT-Co is difficult to polarize and has limited application to piezoelectric elements.
  • The present invention solves such problems and provides a lead- and potassium-free piezoelectric material having a high piezoelectric constant and a satisfactory insulation property. The present invention also provides a piezoelectric element, a multilayered piezoelectric element, a liquid discharge head, a liquid discharge apparatus, an ultrasonic motor, an optical apparatus, a vibratory apparatus, a dust removing device, an image pickup apparatus, and electronic equipment, each including the piezoelectric material.
  • Solution to Problem
  • A piezoelectric material according to one aspect of the present invention that solve the problems described above contains a perovskite-type metal oxide having the following general formula (1), and at least one rare-earth element selected from La, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu, wherein the rare-earth element content is more than 0 mol % and 5 mol % or less of the amount of perovskite-type metal oxide.

  • (NaxBa1-y)(NbyTi1-y)O3  (1)
  • (wherein x satisfies 0.80≤x≤0.95, and y satisfies 0.85≤y≤0.95)
  • A piezoelectric element according to one aspect of the present invention includes a first electrode, a piezoelectric material portion, and a second electrode, wherein the piezoelectric material portion includes the piezoelectric material described above.
  • A multilayered piezoelectric element according to one aspect of the present invention includes piezoelectric material layers and electrode layers alternately stacked on top of one another. The electrode layers include an internal electrode. The piezoelectric material layers include the piezoelectric material described above.
  • A liquid discharge head according to one aspect of the present invention includes a liquid chamber and a discharge port in communication with the liquid chamber. The liquid chamber has a vibrating portion that includes the piezoelectric element or the multilayered piezoelectric element described above.
  • A liquid discharge apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention includes a stage configured to receive an object and the liquid discharge head described above.
  • An ultrasonic motor according to one aspect of the present invention includes a vibrating member and a moving body in contact with the vibrating member. The vibrating member includes the piezoelectric element or the multilayered piezoelectric element described above.
  • An optical apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention includes a drive unit that includes the ultrasonic motor described above.
  • A vibratory apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention includes a vibrating member that includes the piezoelectric element or the multilayered piezoelectric element described above.
  • A dust removing device according to one aspect of the present invention includes a vibrating portion including the vibratory apparatus described above.
  • An image pickup apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention includes the dust removing device described above and an image pickup element unit, wherein the dust removing device includes a vibrating component on a light-receiving surface side of the image pickup element unit.
  • Electronic equipment according to one aspect of the present invention includes a piezoelectric acoustic component that includes the piezoelectric element or the multilayered piezoelectric element described above.
  • Advantageous Effects of Invention
  • The present invention can provide a lead- and potassium-free piezoelectric material having a high piezoelectric constant and a satisfactory insulation property. The present invention can also provide a piezoelectric element, a multilayered piezoelectric element, a liquid discharge head, a liquid discharge apparatus, an ultrasonic motor, an optical apparatus, a vibratory apparatus, a dust removing device, an image pickup apparatus, and electronic equipment, each including the piezoelectric material. A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention contains no lead and has a low environmental load. A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention also contains no potassium and therefore has satisfactory sinterability and moisture resistance.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 2A and 2B are schematic cross-sectional views of a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 3A and 3B are schematic views of a liquid discharge head according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a liquid discharge apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic view of a liquid discharge apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 6A and 6B are schematic views of an ultrasonic motor according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 7A and 7B are schematic views of an optical apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic view of an optical apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 9A and 9B are schematic views of a dust removing device including a vibratory apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 10A to 10C are schematic views of a piezoelectric element of a dust removing device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 11A and 11B are schematic views illustrating the vibration principle of a dust removing device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 12 is a schematic view of an image pickup apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 13 is a schematic view of an image pickup apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 14 is a schematic view of electronic equipment according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
  • Embodiments of the present invention will be described below.
  • The present invention provides a lead- and potassium-free piezoelectric material based on a solid solution of barium titanate in sodium niobate (NN—BT) and having a high piezoelectric constant and a satisfactory insulation property. Utilizing its dielectric characteristics, a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention can be used in various applications, such as capacitors, memories, and sensors.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention contains a perovskite-type metal oxide having the following general formula (1) and at least one rare-earth element selected from La, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu, wherein the rare-earth element content is more than 0 mol % and 5 mol % or less of the amount of perovskite-type metal oxide.

  • (NaxBa1-y)(NbyTi1-y)O3  (1)
  • (wherein x satisfies 0.80≤x≤0.95, and y satisfies 0.85≤y≤0.95)
  • The term “perovskite-type metal oxide”, as used herein, refers to a metal oxide having a perovskite-type structure, which is ideally a cubic structure, as described in Iwanami Rikagaku Jiten, 5th edition (Iwanami Shoten, published on Feb. 20, 1998). A metal oxide having a perovskite-type structure is generally represented by the chemical formula ABO3. In a perovskite-type metal oxide, elements A and B in the form of ions occupy particular positions of a unit cell referred to as the A site and the B site, respectively. For a cubic unit cell, the element A occupies the vertexes of the cube, and the element B occupies the body-centered position of the cube. The element O as an oxygen anion occupies the face-centered positions of the cube.
  • In the perovskite-type metal oxide having the general formula (1), the metallic elements at the A site are Na and Ba, and the metallic elements at the B site are Nb and Ti. Na and Ba may partly occupy the B site. Likewise, Nb and Ti may partly occupy the A site.
  • In the general formula (1), although the molar ratio of the B site element to the element O is 1:3, small variations in the molar ratio (for example, 1.00:2.94 to 1.00:3.06) are within the scope of the present invention, provided that the metal oxide has the perovskite-type structure as the primary phase. The perovskite-type structure of the metal oxide can be determined by structural analysis using X-ray diffraction or electron diffraction.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention may have any form, such as a ceramic, powder, single crystal, membrane, or slurry, and may be a ceramic. The term “ceramic”, as used herein, refers to an aggregate of crystal grains (also referred to as a bulk), that is, a polycrystalline material, containing a metal oxide as the base component and sintered by heat treatment. The term “ceramic” also includes a ceramic processed after sintering.
  • The value x of the general formula (1), which represents the abundance of Na at the A site, may be in the range of 0.80≤x≤0.95. A value x of less than 0.80 results in a deficiency of Na relative to Nb and the formation of an impurity phase (a phase having a similar X-ray diffraction pattern to that of Ba4Nb2O9, Ba6Ti7Nb9O42, Ba3Nb4Ti4O21, or Ba3Nb3.2Ti5O21). Metal oxide samples rich in such an impurity phase have a low resistivity in the range of 107 to 108 Ω·cm and are difficult to polarize. A value x of more than 0.95 results in low piezoelectricity at room temperature. When x satisfies 0.80≤x≤0.95, the impurity phase rarely occurs, and the piezoelectric material has high piezoelectricity. The value x may be in the range of 0.80≤x≤0.93.
  • The value y of the general formula (1), which represents the abundance of Nb at the B site, may be in the range of 0.85≤y≤0.95. A value y of less than 0.85 results in a Curie temperature of less than 140° C. A value y of more than 0.95 results in low piezoelectricity at room temperature.
  • A value y in the range of 0.85≤y≤0.95 results in a Curie temperature of 140° C. or more and high piezoelectricity.
  • A value y in the range of 0.85≤y≤0.90 results in a Curie temperature in the range of approximately 90° C. to 230° C., which makes polarization treatment easy. A value y in the range of 0.88≤y≤0.90 results in a Curie temperature in the range of approximately 150° C. to 230° C., which makes polarization treatment easy and results in a low possibility of degradation of piezoelectric performance due to heat in a device manufacturing process.
  • The Curie temperature is a temperature above which the piezoelectricity of a piezoelectric material disappears. The term “Curie temperature”, as used herein, refers to a temperature at which the dielectric constant is highest in the vicinity of the phase transition temperature between a ferroelectric phase and a paraelectric phase. A perovskite-type metal oxide according to an embodiment of the present invention has a successive phase transition temperature in a temperature range lower than the Curie temperature. At the successive phase transition temperature, successive phase transition occurs from a tetragonal crystal ferroelectric phase to an orthorhombic crystal ferroelectric phase. The relative dielectric constant is highest or has an inflection point at the successive phase transition temperature. Thus, in the same manner as in the Curie temperature, the successive phase transition temperature can be determined from the temperature dependence of the relative dielectric constant. For example, a solid solution 0.9NaNbO3-0.1BaTiO3 makes a phase transition from an orthorhombic crystal to a tetragonal crystal and to a cubic crystal with an increase in temperature.
  • The piezoelectric performance is highest in the vicinity of the successive phase transition temperature. Thus, in the driving temperature range of the device (for example, −30° C. to 60° C.), when there is a need for consistent piezoelectric performance that is independent of the temperature, it is desirable that no successive phase transition exist in the driving temperature range. The dielectric loss as well as the piezoelectric performance depends on the temperature.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention contains at least one rare-earth element (RE) selected from La, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu. These elements are rare-earth elements, and their trivalent ions are stable.
  • The rare-earth element content of a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention is more than 0 mol % and 5 mol % or less, preferably more than 0 mol % and 3 mol % or less, of the amount of perovskite-type metal oxide. The rare-earth element content expressed in mol % is the molar ratio of the rare-earth element. A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention that contains 5 mol % or less rare-earth element has a high insulation resistance and a small low-temperature dielectric loss. This is probably because the rare-earth element mainly occupies the A site and compensates for A site defects due to Na deficiency. This is also probably because the successive phase transition temperature shifts to a lower temperature, which reduces the low-temperature dielectric loss. The term “low temperature”, as used herein, refers to 0° C. or less. Thus, a device including a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention can have an excellent piezoelectric property also at 0° C. or less.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention has a satisfactory insulation property because 5 mol % or less rare-earth element suppresses the reduction of Ti in firing in a reducing atmosphere.
  • Among rare-earth elements, Lu, Yb, Er, Ho, and Dy can shift the successive phase transition temperature to a lower temperature. La, Nd, Sm, and Dy can improve piezoelectricity at room temperature. However, the rare-earth element content of more than 5 mol % results in low piezoelectricity at room temperature.
  • The rare-earth element may be disposed on the A site or the B site or both or in ceramic grain boundaries. The rare-earth element on the A site can compensate for A site defects due to Na deficiency. The distribution of the rare-earth element in a sample and the occupation site in a crystal can be determined with an electron microscope, by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, by X-ray diffraction, by Raman scattering, or with a transmission electron microscope.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention may contain the perovskite-type metal oxide, the rare-earth element, and Cu. The Cu content is more than 0 mol % and 2 mol % or less, preferably 1 mol % or less, of the amount of perovskite-type metal oxide. The Cu content expressed in mol % is the molar ratio of Cu on a metal basis. The Cu content of 2 mol % or less in a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention can result in increased resistivity, piezoelectric constant, and relative density. The term “relative density”, as used herein, refers to the ratio of the measured density to the theoretical density. The theoretical density can be calculated from the molecular weight and the lattice constant of the material, for example. The measured density can be measured using Archimedes' principle, for example.
  • The firing temperature may be decreased. The sintering temperature is the minimum firing temperature at which a sintered body having a relative density of 95% or more can be formed. Cu can reduce the pinning of spontaneous polarization in a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention. Reduction of pinning makes it easy to change spontaneous polarization in the same direction through polarization treatment. This increases the impedance phase difference between resonance and non-resonance and increases the mechanical quality factor Qm. Because of its low melting point, Cu promotes liquid phase sintering. Thus, Cu may segregate in grain boundaries. Improvement of liquid phase sintering reduces the number of pores in the sintered body and increases the density of the sintered body. A reduction in the number of pores results in an increased mechanical quality factor Qm.
  • Cu may be disposed on the A site or the B site or both or in ceramic grain boundaries.
  • Sintering of crystals containing sodium niobate as a component may cause the evaporation or diffusion of Na, and the sample composition after sintering may lack Na relative to Nb. Thus, the A site has defects. However, weighing an excessive amount of Na raw powder may result in a poor insulation property of the sintered body. Thus, part of added Cu may compensate for the defects on the A site. The raw materials may be weighed such that the Na deficiency is not more than 5% relative to Nb in the composition after firing, and Cu may be added to the raw materials.
  • When the Cu content of the perovskite-type metal oxide is more than 2 mol %, this may result in the occurrence of an impurity phase and low piezoelectricity.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention may satisfy x<y in the general formula (1). A deficiency of Ba relative to Ti is unfavorable because it accelerates abnormal grain growth. Even if Cu occupies the Ba site, the effect described above cannot be produced because Cu has the same valence as Ba. Under the condition of x<y, Cu is taken in the crystal lattice as a donor and can easily produce its effect. The starting materials may have such a composition that x is less than y. When x is greater than or equal to y, the sample has a very poor insulation property.
  • In order to facilitate the production of a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention or modify the physical properties of a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention, Ba may be partly substituted by a divalent metallic element, such as Sr or Ca. Likewise, 20 mol % or less of Nb may be substituted by a pentavalent metallic element, such as Ta or V. Likewise, 20 mol % or less of Ti may be substituted by Zr or Sn, or 15 mol % or less of Na may be substituted by Li. Likewise, at least one element selected from Mn, Ni, and Zn may be added to the perovskite-type metal oxide having the general formula (1), wherein the at least one element constitutes 5 mol % or less of the perovskite-type metal oxide. Likewise, 0.001 parts by weight or more and 4.000 parts by weight or less on a metal basis of an auxiliary component containing at least one selected from Si and B may be added to 100 parts by weight of the piezoelectric material.
  • In order to form a ceramic (sintered body) of a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention, it is necessary to prepare a green compact. The green compact is a shaped solid of the raw powder. The raw powder may be of high purity. The compact can be formed by uniaxial pressing, cold hydrostatic pressing, hot hydrostatic pressing, casting, or extrusion molding. The compact may be formed from a granulated powder. Sintering of the compact formed from a granulated powder has an advantage that the grain size distribution of the sintered body tends to become uniform.
  • The raw material powder of a piezoelectric material may be granulated by any method. Spray drying can make the particle size of the granulated powder more uniform.
  • A binder for use in granulation may be poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), poly(vinyl butyral) (PVB), or an acrylic resin. The amount of binder is preferably in the range of 1 to 10 parts by weight per 100 parts by weight of the raw material powder of the piezoelectric material, more preferably 2 to 5 parts by weight in order to increase the compact density.
  • The compact may be sintered by any method. Examples of the sintering method include sintering in an electric furnace, sintering in a gas furnace, electric heating, microwave sintering, millimeter-wave sintering, and hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Sintering in an electric furnace or a gas furnace may be performed in a continuous furnace or a batch furnace.
  • The sintering temperature in the sintering method is not particularly limited and may be a temperature at which the compounds can react to sufficiently grow crystals. The sintering temperature is preferably 1050° C. or more and 1300° C. or less, more preferably 1100° C. or more and 1200° C. or less, such that the grain size is in the range of 1 to 10 μm. A piezoelectric material sintered in the temperature range described above has satisfactory piezoelectric performance. In order to ensure the reproducibility and stability of the characteristics of a piezoelectric material produced by sintering, sintering may be performed at a constant temperature within the range described above for 2 hours or more and 48 hours or less. Although two-step sintering may also be performed, a sintering method without an abrupt temperature change can improve productivity.
  • A piezoelectric material produced by sintering may be polished and then heat-treated at the Curie temperature or higher. Heat treatment of the piezoelectric material at the Curie temperature or higher can relieve the residual stress of the piezoelectric material resulting from mechanically polishing and thereby improves the piezoelectric property of the piezoelectric material. The heat-treatment time may be, but is not limited to, one hour or more.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention having a crystal grain size of more than 100 μm may have an insufficient strength in a cutting process and a polishing processing. An average grain size of less than 0.3 μm results in low piezoelectricity. Thus, the average grain size may be 0.3 μm or more and 100 μm or less.
  • It is desirable that when a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention is used as a film formed on a substrate the thickness of the piezoelectric material be 200 nm or more and 10 μm or less, preferably 300 nm or more and 3 μm or less. When the piezoelectric material film thickness is 200 nm or more and 10 μm or less, the piezoelectric element has a sufficient electromechanical conversion function.
  • The film may be formed by any method, for example, a chemical solution deposition method (a CSD method), a sol-gel method, a metal-organic chemical vapor deposition method (a MOCVD method), a sputtering method, a pulsed laser deposition method (a PLD method), a hydrothermal synthesis method, or an aerosol deposition method (an AD method). The film may be formed by a chemical solution deposition method or a sputtering method. The area of the film can easily be increased using the chemical solution deposition method or the sputtering method. The substrate used for a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention may be a single-crystal substrate having a polished (001) or (110) section. Use of such a single-crystal substrate having a particular polished crystal face allows the piezoelectric material film formed on the substrate surface to be strongly oriented in the same direction.
  • (Piezoelectric Element)
  • A piezoelectric element manufactured using a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described below.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. The piezoelectric element includes a first electrode 1, a piezoelectric material portion 2, and a second electrode 3. The piezoelectric material of the piezoelectric material portion 2 is a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • The piezoelectric property of the piezoelectric material can be evaluated by at least attaching the first electrode 1 and the second electrode 3 to the piezoelectric material portion 2 to form the piezoelectric element. Each of the first electrode 1 and the second electrode 3 is an electrically conductive layer having a thickness in the range of approximately 5 nm to 10 μm. The material of each of the first electrode 1 and the second electrode 3 is not particularly limited and may be any material that is commonly used for piezoelectric elements. Examples of such materials include metals, such as Ti, Pt, Ta, Ir, Sr, In, Sn, Au, Al, Fe, Cr, Ni, Pd, Ag, and Cu, and compounds thereof.
  • Each of the first electrode 1 and the second electrode 3 may be made of one of these materials or may be a multilayer made of two or more of the materials. The material(s) of the first electrode 1 may be different from the material(s) of the second electrode 3.
  • The first electrode 1 and the second electrode 3 may be manufactured by any method, for example, by baking a metal paste or using a sputtering process or a vapor deposition method. The first electrode 1 and the second electrode 3 may have a desired pattern.
  • The piezoelectric element may have a unidirectional polarization axis. Having the unidirectional polarization axis can increase the piezoelectric constant of the piezoelectric element.
  • The polarization method for the piezoelectric element is not particularly limited. Polarization treatment may be performed in the ambient atmosphere or in an oil. The polarization temperature may be in the range of 60° C. to 160° C. The optimum conditions for polarization may vary with the composition of the piezoelectric material of the piezoelectric element. The electric field for the polarization treatment may be greater than or equal to the coercive field of the material and more specifically may be in the range of 1 to 5 kV/mm.
  • The mechanical quality factor Qm of the piezoelectric element can be calculated from the resonance frequency and the antiresonant frequency measured with a commercially available impedance analyzer in accordance with a standard of Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA EM-4501). This method is hereinafter referred to as a resonance-antiresonance method.
  • The piezoelectric constant of the piezoelectric element can be measured with a d33 meter. The resistivity of the piezoelectric element can be measured with a semiconductor parameter analyzer. The dielectric loss of the piezoelectric element can be measured with the impedance analyzer.
  • (Multilayered Piezoelectric Element)
  • A multilayered piezoelectric element manufactured using a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described below.
  • A multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention includes piezoelectric material layers and electrode layers alternately stacked on top of one another. The electrode layers include an internal electrode. The piezoelectric material layers include a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 2A and 2B are schematic cross-sectional views of a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. A multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention includes piezoelectric material layers 54 and electrode layers including an internal electrode 55. The multilayered piezoelectric element includes the piezoelectric material layers 54 and the layered electrodes alternately stacked on top of one another. The piezoelectric material layers 54 are made of the piezoelectric material described above. The electrodes may include external electrodes, such as a first electrode 51 and a second electrode 53, as well as the internal electrode 55.
  • FIG. 2A illustrates the structure of a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. The multilayered piezoelectric element includes a layered body 56 between the first electrode 51 and the second electrode 53. The layered body 56 includes two piezoelectric material layers 54 with the internal electrode 55 interposed therebetween. The numbers of piezoelectric material layers and internal electrodes are not particularly limited and may be increased, as illustrated in FIG. 2B. The multilayered piezoelectric element illustrated in FIG. 2B includes a layered body between a first electrode 501 and a second electrode 503. The layered body includes nine piezoelectric material layers 504 and eight internal electrodes 505 (505 a and 505 b) alternately stacked on top of one another. The multilayered piezoelectric element further includes an external electrode 506 a and an external electrode 506 b for connecting the internal electrodes to each other.
  • The size and shape of the internal electrodes 55 and 505 and the external electrodes 506 a and 506 b may be different from the size and shape of the piezoelectric material layers 54 and 504. Each of the internal electrodes 55 and 505 and the external electrodes 506 a and 506 b may be composed of a plurality of portions.
  • Each of the internal electrodes 55 and 505, the external electrodes 506 a and 506 b, the first electrodes 51 and 501, and the second electrodes 53 and 503 is an electrically conductive layer having a thickness in the range of approximately 5 to 2000 nm. The material of each of the electrodes is not particularly limited and may be any material that is commonly used for piezoelectric elements. Examples of such a material include metals, such as Ti, Pt, Ta, Ir, Sr, In, Sn, Au, Al, Fe, Cr, Ni, Pd, Ag, and Cu, and compounds thereof. Each of the internal electrodes 55 and 505 and the external electrodes 506 a and 506 b may be made of one of these materials or a mixture or an alloy thereof or may be a multilayer made of two or more of the materials. These electrodes may be made of different materials. The internal electrodes 55 and 505 may contain at least one of Ni and Cu, which are inexpensive electrode materials. When the internal electrodes 55 and 505 contain at least one of Ni and Cu, the multilayered piezoelectric element may be baked in a reducing atmosphere.
  • The internal electrode 55 and the internal electrodes 505 of the multilayered piezoelectric element may contain Ag and Pd. The weight ratio M1/M2 of the weight M1 of Ag to the weight M2 of Pd is preferably in the range of 1.5≤M1/M2≤9.0, more preferably 2.3M1/M2≤4.0. A weight ratio M1/M2 of less than 1.5 is undesirable because of a high sintering temperature of the internal electrode(s). A weight ratio M1/M2 of more than 9.0 is also undesirable because the internal electrode(s) has an island structure and a heterogeneous surface.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2B, the plurality of electrodes including the internal electrodes 505 may be connected to each other in order to synchronize the driving voltage phases. For example, the internal electrodes 505 a may be connected to the first electrode 501 through the external electrode 506 a. The internal electrodes 505 b may be connected to the second electrode 503 through the external electrode 506 b. The electrodes may be connected by any method. For example, an electrode or an electric wire for connection may be disposed on a side surface of the multilayered piezoelectric element. Alternatively, a through-hole passing through the piezoelectric material layers 504 may be formed, and the inside of the through-hole may be coated with an electrically conductive material to connect the electrodes.
  • (Liquid Discharge Head)
  • A liquid discharge head according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a liquid chamber and a discharge port in communication with the liquid chamber. The liquid chamber has a vibrating portion that includes a piezoelectric element or a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. A liquid to be discharged from a liquid discharge head according to an embodiment of the present invention may be any fluid, for example, an aqueous liquid or a nonaqueous liquid, such as water, an ink, or a fuel.
  • FIGS. 3A and 3B are schematic views of a liquid discharge head according to an embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated in FIGS. 3A and 3B, the liquid discharge head includes a piezoelectric element 101 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The piezoelectric element 101 includes a first electrode 1011, a piezoelectric material 1012, and a second electrode 1013. The piezoelectric material 1012 may be patterned, as illustrated in FIG. 3B.
  • FIG. 3B is a schematic view of the liquid discharge head. The liquid discharge head includes a discharge port 105, an individual liquid chamber 102, a communicating hole 106 that connects the individual liquid chamber 102 to the discharge port 105, a liquid chamber partition wall 104, a common liquid chamber 107, a diaphragm 103, and the piezoelectric element 101. Although the piezoelectric element 101 is rectangular in FIG. 3B, the piezoelectric element 101 may be of another shape, such as elliptical, circular, or parallelogrammic. In general, the piezoelectric material 1012 has a shape corresponding to the shape of the individual liquid chamber 102.
  • The piezoelectric element 101 of the liquid discharge head will be described in detail below with reference to FIG. 3A. FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 3B in the width direction of the piezoelectric element. Although the piezoelectric element 101 has a rectangular cross section in FIG. 3A, the piezoelectric element 101 may have a trapezoidal or inverted trapezoidal cross section. In FIG. 3A, the first electrode 1011 is a lower electrode, and the second electrode 1013 is an upper electrode. The first electrode 1011 and the second electrode 1013 may be arranged differently. For example, the first electrode 1011 may be a lower electrode or an upper electrode. Likewise, the second electrode 1013 may be an upper electrode or a lower electrode. A buffer layer 108 may be disposed between the diaphragm 103 and the lower electrode. These different designations result from variations in the method for manufacturing the device, and each of the cases has the advantages of the present invention.
  • In the liquid discharge head, the diaphragm 103 bends upward and downward with the expansion and contraction of the piezoelectric material 1012, thereby applying pressure to a liquid in the individual liquid chamber 102. This allows the liquid to be discharged from the discharge port 105. A liquid discharge head according to an embodiment of the present invention can be used in printers and in the manufacture of electronic equipment. The diaphragm 103 has a thickness of 1.0 μm or more and 15 μm or less, preferably 1.5 μm or more and 8 μm or less. The material of the diaphragm is not particularly limited and may be Si. Si of the diaphragm may be doped with boron or phosphorus. The buffer layer and the electrode on the diaphragm may constitute the diaphragm. The buffer layer 108 has a thickness of 5 nm or more and 300 nm or less, preferably 10 nm or more and 200 nm or less. The discharge port 105 has an equivalent circular diameter of 5 μm or more and 40 μm or less. The discharge port 105 may be circular, star-shaped, square, or triangular.
  • (Liquid Discharge Apparatus)
  • A liquid discharge apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described below. The liquid discharge apparatus includes a stage configured to receive an object and the liquid discharge head.
  • The liquid discharge apparatus may be an ink jet recording apparatus, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. FIG. 5 illustrates the liquid discharge apparatus (ink jet recording apparatus) 881 illustrated in FIG. 4 without exteriors 882 to 885 and 887. The ink jet recording apparatus 881 includes an automatic feeder 897 for automatically feeding a recording paper sheet as a transfer medium to the main body 896 of the apparatus. The ink jet recording apparatus 881 further includes a conveying unit 899 serving as a stage configured to receive an object, which conveys a recording paper sheet from the automatic feeder 897 to a predetermined recording position and from the recording position to an outlet 898, a recording unit 891 for recording to the recording paper at the recording position, and a recovering unit 890 for recovering the recording unit 891. The recording unit 891 includes a carriage 892 for housing a liquid discharge head according to an embodiment of the present invention. The carriage 892 travels along a rail.
  • In such an ink jet recording apparatus, the carriage 892 travels along a rail in response to electric signals sent from a computer. Upon the application of a driving voltage to electrodes disposed on a piezoelectric material, the piezoelectric material is deformed. Upon the deformation, the piezoelectric material presses the individual liquid chamber 102 via the diaphragm 103 illustrated in FIG. 3B, thereby discharging an ink from the discharge port 105 to print characters. A liquid discharge apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention can uniformly discharge a liquid at a high speed and can be reduced in size.
  • In addition to the printer described above, a liquid discharge apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention can be used in printing apparatuses, for example, ink jet recording apparatuses, such as facsimile machines, multifunction devices, and copying machines, industrial liquid discharge apparatuses, and drawing apparatuses for objects.
  • Users can select a desired transfer medium for each application. The liquid discharge head may move relative to a transfer medium disposed on a stage serving as a mounting portion.
  • (Ultrasonic Motor)
  • An ultrasonic motor according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a vibrating member and a moving body in contact with the vibrating member. The vibrating member includes a piezoelectric element or a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 6A and 6B are schematic views of an ultrasonic motor according to an embodiment of the present invention. The ultrasonic motor illustrated in FIG. 6A includes a single plate of a piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. The ultrasonic motor includes an oscillator 201, a rotor 202 pressed against a sliding surface of the oscillator 201 by the action of a pressure spring (not shown), and an output shaft 203, which is formed integrally with the rotor 202. The oscillator 201 includes a metal elastic ring 2011, a piezoelectric element 2012 according to an embodiment of the present invention, and an organic adhesive 2013 (epoxy or cyanoacrylate) that bonds the piezoelectric element 2012 to the elastic ring 2011.
  • Although not shown in the figure, the piezoelectric element 2012 includes a piezoelectric material between a first electrode and a second electrode. Upon the application of two-phase alternating voltages that differ by an odd number times π/2 in phase to a piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention, a flexural traveling wave occurs in the oscillator 201, and points on the sliding surface of the oscillator 201 go through elliptical motion. The rotor 202 pressed against the sliding surface of the oscillator 201 receives friction force from the oscillator 201 and rotates in a direction opposite to the direction of the flexural traveling wave. A body to be driven (not shown) joined to the output shaft 203 is driven by the rotational force of the rotor 202. Upon the application of a voltage to a piezoelectric material, the piezoelectric material expands and contracts because of the transverse piezoelectric effect. An elastic body, such as a metal, joined to the piezoelectric element is bent with the expansion and contraction of the piezoelectric material. The ultrasonic motor described herein utilizes this principle.
  • FIG. 6B illustrates an ultrasonic motor that includes a multilayered piezoelectric element. The oscillator 204 includes a multilayered piezoelectric element 2042 in a tubular metal elastic body 2041. The multilayered piezoelectric element 2042 includes a plurality of layered piezoelectric materials (not shown) and includes a first electrode and a second electrode on the outer surfaces of the layered piezoelectric materials and internal electrodes within the layered piezoelectric materials. The metal elastic body 2041 is fastened with a bolt to hold the piezoelectric element 2042, thereby constituting the oscillator 204. Upon the application of alternating voltages of different phases to the piezoelectric element 2042, the oscillator 204 causes two oscillations perpendicular to each other. The two oscillations are synthesized to form a circular oscillation for driving the tip of the oscillator 204. The oscillator 204 has an annular groove at its upper portion. The annular groove increases the oscillatory displacement for driving. A rotor 205 is pressed against the oscillator 204 by the action of a pressure spring 206 and receives friction force for driving. The rotor 205 is rotatably supported by a bearing.
  • (Optical Apparatus)
  • An optical apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described below. The optical apparatus includes a drive unit that includes the ultrasonic motor described above.
  • FIGS. 7A and 7B are cross-sectional views of an interchangeable lens barrel of a single-lens reflex camera, which is an optical apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of an interchangeable lens barrel of a single-lens reflex camera, which is an optical apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. A fixed barrel 712, a linear guide barrel 713, and a front lens group barrel 714 are fixed to a removable mount 711 of the camera. These components are fixed members of the interchangeable lens barrel.
  • The linear guide barrel 713 has a linear guide groove 713 a for a focus lens 702 in the optical axis direction. The focus lens 702 is supported by a rear lens group barrel 716. Cam rollers 717 a and 717 b protruding outwardly in the radial direction are fixed to the rear lens group barrel 716 with a screw 718. The cam roller 717 a fits in the linear guide groove 713 a.
  • A cam ring 715 rotatably fits in the internal circumference of the linear guide barrel 713. A roller 719 fixed to the cam ring 715 is caught in an annular groove 713 b of the linear guide barrel 713, thereby restricting the relative displacement of the linear guide barrel 713 and the cam ring 715 in the optical axis direction. The cam ring 715 has a cam groove 715 a for the focus lens 702. The cam roller 717 b also fits in the cam groove 715 a.
  • A rotation transmitting ring 720 is rotatably held by a ball race 727 at a fixed position on the periphery of the fixed barrel 712. A driven roller 722 is rotatably held by a shaft 720 f extending radially from the rotation transmitting ring 720. A large-diameter portion 722 a of the driven roller 722 is in contact with a mount side end face 724 b of a manual focus ring 724. A small-diameter portion 722 b of the driven roller 722 is in contact with a joint 729. Six driven rollers 722 are disposed at regular intervals on the periphery of the rotation transmitting ring 720. Each of the driven rollers 722 satisfies the structural relationship described above.
  • A low-friction sheet (washer member) 733 is disposed on the inside of the manual focus ring 724. The low-friction sheet 733 is disposed between a mount side end face 712 a of the fixed barrel 712 and a front end face 724 a of the manual focus ring 724. The low-friction sheet 733 has a circular outer surface having a diameter that fits to the inner diameter 724 c of the manual focus ring 724. The inner diameter 724 c of the manual focus ring 724 fits to the diameter of an outer portion 712 b of the fixed barrel 712. The low-friction sheet 733 can reduce friction in the rotating ring mechanism in which the manual focus ring 724 rotates about the optical axis relative to the fixed barrel 712.
  • The large-diameter portion 722 a of the driven roller 722 is pressed against the mount side end face 724 b of the manual focus ring 724 because the wave washer 726 presses the ultrasonic motor 725 forward to the front of the lens. Likewise, because the wave washer 726 presses the ultrasonic motor 725 forward to the front of the lens, the small-diameter portion 722 b of the driven roller 722 is pressed against the joint 729. The wave washer 726 is prevented from moving toward the mount by a washer 732 bayonet coupled to the fixed barrel 712. The spring force (impellent force) of the wave washer 726 is transmitted to the ultrasonic motor 725 and the driven roller 722 and furthermore presses the manual focus ring 724 against the mount side end face 712 a of the fixed barrel 712. In other words, the manual focus ring 724 is pressed against the mount side end face 712 a of the fixed barrel 712 via the low-friction sheet 733.
  • Thus, when the ultrasonic motor 725 is rotated by a control unit (not shown) relative to the fixed barrel 712, the driven roller 722 rotates about the shaft 720 f because the joint 729 is in frictional contact with the small-diameter portion 722 b of the driven roller 722. The rotation of the driven roller 722 about the shaft 720 f causes the rotation of the rotation transmitting ring 720 about the optical axis (automatic focusing).
  • When a manual input unit (not shown) provides the manual focus ring 724 with rotational force about the optical axis, since the mount side end face 724 b of the manual focus ring 724 is pressed against the large-diameter portion 722 a of the driven roller 722, the driven roller 722 is rotated about the shaft 720 f because of friction force. The rotation of the large-diameter portion 722 a of the driven roller 722 about the shaft 720 f causes the rotation of the rotation transmitting ring 720 about the optical axis. However, the ultrasonic motor 725 is not rotated because of the friction force between a rotor 725 c and a stator 725 b (manual focusing).
  • The rotation transmitting ring 720 is provided with two focus keys 728 facing each other. These focus keys 728 fit into notches 715 b at the tip of the cam ring 715. Upon automatic focusing or manual focusing, the rotation transmitting ring 720 is rotated about the optical axis, and the rotational force is transmitted to the cam ring 715 via the focus keys 728. When the cam ring 715 is rotated about the optical axis, the cam roller 717 b moves the cam roller 717 a and the rear group lens barrel 716 restricted by the linear guide groove 713 a forward or backward along the cam groove 715 a of the cam ring 715. This drives the focus lens 702 and allows focusing.
  • Although an optical apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention has been described with reference to an interchangeable lens barrel of a single-lens reflex camera, the optical apparatus may also be applied to optical apparatuses that include an ultrasonic motor in a drive unit, for example, cameras, such as compact cameras, electronic still cameras, and personal digital assistants including a camera.
  • (Vibratory Apparatus and Dust Removing Device)
  • Vibratory apparatuses for conveying or removing particles, powders, and droplets are widely used in electronic equipment.
  • As an example of a vibratory apparatus according to the present invention, a dust removing device that includes a piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described below. A vibratory apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a vibrating member that includes the piezoelectric element or the multilayered piezoelectric element described above disposed on a diaphragm. The dust removing device includes a vibrating portion that includes the vibratory apparatus described above.
  • FIGS. 9A and 9B are schematic views of a dust removing device 310 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The dust removing device 310 includes a plate of the piezoelectric element 330 and the diaphragm 320. The piezoelectric element 330 may be a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. The diaphragm 320 may be made of any material. When the dust removing device 310 is used in optical devices, the diaphragm 320 may be made of a translucent or transparent material or a light reflective material.
  • FIGS. 10A to 10C are schematic views of the piezoelectric element 330 illustrated in FIGS. 9A and 9B. FIGS. 10A and 10C illustrate the front and back sides of the piezoelectric element 330. FIG. 10B is a side view of the piezoelectric element 330. As illustrated in FIGS. 9A and 9B, the piezoelectric element 330 includes a piezoelectric material 331, a first electrode 332, and a second electrode 333. The first electrode 332 and the second electrode 333 are disposed on opposite sides of the piezoelectric material 331. As in FIGS. 9A and 9B, the piezoelectric element 330 may be a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. In this case, the piezoelectric material 331 includes piezoelectric material layers and internal electrodes alternately stacked on top of one another. The internal electrodes are alternately connected to the first electrode 332 and the second electrode 333, thereby allowing the piezoelectric material layers to alternately have a drive waveform of a different phase. As illustrated in FIG. 10C, a surface of the piezoelectric element 330 on which the first electrode 332 is disposed is referred to as a first electrode surface 336. As illustrated in FIG. 10A, a surface of the piezoelectric element 330 on which the second electrode 333 is disposed is referred to as a second electrode surface 337.
  • The term “electrode surface”, as used herein, refers to a surface of a piezoelectric element on which an electrode is disposed. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 10B, the first electrode 332 may round a corner and extends to the second electrode surface 337.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 9A and 9B, the first electrode surface 336 of the piezoelectric element 330 is bonded to the diaphragm 320. Actuation of the piezoelectric element 330 produces a stress between the piezoelectric element 330 and the diaphragm 320, causing out-of-plane oscillations on the diaphragm 320. The dust removing device 310 removes foreign matter, such as dust, on the diaphragm 320 by the action of out-of-plane oscillations. The term “out-of-plane oscillations”, as used herein, refers to elastic oscillations that cause displacements of a diaphragm in the optical axis direction or the diaphragm thickness direction.
  • FIGS. 11A and 11B are schematic views illustrating the vibration principle of the dust removing device 310. In FIG. 11A, in-phase alternating voltages are applied to a left-and-right pair of the piezoelectric elements 330 to cause out-of-plane oscillations of the diaphragm 320. The direction of polarization of the piezoelectric material constituting the left-and-right pair of the piezoelectric elements 330 is the same as the thickness direction of the piezoelectric elements 330. The dust removing device 310 is driven in a seventh oscillation mode. In FIG. 11B, an anti-phase alternating voltage is applied to a left-and-right pair of the piezoelectric elements 330 to cause out-of-plane oscillations of the diaphragm 320. The dust removing device 310 is driven in a sixth oscillation mode. The dust removing device 310 can employ at least two oscillation modes to effectively remove dust on the surface of the diaphragm.
  • (Image Pickup Apparatus)
  • An image pickup apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described below. The image pickup apparatus includes the dust removing device and an image pickup element unit, wherein the dust removing device includes a diaphragm on the light-receiving surface of the image pickup element unit. FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate a digital single-lens reflex camera, which is an image pickup apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 12 is a front perspective view of the main body 601 of the camera viewed from the object side. An imaging lens unit has been removed. FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view of the inside of the camera, illustrating surrounding structures of a dust removing device according to an embodiment of the present invention and an image pickup unit 400.
  • The main body 601 of the camera includes a mirror box 605 to which an image light beam passing through an imaging lens is directed. The mirror box 605 includes a main mirror (quick return mirror) 606. The main mirror 606 can make an angle of 45 degrees with the optical axis to direct an image light beam to a penta roof mirror (not shown) or may avoid the image light beam in order to direct the image light beam to an image pickup element (not shown).
  • The mirror box 605 and a shutter unit 200 are disposed in front of a main body chassis 300 of the main body 601 of the camera in this order from the object side. The image pickup unit 400 is disposed on the photographer side of the main body chassis 300. The image pickup unit 400 is installed such that an image pickup surface of the image pickup element is disposed at a predetermined distance from and parallel to the surface of a mount 602 to which an imaging lens unit is to be attached.
  • The image pickup unit 400 includes a vibrating component of a dust removing device and an image pickup element unit. The vibrating component of the dust removing device is disposed on the same axis as the light-receiving surface of the image pickup element unit.
  • Although the digital single-lens reflex camera has been described as an image pickup apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention, the image pickup apparatus may be an interchangeable-lens camera, such as a mirrorless digital interchangeable-lens camera without the mirror box 605. Among various image pickup apparatuses and electrical and electronic equipment that include image pickup apparatuses, such as interchangeable-lens video cameras, copying machines, facsimile machines, and scanners, an image pickup apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention can particularly be applied to devices that require the removal of dust deposited on a surface of an optical component.
  • (Electronic Equipment)
  • Electronic equipment according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described below. The electronic equipment includes a piezoelectric acoustic component that includes a piezoelectric element or a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention. The piezoelectric acoustic component may be a loudspeaker, a buzzer, a microphone, or a surface acoustic wave (SAW) device.
  • FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the main body 931 of a digital camera, which is electronic equipment according to an embodiment of the present invention. An optical device 901, a microphone 914, an electronic flash unit 909, and a fill light unit 916 are disposed on the front surface of the main body 931. The microphone 914 is disposed within the main body and is indicated by a broken line. An opening for catching external sound is disposed in front of the microphone 914.
  • A power switch 933, a loudspeaker 912, a zoom lever 932, and a release button 908 for focusing are disposed on the top surface of the main body 931. The loudspeaker 912 is disposed within the main body 931 and is indicated by a broken line. An opening for transmitting sound to the outside is disposed in front of the loudspeaker 912.
  • The piezoelectric acoustic component may be used in at least one of the microphone 914, the loudspeaker 912, and a surface acoustic wave device.
  • Although the digital camera has been described as electronic equipment according to an embodiment of the present invention, the electronic equipment may also be applied to electronic equipment that includes a piezoelectric acoustic component, such as audio-reproducing devices, audio-recording devices, mobile phones, and information terminals.
  • As described above, a piezoelectric element and a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention are suitable for liquid discharge heads, liquid discharge apparatuses, ultrasonic motors, optical apparatuses, vibratory apparatuses, dust removing devices, image pickup apparatuses, and electronic equipment. A liquid discharge head manufactured by using a piezoelectric element or a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention can have a nozzle density and a discharge velocity higher than or equal to those of liquid discharge heads manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element.
  • A liquid discharge apparatus manufactured by using a liquid discharge head according to an embodiment of the present invention can have a discharge velocity and discharge accuracy higher than or equal to those of liquid discharge apparatuses manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element. An ultrasonic motor manufactured by using a piezoelectric element or a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention can have driving force and durability higher than or equal to those of ultrasonic motors manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element.
  • An optical apparatus manufactured by using an ultrasonic motor according to an embodiment of the present invention can have durability and operation accuracy higher than or equal to those of optical apparatuses manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element.
  • A vibratory apparatus manufactured by using a piezoelectric element or a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention can have vibratory capacity and durability higher than or equal to those of ultrasonic motors manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element.
  • A dust removing device manufactured by using a vibratory apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention can have dust removal efficiency and durability higher than or equal to those of dust removing devices manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element.
  • An image pickup apparatus manufactured by using a dust removing device according to an embodiment of the present invention can have a dust removal function higher than or equal to those of image pickup apparatuses manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element.
  • A piezoelectric acoustic component that includes a piezoelectric element or a multilayered piezoelectric element according to an embodiment of the present invention can be used to provide electronic equipment that has sound production ability higher than or equal to those of electronic equipment manufactured by using a lead-containing piezoelectric element.
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention may be used in ultrasonic transducers, piezoelectric actuators, piezoelectric sensors, and ferroelectric memories, as well as liquid discharge heads and motors.
  • EXAMPLES
  • Although a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention is further described in the following examples, the present invention is not limited to these examples.
  • Examples 1 to 42 and Comparative Examples 1 to 9
  • Table 1 shows the compositions of piezoelectric materials according to Examples 1 to 42 and sintered bodies according to Comparative Examples 1 to 9 of the present invention.
  • TABLE 1 z w Sample RE x′ x y (mol %) (mol %) Comparative example 1 None 0.88 0.86 0.88 0 0 Example 1 La 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 2 La 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.75 0.50 Example 3 La 0.88 0.86 0.88 5.00 0.50 Comparative example 2 La 0.88 0.86 0.88 6.00 0.50 Comparative example 3 La 0.80 0.75 0.80 0.75 0.50 Example 4 La 0.85 0.80 0.85 0.75 0.50 Example 5 La 0.88 0.86 0.85 0.75 0.50 Example 6 La 0.95 0.93 0.95 0.75 0.50 Example 7 La 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0 Example 8 La 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.20 Example 9 La 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 2.00 Comparative example 4 La 0.97 0.95 0.97 0.75 0.50 Example 10 Nd 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 11 Nd 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 12 Sm 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 13 Sm 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 14 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 15 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.75 0.50 Example 16 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.88 2.00 0.50 Comparative example 5 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.88 6.00 0.50 Comparative example 6 Dy 0.80 0.75 0.80 0.75 0.50 Comparative example 7 None 0.85 0.80 0.85 0.00 0.00 Example 17 Dy 0.85 0.80 0.85 0.75 0.50 Example 18 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.85 0.75 0.50 Example 19 Dy 0.95 0.93 0.95 0.75 0.50 Example 20 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0 Example 21 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.20 Example 22 Dy 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 2.00 Comparative example 8 None 0.90 0.89 0.90 0.00 0.50 Comparative example 9 Dy 0.97 0.95 0.97 0.75 0.00 Example 23 Pr 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 24 Pr 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 25 Eu 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 26 Eu 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 27 Gd 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 28 Gd 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 29 Tb 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 30 Tb 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 31 Pm 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 32 Pm 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 33 Tm 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 34 Tm 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 35 Ho 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 36 Ho 0.90 0.88 0.90 0.75 0.50 Example 37 Er 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 38 Er 0.90 0.88 0.90 1.50 0.50 Example 39 Yb 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 40 Yb 0.90 0.88 0.90 1.50 0.50 Example 41 Lu 0.88 0.86 0.88 0.25 0.50 Example 42 Lu 0.90 0.88 0.90 1.50 0.50
  • The raw materials included powders of at least 99% pure sodium niobate (NaNbO3), 99.95% pure barium carbonate (BaCO3), at least 99% pure barium titanate (BaTiO3), 99.9% pure copper oxide (Cu(II)O), and 99% pure sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). A rare earth material represented by RE2O3 (RE denotes at least one element selected from La, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu) was a powder of at least 99% purity.
  • The raw materials were weighed such that the composition of a piezoelectric material includes a perovskite-type metal oxide having the general formula (1): (NaxBa1-y)(NbyTi1-y)O3 (wherein 0.80≤x≤0.95, and 0.85≤y≤0.95), a rare-earth element (RE) (0≤z≤5 mol %), and Cu (0≤w≤2 mol %), as indicated by x, y, z, and w in Table 1. The raw powders were mixed in a ball mill for 12 hours.
  • More specifically, in Example 1, the raw materials were mixed such that the La (z) content corresponded to 0.25 mol % of a perovskite-type metal oxide having the general formula (1): (NaxBa1-y)(NbyTi1-y)O3 (x=0.86 and y=0.88). The raw material of La was at least 99% pure La2O3. The La content of 0.25 mol % in Example 1 means that the weight of La2O3 was 0.815 g (0.695 g of La) per mol of the perovskite-type metal oxide having the general formula (1) (171.75 g). Also in Example 1, the raw materials were mixed such that the Cu (w) content corresponded to 0.50 mol % of the perovskite-type metal oxide. The raw material of Cu was 99.9% pure copper oxide (Cu(II)O). The Cu content of 0.50 mol % in Example 1 means that the weight of copper oxide was 0.398 g (0.317 g of Cu) per mol of the perovskite-type metal oxide having the general formula (1) (171.75 g).
  • The mixed powder was calcined in the ambient atmosphere at a temperature in the range of 900° C. to 1100° C. for 2 to 5 hours. The calcined powder was pulverized and was granulated with a PVB binder. The weight of the PVB binder corresponded to 3% by weight of the calcined powder. The granulated powder was charged into a mold and was compressed at a pressure of 200 MPa, yielding a compact having a diameter of 17 mm and a thickness of approximately 1 mm. The compact was fired in the air at a temperature in the range of 1150° C. to 1300° C. for 2 to 6 hours to yield a sintered body.
  • The density of the sintered body was measured using Archimedes' principle, and the relative density was calculated. The sintered bodies of the examples and the comparative examples had a relative density of 94% or more. Among the samples according to the present invention, the density of the samples containing Cu was 1% to 3% higher than the density of the samples having the same composition but not containing Cu. The addition of Cu reduced the calcination and firing temperatures by 50° C. to 100° C.
  • The sintered body was polished to a thickness of approximately 0.5 mm. The constituent phase and the lattice constant of the polished sintered body or a powder of the polished sintered body was determined by X-ray diffraction. The X-ray diffraction showed that the samples were substantially composed of a single phase of the perovskite structure.
  • The composition of the sintered body was analyzed by inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP). Table 1 shows the results as x and y of the general formula (1) and RE (z) and Cu (w). The value x in Table 1 represents the molar ratio of Na in the sintered body. The value x′ represents the molar ratio of Na in the raw materials.
  • The value x in Table 1 denotes the molar ratio of Na. In all the samples, the molar ratio of Na was lower than the predictive value. The elements other than Na had the expected composition. The molar ratio (x/y) of Na (x) to Nb (y) was in the range of 94% to 98% except for Examples 5 and 18, indicating the deficiency of Na. The Cu content was low and therefore had a measurement error of ±50% in Table 1. The grain size of the sintered body was determined through observation with an optical microscope or an electron microscope.
  • The sintered body had an average grain size in the range of 2 to 50 μm as measured with an electron microscope.
  • The distribution of Cu in the sintered body was examined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Most of added Cu was distributed in grain boundaries, and a small portion of Cu was present in the grains.
  • In order to examine the electrical characteristics, such as the piezoelectric property and insulation resistance, piezoelectric elements were manufactured with the piezoelectric materials according to Examples 1 to 42. First, in order to relieve stress in the polished sintered body and remove organic substance components on the surface of the polished sintered body, the polished sintered body was heat-treated in the air at a temperature in the range of 400° C. to 500° C. for 30 minutes. A gold electrode having a thickness of 400 nm was formed on the front and back sides of the polished sintered body by DC sputtering. A titanium film having a thickness of 30 nm was formed as an adhesion layer between the electrode and the sintered body. The sintered body having the electrode was cut to prepare a plate-like piezoelectric element 10 mm in length, 2.5 mm in width, and 0.5 mm in thickness.
  • Resistivity was measured with a semiconductor parameter analyzer. A direct-current voltage of several tens to a hundred volts was applied to a sample, and the electrical resistance was measured 30 seconds after the start of voltage application. Resistivity was calculated from the measured electrical resistance and the dimensions of the sample. When the resistivity is 30 GΩ·cm or more, preferably 100 GΩ·cm or more, the piezoelectric material and the piezoelectric element have a satisfactory practical insulation property.
  • Polarization treatment was performed before the evaluation of the piezoelectric property. More specifically, a voltage in the range of 1.5 to 5 kV/mm was applied to a sample in an oil bath at 150° C. for 30 minutes, and the sample was cooled to room temperature while the voltage was maintained.
  • The mechanical quality factor Qm of the plate-like piezoelectric element was measured using a resonance-antiresonance method. The piezoelectric constant (d33) of the sample was measured with a Berlincourt d33 meter. Dielectric loss was measured with an impedance analyzer in an environmental test box at −20° C. The measurement frequency was 1 kHz, and the applied alternating voltage was 500 mV. Measurement was performed after polarization treatment. The temperature dependence of the relative dielectric constant was measured from room temperature. The change in relative dielectric constant was measured while a sample was cooled from room temperature to −100° C. and was then heated to 350° C. The Curie temperature was calculated from the maximum relative dielectric constant. The samples had a Curie temperature of 150° C. or more.
  • Table 2 shows the evaluation results of the samples.
  • TABLE 2 Piezoelectric Mechanical quality Resistivity Dielectric Sample constant d33 (pC/N) factor Qm (—) (GΩ · cm) loss (%) Comparative example 1 145 170 5 1.5 Example 1 151 301 115 0.8 Example 2 140 310 220 0.6 Example 3 102 318 291 0.5 Comparative example 2 75 304 230 0.5 Comparative example 3 95 291 7 1.1 Example 4 117 300 101 0.6 Example 5 108 298 35 0.9 Example 6 101 303 106 0.6 Example 7 125 180 34 0.8 Example 8 138 225 119 0.9 Example 9 131 412 330 0.7 Comparative example 4 86 306 260 0.6 Example 10 148 287 118 0.8 Example 11 137 295 198 0.6 Example 12 150 288 116 0.8 Example 13 136 302 201 0.6 Example 14 149 298 113 0.8 Example 15 137 305 212 0.6 Example 16 109 309 288 0.5 Comparative example 5 74 298 215 0.5 Comparative example 6 91 274 8 1.2 Comparative example 7 92 264 14 1.5 Example 17 114 296 103 0.6 Example 18 106 296 34 0.9 Example 19 101 303 106 0.6 Example 20 121 178 35 0.8 Example 21 136 214 114 0.9 Example 22 129 407 326 0.7 Comparative example 8 92 351 16 1.4 Comparative example 9 84 303 254 0.6 Example 23 128 265 121 0.7 Example 24 116 271 198 0.7 Example 25 135 315 118 0.7 Example 26 124 298 201 0.6 Example 27 136 301 121 0.7 Example 28 121 277 206 0.6 Example 29 125 266 125 0.8 Example 30 120 305 203 0.7 Example 31 133 296 114 0.8 Example 32 120 322 199 0.7 Example 33 134 288 118 0.6 Example 34 117 314 215 0.6 Example 35 129 275 122 0.5 Example 36 116 302 224 0.4 Example 37 132 265 136 0.5 Example 38 108 302 235 0.4 Example 39 127 297 141 0.5 Example 40 105 309 248 0.4 Example 41 124 281 142 0.5 Example 42 102 306 251 0.4
  • (Evaluation of Piezoelectric Materials and Piezoelectric Elements According to Examples 1 to 42)
  • The samples according to Examples 1 to 42 were compared with the samples according to Comparative Examples 1 to 9.
  • Comparative Example 1, which did not contain a rare-earth element and Cu, had a low electrical resistance and a significant dielectric loss. Comparative Example 2, which had a La content of 6 mol %, had a piezoelectric constant d33 of less than 100 pC/N.
  • Comparative Example 3, which had x as low as 0.75, had a low electrical resistance and a significant dielectric loss.
  • Comparative Example 4, which had y as large as 0.97, had a piezoelectric constant d33 of less than 100 pC/N.
  • Comparative Example 5, which had a Dy content of 6 mol %, had a piezoelectric constant d33 of less than 100 pC/N.
  • Comparative Example 6, which had x as low as 0.75, had a low electrical resistance and a significant dielectric loss.
  • Comparative Examples 7 and 8, which contained no rare-earth element, had a low electrical resistance and a significant dielectric loss.
  • Comparative Example 9, which had y as large as 0.97, had a piezoelectric constant d33 of less than 100 pC/N.
  • All the samples according to the examples had a piezoelectric constant d33 of 100 pC/N or more, a resistivity of more than 30 GΩ·cm, and a dielectric loss of less than 1.0%. The samples according to the examples other than Examples 7 and 20, which did not contain Cu, and Examples 5 and 18, which had x greater than y, had a resistivity of more than 100 GΩ·cm.
  • Comparison of Examples 7 and 8 shows that the addition of Cu to the piezoelectric ceramic increased the piezoelectric constant, mechanical quality factor Qm, and resistivity of the sample.
  • Example 43
  • The raw materials corresponding to Example 1 were weighed as described below.
  • Powders of sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), niobium oxide (Nb2O5), barium titanate (BaTiO3), lanthanum oxide (La2O3), and copper oxide (CuO) were weighed such that Na, Nb, Ba, Ti, La, and Cu satisfied the composition of Example 1 described in Table 1. The weighed raw powders were mixed in a ball mill overnight and was calcined at a temperature in the range of 1000° C. to 1100° C. to yield a calcined powder. The calcined powder was mixed with a solvent, a binder (PVB), and a plasticizer (dibutyl phthalate) to prepare a slurry. The slurry was formed into a green sheet having a thickness of 50 μm using a doctor blade method.
  • An electrically conductive paste for an internal electrode was applied to the green sheet. The electrically conductive paste was a 70% Ag-30% Pd alloy (Ag/Pd=2.33) paste. Nine of the green sheets to which the electrically conductive paste had been applied were stacked and were fired at 1150° C. for 5 hours to yield a sintered body. The sintered body was cut into a 10 mm×2.5 mm piece. The side surfaces of the piece were polished. A pair of external electrodes (a first electrode and a second electrode) for alternately connecting internal electrodes were formed by Au sputtering. Thus, a multilayered piezoelectric element as illustrated in FIG. 2B was manufactured.
  • The observation of the internal electrodes of the multilayered piezoelectric element showed that the electrode material Ag—Pd and the piezoelectric material were alternately stacked on top of one another.
  • Before the evaluation of piezoelectricity, a sample was subjected to polarization treatment. More specifically, the sample was heated to 150° C. in an oil bath. While a voltage of 2 kV/mm was applied between the first electrode and the second electrode for 30 minutes, the sample was cooled to room temperature.
  • The evaluation of the piezoelectricity of the multilayered piezoelectric element showed that the multilayered piezoelectric element had a satisfactory insulation property and had a satisfactory piezoelectric property similar to the piezoelectric material according to Example 1.
  • Example 44
  • Powders of sodium niobate (NaNbO3), barium titanate (BaTiO3), lanthanum oxide (La2O3), and copper oxide (CuO) were weighed such that Na, Nb, Ba, Ti, La, and Cu satisfied the composition of Example 2 described in Table 1. The weighed raw powders were mixed in a ball mill overnight and was calcined at a temperature in the range of 1000° C. to 1100° C. to yield a calcined powder.
  • The calcined powder was mixed with a solvent, a binder (PVB), and a plasticizer (dibutyl phthalate) to prepare a slurry. The slurry was formed into a green sheet having a thickness of 50 μm using a doctor blade method. An electrically conductive paste for an internal electrode was applied to the green sheet. The electrically conductive paste was a Ni paste. Nine of the green sheets to which the electrically conductive paste had been applied were stacked and were heat-pressed.
  • The heat-pressed layered body was fired in a tubular furnace. The heat-pressed layered body was fired to a temperature up to 300° C. in the ambient atmosphere to remove the binder and was then held at 1200° C. for 5 hours in a reducing atmosphere (H2:N2=2:98, an oxygen concentration of 2×10−6 Pa). During cooling to room temperature, the oxygen concentration was increased to 30 Pa at a temperature of 1000° C. or less.
  • The sintered body was cut into a 10 mm×2.5 mm piece. The side surfaces of the piece were polished. A pair of external electrodes (a first electrode and a second electrode) for alternately connecting internal electrodes were formed by Au sputtering. Thus, a multilayered piezoelectric element as illustrated in FIG. 2B was manufactured.
  • The observation of the internal electrodes of the multilayered piezoelectric element showed that the electrode material (electrode layer) Ni and piezoelectric material layers were alternately stacked on top of one another. An electric field of 2 kV/mm was applied to the multilayered piezoelectric element in an oil bath at 150° C. for 30 minutes for polarization treatment. The evaluation of the piezoelectric property of the multilayered piezoelectric element showed that the multilayered piezoelectric element had a satisfactory insulation property and had a satisfactory piezoelectric property similar to the piezoelectric element according to Example 2.
  • Example 45
  • A liquid discharge head illustrated in FIGS. 3A and 3B was manufactured using the piezoelectric element according to Example 14. An ink was discharged in response to the input of an electric signal.
  • Example 46
  • A liquid discharge apparatus illustrated in FIG. 4 was manufactured using the liquid discharge head according to Example 45. An ink was discharged and deposited onto a recording medium in response to the input of an electric signal.
  • Example 47
  • An ultrasonic motor illustrated in FIG. 6A was manufactured using the piezoelectric element according to Example 14. Upon the application of an alternating voltage, the motor rotated.
  • Example 48
  • An optical apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 7A and 7B was manufactured using the ultrasonic motor according to Example 47. Upon the application of an alternating voltage, automatic focusing was observed.
  • Example 49
  • A dust removing device illustrated in FIGS. 9A and 9B was manufactured using the piezoelectric element according to Example 14. Upon the application of an alternating voltage after plastic beads were scattered, satisfactory dust removing efficiency was observed.
  • Example 50
  • An image pickup apparatus illustrated in FIG. 12 was manufactured using the dust removing device according to Example 49. Dust on the surface of the image pickup unit was satisfactorily removed, and images free of dust defects were obtained.
  • Example 51
  • Liquid discharge heads illustrated in FIGS. 3A and 3B were manufactured using the multilayered piezoelectric elements according to Examples 43 and 44. An ink was discharged in response to the input of an electric signal.
  • Example 52
  • Liquid discharge apparatuses illustrated in FIG. 4 were manufactured using the liquid discharge heads according to Example 51. An ink was discharged and deposited onto a recording medium in response to the input of an electric signal.
  • Example 53
  • Ultrasonic motors illustrated in FIG. 6B were manufactured using the multilayered piezoelectric elements according to Examples 43 and 44. Upon the application of an alternating voltage, the motors rotated.
  • Example 54
  • Optical apparatuses illustrated in FIGS. 7A and 7B were manufactured using the ultrasonic motors according to Example 53. Upon the application of an alternating voltage, automatic focusing was observed.
  • Example 55
  • Dust removing devices illustrated in FIGS. 9A and 9B were manufactured using the multilayered piezoelectric elements according to Examples 43 and 44. Upon the application of an alternating voltage after plastic beads were scattered, satisfactory dust removing efficiency was observed.
  • Example 56
  • Image pickup apparatuses illustrated in FIG. 12 were manufactured using the dust removing devices according to Example 55. Dust on the surface of the image pickup unit was satisfactorily removed, and images free of dust defects were obtained.
  • Example 57
  • Electronic equipment illustrated in FIG. 14 was manufactured using the multilayered piezoelectric elements according to Examples 43 and 44. Upon the application of an alternating voltage, a loudspeaker operated.
  • While the present invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed exemplary embodiments. The scope of the following claims is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions.
  • INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
  • A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention has satisfactory piezoelectricity even at high environmental temperatures. A piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention contains no lead and can reduce the load on the environment. Thus, a piezoelectric material according to an embodiment of the present invention can be efficiently used also for apparatuses manufactured using a large amount of piezoelectric material, such as liquid discharge heads, ultrasonic motors, and dust removing devices.
  • REFERENCE SIGNS LIST
      • 1 first electrode
      • 2 piezoelectric material portion
      • 3 second electrode
      • 101 piezoelectric element
      • 102 individual liquid chamber
      • 103 diaphragm
      • 104 liquid chamber partition wall
      • 105 discharge port
      • 106 communicating hole
      • 107 common liquid chamber
      • 108 buffer layer
      • 1011 first electrode
      • 1012 piezoelectric material
      • 1013 second electrode
      • 201 oscillator
      • 202 rotor
      • 203 output shaft
      • 204 oscillator
      • 205 rotor
      • 206 spring
      • 2011 elastic ring
      • 2012 piezoelectric element
      • 2013 organic adhesive
      • 2041 metal elastic body
      • 2042 multilayered piezoelectric element
      • 310 dust removing device
      • 320 diaphragm
      • 330 piezoelectric element
      • 331 piezoelectric material
      • 332 first electrode
      • 333 second electrode
      • 336 first electrode surface
      • 337 second electrode surface
      • 51 first electrode
      • 53 second electrode
      • 54 piezoelectric material layer
      • 55 internal electrode
      • 56 layered body
      • 501 first electrode
      • 503 second electrode
      • 504 piezoelectric material layer
      • 505 a internal electrode
      • 505 b internal electrode
      • 506 a external electrode
      • 506 b external electrode
      • 601 main body of camera
      • 602 mount
      • 605 mirror box
      • 606 main mirror
      • 200 shutter unit
      • 300 main body chassis
      • 400 image pickup unit
      • 701 front lens group
      • 702 rear lens group
      • 711 removable mount
      • 712 fixed barrel
      • 713 linear guide barrel
      • 714 front lens group barrel
      • 715 cam ring
      • 716 rear lens group barrel
      • 717 cam roller
      • 718 screw
      • 719 roller
      • 720 rotation transmitting ring
      • 722 driven roller
      • 724 manual focus ring
      • 725 ultrasonic motor
      • 726 wave washer
      • 727 ball race
      • 728 focus key
      • 729 joint member
      • 732 washer
      • 733 low-friction sheet
      • 881 liquid discharge apparatus
      • 882 exterior
      • 883 exterior
      • 884 exterior
      • 885 exterior
      • 887 exterior
      • 890 recovering section
      • 891 recording portion
      • 892 carriage
      • 896 main body of apparatus
      • 897 automatic feeder
      • 898 outlet
      • 899 conveying unit
      • 901 optical device
      • 908 release button
      • 909 electronic flash unit
      • 912 loudspeaker
      • 914 microphone
      • 916 fill light unit
      • 931 main body
      • 932 zoom lever
      • 933 power switch

Claims (17)

1. A piezoelectric material, comprising: a perovskite-type metal oxide having the following general formula (1); and at least one element selected from La, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu, wherein a content of the element is 0.25 mol % or more and 5 mol % or less of the amount of perovskite-type metal oxide

(NaxBa1-y)(NbyTi1-y)O3  (1)
(wherein x satisfies 0.80≤x≤0.95, and y satisfies 0.85≤y≤0.95).
2. The piezoelectric material according to claim 1, further comprising Cu, wherein the Cu content is more than 0 mol % and 2 mol % or less of the amount of perovskite-type metal oxide.
3. The piezoelectric material according to claim 1, wherein x is smaller than y in the general formula (1).
4. The piezoelectric material according to claim 1, wherein the at least one element is selected from La, Pr, Pm and Tm.
5. A piezoelectric element, comprising: an electrode portion; and a piezoelectric material portion, wherein the piezoelectric material portion includes the piezoelectric material according to claim 1.
6. A piezoelectric element according to claim 5, wherein the piezoelectric material potion and the electrode potion are alternately stacked each another.
7. The piezoelectric element according to claim 6, wherein the electrode potion contains Ag and Pd, and the weight ratio M1/M2 of the weight M1 of Ag to the weight M2 of Pd is in the range of 1.5≤M1/M2≤9.0.
8. The piezoelectric element according to claim 6, wherein the electrode potion contains at least one of Ni and Cu.
9. A liquid discharge head, comprising: a liquid chamber; and a discharge port in communication with the liquid chamber, wherein the liquid chamber has a vibrating portion that includes the piezoelectric element according to claim 5.
10. A liquid discharge apparatus, comprising: a stage configured to receive an object; and the liquid discharge head according to claim 8.
11. An ultrasonic motor, comprising: a vibrating member that includes the piezoelectric element according to claim 5; and a moving body in contact with the vibrating member.
12. An optical apparatus, comprising a drive unit that includes the ultrasonic motor according to claim 11.
13. A vibratory apparatus, comprising a vibrating member that includes the piezoelectric element according to claim 5 on a diaphragm.
14. A dust removing device, comprising a vibrating portion including the vibratory apparatus according to claim 13.
15. An image pickup apparatus, comprising: the dust removing device according to claim 14; and an image pickup element unit, wherein the diaphragm of the dust removing device is disposed on the light-receiving surface side of the image pickup element unit.
16. A piezoelectric acoustic component, comprising the piezoelectric element according to claim 5.
17. Electronic equipment, comprising the piezoelectric element according to claim 5.
US15/901,760 2013-01-29 2018-02-21 Piezoelectric material, piezoelectric element, and electronic equipment Pending US20180222802A1 (en)

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