From Online Dictionary of Crystallography

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Piezoélectricité (Fr). Piezoelectrizität (Ge). Piezoelectricidad (Sp).


Piezoelectricity is the property presented by certain materials that exhibit an electric polarization when submitted to an applied mechanical stress such as a uniaxial compression. Conversely, their shape changes when they are submitted to an external electric field; this is the inverse piezoelectric effect. The piezoelectric effect and the inverse efect are described by third-rank tensors.

Piezoelectric point groups

The appearance of piezelectricity is compatible with the symmetry properties of the non-centrosymmetric point groups, with the exception of 432. The 20 piezoelectric point groups are therefore:

1, 2, m, 222, 2mm,

3, 32, 3m, 4, [math]{\bar 4}[/math],422, 4mm, [math]{\bar 4}[/math]2m, 6, [math]{\bar 6}[/math],622, 6mm, [math]{\bar 6}[/math]2m

23, [math]{\bar 4}[/math]3m


It is considerations of symmetry that led the brothers Jacques (1855-1941) and Pierre Curie (1859-1906) to the discovery of piezoelectricity on materials such as tourmaline, quartz, boracite, sodium chlorate, Rochelle salt (Curie J. and Curie P., 1880, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 91, 294-295, Développement, par pression, de l'électricité polaire dans les cristaux hémièdres à faces inclinées. The inverse piezoelectric effect was predicted by Lippmann G., 1881, Ann. Chim. Phy. 24, 145-178, Principe de conservation de l'électricité and discovered by Curie J. and P., 1881, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 93, 1137-1140 , Contractions et dilatations produites par des tensions électriques dans les cristaux hémièdres à faces inclinées.

See also

Section 10.2 of International Tables of Crystallography, Volume A
Section 1.1.4 of International Tables of Crystallography, Volume D