Design and comparison of single crystal and ceramic Tonpilz transducers
Transducers utilizing single crystal piezoelectrics as the active elements have been shown to exhibit broader operating bands, higher response levels, and higher power efficiency than transducers using piezoceramics while also reducing the size and mass of the transducer (Moffett et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 2007). The key to these high performance characteristics is the piezocrystal's inherent high electromechanical coupling coefficient. One potential application is to replace multiple narrowband piezoceramic transducers with a single broadband piezocrystal transducer which reduces the system's weight and size. This is very important for the new generation of smaller and power efficient unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). A third application is for use in very broadband communication networks. The work presented here focuses specifically on the design, modeling, and construction of Tonpilz transducers using piezoelectrics as the active material. The modeling includes lumped element and finite element analysis to approximate the performance of these transducers. These models serve as the main structure of an overall iterative design process. The objective of this research is to compare the performance characteristics of a piezocrystal and a piezoceramic Tonpilz transducer and to validate the models by comparing the model predictions with experimental results.