Piezoelectric Effect in Liquids
- For the first time, scientists have reported evidence of the piezoelectric effect in liquids.
About piezoelectric effect
- Piezoelectric effect was found in 2 pure ionic liquids (i.e. liquids made of ions instead of molecules) at room temperature.
- The liquids also displayed the inverse piezoelectric effect: they became distorted when an electric charge was applied.
- Piezoelectric effect - It is a phenomenon where specific types of material produce an electric charge proportional to the mechanical stress applied to them.
- The piezoelectric effect was discovered in 1880, in quartz.
- Quartz, topaz, etc. are few examples of piezoelectric crystals.
Effect in liquids
- The reason the piezoelectric effect has only been expected in solids thus far is that the body being squeezed needs to have an organised structure, like the pyramids of quartz.
- Liquids don’t have such structure; instead, they take the shape of their container.
- Physicists explain the effect using a combination of Hooke’s law – that the force required to squeeze an object is linearly (i.e. non-exponentially) proportional to the amount of squeezing – and the properties of dielectric materials.
- These are materials that don’t conduct electricity but whose electrons are still mildly affected by an electric field.
New applications of this discovery
- Using this effect, the liquids can be used as lenses with dynamic focusing abilities