Activity Number
Overview and Learning Objectives
Central Concepts
Activity Credits

Piezoelectric Effect (a single model for advanced students)

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Overview and Learning Objectives

This model shows the conversion of electricity to mechanical motion. Users can pull the slider to change the voltage and observe the change of the crystal. The bottom of the slider corresponds to zero voltage.

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Central Concepts

Key Concept:

The piezoelectric effect is the conversion between electricity and mechanical motion. Mechanical forces on piezoelectric materials can produce electricity (e.g., piezoelectric sparkers). Conversely, applying voltage on some piezoelectric materials results in distortion or deformation. For example, piezoelectric ceramic materials have been used to move the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM).

Additional Related Concepts


  • Crystal
  • Electron

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Activity Credits

Created by CC: Molecular Literacy using Molecular Workbench

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NSF Logo
These materials are based upon work supported
by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers
9980620, ESI-0242701, EIA-0219345, DUE-0402553, and 0628181.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this
material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the National Science Foundation.