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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Curie pointCurie point
The Curie point (Tc), or Curie temperature, is a term in physics and materials science, named after Pierre Curie (1859-1906), and refers to a characteristic property of a ferromagnetic or piezoelectric material.

Curie temperature in piezoelectric materials
In analogy to ferromagnetic materials, the Curie temperature is also used in piezoelectric materials to describe the temperature above which the material loses its spontaneous polarization and piezoelectric characteristics. In lead zirconate titanate (PZT), the material is tetragonal below Tc and the unit cell contains a displaced central cation and hence a net dipole moment. Above Tc, the material is cubic and the central cation is no longer displaced from the centre of the unit cell. Hence, there is no net dipole moment and no spontaneous polarization.

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