Multi-breakdown model for explaining the formation and growth of black spots in PZT capacitor under DC bias

Deyi Zheng*, Min Luo, Jonathan Swingler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) is widely used in various electro-mechanical devices because of its piezoelectric function. In some of its applications, the piezo ceramic will be subjected to a DC bias. The applied DC bias will stress the PZT ceramic and can undergo an electrical degradation process. This electrical degradation process demonstrates itself as resistance decreases and leakage current increases. Therefore, the electrical degradation phenomenon can severely impact on device performance and reliability. It has been found that, accompany this electrical breakdown process, black spots will appear in the ceramic body. In this paper, the formation and growth of the black spots in a PZT capacitor under DC bias is investigated. The black spot area is further characterized with various analytical methods. Based on previous research, a multi-breakdown model is proposed for explaining the mechanism of black spot growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Early online date15 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • Black spot
  • Electrical breakdown
  • Electrical degradation
  • Lead zirconate titanate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Instrumentation


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