Binders for Multilayer Piezoelectric System Applications

Analysis has been carried out using QPAC40® Polypropylene carbonate as a clean-burning binder for base metal electrodes in PZT and NKN Piezoelectrics.

metal applications

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The Center for Dielectric and Piezoelectrics, Material Research Institute at Pennsylvania State University conducted this study.


The QPAC40® polypropylene carbonate enables a clean burnout at low temperature in N2 atmosphere. It allows the burnout to occur in a non-oxidizing environment at a low temperature.

The investigation at Penn State was performed using the QPAC40® binder to create the tape. Typically, polyvinyl butyral, PVB has been used in Ag/Pd as well as Ni co-fired multilayer actuators. This needs burnout to 400 °C. This temperature already exceeds the highest temperature of retaining the metallic state of both Ni and Cu.

In order to efficiently prevent the oxidation of Cu and Ni, clean burnout has to be achieved at either in a practically low temperature or in a low pO2 atmosphere. With the traditional PVB system, it is impossible to achieve clean burnout. The high temperature required for burnout and the high carbon residual levels gave unsatisfactory results.

When the tape was created using QPAC40® Polypropylene carbonate, lower debind temperatures were achieved. Moreover, no detectable residue was left after burnout. While the PVB system produced unnecessary char, the QPAC®40 binder system developed propylene carbonate monomer which was vaporized and left no residual carbon.


This research article presented that copper inner electrodes are very attracted as metal electrodes for co-firing with NKN. Additionally, the use of QPAC40® enables high densities and low dielectric loss multilayer piezoelectric structures.

This research is consistent with other studies, revealing that QPAC40® is an operative binder in tape casting. Not only does it result in a tape with superior green strength, but also enables the final sintered product to have excellent electrical properties because of the binders clean burnout properties.

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