COMSOL Blog

Piezoelectric Materials: Understanding the Standards

James Ransley | October 2, 2014

Standards form an integral part of the work we do as engineers, providing a common language for communicating complex information. But standards committees are not omnipotent and sometimes revised standards are not universally adopted. This has happened in the case of the standards for piezoelectric materials, particularly for quartz. This blog post explains the multiple standards used to describe piezoelectrics in literature. Although the particular focus of this post is on quartz, the standards described apply for any piezoelectric material.

Video Tutorial: Capacitive Pressure Sensor

Amelia Halliday | June 16, 2014

If you are searching for a tutorial on how to model a miniaturized 3D electromechanics problem, then look no further. We have just published an updated version of our video tutorial on how to simulate a capacitive pressure sensor. COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.4 and the MEMS Module are used to simulate the electrostatic, structural, and thermal physics that occur.

Piezoelectric Materials: Crystal Orientation and Poling Direction

Supratik Datta | February 14, 2014

The direct and inverse piezoelectric effects are strongly related to how anisotropic the material is, which in turn is related to the crystalline structure of the piezoelectric material. The extent of anisotropy can also be influenced by a process called poling. Here, I’ll discuss how you can correctly model the crystal orientation and poling direction of a piezoelectric material in your COMSOL simulations.

Simulating an RF MEMS Switch

Lexi Carver | January 7, 2014

An RF MEMS switch is an electromechanical component found in RF systems. It usually consists of a micromechanical bridge or cantilever, a substrate, and an electrode or dielectric layer. These devices can switch at RF frequencies and tend to have high isolation, i.e. power loss when the switch turns off; low insertion loss (loss of signal power when the switch is on), and extremely low (almost zero!) power consumption. Let’s take a look at how you can use COMSOL Multiphysics […]

MEMS Microphone Model Presented at ASA 166 in San Francisco

Mads Herring Jensen | January 2, 2014

I recently had the pleasure of preparing a small contribution to the 166th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (Fall 2013) together with Wade Conklin and Jordan Schultz from Knowles Electronics. Wade presented our paper entitled “Characterization of a microelectromechanical microphone using the finite element method”. The work consisted of implementing a virtual prototype of a Knowles MEMS microphone (the SPU0409LE5H microphone, see picture below) using COMSOL Multiphysics.

Intro to Piezoelectric BAW Resonator Modeling

Supratik Datta | September 25, 2013

If you are using a cell phone, GPS, Bluetooth, or WiFi, chances are that they all have BAW resonators working inside them. All wireless electronic equipment use RF filters to help narrow down the frequency range they should operate within. With thousands of devices working within closely-packed radio frequencies, it is becoming increasingly important to design filters that would be able to reduce interference from unwanted frequencies, boost the signal-to-noise ratio, and lower insertion loss. Doing so may lead to […]

Modeling Magnetostriction Using COMSOL

Supratik Datta | August 26, 2013

If you have ever stood next to a transformer, you have probably heard a humming sound coming from it and wondered if there were bees close by. When you hear that sound the next time, you can rest assured that it’s not bees but the magnetostriction of the transformer core that is making that humming sound.

Ultrasonic Micro Motors, It’s all in the Shape

Fanny Littmarck | December 12, 2012

A while back, I wrote about permanent magnet generators and how they generate electricity upon being set in motion. When browsing the papers from our conference in Bangalore, one on the topic of ultrasonic micro motors caught my eye. These motors are electromechanical in nature and instead initiate motion with the application of an electric voltage. Furthermore, these motors are miniaturized to fit a micro-scale environment.

Microfluidics Model of an Electroosmotic Micromixer

Fanny Littmarck | October 31, 2012

When you need to mix something at a very small scale you don’t reach for a teeny-tiny whisk. If you’re working with microscale biochemical applications you’d be more likely to rely on diffusion to mix fluids. With highly ordered laminar flow there is no turbulence involved, thus making diffusion a prime candidate for “getting the job done”. But what if you need to mix larger molecules? Larger molecules mean higher molecular weight, which in turn leads to very long equilibration […]

New Product that Helps Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Phil Kinnane | October 18, 2012

As much as we would like to think that finite element analysis (FEA) is the be-all and end-all of simulations, it’s not true. There is also a camp of engineers out there that model integrated circuits and similar systems. These are based on different physics and equations than what FEA typically solves for. Yet, as is happening more and more in the world of virtual prototyping, the two types of simulations are converging. Now they need to integrate with each […]

Piezoelectric Energy Harvester Helps Increase a Car’s Efficiency

Phil Kinnane | July 26, 2012

Much has been written lately about increasing the energy efficiency of cars. Batteries and fuel cells are very hot topics, and not so long ago I blogged about the University of Michigan’s use of solar cells to fully power a car. Yet, even on the smallest of scales, such as the sensors in your car, improvements are being made. Utilizing a MEMS (Micro Electromechanical System) piezoelectric energy harvester, Alexander Frej and Ingo Kuehne at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich are […]