Optimized pyroelectric materials through the polarization gradient concept and experimental model for a pyroelectric detector with potential for applications in monitoring high power/energy lasers.

Project Director: Dr. Lucian Pintilie
Project ID:
Project Director:
Dr. Lucian Pintilie
Project Type:
Project Program:
Partnership in Strategic Domains
Funded by:
Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, UEFISCDI

National Institute of Materials Physics

Project Status:
In progress
Start Date:
Tuesday, 1 July, 2014
End Date:
Wednesday, 1 June, 2016
Project Abstract:

The project aims to develop materials with optimized pyroelectric properties using the polarization gradient concept and develop integral pyroelectric detectors for the near infrared (700 nm) to THz (≤100 μm) wavelengths range. These detectors have potential application also in the detection of high power or high energy laser beams (e.g. the lasers of ELI-NP project). The materials to be used in this project are ferroelectrics with a perovskite structure such as Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) or (Ba,Sr)TiO3 (BST) due to the fact that the transition temperatures can be modified by changing the Zr or Sr content. These materials will be combined in structures of multilayers with gradient in concentration and polarization in order to increase the figure of merit M given by the ratio between the pyroelectric coefficient p and the dielectric constant ε (M=p/ε).
The present project proposes a novel way of increasing the merit figure M by increasing the pyroelectric coefficient. This can be achieved by developing materials that exhibit a concentration gradient in the direction of the polarization, which introduces a succession of phase transitions at different temperatures, leading to a more abrupt variation of the polarization with the temperature and thus to a larger pyroelectric coefficient.
Another effect to turn to account is the temperature variation of the dielectric constant which can contribute to further increase the total pyroelectric coefficient. The temperature variation of ε can contribute to the pyroelectric signal if an electric field is applied to the ferroelectric material in order to maintain a stable polarization state, thus averting possible signal variations caused by the ambient temperature conditions.
The materials with gradient in concentration and polarization will be realized in bulk form, as ceramic wafers (25 mm minimum diameter and 6 mm thickness) by using the spark plasma sintering (SPS). Alternately, the ceramic technology coupled with classical sintering, or hot press, can be used. The sintering conditions will be optimized in order to obtain the best p/ε ratio. The selected material will then be used to build the active elements for the pyroelectric detection. In this respect, metallic electrodes will be deposited and one of them will be blackened in order to ensure a better absorbtion of the incident electromagnetic radiation. A novel approach is that carbon nanotubes are to be used for the blackening. This way the absorbtion coeficient can be increased close to 1. The active element will then be used to create pyroelectric detectors, including the electronics for signal processing and the sofware needed for PC display. Beside the mentioned ceramic materials, epitaxial multilayered structures with gradient in concentration and polarization will be realized and their pyroelectric detection properties will be investigated as well during the project.
The consortium is formed by 3 partners: coordinator of the project –CO is a national institute with experience in ceramic materials and pyroelectric detection; one university –P1 with experience in preparation of ceramic powders; one company –P2 specialized in signal procesing and different types of electrical measurements. CO and P1 will develop the active element for the pyroelectric detection and P2 will develop and test the experimental model of the system for pyroelectric detection including all the electronics and the sofware needed for the different types of applications for which the pyroelectric detector is developed by CO and P2: automatizations, non-contact measurements of temperature or monitoring of the high power/energy laser beams. The ultimate goals are to obtain: a technological process for obtaining the active element of pyroelectric detection, as well as two experimental models,
one for the Pyroelectric Detector and one for a Pyroelectric Detection System used to detect high intensity laser beams.

Project Objectives:

General objective of the project: Development of ceramic PZT or BST materials with a concentration and polarization gradient for application in the pyroelectric detection of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths larger than 700 nm.
Measurable objectives:
 O1: manufacturing of ceramic disks having a concentration and polarization gradient by changing the Zr/Ti or Ba/Sr ratios.
 O2: development of a new technology for obtaining the concentration and polarization gradient disks using spark plasma sintering.
 O3: implementing the concept of polarization gradient in multilayer structures made from successive epitaxial layers.
 O4: building an experimental model for a Pyroelectric Detector, together with the required electronics, for applications in the electromagnetic radiation detection with the wavelength range between 700 nm and 50-100 μm, and monitoring of high power and high energy laser beams.
 O5: building an experimental model for a Pyroelectric Detection System where the signal generated by the pyroelectric detector is electronically processed for conversion in measure units that are of interest in different applications (detection of temperature, power, energy).

List of research team members

First name and last name*

Position in the project


Personnel cost  (Euro)

Coordinator (CO)

Pintilie Lucian

Director of the project


Pintilie IoanaCS18,6325000
Nistor Leona CristinaCS12,346818.182
Pasuk IulianaCS349090.909
Amarande LuminitaCS38,3218181.82
Iuga AlinCS38,818181.82
Stancu VioricaCS312,4022727.27
Chirila CristinaPhysicist


Hrib Luminita (limited term contract)Physicist


Botea Mihaela

(limited term contract)


PhD Student

Manu Catalin (limited term contract)technician15,3913636.36
Partner 1Ianculescu AdelinaProfessor7,0527272.73
Berger DanielaAssociate Professor1,766818.182
Vasile BogdanCS34,7013636.36
Melinescu AlinaLecturer2,356818.182
Voicu GeorgetaLecturer1,766818.182
Stoleriu Ştefania PaulaLecturer2,359090.909
Crăiniceanu SimonaIngineer5,885681.818
Vasilescu Catalina

(limited term contract)


PhD student


Călugăru Mihai Iulian

(limited term contract)


PhD Student



Partner 2

Ofrim Dragos Vasile




Ofrim Bogdan Alexandru




Ofrim Dragos Mihai




Serban Dorina




Dumitru George





Open position

Ing./ Physicist




Open position

Ing./ Physicist






Scientific report 2014 (in Romanian)-download

Scientific report 2015 (in Romanian)-download

Scientific report 2016 (in Romanian)-download


1. Intrinsic pyroelectric properties of thick, coarse grained Ba1-xSrxTiO3 ceramics

By: Ianculescu, A.; Pintilie, I.; Vasilescu, C. A.; Botea, M.; Iuga, A.; Melinescu, A.; Dragan, N.; Pintilie, L..

CERAMICS INTERNATIONAL   Volume: 42   Issue: 8   Pages: 10338-10348   Published: JUN 2016


Presentation to conferences

1. Silicon  substrat influence on pyroelectric behavior of Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 thin films

M. Botea, L.Pintilie, I.Pintilie, V. Stancu

Presented at ROCAM 2015, 7-10 August Bucuresti, Romania (poster)

2. Influence of grain size and solute content on the dielectric and ferroelectric behaviour of Ba(Ti,Zr)O3 ceramics

A. C. Ianculescu,  C. A. Vasilescu, D. Berger, I. Pintilie, L. Trupină, L. P. Curecheriu, L. Mitoşeriu,

ROCAM 2015, 7-10 July 2015, Bucuresti (invited)

3. Modification of functional properties induced by size effects in barium titanatate zirconate ceramics

A. C. Ianculescu, D. C. Berger, C. A. Vasilescu, B. S. Vasile, G. Fantozzi, I. Pintilie, L. Trupină, L. P. Curecheriu, L. Mitoseriu,

The 19th Romanian International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (RICCCE 19), 2-5 September 2015, Sinaia, Romania (invited)

Project Contact Person:

Dr. Lucian Pintilie

E-mail: pintilie@infim.ro

Mobile: 0723185411

Address: Atomistilor 105 bis, Magurele, 077125 Romania


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