What is it about?

This paper introduces a method, which can simulate the magnetic field in/around a piezoelectric device. This method doesn't use the quasi-static approximation, where the magnetic field is emitted and the electric field is represented with the electric potential. Two showcases are included in the paper. Detailed instructions for building a similar simulation and a discussion about the performance are included in the supplementary material.

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Why is it important?

This paper fills a fundamental “blind spot” in the electromagnetic simulation of devices involving piezoelectric crystals/substrates –which are actually quite common (e.g. MEMS devices fabricated out of silicon nitride): mechanical motion in piezoelectric materials generates magnetic fields which, because of their effects on spins (often found in sensitive “quantum” devices), need to be precisely quantified. To the best of our knowledge, however, no commercially available software package can simulate such piezo-generated magnetic fields. This is because these packages invoke, for simplicity, the so-called “quasi-static approximation” –very often without even telling the software user that this approximation is being made! To remedy the problem, we have constructed an efficient, cost/resource-effective simulation method, as described in the submitted manuscript. This method is generic, based on so-called “weak forms”, and can be implemented in any finite-element-method simulation software. The manuscript goes on to apply the method to two different devices/structures from two different application sectors demonstrating its utility and accuracy. Because of its fundamental scope and the many disparate areas in applied device physics it connects to, we believe our handy method will be of broad interest to those working on SAW-based resonators, piezoelectric antennas, and magnetically sensitive quantum devices involving spins.


This paper gives a new method, which may help researchers, especially those who found COMSOL is not perfect in their research. This paper is also based on weak forms and introduces the most fundamental principles.

Xiaotian Xu
Imperial College London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Simulating the magnetic fields generated by piezoelectric devices using FEM software: Beyond the quasistatic approximation, Journal of Applied Physics, November 2022, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0120630.
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