A New Self-Powered Sensor Using the Radial Field Piezoelectric Diaphragm in d 33 Mode for Detecting Underwater Disturbances

Xingxu Zhang, Xiaobiao Shan, Zhiyuan Shen, Tao Xie, Jianmin Miao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
164 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a new sensor based on a radial field bulk piezoelectric diaphragm to provide energy-efficient and high-performance situational sensing for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). This sensor is self-powered, does not need an external power supply, and works efficiently in d33 mode by using inter-circulating electrodes to release the radial in-plane poling. Finite element analysis was conducted to estimate the sensor behavior. Sensor prototypes were fabricated by microfabrication technology. The dynamic behaviors of the piezoelectric diaphragm were examined by the impedance spectrum. By imitating the underwater disturbance and generating the oscillatory flow velocities with a vibrating sphere, the performance of the sensor in detecting the oscillatory flow was tested. Experimental results show that the sensitivity of the sensor is up to 1.16 mV/(mm/s), and the detectable oscillatory flow velocity is as low as 4 mm/s. Further, this sensor can work well under a disturbance with low frequency. The present work provides a good application prospect for the underwater sensing of AUVs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number962
Number of pages14
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2019


  • finite element analysis
  • micro-fabrication
  • piezoelectric sensors
  • radial field diaphragm
  • underwater sensing


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