Rise in demand for advanced materials in the field of electronics, automotive, aerospace, and specialty materials has boosted the development of various functional materials that exhibit special electric charge generation properties, which can be used in specific applications with high efficiency and cost effectiveness. Ferroelectric materials is also classified as one of the types of functional materials that possesses special electrical properties when subjected to external electric field. Ferroelectric materials display the phenomenon of electric polarization in the absence of an external applied electric field. The direction of the polarization in ferroelectric materials can also be reversed by the help of externally applied electric field. General characteristic of ferroelectric materials is spontaneous reversible polarization. The phenomenon of spontaneous polarization arises in ferroelectric materials due to the presence of non-Centro symmetric ionic arrangements in its unit cells. This tends to produce a permanent electric dipole moment within the associated unit cell of the material. Adjacent dipoles created in ferroelectric materials tend to orient themselves in the unidirectional pattern to form a ferroelectric domain in the material. The phenomenon of Ferro electricity in functional materials was discovered in 1921. The dielectric properties of ferroelectric materials is largely dependent on the temperature of the materials. The dielectric properties exist in ferroelectric materials within a certain range of temperature. The optimum temperature that decides ferroelectric properties of functional materials is known as the Curie temperature. Dielectric properties cannot exist within a functional material above or below the Curie temperature.
Ferroelectric materials can be applied to many subjects of study such as Piezoelectrics, dielectrics, pyro electrics, ferroelectric memories, ultrasonic applications, and electro-optic materials. Commonly used ferroelectric materials discovered to date include lead zirconate titanate (PZT), lead titanate, (PbTiO3), and lead lanthanum zirconate titanate (PLZT). Most ferroelectric materials are also piezoelectric in nature due to the presence of dielectric properties. The piezoelectric property in ferroelectric material tends to produce electric charge within the material when it is subjected to external mechanical load. The electric charge produced is in proportion to mechanical load subjected on the material. Ferroelectric materials are primarily used in non-volatile memory, capacitors, electro-optic materials for data storage applications, piezoelectrics for actuators and ultrasound imaging, thermistors, light deflectors, oscillators & filters, trans-chargers or trans-polarizers switches, and electronic displays.
The annual global production of electronic appliances and smart devices is estimated to rise rapidly. Thus, the global ferroelectric materials market is anticipated to expand at a fast pace in the near future. Most of the ferroelectric material technologies are less commercialized; intensive research is being carried out across the major regions of the globe. The U.S. and Japan are the leading countries in terms of patent filing and research in the field of ferroelectric materials. These countries have also applied the technology commercially in automotive, aerospace, and electronics segments. The ferroelectric materials market is expected to expand in North America and Asia Pacific, followed by that in Europe, due to the increase in demand for energy-efficient and modern technology in electronics and semiconductor chips. Advanced technological innovation and commercialization of piezoelectric materials in many electronics applications are helping make devices cheaper, smaller, and more customer friendly. This, in turn, is boosting the ferroelectric materials market around the globe.
Major restraints of the ferroelectric materials market are high cost of materials and technology, and lack of awareness. Efforts are being taken to commercialize ferroelectric materials through new technological breakthroughs. The ferroelectric materials market is estimated to expand in developed economies in the near future owing to the extensive R&D programs for commercialization of the technology.
Key players operating in the global ferroelectric materials market include Citizen, Kojundo Chemical, Sparkler Ceramics, PI Ceramic, Techno Alpha, EPSON, Novio MEMS, IBM, and Delphi.