Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Liying Jiang


Piezoelectric nanomaterials have attracted increasing attentions due to their distinct electromechanical features, especially the size-dependent properties, which differ greatly from their bulk counterparts.

Due to the large strain gradients presented in nanostructures, the flexoelectricity is believed to be responsible for such size-dependent properties. In this thesis, based on the Kirchhoff plate model and the extended linear piezoelectric theory, a modified continuum mechanics based model is developed to study the size-dependent flexoelectric effect upon the static bending behaviors of a cantilevered piezoelectric nanoplate (PNP). Finite difference method (DFM) is employed to obtain the approximate numerical solutions.

The numerical results indicate that the flexoelectric effect is more prominent with the decrease of the plate thickness, and it is also sensitive to the boundary conditions, the plate in-plane dimensions, and the applied mechanical and electrical loads.

The current work aims at providing an increased understanding of the size-dependent properties of the piezoelectric nanomaterials.