DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Axinite crystals. Axinite is a brown or reddish-brown mineral composed of calcium aluminium boro-silicate. Axinite is both pyroelectric and piezoelectric. Pyroelectricity is the ability of a material to generate an electrical potential when heated or cooled. Very small changes in temperature can have an effect, therefore infrared sensors often use pyroelectric materials. Piezoelectricity is the ability to generate an electric potential in response to applied mechanical stress. Applications of piezoelectric materials include the production and detection of sound, and ultra-fine focusing of optical assemblies.
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