Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fulton, E.L. (2023). Piezoelectric Properties of Amorphous Chiral Solids. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Evan Fulton 2023.


Materials interact with electric fields according to both the electronic and geometric properties of the constituent molecules and confluent effects of the bulk structures that may form on the basis of those molecules. Chirality is one such property, and it may be present at the scale of singular molecules or along crystalline structures. One possible effect from interaction with electric fields is piezoelectricity, i.e., the expansion/contraction of a material’s spatial dimensions in response to electric fields, or vice versa. Electric fields in non-chiral piezoelectric solids will produce stress and strain (e.g., contractions/expansions). In a chiral solid, however, electric fields of certain configurations may instead be associated with torques. The theoretical basis of the chiral piezoelectric effect is elaborated. The object of the experiments undertaken is to identify chiral piezoelectric effects in amorphous solids which possess a chiral molecular composition, but which lack chiral crystal structure.