HOW TO – make piezo crystals at home


Piezoelectric crystals are fascinating – when physical stress is applied, these materials produce a voltage. The effect can be reversed as well, apply electricity, produce a stress/vibration. Rochelle salt(potassium sodium tartrate) is an easily synthesized piezoelectric substance you can make with readily available items –

  • 500 g (1 lb) of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)[NaHCO3]
  • 200 g (7 oz) of cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate)[KHC4H4O6] [see note below]
  • Oven
  • Pyrex container
  • Jar with lid
  • 500 mL (2 cup) glass beaker or Pyrex measuring cup
  • Sauce pan with water
  • 2 mL (1/2 tsp) measuring spoon
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Coffee Filter
  • Filter paper or paper towelling

This could be a great way to get started making your own custom guitar pickups, contact mics, etc. Either way, tapping on a crystal you’ve grown and watching it produce 26 volts is pretty darn cool!

Making the Rochelle Salt

Rochelle salt synthesis

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments

10 thoughts on “HOW TO – make piezo crystals at home

  1. What would be the best(feasible) angle of contact with Rochelle Salt? Could you cut out a wafer containing one natural crystal face?

    Since it’s water-soluble you can create a specialized band-saw with a thread circulating underwater, and polish any surface against a piece of wet glass or plastic.

  2. hey hi..i want to ask, if there is any way that this experiment can be improved ? Perhaps by using another substance together to get a higher voltage? Please reply back. Thanks:)

  3. hiii i want to use this peizoelecrtic sensor to make a energy bridge…..
    a bridge which can produce electricity when vehicles pass over the peizocrystal….
    is it possible ??

  4. mix together the two and pour in the water. by letting it stay in room temperature and evaporate is the better way for getting bigger crystals. The crystallization process normally
    is slow and takes from days to weeks. Natural crystals take years. You just let the chemicals stay together and let them do their thing.

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