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A phenomenological thermodynamic theory is used to investigate the effect of strain gradient on the pyroelectric effect in centrosymmetric dielectric solids. Direct pyroelectricity can exist as external mechanical stress is applied to non-pyroelectric dielectrics with shapes such as truncated pyramids, due to elastic strain gradient induced flexoelectric polarization. Effective pyroelectric coefficient was analyzed in truncated pyramids. It is found to be controlled by size, ambient temperature, stress, and aspect ratio and depends mainly on temperature sensitivity of flexoelectric coefficient (TSFC) and strain gradient of the truncated pyramids dielectric solids. These results show that the pyroelectric property of BaSrTiO above similar to PZT and other lead-based ferroelectrics can be obtained. This feature might widely broaden the selection of materials for infrared detectors with preferable properties.


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