from Sensor Wiki
Piezoelectric sensing of acceleration is natural, as acceleration is directly proportional to force. When certain types of crystal are compressed, charges of opposite polarity accumulate on opposite sides of the crystal. This is known as the piezoelectric effect. In a piezoelectric accelerometer, charge accumulates on the crystal and is translated and amplified into either an output current or voltage.
Piezoelectric accelerometers only respond to AC phenomenon such as vibration or shock. They have a wide dynamic range, but can be expensive depending on their quality (Doscher 2005)
Piezo-film based accelerometers are best used to measure AC phenomenon such as vibration or shock, rather than DC phenomenon such as the acceleration of gravity. They are inexpensive, and respond to other phenomenon such as temperature, sound, and pressure (Doscher 2005)