Journal of Electronic Materials

, Volume 47, Issue 7, pp 3709–3716 | Cite as

Optimum Operating Conditions for PZT Actuators for Vibrotactile Wearables

  • Irini Logothetis
  • Dimitra Matsouka
  • Savvas Vassiliadis
  • Clio Vossou
  • Elias Siores


Recently, vibrotactile wearables have received much attention in fields such as medicine, psychology, athletics and video gaming. The electrical components presently used to generate vibration are rigid; hence, the design and creation of ergonomical wearables are limited. Significant advances in piezoelectric components have led to the production of flexible actuators such as piezoceramic lead zirconate titanate (PZT) film. To verify the functionality of PZT actuators for use in vibrotactile wearables, the factors influencing the electromechanical conversion were analysed and tested. This was achieved through theoretical and experimental analyses of a monomorph clamped-free structure for the PZT actuator. The research performed for this article is a three-step process. First, a theoretical analysis presents the equations governing the actuator. In addition, the eigenfrequency of the film was analysed preceding the experimental section. For this stage, by applying an electric voltage and varying the stimulating electrical characteristics (i.e., voltage, electrical waveform and frequency), the optimum operating conditions for a PZT film were determined. The tip displacement was measured referring to the mechanical energy converted from electrical energy. From the results obtained, an equation for the mechanical behaviour of PZT films as actuators was deduced. It was observed that the square waveform generated larger tip displacements. In conjunction with large voltage inputs at the predetermined eigenfrequency, the optimum operating conditions for the actuator were achieved. To conclude, PZT films can be adapted to assist designers in creating comfortable vibrotactile wearables.


Vibrotactile piezoelectric actuator lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) film wearable technology 

List of symbols


Cross-sectional area


Piezoelectric charge constant; mechanical strain in direction 1 per unit of electric field applied in direction 3


Dielectric displacement (vector); displacement effect of an electric field on the polarisation charges within a dielectric material \( D = \varepsilon_{0} E + P \)


Polarization density of the material


Electric field




Concentration load at free end

\( s_{11}^{E} \)

Property of material undergoing elastic deformation under constant electric


Mechanical strain produced per unit of stress applied


Mechanical stress field, stress and accompanying strain in direction 1


Tip displacement

\( \varepsilon_{33}^{T} \)

Permittivity for dielectric displacement per unit electric field in direction 3 at constant stress


Density of PZT


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electronics EngineeringPiraeus University of Applied SciencesEgaleo, AthensGreece
  2. 2.Institute of Materials Research and InnovationUniversity of BoltonBoltonEngland, UK

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