Fundamentals

The word “piezo” is derived from the Greek word for pressure. In 1880 Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered that pressure generates electrical charges in a number of crystals such as quartz and tourmaline; they called this phenomenon the “piezoelectric effect”. Later they noticed that electrical fields can deform piezoelectric materials. This effect is called the “inverse piezoelectric effect”.

The piezoelectric effect is now used in many everyday products such as lighters, loudspeakers and signal transducers. You do not have to look far to find piezoelectric applications. You’ll even find them in your home, be it in your speaker system or the touch-panel on your oven. Many modern cars also carry a fair amount of piezoelectric technology, e.g. in the injection system of a modern diesel engine. Piezoelectric technology is also used in modern mobile phones and MP3 players, as well as in inkjet printer heads. It even has found a more unusual use in the vibration-dampening systems of advanced downhill skies. And the list can go on. More and more manufacturers are discovering the technology’s attributes, be it for speed, precision, small size or other key advantages.

The shape-changing capacity of piezoelectric material is the basis for PiezoMotor’s micro-motor technology.

Operating principles of Piezo LEGS®