How it Works

Novasentis Electro-Mechanical Polymer (EMP) actuators are based on a major scientific discovery made by Novasentis co-founder and world-renowned material scientist, Qiming Zhang. The below images shows the basic working mechanism of the technology.

EMPs are a unique type of electro-active polymer (EAP) that provide piezoelectric effects without the need for high operating voltages. In an unpowered state, the molecular structure of the EMP film is randomly aligned. When powered, the molecules align in one direction and expand, creating a piezoelectric effect.

EMP actuators are created when this material is bonded to a rigid substrate. When powered, the single-direction expansion of the material causes the substrate to vibrate, thus creating haptics feedback at low frequencies and audio feedback at higher frequencies.


As shown, this unique material behavior enables EMP actuators and products to provide superior tensile and elastic properties that can endure higher applied forces. It is also the reason this technology is so thin and requires relatively low operating voltages when compared to traditional vibrational motors or piezoelectric benders.

EMP products have a unique blend of force and modulus, making it well-suited for a multitude of applications. Highly customizable in size and strength, EMP actuators enable great user experiences in wearable devices.

technology for the senses