Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Jason V Clark

Second Advisor

Dimitrios Peroulis

Committee Member 1

Jeffrey F Rhoads

Committee Member 2

Alina Alexeenko


This dissertation introduces a novel, nestable piezoelectric actuator, called the s-drive. In the s-drive actuator, the piezoelectric material is sandwiched between two conductors, and the electrodes are configured such that an application of a voltage causes an extension on two beams and compression on the other two beams to produce a large lateral deflection in the form of an `s' shape. The s-drive gets its name from the characteristic `s' shape that appears upon actuation. The designs of one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) arrays of axial-mode and shear-mode s-drives, for magnifying displacement and shear, are also presented in this work. Experimental results from the fabricated s-drive and its 1D nested arrays are presented for validation of the finite element analysis simulations and the developed analytical model of the s-drive and its nested arrays.