Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Moghimi, Mohammad J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Electrical Engineering


Does embedding actuators in a flexible substrate increase their performance in hearing aids? What are the differences in damping experienced by actuators of different diameters and at different locations? At what frequency is peak acceleration achieved and what role does the size of the actuator and embedding it in a flexible substrate play? These questions will form the basis of this thesis. This work was done to develop a small non-invasive Band-Aid-©-like hearing aid. The novelty of this device requires a detailed analysis of piezoelectric actuators. This is a continuation of past students’ work on the topic. The main parameters that set this research apart from previous reports are as follows: The method used to collect the data and the repeatability of the results. A broader view of the frequency spectrum (more data points) will be captured using the methods described within this paper. This will further verify the functionality of the proposed design of a flexible Band-Aid-©-like hearing as well as refine the research on piezoelectric actuators and flexible substrates. Pediatric conductive hearing loss (CHL) can delay language and speech development, affecting social skills and school performance. To reduce the burden of hearing loss, it is essential to detect and address CHL in the early stage of life. The existing solutions for CHL including implantable aids and corrective surgeries are not suitable for infants and young children. Our solution is implementing piezoelectric actuators on a thin and flexible substrate to generate vibrations on the skin and non-invasively bypass CHL. The major challenge toward a flexible aid is to develop powerful and efficient MEAs to overcome the damping in the system.


81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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