This technology is based on the principle that for any phase transformation to occur there must exist a difference in an extensive variable between the two phases. These materials (e.g., ceria-doped zirconia) exhibit a change polarization between phases, which has not been demonstrated before. This allows the material to produce a mechanical displacement when subject to an electric field. The simplest implementation of this type of actuator would resemble a parallel plate capacitor with a layer of active ceramic material between to conductive electrodes. Then a voltage could be applied across the material which would induce an electric field and cause the material to actuate.