This paper provides a detailed overview of developments in transducer materials technology relating to their current and future applications in micro-scale devices. Recent advances in piezoelectric, magnetostrictive and shape-memory alloy systems are discussed and emerging transducer materials such as magnetic nanoparticles, expandable micro-spheres and conductive polymers are introduced. Materials properties, transducer mechanisms and end applications are described and the potential for integration of the materials with ancillary systems components is viewed as an essential consideration. The review concludes with a short discussion of structural polymers that are extending the range of micro-fabrication techniques available to designers and production engineers beyond the limitations of silicon fabrication technology. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.