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ACS Nano. 2012 Oct 23;6(10):9229-36. doi: 10.1021/nn3035765. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Piezo-phototronic effect enhanced visible and ultraviolet photodetection using a ZnO-CdS core-shell micro/nanowire.

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School of Material Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0245, USA.


The piezo-phototronic effect is about the use of the piezoelectric potential created inside some materials for enhancing the charge carrier generation or separation at the metal-semiconductor contact or pn junction. In this paper, we demonstrate the impact of the piezo-phototronic effect on the photon sensitivity for a ZnO-CdS core-shell micro/nanowire based visible and UV sensor. CdS nanowire arrays were grown on the surface of a ZnO micro/nanowire to form a ZnO-CdS core-shell nanostructure by a facile hydrothermal method. With the two ends of a ZnO-CdS wire bonded on a polymer substrate, a flexible photodetector was fabricated, which is sensitive simultaneously to both green light (548 nm) and UV light (372 nm). Furthermore, the performance of the photon sensor is much enhanced by the strain-induced piezopotential in the ZnO core through modulation of the Schottky barrier heights at the source and drain contacts. This work demonstrates a new application of the piezotronic effect in photon detectors.

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