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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2013 Jul 14;15(26):11113-8. doi: 10.1039/c3cp50915j. Epub 2013 May 30.

Nanoscale piezoelectric response of ZnO nanowires measured using a nanoindentation technique.

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Thin Film Physics Division, IFM, Linköping University, SE-581-83 Linköping, Sweden.


We report the piezoelectric properties of ZnO nanowires (NWs) obtained by using a nanoindenter with a conductive boron-doped diamond tip. The direct piezoelectric effect was measured by performing nanoindentations under load control, and the generated piezoelectric voltage was characterized as a function of the applied loads in the range 0.2-6 mN. The converse piezoelectric effect was measured by applying a DC voltage to the sample while there was a low applied force to allow the tip being always in physical contact with the NWs. Vertically aligned ZnO NWs were grown on inexpensive, flexible, and disposable paper substrates using a template-free low temperature aqueous chemical growth method. When using the nanoindenter to measure the direct piezoelectric effect, piezopotential values of up to 26 mV were generated. Corresponding measurement of the converse piezoelectric effect gave an effective piezoelectric coefficient d33(eff) of ∼9.2 pm V(-1). The ZnO NWs were also characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The new nanoindentation approach provides a straightforward method to characterize piezoelectric material deposited on flexible and disposable substrates for the next generation of nanodevices.


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