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Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 27;5:4284. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5284.

Anomalous piezoelectricity in two-dimensional graphene nitride nanosheets.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204, USA.
2
Department of Materials Engineering, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand.
3
Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
5
1] Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204, USA [2] Department of Physics, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204, USA.

Abstract

Piezoelectricity is a unique property of materials that permits the conversion of mechanical stimuli into electrical and vice versa. On the basis of crystal symmetry considerations, pristine carbon nitride (C3N4) in its various forms is non-piezoelectric. Here we find clear evidence via piezoresponse force microscopy and quantum mechanical calculations that both atomically thin and layered graphitic carbon nitride, or graphene nitride, nanosheets exhibit anomalous piezoelectricity. Insights from ab inito calculations indicate that the emergence of piezoelectricity in this material is due to the fact that a stable phase of graphene nitride nanosheet is riddled with regularly spaced triangular holes. These non-centrosymmetric pores, and the universal presence of flexoelectricity in all dielectrics, lead to the manifestation of the apparent and experimentally verified piezoelectric response. Quantitatively, an e11 piezoelectric coefficient of 0.758 C m(-2) is predicted for C3N4 superlattice, significantly larger than that of the commonly compared α-quartz.

PMID:
24969955
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5284

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