• zinc oxide;
  • piezoelectricity;
  • nanogenerator;
  • nanodevices;
  • finite element simulation


The piezoelectric power generation from ZnO nanowire arrays grown on different substrates using different methods is investigated. ZnO nanowires were grown on n-SiC and n-Si substrates using both the high-temperature vapor liquid solid (VLS) and the low-temperature aqueous chemical growth (ACG) methods. A conductive atomic force microscope (AFM) is used in contact mode to deflect the ZnO nanowire arrays. No substrate effect was observed but the growth method, crystal quality, density, length, and diameter (aspect ratio) of the nanowires are found to affect the piezoelectric behavior. During the AFM scanning in contact mode without biasing voltage, the ZnO nanowire arrays grown by the VLS method produced higher and larger output voltage signal of 35 mV compared to those grown by the ACG method, which produce smaller output voltage signal of only 5 mV. The finite element (FE) method was used to investigate the output voltage for different aspect ratio of the ZnO nanowires. From the FE results it was found that the output voltage increases as the aspect ratio increases and starts to decreases above an aspect ratio of 80 for ZnO nanowires.