• energy generation;
  • piezoelectric thin films;
  • nanoislands;
  • in situ electromechanical characterization;
  • size effects


We report on the use of nanoindentation to characterize in situ the voltage and current generation of piezoelectric thin films. This work presents the controlled observation of nanoscale piezoelectric voltage and current generation, allowing accurate quantification and mapping of force function variations. We characterize both continuous thin films and lithographically patterned nano­islands with constrained interaction area. The influence of size on energy generation parameters is reported, demonstrating that nanoislands can exhibit more effective current generation than continuous films. This quantitative finding suggests that further research into the impact of nanoscale patterning of piezoelectric thin films may yield an improved materials platform for integrated microscale energy scavenging systems.