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Keywords:

  • ZnO;
  • nanowire;
  • piezopotential;
  • piezotronics;
  • piezo-phototronics

Abstract

The fundamental principle of piezotronics and piezo-phototronics were introduced by Wang in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Due to the polarization of ions in a crystal that has non-central symmetry in materials such as the wurtzite structured ZnO, GaN and InN, a piezoelectric potential (piezopotential) is created in the crystal by applying a stress. Owing to the simultaneous possession of piezoelectricity and semiconductor properties, the piezopotential created in the crystal has a strong effect on the carrier transport at the interface/junction. Piezotronics is about the devices fabricated using the piezopotential as a “gate” voltage to tune/control charge carrier transport at a contact or junction. The piezo-phototronic effect is to use the piezopotential to control the carrier generation, transport, separation and/or recombination for improving the performance of optoelectronic devices, such as photon detector, solar cell and LED. This manuscript reviews the updated progress in the two new fields. A perspective is given about their potential applications in sensors, human-silicon technology interfacing, MEMS, nanorobotics and energy sciences.