Nonlinear effect of carrier drift on the performance of an n-type ZnO nanowire nanogenerator by coupling piezoelectric effect and semiconduction

Abstract

In piezoelectric semiconductors, electric fields drive carriers into motion/redistribution, and in turn the carrier motion/redistribution has an opposite effect on the electric field itself. Thus, carrier drift in a piezoelectric semiconducting structure is essentially nonlinear unless the induced fluctuation of carrier concentration is very small. In this paper, the nonlinear governing equation of carrier concentration was established by coupling both piezoelectric effect and semiconduction. A nonlinear carrier-drift effect on the performance of a ZnO nanogenerator was investigated in detail and it was elucidated that carrier motion/redistribution occurs in the ZnO nanowire (ZNW) cross section while there is no carrier motion in the axial direction. At the same time, we noted that the amplitude of boundary electric charge grows with increasing deformation, but the peaks of boundary electric charge do not appear at the cross-section endpoints. Thus, in order to effectively improve the performance of the ZNW nanogenerator, the effect of electrode configuration on the piezoelectric potential difference and output power was analyzed in detail. The electrode size for the optimal performance of a ZnO nanowire generator was proposed. This analysis that couples electromechanical fields and carrier concentration as a whole has some referential significance to piezotronics.

Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2018, 9, 1917–1925. doi:10.3762/bjnano.9.183

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