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Ultrasensitive Vertical Piezotronic Transistor Based on ZnO Twin Nanoplatelet

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journal contribution
posted on 14.04.2017 by Longfei Wang, Shuhai Liu, Xiaolong Feng, Qi Xu, Suo Bai, Laipan Zhu, Libo Chen, Yong Qin, Zhong Lin Wang
High sensitivity of pressure/strain sensors is the key to accurately evaluating external mechanical stimuli and could become more important in future generations of human–machine interfaces and artificial skin. Here we report the study of a two-terminal piezotronic transistor based on ZnO twin nanoplatelets (TNPT). Owing to the mirror symmetrical structure of ZnO twin nanplatelet, compressive pressure-induced positive piezoelectric polarization charges created at both metal–semiconductor interfaces can simultaneously lower both Schottky barrier heights and thus significantly modulate the carrier transport. Our device exhibits the highest pressure sensitivity of 1448.08–1677.53 meV/MPa, which is more than ∼20 times larger than the highest value reported previously, and a fast response time of <5 ms. In addition, it can be used as a photodector with an ultrahigh external photoresponsivity of ∼1.45 × 104 AW–1, which is ∼105 times larger in magnitude than that of commercial UV photodetectors. The coupling between the mirror symmetrical structure and strong piezotronic effect in ZnO twin nanoplatelets may enable the development of ultrasensitive pressure/strain sensors for various applications such as artificial skin, health monitoring, and adaptive biomedical probes.