In this work, we monitor in situ the movement of ZnO piezoelectric nanowires by using a conductive atomic force microscope integrated into a scanning electron microscope. This setup allows seeing the bending of the nanowires and simultaneously measuring the currents generated. We conclude that the currents generated not only come from piezoelectric effect, but also from contact potential and triboelectric effect. These contributions have been ignored in all previous reports in this field, meaning that the power conversion efficiency of these devices may have been systematically overestimated. Our study helps to clarify the working mechanism of piezoelectric nanogenerators based on ZnO nanowires.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)