On the metal/ZnO contacts in a sliding-bending piezoelectric nanogenerator
D Tan and Y Xiang and YG Leng and YS Leng, NANO ENERGY, 50, 291-297 (2018).
We carry out molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and analyze the piezoelectric and mechanical properties of a ZnO nanowire (NW) under mechanical bending in a sliding-bending piezoelectric nanogenerator. The computational model contains a vertically aligned ZnO NW along the 0001 direction and a Pt (111) metal tip. MD simulations are performed to mimic the interfacial sliding dynamics of an atomic force microscope (AFM) metal tip sliding over a ZnO NW. Ionic charges for Zn and O in the ZnO NW are used to calculate the piezoelectric potential distributions in a grid-point matrix. Simulation results reveal the very detailed distributions of the piezoelectric potential within the ZnO NW, which are different from the continuum field theory predictions. The very similar variations of the lateral friction and contact forces versus the sliding distance of the AFM metal tip over the ZnO NW during repeated forward-backward sliding suggest that the metal/ZnO contact is robust. Moreover, the substantial contact area at the metal/ZnO interface suggests that a Schottky contact should be established at the interface, which needs further investigations.
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