Applied Surface Science, Vol.475, 969-973, 2019
La-doped p-type ZnO nanowire with enhanced piezoelectric performance for flexible nanogenerators
In recent years, energy harvesting has attracted considerable attention as a promising method to convert waste energy to useful energy. In particular, piezoelectric energy harvesters are of significant interest, because they have a simple structure and can be used to harvest energy regardless of weather or other environmental conditions. In accordance with the miniaturization trend of electronic devices driven by low power, piezoelectric nanogenerators (PENGs) using various nanostructured materials are being developed. Among them, ZnO nanowires (NWs) are most widely used for the use of PENGs. However, while research on n-type ZnO NWs is extensive, studies on p-type ZnO NWs are insufficient owing to their poor stability. In this study, La-doped p-type ZnO (La: ZnO) NWs were synthesized by a hydrothermal method to expand the applications of p-type ZnO and determine their potential as PENGs. XRD analysis showed that La3+ ions was well doped without the formation of any secondary phases and caused a change in the lattice parameter when compared to that of undoped ZnO. XPS analysis was performed to investigate the surface elemental compositions of La: ZnO NWs, and the morphology of La: ZnO NWs was investigated using SEM and TEM. We further studied the piezoelectric output performance of undoped and La-doped ZnO NWs, and found that La: ZnO NWs showed improved piezoelectric output performance as a result of electron screening effect of the p-type semiconductor.