Taxel-Addressable Matrix of Vertical-Nanowire Piezotronic Transistors for Active/Adaptive Tactile Imaging

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Science  25 Apr 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1234855

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Designing, fabricating, and integrating arrays of nanodevices into a functional system is the key for transferring nanoscale science into applicable nanotechnology. We report large-array three-dimensional (3D) circuitry integration of piezotronic transistors based on vertical zinc oxide nanowires as active taxel-addressable pressure/force-sensor matrix for tactile imaging. Using the piezoelectric polarization charges created at metal-semiconductor interface under strain to gate/modulate transport process of local charge carriers, piezotronic effect has been applied to design independently addressable two-terminal transistor arrays, which convert mechanical stimuli applied on the devices into local electronic controlling signals. The device matrix has been demonstrated for achieving shape-adaptive high-resolution tactile imaging and self-powered, multidimensional active sensing. The 3D piezotronic transistor array may have applications in human-electronics interfacing, smart skin, and micro/nano-electromechanical systems.

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