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Giant piezoresistance effect in silicon nanowires

Nature Nanotechnology volume 1, pages 4246 (2006) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The piezoresistance effect of silicon1 has been widely used in mechanical sensors2,3,4, and is now being actively explored in order to improve the performance of silicon transistors5,6. In fact, strain engineering is now considered to be one of the most promising strategies for developing high-performance sub-10-nm silicon devices7. Interesting electromechanical properties have been observed in carbon nanotubes8,9. In this paper we report that Si nanowires possess an unusually large piezoresistance effect compared with bulk. For example, the longitudinal piezoresistance coefficient along the 〈111〉 direction increases with decreasing diameter for p-type Si nanowires, reaching as high as −3,550 × 10−11 Pa–1, in comparison with a bulk value of −94 × 10−11 Pa−1. Strain-induced carrier mobility change and surface modifications have been shown to have clear influence on piezoresistance coefficients. This giant piezoresistance effect in Si nanowires may have significant implications in nanowire-based flexible electronics, as well as in nanoelectromechanical systems.

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Acknowledgements

We thank A. San Paulo and Rong Fan for technical assistance, and R. Maboudian and R. T. Howe for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and MARCO MSD Center. We thank the National Center for Electron Microscopy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, for the use of their facilities.

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  1. Department of Chemistry, University of California, Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA

    • Rongrui He
    •  & Peidong Yang

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peidong Yang.

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    Supplementary information, figures S1 and S2, table S1

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2006.53

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