In this work we analyze the coupled piezoelectric and semiconductive behavior of vertically aligned ZnO nanowires under uniform compression. The screening effect on the piezoelectric field caused by the free carriers in vertically compressed zinc oxide nanowires (NWs) has been computed by means of both analytical considerations and finite element calculations. We predict that, for typical geometries and donor concentrations, the length of the NW does not significantly influence the maximum output piezopotential because the potential mainly drops across the tip, so that relatively short NWs can be sufficient for high-efficiency nanogenerators, which is an important result for wet-chemistry fabrication of low-cost, CMOS- or MEMS-compatible nanogenerators. Furthermore, simulations reveal that the dielectric surrounding the NW influences the output piezopotential, especially for low donor concentrations. Other parameters such as the applied force, the sectional area and the donor concentration have been varied in order to understand their effects on the output voltage of the nanogenerator.
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