Filippin, A.N., Sanchez-Valencia, J.R., Garcia-Casas, X., Lopez-Flores, V., Macias-Montero, M., Frutos, F., Barranco, A., Borras, A.
Nano Energy, 58 (2019) 476-483
The thin film configuration presents obvious practical advantages over the 1D implementation in energy harvesting systems such as easily manufacturing and processing, and long-lasting and stable devices. However, ZnO-based piezoelectric nanogenerators (PENGs) generally rely on the exploitation of single-crystalline nanowires because of their self-orientation in the c-axis direction and ability to accommodate long deformations resulting in high piezoelectric performance. Herein, we show an innovative approach to produce PENGs by combining polycrystalline ZnO layers fabricated at room temperature by plasma-assisted deposition with supported small-molecule organic nanowires (ONWs) acting as 1D scaffolds. Such hybrid nanostructures present convoluted core-shell morphology, formed by a single-crystalline organic nanowire conformally surrounded by a poly-crystalline ZnO shell and combine the organic core mechanical properties with the ZnO layer piezoelectric response. In a step forward towards the integration of multiple functions within a single wire, we have also developed ONW-Au-ZnO nanoarchitectures including a gold shell acting as inner electrode achieving output piezo-voltages up to 170 mV. The synergistic combination of functionalities in the ONW-Au-ZnO devices promotes an enhanced performance generating piezo-currents one order of magnitude larger than the ONW-ZnO nanowires and superior to the thin film nanogenerators for equivalent and higher thicknesses.