Flexible and translucent PZT films enhanced by the compositionally graded heterostructure for human body monitoring

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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  • Deng Zou
  • Chao Zhang
  • Guangzu Zhang


Original languageEnglish
Article number105984
Journal / PublicationNano Energy
Online published16 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


As a typical ferroelectric material, the PbZr1−xTix O3 (PZT) thin film with a homogeneous component has drawn extensive attention to the application in self-powered flexible electronics. The design of compositionally graded PZT thin films (i.e. artificially control the Zr/Ti ratio in different compositional layers in one film) has shown its immense potentials due to some novel phenomena induced by strain gradient, such as the shifted hysteresis loop, generation of the built-in electric field, enhancement in the motion of domain wall. However, the effect of the compositionally graded heterostructure on the piezoelectric response and its performance on the device level has seldom been investigated. To fill this knowledge gap, we prepare PZT thin films with the compositionally graded structure and based on that, fabricate flexible piezoelectric nanogenerators (PENGs). Furthermore, we explore the 2D mica as the substrate of PENGs and avoid the commonly used costly and troublesome laser-lifting or etching transfer procedure. The PENG prototypes integrated with 1 µm thick PZT films are flexible, translucent, and show high electric responses under different mechanical stimuli. Experiments indicate that up-graded PZT films, of which Zr composition varies from 20% near the bottom to 80% at the top, outperforms the down-graded counterpart. The up-graded PENG achieves a maximum voltage response of 2 V and a current density of 10.0 μA/cm2 when bent by 90°. This work demonstrates that the strain-tuned compositionally graded structure is an effective approach to improve the PENG performance.

Research Area(s)

  • Compositionally graded, Flexible electronics, Motion sensor, Piezoelectric nanogenerators