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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 854094, 20 pages
Review Article

Recent Progress in Ohmic/Schottky-Contacted ZnO Nanowire Sensors

1Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China
2School of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
3School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0245, USA

Received 31 March 2015; Accepted 16 June 2015

Academic Editor: Meiyong Liao

Copyright © 2015 Xiaoli Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We review the recent progress of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowire sensors with ohmic-contacted and Schottky-contacted configurations and the enhancement of the performances of Schottky-contacted ZnO NW sensors (SCZNSs) by the piezotronic effect. Comparing with the traditional ohmic-contacted ZnO NW sensors (OCZNSs), the SCZNSs have higher sensitivities and faster responses controlled by the barrier height at the metal-semiconductor (M-S) interface. The piezotronic effect was applied to tune the Schottky barrier height (SBH) with the strain-induced piezoelectric polarization charges at the interface of the M-S contact. The piezotronic effect can thus improve the detection limitation, sensitivity, and response time of the SCZNSs in different applications, such as UV detection, gas and bio/chemical sensing. These piezotronic-enhanced SCZNSs may find potential applications in human-machine interfacing and flexible electronics skin technologies.