A zinc oxide nanowire pressure sensor

T. S. Van Den Heever, W. J. Perold, U. Büttner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Measuring pressure with zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires was investigated. ZnO exhibits the piezoelectric effect, generating a voltage when pressure is applied to the material. This relationship was used to make a pressure sensor. Simulations with specialized software were conducted to get a better understanding of how the ZnO nanowires would work. A Vapour-Liquid-Solid method was used to grow uniform and dense vertical arrays of ZnO nanowires, which were used for the creation of a pressure sensor. The manufacturing process consisted of a number of steps in order to build a working pressure sensor from the ZnO nanowires. The output voltage, at high pressure was measured between 5-6 mV, which is lower than the simulated values of 0.358 V, due to imperfections and losses throughout the system. The output voltage versus applied pressure graphs coincide with those of bulk materials, as well as related products, such as force sensing resistors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalNanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Nanowires
  • Pressure Sensor
  • Zinc Oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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