Enhanced Cu 2S/CdS coaxial nanowire solar cells by piezo-phototronic effect

Caofeng Pan, Simiao Niu, Yong Ding, Lin Dong, Ruomeng Yu, Ying Liu, Guang Zhu, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanowire solar cells are promising candidates for powering nanosystems and flexible electronics. The strain in the nanowires, introduced during growth, device fabrication and/or application, is an important issue for piezoelectric semiconductor (like CdS, ZnO, and CdTe) based photovoltaic. In this work, we demonstrate the first largely enhanced performance of n-CdS/p-Cu 2S coaxial nanowire photovoltaic (PV) devices using the piezo-phototronics effect when the PV device is subjected to an external strain. Piezo-phototronics effect could control the electron-hole pair generation, transport, separation, and/or recombination, thus enhanced the performance of the PV devices by as high as 70%. This effect offers a new concept for improving solar energy conversation efficiency by designing the orientation of the nanowires and the strain to be purposely introduced in the packaging of the solar cells. This study shed light on the enhanced flexible solar cells for applications in self-powered technology, environmental monitoring, and even defensive technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3302-3307
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 13 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Cu S/CdS coaxial nanowire
  • enhanced energy conversion efficiency
  • nanowire PV devices
  • piezo-phototronics effect


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