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    American Institute of Physics (AIP)
    Publication Date: 2016-04-12
    Description: The size scale effect on the pyroelectric properties is studied for gallium nitride (GaN) nanowires (NWs) based on molecular dynamics simulations and the theoretical analysis. Due to the significant influence of the surface thermoelasticity and piezoelectricity at the nanoscale, the pyroelectric coefficient of GaN NWs is found to depend on the cross-sectional size. This size-dependent pyroelectric coefficient of GaN NWs together with the size-dependent dielectric constant reported in our previous study is employed to study the pyroelectric potential of GaN NWs subjected to heating. The results show that the size scale effect is significant for thin NWs (cross-sectional size in nanometers) and may raise the pyroelectric potential of GaN NWs by over 10 times. Such a size scale effect on the pyroelectric properties of NWs originates from the influence of thermoelasticity, piezoelectricity, and dielectricity at the nanoscale and decreases with increasing cross-section of GaN NWs. It is expected that the present study may have strong implication in the field of energy harvesting at the nanoscale, as pyroelectricity offers a new avenue to the design of novel nanogenerators.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8979
    Electronic ISSN: 1089-7550
    Topics: Physics
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