Project A5

Piezotronic Magnetoelectric Sensors

Project A5 employs piezotronics for improving the ME sensors. Preliminary work shows the suitability of various ME sensor types for the piezotronic concept, including ZnO, AlN, and PZT. The well-known piezotronic material from literature, ZnO, will be utilized to investigate the effect of morphology, doping, defects, crystal quality, interfaces, as well as the local stress distribution behavior. Using FFT impedance spectroscopy, will help with understanding the details of the electrical and electronic properties in the Schottky and ohmic contacts. Besides fundamental understanding of piezotronics for ME sensors, an increase in the limit of detection (LoD) by three orders of magnitude is expected as indicated by preliminary work..


Rainer Adelung
Prof. Dr.
Lead of projects A2, A5
Jorit Gröttrup
Doctoral researcher
Mona Mintken
Doctoral researcher


Role within the Collaborative Research Centre

In principle, the piezotronic approach is transferable to many different sensor types. This potential will be elucidated with the other groups listed below. Due to the difference in noise sources and sensor layout, further modeling and characterization in conjunction with other groups is required. Especially the ZnO model system makes a detailed understanding of the role of defects and stress distribution on the piezotronic features possible and will be explored in operando in TEM and synchrotron x-ray experiments to gain fundamental understanding of underlying principles. The impedance spectroscopy will be provided as a service to all projects that need a specification of dielectric films.

This project is part of the focus groups F1 “Modeling” and F2 “Sensor Concepts”.

A3: The result of the piezotronic investigations using AlN and PZT will be used as feedback to improve the piezotronic effect in different devices.
A4: Adoption of the piezotronic approach to a ΔE readout.
A6: The characterization of the in situ micro-structural changes will be performed in close collaboration with TEM and synchrotron x-ray experiments. Push-to-pull devices will be customized to enable the measurement of strained piezoelectric materials in TEM and synchrotron x-ray analyses.
A8: Exchange of finite element method calculations of mechanical deformations.
B1: Exchange of modeling of noise behavior of the piezotronic sensor systems and associated electronics.
B7: Supplying various ZnO networks as templates for cell experiments.
Z1: MEMS AlN layers for piezotronic based sensors.
Z2: High-quality, low-noise sensor measurements.

Project-related Publications

Y. K. Mishra, R. Adelung: ZnO tetrapod materials for functional applications. Materials Today, 21, 6, 631-651, Jul-Aug 2018

I. Paulowicz, V. Postica, O. Lupan, N. Wolff, S. Shree, A. Cojocaru, M. Deng, Y. K. Mishra, I. Tiginyanu, L. Kienle, R. Adelung: Zinc oxide nanotetrapods with four different arm morphologies for versatile nanosensors. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 262, 425-435, Jun 2018

D. Smazna, J. Rodrigues, S. Shree, V. Postica, G. Neubüser, A. F. Martins, N. B. Sedrine, N. K. Jena, Le. Siebert, F. Schütt, O. Lupan, R. Ahuja, M. R. Correia, T. Monteiro, L. Kienle, Y. Yang, R. Adelung, Y. K. Mishra: Buckminsterfullerene hybridized zinc oxide tetrapods: defects and charge transfer induced optical and electrical response. Nanoscale 10, 21, 10050-10062, Jun 2018

O. Lupan, N. Wolff, V. Postica, T. Braniste, I. Paulowicz, V. Hrkac, Y. K. Mishra, I. Tiginyanu, L. Kienle, R. Adelung: Properties of a single SnO2:Zn2SnO4 - Functionalized nanowire based nanosensor. Ceramics International 44, 4859-4867, Apr 2018

M. Hoppe, O. Lupan, V. Postica, N. Wolff, V. Duppel, L. Kienle, I. Tiginyanu, R. Adelung: ZnAl2O4-Functionalized Zinc Oxide Microstructures for Highly Selective Hydrogen Gas Sensing Applications. Physica Status Solidi. A. 215, 7, Apr 2018

O. Lupan, V. Postica, R. Adelung, F. Labat, I. Ciofini, U. Schürmann, L. Kienle, L. Chow, B. Viana, T. Pauporté: Functionalized Pd/ZnO Nanowires for Nanosensors. Physica Status Solidi (RRL) 12, 1, Jan 2018

S. B. Hrkac, C. T. Koops, M. Abes, C. Krywka, M. Müller, M. Burghammer, M. Sztucki, T. Dane, Kaps, Y. K. Mishra,R. Adelung, J. Schmalz, M. Gerken, E. Lage, C. Kirchhof, E. Quandt, O. M. Magnussen, and B. M. Murphy: Tunable Strain in Magnetoelectric ZnO Microrod Composite Interfaces; ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (30), pp 25571–25577; DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b15598

S. Kaps, S. Bhowmick, J. Gröttrup, V. Hrkac, D. Stauffer, H. Guo, O. L. Warren, J. Adam, L. Kienle, A. M. Minor, R. Adelung, and Y. K. Mishra: Piezoresistive Response of Quasi-One-Dimensional ZnO Nanowires Using an in Situ Electromechanical Device. Acs Omega, 2(6), 2985-2993, June 2017. 

O. Lupan, V. Postica, J. Gröttrup, A. K. Mishra, N. H. de Leeuw and R. Adelung: Enhanced UV and ethanol vapour sensing of a single 3-D ZnO tetrapod alloyed with Fe2O3 nanoparticles. Sensors & Actuators: B. Chemical, Vol. 245, 448-461, June 2017

J. Gröttrup, V. Postica, N. Ababii, O.  Lupan, C. Zamponi, D. Meyners, Y. K. Mishra, V. Sontea, I. Tiginyanu, R. Adelung: Size-dependent UV and gas sensing response of individual Fe2O3-ZnO:Fe micro- and nanowire based devices. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Vol. 701, 920-925, April 2017

O. Lupan, V. Postica, J. Gröttrup, A. K. Mishra, N. H. de Leeuw, J. F. C. Carreira, J. Rodrigues, N. Ben Sedrine, M. R. Correia, T. Monteiro, V. Cretu, I. Tiginyanu, D. Smazna, Y. K. Mishra and R. Adelung: Hybridization of Zinc Oxide Tetrapods for Selective Gas Sensing Applications. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (4), 4084-4099, January 2017

Financial Support

The Collaborative Research Center 1261 is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

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Recent Publications

P. Durdaut, M. Höft, J.-M. Friedt, E. Rubiola: Equivalence of Open-Loop and Closed-Loop Operation of SAW Resonators and Delay Lines. Sensors 2019, 19, 185;

R. Hirschberg, M. Scharnberg, S. Schröder, S. Rehders, T. Strunskus, F. Faupel: Electret films with extremely high charge stability prepared by thermal evaporation of Teflon AF; ScienceDirect, February 2018; 

A. Kittmann, P. Durdaut, S. Zabel, J. Reermann, J. Schmalz, B. Spetzler, D. Meyners, N. X. Sun, J. McCord, M. Gerken, G. Schmidt, M. Höft, R. Knöchel, F. Faupel, and E. Quandt: Wide Band Low Noise Love Wave Magnetic Field Sensor System; Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 278, January 2018;




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Kiel University
Institute for Materials Science


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