Flexoelectric Thin-Film Photodetectors

Ming Wu, Zhizheng Jiang, Xiaojie Lou, Fan Zhang, Dongsheng Song, Shoucong Ning, Mengyao Guo, Stephen J. Pennycook, Ji Yan Dai, Zheng Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The flexoelectric effect, which manifests itself as a strain-gradient-induced electrical polarization, has triggered great interest due to its ubiquitous existence in crystalline materials without the limitation of lattice symmetry. Here, we propose a flexoelectric photodetector based on a thin-film heterostructure. This prototypical device is demonstrated by epitaxial LaFeO3 thin films grown on LaAlO3 substrates. A giant strain gradient of the order of 106/m is achieved in LaFeO3 thin films, giving rise to an obvious flexoelectric polarization and generating a significant photovoltaic effect in the LaFeO3-based heterostructures with nanosecond response under light illumination. This work not only demonstrates a novel self-powered photodetector different from the traditional interface-type structures, such as the p-n and Schottky junctions but also opens an avenue to design practical flexoelectric devices for nanoelectronics applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2946-2952
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021


  • Flexoelectric effect
  • heterostructure
  • photovoltaic effect
  • strain gradient
  • thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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