The limits of electromechanical coupling in highly-tensile strained germanium

Sijia Ran, Tom S. Glen, Bei Li, Dongliang Shi, In Suk Choi, Eugene A. Fitzgerald, Steven T. Boles

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Speculations regarding electronic and photonic properties of strained germanium (Ge) have perpetually put it into contention for next-generation devices since the start of the information age. Here, the electromechanical coupling of <111> Ge nanowires (NWs) is reported from unstrained conditions to the ultimate tensile strength. Under tensile strain, the conductivity of the NW is enhanced exponentially, reaching an enhancement factor of ∼130 at ∼3.5% of strain. Under strains larger than ∼2.5%, the electrical properties of Ge also exhibit a dependence on the electric field. The conductivity can be further enhanced by ∼2.2× with a high bias condition at ∼3.5% of strain. Cyclic loading tests confirm that the observed electromechanical responses are repeatable, reversible, and related to the changing electronic band structure. These tests reveal the excellent prospects for utilizing strained Ge NWs in photodetector or piezoelectronic transistor applications, but significant challenges remain to realize strict direct band gap devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3492-3498
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020


  • Electromechanical property
  • Electronic band structure
  • Germanium (Ge) nanowire
  • In situ sem
  • Mechanical property
  • Uniaxial tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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