Author(s): Wang ZL
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Abstract Nanobelt is a quasi-one-dimensional structurally controlled nanomaterial that has well-defined chemical composition, crystallographic structure, and surfaces (e.g., growth direction, top/bottom surface, and side surfaces). This article reviews the nanobelt family of functional oxides, including ZnO, SnO2, In2O3, Ga2O3, CdO, and PbO2 and the relevant hierarchical and complex nanorods and nanowires that have been synthesized by a solid-vapor process. The nanobelts are single crystalline and dislocation free, and their surfaces are atomically flat. The oxides are semiconductors that have been used for fabrication of nanosize functional devices of key importance for nanosystems and biotechnology, such as field-effect transistors, gas sensors, nanoresonators, and nanocantilevers. The structurally controlled ZnO nanobelts that exhibit piezoelectric properties are also reviewed. By controlling growth kinetics, we show the success of growing nanobelt-based novel structures whose surfaces are dominated by the polarized +-(0001) facets. Owing to the positive and negative ionic charges on the zinc- and oxygen-terminated +-(0001) surfaces, respectively, a spontaneous polarization is induced across the nanobelt thickness. As a result, helical nanostructures and nanorings are formed by rolling up single-crystal nanobelts; this phenomenon is a consequence of minimizing the total energy contributed by spontaneous polarization and elasticity. The polar surface-dominated ZnO nanobelts are likely to be an ideal system for understanding piezoelectricity and polarization-induced ferroelectricity at nano-scale and they could have applications as one-dimensional nano-scale sensors, transducers, and resonators.
This article was published in Annu Rev Phys Chem
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology