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Recent developments on the use of the piezoelectric effect in ZnO nanorod-based p-n junctions for energy harvesting applications are presented. Two types of junctions are used. The first is a hybrid p-n device combining the semiconducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) with ZnO nanorods. The second type of junction is an all-inorganic junction between n-type ZnO nanorods and p-type CuSCN. It is shown that both these diodes can be produced on flexible plastic substrates, which generate a voltage output when bent. The voltage output of the ZnO/PEDOT:PSS diodes are measured across a range of resistive loads while bending to find a maximum power point of 12 μWcm-2 at 4 kΩ. It is shown that a voltage output is also generated when this structure is vibrated acoustically. The ZnO/CuSCN diode is sensitized to sunlight with a Ru-based dye to form a photovoltaic device. It is shown that the device efficiency can be increased by application of acoustic vibrations. This is attributed to the electric field generated by the piezoelectric effect in ZnO affecting the charge-carrier recombination at the ZnO surface.
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