Flexible strain sensors have many applications such as structural health monitoring, mechanical testing, and pulse power suppliers. Piezotronic strain sensors, which consist of a metal–semiconductor– metal interface, are well-suited for these applications due to their high sensitivity and fast response times. Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires (NWs) are a popular material for use in piezotronic strain sensors. However, Zinc oxide has relatively high work function, so we can enhance its field electron emission with titanium nitride (TiN) coating, which has good electrical conductivity and relatively low work function. Therefore, TiN thin film makes it potential in ideal field emitters. In our research, we want to develop the new material which has piezo-related properties and low work function simultaneously.
In this work, piezophotocatalytic and piezoelectric performance of Titanium Zinc Nitride Nanorod thin films deposited by RF magnetron sputtering were described. TiN and ZnN have centrosymmetric structure. However, thin film capacitors fabricated by sputtering Zn doped TiN nanorods from Zinc and Titanium targets in N2 ambient has non-centrosymmetric structure, because electric polarization and relative permittivity measurements yield distinct ferroelectric properties.
Based on various measurements including piezopotential, piezotronic, piezophototronic, and piezophotocatalytic analyses obtained by characterization tools, (i.e. X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman scattering, Scanning electron microscope, Transmission electron microscopy, Secondary-ion mass spectrometry, UV-Vis, and I-V methods) we found that the base pressure of vacuum chamber, the chamber pressure and temperature, the sputtering power, and gas flow significantly influenced this material’s crystallinity, morphology (i.e. surface roughness), structure properties (i.e. crystallite size), electrical properties (i.e. refractive index), optical, and mechanical properties. In addition, we use combinatorial methodology to fabricate the material , which has significant piezoelectric properties in the specific concentration of Zinc, for use as a piezoelectric sensor.
Keywords: Titanium Zinc Nitride, Zinc doped, nanocolumn, morphology control, composition spread, combinatorial magnetron sputtering, piezotronic / piezophototronic effects, photocatalysis / piezophotocatalysis.
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