The piezoresistive effect has shown a remarkable potential for mechanical sensor applications and been sought for its excellent performance. A great attention was paid to the giant piezoresistive effect and sensitivity delivered by silicon-based nanostructures. However, low thermal stability and complicated fabrication process hinder their practical applications. To overcome these issues and enhance the functionalities, we envision the substantial piezopotential in a zinc oxide (ZnO)/muscovite (mica) heteroepitaxy system based on theoretical consideration and realize it in practice. High piezoresistive effect with giant change of resistivity (-80 to 240%) and large gauge factor (>1000) are demonstrated through mechanical bending. The detailed features of heteroepitaxy, electrical transport, and strain are probed to understand the mechanism of such a giant resistivity change. In addition, a bending model is established to reveal the distribution of strain. Finally, we demonstrate a flex sensor featuring high sensitivity, optical transparency, and two-segment sensing with a great potential toward practical applications. Such an oxide heteroepitaxy exhibits excellent piezoresistive properties and mechanical flexibility. In the near future, the importance of flex sensors will emerge because of the precise control in the automation industries, and our results lead to a new design in the field of flex sensors.
- flex sensor
- piezoresistive effect