This Letter reports on the fabrication of piezoelectric nanofibres and the demonstration of voltage generation from them by performing three-point bending with a dynamic mechanical analyser (DMA). Partially aligned lead zirconate titanate (PbZr52Ti48O3, PZT) nanofibres were fabricated using a sol-gel electrospinning process. The diameters of the PZT nanofibres were tuned from 50 to 150-nm by changing the concentration of the sol-gel in the precursor. The nanofibres consist of nanocrystalline grains with an average grain size of 10-nm. A voltage generation device based on PZT nanofibres was fabricated by simply applying conductive silver paste to serve as electrodes. The output voltages from the nanofibres under different strains were recorded using a data acquisition (DAQ) card and Labview®. The output voltage increased with intensified, applied strain; and the highest value of the output voltage was 0.17 V. From the output voltage, the piezoelectric voltage coefficient, g33, was estimated as 0.0354 m2/C. The principle of the voltage generation is caused by the strain-induced piezoelectric effect. The results reveal that PZT nanofibres have great potential for nanosensor, nanoactuator and nanogenerator applications.
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