Indexed on: 27 Aug '03Published on: 27 Aug '03Published in: Physics - Materials Science
We combine ab initio, tight-binding methods and analytical theory to study piezoelectric effect of boron nitride nanotubes. We find that piezoelectricity of a heteropolar nanotube depends on its chirality and diameter and can be understood starting from the piezoelectric response of an isolated planar sheet, along with a structure specific mapping from the sheet onto the tube surface. We demonstrate that coupling between the uniaxial and shear deformation are only allowed in the nanotubes with lower chiral symmetry. Our study shows that piezoelectricity of nanotubes is fundamentally different from its counterpart in three dimensional (3D) bulk materials.