We have investigated the effects of piezoelectric potential in a ZnO nanowire on the transport characteristics of the nanowire based field effect transistor through numerical calculations and experimental observations. Under different straining conditions including stretching, compressing, twisting, and their combination, a piezoelectric potential is created throughout the nanowire to modulate/alternate the transport property of the metal-ZnO nanowire contacts, resulting in a switch between symmetric and asymmetric contacts at the two ends, or even turning an Ohmic contact type into a diode. The commonly observed natural rectifying behavior of the as-fabricated ZnO nanowire can be attributed to the strain that was unpurposely created in the nanowire during device fabrication and material handling. This work provides further evidence on piezopotential governed electronic transport and devices, e.g., piezotronics.

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