We quantify the influence of thermopiezoelectric effects in nano-sized AlxGa1-xN/GaN heterostructures for pressure
sensor applications based on the barrier height modulation principle. We use a fully coupled thermoelectromechanical
formulation, consisting of balance equations for heat transfer, electrostatics and mechanical field.
To estimate the vertical transport current in the heterostructures, we have developed a multi-physics model
incorporating thermionic emission, thermionic field emission, and tunneling as the current transport mechanisms.
A wide range of thermal (0-300 K) and pressure (0-10 GPa) loadings has been considered. The results
for the thermopiezoelectric modulation of the barrier height in these heterostructures have been obtained and
optimized. The calculated current shows a linear decrease with increasing pressure. The linearity in pressure
response suggests that AlxGa1-xN/GaN heterostructure-based devices are promising candidates for pressure
sensor applications under severe environmental conditions.
In this paper, we propose a new design configuration for a carbon nanotube (CNT) array based pulsed field
emission device to stabilize the field emission current. In the new design, we consider a pointed height distribution
of the carbon nanotube array under a diode configuration with two side gates maintained at a negative potential
to obtain a highly intense beam of electrons localized at the center of the array. The randomly oriented CNTs are
assumed to be grown on a metallic substrate in the form of a thin film. A model of field emission from an array of
CNTs under diode configuration was proposed and validated by experiments. Despite high output, the current in
such a thin film device often decays drastically. The present paper is focused on understanding this problem. The
random orientation of the CNTs and the electromechanical interaction are modeled to explain the self-assembly.
The degraded state of the CNTs and the electromechanical force are employed to update the orientation of the
CNTs. Pulsed field emission current at the device scale is finally obtained by using the Fowler-Nordheim equation
by considering a dynamic electric field across the cathode and the anode and integration of current densities
over the computational cell surfaces on the anode side. Furthermore we compare the subsequent performance of
the pointed array with the conventionally used random and uniform arrays and show that the proposed design
outperforms the conventional designs by several orders of magnitude. Based on the developed model, numerical
simulations aimed at understanding the effects of various geometric parameters and their statistical features on
the device current history are reported.