Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



AIP ADVANCES 6, 045301 (2016)


©Author(s) 2016. CC licences


We studied the propagation of extensional waves in a thin piezoelectric semiconductor rod of ZnO whose c-axis is along the axis of the rod. The macroscopic theory of piezoelectric semiconductors was used which consists of the coupled equations of piezoelectricity and the conservation of charge. The problem is nonlinear because the drift current is the product of the unknown electric field and the unknown carrier density. A perturbation procedure was used which resulted in two one-way coupled linear problems of piezoelectricity and the conservation of charge, respectively. The acoustic wave and the accompanying electric field were obtained from the equations of piezoelectricity. The motion of carriers was then determined from the conservation of charge using a trigonometric series. It was found that while the acoustic wave was approximated by a sinusoidal wave, the motion of carriers deviates from a sinusoidal wave qualitatively because of the contributions of higher harmonics arising from the originally nonlinear terms. The wave crests become higher and sharper while the troughs are shallower and wider. This deviation is more pronounced for acoustic waves with larger amplitudes