Design of I-II-IV-VI semiconductors through element substitution: The thermodynamic stability limit and chemical trend

C. Wang, S. Chen, J.-H. Yang, L. Lang, H.-J. Xiang, X.-G. Gong, A. Walsh, S.-H. Wei

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Abstract

Through element substitution in CuZnSnS, a class of kesterite-structured I-II-IV-VI semiconductors can be designed as novel functional materials. Using the first-principles calculations, we show that this element-substitution design is thermodynamically limited, that is, although I-II-IV-VI with I = Cu, Ag, II = Zn, Cd, Hg, IV = Si, Ge, Sn, and VI = S, Se, Te are stable quaternary compounds, those with II = Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, IV =Ti, Zr, Hf, and VI = O are unstable against the phase-separation into the competing binary and ternary compounds. Three main phase-separation pathways are revealed. In general, we show that if the secondary II-VI or I-IV-VI phases prefer to have nontetrahedral structures, then the I-II-IV-VI semiconductors tend to phase separate. This finding can be used as a guideline for future design of new quaternary semiconductors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3411-3417
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume26
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2014

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