Strain sensitivity of band gaps of Sn-containing semiconductors

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Tuning of band gaps of semiconductors is a way to optimize materials for applications within photovoltaics or as photocatalysts. One way to achieve this is through applying strain to the materials. We investigate the effect of strain on a range of Sn-containing semiconductors using density functional theory and many-body perturbation theory calculations. We find that the band gaps of bulk Sn oxides with SnO6 octahedra are highly sensitive to volumetric strain. By applying a small isotropic strain of 2% (-2%), a decrease (increase) of band gaps as large as 0.8 to 1.0 eV are obtained. We attribute the ultrahigh strain sensitivity to the pure Sn s-state character of the conduction-band edges. Other Sn-containing compounds may show both increasing and decreasing gaps under tensile strain and we show that the behavior can be understood by analyzing the role of the Sn s states in both the valence and the conduction bands.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)045204
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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©2015 American Physical Society


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