Efficient electronic passivation scheme for computing low-symmetry compound semiconductor surfaces in density-functional theory slab calculations

Yoo, S.-H. and Lymperakis, L. and Neugebauer, J.

Volume: 5 Pages:
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.044605
Published: 2021

Removing artificial bands from the back side of surface slabs with pseudohydrogen atoms has become the method of choice to boost the convergence of density-functional theory (DFT) surface calculation with respect to slab thickness. In this paper we apply this approach to semipolar compound semiconductor surfaces, which have recently become attractive for device applications. We show that approaches employing saturation of dangling bonds by pseudohydrogen atoms alone are inadequate to properly passivate the surfaces, remove spurious surface states from the fundamental band gap, and achieve flat band conditions in the slab. We propose and successfully apply to technologically interesting semipolar wurtzite surfaces of III-N, III-V, and II-VI semiconductors a reconstruction-inspired passivation scheme that utilizes native anions to passivate cation dangling bonds and pseudohydrogen atoms to obey the electron counting rule and compensate for polarization-induced surface-bound charges. This scheme is generic and robust and can be straightforwardly implemented in DFT investigations of low-symmetry surfaces as well as in high-throughput and machine learning studies. © 2021 authors.

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