We show that percolation can control not only diffusion in solids, but in the case of semiconductors also their electrical activity, via the doping action of the diffusing species. This occurs in (Hg1-xCdx)Te (MCT) when xCd <0.8. The 107 times higher diffusivity at xCd <0.8 can be understood by realizing that the percolation threshold for an ideal FCC lattice is at 0.19. While normally Ag is a donor, it can be an acceptor by stabilizing the Hg(I) state. This is possible by interaction with 2 Hg neighbors, a process that will be favorable above the Hg percolation limit. The fast Ag diffusion also holds the clue for the occurrence of ultra-low concentration phase separation in this system, the result of a balance between elastic attraction and Coulombic repulsion between the charged dopants. Prima facie evidence for this phase separation comes from coulometric Ag titration in and out of MCT.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Crystal Growth|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 15 1999|
- Phase transition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics