Continuously tunable band gap in GaN/AlN (0001) superlattices via built-in electric field

X. Y. Cui, D. J. Carter, M. Fuchs, B. Delley, S. H. Wei, A. J. Freeman, C. Stampfl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Based on all-electron density-functional theory calculations using the generalized gradient approximation, we demonstrate the continuous tunability of the band gap and strength of the built-in electric field in GaN/AlN (0001) superlattices by control of the thickness of both the well (GaN) and barrier (AlN) regions. The effects of strain for these quantities are also studied. Calculations taking into account the self-interaction correction exhibit the same dependence on thickness. The calculated electric field strength values are in good agreement with recent experiments. Spontaneous polarization dominates the contribution to the electric field and the strain-induced piezoelectric polarization is estimated to contribute only about 5-10%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155301
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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