A first-principles approach is demonstrated for calculating the relationship between an aqueous semiconductor interface structure and energy level alignment. The physical interface structure is sampled using density functional theory based molecular dynamics, yielding the interface electrostatic dipole. The GW approach from many-body perturbation theory is used to place the electronic band edge energies of the semiconductor relative to the occupied 1b1 energy level in water. The application to the specific cases of nonpolar (101¯0) facets of GaN and ZnO reveals a significant role for the structural motifs at the interface, including the degree of interface water dissociation and the dynamical fluctuations in the interface Zn-O and O-H bond orientations. These effects contribute up to 0.5 eV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)