Role of structural relaxations and chemical substitutions on piezoelectric fields and potential lineup in GaN/Al junctions

S. Picozzi, G. Profeta, A. Continenza, S. Massidda, Arthur J Freeman

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First-principles full-potential linearized augmented plane wave calculations are performed to clarify the role of the interface geometry on piezoelectric fields and potential lineups in [0001] wurtzite and [111]-zincblende GaN/Al junctions. The electric field (polarity and magnitude) is found to be strongly affected by atomic relaxations in the interface region. A procedure is used to evaluate the Schottky-barrier height in the presence of electric fields, showing that their effect is relatively small (a few tenths of an eV). These calculations assess the rectifying behavior of the GaN/A1 contact, in agreement with experimental values for the barrier. We disentangle chemical and structural effects on the relevant properties (such as the potential discontinuity and the electric field) by studying unrelaxed ideal nitride/metal systems. Using simple electronegativity arguments, we outline the leading mechanisms that define the values of the electric field and Schottky barrier in these ideal systems. Finally, the transitivity rule is proved to be well satisfied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165316
Pages (from-to)1653161-1653167
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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