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Title: Structural Stability and Defect Energetics of ZnO from Diffusion Quantum Monte Carlo

We have applied the many-body ab-initio diffusion quantum Monte Carlo (DMC) method to study Zn and ZnO crystals under pressure, and the energetics of the oxygen vacancy, zinc interstitial and hydrogen impurities in ZnO. We show that DMC is an accurate and practical method that can be used to characterize multiple properties of materials that are challenging for density functional theory approximations. DMC agrees with experimental measurements to within 0.3 eV, including the band-gap of ZnO, the ionization potential of O and Zn, and the atomization energy of O2, ZnO dimer, and wurtzite ZnO. DMC predicts the oxygen vacancy as a deep donor with a formation energy of 5.0(2) eV under O-rich conditions and thermodynamic transition levels located between 1.8 and 2.5 eV from the valence band maximum. Our DMC results indicate that the concentration of zinc interstitial and hydrogen impurities in ZnO should be low under n-type, and Zn- and H-rich conditions because these defects have formation energies above 1.4 eV under these conditions. Comparison of DMC and hybrid functionals shows that these DFT approximations can be parameterized to yield a general correct qualitative description of ZnO. However, the formation energy of defects in ZnO evaluated with DMC andmore » hybrid functionals can differ by more than 0.5 eV.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Chemical Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 16; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9606
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States