Author

# Alex Zunger

Other affiliations: Tel Aviv University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Braunschweig University of Technology ...read more

Bio: Alex Zunger is an academic researcher from University of Colorado Boulder. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Band gap & Quantum dot. The author has an hindex of 128, co-authored 826 publication(s) receiving 78798 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Alex Zunger include Tel Aviv University & University of Wisconsin-Madison.

##### Papers published on a yearly basis

##### Papers

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TL;DR: In this paper, the self-interaction correction (SIC) of any density functional for the ground-state energy is discussed. But the exact density functional is strictly selfinteraction-free (i.e., orbitals demonstrably do not selfinteract), but many approximations to it, including the local spin-density (LSD) approximation for exchange and correlation, are not.

Abstract: The exact density functional for the ground-state energy is strictly self-interaction-free (i.e., orbitals demonstrably do not self-interact), but many approximations to it, including the local-spin-density (LSD) approximation for exchange and correlation, are not. We present two related methods for the self-interaction correction (SIC) of any density functional for the energy; correction of the self-consistent one-electron potenial follows naturally from the variational principle. Both methods are sanctioned by the Hohenberg-Kohn theorem. Although the first method introduces an orbital-dependent single-particle potential, the second involves a local potential as in the Kohn-Sham scheme. We apply the first method to LSD and show that it properly conserves the number content of the exchange-correlation hole, while substantially improving the description of its shape. We apply this method to a number of physical problems, where the uncorrected LSD approach produces systematic errors. We find systematic improvements, qualitative as well as quantitative, from this simple correction. Benefits of SIC in atomic calculations include (i) improved values for the total energy and for the separate exchange and correlation pieces of it, (ii) accurate binding energies of negative ions, which are wrongly unstable in LSD, (iii) more accurate electron densities, (iv) orbital eigenvalues that closely approximate physical removal energies, including relaxation, and (v) correct longrange behavior of the potential and density. It appears that SIC can also remedy the LSD underestimate of the band gaps in insulators (as shown by numerical calculations for the rare-gas solids and CuCl), and the LSD overestimate of the cohesive energies of transition metals. The LSD spin splitting in atomic Ni and $s\ensuremath{-}d$ interconfigurational energies of transition elements are almost unchanged by SIC. We also discuss the admissibility of fractional occupation numbers, and present a parametrization of the electron-gas correlation energy at any density, based on the recent results of Ceperley and Alder.

14,881 citations

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TL;DR: It is shown that it is possible to design special quasirandom structures'' (SQS) that mimic for small {ital N} the first few, physically most relevant radial correlation functions of a perfectly random structure far better than the standard technique does.

Abstract: Structural models used in calculations of properties of substitutionally random ${\mathit{A}}_{1\mathrm{\ensuremath{-}}\mathit{x}}$${\mathit{B}}_{\mathit{x}}$ alloys are usually constructed by randomly occupying each of the N sites of a periodic cell by A or B. We show that it is possible to design ``special quasirandom structures'' (SQS's) that mimic for small N (even N=8) the first few, physically most relevant radial correlation functions of a perfectly random structure far better than the standard technique does. We demonstrate the usefulness of these SQS's by calculating optical and thermodynamic properties of a number of semiconductor alloys in the local-density formalism.

2,004 citations

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors study the intrinsic defect physics of ZnO and find that ZnOs cannot be doped p type via native defects, despite the fact that they are shallow donors.

Abstract: ZnO typifies a class of materials that can be doped via native defects in only one way: either n type or p type. We explain this asymmetry in ZnO via a study of its intrinsic defect physics, including ${\mathrm{Zn}}_{\mathrm{O}},$ ${\mathrm{Zn}}_{i},$ ${\mathrm{V}}_{\mathrm{O}},$ ${\mathrm{O}}_{i},$ and ${V}_{\mathrm{Zn}}$ and n-type impurity dopants, Al and F. We find that ZnO is n type at Zn-rich conditions. This is because (i) the Zn interstitial, ${\mathrm{Zn}}_{i},$ is a shallow donor, supplying electrons; (ii) its formation enthalpy is low for both Zn-rich and O-rich conditions, so this defect is abundant; and (iii) the native defects that could compensate the n-type doping effect of ${\mathrm{Zn}}_{i}$ (interstitial O, ${\mathrm{O}}_{i},$ and Zn vacancy, ${V}_{\mathrm{Zn}}),$ have high formation enthalpies for Zn-rich conditions, so these ``electron killers'' are not abundant. We find that ZnO cannot be doped p type via native defects $({\mathrm{O}}_{i},{V}_{\mathrm{Zn}})$ despite the fact that they are shallow (i.e., supplying holes at room temperature). This is because at both Zn-rich and O-rich conditions, the defects that could compensate p-type doping ${(V}_{\mathrm{O}}{,\mathrm{}\mathrm{Zn}}_{i},{\mathrm{Zn}}_{\mathrm{O}})$ have low formation enthalpies so these ``hole killers'' form readily. Furthermore, we identify electron-hole radiative recombination at the ${V}_{\mathrm{O}}$ center as the source of the green luminescence. In contrast, a large structural relaxation of the same center upon double hole capture leads to slow electron-hole recombination (either radiative or nonradiative) responsible for the slow decay of photoconductivity.

1,661 citations

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TL;DR: The theoretical defect model for In(2)O(3) and ZnO finds that intrinsic acceptors have a high Delta H explaining high n-dopability, and the O vacancy V(O) has a metastable shallow state, explaining the paradoxical coexistence of coloration and conductivity.

Abstract: Existing defect models for ${\mathrm{In}}_{2}{\mathrm{O}}_{3}$ and ZnO are inconclusive about the origin of conductivity, nonstoichiometry, and coloration. We apply systematic corrections to first-principles calculated formation energies $\ensuremath{\Delta}H$, and validate our theoretical defect model against measured defect and carrier densities. We find that (i) intrinsic acceptors (``electron killers'') have a high $\ensuremath{\Delta}H$ explaining high $n$-dopability, (ii) intrinsic donors (``electron producers'') have either a high $\ensuremath{\Delta}H$ or deep levels, and do not cause equilibrium-stable conductivity, (iii) the O vacancy ${V}_{\mathrm{O}}$ has a low $\ensuremath{\Delta}H$ leading to O deficiency, and (iv) ${V}_{\mathrm{O}}$ has a metastable shallow state, explaining the paradoxical coexistence of coloration and conductivity.

1,457 citations

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors studied the defect physics in a chalcopyrite semiconductor and showed that it takes much less energy to form a Cu vacancy in the semiconductor than to form cation vacancies in II-VI compounds and that defect formation energies vary considerably both with the Fermi energy and with the chemical potential of the atomic species.

Abstract: We studied the defect physics in ${\mathrm{CuInSe}}_{2},$ a prototype chalcopyrite semiconductor. We showed that (i) it takes much less energy to form a Cu vacancy in ${\mathrm{CuInSe}}_{2}$ than to form cation vacancies in II-VI compounds (ii) defect formation energies vary considerably both with the Fermi energy and with the chemical potential of the atomic species, and (iii) the defect pairs such as $({2\mathrm{V}}_{\mathrm{Cu}}^{\mathrm{\ensuremath{-}}}{+\mathrm{I}\mathrm{n}}_{\mathrm{Cu}}^{2+})$ and $({2\mathrm{C}\mathrm{u}}_{\mathrm{In}}^{2\mathrm{\ensuremath{-}}}{+\mathrm{I}\mathrm{n}}_{\mathrm{Cu}}^{2+})$ have particularly low formation energies (under certain conditions, even exothermic). Using (i)--(iii), we (a) explain the existence of unusual ordered compounds ${\mathrm{CuIn}}_{5}{\mathrm{Se}}_{8},$ ${\mathrm{CuIn}}_{3}{\mathrm{Se}}_{5},$ ${\mathrm{Cu}}_{2}{\mathrm{In}}_{4}{\mathrm{Se}}_{7},$ and ${\mathrm{Cu}}_{3}{\mathrm{In}}_{5}{\mathrm{Se}}_{9}$ as a repeat of a single unit of $({2\mathrm{V}}_{\mathrm{Cu}}^{\mathrm{\ensuremath{-}}}{+\mathrm{I}\mathrm{n}}_{\mathrm{Cu}}^{2+})$ pairs for each $n=4,$ 5, 7, and 9 units, respectively, of ${\mathrm{CuInSe}}_{2};$ (b) attribute the very efficient $p$-type self-doping ability of ${\mathrm{CuInSe}}_{2}$ to the exceptionally low formation energy of the shallow defect Cu vacancies; (c) explained in terms of an electronic passivation of the ${\mathrm{In}}_{\mathrm{Cu}}^{2+}$ by ${2\mathrm{V}}_{\mathrm{Cu}}^{\mathrm{\ensuremath{-}}}$ the electrically benign character of the large defect population in ${\mathrm{CuInSe}}_{2}.$ Our calculation leads to a set of new assignment of the observed defect transition energy levels in the band gap. The calculated level positions agree rather well with available experimental data.

1,124 citations

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TL;DR: A detailed description and comparison of algorithms for performing ab-initio quantum-mechanical calculations using pseudopotentials and a plane-wave basis set is presented in this article. But this is not a comparison of our algorithm with the one presented in this paper.

Abstract: We present a detailed description and comparison of algorithms for performing ab-initio quantum-mechanical calculations using pseudopotentials and a plane-wave basis set. We will discuss: (a) partial occupancies within the framework of the linear tetrahedron method and the finite temperature density-functional theory, (b) iterative methods for the diagonalization of the Kohn-Sham Hamiltonian and a discussion of an efficient iterative method based on the ideas of Pulay's residual minimization, which is close to an order Natoms2 scaling even for relatively large systems, (c) efficient Broyden-like and Pulay-like mixing methods for the charge density including a new special ‘preconditioning’ optimized for a plane-wave basis set, (d) conjugate gradient methods for minimizing the electronic free energy with respect to all degrees of freedom simultaneously. We have implemented these algorithms within a powerful package called VAMP (Vienna ab-initio molecular-dynamics package). The program and the techniques have been used successfully for a large number of different systems (liquid and amorphous semiconductors, liquid simple and transition metals, metallic and semi-conducting surfaces, phonons in simple metals, transition metals and semiconductors) and turned out to be very reliable.

40,008 citations

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TL;DR: In this paper, the self-interaction correction (SIC) of any density functional for the ground-state energy is discussed. But the exact density functional is strictly selfinteraction-free (i.e., orbitals demonstrably do not selfinteract), but many approximations to it, including the local spin-density (LSD) approximation for exchange and correlation, are not.

Abstract: The exact density functional for the ground-state energy is strictly self-interaction-free (i.e., orbitals demonstrably do not self-interact), but many approximations to it, including the local-spin-density (LSD) approximation for exchange and correlation, are not. We present two related methods for the self-interaction correction (SIC) of any density functional for the energy; correction of the self-consistent one-electron potenial follows naturally from the variational principle. Both methods are sanctioned by the Hohenberg-Kohn theorem. Although the first method introduces an orbital-dependent single-particle potential, the second involves a local potential as in the Kohn-Sham scheme. We apply the first method to LSD and show that it properly conserves the number content of the exchange-correlation hole, while substantially improving the description of its shape. We apply this method to a number of physical problems, where the uncorrected LSD approach produces systematic errors. We find systematic improvements, qualitative as well as quantitative, from this simple correction. Benefits of SIC in atomic calculations include (i) improved values for the total energy and for the separate exchange and correlation pieces of it, (ii) accurate binding energies of negative ions, which are wrongly unstable in LSD, (iii) more accurate electron densities, (iv) orbital eigenvalues that closely approximate physical removal energies, including relaxation, and (v) correct longrange behavior of the potential and density. It appears that SIC can also remedy the LSD underestimate of the band gaps in insulators (as shown by numerical calculations for the rare-gas solids and CuCl), and the LSD overestimate of the cohesive energies of transition metals. The LSD spin splitting in atomic Ni and $s\ensuremath{-}d$ interconfigurational energies of transition elements are almost unchanged by SIC. We also discuss the admissibility of fractional occupation numbers, and present a parametrization of the electron-gas correlation energy at any density, based on the recent results of Ceperley and Alder.

14,881 citations

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TL;DR: The simulation allows us to study in detail the changes in the structure-property relationship through the metal-semiconductor transition, and a detailed analysis of the local structural properties and their changes induced by an annealing process is reported.

Abstract: We present ab initio quantum-mechanical molecular-dynamics simulations of the liquid-metal--amorphous-semiconductor transition in Ge. Our simulations are based on (a) finite-temperature density-functional theory of the one-electron states, (b) exact energy minimization and hence calculation of the exact Hellmann-Feynman forces after each molecular-dynamics step using preconditioned conjugate-gradient techniques, (c) accurate nonlocal pseudopotentials, and (d) Nos\'e dynamics for generating a canonical ensemble. This method gives perfect control of the adiabaticity of the electron-ion ensemble and allows us to perform simulations over more than 30 ps. The computer-generated ensemble describes the structural, dynamic, and electronic properties of liquid and amorphous Ge in very good agreement with experiment. The simulation allows us to study in detail the changes in the structure-property relationship through the metal-semiconductor transition. We report a detailed analysis of the local structural properties and their changes induced by an annealing process. The geometrical, bonding, and spectral properties of defects in the disordered tetrahedral network are investigated and compared with experiment.

13,961 citations

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TL;DR: The semiconductor ZnO has gained substantial interest in the research community in part because of its large exciton binding energy (60meV) which could lead to lasing action based on exciton recombination even above room temperature.

Abstract: The semiconductor ZnO has gained substantial interest in the research community in part because of its large exciton binding energy (60meV) which could lead to lasing action based on exciton recombination even above room temperature. Even though research focusing on ZnO goes back many decades, the renewed interest is fueled by availability of high-quality substrates and reports of p-type conduction and ferromagnetic behavior when doped with transitions metals, both of which remain controversial. It is this renewed interest in ZnO which forms the basis of this review. As mentioned already, ZnO is not new to the semiconductor field, with studies of its lattice parameter dating back to 1935 by Bunn [Proc. Phys. Soc. London 47, 836 (1935)], studies of its vibrational properties with Raman scattering in 1966 by Damen et al. [Phys. Rev. 142, 570 (1966)], detailed optical studies in 1954 by Mollwo [Z. Angew. Phys. 6, 257 (1954)], and its growth by chemical-vapor transport in 1970 by Galli and Coker [Appl. Phys. ...

9,486 citations