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Localized electronic states around stacking faults in silicon carbide

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Patrick Briddon


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We report on a first-principles study of all the structurally different stacking faults that can be introduced by elide along the (0001) basal plane in 3C-, 4H-, and 6H-SiC based on the local-density approximation within the density-functional theory. Our band-structure calculations have revealed that both types of stacking faults in 4H-SiC and two of the three different types of stacking faults in 6H-SiC give rise to quasi-two-dimensional energy band states in the band gap at around 0.2 eV below the lowest conduction band, thus being electrically active in n-type material. Although stacking faults, unlike point defects and surfaces, are not associated with broken or chemically perturbed bonds, we find a strong localization, within roughly 10-15 Angstrom perpendicular to the stacking fault plane, of the stacking fault gap state wave functions. We find that this quantum-well-like feature of certain stacking faults in SiC can be understood in terms of the large conduction-band offsets between the cubic and hexagonal polytypes. Recent experimental results give qualitative support to our results.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Iwata H, Lindefelt U, Oberg S, Briddon PR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physical Review B

Year: 2002

Volume: 65

Issue: 3

ISSN (print): 1098-0121

ISSN (electronic): 1550-235X

Publisher: American Physical Society