69 research outputs found

    Negative-U properties for substitutional Au in Si

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    The isolated substitutional gold impurity in bulk silicon is studied in detail using electronic structure calculations based on density-functional theory. The defect system is found to be a non-spin-polarized negative-U centre, thus providing a simple solution to the long-standing debate over the electron paramagnetic resonance signal for gold in silicon. There is an excellent agreement (within 0.03 eV) between the well-established experimental donor and acceptor levels and the predicted stable charge state transition levels, allowing for the unambiguous assignment of the two experimental levels to the (1+/1-) and (1-/3-) transitions, respectively, in contrast to previously held assumptions about the system.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figure

    Improving the conductance of carbon nanotube networks through resonant momentum exchange

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    We present a mechanism to improve the conductivity of carbon nanotube (CNT) networks by improving the conductance between CNTs of different chirality. We argue generally that a weak perturbation can greatly improve the inter-tube conductance by allowing momentum-conserving tunnelling. The mechanism is verified with a tight-binding model, allowing an investigation of its impact for a network containing a range of chiralities. We discuss practical implementations, and conclude that it may be effected by weak physical interactions, and therefore does not require chemical bonding to the CNTs.Comment: 6 pages, 4 figure

    Van der Waals interactions in DFT made easy by Wannier functions

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    Ubiquitous Van der Waals interactions between atoms and molecules are important for many molecular and solid structures. These systems are often studied from first principles using the Density Functional Theory (DFT). However, the commonly used DFT functionals fail to capture the essence of Van der Waals effects. Many attempts to correct for this problem have been proposed, which are not completely satisfactory because they are either very complex and computationally expensive or have a basic semiempirical character. We here describe a novel approach, based on the use of the Maximally-Localized Wannier functions, that appears to be promising, being simple, efficient, accurate, and transferable (charge polarization effects are naturally included). The results of test applications are presented.Comment: submitted to Phys. Rev. Let

    Generalized Wannier functions: a comparison of molecular electric dipole polarizabilities

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    Localized Wannier functions provide an efficient and intuitive means by which to compute dielectric properties from first principles. They are most commonly constructed in a post-processing step, following total-energy minimization. Nonorthogonal generalized Wannier functions (NGWFs) [Skylaris et al., Phys. Rev. B 66, 035119 11 (2002); Skylaris et al., J. Chem. Phys. 122, 084119 (2005)] may also be optimized in situ, in the process of solving for the ground-state density. We explore the relationship between NGWFs and orthonormal, maximally localized Wannier functions (MLWFs) [Marzari and Vanderbilt, Phys. Rev. B 56, 12847 (1997); Souza, Marzari, and Vanderbilt, ibid. 65, 035109 (2001)], demonstrating that NGWFs may be used to compute electric dipole polarizabilities efficiently, with no necessity for post-processing optimization, and with an accuracy comparable to MLWFs.Comment: 5 pages, 1 figure. This version matches that accepted for Physical Review B on 4th May 201

    Subspace representations in ab initio methods for strongly correlated systems

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    We present a generalized definition of subspace occupancy matrices in ab initio methods for strongly correlated materials, such as DFT+U and DFT+DMFT, which is appropriate to the case of nonorthogonal projector functions. By enforcing the tensorial consistency of all matrix operations, we are led to a subspace projection operator for which the occupancy matrix is tensorial and accumulates only contributions which are local to the correlated subspace at hand. For DFT+U in particular, the resulting contributions to the potential and ionic forces are automatically Hermitian, without resort to symmetrization, and localized to their corresponding correlated subspace. The tensorial invariance of the occupancies, energies and ionic forces is preserved. We illustrate the effect of this formalism in a DFT+U study using self-consistently determined projectors.Comment: 15 pages, 8 figures. This version (v2) matches that accepted for Physical Review B on 15th April 201

    Twist-angle dependence of electron correlations in moir\'e graphene bilayers

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    Motivated by the recent observation of correlated insulator states and unconventional superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene, we study the dependence of electron correlations on the twist angle and reveal the existence of strong correlations over a narrow range of twist-angles near the magic angle. Specifically, we determine the on-site and extended Hubbard parameters of the low-energy Wannier states using an atomistic quantum-mechanical approach. The ratio of the on-site Hubbard parameter and the width of the flat bands, which is an indicator of the strength of electron correlations, depends sensitively on the screening by the semiconducting substrate and the metallic gates. Including the effect of long-ranged Coulomb interactions significantly reduces electron correlations and explains the experimentally observed sensitivity of strong correlation phenomena on twist angle.Comment: 17 pages, 6 figure

    System-size convergence of point defect properties: The case of the silicon vacancy

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    We present a comprehensive study of the vacancy in bulk silicon in all its charge states from 2+ to 2-, using a supercell approach within plane-wave density-functional theory, and systematically quantify the various contributions to the well-known finite size errors associated with calculating formation energies and stable charge state transition levels of isolated defects with periodic boundary conditions. Furthermore, we find that transition levels converge faster with respect to supercell size when only the Gamma-point is sampled in the Brillouin zone, as opposed to a dense k-point sampling. This arises from the fact that defect level at the Gamma-point quickly converges to a fixed value which correctly describes the bonding at the defect centre. Our calculated transition levels with 1000-atom supercells and Gamma-point only sampling are in good agreement with available experimental results. We also demonstrate two simple and accurate approaches for calculating the valence band offsets that are required for computing formation energies of charged defects, one based on a potential averaging scheme and the other using maximally-localized Wannier functions (MLWFs). Finally, we show that MLWFs provide a clear description of the nature of the electronic bonding at the defect centre that verifies the canonical Watkins model.Comment: 10 pages, 6 figure
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