The role of stoichiometric vacancy periodicity in pressure-induced amorphization of the Ga2SeTe2 semiconductor alloy


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Abdul-Jabbar N. M. , Kalkan B. , Huang G. -. , MacDowell A. A. , Gronsky R., Bourret-Courchesne E. D. , ...More

APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, vol.105, no.5, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 105 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1063/1.4892549
  • Title of Journal : APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS

Abstract

We observe that pressure-induced amorphization of Ga2SeTe2 (a III-VI semiconductor) is directly influenced by the periodicity of its intrinsic defect structures. Specimens with periodic and semi-periodic two-dimensional vacancy structures become amorphous around 10-11 GPa in contrast to those with aperiodic structures, which amorphize around 7-8 GPa. The result is an instance of altering material phase-change properties via rearrangement of stoichiometric vacancies as opposed to adjusting their concentrations. Based on our experimental findings, we posit that periodic two-dimensional vacancy structures in Ga2SeTe2 provide an energetically preferred crystal lattice that is less prone to collapse under applied pressure. This is corroborated through first-principles electronic structure calculations, which demonstrate that the energy stability of III-VI structures under hydrostatic pressure is highly dependent on the configuration of intrinsic vacancies. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.