Electronic Structure Calculations of Point Defects in Semiconductors

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: In this thesis point defects in semiconductors are studied by electronic structure calculations. Results are presented for the stability and equilibrium concentrations of native defects in GaP, InP, InAs, and InSb, for the entire range of doping conditions and stoichiometry. The native defects are also studied on the (110) surfaces of InP, InAs, and InSb. Comparing the relative stability at the surface and in the bulk, it is concluded that the defects have a tendency to migrate to the surface.It is found that the cation vacancy is not stable, but decomposes into an anion antisite-anion vacancy complex. The surface charge accumulation in InAs is explained by complementary intrinsic doping by native defects and extrinsic doping by residual hydrogen.A technical investigation of the supercell treatment of defects is performed, testing existing correction schemes and suggesting a more reliable alternative. It is shown that the defect level of [2VCu-IIICu] in the solarcell-material CuIn1-xGaxSe2 leads to a smaller band gap of the ordered defect ?-phase, which possibly explains why the maximal efficiency for CuIn1-xGaxSe2 has been found for x=0.3 and not for x=0.6, as expected from the band gap of the ?-phase.It is found that Zn diffuses via the kick-out mechanism in InP and GaP with activation energies of 1.60 eV and 2.49 eV, respectively. Explanations are found for the tendency of Zn to accumulate at pn-junctions in InP and to why a relatively low fraction of Zn is found on substitutional sites in InP.Finally, it is shown that the equilibrium solubility of dopants in semiconductors can be increased significantly by strategic alloying. This is shown to be due to the local stress in the material, and the solubility in an alloy can in fact be much higher than in either of the constituting elements. The equilibrium solubility of Zn in Ga0.9In0.1P is for example five orders of magnitude larger than in GaP or InP.