Analytical bond-order potential for the cadmium telluride binary system

DK Ward and XW Zhou and BM Wong and FP Doty and JA Zimmerman, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 85, 115206 (2012).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.85.115206

CdTe and Cd1-xZnx Te are the leading semiconductor compounds for both photovoltaic and radiation detection applications. The performance of these materials is sensitive to the presence of atomic-scale defects in the structures. To enable accurate studies of these defects using modern atomistic simulation technologies, we have developed a high-fidelity analytical bond-order potential for the CdTe system. This potential incorporates primary (sigma) and secondary (pi) bonding and the valence dependence of the heteroatom interactions. The functional forms of the potential are directly derived from quantum-mechanical tight-binding theory under the condition that the first two and first four levels of the expanded Green's function for the sigma- and pi-bond orders, respectively, are retained. The potential parameters are optimized using iteration cycles that include first-fitting properties of a variety of elemental and compound configurations (with coordination varying from 1 to 12) including small clusters, bulk lattices, defects, and surfaces, and then checking crystalline growth through vapor deposition simulations. It is demonstrated that this CdTe bond-order potential gives structural and property trends close to those seen in experiments and quantum-mechanical calculations and provides a good description of melting temperature, defect characteristics, and surface reconstructions of the CdTe compound. Most importantly, this potential captures the crystalline growth of the ground-state structures for Cd, Te, and CdTe phases in vapor deposition simulations.

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