A modified Tersoff potential for pure and hydrogenated diamond-like carbon

ZD Sha and PS Branicio and QX Pei and V Sorkin and YW Zhang, COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE, 67, 146-150 (2013).

DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2012.08.042

The structure of diamond-like carbon (DLC) features an amorphous topology with a high fraction of sp(3) bonds, which increases with density and reaches over 80% at 3.0 g/cm(3). To perform large-scale simulations of DLC using interatomic potentials one should be able to generate this structure using a melting and quenching procedure. In the present work, we evaluate the accuracy of different bond order interatomic potentials developed for carbon and hydrocarbons to describe the properties of DLC, in particular its structure. The potentials include the reactive empirical bond order (REBO) and variants of the Tersoff potentials (standard, ZBL, extended cutoff). Results indicate that Tersoff potential with extended cutoff of 2.45 angstrom is the most accurate in reproducing the experimental structure and mechanical properties of DLC and DLCH (hydrogenated diamond-like carbon). The calculated sp3 fraction as a function of density, pair correlation functions, and Young's modulus as a function of density show excellent agreement with experimental data. Our findings suggest that the Tersoff potential with extended cutoff is a reliable interatomic potential for large-scale atomistic simulations of both DLC and DLCH. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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