Electronic properties of layered multicomponent wide-bandgap oxides: a combinatorial approach

Research paper by A. Murat, J. E. Medvedeva

Indexed on: 29 Nov '11Published on: 29 Nov '11Published in: Physics - Materials Science


The structural, electronic, and optical properties of twelve multicomponent oxides with layered structure, RAMO$_4$, where R$^{3+}$=In or Sc; A$^{3+}$=Al or Ga; and M$^{2+}$=Ca, Cd, Mg, or Zn, are investigated using first-principles density functional approach. The compositional complexity of RAMO$_4$ leads to a wide range of band gap values varying from 2.45 eV for InGaCdO$_4$ to 6.29 eV for ScAlMgO$_4$. Strikingly, despite the different band gaps in the oxide constituents, namely, 2-4 eV in CdO, In$_2$O$_3$, or ZnO; 5-6 for Ga$_2$O$_3$ or Sc$_2$O$_3$; and 7-9 eV in CaO, MgO, or Al$_2$O$_3$, the bottom of the conduction band in the multicomponent oxides is formed from the s-states of all cations and their neighboring oxygen p-states. We show that the hybrid nature of the conduction band in multicomponent oxides originates from the unusual five-fold atomic coordination of A$^{3+}$ and M$^{2+}$ cations which enables the interaction between the spatially-spread s-orbitals of adjacent cations via shared oxygen atoms. The effect of the local atomic coordination on the band gap, the electron effective mass, the orbital composition of the conduction band, and the expected (an)isotropic character of the electron transport in layered RAMO$_4$ is thoroughly discussed.