Hexagonal A1N : dimensional-crossover-driven band-gap transition
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Physical review : B : condensed matter and materials physics. - Lancaster, Pa, 1998 - 2015
, 7 p.
University of Antwerp
Motivated by a recent experiment that reported the successful synthesis of hexagonal (h) AlN [Tsipas et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 103, 251605 (2013)], we investigate structural, electronic, and vibrational properties of bulk, bilayer, and monolayer structures of h-AlN by using first-principles calculations. We show that the hexagonal phase of the bulk h-AlN is a stable direct-band-gap semiconductor. The calculated phonon spectrum displays a rigid-layer shear mode at 274 cm(-1) and an E-g mode at 703 cm(-1), which are observable by Raman measurements. In addition, single-layer h-AlN is an indirect-band-gap semiconductor with a nonmagnetic ground state. For the bilayer structure, AA'-type stacking is found to be the most favorable one, and interlayer interaction is strong. While N-layered h-AlN is an indirect-band-gap semiconductor for N = 1 - 9, we predict that thicker structures (N >= 10) have a direct band gap at the Gamma point. The number-of-layer-dependent band-gap transitions in h-AlN is interesting in that it is significantly different from the indirect-to-direct crossover obtained in the transition-metal dichalcogenides.