Prediction of optically-active transitions in type-VIII guest-free silicon clathrate Si46: A comparative study of its physical properties with type-I counterpart through first-principles

Nassim Ahmed Mahammedi, Marhoun Ferhat, Takao Tsumuraya, Toyohiro Chikyow

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have systematically studied the structural, electronic, and optical properties of two types of guest-free Si46 silicon clathrates using first-principles density-functional theory calculations. The properties are compared between two different crystal structures with the same chemical formula of Si46, type-I, and type-VIII. We apply a hybrid functional approach with the Becke, Lee-Yang-Parr (BLYP) functional and compare the electronic properties with those by generalized gradient approximation (GGA-PBE). The band structures of both clathrates calculated within the GGA indicate semiconducting (insulating) properties with indirect bandgaps of 1.38 and 1.36 eV for type-I and type-VIII, respectively. These band gaps increase to 1.60 and 1.62 eV by using the BLYP hybrid functional. The calculated optical absorption of type-I clathrate is slightly larger than that of type-VIII. Lastly, we also performed a symmetry analysis of optical transitions for both Si46 clathrates. It is found that optical transitions are dipole-allowed at the band-edge located along the Γ-Η line for Si46-VIII, while the transitions for type-I Si46 are forbidden by symmetry. It is hoped that this finding will motivate further investigations of optical capabilities of the silicon based type-VIII clathrates for photovoltaic and photonic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205103
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume122
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 28
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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