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Open Access Nano Express

Computational simulation of the effects of oxygen on the electronic states of hydrogenated 3C-porous SiC

Alejandro Trejo1, Marbella Calvino1, Estrella Ramos2 and Miguel Cruz-Irisson1*

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto Politécnico Nacional, ESIME-Culhuacan, Av. Santa Ana 1000, Mexico, DF 04430, Mexico

2 Instituto de Investigaciones en Materiales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, A. P. 70-360, Mexico, DF 04510, Mexico

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:471  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-471

Published: 22 August 2012

Abstract

A computational study of the dependence of the electronic band structure and density of states on the chemical surface passivation of cubic porous silicon carbide (pSiC) was performed using ab initio density functional theory and the supercell method. The effects of the porosity and the surface chemistry composition on the energetic stability of pSiC were also investigated. The porous structures were modeled by removing atoms in the [001] direction to produce two different surface chemistries: one fully composed of silicon atoms and one composed of only carbon atoms. The changes in the electronic states of the porous structures as a function of the oxygen (O) content at the surface were studied. Specifically, the oxygen content was increased by replacing pairs of hydrogen (H) atoms on the pore surface with O atoms attached to the surface via either a double bond (X = O) or a bridge bond (X-O-X, X = Si or C). The calculations show that for the fully H-passivated surfaces, the forbidden energy band is larger for the C-rich phase than for the Si-rich phase. For the partially oxygenated Si-rich surfaces, the band gap behavior depends on the O bond type. The energy gap increases as the number of O atoms increases in the supercell if the O atoms are bridge-bonded, whereas the band gap energy does not exhibit a clear trend if O is double-bonded to the surface. In all cases, the gradual oxygenation decreases the band gap of the C-rich surface due to the presence of trap-like states.

Keywords:
Porous silicon carbide; DFT; Oxygenation; Surface passivation; Porous nanostructures; Electronic properties; 81.05.Rm; 31.15.A-; 61.50.Lt