We determine the band alignment between various semiconductors and liquid water by combining molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of atomistic interface models, electronic-structure calculations at the hybrid-functional and GW level, and a computational standard hydrogen electrode. Our study comprises GaAs, GaP, GaN, CdS, ZnO, SnO2, rutile TiO2, and anatase TiO2. For each semiconductor, we generate atomistic interface models with liquid water at the pH corresponding to the point of zero charge. The molecular dynamics are started from two kinds of initial configurations, in which the water molecules are either molecularly (m) or dissociatively (d) adsorbed on the semiconductor surface. The calculated band offsets are found to be strongly influenced by the adsorption mode at the semiconductor-water interface, leading to differences larger than 1 eV between m and d models of the same semiconductor. We first assess the accuracy of various ab initio electronic-structure schemes. The use of a standard hybrid functional leads to large errors for the conduction band edge but nevertheless accounts accurately for the position of the valence band edge. One-shot GW calculations with a starting point at the semilocal density functional level do not yield any improvement. It is necessary to turn to one-shot GW calculations based on a hybrid-functional starting point to achieve a noticeable improvement in the determination of the band edges, with mean average errors ranging between 0.23 and 0.27 eV. The use of state-of-the-art quasiparticle self-consistent GW schemes does not lead to any further improvement for the set of semiconductors under investigation. Further improvement with mean average errors of 0.20 eV is obtained when turning to hybrid-functional and GW methods, in which the experimental band gap of the semiconductor is enforced by construction. The present work sets a benchmark for the accuracy by which band edges at semiconductor-water interfaces can be obtained with current advanced electronic-structure methods. In particular, the importance of providing an atomistic description of the semiconductor-water interface is emphasized.

Alignment of Redox Levels at Semiconductor-Water Interfaces

Ambrosio F;
2018-01-01

Abstract

We determine the band alignment between various semiconductors and liquid water by combining molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of atomistic interface models, electronic-structure calculations at the hybrid-functional and GW level, and a computational standard hydrogen electrode. Our study comprises GaAs, GaP, GaN, CdS, ZnO, SnO2, rutile TiO2, and anatase TiO2. For each semiconductor, we generate atomistic interface models with liquid water at the pH corresponding to the point of zero charge. The molecular dynamics are started from two kinds of initial configurations, in which the water molecules are either molecularly (m) or dissociatively (d) adsorbed on the semiconductor surface. The calculated band offsets are found to be strongly influenced by the adsorption mode at the semiconductor-water interface, leading to differences larger than 1 eV between m and d models of the same semiconductor. We first assess the accuracy of various ab initio electronic-structure schemes. The use of a standard hybrid functional leads to large errors for the conduction band edge but nevertheless accounts accurately for the position of the valence band edge. One-shot GW calculations with a starting point at the semilocal density functional level do not yield any improvement. It is necessary to turn to one-shot GW calculations based on a hybrid-functional starting point to achieve a noticeable improvement in the determination of the band edges, with mean average errors ranging between 0.23 and 0.27 eV. The use of state-of-the-art quasiparticle self-consistent GW schemes does not lead to any further improvement for the set of semiconductors under investigation. Further improvement with mean average errors of 0.20 eV is obtained when turning to hybrid-functional and GW methods, in which the experimental band gap of the semiconductor is enforced by construction. The present work sets a benchmark for the accuracy by which band edges at semiconductor-water interfaces can be obtained with current advanced electronic-structure methods. In particular, the importance of providing an atomistic description of the semiconductor-water interface is emphasized.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4783478
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 54
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 53
social impact