First-principles Calculations on the Electronic, Vibrational, and Optical Properties of Semiconductor Nanowires
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The first part of my PhD work is about the lattice vibrations in silicon nanowires. First-principles calculations based on the linear response are performed to investigate the quantum confinement effect in lattice vibrations of silicon nanowires (SiNW). The radial breathing modes (RBM) are found in our calculations, which have a different size-dependent frequency shift compared with the optical modes. They are well explained by the elastic model. Finally, the relative activity of the Raman scattering in the smallest SiNW is calculated. The RBM can be clearly identified in the Raman spectrum, which can be used to estimate the size of nanowires in experiment. In the second part of my PhD work, we focus on the electron-hole pair (exciton) in semiconductor nanowires and its influence on the optical absorption spectra. First-principles calculations are performed for a hydrogen-passivated silicon nanowire with a diameter of 1.2 nm. Using plane wave and pseudopotentials, the quasiparticle states are calculated within the so-called GW approximation, and the electron-hole interaction is evaluated with the Bethe-Salpeter Equation (BSE). The enhanced excitonic effect is found in the absorption spectrum. The third part of my work is about the electronic structure in Si/Ge core-shell nanowires. The electronic band structure is studied with first-principles methods. Individual conduction and valence bands are found in the core part and the shell part, respectively. The band offsets are determined, which give rise to the spatial separation of electron and hole charge carriers in different regions of the nanowires. This allows for a novel-doping scheme that supplies the carriers into a separate region in order to avoid the scattering problem. This is the key factor to create high-speed devices. With the confinement effect, our results show important correction in the band offset compared with the bulk heterostructure. Finally, an optimum doping strategy is proposed based on our band-offset data.