Defect induced d0 ferromagnetism in a ZnO grain boundary

Assa Aravindh Sasikala Devi, Udo Schwingenschlögl, Iman S. Roqan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several experimental studies have referred to the grain boundary(GB) defect as the origin of ferromagnetism in zinc oxide (ZnO). However, the mechanism of this hypothesis has never been confirmed. Present study investigates the atomic structure and the effect of point defects in a ZnOGB using the generalized gradient approximation+U approximation. The relaxed GB possesses large periodicity and channels with 8 and 10 numbered atoms having 4 and 3 fold coordination. The Znvacancy (VZn) shows a tendency to be attracted to the GB, relative to the bulk-like region. Although no magnetization is obtained from point defect-free GB, VZn induces spin polarization as large as 0.68 μB/atom to the O sites at the GB.Ferromagnetic exchange energy >150 eV is obtained by increasing the concentration of VZn and by the injection of holes into the system. Electronic structure analysis indicates that the spin polarization without external dopants originates from the O 2p orbitals, a common feature of d0semiconductors.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224703
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Volume143
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 2015

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