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Publications from Nanostructured Materials

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Impact of anharmonic effects on the phase stability, thermal transport, and electronic properties of AlN
N. Shulumba, Z. Raza, O. Hellman, E. Janzén, I.A. Abrikosov and M. Odén
Physical Review B 94 (2016) 104305

Wurtzite aluminium nitride (AlN) is a technologically important wide-band-gap semiconductor with an unusually high thermal conductivity, used in optical applications and as a heatsink substrate. Explaining many of its properties depends on an accurate description of its lattice dynamics, which have thus far only been captured in the quasiharmonic approximation. In this work, we show that anharmonic effects have a considerable impact on its phase stability and transport properties, since they are much stronger in the rocksalt phase. We construct a theoretical pressure-temperature phase diagram of AlN, demonstrating that the rocksalt phase is stabilized by increasing temperature, with respect to the wurtzite phase. We recover the thermal conductivity of the wurtzite phase (320 Wm-1K-1 under ambient conditions) and compute the hitherto unknown thermal conductivity of the rocksalt phase (81 Wm-1K-1). We also show that the electronic band gap decreases with temperature. These findings provide further evidence that anharmonic effects cannot be ignored in simulations of materials intended for high-temperature applications.

Publications 2016


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Last updated: 09/27/16