Structure and electronic properties calculation of ultrathin α-Al2O3 films on (0 0 0 1) α-Cr2O3 templates

Jizhong Sun, T. Stirner, A. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ab initio total energy Hartree–Fock calculations of ultrathin films of α-Al2O3 on (0 0 0 1) α-Cr2O3 templates are presented. The surface relaxation, the in-plane reconstruction and the surface and strain energies of the slabs are studied as a function of alumina film thickness. The surface Al layer is found to relax inwards considerably, with the magnitude of the inwards relaxation depending on the thickness of the ultrathin alumina film in a non-linear manner. The calculations also reveal that ultrathin films of alumina lower the surface energy of (0 0 0 1) α-chromia substrates. This indicates that the (0 0 0 1) α-chromia surface provides favourable conditions for the templated growth of α-alumina. However, increasing the alumina film thickness is found to give rise to a significant increase in strain energy. Finally, the electronic properties at the surface of the (0 0 0 1) α-Al2O3/α-Cr2O3 slabs are investigated. Here it is found that the alumina coating gives rise to an increase in the covalency of the bonds at the surface of the slabs. In contrast, the influence of an alumina layer on the electrostatic potential at the surface of the chromia slab is relatively minor, which should also be beneficial for the templated growth of α-alumina on (0 0 0 1) α-chromia substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5050-5056
Number of pages7
JournalSurface Science
Volume601
Issue number21
Early online date12 Sept 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007

Keywords

  • Aluminum oxide
  • Chromium oxide
  • Computer simulations
  • Surface electronic phenomena
  • Surface relaxation and reconstruction

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