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Impact of bi-axial strain on the structural, electronic and optical properties of photo-catalytic bulk bismuth oxyhalides

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Abstract

The structural, electronic and optical properties of bulk bismuth oxyhalides, BiOX (X = F, Cl, Br, and I), were studied using state-of-the-art density functional theory (DFT)-based calculations. The effects of compressive and tensile strains on the in-plane lattice parameters were analyzed to better understand their good performance in photo-catalytic applications. Our present first-principles calculations show that at least 4% in-plane bi-axial compressive strain over the experimental lattice parameters of BiOF is needed for phonon stability of this material, whereas other BiOX systems can accept up to 2% in-plane bi-axial compressive strain and retain their dynamical stability. On the other hand, 2% in-plane tensile strain breaks the structural stability of all bulk BiOX structures. Tuning the electronic band structures with such external compressive strain indeed helps to enhance the separation of charge carriers due to larger electron–hole effective mass differences in the BiOBr and BiOI structures. The optical properties are discussed from their calculated absorption spectra and optical conductivity within independent particle approximations. The average values of the calculated optical band gaps are in the range of 3.8–3.9 eV, 3.3–3.4 eV, 2.7–2.8 eV and 1.7–1.8 eV for the unstrained and compressive strained structures, respectively, of the BiOF, BiOCl, BiOBr and BiOI materials, which are reasonably good compared to their known experimental ultra-violet visible spectroscopy measured data.

Graphical abstract: Impact of bi-axial strain on the structural, electronic and optical properties of photo-catalytic bulk bismuth oxyhalides

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Oct 2017, accepted on 23 Nov 2017 and first published on 23 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP07366F
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article
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    Impact of bi-axial strain on the structural, electronic and optical properties of photo-catalytic bulk bismuth oxyhalides

    S. Dutta, T. Das and S. Datta, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP07366F

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