Atomistic Origin of Urbach Tails in Amorphous Silicon

Pan, Y.
Inam, F.
Zhang, M.
Drabold, D. A.
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Exponential band edges have been observed in a variety of materials, both crystalline and amorphous. In this paper, we infer the structural origins of these tails in amorphous and defective crystalline Si by direct calculation with current {\it ab initio} methods. We find that exponential tails appear in relaxed models of diamond with suitable point defects. In amorphous silicon (a-Si), we find that structural filaments of short bonds and long bonds exist in the network, and that the tail states near the extreme edges of both band tails are are also filamentary, with much localization on the structural filaments. We connect the existence of both filament systems to structural relaxation in the presence of defects and or topological disorder.
Comment: 4 pages, 4 figures, submitted to Phys. Rev. Lett
Condensed Matter - Disordered Systems and Neural Networks, Condensed Matter - Materials Science