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Quasi-One-Dimensional Metal-Insulator Transitions in Compound Semiconductor Surfaces

TitleQuasi-One-Dimensional Metal-Insulator Transitions in Compound Semiconductor Surfaces
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsZhao, J.  Z., Fan W., Verstraete M. J., Zanolli Z., Fan J., Yang X.  B., Xu H., & Tong S.  Y.
Keywordscompound semiconductors; electronic structure; Peierls transition

Existing examples of Peierls-type 1D systems on surfaces involve depositing metallic overlayers on semiconducting substrates, in particular, at step edges. Here we propose a new class of Peierls system on the (10-10) surface of metal-anion wurtzite semiconductors. When the anions are bonded to hydrogen or lithium atoms, we obtain rows of threefold coordinated metal atoms that act as one-atom-wide metallic structures. First-principles calculations show that the surface is metallic, and below a certain critical temperature the surface will condense to a semiconducting state. The idea of surface scaffolding is introduced in which the rows are constrained to move along simple up-down and/or sideways displacements, mirroring the paradigm envisioned in Peierls’s description. We predict that this type of insulating state should be visible in the partially hydrogenated (10-10) surface of many wurtzite compounds.

JournalPhysical Review Letters Phys. Rev. Lett.
Pagination116101 -
Date Published2016/09/06
Short TitlePRL
Citation Key2620