Electronic structure of biaxially strained wurtzite crystals GaN, AIN, and InN

J. A. Majewski, M. Städele, P. Vogl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present first-principles studies of the effect of biaxial (0001)-strain on the electronic structure of wurtzite GaN, AIN, and InN. We provide accurate predictions for the valence band splittings as a function of strain which greatly facilitates the interpretation of data from samples with unintentional growth-induced strain. The present calculations are based on the total-energy pseudopotential method within the local-density formalism and include the spin-orbit interaction nonperturbatively. For a given biaxial strain, all structural parameters are determined by minimization of the total energy with respect to the electronic and ionic degrees of freedom. Our calculations predict that the valence band state Γ 96) lies energetically above the Γ 71) states in GaN and InN, in contrast to the situation in AIN. In all three nitrides, we find that the ordering of these two levels becomes reversed for some value of biaxial strain. In GaN, this crossing takes place already at 0.32% tensile strain. For larger tensile strains, the top of the valence band becomes well separated from the lower states. The computed crystal-field and spin-orbit splittings in unstrained materials as well as the computed deformation potentials agree well with the available experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6d
JournalMRS Internet Journal of Nitride Semiconductor Research
StatePublished - 1996


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