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Structure and Electronic Properties and Phase Stabilities of the Cd1−xZnxS Solid Solution in the Range of 0≤x≤1

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Abstract

As an excellent bandgap-engineering material, the Cd1−xZnxS solid solution, is found to be an efficient visible light response photocatalyst for water splitting, but few theoretical studies have been performed on it. A better characterization of the composition dependence of the physical and optical properties of this material and a thorough understanding of the bandgap-variation mechanism are necessary to optimize the design of high-efficience photocatalysts. In order to get an insight into these problems, we systematically investigated the crystal structure, the phase stability, and the electronic structures of the Cd1−xZnxS solid solution by means of density functional theory calculations. The most energetically favorable arrangement of the Cd, Zn, S atoms and the structural disorder of the solid solution are revealed. The phase diagram of the Cd1−xZnxS solid solution is calculated based on regular-solution model and compared with the experimental data. This is the first report on the calculated phase diagram of this solid solution, and can give guidance for the experimental synthesis of this material. Furthermore, the variation of the electronic structures versus x and its mechanism are elaborated in detail, and the experimental bandgap as a function of x is well predicted. Our findings provide important insights into the experimentally observed structural and electronic properties, and can give theoretical guidelines for the further design of the Cd1−xZnxS solid solution.

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