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Keywords:

  • cadmium;
  • density functional calculations;
  • photolysis;
  • solid-state structures;
  • zinc

Abstract

The structural, energetic, and electronic properties of zincblende and wurtzite phase Cd1−xZnxS (0≤x≤1) solid solutions were investigated by first-principles calculations. It was revealed that the trend of atom distribution in configurations with the same x value can be quantitatively characterized by the average length of the Zn[BOND]S bonds. The origin of this trend was attributed to the strong interaction of the Zn[BOND]S bonds, which acted against the aggregation of Zn atoms in this solid solution. By using a configuration-averaged method, structural and energetic properties were estimated as a function of Zn content at the level of the generalized gradient approximation, whereas electronic properties were corrected by using a hybrid functional. Phase diagrams of both solid solutions were established. An optimal x value of approximately 0.5 for photocatalytic hydrogen production was determined by taking both the band edges and band gaps into consideration; this conclusion was supported by the results of a variety of experiments.