Mechanical, thermodynamic and electronic properties of wurtzite and zinc-blende GaN crystals

Hongbo Qin, Xinghe Luan, Chuang Feng, Daoguo Yang*, Guoqi Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
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For the limitation of experimental methods in crystal characterization, in this study, the mechanical, thermodynamic and electronic properties of wurtzite and zinc-blende GaN crystals were investigated by first-principles calculations based on density functional theory. Firstly, bulk moduli, shear moduli, elastic moduli and Poisson's ratios of the two GaN polycrystals were calculated using Voigt and Hill approximations, and the results show wurtzite GaN has larger shear and elastic moduli and exhibits more obvious brittleness. Moreover, both wurtzite and zinc-blende GaN monocrystals present obvious mechanical anisotropic behavior. For wurtzite GaN monocrystal, the maximum and minimum elastic moduli are located at orientations [001] and < 111 >, respectively, while they are in the orientations < 111 > and < 100 > for zinc-blende GaN monocrystal, respectively. Compared to the elastic modulus, the shear moduli of the two GaN monocrystals have completely opposite direction dependences. However, different from elastic and shear moduli, the bulk moduli of the two monocrystals are nearly isotropic, especially for the zinc-blende GaN. Besides, in the wurtzite GaN, Poisson's ratios at the planes containing [001] axis are anisotropic, and the maximum value is 0.31 which is located at the directions vertical to [001] axis. For zinc-blende GaN, Poisson's ratios at planes (100) and (111) are isotropic, while the Poisson's ratio at plane (110) exhibits dramatically anisotropic phenomenon. Additionally, the calculated Debye temperatures of wurtzite and zinc-blende GaN are 641.8 and 620.2 K, respectively. At 300 K, the calculated heat capacities of wurtzite and zinc-blende are 33.6 and 33.5 J mol-1 K-1, respectively. Finally, the band gap is located at the G point for the two crystals, and the band gaps of wurtzite and zinc-blende GaN are 3.62 eV and 3.06 eV, respectively. At the G point, the lowest energy of conduction band in the wurtzite GaN is larger, resulting in a wider band gap. Densities of states in the orbital hybridization between Ga and N atoms of wurtzite GaN are much higher, indicating more electrons participate in forming Ga-N ionic bonds in the wurtzite GaN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1419
Number of pages15
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Anisotropy
  • Electronic property
  • First principle
  • GaN
  • Mechanical property
  • Thermodynamic property


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