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Ab initio prediction of crystalline phases and electronic properties of alloys and other compounds

Authors: Rafael Sarmiento Perez

Ref.: PhD Thesis, Université Claude Bernard - Lyon 1 (2015)

Abstract: In this work we present an ab initio materials design study of several systems covering intermetallic and semiconducting alloys, transparent conductive oxides and molecular solids. We performed Minima Hopping calculations combined with Density Functional Theory that made possible to unveil several stable compounds in the phase diagrams of lithium-aluminium and sodium-gold binary alloys, as well as low-symmetry geometries of CuBO2, significantly lower in energy than the controversial delafossite structure reported as its ground state. We also found that the H3 molecule can be stabilized inside Cl cages at pressures of around 100 GPa. Additionally, we combined high-throughput techniques and global structure prediction methods to find nitride perovskites structures. In a different line, we studied the change in the absorption properties of the Cu(In,Ga)S2 chalcopyrite alloys as it was unexpectedly observed in experiment that with the change of the In/Ga ratio, the S K-absorption edge shifts, while the absorption edges of the other species is largely independent of the composition. In a more fundamental chapter, we propose a semi empirical exchange correlation functional optimized to yield accurate energies of formation of solids.

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