Structural and electronic properties of SrZrO3 and Sr(Ti,Zr)O3 alloys
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/physrevb.92.085201
Using hybrid density functional calculations, we study the electronic and structural properties of SrZrO3 and ordered Sr(Ti,Zr)O3 alloys. Calculations were performed for the ground-state orthorhombic (Pnma) and high-temperature cubic (Pm3m) phases of SrZrO3. The variation of the lattice parameters and band gaps with Ti addition was studied using ordered SrTixZr1-xO3 structures with x=0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1. As Ti is added to SrZrO3, the lattice parameter is reduced and closely follows Vegard's law. On the other hand, the band gap shows a large bowing and is highly sensitive to the Ti distribution. For x=0.5, we find that arranging the Ti and Zr atoms into a 1×1SrZrO3/SrTiO3 superlattice along the  direction leads to interesting properties, including a highly dispersive single band at the conduction-band minimum (CBM), which is absent in both parent compounds, and a band gap close to that of pure SrTiO3. These features are explained by the splitting of the lowest three conduction-band states due to the reduced symmetry of the superlattice, lowering the band originating from the in-plane Ti 3dxy orbitals. The lifting of the t2g orbital degeneracy around the CBM suppresses scattering due to electron-phonon interactions. Our results demonstrate how short-period SrZrO3/SrTiO3 superlattices could be exploited to engineer the band structure and improve carrier mobility compared to bulk SrTiO3.