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Molecular Dynamics Studies of Dislocations in CdTe Crystals from a New Bond Order Potential

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Cd(1-x)Zn(x)Te (CZT) crystals are the leading semiconductors for radiation detection, but their application is limited by the high cost of detector-grade materials. High crystal costs primarily result from property nonuniformity that causes low manufacturing yield. Although tremendous efforts have been made in the past to reduce Te inclusions/precipitates in CZT, this has not resulted in an anticipated improvement in material property uniformity. Moreover, it is recognized that in addition to Te particles, dislocation cells can also cause electric field perturbations and the associated property nonuniformities. Further improvement of the material, therefore, requires that dislocations in CZT crystals be understood and controlled. Here, we use a recently developed CZT bond order potential to perform representative molecular dynamics simulations to study configurations, energies, and mobilities of 29 different types of possible dislocations in CdTe (i.e., x = 1) crystals. An efficient method to derive activation free energies and activation volumes of thermally activated dislocation motion will be explored. Our focus gives insight into understanding important dislocations in the material and gives guidance toward experimental efforts for improving dislocation network structures in CZT crystals.

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