Physical Review B

Simple linear response model for predicting energy band alignment of two-dimensional vertical heterostructures

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The Anderson and midgap models are often used in the study of semiconductor heterojunctions, but for van der Waals (vdW) vertical heterostructures they have shown only very limited success. Using the group-IV monochalcogenide vertical heterostructures as a prototypical system, we propose a linear response model and compare the effectiveness of these models in predicting density functional theory (DFT) band alignments, band types, and band gaps. We show that the DFT band alignment is best predicted by the linear response model, which falls in between the Anderson and midgap models. Our proposed model can be characterized by an interface dipole α×(Em2-Em1), where the linear response coefficient α=0 and 1 corresponds to the Anderson and midgap model, respectively, and Em is the midgap energy of the monolayer, which can be viewed as an effective electronegativity. For group-IV monochalcogenides, we show that α=0.34 best captures the DFT band alignment of the vdW heterostructure, and we discuss the viability of the linear response model considering other effects such as strains and band hybridization, and conclude with an application of the model to predict experimental band alignments.