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Small Polarons in Two-Dimensional Pnictogens: A First-Principles Study

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journal contribution
posted on 12.05.2021, 17:09 by Vasilii Vasilchenko, Sergey Levchenko, Vasili Perebeinos, Andriy Zhugayevych
We report the first-principles study of small polarons in the most stable two-dimensional pnictogen allotropes: blue and black phosphorene and arsenene. While both cations and anions of small hydrogen-passivated clusters show charge localization and local lattice distortions, only the hole polaron in the blue allotrope is stable in the infinite size cluster limit. The adiabatic polaron relaxation energy is found to be 0.1 eV for phosphorene and 0.15 eV for arsenene. The polaron is localized on lone-pair orbitals with half of the extra charge distributed among 13 atoms. In the blue phosphorene, these orbitals form the valence band’s top with a relatively flat band dispersion. However, in the black phosphorene, lone-pair orbitals hybridize with bonding orbitals, which explains the difference in hole localization strength between the two topologically equivalent allotropes. The polaron’s adiabatic barriers for motion are small compared to the most strongly coupled phonon frequency, implying the polaron barrierless motion.