Stacking and electric field effects in atomically thin layers of GaN

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Atomically thin layers of nitrides are a subject of interest due to their novel applications. In this paper, we focus on GaN multilayers, investigating their stability and the effects of stacking and electric fields on their electronic properties in the framework of density functional theory. Both bilayers and trilayers prefer a planar configuration rather than a buckled bulk-like configuration. The application of an external perpendicular electric field induces distinct stacking-dependent features in the electronic properties of nitride multilayers: the band gap of a monolayer does not change whereas that of a trilayer is significantly reduced. Such a stacking-dependent tunability of the band gap in the presence of an applied field suggests that multilayer GaN is a good candidate material for next generation devices at the nanoscale. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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Journal of Physics Condensed Matter