University of Oulu

Chem. Mater. 2021, 33, 23, 9306–9316 Publication Date:November 23, 2021

Synthesis and characterization of the ternary nitride semiconductor Zn2VN3 : theoretical prediction, combinatorial screening, and epitaxial stabilization

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Author: Zhuk, Siarhei1; Kistanov, Andrey A.2; Boehme, Simon C.1,3;
Organizations: 1Empa ─ Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
2Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Chemical Society, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-11-23


Computationally guided high-throughput synthesis is used to explore the Zn–V–N phase space, resulting in the synthesis of a novel ternary nitride Zn₂VN₃. Following a combinatorial PVD screening, we isolate the phase and synthesize polycrystalline Zn₂thin films with wurtzite structure on conventional borosilicate glass substrates. In addition, we demonstrate that cation-disordered, but phase-pure (002)-textured, Zn₂VN₃ thin films can be grown using epitaxial stabilization on α-Al2O3 (0001) substrates at remarkably low growth temperatures well below 200 °C. The structural properties and phase composition of the Zn₂VN₃ films are studied in detail using XRD and (S)TEM techniques. The composition as well as chemical state of the constituent elements are studied using RBS/ERDA and XPS/HAXPES methods. These analyses reveal a stoichiometric material with no oxygen contamination, besides a thin surface oxide. We find that Zn₂VN₃ is a weakly doped p-type semiconductor demonstrating broad-band room-temperature photoluminescence spanning the range between 2 and 3 eV. In addition, the electronic properties can be tuned over a wide range via isostructural alloying on the cation site, making this a promising material for optoelectronic applications.

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Series: Chemistry of materials
ISSN: 0897-4756
ISSN-E: 1520-5002
ISSN-L: 0897-4756
Volume: 33
Issue: 23
Pages: 9306 - 9316
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c03025
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
216 Materials engineering
Funding: S.Z. acknowledges funding from the EMPA internal research call 2020. Financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (R’Equip program, Proposal No. 206021_182987) is gratefully acknowledged. A.A.K. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 101002219). M.V.K. and S.C.B. acknowledge funding by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, through a FET open research and innovation action under grant agreement no. 899141 (PoLLoC).
EU Grant Number: (101002219) CATCH - Cross-dimensional Activation of Two-Dimensional Semiconductors for Photocatalytic Heterojunctions
Copyright information: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Chemistry of Materials, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see