First Principles Study of the Diffusion of Hydrogen in ZnO

MG Wardle, JP Goss and PR Briddon
Physical Review Letters

Zinc oxide, a wide-gap semiconductor, typically exhibits n-type conductivity even when nominally undoped. The nature of the donor is contentious, but hydrogen is a prime candidate. We present ab initio calculations of the migration barrier for H, yielding a barrier of less than ~0.5 eV. This indicates isolated hydrogen is mobile at low temperature and that thermally stable H-related donors must logically be trapped at other defects. We argue this is also true for other oxides where H is a shallow donor.

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