Band structure and optical transitions in LaFeO3: theory and experiment

Result date: 01/01/2014
Author: M. D. Scafetta
Institute: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Publication: J. Phys.: Condens. Matter
Instrument: MBE Systems
The optical absorption properties of LaFeO3 (LFO) have been calculated using density functional theory and experimentally measured from several high quality epitaxial films using variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry. We have analyzed the calculated absorption spectrum using different Tauc models and find the model based on a direct-forbidden transition gives the best agreement with the ab initio band gap energies and band dispersions. We have applied this model to the experimental data and determine the band gap of epitaxial LFO to be ~2.34 eV, with a slight dependence on strain state. This approach has also been used to analyze the higher indirect transition at ~3.4 eV. Temperature dependent ellipsometry measurements further confirm our theoretical analysis of the nature of the transitions. This works helps to provide a general approach for accurate determination of band gaps and transition energies in complex oxide materials.