Short-Range Order Tunes Optical Properties in Long-Range Disordered ZnSnN2-ZnO Alloy

Celeste Melamed, Moira Miller, Jacob Cordell, Linda Pucurimay, Alyssa Livingood, Rekha Schnepf, Jie Pan, Karen Heinselman, Fernando Vila, Allison Mis, Dennis Nordlund, Ben Levy-Wendt, Stephan Lany, Eric Toberer, Steven Christensen, Adele Tamboli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


Local site ordering offers a new paradigm for property control in functional materials. However, systems that exhibit a propensity for local order and global disorder are often challenging to characterize, and demonstrations of ordering-induced property tuning are few and far between. Here, we demonstrate that short-range ordering tunes the optical absorption edge in the long-range disordered alloy system (ZnSnN2)1-x(ZnO)2x at x = 0.25. We use combinatorial cosputtering to synthesize a set of thin-film samples spanning this alloy space. X-ray diffraction demonstrates lattice contraction as a function of alloy composition, confirming that a mixed-anion and -cation alloy has been synthesized. Using N and O K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure in conjunction with simulations of cation-disordered supercell structures, we find that samples exhibit octet-rule-breaking motifs around both anions. Upon annealing at an alloy composition of x = 0.25, X-ray absorption analysis suggests that local motif structure shifts toward octet-rule-conserving while long-range disorder is maintained. Spectroscopic ellipsometry reveals that local ordering increases the absorption edge energy at constant composition. Additionally, alloy-induced optical absorption edge tuning is demonstrated. This work paves the way toward property tuning with short-range ordering in (ZnSnN2)1-x(ZnO)2x and beyond.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3910-3919
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-80624


  • functional materials
  • local site ordering
  • optical absorption
  • semiconductor
  • short-range ordering


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