Metal-like Band Structures of Ultrathin Si {111} and {112} Surface Layers Revealed through Density Functional Theory Calculations

Chih Shan Tan*, Michael H. Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Density functional theory calculations have been performed on Si (100), (110), (111), and (112) planes with tunable number of planes for evaluation of their band structures and density of states profiles. The purpose is to see whether silicon can exhibit facet-dependent properties derived from the presence of a thin surface layer having different band structures. No changes have been observed for single to multiple layers of Si (100) and (110) planes with a consistent band gap between the valence band and the conduction band. However, for 1, 2, 4, and 5 Si (111) and (112) planes, metal-like band structures were obtained with continuous density of states going from the valence band to the conduction band. For 3, 6, and more Si (111) planes, as well as 3 and 6 Si (112) planes, the same band structure as that seen for Si (100) and (110) planes has been obtained. Thus, beyond a layer thickness of five Si (111) planes at ≈1.6 nm, normal semiconductor behavior can be expected. The emergence of metal-like band structures for the Si (111) and (112) planes are related to variation in Si−Si bond length and bond distortion plus 3s and 3p orbital electron contributions in the band structure. This work predicts possession of facet-dependent electrical properties of silicon with consequences in FinFET transistor design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11866-11871
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number49
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2017


  • density functional theory
  • density of states
  • facet-dependent properties
  • semiconductor band diagram
  • silicon

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