Theoretical Chemistry Accounts

, 133:1427 | Cite as

Stability of polar ZnO surfaces studied by pair potential method and local energy density method

  • Keju Sun
  • Hai-Yan Su
  • Wei-Xue Li
Regular Article


The polar ZnO surfaces have received wide interests due to their higher activity than the nonpolar facets in catalysis, photo-catalysis and gas sensitivity. However, the theoretical study on the relative stability of the polar ZnO surfaces is still limited. In this work, two different methods were used to calculate the surface energy of the polar ZnO(0001)–Zn and Zn(000-1)–O surfaces. The empirical pair potential method shows that the ZnO(000-1)–O terminal is more stable than the ZnO(0001)–Zn terminal because the polarizability of surface O2− is higher than that of surface Zn2+, which is in good agreement with the experimental results. However, the classic local energy density method predicts a higher stability of the ZnO(0001)–Zn terminal. The overestimation of the stability of the ZnO(0001)–Zn terminal originates from more distribution of the transferred charge to the ZnO(0001)–Zn terminal as the electron acceptor. We propose a hybrid method to fairly redistribute the contribution of the transferred charge to electron donor and electron acceptor and make the same stability trend with the experimental studies.


ZnO Polar surfaces The stability Pair potential method Local energy density method 



We are very grateful to Dr. Yu, Prof. Trinkel and Prof. Martin for providing the code to calculate the local energy density. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21103165).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, and Center for Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesDalianChina

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