The Theory of Interatomic Potentials in Solids

  • W. A. Harrison


The use of interatomic potentials in studying lattice vibrations is reviewed, with the conclusion that long-range interactions are required in all systems, and the suggestion that empirical models can succeed only if they include the appropriate long-range form for the system in question. In simple metals, pseudopotentials provide a theory of the interactions, which to lowest order appear as two-body, central-force interactions. The long-range part corresponds to Friedel oscillations. While the reliability of the method in defect studies remains in question, current results are encouraging. The theory has been extended to noble and transition metals by direct addition of d-band and hybrid s-d contributions. This approach is promising, but the corresponding interatomic interactions have not been tested. In valence crystals, the low-order perturbation theory fails and, as a consequence, noncentral forces become essential to a representation of the interactions. The effects of higher-order terms are considered for ionic as well as valence crystals utilizing the concept of ionicity as formulated by Phillips. This suggests appropriate models for interatomic interactions in nonconductors and these are discussed.


Fermi Surface Effective Interaction Gallium Arsenide Interatomic Interaction Interatomic Potential 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. Harrison
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Physics DepartmentUniversity of StanfordStanfordUSA

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