Polygermanes: Bandgap engineering via tensile strain and side-chain substitution

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9 Scopus citations


Successful synthesis of the phenylisopropyl hexagermane (Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 8380) offers an exciting opportunity to synthesize a new class of low-dimensional germanium compounds with novel optical and electronic properties. Using the phenylisopropyl hexagermane as a model template, we have performed an ab initio study of electronic properties of polygermanes. Our density functional theory calculations show that the polygermane is a quasi-one-dimensional semiconductor with a direct bandgap, and its valence and conduction bands are mainly contributed by the skeletal Ge atoms. We have also explored effects of tensile and compressive strains and various side-chain substituents on the bandgap. The bandgap of polygermanes can be reduced upon attaching larger-sized substituents to the side chains. More importantly, applying a tensile/compressive strain can modify the bandgap of polygermanes over a wide range. For poly(diphenlygermane), the tensile strain can result in significant bandgap reduction due to the increasingly delocalized charge density in the conduction band. Moreover, a strong compressive strain can induce a direct-to-indirect semiconductor transition owing to the change made in the band-edge states. A similar strain effect is seen in polystannanes as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9126-9129
Number of pages4
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number65
StatePublished - Jul 17 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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