Electronic structure of pristine and Ni-substituted LaFeO₃ from near edge x-ray absorption fine structure experiments and first-principles simulations


We present a joint theoretical and experimental study of the oxygen K-edge spectra for LaFeO₃ and homovalent Ni-substituted LaFeO₃ (LaFe₀.₇₅Ni₀.₂₅O₃), using first-principles simulations based on density-functional theory with extended Hubbard functionals and x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) measurements. Ground-state and excited-state XANES calculations employ Hubbard on-site U and inter-site V parameters determined from first principles and the Lanczos recursive method to obtain absorption cross sections, which allows for a reliable description of XANES spectra in transition-metal compounds in a very broad energy range, with an accuracy comparable to that of hybrid functionals but at a substantially lower cost. We show that standard gradient-corrected exchange-correlation functionals fail in capturing accurately the electronic properties of both materials. In particular, for LaFe₀.₇₅Ni₀.₂₅O₃ they do not reproduce its semiconducting behaviour and provide a poor description of the pre-edge features at the O K edge. The inclusion of Hubbard interactions leads to a drastic improvement, accounting for the semiconducting ground state of LaFe₀.₇₅Ni₀.₂₅O₃ and for good agreement between calculated and measured XANES spectra. We show that the partial substitution of Ni for Fe affects the conduction-band bottom by generating a strongly hybridized O(2p)-Ni(3d) minority-spin empty electronic state. The present work, based on a consistent correction of self-interaction errors, outlines the crucial role of extended Hubbard functionals to describe the electronic structure of complex transition-metal oxides such as LaFeO₃ and LaFe₀.₇₅Ni₀.₂₅O₃ and paves the way to future studies on similar systems.

DOI https://doi.org/10.24435/materialscloud:t5-af
Source https://archive.materialscloud.org/record/2020.61
Metadata Access https://archive.materialscloud.org/xml?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=oai_dc&identifier=oai:materialscloud.org:427
Creator Timrov, Iurii; Agrawal, Piyush; Zhang, Xinyu; Erat, Selma; Liu, Riping; Braun, Artur; Cococcioni, Matteo; Calandra, Matteo; Marzari, Nicola; Passerone, Daniele
Publisher Materials Cloud
Publication Year 2020
Rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess; Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode
OpenAccess true
Contact archive(at)materialscloud.org
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Discipline Materials Science and Engineering