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# The Kronig-Penney Model

## * Solving for tunneling through the potentials

between the atoms

* Introducing periodicity into the wave solutions

Electron bands

Energy gaps

Effective Mass
V
+ + +
ION ION ION
POSITION
P
O
T
E
N
T
I
A
L

E
N
E
R
G
Y

V = 0
We simplify the potential,
in order to be able to
solve the problem in any
simple manner.
Potential core around the
atom.
We will eventually let
V and d 0 in the
problem.
X=0
X=a
X=d
Potential barrier
between the atoms.
We now solve the time-independent Schrdinger equation.
a x < < 0
0 < < x d
0
2
1
2
2
1
2
1
2
1
2 2
= +
=
o

dx
d
E
dx
d
m

0
2
2
2
2
2
2
2 2
2
2
2 2
=
= +

dx
d
E V
dx
d
m

2
2
) ( 2

E V m
=
( ) ( ),
ikx
i i
x e u x = ) ( ) ( x u d a x u
i i
= + +
2
2
2

mE
= o
Bloch Theorem: The eigenfunction of the wave equation for a
periodic potential are the product of a plane wave exp( )
times a function ( ) with the periodicity of the crystal lattice.
k
ik r
u r

0 ) ( 2
1
2 2
1
2
1
2
= + + o k
dx
du
ik
dx
u d
0 ) ( 2
2
2 2
2
2
2
2
= + + u k
dx
du
ik
dx
u d

x
i
e u
o
=
0 ) ( 2
2 2
1
2
1
= + + k ik o o o 0 ) ( 2
2 2
2
2
2
= + k ik o o
o o i ik =
1
o = ik
2
x i ikx x i ikx
Be Ae u
o o +
+ =
1
x ikx x ikx
De Ce u
+
+ =
2
) 0 ( ) 0 (
2 1
u u =
D C B A + = +
0
2
0
1
= =
=
x x
dx
du
dx
du
D ik C ik
A k i A k i
) ( ) (
) ( ) (

o o
+ =
= +
) ( ) ( ) (
2 2 1
d u a u a u = =
d ik d ik
a k i a k i
De Ce
Be Ae
) ( ) (
) ( ) (

o o
+
+
+ =
= +
d x a x
dx
du
dx
du
= =
=
2 1
d ik d ik
a k i a k i
De ik Ce ik
Be k i Ae k i
) ( ) (
) ( ) (
) ( ) (
) ( ) (

o o

o o
+
+
+ =
= +
This simple b.c. enforces the
periodicity onto the solution.
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
0
) ( ) (
) ( ) (
1 1 1 1
) ( ) ( ) ( ) (
) ( ) ( ) ( ) (
=
(
(
(
(

(
(
(
(
(

+ +

+ +

+ +
+ +
D
C
B
A
e ik e ik e k i e k i
e e e e
ik ik k i k i
d ik d ik a k i a k i
d ik d ik a k i a k i
o o
o o
o o
o o
Since the RHS is 0, there must be an intrinsic solution that
arises without any forcing functions.
This requires the determinant of the large square matrix to vanish:
| | 0 . det = coeff
)] ( cos[ ) cos( ) cosh( ) sin( ) sinh(
2
2 2
d a k a d a d + = +

o o
o
o
To simplify this, we take the limit V , d 0, in such a manner that Vd = Q.
1
) sinh(
, 1 ) cosh(
d
d
d

2
2
ka a a
d
= + o o
o

## Function of the energy E Depends only upon the

Wavevector k
The wavevector k is real only for certain allowed ranges of E,
which we illustrate by a graphical solution.
Applying Bloch theorem and solving Schrdinger equation yields
) cos(
) sin(
a
a
a
P o
o
o
+
In general, as the energy increases (oa increases), each
successive band gets wider, and each successive gap gets
narrower.
No solution
exists, k
2
<0
Regions where the equation is satisfied, hence where
the solution exists.
) cos( ) cos( ) sin(
2
2
ka a a
d
= + o o
o

1
-1
Boundaries are for ka = nt.
oa
oa
1
-1
d
t
d
t
2
d
t
3
d
t
4
d
t

d
t
2
d
t
3
d
t
4
The Kronig-Penney model
gives us DETAILED solutions
for the bands, which are
almost, but not, cosinusoidal
in nature.
d
t
d
t
2
d
t
3
d
t
4
d
t

d
t
2
d
t
3
d
t
4
Extended zone scheme
d
t
d
t
2
d
t
3
d
t
4
d
t

d
t
2
d
t
3
d
t
4
Reduced zone scheme
As energy increases, the bands get WIDER
and the gaps get NARROWER
The Electrons Effective Mass
The energy bands are closer to cosines than to a
free electron parabola.

Hence, we will define an effective mass, which will
vary with energy!

connection for momentum: v * m k =
We introduce our effective mass through
this defining equation, which relates the
crystal momentum to the real momentum.
2
2
Remember in free e Fermi gas,
2
c

=
k
k
m
For a wave packet the group velocity is given by:

=

In presence of an electric field E, the energy change is:

Now we can say:

where p is the electron's momentum.
Substitute the expression for the group velocity into this last
equation and we get:

From this follows the definition of effective mass:

effective mass is the mass it seems to carry in the semiclassical model of
transport in a crystal. It can be shown that, under most conditions,
electrons and holes in a crystal respond to electric and magnetic fields
almost as if they were free particles in a vacuum, but with a different mass.
This mass is usually stated in units of the ordinary mass of an electron m
e

(9.1110-31 kg).
The Electrons Effective Mass
Some values of electron effective mass:

GaAs 0.067
InAs 0.22
InSb 0.13
Si 0.19,0.91*

* Minima are not at center of zone, but are ellipsoids.
O.K. We have energy bands and we have gaps. How do we know
whether the material is an insulator, a metal, or a semiconductor?

Well, let us reconsider some of the things we have learned so far:

1. The crystal potential and the wave functions are periodic functions.
If the crystal has length L, then we require

2. Hence, we have that the exponential part of the wave function must
satisfy

There are N, where N is the number of atoms, values of n.
dx
d
dx
L d
L
) 0 ( ) (
) 0 ( ) (

=
=
N n
L
n
k
n kL
e e
ik ikL
,..., 2 , 1
2
2
1
0
= =
=
= =
t
t
3. This means that each band can hold 2N electrons (the factor of 2 is
for spin).

4. Thus, a material with only 1 (outer shell) electron per atom, such as
Li, K, Cu, Au, Ag, etc., will be a metal, since only one-half of the
available states are filled. The highest band (which we will call the
conduction band) is one-half filled. (We assume that, in 3D, the
material has a comparable band structure to the simple cubic.)

5. In Si, however, there are 8 atoms per FCC cell: 8 corner atoms,
shared between 8 cubes, gives 1; 6 face atoms, shared between 2
cubes each, give 3; and 4 internal atoms, which are not shared with
any other cube, gives 4. But, this is considering the basis. The basic
FCC cell has only 4 atoms, and each can contribute 8 states, so that
there are 32 states per unit cell in the band. Now, we have 8 atoms,
each with 4 electrons, and this means 32 electrons. Hence, all the
states in the band are filled, and Si should be an insulator!

6. An insulator has all the states in the topmost occupied band FULL.
Si is therefore an insulator.

7. But, most insulators have a band gap of 4-10 eV. Silicon has a gap of
only 1.0 eV, so electrons can be excited over the gap, and we call Si a
semiconductor.
8. In a metal, the number of electrons does not change with
temperature. The scattering does increase with temperature, so that
the conductance goes down with T.

9. In a semiconductor, the number of electrons increases exponentially
with temperature, so that even though the scattering increases, the
conductance increases with T.