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J Phys Condens Matter ; 29(8): 085501, 2017 Mar 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28060770


The optical band gap, extracted from absorption measurements, defines the figure of merit for transparent conducting oxides (TCOs). In many oxides, such as [Formula: see text] or [Formula: see text], inversion symmetry introduces a selection rule that blocks transitions from the valence-band maximum to the conduction-band minimum. This raises the absorption threshold and enlarges the optical gap relative to the fundamental band gap. Here, we present density-functional computations identifying two optical gaps, either of which can be detected, depending on the optical light intensity. Under strong illumination, weak transitions from [Formula: see text]-points near the valence-band maximum contribute significantly to the absorption spectrum and define an optical gap matching the fundamental gap. Low optical intensities by contrast give prominence to the large optical gap determined by the selection rule. While experimental conditions have favored observation of the former optical gap in [Formula: see text], in contrast, absorption measurements in [Formula: see text] have focused on the latter. Our findings explain the disparity between the optical and fundamental gaps in bixbyite [Formula: see text] and predict that, measured under low illumination, the optical gap for rutile [Formula: see text] will increase, from 3.60 eV to 4.34 eV.