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Nonlinear stability of <i>E</i> centers in Si<sub>1-<i>x</i></sub>Ge<sub><i>x</i></sub>: electronic structure calculations

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Electronic structure calculations are used to investigate the binding energies of defect pairs composed of lattice vacancies and phosphorus or arsenic atoms (E centers) in silicon-germanium alloys. To describe the local environment surrounding the E center we have generated special quasirandom structures that represent random silicon-germanium alloys. It is predicted that the stability of E centers does not vary linearly with the composition of the silicon-germanium alloy. Interestingly, we predict that the nonlinear behavior does not depend on the donor atom of the E center but only on the host lattice. The impact on diffusion properties is discussed in view of recent experimental and theoretical results.

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