Warping of energy bands can affect the density of states (DOS) in ways that can be large or subtle. Despite their potential for significant practical impacts on materials properties, these effects have not been rigorously demonstrated previously. Here we rectify this using an angular effective mass formalism that we have developed. To clarify the often confusing terminology in this field, "band warping" is precisely defined as pertaining to any multivariate energy function E(k) that does not admit a second-order differential at an isolated critical point in k-space, which we clearly distinguish from band non-parabolicity. We further describe band "corrugation" as a qualitative form of band warping that increasingly deviates from being twice differentiable at an isolated critical point. These features affect the density-of-states and other parameters ascribed to band warping in various ways. We demonstrate these effects, providing explicit calculations of DOS and their effective masses for warped energy dispersions originally derived by Kittel and others. Other physical and mathematical examples are provided to demonstrate fundamental distinctions that must be drawn between DOS contributions that originate from band warping and contributions that derive from band non-parabolicity. For some non-degenerate bands in thermoelectric materials, this may have profound consequences of practical interest.
|State||Published - Feb 24 2016|