The mercury chalcogenides, HgTe and Hg1−x Cdx Te, have received considerable attention in recent years because of their use in infrared photon detectors. This article is concerned with some recent experiments on the Γ6-Γ8 band crossover in these systems induced by pressure. It is shown that although the inverted band model is valid for HgTe, the conclusions of the earlier workers on the pressure induced Γ6-Γ8 crossover are erroneous. Experimental results show that it is difficult to observe the band crossover due to an intervening structural phase transition from cubic zinc blend to the cinnabar structure. However pressure experiments on the semiconductor alloy system Hg0·9Cd0·1 Te clearly indicate this crossover. New results on the zinc blend-cinnabar phase transformation are also presented. The striking behaviour of thermoelectric power in the high pressure cinnabar phase is correlated with the available experimental data on the structurally similar elemental semiconductors like selenium and tellurium.
Volume 43, 2020
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