Abstract:
The structural, electronic, and optical properties of a recently synthesized thorium compound Rb2Th7Se15 have been calculated in the density functional theory framework for the first time. The calculated direct band gap was 1.471 eV (generalized gradient approximation) and 1.171 eV (local density approximation), with both results being close to the experimental result of 1.83 eV. High covalency/iconicity of the Th-Se/Rb-Se bonds was demonstrated by calculating effective Mulliken charges of all ions. The polarized calculations of the complex dielectric function are presented; dependence of the calculated index of refraction was fitted to the Sellmeyer equation in the wavelength range from 500 to 2500 nm.

Abstract:
Ternary semiconductor CuYS2 is studied by using the first-principles methods in the density functional theory (DFT) framework. The structural, electronic, optical and elastic properties were calculated at the ambient and elevated hydrostatic pressures. The compound was shown to have an indirect band gap of about 1.342/1.389 eV (in the generalized gradient and local density approximations). The anisotropy of the optical properties was studied by calculating the absorption spectra, dielectric function and index of refraction for different polarizations. The anisotropy of the elastic properties was visualized by plotting the three-dimensional dependence of the Young's moduli on the direction in the crystal lattice. The obtained results, which are reported for the first time to the best of the author's knowledge, can facilitate assessment of possible applications of the title material.

Abstract:
CdIn2S4 thiospinel was studied by means of the first principles calculations in both generalized gradient and local density approximations (GGA and LDA). The structural, electronic, optical and elastic properties were calculated in the pressure range from 0 to 10 GPa, below the pressure of phase transition for this compound. One of the main results of the paper is that the previously encountered in the literature controversy regarding the character of the CdIn2S4 band gap was resolved in favor of the indirect gap. Pressure coefficient of the band gap estimated as 0.071/0.063 eV/GPa (GGA/LDA) is in excellent agreement with the found in the literature experimental data of 0.076 or 0.069 eV/GPa. Calculated pressure dependence of the unit cell volume follows the experimental results very closely. Dependence of the interionic distances, lattice parameter and all elastic constants on pressure was calculated. Refined estimations of the Debye temperature for CdIn2S4 are given as 280 K (LDA) and 252 K (GGA). Elastic anisotropy of CdIn2S4 was visualized by plotting three-dimensional dependence of the Young modulus on a direction in the crystal lattice; it was established that the lowest Young moduli values are realized if the external stress is applied along the crystallographic axes.

Abstract:
Detailed first principles calculations of the structural, electronic and optical properties of two representatives of the chalcopyrite group of compounds (LiInSe2 and LiInTe2) are reported in the present paper. Both materials are shown to be the direct band gap semiconductors. Analysis of the electronic properties showed that the degree of covalency increases if Se is substituted by Te. Calculations of the optical properties of both crystals allowed getting reliable approximation of the refractive index as a function of the wavelength. All calculated results were compared with the available experimental data; good agreement was demonstrated.

Abstract:
Influence of composition and external hydrostatic pressure on the structural, electronic, and optical properties of the CuGa1-xAlxS2 (x=0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0) chalcopyrite semiconductor was analyzed by means of the first-principles calculations. Dielectric functions and optical absorption spectra were calculated for all considered aluminum concentrations. The pressure coefficients of the calculated band gaps and position of the lowest in energy absorption peaks were extracted from the calculated results. One of the main results is that substitution of 25% of gallium by aluminum (thus forming the CuGa0.75Al0.25S2 semiconductor) increases absorption in the visible part of the solar spectrum by about 6%, which can be important for the solar cell applications.

Abstract:
In the present paper we report on the combined experimental and theoretical study of the Sr6-xEuxBP5O20 (x=0.01; 0.03; 0.05; 0.07; 0.09; 0.11; 0.13; 0.15) phosphors. Details of the samples preparation and spectroscopic measurements are followed by the analysis of the room-temperature absorption and emission spectra, which yielded the main parameters of the electron-phonon coupling, such as Huang-Rhys factor, Stokes shift, effective phonon energy, and zero-phonon line position were determined for the first time for the studied system. The obtained parameters were used to model the emission band shapes, which perfectly reproduce the experimental results for all samples.

Abstract:
A thorough consideration of the relation between the lattice parameters of 185 binary and ternary spinel compounds, on one side, and ionic radii and electronegativities of the constituting ions, on the other side, allowed for establishing a simple empirical model and finding its linear equation, which links together the above-mentioned quantities. The derived equation gives good agreement between the experimental and modeled values of the lattice parameters in the considered group of spinels, with an average relative error of about 1% only. The proposed model was improved further by separate consideration of several groups of spinels, depending on the nature of the anion (oxygen, sulfur, selenium/tellurium, nitrogen). The developed approach can be efficiently used for prediction of lattice constants for new isostructural materials. In particular, the lattice constants of new hypothetic spinels ZnRE2O4, CdRE2S4, CdRE2Se4 (RE=rare earth elements) are predicted in the present paper. In addition, the upper and lower limits for the variation of the ionic radii, electronegativities and certain their combinations were established, which can be considered as stability criteria for the spinel compounds. The findings of the present paper offer a systematic overview of the structural properties of spinels and can serve as helpful guides for synthesis of new spinel compounds.

Abstract:
Four ternary semiconductors with the chalcopyrite structure (BeCN2, BeSiN2, MgCN2, and MgSiN2) were studied using the first principles methods. The structural, electronic, optical and elastic properties were calculated. All these materials were found to be the indirect band gap semiconductors, with the calculated band gaps in the range from 3.46 eV to 3.88 eV. Comparison of the degree of covalency/ionicity of the chemical bonds in these compounds was performed. Anisotropy of the optical properties of these tetragonal crystals was demonstrated by calculating the real and imaginary parts of the dielectric function {\epsilon}. Anisotropy of the elastic properties of these materials was analyzed by plotting the three-dimensional dependences of the Young moduli and their two-dimensional cross-sections. It was also shown (at least, qualitatively) that there exists a correlation between the optical and elastic anisotropy: the most optically anisotropic MgSiN2 is also most elastically anisotropic material in the considered group. High hardness (bulk moduli up to 300 GPa) together with large band gaps may lead to new potential applications of these compounds.

Abstract:
The complex theoretical and experimental studies of the band structure and the optical functions of the Cu2CdGeSe4 quaternary crystals are reported. The benchmark band structure calculations were performed using the first-principles methods. As a result, the structural, electronic, optical and elastic properties of Cu2CdGeSe4 were calculated in the general gradient approximation (GGA) and local density approximation (LDA). The calculated dielectric function and optical absorption spectra exhibit some anisotropic behavior. Detailed analysis of the band energy dispersion and the effective space charge density helped in establishing the origin of the band structure anisotropy. All calculated properties are compared with the experimental data. An additional comparison with a similar crystal of Cu2CdGeSe4 allowed to reveal the role played by the anions (S or Se) in formation of the optical properties of these two materials.