Relaxed continuous random network models. (I). Structural characteristics

P. Steinhardt, R. Alben, D. Weaire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Two elastic-energy-relaxed continuous random network (Polk) models for tetrahedrally bonded amorphous semiconductors have been obtained: a 201-atom model built entirely at Yale and a 519-atom model relaxed from a structure built by Polk and Boudreaux which originated at Harvard. In relaxing the coordinates to minimize the total energy the Keating potential was used for the interatomic interactions. The models are analyzed in terms of density, elastic distortion energy, elastic constants, numbers of five-, six- and seven-fold rings, distribution of dihedral angles, and radial distribution functions. We find that, despite their different origins, the models have essentially identical characteristics. Our principal conclusions are as follows: (a) The density of the CRN model is, to within 1%, that of diamond cubic. (b) The bulk modulus is about 3% lower than that for the diamond cubic structure and the shear modulus lies between the two diamond cubic shear moduli. (c) There are, to within ± 10% (and with corrections for surface effects), 0.38 five-fold, 0.91 six-fold and 1.04 seven-fold rings per atom. (d) For a reasonable value of the bond bending force constant, rms bond length distortions are about 1.0% and bond angle distortions are about 7.0°. (e) The radial distribution function agrees very well with experiment for all four principal peaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-214
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1974
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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