Importance of the Hubbard correction on the thermal conductivity calculation of strongly correlated materials: a case study of ZnO
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The wide bandgap semiconductor, ZnO, has gained interest recently as a promising option for use in power electronics such as thermoelectric and piezoelectric generators, as well as optoelectronic devices. Though much work has been done to improve its electronic properties, relatively little is known of its thermal transport properties with large variations in measured thermal conductivity. In this study, we examine the effects of a Hubbard corrected energy functional on the lattice thermal conductivity of wurtzite ZnO calculated using density functional theory and an iterative solution to the Boltzmann transport equation. Showing good agreement with existing experimental measurements, and with a detailed analysis of the mode-dependence and phonon properties, the results from this study highlight the importance of the Hubbard correction in calculations of thermal transport properties of materials with strongly correlated electron systems.