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German-born US physicist Felix Bloch

(1905–83) in 1928.Accordind to this theorem, in

a periodic structure, every

Electronic wave function can be represented by a

“Bloch function”.

large number of ionic cores at regular intervals, and, the

conduction electrons can move freely throughout the lattice.

characterize electron energy levels in a periodic crystal.

Electrons that move in a constant potential, have wave

functions that are plane waves, having the form exp(i k · r ).

Here, k is the wave vector, which can assume any value, and

describes an electron having momentum P= ħk .Electrons in a

crystal experience a potential that has the periodicity same as

the crystal lattice.

arrangement in a crystal, the type of variation of V also

repeats itself. If a is the inter ionic distance, then , as we move

in x-direction , the value of V will be same at all points which

are separated by a distance equal to a.

ie V(x) = V( x + a ) where, x is

distance of the electron from the core.

the form of a plane wave multiplied by a function with the

period of the Crystal lattice”,stating that the wave function

ψ for an electron in a periodic potential has the form

BLOCH

FUNCTIONS

ψ(r) = exp(ik · r)U(r) in 3-dimensional motion

periodic function that satisfies

U(r+a) = U(r)

for all vectors ‘a’ of the Crystal lattice of the crystal. Block's

theorem is interpreted to mean that the wave function for an

electron in a periodic potential is a plane wave modulated by a

periodic function. This explains why a free-electron model has

some success in describing the properties of certain metals

although it is inadequate to give a quantitative description of

the properties of most metals.

In order to understand the physical properties of the system, it

is required to solve the Schrödinger’s equation. However, it is

extremely difficult to solve the Schrödinger’s equation with

periodic potential described above. Hence the Kronig –

Penney Model is adopted for simplification.

metals that the free electrons in a metal experience a constant

potential and is free to move in the metal. This theory

explains successfully most of the phenomena of solids. But it

could not explain why some solids are good conductors and

some others are insulators and semi conductors. It can be

understood successfully using the band theory of solids.

move in a periodic potential produced by the positive ion

cores. The potential of electron varies periodically with

periodicity of ion core and potential energy of the electrons

is zero near nucleus of the positive ion core. It is maximum

when it is lying between the adjacent nuclei which are

separated by interatomic spacing. The variation of potential

of electrons while it is moving through ion core is shown

fig.

Fig. One dimensional periodic potential

= V0 for the region -b < x < 0

----------------(1)

equation for above two regions

a ---------------(2)

-b < x < a ----------------(3)

Substituting α2 = 2 m E / ħ2

---------------(4)

β2 = 2 m ( V – E ) / ħ2

----------------(5)

d2Ψ / dx2 + α2 Ψ = 0 for region 0 < x < a

---------------(6)

--------------(7)

The solution for the eqn’s (6) and (7) can be written as

Ψ ( x ) = Uk ( x ) eikx

---------------(8)

by the periodic function.

that of the ion

---------------(9)

given by k = 2 Π / λ . This k is also known asPropagation

wave vector.

substituting in equation (6) and (7), two independent second

order linear differential equations can be obtained for the

regions-I and II.

dψ du

= e ikx k + u iKe iKx

dx dx k

d 2ψ d 2u du du

= e ikx k + iKe iKx k + ike ikx k − k 2 e ikx u

2 2 dx dx k

dx dx

d 2ψ du d 2u

i.e., dx 2

2

=− K e ikx u + 2iKe

k

iKx

dx

k +e ikx

dx 2

k

d 2u du 1

dx

+ 2iK dx + (α

2

1 2

− K 2 )u1 = 0 ; for 0<x<a

---------------------(10)

and dx 22 +2iK dx - ( β )

d 2u du 2 2

+ K 2 u 2 = 0; for –b<x<0

------------------------(11)

and u2 the value of uk (x) in the interval –b<x<0.

U1 = emx

du 1 d 2 u1

dx

= me mx and dx 2

= m 2 e mx

m2+2iKm + (α − K ) = 0 2 2

2 2 2

m = -ik ± iα

m1 = -ik +iα = i (α -K)

m2 = -iK-iα = -i (α +K)

u1 = Aem1x + B em2x

α α

u1 = Aei( -K)x + B e-I ( +k)x

u2 = Ce(β-iK)x + D e-i (β +ik)x

A,B,C and D can be obtained by applying the boundary

conditions.

[u1 ( x ) ] x =0 = [u 2 ( x ) ] x =0 ; du1 ( x ) du ( x )

= 2 and

dx x =0 dx x =0

= 2

dx x =a dx x =−b

equations, four linear equations in terms of A,B,C and D it

can be obtained (where A,B,C,D are constants ) the solution

for these equations can be determined only if the

determinant of the coefficients of A , B , C , and D vanishes,

on solving the determinant. Thus we have

cos k ( a + b ) ------------ (12)

could conclude with the equation. Hence they tried to

modify this equation as follows

Such that Vob remains finite. Therefore sin hβb → βb and

cos hβb→1

------------ (13)

β2 - α2 = ( 2 m / ħ2 ) (Vo – E ) – ( 2 m E / ħ2 )

= ( 2 m / ħ2 ) (Vo – E - E ) = ( 2 m /

ħ2 ) (Vo – 2 E )

= 2 m Vo / ħ2 ( since Vo >> E )

written as

( 2 m Vo / 2 ħ2 α β ) β b . sin α a + cos α a

== cos k a

( m Vo b a / ħ2 ) ( sin α a / α a ) + cos α a ==

cos k a

-------------------(14)

scattering power.

function of α for the value of P = 3 Π / 2 which is shown in

fig, the right hand side one takes the values between -1 to

+1 as indicated by the horizontal lines in fig. Therefore the

equation (12) is satisfied only for those values of ka for

which left hand side between ± 1.

Fig. a) P=6pi b) p--> infinity c) p--> 0

3π

This plot for a value of P assumed arbitrarily as 2 . Indicated

in the figure are the permitted values of this function, show as

solid lines between thin portions. This, then gives rise to the

concept of ranges of permitted values of α for a given ion

α h

2 2

2

are predicted. The following interesting conclusions may be

drawn:

mechanical solution to exist are shown by the shadow

portions. Thus the motion of electrons in a periodic

lattice is characterized by the bands of allowed energy

separated by forbidden regions.

2. As the value of α a increases, the width of allowed

energy bands also increases and the width of the

forbidden bands decreases ; this is a consequence of the

fact that the first term of equation decreases on the

average with increasing α a.

3. Let us now consider the effect of varying P. It is known

that P is a measure of the potential barrier strength. If

V0b is large, i.e. if P is large, the function described by

the left hand side of the equation crosses +1 and -1

region at a steeper angle as shown in fig ……. . Thus

the allowed bands are narrower and the forbidden

bands are wider.

nπ

2 . These values of K are points of discontinuity in the (E-K)

band reduces to one single energy level ; that is, we are back

to the case of discrete energy spectrum existing in isolated

atoms.

P→ ∞ is follows from equation that Sinα a=0 α a = ± nπ ;

n π

2 2

α 2 = a . Referring equation

2

n 2π 2 2mE

α =

2

a 2

= 2

n 2π 2 h 2 n2 π 2 h 2

i.e. E =

2ma

2

=

2m

4π

2

n2h2

E= 8ma 2

discrete and the result is similar to the energy levels of a

particle in a constant potential box of atomic dimensions. This

is expected because for large P tunneling through the barrier

becomes almost improbable.

The other extreme case, when P→0, leads to

Cos α a = cos Ka

Thus α = K

i.e. α 2 = K2

2mE

K2 = α 2 = 2

2

2 2 2 2π

E=

2m

K

E= 2

8π m λ

2 1

E=

2m

λ2

2 p2 p2 1

E=

2m h 2

=

2 m

= mv

2

2

energy levels exist ; that means all energies are allowed to the

electrons.

range, from the completely free electron to the completely

bound electron.

Energy bands

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