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This chapter discusses the background of the relevant physics and chemistry of ZnS. The crystallography of ZnS is reviewed first, including details on its polytypes and the cubic-to-hexagonal phase transformation; then the basic electronic and vibrational structures are reviewed, including the electronic band structure and the infrared and Raman active phonon modes. The importance of defects in ZnS is discussed, including native defects as well as oxygen, hydrogen, and transition metal inclusions.
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