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A relationship between structural and electronic order-disorder effects and optical properties in crystalline TiO2 nanomaterials.

Authors
  • Silva Junior, E
  • La Porta, F A
  • Liu, M S
  • Andrés, J
  • Varela, J A
  • Longo, E
Type
Published Article
Journal
Dalton Transactions
Publisher
The Royal Society of Chemistry
Publication Date
Feb 21, 2015
Volume
44
Issue
7
Pages
3159–3175
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1039/c4dt03254c
PMID: 25579134
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the analysis of the structural and electronic order-disorder effects at long, medium and short ranges of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles synthesized by the sol-gel process followed by the microwave-assisted solvothermal (MAS) method at low temperatures and short reaction times. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Rietveld refinement, micro-Raman (MR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) were used to characterize the TiO2 nanoparticles. Optical properties were investigated by ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) and photoluminescence (PL) measurements performed at room temperature. XRD and Rietveld refinement confirmed the presence of the anatase and brookite phases; nonetheless anatase is the major phase. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis revealed the presence of only Ti(4+) but the nonstoichiometry revealed that TiO2 NPs contain defects assigned to oxygen vacancies that lead to structural and electronic order-disorder effects observed by band gap narrowing and PL wide band emission. These intermediary energy levels (shallow and deep levels) created within the band gap act as acceptors/donors of electrons and recombination centers. The oxygen vacancies (VO(x), VO˙ and VO˙˙) responsible by degree of structural order-disorder are related to distortions (tilts) on the [TiO6] octahedron and changes in the bond lengths and bond angles between oxygen and titanium atoms that gave rise to new species of cluster makers such as [TiO6]', [TiO5·VO(x)], [TiO5·VO˙] and [TiO5·VO˙˙]. This structural transformation is consistent with a redistribution of electron density from highly ordered [TiO6](x) clusters which form distorted [TiO6]' as well as complex [TiO5·VO(x)], [TiO5·VO˙] and [TiO5·VO˙˙] clusters assigned to oxygen vacancies which were understood as displacements in the oxygen atoms' position in the bond lengths (Ti-O).

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