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Chemphyschem. 2009 Jun 2;10(8):1238-46. doi: 10.1002/cphc.200800806.

EXAFS study of dopant ions with different charges in nanocrystalline anatase: evidence for space-charge segregation of acceptor ions.

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Université de Provence-CNRS, UMR 6264: Laboratoire Chimie Provence, Centre St Jérôme, 13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France.


Nanocrystalline TiO(2) (anatase) is an essential oxide for environment and energy applications. A combination of EXAFS spectroscopy and DFT calculations on a series of dopants with quite similar ion radius, but increasing ion charge, show boundary space charge segregation of acceptor cations. The picture illustrates the Fourier-transformed EXAFS spectrum for Sn(4+)-doped TiO(2).A series of dopants, including acceptor ions (Zn(2+), Y(3+)), isovalent ions (Zr(4+), Sn(4+)) as well as a donor ion (Nb(5+)), were studied by EXAFS spectroscopy in nanocrystalline TiO(2) anatase powders and nanoceramics. Similar results were found for nanocrystalline powders and nanocrystalline ceramics, made by hot-pressing the powders. Boundary segregation was observed for the acceptor ions yttrium and zinc, whereas tin, zirconium and niobium ions were placed on substitutional bulk sites and did not segregate, whatever their concentration. These results can be interpreted based on defect thermodynamics, in the framework of a space charge segregation model with positive boundary core, due to excess oxide ion vacancies, and negative space charge regions, where ionized acceptors are segregated.

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