The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110)

Bechstein R, Kitta M, Schütte J, Onishi H, Kühnle A (2009)
Nanotechnology 20(26): 264003.

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Titanium dioxide represents a very important wide bandgap photocatalyst that is known to be sensitized to visible light by transition metal doping. Antimony doping has been demonstrated to provide photocatalytic activity when codoped with chromium at an optimum dopant ratio [Sb]/[Cr] of about 1.5. Here, the role of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110) is studied using non-contact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) under ultra-high vacuum conditions. At first glance, the surface structure of antimony-doped TiO2(110) resembles the structure of pristine TiO2(110). However, in contrast to what is found in pristine TiO2(110), a dense layer of protruding features is observed upon antimony doping, which is tentatively ascribed to antimony-rich clusters. Moreover, homogeneously distributed holes are found on the surface, which differ in depth and shape depending on the preparation conditions. Holes with depths ranging from a few up to more than a hundred monatomic steps are observed. These holes are explained by surface segregation of antimony during annealing, as the ionic radius of Sb3+ is considerably larger than the ionic radius of Ti4+. Our finding provides an indication of why an antimony concentration larger than the optimum ratio results in decreased photocatalytic activity. Moreover, controlling annealing temperature seems to constitute a promising strategy for creating nanosized holes on TiO2 surfaces.
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Bechstein R, Kitta M, Schütte J, Onishi H, Kühnle A. The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110). Nanotechnology. 2009;20(26): 264003.
Bechstein, R., Kitta, M., Schütte, J., Onishi, H., & Kühnle, A. (2009). The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110). Nanotechnology, 20(26), 264003. doi:10.1088/0957-4484/20/26/264003
Bechstein, R., Kitta, M., Schütte, J., Onishi, H., and Kühnle, A. (2009). The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110). Nanotechnology 20:264003.
Bechstein, R., et al., 2009. The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110). Nanotechnology, 20(26): 264003.
R. Bechstein, et al., “The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110)”, Nanotechnology, vol. 20, 2009, : 264003.
Bechstein, R., Kitta, M., Schütte, J., Onishi, H., Kühnle, A.: The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110). Nanotechnology. 20, : 264003 (2009).
Bechstein, Ralf, Kitta, Mitsunori, Schütte, Jens, Onishi, Hiroshi, and Kühnle, Angelika. “The effects of antimony doping on the surface structure of rutile TiO2(110)”. Nanotechnology 20.26 (2009): 264003.
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PMID: 19509451
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