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Spontaneous Direct Band Gap, High Hole Mobility, and Huge Exciton Energy in Atomic-Thin TiO2 Nanosheet

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journal contribution
posted on 27.08.2018 by Wei Zhou, Naoto Umezawa, Renzhi Ma, Nobuyuki Sakai, Yasuo Ebina, Koki Sano, Mingjie Liu, Yasuhiro Ishida, Takuzo Aida, Takayoshi Sasaki
The quasi-particle band structure, carrier mobility, and optical response of atomic-thin TiO2 nanosheets were accurately predicted with the many-body perturbation theory of G0W0+BSE calculations. The lepidocrocite-type TiO2 exhibits an unexpected direct band gap of 5.3 eV, different from the retaining indirect band gap character in anatase-type TiO2 nanosheet. Because of the dispersive valence band maxima from the strong overlap between O-2p orbitals, an extremely high hole mobility of 1069 cm2 V–1 s–1 was proposed for the lepidocrocite-type TiO2 nanosheet. Including the electron–hole exchange of excitonic effect, our simulations well reproduce the experimental absorption spectra implying a huge exciton binding energy. The strong anisotropic exciton originates from the crystal dependent effective mass in the lepidocrocite-type TiO2 nanosheet due to the asymmetric orbital overlaps. The strongly bound exciton still renders a sufficiently high potential for hydrogen production from aqueous solution, although it largely decreases the photonic excitation energy.