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Band Engineering of SrTiO3: Effect of Synthetic Technique and Site Occupancy of Doped Rhodium

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journal contribution
posted on 19.11.2018, 00:00 by U. Sandhya Shenoy, Harsha Bantawal, D. Krishna Bhat
It is well known that doping of Rh into the SrTiO3 lattice introduces 4d donor levels within the band gap, which causes reduction in the gap and extends the photocatalytic activity to the visible region of the solar spectrum. The mid-gap states formed also act as recombination centers and diminish the efficiency of the material. Herein, we present a combined theoretical and experimental approach to avoid the formation of the so-called acceptor mid-gap states. For the first time, we study the effect of occupancy of Rh in the Sr site. First-principles calculations reveal that mixed occupancies of Rh into Sr and Ti sites lead to the introduction of acceptor levels within the band gap, leading to decrease in photocatalytic efficiency. A facile one-pot solvothermal approach by avoiding high-temperature calcinations is reported to obtain Rh-doped SrTiO3 nanoparticles in Rh3+ states, suppressing the formation of Rh4+ states by directing Rh toward Sr sites. The photocatalytic activity of Rh-doped SrTiO3 nanoparticles is studied in the case of degradation of methylene blue, wherein the 1.0 Rh sample was found to be highly efficient.