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Relevance of Dispersion and the Electronic Spin in the DFT + U Approach for the Description of Pristine and Defective TiO2 Anatase

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journal contribution
posted on 02.09.2021, 19:06 by Ana E. Torres, Janatan Rodríguez-Pineda, Rodolfo Zanella
A density functional theory + U systematic theoretical study was performed on the geometry, electronic structure, and energies of properties relevant for the chemical reactivity of TiO2 anatase. The effects of D3­(BJ) dispersion correction and the Hubbard U value over the energies corresponding to the TiO2/Ti2O3 reduction reaction, the oxygen vacancy formation, and transition-metal doping were analyzed to attain an accurate and well-balanced description of these properties. It is suggested to fit the Hubbard correction for the metal dopant atom by taking as reference the observed low spin–high spin (HS) energy difference for the metal atom. PBEsol-D3 calculations revealed a distinct electronic ground state for the yttrium-doped TiO2 anatase surface depending upon the type of doping and interstitial or substitutional defects. Based on the calculations, it was found that a HS state explains the observed ferromagnetism in cobalt-substituted TiO2 anatase. The results presented herein might be relevant for further catalytic studies on TiO2 anatase using a large surface model that would be worthwhile for heterogeneous catalysis simulations.