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Unusual Changes in Electronic Band-Edge Energies of the Nanostructured Transparent n‑Type Semiconductor Zr-Doped Anatase TiO2 (Ti1–xZrxO2; x < 0.3)

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2016, 14:20 by Daniel G. Mieritz, Adèle Renaud, Dong-Kyun Seo
By the establishment of highly controllable synthetic routes, electronic band-edge energies of the n-type transparent semiconductor Zr-doped anatase TiO2 have been studied holistically for the first time up to 30 atom % Zr, employing powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen gas sorption measurements, UV/vis spectroscopies, and Mott–Schottky measurements. The materials were produced through a sol–gel synthetic procedure that ensures good compositional homogeneity of the materials, while introducing nanoporosity in the structure, by achieving a mild calcination condition. Vegard’s law was discovered among the homogeneous samples, and correlations were established between the chemical compositions and optical and electronic properties of the materials. Up to 20% Zr doping, the optical energy gap increases to 3.29 eV (vs 3.19 eV for TiO2), and the absolute conduction band-edge energy increases to −3.90 eV (vs −4.14 eV). The energy changes of the conduction band edge are more drastic than what is expected from the average electronegativities of the compounds, which may be due to the unnatural coordination environment around Zr in the anatase phase.