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Issue 6, 2008
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Photoactive centers responsible for visible-light photoactivity of N-doped TiO2

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N-doped TiO2 (anatase) with high visible light photoactivity was obtained by the thermal treatment of nanotube titanic acid (denoted as NTA) in an NH3 flow and investigated by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electron spin resonance (ESR), and photoluminescence (PL). With increasing NH3 treatment temperature at T = 400 to 600 °C, the anatase crystallinity of the N-NTA(400–600) samples was gradually enhanced, while at 700 °C a new phase, TiN, appeared in the N-NTA(700) sample. XPS results show that the doped N atoms incorporated into anatase TiO2 exist in the form of NO. A revised explanation for the triplet ESR signals obtained from the N-NTA(500–700) samples was put forward, i.e. the g = 2.004 main peak is contributed by single-electron-trapped oxygen vacancies (denoted as Vo˙), while two weak peaks (g = 2.023, 1.987) are contributed by chemisorbed NO in well-crystallized anatase TiO2. The visible light photoactivity is proportional to the height of the g = 2.004 main peak, which suggests that the photoactive centers are Vo˙-NO–Ti. The adsorbed NO molecule can effectively suppress the photoluminescence of Vo˙ defects, which facilitates photogenerated charge transfer to the surface reactive centers to conduct redox reactions. The higher the Vo˙-NO–Ti concentration, the better the visible light photoactivity. The highest photoactivity was obtained for the catalyst, NH3-treated at 600 °C. But the formation of TiN at T = 700 °C can readily destruct Vo˙-NO–Ti photoactive centers, and thus readily decreases photoactivity efficiency.

Graphical abstract: Photoactive centers responsible for visible-light photoactivity of N-doped TiO2

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The article was received on 19 Dec 2007, accepted on 05 Feb 2008 and first published on 25 Mar 2008

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B719498F
Citation: New J. Chem., 2008,32, 1038-1047
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    Photoactive centers responsible for visible-light photoactivity of N-doped TiO2

    C. Feng, Y. Wang, Z. Jin, J. Zhang, S. Zhang, Z. Wu and Z. Zhang, New J. Chem., 2008, 32, 1038
    DOI: 10.1039/B719498F

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