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Issue 26, 2020
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Nitrogen-doped semiconducting oxides. Implications on photochemical, photocatalytic and electronic properties derived from EPR spectroscopy

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Abstract

Engineering defects in semiconducting metal oxides is a challenge that remains at the forefront of materials chemistry research. Nitrogen has emerged as one of the most attractive elements able to tune the photochemical and photocatalytic properties of semiconducting oxides, boosting visible-light harvesting and charge separation events, key elements in promoting solar driven chemical reactions. Doping with nitrogen is also a strategy suggested to obtain p-type conduction properties in oxides showing n-type features in their pristine state and to impart collective magnetic properties to the same systems. Here, we review the evolution in the understanding of the role of nitrogen doping in modifying the photochemical and electronic properties of the most common semiconducting oxides used in mentioned applications including: TiO2, ZnO, SnO2 and zirconium titanates. With an emphasis on polycrystalline materials, we highlight the unique role of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in the direct detection of open-shell N-based defects and in the definition of their structural and electronic properties. Synthetic strategies for the insertion of nitrogen defects in the various matrices are also discussed, along with the influence of the corresponding low-lying energy states on the general electronic properties of the doped solids.

Graphical abstract: Nitrogen-doped semiconducting oxides. Implications on photochemical, photocatalytic and electronic properties derived from EPR spectroscopy

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Article information


Submitted
21 May 2020
Accepted
22 Jun 2020
First published
01 Jul 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 6623-6641
Article type
Perspective

Nitrogen-doped semiconducting oxides. Implications on photochemical, photocatalytic and electronic properties derived from EPR spectroscopy

M. Chiesa, S. Livraghi, M. C. Paganini, E. Salvadori and E. Giamello, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 6623
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC02876B

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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