Doping of wide-bandgap titanium-dioxide nanotubes: optical, electronic and magnetic properties†
Doping semiconductors is an important step for their technological application. While doping bulk semiconductors can be easily achieved, incorporating dopants in semiconductor nanostructures has proven difficult. Here, we report a facile synthesis method for doping titanium-dioxide (TiO2) nanotubes that was enabled by a new electrochemical cell design. A variety of optical, electronic and magnetic dopants were incorporated into the hollow nanotubes, and from detailed studies it is shown that the doping level can be easily tuned from low to heavily-doped semiconductors. Using desired dopants – electronic (p- or n-doped), optical (ultraviolet bandgap to infrared absorption in co-doped nanotubes), and magnetic (from paramagnetic to ferromagnetic) properties can be tailored, and these technologically important nanotubes can be useful for a variety of applications in photovoltaics, display technologies, photocatalysis, and spintronic applications.