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Issue 2, 2016
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A combined computational and experimental investigation of Mg doped α-Fe2O3

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Abstract

In the current work, pristine α-Fe2O3 metal oxide was doped with Mg in an attempt to modulate its electronic properties. To this end, we employed an experimental high throughput strategy, including scanning XRD and optical spectroscopy, which were complimented by atomistic density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The combined study reveals that at Mg/Fe atomic ratios up to ∼1/3, the bandgaps of the hematite–Mg composite materials are similar to that of the pure material. The observed bandgaps are rationalized by electronic band structure and density of states calculations. Additional rationale for the similar bandgaps in pure and doped hematite is provided by topological Bader charge analyses, which indicate that the Mg and Fe ions in the hematite matrix have similar partial atomic charges. Nonetheless, the small charge density difference between the Mg and Fe ions induces a slight spin polarization on both oxygen and Fe ions, resulting in changes in the band edges. Further charge density analyses, using charge density maps and chemical-bonding analyses with the crystal orbital Hamiltonian population scheme, indicate that Mg forms ionic bonds with the neighboring oxygen atoms. This change from iron–oxygen covalent bonds to a more ionic nature for magnesium–oxygen bonds is probably responsible for the reduction observed in the computed bulk modulus of α-Mg0.17Fe1.83O3 (193 GPa) compared to α-Fe2O3 (202 GPa).

Graphical abstract: A combined computational and experimental investigation of Mg doped α-Fe2O3

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
06 Oct 2015
Accepted
16 Nov 2015
First published
23 Nov 2015

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016,18, 781-791
Article type
Paper
Author version available

A combined computational and experimental investigation of Mg doped α-Fe2O3

M. Kosa, H. N. Barad, V. Singh, D. A. Keller, K. Shimanovich, S. Rühle, A. Y. Anderson, A. Zaban and D. T. Major, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016, 18, 781
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP05987A

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