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Title: Bandgap tailoring of in-situ nitrogen-doped TiO₂ sputtered films intended for electrophotocatalytic applications under solar light

We report on a reactive RF-sputtering process permitting the in-situ nitrogen doping of TiO₂ films in order to shift their photoactivity from UV to visible range. By carefully controlling the relative nitrogen-to-argon mass flow rate ratio (within the 0%–25% range) in the sputter deposition chamber, TiO₂:N films were grown with nitrogen contents ranging from 0 to 6.2 at. %, as determined by high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy measurements. A systematic investigation of the crystalline structure of the TiO₂:N films, as a function of their N content, revealed that low N contents (0.2–0.3 at. %) induce crystallization in the rutile phase while higher N contents (≥1.4 at. %) were accompanied with the recovery of the anatase structure with an average crystallite size of ~35 nm. By using both UV-Vis absorption and spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements, we were able to quantitatively determine the bandgap (E{sub g}) variation of the TiO₂:N films as a function of their N content. Thus, we have demonstrated that the E{sub g} of the TiO₂:N films effectively narrows from 3.2 eV down to a value as low as ~2.3 eV for the optimal N doping concentration of 3.4 at. % (higher N incorporation does not translate into further red shifting ofmore » the TiO₂:N films' E{sub g}). The photoactivity of the TiO₂:N films under visible light was confirmed through electro-photocatalytic decomposition of chlortetracycline (CTC, an emerging water pollutant) under standard 1.5AM solar radiation. Thus, CTC degradation efficiencies of up to 98% were achieved with 2 hours process cycles under simulated solar light. Moreover, the electro-photocatalytic performance of the TiO₂:N films is shown to be directly correlated to their optoelectronic properties (namely their bandgap narrowing).« less
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, 1650, Boulevard Lionel-Boulet, Varennes, Québec J3X-1S2 (Canada)
  2. Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement, 490 Rue de la Couronne, Québec G1K-9A9 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22305820
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 15; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ABSORPTION; CRYSTALLIZATION; DECOMPOSITION; DEPOSITION; DOPED MATERIALS; ELECTROCATALYSTS; ELLIPSOMETRY; FILMS; FLOW RATE; NITROGEN ADDITIONS; PHOTOCATALYSIS; POLLUTANTS; RED SHIFT; SIMULATION; SOLAR RADIATION; TETRACYCLINES; TITANIUM OXIDES; VISIBLE RADIATION; X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY