Main content area

Structure of Nitrogen and Zirconium Co-Doped Titania with Enhanced Visible-Light Photocatalytic Activity

Zhang, Peng, Yu, Yanlong, Wang, Enjun, Wang, Jingsheng, Yao, Jianghong, Cao, Yaan
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2014 v.6 no.7 pp. 4622-4629
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, absorption, electrons, ions, nitrogen, photocatalysis, photocatalysts, photovoltaic cells, sol-gel processing, titanium dioxide, transmission electron microscopy, zirconium
Nitrogen and zirconium co-doped TiO₂ (TiO₂–N–x%Zr) photocatalysts were synthesized via a sol–gel method. The existing states of the dopants (N and Zr) and their corresponding band structures were investigated via XRD, Raman, BET, XPS, TEM, FT-IR, UV–vis DRS, and PL techniques. It was found that N existed only as a surface species (NOₓ) and Zr⁴⁺ was doped in a substitutional mode; the doping of Zr⁴⁺ ions and modification of N extended the absorption into the visible region and inhibited the recombination of electrons and holes. Moreover, the excess Zr⁴⁺ ions existed as the ZrTiO₄ phase when the content of Zr was sufficiently high, which could also contribute to the separation of the charge carriers. Therefore, the TiO₂–N–x%Zr samples show enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity compared with single-doped TiO₂. These results offer a paradigm for the design and fabrication of optoelectronic functional materials such as solar cells and photocatalysts.