Anatase titanium oxide is important for its high chemical stability and photocatalytic properties, however, the latter are plagued by its large band gap that limits its activity to only a small percentage of the solar spectrum. In that respect, straining the material can reduce its band gap increasing the photocatalytic activity of titanium oxide. We apply density functional theory with the introduction of the Hubbard + U model, to investigate the impact of stress on the electronic structure of anatase in conjunction with defect engineering by intrinsic defects (oxygen/titanium vacancies and interstitials), metallic dopants (iron, chromium) and non-metallic dopants (carbon, nitrogen). Here we show that both biaxial and uniaxial strain can reduce the band gap of undoped anatase with the use of biaxial strain being marginally more beneficial reducing the band gap up to 2.96 eV at a tensile stress of 8 GPa. Biaxial tensile stress in parallel with doping results in reduction of the band gap but also in the introduction of states deep inside the band gap mainly for interstitially doped anatase. Dopants in substitutional positions show reduced deep level traps. Chromium-doped anatase at a tensile stress of 8 GPa shows the most significant reduction of the band gap as the band gap reaches 2.4 eV.
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- Institute for Future Transport and Cities - Associate
- School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Automotive Engineering - Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Physics
Person: Teaching and Research