Effect of Nature and Location of Defects on Bandgap Narrowing in Black TiO2 Nanoparticles

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CNR−Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie Molecolari, Via C. Golgi 19, Milano 20133, Italy
§ Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica ed Elettrochimica, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Golgi 19, Milano 20133, Italy
Dipartimento di Meccanica e Materiali, Università “Mediterranea” di Reggio Calabria, Loc. Feo di Vito, 89122 Reggio Calabria, Italy
# IMEM-CNR Institute, Parco Area delle Scienze 37/A, 43100 Parma, Italy
Cite this: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 18, 7600–7603
Publication Date (Web):April 21, 2012
https://doi.org/10.1021/ja3012676
Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

The increasing need for new materials capable of solar fuel generation is central in the development of a green energy economy. In this contribution, we demonstrate that black TiO2 nanoparticles obtained through a one-step reduction/crystallization process exhibit a bandgap of only 1.85 eV, which matches well with visible light absorption. The electronic structure of black TiO2 nanoparticles is determined by the unique crystalline and defective core/disordered shell morphology. We introduce new insights that will be useful for the design of nanostructured photocatalysts for energy applications.

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