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Copper doped TiO2 nanoparticles characterized by X-ray absorption spectroscopy, total scattering, and powder diffraction: a benchmark structure-property study

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Metal functionalized nanoparticles potentially have improved properties e.g. in catalytic applications, but their precise structures are often very challenging to determine. Here we report a structural benchmark study based on tetragonal anatase TiO nanoparticles containing 0-2 wt% copper. The particles were synthesized by continuous flow synthesis under supercritical water-isopropanol conditions. Size determination using synchrotron PXRD, TEM, and X-ray total scattering reveals 5-7 nm monodisperse particles. The precise dopant structure and thermal stability of the highly crystalline powders were characterized by X-ray absorption spectroscopy and multi-temperature synchrotron PXRD (300-1000 K). The combined evidence reveals that copper is present as a dopant on the particle surfaces, most likely in an amorphous oxide or hydroxide shell. UV-VIS spectroscopy shows that copper presence at concentrations higher than 0.3 wt% lowers the band gap energy. The particles are unaffected by heating to 600 K, while growth and partial transformation to rutile TiO occur at higher temperatures. Anisotropic unit cell behavior of anatase is observed as a consequence of the particle growth (a decreases and c increases). This journal is
Original languageEnglish
JournalDalton Transactions (Print Edition)
Pages (from-to)9555-9564
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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