Substitutional or interstitial site selective nitrogen doping in TiO2 nanostructures

Jared Lynch, Cinzia Giannini, Jason K. Cooper, Anna Loiudice, Ian D. Sharp, Raffaella Buonsanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Herein, we report a colloidal wet chemical approach enabling control on dopant concentration and location in a nanocrystal host lattice. Growth doping and nucleation doping, driven by primary and tertiary amines, respectively, were identified as predominant doping mechanisms responsible for the introduction of nitrogen impurities in interstitial and substitutional sites in highly branched rutile TiO2 nanostructures. High resolution X ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to distinguish the two nitrogen occupational lattice sites and, in combination with UV vis absorption spectroscopy, to investigate the impact of the nitrogen impurities on the optoelectronic properties. The implementation of the nitrogen doped titania nanostructures in photoelectrodes for water oxidation suggests that these atomically defined building blocks can function as a platform to investigate the impact of the nitrogen occupational sites on the photocatalytic properties. By deliberately choosing precursors and reaction conditions, instead of relying on the most common high temperature annealing of preformed metal oxide in ammonia, we emphasize the importance of understanding the chemistry behind doping to achieve an unprecedented level of control on effective dopant introduction and, therefore, property tunability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7443-7452
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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