Silica, nitrogen, and nitrogen-plus-silica co-doped titania powders were synthesized via sol–gel method. The products of the synthesis were thermally treated in air and under ammonia flow. The determination of Si and/or N into the TiO2 lattice, and the doped samples' crystal structure, was made by means of X-ray powder diffraction, whilst the occurrence of amorphous phase was obtained using the combined Rietveld-RIR method. The optical properties of the powders were obtained by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and their energy band gaps were calculated using the differential reflectance method. The photocatalytic activity of the doped samples was assessed in gas phase under UV-light and visible-light irradiation, monitoring the degradation of an organic compound. In addition, the morphology of the samples was further on characterized by means of HRTEM. Nitrogen, silica, and co-doping shifted the anatase-to-rutile (A [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] R) phase transition toward higher temperatures. Silica was found to enter the anatase lattice, and nitrogen was presumed to enter the titania crystal structure as well. Nitrogen doping and SiO2/N-co-doping shifted the light absorption toward the visible region.
Mineralogical and Optical Characterization of SiO2-, N-, and SiO2/N-Co-Doped Titania Nanopowders / Tobaldi, David M.; Gao, Lian; Gualtieri, Alessandro; Škapin, Andrijana Sever; Tucci, Antonella; Giacobbe, Carlotta. - In: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY. - ISSN 0002-7820. - STAMPA. - 95:(2012), pp. 1709-1716. [10.1111/j.1551-2916.2012.05135.x]