Synthesis and characterization of blue faceted anatase nanoparticles through extensive fluorine lattice doping

David G. Calatayud, Teresa Jardiel, Marco Peiteado, Francesc Illas, Elio Giamello, Francisco J. Palomares, Daniel Fernández-Hevia, Amador C. Caballero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (SciVal)


An effective synthesis strategy for the extensive fluorination of the TiO2 anatase lattice has been developed which provides a highly stable blue-colored titania powder. The process also produces a convenient faceted morphology of the doped nanoparticles. Both theoretical and experimental data indicate an ordered atomic structure, in which an exceptionally high amount of fluorine ions substitute oxygen ions in the TiO2 lattice. The extra-electrons borne by fluorine are stabilized by lattice Ti cations via a mechanism of valence induction, eventually leading to a consequent high amount of reduced Ti3+ centers. Such structure, whose general formula can be expressed as Ti4+(1-x)Ti3+xO2–(2-x)Fx, confers an excellent stability to the as-synthesized nanoparticles (in spite of the excess electrons), explaining for example why the blue color is retained even upon storage in ambient atmosphere. But moreover, the high concentration of the relatively shallow Ti3+ generated states also form a sort of sub-band close to the bottom of the conduction band itself. The whole effect results in a tangible decrease (0.2 eV) of the anatase band gap which allows an inspiring upgrading of its UV photocatalytic activity. Our results also suggest that narrowing the band gap is insufficient for a substantial improvement in the visible light harvesting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21243-21250
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2015


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