Defect analysis of TiO2 doped with ytterbium and nitrogen by ab initio calculations

  • Matiullah Khan
  • Yi ZengEmail author
  • Lan Zhenghua
Regular Article


Different defects are studied in the network of anatase TiO2 to improve the utilization of the material for photoelectrochemical applications. With the ab initio calculations, defect-induced TiO2 models with different doping concentrations and oxidation states of Yb and N dopants are studied. Oxygen-deficient systems are modeled, and the interaction of oxygen vacancy with the Yb and N dopant in the bulk of TiO2 is elucidated. Yb 4f states are coupled with the O 2p states reducing the band gap and shifting the absorption edge of the TiO2 toward visible regime. Increasing Yb doping concentration reduced the band gap, and the 2.08% Yb doping concentration is considered as an optimal Yb doping. Comparing the band structures of mono-doped and codoped samples, Yb, N codoping reduced the band gap while creating isolated states in the forbidden region. Compensated and non-compensated systems of Yb- and/or N-doped TiO2 models are studied. Charge compensation in Yb, N-codoped TiO2 stabilized the system, reduced the band gap without having isolated states and provided broader absorption band. The Ti16−xYbxNyO31−y, x = 2, y = 1, model provided minimum structure modification with the suitable band structure for photoelectrochemical applications explaining the experimental results for the synergistic effect of Yb, N codoping in TiO2.


Point defects Ytterbium Doping concentration Charge compensation 



Financial support from National Key R&D program of China (No. 2018YFB0704400), International Partnership Program of Sciences (No. GJHZ1721), CAS Key Foundation for Exploring Scientific Instrument (No. YJKYYQ20170041), Shanghai Sailing Program (No. 18YF1427000), Shanghai Foundation for New Research Methods (No. 17142201500), Key Research Program of Frontier Science CAS, and Postdoctor Industry Base, Baoshan District, Shanghai, is highly acknowledged.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Lab of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of CeramicsChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Career Metallurgy Furnace Material Co., Ltd.ShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsKohat University of Science and Technology (KUST)KohatPakistan

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