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This work shows the application of metal ion-implantation to realize an efficient second-generation TiO{sub 2} photocatalyst. High fluence Fe{sup +} ions were implanted into thin TiO{sub 2} films and subsequently annealed up to 550 °C. The ion-implantation process modified the TiO{sub 2} pure film, locally lowering its band-gap energy from 3.2 eV to 1.6–1.9 eV, making the material sensitive to visible light. The measured optical band-gap of 1.6–1.9 eV was associated with the presence of effective energy levels in the energy band structure of the titanium dioxide, due to implantation-induced defects. An accurate structural characterization was performed by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and UV/VIS spectroscopy. The synthesized materials revealed a remarkable photocatalytic efficiency in the degradation of organic compounds in water under visible light irradiation, without the help of any thermal treatments. The photocatalytic activity has been correlated with the amount of defects induced by the ion-implantation process, clarifying the operative physical mechanism. These results can be fruitfully applied for environmental applications of TiO{sub 2}.
Publication date: 
7 Nov 2014

V Scuderi, R Sanz, V Privitera, L Romano, PM Sberna, E Arcadipane, M Scuderi, G Nicotra, M Bayle, R Carles, F Simone

Biblio References: 
Volume: 116 Issue: 17
Journal of Applied Physics