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Density functional theory study of dopants in polycrystalline TiO2

: Körner, W.; Elsässer, C.


Physical Review. B 83 (2011), No.20, Art. 205315, 11 pp.
ISSN: 0163-1829
ISSN: 1098-0121
ISSN: 0556-2805
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWM ()

We present a density functional theory (DFT) study of doped rutile and anatase TiO2 in which we investigate the impact of grain boundaries on the physics of atomic defects. The main goal is to obtain information about the positions of the defect levels generated by an oxygen vacancy, a titanium interstitial, cation dopants Nb, Al, and Ga, and an anion dopant N in the electronic band gap having in mind the application of TiO2 as a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) or its use in heterogeneous catalysis. Due to the known deficiency of the local density approximation (LDA) of DFT to yield accurate values for band gap energies for insulators such as TiO2, a self-interaction correction (SIC) to the LDA is employed. The main result of our study is that grain boundaries do affect the defect formation energies as well as the position and shape of the dopant-induced electronic energy levels significantly with respect to the single crystal. According to our study Nb doping may lead to n-conducting TiO2 whereas doping with N, Al, or Ga is not promising in order to achieve p-conducting TiO2. Furthermore an increase in the photoconductivity of TiO2: N and the colorlessness of TiO2:Al may be explained by our results.