Computational Design of Novel Hydrogen-Doped, Oxygen-Deficient Monoclinic Zirconia with Excellent Optical Absorption and Electronic Properties.
ABSTRACT: Monoclinic ZrO2 has recently emerged as a new highly efficient material for the photovoltaic and photocatalytic applications. Herein, first-principles calculations were carried out to understand how Hydrogen doping can affect the electronic structure and optical properties of the material. The effects of Hydrogen interstitial and substitutional doping at different sites and concentrations in m-ZrO2 were examined by an extensive model study to predict the best structure with the optimal properties for use in solar energy conversion devices. Hydrogen interstitials (Hi) in pristine m-ZrO2 were found to lower the formation energy but without useful effects on the electronic or optical properties. Hydrogen mono- and co-occupying oxygen vacancy (Ov) were also investigated. At low concentration of Hydrogen mono-occupying oxygen vacancy (HOv), Hydrogen atoms introduced shallow states below the conduction band minimum (CBM) and increase the dielectric constant, which could be very useful for gate dielectric application. The number and position of such defect states strongly depend on the doping sites and concentration. At high oxygen vacancy concentration, the modeled HOv-Ov structure shows the formation of shallow and localized states that are only 1.1?eV below the CBM with significantly high dielectric constant and extended optical absorption to the infrared region. This strong absorption with the high permittivity and low exciton binding energies make the material an ideal candidate for use in solar energy harvesting devices. Finally, the band edge positions of pristine and doped structures with respect to the redox potentials of water splitting indicated that Hydrogen occupying oxygen vacancies can increase the photocatalytic activity of the material for hydrogen generation due the extremely improved optical absorption and the band gap states.
Project description:Oxygen vacancies in proximity to surfaces and heterointerfaces in oxide thin film heterostructures have major effects on properties, resulting, for example, in emergent conduction behaviour, large changes in metal-insulator transition temperatures or enhanced catalytic activity. Here we report the discovery of a means of reversibly controlling the oxygen vacancy concentration and distribution in oxide heterostructures consisting of electronically conducting In2O3 films grown on ionically conducting Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 substrates. Oxygen ion redistribution across the heterointerface is induced using an applied electric field oriented in the plane of the interface, resulting in controlled oxygen vacancy (and hence electron) doping of the film and possible orders-of-magnitude enhancement of the film's electrical conduction. The reversible modified behaviour is dependent on interface properties and is attained without cation doping or changes in the gas environment.
Project description:In this work, a low leakage current ZrO2 was fabricated for sputter indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) thin-film transistor using direct inkjet-printing technology. Spin-coated and direct inkjet-printed ZrO2 were prepared to investigate the film formation process and electrical performance for different process. Homogeneous ZrO2 films were observed through the high-resolution TEM images. The chemical structure of ZrO2 films were investigated by XPS measurements. The inkjet-printed ZrO2 layer upon IGZO showed a superior performance on mobility and off state current, but a large Vth shift under positive bias stress. As a result, the TFT device based on inkjet-printed ZrO2 exhibited a saturation mobility of 12.4 cm2/Vs, an Ion/Ioff ratio of 106, a turn on voltage of 0 V and a 1.4-V Vth shift after 1-h PBS strain. Higher density films with less oxygen vacancy were responsible for low off state current for the printed ZrO2 device. The mechanism of deteriorated performance on PBS test can be ascribed to the In-rich region formed at the back channel which easily absorbs H2O and oxygen. The absorbed H2O and oxygen capture electrons under positive bias stress, serving as acceptors in TFT device. This work demonstrates the film formation process of direct inkjet-printed and spin-coated oxide films and reveals the potential of direct inkjet-printed oxide dielectric in high-performance oxide TFT device.
Project description:The lead-free 0.5(Ba0.7Ca0.3)TiO3-0.5Ba(Ti0.8Zr0.2)O3 (BCTZ) ceramics with Er doping have shown good upconversion photoluminescence (PL) and desirable optical temperature sensing properties. To bridge a relationship between the structure/intrinsic defects and properties of rare-earth-doped ferroelectrics, we designed and fabricated a series of BCTZ ceramics doped with 1 mol % Er3+ by combining the first-principles calculations and experimental measurements. Theoretically, we discovered that Er can occupy both A sites (i.e., replacing Ba or Ca) and B sites (i.e., replacing Ti or Zr) in the BCTZ lattice and highlighted that the Er-doping-induced vacancy concentration decreases for both the oxygen vacancies (V o) and cation vacancies (V c). Experimentally, the enhanced PL performance and the dielectric, ferroelectric, and piezoelectric properties of the Er-doped BCTZ ceramics have been observed. Finally, the physical origin of Er-induced property enhancement in BCTZ has been elaborated according to the charge density and chemical bonding analysis. These results open up a path to investigate the effects of site substitution and vacancies on optoelectronic properties of multifunctional rare-earth-doped ferroelectrics.
Project description:Hematite (?-Fe2O3) material is regarded as a promising candidate for solar-driven water splitting because of the low cost, chemical stability, and appropriate bandgap; however, the corresponding system performances are limited by the poor electrical conductivity, short diffusion length of minority carrier, and sluggish oxygen evolution reaction. Here, we introduce the in situ Sn doping into the nanoworm-like ?-Fe2O3 film with ultrasonic spray pyrolysis method. We show that the current density at 1.23?V vs. RHE (Jph@1.23V) under one-sun illumination can be improved from 10 to 130??A/cm2 after optimizing the Sn dopant density. Moreover, Jph@1.23V can be further enhanced 25-folds compared to the untreated counterpart via the post-rapid thermal process (RTP), which is used to introduce the defect doping of oxygen vacancy. Photoelectrochemical impedance spectrum and Mott-Schottky analysis indicate that the performance improvement can be ascribed to the increased carrier density and the decreased resistances for the charge trapping on the surface states and the surface charge transferring into the electrolyte. X-ray photoelectron spectrum and X-ray diffraction confirm the existence of Sn and oxygen vacancy, and the potential influences of varying levels of Sn doping and oxygen vacancy are discussed. Our work points out one universal approach to efficiently improve the photoelectrochemical performances of the metal oxide semiconductors.
Project description:Ellipsometric measurements in a wide spectral range (from 0.05 to 6.5 eV) have been carried out on the organic semiconducting polymer, poly[2-methoxy-5-(3',7'-dimethyloctyloxy)-1,4-phenylene-vinylene] (MDMO-PPV), in both undoped and doped states. The real and imaginary parts of the dielectric function and the refractive index are determined accurately, provided that the layer thickness is measured independently. After doping, the optical properties show the presence of new peaks, which could be well-resolved by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Also for the doped material, the complex refractive index, with respect to the dielectric function, has been determined. The broadening of the optical transitions is due to the delocalization of polarons at higher doping level. The detailed information about the dielectric function as well as refractive index function obtained by spectroscopic ellipsometry allows not only qualitative but also quantitative description of the optical properties of the undoped/doped polymer. For the direct characterization of the optical properties of MDMO-PPV, ellipsometry turns out to be advantageous compared to conventional reflection and transmission measurements.
Project description:The different properties of acceptor-doped (hard) and donor-doped (soft) lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics are often attributed to different amounts of oxygen vacancies introduced by the dopant. Acceptor doping is believed to cause high oxygen vacancy concentrations, while donors are expected to strongly suppress their amount. In this study, La3+ donor-doped, Fe3+ acceptor-doped and La3+/Fe3+-co-doped PZT samples were investigated by oxygen tracer exchange and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in order to analyse the effect of doping on oxygen vacancy concentrations. Relative changes in the tracer diffusion coefficients for different doping and quantitative relations between defect concentrations allowed estimates of oxygen vacancy concentrations. Donor doping does not completely suppress the formation of oxygen vacancies; rather, it concentrates them in the grain boundary region. Acceptor doping enhances the amount of oxygen vacancies but estimates suggest that bulk concentrations are still in the ppm range, even for 1% acceptor doping. Trapped holes might thus considerably contribute to the charge balancing of the acceptor dopants. This could also be of relevance in understanding the properties of hard and soft PZT.
Project description:Here, we present oxygen-deficient black ZrO2-x as a new material for sunlight absorption with a low band gap around ~1.5?eV, via a controlled magnesiothermic reduction in 5% H2/Ar from white ZrO2, a wide bandgap(~5?eV) semiconductor, usually not considered for solar light absorption. It shows for the first time a dramatic increase in solar light absorbance and significant activity for solar light-induced H2 production from methanol-water with excellent stability up to 30 days while white ZrO2 fails. Generation of large amounts of oxygen vacancies or surface defects clearly visualized by the HR-TEM and HR-SEM images is the main reason for the drastic alteration of the optical properties through the formation of new energy states near valence band and conduction band towards Fermi level in black ZrO2-x as indicated by XPS and DFT calculations of black ZrO2-x. Current reduction method using Mg and H2 is mild, but highly efficient to produce solar light-assisted photocatalytically active black ZrO2-x.
Project description:The effect of isovalent lanthanum (La) doping on the monoclinic Y2WO6 photoluminescence was studied. Introducing the non-activated La(3+) into Y2WO6 brings new excitation bands from violet to visible regions and strong near-infrared emission, while the bands position and intensity depend on the doping concentration. It is interesting to find that doping La(3+) into Y2WO6 promotes the oxygen vacancy formation according to the first-principle calculation, Raman spectrum, and synchrotron radiation analysis. Through the Rietveld refinement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results, La(3+) is found to mainly occupy the Y2 (2f) site in low-concentration doped samples. With increasing doping concentration, the La(3+) occupation number at the Y3 (4g) site increases faster than those at the Y1 (2e) and Y2 (2f) sites. When La(3+) occupies different Y sites, the localized energy states caused by the oxygen vacancy pair change their position in the forbidden band, inducing the variation of the excitation and emission bands. This research proposes a feasible method to tune the oxygen vacancy emission, eliminating the challenge of precisely controlling the calcination atmosphere.
Project description:Due to the complexity of heterogeneous catalysts, identification of active sites and the ways for their experimental design are not inherently straightforward but important for tailored catalyst preparation. The present study reveals the active sites for efficient C-H bond activation in C1-C4 alkanes over ZrO2 free of any metals or metal oxides usually catalysing this reaction. Quantum chemical calculations suggest that two Zr cations located at an oxygen vacancy are responsible for the homolytic C-H bond dissociation. This pathway differs from that reported for other metal oxides used for alkane activation, where metal cation and neighbouring lattice oxygen form the active site. The concentration of anion vacancies in ZrO2 can be controlled through adjusting the crystallite size. Accordingly designed ZrO2 shows industrially relevant activity and durability in non-oxidative propane dehydrogenation and performs superior to state-of-the-art catalysts possessing Pt, CrOx, GaOx or VOx species.
Project description:In this paper, the oil-in-gelatin based tissue-mimicking materials (TMMs) doped with carbon based materials including carbon nanotube, graphene ink or lignin were prepared. The volume percent for gelatin based mixtures and oil based mixtures were both around 50%, and the doping amounts were 2 wt %, 4 wt %, and 6 wt %. The effect of doping material and amount on the microwave dielectric properties including dielectric constant and conductivity were investigated over an ultra-wide frequency range from 2 GHz to 20 GHz. The coaxial open-ended reflection technology was used to evaluate the microwave dielectric properties. Six measured values in different locations of each sample were averaged and the standard deviations of all the measured dielectric properties, including dielectric constant and conductivity, were less than one, indicating a good uniformity of the prepared samples. Without doping, the dielectric constant was equal to 23 ± 2 approximately. Results showed with doping of carbon based materials that the dielectric constant and conductivity both increased about 5% to 20%, and the increment was dependent on the doping amount. By proper selection of doping amount of the carbon based materials, the prepared material could map the required dielectric properties of special tissues. The proposed materials were suitable for the phantom used in the microwave medical imaging system.