Ricci, Pier Carlo and Carbonaro, Carlo Maria and Stagi, Luigi and Salis, Marcello and Casu, Alberto and Enzo, Stefano and Delogu, Francesco (2013) Anatase-to-rutile phase transition in TiO2 nanoparticles irradiated by visible light. The Journal of Physical Chemistry. C, Vol. 117 (15), p. 7850-1857. eISSN 1932-7455. Article.
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The light-induced phase transition of TiO2 nanoparticles from anatase to rutile structure is reported depending on the surrounding environment, the transition being accomplished under oxygen-poor conditions. The transition mechanism is interpreted in the framework of oxygen adsorption and desorption phenomena with the involvement of surface oxygen vacancies and F centers. It is shown that the observed phase transition is not thermally driven because the local temperature of the nanoparticles during irradiation is about 370 K (estimated through the Stokes to anti-Stokes Raman peaks ratio). On the contrary, the phase transition is initiated by intragap irradiation (with the exception of the red light one) that acts as TiO2 surface sensitizer, promoting the activation of the surface and the nucleation of rutile crystallites starting from two activated anatase neighboring nanoparticles.
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