Challenges in determining the location of dopants, to study the influence of metal doping on the photocatalytic activities of ZnO nanopowders

Takuya Tsuzuki, Rongliang He, Aaron Dodd, Martin Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Impurity doping is one of the common approaches to enhance the photoactivity of semiconductor nanomaterials by increasing photon-capture efficiency in the visible light range. However, many studies on the doping effects have produced inconclusive and conflicting results. There are some misleading assumptions and errors that are frequently made in the data interpretation, which can lead to inconsistent results about the doping effects on photocatalysis. One of them is the determination of the location of dopants. Even using advanced analytical techniques, it is still challenging to distinguish between bulk modification and surface modification. The paper provides a case study of transition-metal-doped ZnO nanoparticles, whereby demonstrating common pitfalls in the interpretation of the results of widely-used analytical methods in detail, and discussing the importance of using a combination of many characterization techniques to correctly determine the location of added impurities, for elucidating the influence of metal doping on the photocatalytic activities of semiconductor nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number481
JournalNanomaterials
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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Metals
Doping (additives)
Impurities
Semiconductor materials
Nanoparticles
Photocatalysis
Nanostructured materials
Transition metals
Surface treatment
Photons

Cite this

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title = "Challenges in determining the location of dopants, to study the influence of metal doping on the photocatalytic activities of ZnO nanopowders",
abstract = "Impurity doping is one of the common approaches to enhance the photoactivity of semiconductor nanomaterials by increasing photon-capture efficiency in the visible light range. However, many studies on the doping effects have produced inconclusive and conflicting results. There are some misleading assumptions and errors that are frequently made in the data interpretation, which can lead to inconsistent results about the doping effects on photocatalysis. One of them is the determination of the location of dopants. Even using advanced analytical techniques, it is still challenging to distinguish between bulk modification and surface modification. The paper provides a case study of transition-metal-doped ZnO nanoparticles, whereby demonstrating common pitfalls in the interpretation of the results of widely-used analytical methods in detail, and discussing the importance of using a combination of many characterization techniques to correctly determine the location of added impurities, for elucidating the influence of metal doping on the photocatalytic activities of semiconductor nanoparticles.",
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Challenges in determining the location of dopants, to study the influence of metal doping on the photocatalytic activities of ZnO nanopowders. / Tsuzuki, Takuya; He, Rongliang; Dodd, Aaron; Saunders, Martin.

In: Nanomaterials, Vol. 9, No. 3, 481, 01.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Challenges in determining the location of dopants, to study the influence of metal doping on the photocatalytic activities of ZnO nanopowders

AU - Tsuzuki, Takuya

AU - He, Rongliang

AU - Dodd, Aaron

AU - Saunders, Martin

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AB - Impurity doping is one of the common approaches to enhance the photoactivity of semiconductor nanomaterials by increasing photon-capture efficiency in the visible light range. However, many studies on the doping effects have produced inconclusive and conflicting results. There are some misleading assumptions and errors that are frequently made in the data interpretation, which can lead to inconsistent results about the doping effects on photocatalysis. One of them is the determination of the location of dopants. Even using advanced analytical techniques, it is still challenging to distinguish between bulk modification and surface modification. The paper provides a case study of transition-metal-doped ZnO nanoparticles, whereby demonstrating common pitfalls in the interpretation of the results of widely-used analytical methods in detail, and discussing the importance of using a combination of many characterization techniques to correctly determine the location of added impurities, for elucidating the influence of metal doping on the photocatalytic activities of semiconductor nanoparticles.

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