Unveiling Oxygen Vacancy Superstructures in Reduced Anatase Thin Films

Daniel Knez*, Goran Dražić, Sandeep Kumar Chaluvadi, Pasquale Orgiani, Stefano Fabris, Giancarlo Panaccione, Giorgio Rossi, Regina Ciancio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxygen vacancies are known to play a crucial role in tuning the physical properties and technological applications of titanium dioxide TiO2. Over the last decades, defects in substoichiometric TiO2 have been commonly associated with the formation of TinO2n–x Magnéli phases, which are extended planar defects originating from crystallographic shear planes. By combining advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques, electron energy-loss spectroscopy and atomistic simulations, we reach new understanding of the oxygen vacancy induced structural modulations in anatase, ruling out the earlier shear-plane model. Structural modulations are instead shown to be due to the formation of oxygen vacancy superstructures that extend periodically inside the films, preserving the crystalline order of anatase. Elucidating the structure of oxygen defects in anatase is a crucial step for improving the functionalities of such material system and to engineer devices with targeted properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6444–6451
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

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