Department: NanoEngineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Kesong Yang

Primary Student
Name: Paul Hyunggyu Joo
Email: pjoo@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-568-8983
Grad Year: 2019

We studied the defect formation energies, oxidation states of the dopants, and electronic structures of Bi-doped NaTaO3 using first-principles hybrid density functional theory calculations. Three possible structural models, including Bi-doped NaTaO3 with Bi at the Na site (Bi@Na), with Bi at the Ta site (Bi@Ta), and with Bi at both Na and Ta sites [Bi@(Na,Ta)], are constructed. Our results show that the preferred doping sites of Bi are strongly related to the preparation conditions of NaTaO3. It is energetically more favorable to form a Bi@Na structure under Na-poor conditions, to form a Bi@Ta structure under Na-rich conditions, and to form a Bi@(Na,Ta) structure under mildly Na-rich conditions. The Bi@Na doped model shows an n-type conducting character along with an expected blueshift of the optical absorption edge, in which the Bi atoms exist as Bi3+ (6s26p0). The Bi@Ta doped model has empty gap states consisting of Bi 6s states in its band gap, which can lead to visible-light absorption via the electron transition among the valence band, the conduction band, and the gap states. The Bi dopant is present as a Bi5+ ion in this model, consistent with the experimental results. In contrast, the Bi@(Na,Ta) doped model has occupied gap states consisting of Bi 6s states in its band gap, and thus visible-light absorption is also expected in this system due to electron excitation from these occupied states to the conduction band, in which the Bi dopants exist as Bi3+ ions. Our first-principles electronic structure calculations revealed the relationship between the Bi doping sites and the material preparation conditions, and clarified the oxidation states of Bi dopants in NaTaO3 as well as the origin of different visible-light photocatalytic hydrogen evolution behaviors in Bi@Ta and Bi@(Na,Ta) doped NaTaO3. This work can provide a useful reference for preparing a Bi-doped NaTaO3 photocatalyst with desired doping sites.

Industry Application Area(s)
Energy/Clean technology | Semiconductor

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