Reaction of NH3 with titania: N-doping of the oxide and TiN formation

Haiyan Chen, Akira Nambu, Wen Wen, Jesus Graciani, Zhong Zhong, Jonathan C. Hanson, Etsuko Fujita, Jose A. Rodriguez

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137 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal nitridation of titania powder (anatase and P25) by reaction with ammonia has been investigated by in-situ reaction studies and ex-situ characterizations using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). At temperatures below 750°C, the formation of TIN from the reaction of NH3 with the titania sample was negligible. Above 750°C, in-situ reaction studies using XRD revealed a smooth phase transition from anatase or P25 to cubic TiN. On the basis of comprehensive characterizations, the crystalline structure of nitrogen-doped TiO2 is in general similar to that of TiO2. Incorporation of nitrogen into the interstitial sites of TiO2 anatase is supported by Rietveld refinement of XRD data. Interstitial nitrogen may form N2-like species bound to either oxygen vacancies or the cavity-framework atoms with various degrees of bond strength. N Is XPS and N K-edge NEXAFS spectra support the idea that nitrogen present in titania as atoms may combine to form N2 molecules evolving into the gas phase upon heating to elevated temperatures, a behavior that agrees with the results of DFT calculations which show that nitrogen embedded in TiO2 is unstable energetically and spontaneously forms trapped or gaseous N2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1372
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 25 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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