Mineralogical and Optical Characterization of SiO2‐, N‐, and SiO2/N‐Co‐Doped Titania Nanopowders
Silica, nitrogen, and nitrogen‐plus‐silica co‐doped titania powders were synthesized via sol–gel method. The products of the synthesis were thermally treated in air and under ammonia flow. The determination of Si
and/or N into the TiO2 lattice, and the doped samples' crystal structure, was made by means of X‐ray powder diffraction, whilst
the occurrence of amorphous phase was obtained using the combined Rietveld‐RIR method. The optical properties of the powders were obtained by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and their energy band gaps were calculated using the differential reflectance method. The
photocatalytic activity of the doped samples was assessed in gas phase under UV‐light and visible‐light irradiation, monitoring the degradation of an organic compound. In addition, the morphology of the samples was further on characterized by means of HRTEM.
Nitrogen, silica, and co‐doping shifted the anatase‐to‐rutile (A → R) phase transition toward higher temperatures. Silica was found to enter the anatase lattice, and nitrogen was presumed to enter the titania crystal structure as well. Nitrogen doping and SiO2/N‐co‐doping
shifted the light absorption toward the visible region.