Structure, electronic, and optical properties of TiO2 atomic clusters: An ab initio study

  • Chiodo L
  • Salazar M
  • Romero A
 et al. 
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Abstract

Atomic clusters of TiO2 are modeled by means of state-of-the-art techniques to characterize their structural, electronic and optical properties. We combine ab initio molecular dynamics, static density functional theory, time-dependent density functional theory, and many body techniques, to provide a deep and comprehensive characterization of these systems. TiO2 clusters can be considered as the starting seeds for the synthesis of larger nanostructures, which are of technological interest in photocatalysis and photovoltaics. In this work, we prove that clusters with anatase symmetry are energetically stable and can be considered as the starting seeds to growth much larger and complex nanostructures. The electronic gap of these inorganic molecules is investigated, and shown to be larger than the optical gap by almost 4 eV. Therefore, strong excitonic effects appear in these systems, much more than in the corresponding bulk phase. Moreover, the use of various levels of theory demonstrates that charge transfer effects play an important role under photon absorption, and therefore the use of adiabatic functionals in time dependent density functional theory has to be carefully evaluated. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi: 10.1063/1.3668085]

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Authors

  • L Chiodo

  • M Salazar

  • A H Romero

  • S Laricchia

  • F Della Sala

  • A Rubio

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