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Influence of transition metal doping on the structural, optical, and magnetic properties of TiO2 films deposited on Si substrates by a sol–gel process

Jianjun Tian12*, Huiping Gao1, Hui Kong2, Pingxiong Yang2*, Weifeng Zhang1 and Junhao Chu2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Physics and Electronics, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China

2 Key Laboratory of Polar Materials and Devices, Ministry of Education, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:533  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-533

Published: 19 December 2013


Transition metal (TM)-doped TiO2 films (TM = Co, Ni, and Fe) were deposited on Si(100) substrates by a sol–gel method. With the same dopant content, Co dopants catalyze the anatase-to-rutile transformation (ART) more obviously than Ni and Fe doping. This is attributed to the different strain energy induced by the different dopants. The optical properties of TM-doped TiO2 films were studied with spectroscopic ellipsometry data. With increasing dopant content, the optical band gap (EOBG) shifts to lower energy. With the same dopant content, the EOBG of Co-doped TiO2 film is the smallest and that of Fe-doped TiO2 film is the largest. The results are related to electric disorder due to the ART. Ferromagnetic behaviors were clearly observed for TM-doped TiO2 films except the undoped TiO2 film which is weakly magnetic. Additionally, it is found that the magnetizations of the TM-doped TiO2 films decrease with increasing dopant content.