The improvement of optical reactivity for TiO2 thin films by N2-H2 plasma surface-treatment

Lei Miao, Sakae Tanemura, Hiroshige Watanabe, Yukimasa Mori, Kenji Kaneko, Shoichi Toh

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100 Citations (Scopus)


To improve the optical reactivity of TiO2 thin film in visible-light region, sputter-deposited anatase film on slide glass substrate with 1200Å film thickness was surface-treated by N2-H 2 mixed gases plasma and additionally anneal-treated in N 2 gases at 400°C for 2h. The absorption edges of plasma-treated sample and plasma plus anneal-treated one shifted from 363nm (3.4eV) to 428nm (2.9eV), and 354nm (3.5eV) to 428nm (2.9eV), while the absorptance for the two corresponding samples increased by 16% and 26%, respectively, in comparison with the as-deposited sample. Spectral absorption is well explained by Tauc-plot extrapolated band-gap using extinction coefficient k obtained from spectroscopic ellipsometry for the surface layers of the three samples, even though in the case of plasma plus anneal-treated sample showed only nominal band-gap value (2.65eV) due to the metallic behavior of extinction coefficient k in lower energy range (2.5eV). X-ray photoemission spectroscopy reveals the formation of TiO2-xNx and TiN deep into about 120Å thickness from the film surface for both plasma-treated and plasma plus anneal-treated samples. Secondary ion mass spectrography also detected high concentration of N element at the surface of the two corresponding samples. From the fact of formation of TiN and TiO2-xNx, N-doping in this work was proved as N substituted O in TiO2 lattice. We confirmed this substitutional N-doping causes the narrowing of band-gap that resulted in the observed significant red shift of the absorption edge to the visible-light region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jan 2
Externally publishedYes


  • A1. Doping
  • A3. DC magnetron sputtering
  • B1. Titanium dioxide
  • B2. Optical functional materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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