The light-induced phase transition of TiO2 nanoparticles from anatase to rutile structure is reported depending on the surrounding environment, the transition being accomplished under oxygen-poor conditions. The transition mechanism is interpreted in the framework of oxygen adsorption and desorption phenomena with the involvement of surface oxygen vacancies and F centers. It is shown that the observed phase transition is not thermally driven because the local temperature of the nanoparticles during irradiation is about 370 K (estimated through the Stokes to anti-Stokes Raman peaks ratio). On the contrary, the phase transition is initiated by intragap irradiation (with the exception of the red light one) that acts as TiO2 surface sensitizer, promoting the activation of the surface and the nucleation of rutile crystallites starting from two activated anatase neighboring nanoparticles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry