Nanoscale structure of Ti 1-xNbyO 2 mixed-phase thin films: Distribution of crystal phase and dopants

Paul A. DeSario, Jinsong Wu, Michael E. Grahm, Kimberly A. Gray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transmission electron microscopy (polycrystalline electron diffraction, nanoelectron diffraction, and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy) was used to determine the dispersion of crystal phase and Nb dopants in mixed-phase (anatase and rutile) Ti 1-xNbyO 2 thin films prepared by reactive sputtering. When co-sputtering mixed-phase TiO 2 with a dopant, it is unclear how the crystal phases are distributed within thin film structures, what the dominant interfaces are, and how the dopant is distributed within the crystal phases. In the Ti 1-xNbyO 2 films, anatase and rutile grains were found to be homogeneously dispersed indicating that anatase/rutile interfaces are the dominant interfaces. Anatase/rutile interfaces are a critical feature of mixed-phase materials which impart high reactivity to the composite. Nb homogeneously dispersed at low concentrations, but at high concentrations, Nb segregated in the rutile phase. There is an apparent threshold beyond which Nb segregates according to its higher solubility in rutile due to a better lattice fit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)944-950
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 28 2012


  • Dopant
  • Sputtering
  • Thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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