Structural phase-dependent hole localization and transport in bismuth vanadate

Kyoung E. Kweon, Gyeong S. Hwang

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We present theoretical evidence for the phase dependence of hole localization and transport in bismuth vanadate (BiVO4). Our hybrid density-functional theory calculations predict that, in the tetragonal phase [tetragonal scheelite BiVO4 (ts-BiVO4)], an excess hole tends to localize around a BiO8 polyhedron with strong lattice distortion, whereas, in the monoclinic phase [monoclinic scheelite BiVO 4 (ms-BiVO4)], it spreads over many lattice sites. The phase-dependent behavior is likely related to the higher structural stability of ms-BiVO4 than ts-BiVO4, which may suppress hole-induced lattice distortions. Our study also demonstrates that the relatively weakly localized hole in ms-BiVO4 undergoes faster diffusion compared to the case of ts-BiVO4, irrespective of the fact that the degrees of localization and mobility vary depending on the choice of exchange-correlation functional. The mobility difference may provide an explanation for the enhanced photocatalytic activity of ms-BiVO4 over ts-BiVO4 for water oxidation, considering that the increased mobility would lead to an increase in the hole current to the catalyst surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205202
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - 9 May 2013


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