Investigative properties of CeO2doped with niobium: A combined characterization and DFT studies

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Catalytic capacity of ceria mainly stems from a facile switch in the Ce oxidation states from +4 to +4 - x. While various experimental and computational studies pinpoint the reduction chemistry of Ce atom through the creation of oxygen vacancies, the analogous process when ceria surface is decorated with cations remains poorly understood. Where such results are available, a synergy between experimental and first principle calculation is scarce. Niobium materials are evolving and their use in catalysis is being widely investigated due to their high surface acidity and thermal and chemical stability. This study aims to report structural and electronic properties of various configurations of mixed Ce-Nb oxides and elaborates on factors that underpin potential catalytic improvements. Evaluations of the samples through X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), N2-adsorption-desorption, scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscope (EDS), and thermogravimetric (TGA) analyses are examined and discussed. First principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations provide structural features of the Ce-Nb solutions at low concentration of Nb via computing atomic charge distribution. Contraction in the lattice parameter after Nb doping was confirmed with both XRD and DFT results. SEM analysis reveals particle growth at the loading of 50 wt%. FTIR results established the Ce-Nb-O bond at 1,100 cm-1 and the TGA analysis confirms the thermal stability of Nb-doped ceria. Tetrahedral O atoms demonstrate an increase in electronegativity and this in turn facilitates catalytic propensity of the material because the O atoms will exhibit higher affinity for adsorbed reactants. Cerium oxide (CeO2) after Nb doping displays a noticeable band gap narrowing, confirming the possible improvement in the catalytic behavior. The 4d states of the Niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5) is found to fill up the 4f states of CeO2 around the Fermi energy level promoting electrons excitation in the CeO2. Reported electronic, structural, and thermal characteristics herein indicate promising catalytic applications of niobium-promoted ceria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalNanotechnology Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021


  • 4f states
  • ceria
  • niobium pentoxide
  • particle growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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