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- Materials Science; Physics and Astronomy
Recent studies on crystal facet manipulation of anatase TiO2 in photocatalysis have revealed that reduction and oxidation reactions preferably occur on (100)/(101) and (001) facets, respectively; however, a fundamental understanding of their origin is lacking. Here, as a result of first-principles calculations, we suggest that a dissimilar trend in the anisotropy of electron vs hole bulk transport in anatase TiO2 can be a dominant underlying mechanism for the difference in photochemical activity. Photoexcited electrons and holes are driven to different facets, i.e., electrons on (100)/(101) and holes on (001), leading to the observed preference for either reduction or oxidation. This trend of electrons vs holes found in pure TiO2 applies even for cases where a variety of dopants or defects is introduced.