We have probed single surface states and the involved interfacial charge transfer coupling on the TiO2 surface using confocal as well as tip-enhanced near-field topographic-spectroscopic imaging analysis on a niobium-doped rutile TiO2(110) surface. The confocal images excited with a radially polarized donut mode render ring-shaped excitation patterns typical for quantum systems with two perpendicular transition dipole moments. The tip-enhanced near-field optical images of single surface states are visualized by the strong exciton plasmon-polariton coupling localized at the subdomain boundaries with a spatial resolution of similar to 15 nm (far beyond the optical diffraction limit). We suggest that the abundant surface states in the doped TiO2 generate excitons under laser excitation which are strongly coupled to the surface plasmon polaritons of the Au tip. Moreover, the interfacial electronic molecule-substrate coupling has been characterized by probing the molecule-perturbed surface states distribution and the associated specific Raman vibrational modes. The imaging and characterization of the surface states and their distributions on TiO2 surfaces at nanoscale are critically relevant to a deep understanding of interfacial electron transfer dynamics and energetics involving in solar energy conversion, photocatalysis, and mechanistic understanding of surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy.
Sevinc, Papatya C.; Wang, Xiao; Wang, Yuanmin; Zhang, Dai; Meixner, Alfred J.; and Lu, H. Peter, "Simultaneous Spectroscopic And Topographic Near-field Imaging Of Tio2 Single Surface States And Interfacial Electronic Coupling" (2011). Chemistry Faculty Publications. 85.