Journal of Materials Science 1000 at 1000 Article Series Praises Findings in Highly Cited Article from Professor Sorrell and Dr. Hanaor. “Review of the anatase to rutile phase transformation(link is external)” It is cited 2100 times; downloaded over 50,000 times from Springer website. 

Series of editorials on the most highly cited publications in the history (1000 issues) of this major journal in materials science. Article by D.A.H. Hanaor and C.C. Sorrell “Review of the anatase to rutile phase transformation” (2011) which focussed on the effect of addition of different dopant elements on enhancing the transformation of titania (TiO2) from its anatase polymorph to the more commonly-seen stable polymorph of rutile.  

Figure 1 above : Representations of the structures of the two featured TiO2 polymorphs,(a) anatase and (b) rutile, represented as octahedra with the titanium ion at the center. The scale is the same for both panels. The octahedra are more densely packed in the rutile structure, consistent with it having a density about 9% higher than anatase.
Figure 2 Above: The simple model used by Hanaor and Sorrell to predict which dopants would lower the anatase-to-rutie transition temperature (promoters) and which would raise it (inhibites).Figure above: The simple model used by Hanan
Figure 3 Above: Polyhedral representation of a bronze titania, K3 Ti8 O17, orientated to emphasize the ion channels along the b axis. The pair of purple K+ions at the center of the channels have 50% occupancy in the crystal structure. The field of view is three times larger than in Figure1.

This article is important since it explains the effects of different doping elements on the transformation from available literature (up to 2011) and makes predictions on the effects of dopants that were not tested. Editorial was conducted by Prof. Christopher F. Blanford from the Department of Materials at the University of Manchester.

The main points of the editorial are :

  1. Publication has “all the hallmarks of a great one: timely, authoritative, comprehensive, critical, and predictive” and “one of few review articles that ticks all boxes and provides useful information rather than being simply a summary of publications”
  2. Scientific impact of this review is widespread since the transformation has an impact on the photocatalytic properties of titania, with 20-30% of 100,000+ publications on titania focussing on its catalytic properties.
  3. Simplistic model was devised based on the effect of the ion valence and radius of the dopant molecules.  There has been validation of the predictions for some dopants in literature while others have shown mixed results.  
  4. Use of advanced DFT modelling studies can pave the way for improved understanding of the effects of these dopants on these transformations.

Professor Chris (Charles) Sorrell is one of our senior academic who has joined the School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW since 1987 and Dr. Hanaor is a former undergraduate and Ph.D. student from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW and is currently working and researching at TU Berlin.

The Publication details:

Hanaor DAH, Sorrell CC (2011) Review of the anatase to rutile phase transformation. J Mater Sci 46(4):855–874. is external)

Written by Dr. Pramod Koshy.