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2019


Tribological behavior of graphene nanoplatelet reinforced 3YTZP composites


Gutierrez-Mora, F; Morales-Rodriguez, A; Gallardo-Lopez, A; Poyato, R
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 39 (2019) 1381-1388

ABSTRACT

The tribological behavior of graphene nanoplatelet (GNP) reinforced 3 mol% yttria tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (3YTZP) composites with different GNP content (2.5, 5 and 10 vol%) was analyzed and discussed. Their dry sliding behavior was studied using a ball-on-disk geometry with zirconia balls as counterparts, using loads between 2 and 20 N at ambient conditions and compared to the behavior of a monolithic 3YTZP ceramic used as a reference material. The composites showed lower friction coefficients and higher wear resistance than the monolithic 3YTZP. An outstanding performance was achieved at 10 N, where the friction coefficient decreased from 0.6 to 0.3 and the wear rates decreased 3 orders of magnitude in comparison with the monolithic ceramic. A layer adhered to the worn surface was found for all the composites, but it did not acted as a lubricating film. The composites with the lowest GNP content showed an overall improved tribological behavior.


Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2018.11.005

Powder and Nanotubes Titania Modified by Dye Sensitization as Photocatalysts for the Organic Pollutants Elimination


Murcia, JJ; Avila-Martinez, EG; Rojas, H; Cubillos, J; Ivanova, S; Penkova, A; Laguna, OH
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) 517

ABSTRACT

In this study, titanium dioxide powder obtained by the sol-gel method and TiO2 nanotubes, were prepared. In order to increase the TiO2 photoactivity, the powders and nanotubes obtained were modified by dye sensitization treatment during the oxide synthesis. The sensitizers applied were Quinizarin (Q) and Zinc protoporphyrin (P). The materials synthesized were extensively characterized and it was found that the dye sensitization treatment leads to modify the optical and surface properties of Titania. It was also found that the effectiveness of the dye-sensitized catalysts in the phenol and methyl orange (MO) photodegradation strongly depends on the dye sensitizer employed. Thus, the highest degradation rate for MO was obtained over the conventional Q-TiO2 photocatalyst. In the case of the nanotubes series, the most effective photocatalyst in the MO degradation was based on TiO2-nanotubes sensitized with the dye protoporfirin (ZnP). Selected catalysts were also tested in the phenol and MO photodegradation under visible light and it was observed that these samples are also active under this radiation.


Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9040517

Differences in the Catalytic Behavior of Au-Metalized TiO2 Systems During Phenol Photo-Degradation and CO Oxidation


Oscar H. Laguna; Julie J. Murcia; Hugo Rojas; Cesar Jaramillo-Paez; Jose A. Navío; Maria C. Hidalgo
Catalysts, 9 (2019) 331

ABSTRACT

For this present work, a series of Au-metallized TiO2 catalysts were synthesized and characterized in order to compare their performance in two different catalytic environments: the phenol degradation that occurs during the liquid phase and in the CO oxidation phase, which proceeds the gas phase. The obtained materials were analyzed by different techniques such as XRF, SBET, XRD, TEM, XPS, and UV-Vis DRS. Although the metallization was not totally efficient in all cases, the amount of noble metal loaded depended strongly on the deposition time. Furthermore, the differences in the amount of loaded gold were important factors influencing the physicochemical properties of the catalysts, and consequently, their performances in the studied reactors. The addition of gold represented a considerable increase in the phenol conversion when compared with that of the TiO2, despite the small amount of noble metal loaded. However, this was not the case in the CO oxidation reaction. Beyond the differences in the phase where the reaction occurred, the loss of catalytic activity during the CO oxidation reaction was directly related to the sintering of the gold nanoparticles.


Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/catal9040331

Laser-induced coloration of ceramic tiles covered with magnetron sputtered precursor layers


Rico, VJ; Lahoz, R; Rey-Garcia, F; de Francisco, I; Gil-Rostra, J; Espinos, JP; de la Fuente, GF; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 102 (2019) 1589-1598

ABSTRACT

This paper reports a new methodology for the coloring of glazed ceramic tiles consisting of the near infrared pulsed laser processing of copper containing oxide coatings prepared by magnetron sputtering. As a second approach, the employ for the same purpose of a novel laser furnace technique is also described. Changing the laser parameters and using the laser furnace to treat the tiles at high temperature during irradiation has resulted in a wide color palette. The optical characterization of the modified tiles by UV-Vis spectroscopy has been complemented with their microstructural and compositional analysis by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Time Of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). The chemical composition of the surface was obtained by X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy (XPS) and its structure determined by X?ray diffraction (XRD). The chemical resistance was characterized by several tests following the norm ISO 10545-13. Color changes have been attributed to surface microstructural and chemical transformations that have been accounted for by simple models involving different ablation, melting, diffusion, and segregation/agglomeration phenomena depending on the laser treatments employed.


Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.1111/jace.16022

Low molecular weight epsilon-caprolactone-p-coumaric acid copolymers as potential biomaterials for skin regeneration applications


Contardi, M; Alfaro-Pulido, A; Picone, P; Guzman-Puyol, S; Goldoni, L; Benitez, J; Heredia, A; Barthel, MJ; Ceseracciu, L; Cusimano, G; Brancato, OR; Di Carlo, M; Athanassiou, A; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
PLOS ONE, 14 (2019) e0214956

ABSTRACT

epsilon-caprolactone-p-coumaric acid copolymers at different mole ratios (epsilon-caprolactone: p-coumaric acid 1:0, 10:1, 8:1, 6:1, 4:1, and 2:1) were synthesized by melt-polycondensation and using 4-dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid as catalyst. Chemical analysis by NMR and GPC showed that copolyesters were formed with decreasing molecular weight as p-coumaric acid content was increased. Physical characteristics, such as thermal and mechanical properties, as well as water uptake and water permeability, depended on the mole fraction of p-coumaric acid. The p-coumarate repetitive units increased the antioxidant capacity of the copolymers, showing antibacterial activity against the common pathogen Escherichia coli. In addition, all the synthesized copolyesters, except the one with the highest concentration of the phenolic acid, were cytocompatible and hemocompatible, thus becoming potentially useful for skin regeneration applications.


Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214956

UV and visible-light driven photocatalytic removal of caffeine using ZnO modified with different noble metals (Pt, Ag and Au)


Vaiano, V.; Jaramillo-Paez, C.A.; Matarangolo, M.; Navío, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.
Materials Research Bulletin, 112 (2019) 251-260

ABSTRACT

In this work, ZnO photocatalyst was modified with different noble metals (Pt, Ag and Au) through photodeposition method and then characterized by different techniques (XRD, XRF, BET, UV–vis DRS, FESEM, and XPS). The addition of noble metals produces important changes in the light absorption properties with a significant absorbance in the visible region due to the existence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) observed at about 450 nm and 550 nm for ZnO modified with Ag and Au, respectively. The morphology of the samples was studied by TEM and the size ranges of the different metals were estimated. Noble metal nanoparticles were in every case heterogeneously deposited on the larger ZnO particles. All the prepared photocatalysts were tested in the photocatalytic removal of caffeine (toxic and persistent emerging compound) under UV and visible light irradiation. It was observed an enhancement of photocatalytic caffeine removal from aqueous solutions under UV light irradiation with the increase of metal content (from 0.5 to 1 wt %) for ZnO modified with Ag and Au (Ag/ZnO and Au/ZnO). In particular, Ag/ZnO and Au/ZnO with higher Ag and Au content (1 wt %) allowed to achieve the almost complete caffeine degradation after only 30 min and a TOC removal higher than 90% after 4 h of UV light irradiation. These two photocatalysts were investigated also under visible light irradiation and it was found that their photocatalytic performances were strongly enhanced in presence of visible light compared to unmodified ZnO. In particular, Ag/ZnO photocatalyst was able to reach the complete caffeine degradation and a TOC removal of about 70% after 4 h of visible light irradiation.


Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.materresbull.2018.12.034

Effect of heat treatment on apatite coatings deposited on pre-calcified titanium substrates


Beltran, AM; Martin-Santana, Y; Gonzalez, JE; Montealegre-Melendez, I; Gonzalez, E; Peon-Aves, E; Gotor, FJ; Torres, Y
International Journal of Materials Research, 110 (2019) 351-358

ABSTRACT

Titanium and its alloys are considered interesting materials for endosseous implants. However, they still present drawbacks related to their in-vivo behavior that can be overcome by coatings, such as apatite. This work focuses on the deposition of apatite coatings on commercially pure titanium (grade II) substrates previously pre-calcified. The influence of the temperature used in the thermal treatment on the microstructure and tribo-mechanical surface properties was analyzed. The coatings were structurally and chemically characterized and their tribo-mechanical behavior was evaluated. The nano-apatite coatings were only formed on surfaces with successive treatments in NaOH and CaCl2 solutions. In addition, scratch tests showed that after the heat treatment the nanoapatite coatings had high bond strength to the substrate.


Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.3139/146.111746

CuxCo3-xO4 ultra-thin film as efficient anodic catalysts for anion exchange membrane water electrolysers


Lopez-Fernandez, E; Gil-Rostra, J; Espinos, JP; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Yubero, F; de Lucas-Consuegra, A
Journal of Power Sources, 415 (2019) 136-144

ABSTRACT

CuxCo3-xO4 ultra-thin films, deposited by magnetron sputtering at oblique angles have been used as anodic catalysts in anion exchange membrane water electrolysers. It has been demonstrated that the used deposition procedure provides porous and amorphous samples with a strict control of the total catalyst load and Co/Cu ratio. Electrocatalytic tests showed a maximum performance for the oxygen evolution reaction at Co/Cu atomic ratio around 1.8. The optimized anodic catalyst presented a long-term stability confirmed by accelerated lifetime tests together with the chemical surface analysis of the used samples. The effect of the crystallization of a single layer CuxCo3-xO4 and a multilayer (CuO/Co3O4)(n) anodic catalyst samples was also investigated. The observed loss of catalytic performance found in both cases may prove that a particular local chemical environment around the Co and Cu sites acts as an efficient catalytic site for the oxygen evolution reaction. A catalyst film with the optimum Co/Cu atomic ratio was incorporated into a Membrane Electrode Assembly, using a sputtered Ni film as cathode. Current density values up to 100 mA cm(-2) at 2.0 V were obtained in 1.0 M KOH electrolyte. Upon normalization by the amount of catalyst, this performance is one of the highest reported in literature.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.01.056

Promoting effect of CeO2, ZrO2 and Ce/Zr mixed oxides on Co/gamma-Al2O3 catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis


Garcilaso, V; Barrientos, J; Bobadilla, LF; Laguna, OH; Boutonnet, M; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Renewable Energy, 132 (2019) 1141-1150

ABSTRACT

A series of cobalt-based catalysts have been synthesized using as support gamma-Al2O3 promoted by ceria/zirconia mixed oxides with a variable Ce/Zr molar ratio. The obtained catalysts demonstrated oxide promotion results in the protection of the major textural properties, especially for Zr-rich solids. Reducibility of cobalt species was enhanced by the presence of mixed oxides. The chemical composition of the oxide promoter influenced not only physicochemical properties of final catalysts but also determined their performance during the reaction. In this sense, Zr-rich systems presented a superior catalytic performance both in total conversion and in selectivity towards long chain hydrocarbons. The observed Zr-promotion effect could be explained by two significant contributions: firstly, the partial inhibition of Co-Al spinel compound formation by the presence of Zr-rich phases which enhances the availability of Co actives site and secondly, Zr-associate acidic sites promote higher hydrocarbons selectivity.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2018.08.080

Combining dietary phenolic antioxidants with polyvinylpyrrolidone: transparent biopolymer films based on p-coumaric acid for controlled release


Contardi, M; Heredia-Guerrero, JA; Guzman-Puyol, S; Summa, M; Benitez, JJ; Goldoni, L; Caputo, G; Cusimano, G; Picone, P; Di Carlo, M; Bertorelli, R; Athanassioua, A; Bayer, IS
Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 7 (2019) 1384-1396

ABSTRACT

Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) has probably been one of the most utilized pharmaceutical polymers with applications ranging from a blood plasma substitute to nanoparticle drug delivery, since its synthesis in 1939. It is a highly biocompatible, non-toxic and transparent film forming polymer. Although high solubility of PVP in aqueous environment is advantageous, it still poses several problems for some applications in which sustained targeting and release are needed or hydrophobic drug inclusion and delivery systems are to be designed. In this study, we demonstrate that a common dietary phenolic antioxidant, p-coumaric acid (PCA), can be combined with PVP covering a wide range of molar ratios by solution blending in ethanol, forming new transparent biomaterial films with antiseptic and antioxidant properties. PCA not only acts as an effective natural plasticizer but also establishes H-bonds with PVP increasing its resistance to water dissolution. PCA could be released in a sustained manner up to a period of 3 days depending on the PVP/ PCA molar ratio. Sustained drug delivery potential of the films was studied using methylene blue and carminic acid as model drugs, indicating that the release can be controlled. Antioxidant and remodeling properties of the films were evaluated in vitro by free radical cation scavenging assay and in vivo on a murine model, respectively. Furthermore, the material resorption of films was slower as PCA concentration increased, as observed from the in vivo full-thickness excision model. Finally, the antibacterial activity of the films against common pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus and the effective reduction of inflammatory agents such as matrix metallopeptidases were demonstrated. All these properties suggest that these new transparent PVP/ PCA films can find a plethora of applications in pharmaceutical sciences including skin and wound care.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1039/c8tb03017k

Anisotropic lattice expansion determined during flash sintering of BiFeO3 by in-situ energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction


Wassel, MAB; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Gil-Gonzalez, E; Charalambous, H; Perejon, A; Jha, SK; Okasinski, J; Tsakalakos, T
Scripta Materialia, 162 (2019) 286-291

ABSTRACT

BiFeO3 has a Curie temperature (T-c) of 825 degrees C, making it difficult to sinter using conventional methods while maintaining the purity of the material, as unavoidably secondary phases appear at temperatures above T-c Flash sintering is a relatively new technique that saves time and energy compared to other sintering methods. BiFeO3 was flash sintered at 500 degrees C to achieve 90% densification. In-situ energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDXRD) revealed that the material did not undergo any phase transformation, having been sintered well below the Tc. Interestingly, anisotropic lattice expansion in the material was observed when the sample was exposed to the electric field. 


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2018.11.028

Trapping of Gas Bubbles in Water at a Finite Distance below a Water-Solid Interface


Esteso, V; Carretero-Palacios, S; Thiyam, P; Miguez, H; Parsons, DF; Brevik, I; Bostrom, M
Langmuir, 35 (2019) 4218-4223

ABSTRACT

Gas bubbles in a water-filled cavity move upward because of buoyancy. Near the roof, additional forces come into play, such as Lifshitz, double layer, and hydrodynamic forces. Below uncharged metallic surfaces, repulsive Lifshitz forces combined with buoyancy forces provide a way to trap micrometer-sized bubbles. We demonstrate how bubbles of this size can be stably trapped at experimentally accessible distances, the distances being tunable with the surface material. By contrast, large bubbles (>= 100 mu m) are usually pushed toward the roof by buoyancy forces and adhere to the surface. Gas bubbles with radii ranging from 1 to 10 mu m can be trapped at equilibrium distances from 190 to 35 nm. As a model for rock, sand grains, and biosurfaces, we consider dielectric materials such as silica and polystyrene, whereas aluminium, gold, and silver are the examples of metal surfaces. Finally, we demonstrate that the presence of surface charges further strengthens the trapping by inducing ion adsorption forces.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b04176

Microstructure, interfaces and properties of 3YTZP ceramic composites with 10 and 20 vol% different graphene-based nanostructures as fillers


Munoz-Ferreiro, C; Morales-Rodriguez, A; Rojas, TC; Jimenez-Pique, E; Lopez-Pernia, C; Poyato, R; Gallardo-Lopez, A
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 777 (2019) 213-224

ABSTRACT

The graphene family comprises not only single layer graphene but also graphene-based nanomaterials (GBN), with remarkably different number of layers, lateral dimension and price. In this work, two of these GBN, namely graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) with n similar to 15-30 layers and few-layer graphene (FLG) with n < 3 layers have been evaluated as fillers in 3 mol% yttria stabilized tetragonal zirconia (3YTZP) ceramic composites. Composites with 10 and 20 vol% GNP or FLG have been fabricated by wet powder processing and spark plasma sintering (SPS) and the influence of the content and number of layers of the graphene-based filler has been assessed. For both graphene-based fillers, an intermediate zirconia oxycarbide has been detected in the grain boundaries. The lower stacking degree and much more homogeneous distribution of the FLG, revealed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), can improve load transfer between the GBNs and the ceramic matrix. However, high FLG contents lower densification of the composites, due partly to the larger FLG interplanar spacing also estimated by TEM. The hardness (both Vickers and nanoindentation) and the elastic modulus decrease with increased GBN content and with improved graphene dispersion. The FLG greatly inhibit the crack propagation that occur perpendicular to their preferential orientation plane. The composites with thinner FLG have higher electrical conductivity than those with GNP. The highest electrical conductivity is achieved by composites with 20 vol% FLG in the direction perpendicular to the compression axis during sintering, sigma(perpendicular to) = 3400 +/- 500 Sm-1. 


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2018.10.336

Transparent and Robust All-Cellulose Nanocomposite Packaging Materials Prepared in a Mixture of Trifluoroacetic Acid and Trifluoroacetic Anhydride


Guzman-Puyol, S; Ceseracciu, L; Tedeschi, G; Marras, S; Scarpellini, A; Benitez, JJ; Athanassiou, A; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) 368

ABSTRACT

All-cellulose composites with a potential application as food packaging films were prepared by dissolving microcrystalline cellulose in a mixture of trifluoroacetic acid and trifluoroacetic anhydride, adding cellulose nanofibers, and evaporating the solvents. First, the effect of the solvents on the morphology, structure, and thermal properties of the nanofibers was evaluated by atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), respectively. An important reduction in the crystallinity was observed. Then, the optical, morphological, mechanical, and water barrier properties of the nanocomposites were determined. In general, the final properties of the composites depended on the nanocellulose content. Thus, although the transparency decreased with the amount of cellulose nanofibers due to increased light scattering, normalized transmittance values were higher than 80% in all the cases. On the other hand, the best mechanical properties were achieved for concentrations of nanofibers between 5 and 9 wt.%. At higher concentrations, the cellulose nanofibers aggregated and/or folded, decreasing the mechanical parameters as confirmed analytically by modeling of the composite Young's modulus. Finally, regarding the water barrier properties, water uptake was not affected by the presence of cellulose nanofibers while water permeability was reduced because of the higher tortuosity induced by the nanocelluloses. In view of such properties, these materials are suggested as food packaging films.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9030368

The impact of photocatalytic Ag/TiO2 and Ag/N-TiO2 nanoparticles on human keratinocytes and epithelial lung cells


Rebleanu, D; Gaidau, C; Voicu, G; Constantinescu, CA; Sanchez, CM; Rojas, TC; Carvalho, S; Calin, M
Toxicology, 416 (2019) 30-43

ABSTRACT

The potential human health risks following the exposure to inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) is a very important issue for their application in leather finishing industry. The aim of our study was to investigate the cytotoxic effect of silver (Ag)/titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs on human cells. Photocatalytic NPs were prepared by electrochemical deposition of Ag on the surface of TiO2 and nitrogen (N)-TiO2 NPs and, subsequently, physicochemical characterized. Then, a set of experiments have been performed to study the cytotoxicity and cell death mechanisms involved, the changes in cell morphology and the production of ROS induced in human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and human lung epithelial cells (A549) by exposure to NPs. Moreover, the changes in major signaling pathways and the inflammatory response induced by Ag/N-TiO2 NPs in A549 cells were investigated. The data showed that cell death by late apoptosis/necrosis is induced in cells as function of the dose and the type of NPs and is characterized by morphological changes and cytoskeletal disorganization and an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. The exposure of A549 cells to Ag/N-TiO2 NPs determine the activation of ERK1/2 MAP-kinase pathway and the release of pro-inflammatory mediators CXCL1, GM-CSF and MIF, known to be involved in the recruitment of circulating neutrophils and monocytes.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.tox.2019.01.013

Sample-Controlled analysis under high pressure for accelerated process studies


Perejon, A; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Soria-Hoyo, C; Valverde, JM; Criado, JM; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 102 (2019) 1338-1346

ABSTRACT

The potential of controlled rate thermal analysis (CRTA) for studying high-pressure gas-solid processes has been evaluated. CRTA is a type of smart temperature program based on a feedback system that uses any experimental signal related to the process evolution for commanding the temperature evolution. In this work, an instrument that uses the gravimetric signal for CRTA control has been designed and used for the study of two high-pressure gas-solid reactions: the highly exothermic thermal oxidation of TiC under high pressure of oxygen and the reduction in Fe2O3 under high pressure of hydrogen. Advantages of CRTA for discriminating overlapping processes and appraising kinetic reaction mechanisms are shown.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1111/jace.15960

A theoretical study of the bonding capabilities of the zinc-zinc double bond


Ayala, R; Galindo, A
International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 119 (2019) e25823

ABSTRACT

The theoretical knowledge about the zinc-zinc bond has been recently expanded after the proposal of a zinc-zinc double bond in several [Zn-2(L)(4)] compounds (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2017, 56, 10151-10155). Prompted by these results, we have selected the [Zn-2(CO)(4)] species, isolobally related to ethylene, and theoretically investigated the possible (2)-Zn-2-coordination to several first-row transition metal fragments. The [Zn-2(CO)(4)] coordination to the metal fragment produces an elongation of the dizinc bond and a concomitant pyramidalization of the [Zn(CO)(2)] unit. These structural parameters are indicative of -backdonation from the metal to the coordinated dizinc moiety, as occurred with ethylene ligand. A quantum theory of atoms in molecules study of the ZnZn bond shows a decrease of (BCP), delta(2)(BCP) (ZnZn) and delocalization indexes (Zn,Zn), relative to corresponding values in the parent [Zn-2(CO)(4)] molecule. The ZnZn and MZn bonds in these [((2)-Zn-2(CO)(4))M(L)(n)] complexes can be described as shared interactions with an important covalent component where the ZnZn bond is preserved, albeit weakened, upon coordination.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/qua.25823

Comparative studies on electrochemical energy storage of NiFe-S nanoflake and NiFe-OH towards aqueous supercapacitor


Naseri, M; Moradi, M; Hajati, S; Espinos, JP; Kiani, MA
Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Electronics, 30 (2019) 4499-4510

ABSTRACT

In this study, electrochemical energy storage performances of an efficient Ni-Fe sulfide and hydroxide supported on porous nickel foam are compared. X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-rayphotoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) results confirmed the formation of Ni-Fe-S and Ni-Fe-OH electrodes. In addition, Brunauer-Emmett Teller (BET) was used to determine the specific surface area of the prepared materials. Moreover, the morphologies were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The brilliant characteristics of Ni-Fe-S could be attributed to transport acceleration in electrolyte ions and electrons, occurrence of redox reactions as well as the higher conductivity of the sample. From stand point of comparison, the capacitance of Ni-Fe-S is more than that of Ni-Fe-OH. Therefore, the exchange of O2- with S2- in Ni-Fe-OH lattice obviously improves the electrochemical performance. The as-fabricated Ni-Fe sulfide electrode exhibits a tremendous specific capacitance of 884.9Fg(-1) at 1A g(-1). Furthermore, an assembled asymmetric supercapacitor device using the activated carbon as negative electrode and this smart configuration (Ni-Fe-S) as positive electrode also provided a maximum specific power and specific energy of 8000Wkg(-1), 37.9 Whkg(-1), respectively. Also, it shows cycling stability with 88.8% capacitance retention after 1700 cycles in aqueous electrolyte, demonstrating its potential application in the next-generation high-performance supercapacitors used for energy storage.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1007/s10854-019-00738-x

Synthesis of sol-gel pyrophyllite/TiO2 heterostructures: Effect of calcination temperature and methanol washing on photocatalytic activity


El Gaidoumi, A.; Doña Rodríguez, J.M.; Pulido Melián, E.; González-Díaz, O.M.; Navío Santos, J.M.; El Bali, B.; Kherbeche, A.
Surfaces and Interfaces, 14 (2019) 19-25

ABSTRACT

We successfully synthesized an efficient photoactive pyrophyllite/TiO2 heterostructures using a sol-gel route at ambient temperature. The samples were prepared by exfoliation of a pyrophyllite layered-type clay by TiO2. The prepared samples exhibited strong photocatalytic activity for the degradation of phenol. The heterostructure PTi750 (SBET = 16.58 m2/g) calcined at 750 °C, in which the mixed phases of anatase and rutile exist (52.2% anatase/10.7% rutile), showed the highest photocatalytic activity against commercial TiO2Aeroxide P25. The methanol washed PTi750 was 5 times faster than the corresponding unwashed sample; phenol was totally degraded with a TOC reduction of 89.2%. The materials have been characterized by: X-ray diffraction (XRD), Diffuse reflectance UV–vis spectrophotometry (UV–Vis DRS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and BET specific surface area.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfin.2018.10.003

XPS primary excitation spectra of Zn 2p, Fe 2p, and Ce 3d from ZnO, α‐Fe2O3, and CeO2


Pauly, N.; Yubero, F.; Espinós, J.P.; Tougaard, S.
Surface and Interface Analysis, 51 (2019) 353-360

ABSTRACT

Metal oxides are important for current development in nanotechnology. X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy(XPS) is a widely used technique to study the oxidation states of metals, and a basic understanding of the photoexcitation process is important to obtain the full information from XPS. We have studied core level excitations of Zn 2p, Fe 2p, and Ce 3d photoelectron emissions from ZnO, α‐Fe2O3, and CeO2. Using an effective energy‐differential XPS inelastic‐scattering cross section evaluated within the semiclassical dielectric response model for XPS, we analysed the experimental spectra to determine the corresponding primary excitation spectra, ie, the initial excitation processes. We find that simple emission (Zn 2p) as well as complex multiplet photoemission spectra (Fe 2p and Ce 3d) can be quantitatively analysed with our procedure. Moreover, for α‐Fe2O3, it is possible to use the software package CTM4XAS (Charge Transfer Multiplet program for X‐ray Absorption Spectroscopy) to calculate its primary excitation spectrum within a quantum mechanical model, and it was found to be in good agreement with the spectrum determined by analysis of the experiment.


Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/sia.6587

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