Menú secundario

Artículos SCI


Photochemical methane partial oxidation to methanol assisted by H2O2

López Martin, A.; Caballero, A.; Colón, G.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 349 (2017) 216-223


The photochemical conversion of methane into methanol from H2O2 aqueous solution as well as the effect of the addition mode were studied. Direct addition of different amounts H2O2 leads to increasing methanol production at the first stage of the reaction. The excess of H2O2 would lead to the reactive oxygen species scavenging and the subsequent O2 production. It was also corroborated that extra hydroxyl radicals in the aqueous medium do not improve the formation of methanol but a noticeable increase in the formation of HCOOH with respect to methanol was evidenced. In contrast, dosing addition at relatively low rates leads to constant methane consumption towards methanol. Methanol formation would be in this case in equilibrium with further oxidation to HCOOH or CO2. This suggests that only a controlled constant availability of HO’s at low concentration can enhance the performance of methanol generation in the photochemical process.

Diciembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2017.09.039

Microemulsion-Mediated Synthesis and Properties of Uniform Ln:CaWO4 (Ln = Eu, Dy) Nanophosphors with Multicolor Luminescence for Optical and CT Imaging

Laguna, M; Nuñez, NO; Garcia, FJ; Corral, A; Parrado-Gallego, A; Balcerzyk, M; Becerro, AI; Ocaña, M
European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 44 (2017) 5158-5168


A new room-temperature method has been developed that yields, for the first time in the literature, uniform and well-dispersed CaWO4 nanospindles. This method is based on the use of microemulsions consisting of aqueous solutions of Ca2+ and WO42- precursors, cyclohexane as the organic medium, Triton X-100 as the surfactant, and n-octanol as the cosurfactant. We show that the formation of uniform nanospindles requires a restrictive set of experimental conditions. These particles crystallize into the tetragonal CaWO4 phase and emit blue-green luminescence when excited by UV radiation. The reported method is also useful for doping the CaWO4 spindles with Eu3+ or Dy3+ cations, resulting in multicolor emissions (red for Eu3+; white for Dy3+). The luminescence is much stronger when excited through a WO42--Ln(3+) (Ln = Eu or Dy) energy-transfer band than through the f-f transition bands of the Ln(3+) cations. Interestingly, because of the white luminescence associated with the Dy:CaWO4 nanophosphor, it might be useful for LED technologies. Luminescence dynamics and energy-transfer efficiency have been analyzed to determine the optimum phosphors. Finally, the Eu-doped CaWO4 nanospindles also showed excellent X-ray attenuation efficacy, which confers double functionality to this material as both a luminescence bioprobe and as a contrasting agent for X-ray computed-tomography.

Diciembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201700650

Chalcogenide Quaternary Cu2FeSnS4 Nanocrystals for Solar Cells: Explosive Character of Mechanochemical Synthesis and Environmental Challenge

Balaz, P; Balaz, M; Sayagues, MJ; Eliyas, A; Kostova, NG; Kanuchova, M; Dutkova, E; Zorkovska, A
Crystals, 7 (2017) art. 367


In this study we demonstrate the synthesis of quaternary semiconductor nanocrystals of stannite Cu2FeSnS4/rhodostannite Cu2FeSn3S8 (CFTS) via mechanochemical route using Cu, Fe, Sn and S elements as precursors in one-pot experiments. Methods of X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were applied to characterize properties of the unique nanostructures. Mechanochemical route of synthesis induced new phenomena like explosive character of reaction, where three stages could be identified and the formation of nanostructures 5-10 nm in size. By using XPS method, Cu(I), Fe(II), Sn(IV) and S(-II) species were identified on the surface of CFTS. The value of optical band gap 1.27 eV is optimal for semiconductors applicable as absorbers in solar cells. The significant photocatalytic activity of the CFTS nanocrystals was also evidenced. The obtained results confirm the excellent properties of the quaternary semiconductor nanocrystals synthesized from earth-abundant elements.

Diciembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.3390/cryst7120367

Effect of the crystal chemistry on the hydration mechanism of swelling micas

Pavon, E; Alba, MD; Castro, MA; Cota, A; Osuna, FJ; Pazos, MC
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 217 (2017) 231-239


Swelling and dehydration under minor changes in temperature and water vapor pressure is an important property that clays and clay minerals exhibit. In particular, their interlayer space, the solid-water interface and the layers' collapse and re-expansion have received much attention because it affects to the dynamical properties of interlayer cations and thus the transfer and fate of water and pollutants. In this contribution, the dehydration and rehydration mechanism of a swelling high-charge mica family is examined by in situ X-ray Diffraction. The effect of the aluminosilicate layer charge and the physicochemical properties of the interlayer cations on these processes are analyzed. The results showed that the dehydration temperature and the number of steps involved in this process are related to the layer charge of the silicate and the physicochemical properties of the interlayer cations. Moreover, the ability to adsorb water molecules in a confined space with high electric field by the interlayer cations does not only depend on their hydration enthalpy but also on the electrostatic parameters of these cations.

Noviembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2017.08.028

Redox and Catalytic Properties of Promoted NiO Catalysts for the Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Ethane

Delgado, D; Solsona, B; Ykrelef, A; Rodriguez-Gomez, A; Caballero, A; Rodriguez-Aguado, E; Rodriguez-Castellon, E; Nieto, JML
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121 (2017) 25132-25142


NiO and metal-promoted NiO catalysts (M-NiO, with a M/(M+Ni) atomic ratio of 0.08, with M = Nb, Sn, or La) have been prepared, tested in the oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of ethane, and characterized by means of XRD, TPR, HRTEM, Raman, XPS, and in situ XAS (using H-2/He, air or C2H6/He mixtures). The selectivity to ethylene during the ODH of ethane decreases according to the following trend: Nb NiO Sn NiO > La NiO > NiO, whereas the catalyst reducibility (determined by both TPR and XAS using H-2/He mixtures) shows the opposite trend. However, different reducibility and catalytic behavior in the absence of oxygen (ethane/He mixtures) have been observed, especially when comparing Nb- and Sn-promoted NiO samples. These differences can be ascribed mainly to a different phase distribution of the promoter. The results presented here are discussed in terms of the nature of active and selective sites for ODH of ethane in selective and unselective catalysts, but also the role of promoters and the importance of their phase distribution.

Noviembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b07066

Structural control in porous/compact multilayer systems grown by magnetron sputtering

Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Lopez-Santos, C; Alvarez, R; Rico, V; Cotrino, J; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Palmero, A
Nanotechnology, 28 (2017) 46


In this work we analyze a phenomenon that takes place when growing magnetron sputtered porous/compact multilayer systems by alternating the oblique angle and the classical configuration geometries. We show that the compact layers develop numerous fissures rooted in the porous structures of the film below, in a phenomenon that amplifies when increasing the number of stacked layers. We demonstrate that these fissures emerge during growth due to the high roughness of the porous layers and the coarsening of a discontinuous interfacial region. To minimize this phenomenon, we have grown thin interlayers between porous and compact films under the impingement of energetic plasma ions, responsible for smoothing out the interfaces and inhibiting the formation of structural fissures. This method has been tested in practical situations for compact TiO2/porous SiO2 multilayer systems, although it can be extrapolated to other materials and conditions.

Noviembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa8cf4

Determination of the thickness of the embedding phase in 0D nanocomposites

Martinez-Martinez, D; Sanchez-Lopez, JC
Applied Surface Science, 421 (2017) 179-184


0D nanocomposites formed by small nanoparticles embedded in a second phase are very interesting systems which may show properties that are beyond those observed in the original constituents alone. One of the main parameters to understand the behavior of such nanocomposites is the determination of the separation between two adjacent nanoparticles, in other words, the thickness of the embedding phase. However, its experimental measurement is extremely complicated. Therefore, its evaluation is performed by an indirect approach using geometrical models. The ones typically used represent the nanoparticles by cubes or spheres. 
In this paper the used geometrical models are revised, and additional geometrical models based in other parallelohedra (hexagonal prism, rhombic and elongated dodecahedron and truncated octahedron) are presented. Additionally, a hybrid model that shows a transition between the spherical and tessellated models is proposed. Finally, the different approaches are tested on a set of titanium carbide/amorphous carbon (TiC/a-C) nanocomposite films to estimate the thickness of the a-C phase and explain the observed hardness properties. 

Noviembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.12.081

Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Over Zr-Promoted Co/gamma-Al2O3 Catalysts

Barrientos, J; Garcilaso, V; Venezia, B; Aho, A; Odriozola, JA; Boutonnet, M; Jaras, S
Topics in Catalysis, 60 (2017) 1285-1298


Two Zr-modified alumina supports were synthetized containing the same amount of Zr but a different distribution of this modifier over the alumina surface. These supports, together with the unmodified alumina carrier, were used to prepare three cobalt-based catalysts which were characterized and tested under relevant Fischer-Tropsch conditions. The three catalysts presented very similar porosity and cobalt dispersion. The addition of Zr nor its distribution enhanced the catalyst reducibility. The catalyst activity was superior when using a carrier consisting of large ZrO2 islands over the alumina surface. The use of a carrier with a homogeneous Zr distribution had however, a detrimental effect. Moreover, a faster initial deactivation rate was observed for the Zr-promoted catalysts, fact that may explain this contradictory effect of Zr on activity. Finally, the addition of Zr showed a clear enhancement of the selectivity to long chain hydrocarbons and ethylene, especially when Zr was well dispersed.

Noviembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1007/s11244-017-0813-1

Characterization of ashes from greenhouse crops plant biomass residues using X-ray fluorescence analysis and X-ray diffraction

Garzon, E; Morales, L; Martinez-Blanes, JM; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
X-ray spectrometry, 46 (2017) 569-578


A characterization of ashes obtained by thermal treatments on greenhouse crops plant biomass residues is presented. The chemical analysis, by X-ray fluorescence (wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence), and phase analysis, by X-ray diffraction, of the resultant ashes are reported. Thermal treatments of selected samples of these residues increase the relative amounts of inorganic Mg, Si, P, and S in the ashes, being these amounts as high as increasing temperature. As an opposite effect, Na, Cl, and K contents decrease as increasing temperature by a volatilization process of the chlorides, as confirmed by X-ray diffraction. The crystalline phase analysis of the ashes demonstrates the formation of inorganic constituents of the biomass, including alkaline chlorides and calcium salts (calcite, anhydrite, and apatite). Progressive thermal treatments induce the formation of new silicate phases (akermanite and grossularite) and silica (-quartz and cristobalite). Furthermore, the particle size of the starting biomass samples does not influence the evolution of the crystalline phases by thermal treatments. In contrast, a previous leaching using water and subsequent heating at 1,000 degrees C produces the formation of periclase (MgO), lime (CaO), and the silicate gehlenite, without the presence of anhydrite. This study is interesting for future investigations on the residues as a profitable biomass source for energy production and sustainable large-scale management. Some potential applications of the resultant ashes can be proposed.

Noviembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/xrs.2801

Materials chemistry approaches to the control of the optical features of perovskite solar cells

Calvo, Mauricio E.
Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 5 (2017) 20561-20578


Perovskite solar cells have revolutionized the field of photovoltaics. Apart from their impressive photo-conversion efficiencies, the ease of their fabrication – principally when carried out by solution processing – has permitted addition of new functionalities to the photovoltaic cell. Some of these features are related to the optical properties. In this review, the different materials chemistry approaches that allow controlling the spectral absorption of ABX3 perovskite layers and the changes that they produce in the visual aspect of the solar cell will be covered. These modifications can be done either by playing with the composition of the precursors or by integrating different types of nanostructures. Spectral bandgap tuning, semitransparency, color and enhancement of light absorption are examples of how these modifications operate in the core of ABX3 perovskite solar cells. These optical features bring benefits in terms of photo-conversion efficiencies or else in the aesthetical integration of perovskite solar cells with architectonic elements for building integrated photovoltaics. Additionally, surface passivation approaches are covered to show its effect over the photo-conversion efficiency and stability of the cell.

Octubre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/c7ta05666d