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2017


New insights into surface-functionalized swelling high charged micas: Their adsorption performance for non-ionic organic pollutants


Pazos, MC; Castro, MA; Cota, A; Osuna, FJ; Pavon, E; Alba, MD
Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 52 (2017) 179-186

ABSTRACT

The major components of the wastewater from the petroleum refineries are benzene, toluene and phenol and one of the techniques applied to the treatment of effluents is sorption using organo-functionalized clay. The materials exploited in the present study are a family of surface-functionalized synthetic micas and their sorption capacities for non-ionic organic pollutants are analyzed. The organo-functionalization of their surface provides them the capacity to sorb effectively non-ionic pollutants in the interface. Their adsorption performance is a function of the alkylamonium properties such as the chain length, the mass fraction and the organization of the organic cation in the interlayer space of the micas.


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jiec.2017.03.042

One-reactor plasma assisted fabrication of ZnO@TiO2 multishell nanotubes: assessing the impact of a full coverage on the photovoltaic performance


Filippin, Alejandro Nicolas; Macias-Montero, Manuel; Saghi, Zineb; Idigoras, Jesus; Burdet, Pierre; Sanchez-Valencia, Juan R.; Barranco, Angel; Migdley, Paul A.; Anta, Juan A.; Borras, Ana
Scientific Reports, 7 (2017) art 9621

ABSTRACT

This paper addresses the fabrication of vertically aligned ZnO@TiO2multishell nanotubes by a combined full vacuum-plasma approach at mild temperatures. The growth is carried out within the premises of a one-reactor approach, i.e. minimizing the number of vacuum chambers and sample transferences. In this way, the interface between ZnO and TiO2 is fully preserved from humidity thus increasing ZnO durability and stability. These nanostructures are studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy in STEM (EDX-STEM). High density one-dimensional arrays of these nanotubes formed on FTO substrates are applied as photoanode in a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC). The evolution of the dye adsorption capacity and solar cells parameters are explored as a function of the crystallinity and thickness of the TiO2 shell. The results show the critical effect of a full coverage by TiO2 of ZnO core to explain the mixed results found in the literature.


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-09601-7

Crystal structure, NIR luminescence and X-ray computed tomography of Nd3+:Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 nanospheres


Gonzalez-Mancebo, D; Becerro, AI; Cantelar, E; Cusso, F; Briat, A; Boyer, D; Ocana, M
Dalton Transactions, 46 (2017) 6580-6587

ABSTRACT

Uniform, hydrophilic 50 nm diameter Nd3+-doped Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 nanospheres are synthesized at 120 degrees C using a singular one-pot method based on the use of ethylene glycol as solvent, in the absence of any additive. The composition and crystal structure of the undoped material are analyzed in detail using ICP and XRD, which reveals a BaF2 cubic crystal structure that is able to incorporate 70 mol% of Lu ions. This finding contrasts with the reported phase diagram of the system, where the maximum solubility is around 30 mol% Lu. XRD proves as well that the Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 structure is able to incorporate Nd3+ ions up to, at least 10 mol%, without altering the uniform particles morphology. The Nd-doped particles exhibit near-infrared luminescence when excited at 810 nm. The maximum emission intensity with the minimum concentration quenching effect is obtained at 1.5% Nd doping level. X-ray computed tomography experiments are carried out on powder samples of the latter composition. The sample significantly absorbs X-ray photons, thus demonstrating that the Nd3+-doped Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 nanospheres are good candidates as contrast agents in computed tomography.


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/c7dt00453b

Flash sintering of highly insulating nanostructured phase-pure BiFeO3


Perez-Maqueda, LA; Gil-Gonzalez, E; Perejon, A; Lebrun, JM; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Raj, R
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 100 (2017) 3365-3369

ABSTRACT

We show that BiFeO3, that is electrically homogeneous, is a good insulator, and has a low dielectric constant (the properties desired in its applications), can be produced by flash sintering, which is nominally difficult to achieve by conventional and spark plasma sintering processes. The flash-sintered specimens had a uniform microstructure with a nanometric grain size of similar to 20 nm.


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/jace.14990

Thermal study of residues from greenhouse crops plant biomass


Morales, Laura; Garzon, Eduardo; Maria Martinez-Blanes, Jose; Jose Sanchez-Soto, Pedro
Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 129 (2017) 1111-1120

ABSTRACT

The principal aim of this work is to examine the effect of thermal treatments using a muffle furnace (static heating) and by simultaneous TG/DTA (dynamic heating) on selected greenhouse crops plant biomass investigated here as the first time. The effect of fractionation by sieving (<25 and <2.5 mm), preheating at 150 °C for 48 h and leaching with water on the thermal behavior has been studied. The observation of similar profiles of mass variation corresponding to several samples heated in air up to 1150 °C allows to conclude that particle size did not influence the thermal evolution, but the effect of heating cycle is evidenced. Thermal analysis in air of a representative sample showed the several mass variation steps and DTA exothermic effects produced by the complex thermal decomposition and pyrolysis of the organic matter. Elemental analysis (CHNS and O) of the starting samples and thermally treated revealed the effect of the temperature, with formation of ashes with lower C content from 44.37 to 0.70 mass% as a minimum after elimination of organic matter by heating. Leaching increased the thermal mass variation as an effect of elimination of water-soluble components. According to the present results, the size fractionation of the greenhouse crops biomass did not influence the results of elemental composition. The present study has provided results of interest concerning this biomass source of renewable energy originated by the remains of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), being estimated the highest of all the biomass produced by the greenhouse crops agricultural industry in Almería (SE Spain).


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1007/s10973-017-6243-2

Optical properties and electronic transitions of zinc oxide, ferric oxide, cerium oxide, and samarium oxide in the ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet


Pauly, N; Yubero, F; Espinos, JP; Tougaard, S
Applied Optics, 56 (2017) 6611-6621

ABSTRACT

Optical properties and electronic transitions of four oxides, namely zinc oxide, ferric oxide, cerium oxide, and samarium oxide, are determined in the ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet by reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy using primary electron energies in the range 0.3 - 2.0 keV. This technique allows the evaluation of the optical response in these ultraviolet spectral regions of a thin layer of material, and the analysis is straightforward. It is performed within the dielectric response theory by means of the QUEELS-epsilon(k,omega)-REELS software developed by Tougaard and Yubero [Surf. Interface Anal. 36, 824 ( 2004)]. The method consists basically in the fitting of experimentally determined single-scattering electron energy loss cross sections with a parametric energy loss function of the corresponding material, to the one calculated within a dielectric response formalism. The obtained refractive index and extinction coefficients, as well as the identified electronic transitions are compared, when available, with previously published results. 


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1364/AO.56.006611

The epigraphic stela of Montoro (Cordoba): the earliest monumental script in Iberia?


Sanjuan, LG; Diaz-Guardamino, M; Wheatley, DW; Barra, JPV; Rodriguez, JAL; Rogerio-Candelera, MA; Erbez, AJ; Barker, D; Strutt, K; Ariza, MC
Antiquity, 91 (2017) 916-932

ABSTRACT

A remarkable stela from Montoro, southern Spain, is unique in its morphology, epigraphic traits and landscape context. A programme of chemical characterisation, digital imaging, and geo-lithological and epigraphic analyses were conducted to determine its age and significance, and the results were integrated with data from archaeological investigations of the surrounding area. This multi-faceted approach allowed the stela to be interpreted within the context of early interactions between literate Mediterranean societies of the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age and non-literate Iberian societies. A key outcome of this research is a wider understanding of the complex patterns in the use and perception of early scripts.


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2017.86

Simultaneous adsorption and photocatalytic behavior of hybrid mesoporous ZnS-SiO2 nanocomposite


Emrooz, HBM; Gotor, FJ
Materials Research Express, 4 (2017) art. 085037

ABSTRACT

Mesoporous ZnS-SiO2 nanocomposite was synthesized with a facile process. At first a large pore volume (1.86 cm(3).g(-1)), moderate pore size (about 12.8 nm) and moderate surface area (586 m(2).g(-1)) mesoporous SiO2 was synthesized in an acidic PH using cationic surfactant. ZnS nanoparticles were infiltrated in the porosities of the synthesized SiO2, with a room temperature post grafting method. The synthesized particles have been characterized with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), furrier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). Results confirm the mesoporous characteristics of ZnS-SiO2 nanocomposite with specific surface area as high as 248 m(2).g(-1), pore volume of 0.89 cm(3).g(-1) and average pore diameter of about 14.4 nm. Simultaneous adsorption-photocatalytic behavior of this hybrid mesoporous nanocomposite for degradation of methylene blue (MB) was investigated. The efficiency of this material was compared with that of mesoporous SiO2 and also lone ZnS nanoparticles. Results showed that by using ultraviolet irradiation, ZnS-SiO2 can degrade greater than 85% of MB only after 3 min. The case for lone ZnS is less than 5% after 30 min. Degradation mechanism of MB using ZnS-SiO2 and ultraviolet radiation was explained with simultaneous adsorption and photocatalytic phenomena. Ultraviolet irradiation can degrade adsorbed MB of mesoporous SiO2 which can prevent it from saturation.


Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1088/2053-1591/aa85cf

Cobalt Carbide Identified as Catalytic Site for the Dehydrogenation of Ethanol to Acetaldehyde


A. Rodríguez-Gómez; J.P. Holgado; A. Caballero
ACS Catalysis, 7 (2017) 5243-5247

ABSTRACT

Two cobalt catalysts, Co/SBA-15 and Co/SiO2, have been studied in steam reforming of ethanol (SRE). Besides the steam reforming products, ethoxide dehydrogenation to acetaldehyde is observed as one of the main reactions. Although by hydrogen treatment cobalt is reduced to the metallic state, under SRE conditions, a phase appears that has been identified as cobalt carbide and correlates with acetaldehyde production. These findings provide insights about the catalytic sites, for SRE, in cobalt catalysts. Comparison with previous results shows that these conclusions are not translatable to other cobalt catalysts, stressing the importance of the support on the catalytic behavior of cobalt.


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.7b01348

Photonic Tuning of the Emission Color of Nanophosphor Films Processed at High Temperature


Geng, Dongling; Lozano, Gabriel; Calvo, Mauricio E.; Nunez, Nuria O.; Becerro, Ana I.; Ocana, Manuel; Miguez, Hernan
Advanced Optical Materials, 5 (2017) art. 1700099

ABSTRACT

Photonics offers new possibilities to tailor the photoluminescence process in phosphor-converted light emitting diodes. Herein, it is demonstrated that the emission color of thin layers of rare-earth doped nanocrystals can be strongly modulated in tunable spectral ranges using optical resonators specifically designed to this end. GdVO4:Dy3+ nanoparticles of controlled size and shape are synthesized using a solvothermal method with which highly transparent nanophosphor thin films are prepared. This paper designs and fabricates optical multilayers, which are transparent in the UV and resonant at the frequencies where the Dy3+ ions emit, to prove that the color coordinates of this emitter can be tuned from green to blue or yellow with unprecedented precision. Key to the achievement herein reported is the careful analysis of the structural and optical properties of thin nanophosphor layers with the processing temperature in order to achieve efficient photoluminescence while preserving the transparency of the film. The results open a new path for fundamental and applied research in solid-state lighting in which photonic nanostructures allow controlling the emission properties of state-of-the-art materials without altering their structure or chemical composition.


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/adom.201700099

Plasma assisted deposition of single and multistacked TiO2 hierarchical nanotube photoanodes


Filippin, AN; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Idigoras, J; Rojas, TC; Barranco, A; Anta, JA; Borras, A
Nanoscale, 9 (2017) 8133-8141

ABSTRACT

We present herein an evolved methodology for the growth of nanocrystalline hierarchical nanotubes combining physical vapor deposition of organic nanowires (ONWs) and plasma enhanced chemical vacuum deposition of anatase TiO2 layers. The ONWs act as vacuum removable 1D and 3D templates, with the whole process occurring at temperatures ranging from RT to 250 degrees C. As a result, a high density of hierarchical nanotubes with tunable diameter, length and tailored wall microstructures are formed on a variety of processable substrates as metal and metal oxide films or nanoparticles including transparent conductive oxides. The reiteration of the process leads to the development of an unprecedented 3D nanoarchitecture formed by stacking the layers of hierarchical TiO2 nanotubes. As a proof of concept, we present the superior performance of the 3D nanoarchitecture as a photoanode within an excitonic solar cell with efficiencies as high as 4.69% for a nominal thickness of the anatase layer below 2.75 mu m. Mechanical stability and straightforward implementation in devices are demonstrated at the same time. The process is extendable to other functional oxides fabricated by plasma-assisted methods with readily available applications in energy harvesting and storage, catalysis and nanosensing.


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/c7nr00923b

Low-Temperature Plasma Processing of Platinum Porphyrins for the Development of Metal Nanostructured Layers


Filippin, AN; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Idigoras, J; Macias-Montero, M; Alcaire, M; Aparicio, FJ; Espinos, JP; Lopez-Santos, C; Frutos, F; Barranco, A; Anta, JA; Borras, A
Advanced Materials Interfaces, 4 (2017) 1601233

ABSTRACT

This article establishes the bases for a vacuum and plasma supported methodology for the fabrication at mild temperatures of nanostructured platinum in the form of porous layers and nanocolumns using platinum octaethylporphyrin as precursor. In addition, the application of these materials as tunable optical filters and nano-counterelectrodes is proved. On one hand, the transparency in the ultraviolet-visible-near infrared range can be adjusted precisely between 70% and 1% by tuning the deposition and processing conditions, obtaining a high spectral planarity. Deviations of the spectra from an ideal flat filter are below 4%, paving the way to the fabrication of neutral density filters. The transparency limit values yield a sheet resistivity of approximate to 1350 and 120 Omega square(-1), respectively. On the other hand, the catalytic properties of the nanostructures are further demonstrated by their implementation as counterelectrodes of excitonic solar cells surpassing the performance of commercial platinum as counterelectrode in a 20% of the overall cell efficiency due to simultaneous enhancement of short-circuit photocurrent and open-circuit photovoltage. One of the most interesting features of the developed methodology is its straightforward application to other metal porphyrins and phthalocyanines readily sublimable under mild vacuum and temperature conditions.


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/admi.201601233

Formation of Subsurface W5+ Species in Gasochromic Pt/WO3 Thin Films Exposed to Hydrogen


Castillero, Pedro; Rico-Gavira, Victor; Lopez-Santos, Carmen; Barranco, Angel; Perez-Dieste, Virginia; Escudero, Carlos; Espinos, Juan P.; Gonzalez-Elipe, Agustin R.
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121 (2017) 15719-15727

ABSTRACT

M/WO3 (M = Pt, Pd) systems formed by a porous WO3 thin film decorated by metal nanoparticles are known for their reversible coloring upon exposure to H2 at room temperature. In this work, this gasochromic behavior is investigated in situ by means of near-ambient photoemission (NAPP). Pt/WO3 systems formed by very small Pt nanoparticles (10 ± 1 nm average size) incorporated in the pores of nanocolumnar WO3 thin films prepared by magnetron sputtering at an oblique angle have been exposed to a small pressure of hydrogen at ambient temperature. The recorded UV–vis transmission spectra showed the reversible appearance of a very intense absorption band responsible for the blue coloration of these gasochromic films. In an equivalent experiment carried out in the NAPP spectrometer, W 4f, O 1s, Pt 4f, and valence band photoemission spectra have been recorded at various photon energies to follow the evolution of the reduced tungsten species and hydroxyl groups formed upon film exposure to hydrogen. The obtained results are compared with those of a conventional X-ray photoemission study after hydrogen exposure between 298 and 573 K. As investigated by NAPP, the gasochromic behavior at 298 K is accounted for by a reaction scheme in which hydrogen atoms resulting from the dissociation of H2 onto the Pt nanoparticles are spilt over to the WO3 substrate where they form surface OH–/H2O species and subsurface W5+ cations preferentially located in buried layers of the oxide network.


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b03385

Surface chemistry and germination improvement of Quinoa seeds subjected to plasma activation


Gomez-Ramierez, A.; Lopez-Santos, C.; Cantos, M.; Garcia, J. L.; Molina, R.; Cotrino, J.; Espinos, J. P.; Gonzalez-Elipe, A. R.
Scientific Reports, 7 (2017) art. 5924

ABSTRACT

Plasma treatment is recognized as a suitable technology to improve germination efficiency of numerous seeds. In this work Quinoa seeds have been subjected to air plasma treatments both at atmospheric and low pressure and improvements found in germination rate and percentage of success. Seed water uptake by exposure to water vapor, although slightly greater for plasma treated seeds, did not justify the observed germination improvement. To identify other possible factors contributing to germination, the chemical changes experienced by outer parts of the seed upon plasma exposure have been investigated by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDX). XPS revealed that the outer layers of the Quinoa plasma treated seeds were highly oxidized and appeared enriched in potassium ions and adsorbed nitrate species. Simultaneously, SEM-EDX showed that the enrichment in potassium and other mineral elements extended to the seed pericarp and closer zones. The disappearance from the surface of both potassium ions and nitrate species upon exposure of the plasma treated seeds to water vapor is proposed as a factor favoring germination. The use of XPS to study chemical changes at seed surfaces induced by plasma treatments is deemed very important to unravel the mechanisms contributing to germination improvement.


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-06164-5

Characterization of of mechanosynthesized Bi1-xSmxFeO3 samples unencumbered by secondary phases or compositional inhomogeneity


Gil-Gonzalez, E; Perejon, A; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Hayward, MA; Criado, JM; Sayagues, MJ; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 711 (2017) 541-551

ABSTRACT

High-quality samples, in terms of phase purity and dielectric properties, of composition Bi1-xSmxFeO3 (0.05 <= x <= 0.20) have for the first time been prepared by mechanosynthesis. Close inspection of the powder diffraction data, analysis via Rietveld refinement and TEM microscopy demonstrates that the Bi1-xSmxFeO3 samples contain only perovskite phases. Additionally, by a combination of Rietveld analysis, TEM, DSC, temperature-dependent XRD and permittivity data a tentative phase diagram has been proposed where the high temperature paraelectric phase Pnma has been confirmed for samarium substituted BiFeO3. Regarding the physical properties, the samples resulted to be electrically homogenous and highly insulating at room temperature, suggesting that other sources of conductivity, such as mixed valence of Fe associated with possible oxygen non-stoichiometry, have been avoided during the samples synthesis. In spite of the high quality of the samples, the dielectric and magnetic behaviour of the Bi1-xSmxFeO3 samples change only modestly on Sm substitution, with neither a great change in the resistivity or remnant magnetisation of Sm substituted samples in comparison with BiFeO3. 


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2017.03.289

Cs+ immobilization by designed micaceous adsorbent under subcritical conditions


Osuna, FJ; Cota, A; Pavon, E; Pazos, MC; Alba, MD
Applied Clay Science, 143 (2017) 293-299

ABSTRACT

The adsorption of Cs+ by clay minerals is a complicate process, being cation exchange and frayed-edge sites the major mechanisms that govern it. However, environmental variables have a significant impact on the process. In this work, the influence of the temperature and time in the cesium adsorption capacity of Na-Mica-n (n = 2 and 4) have been explored under subcritical conditions. Those synthetic micas were able to immobilize cations Cs+ combining adsorption at nonspecific sites, at specific sites and chemical reaction. The distribution constant of Cs+ was larger in the Na-Mica-2 denoting a higher concentration of specific adsorption sites when layer charge decreased.


Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.clay.2017.03.041

Impact of moisture on efficiency-determining electronic processes in perovskite solar cells


Salado, Manuel; Contreras-Bernal, Lidia; Calio, Laura; Todinova, Anna; Lopez-Santos, Carmen; Ahmad, Shahzada; Borras, Ana; Idigoras, Jesus; Anta, Juan A.
Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 5 (2017) 10917-10927

ABSTRACT

Moisture-induced degradation in perovskite solar cells was thoroughly investigated by structural (SEM, EDS, XRD and XPS) and device characterization (impedance and intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy) techniques. Both the influence of the perovskite composition and the nature of the hole selective material were analyzed. The degradation rate was found to be significantly slower for mixed perovskites and P3HT-based devices. However, for a fixed degradation degree (defined as a 50% drop from the initial photocurrent), all configurations show similar features in small-perturbation analysis. Thus, a new mid-frequency signal appears in the impedance response, which seems to be related to charge accumulation at the interfaces. In addition, faster recombination, with a more important surface contribution, and slower transport were clearly inferred from our results. Both features can be associated with the deterioration of the contacts and the formation of a higher number of grain boundaries.


Junio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/c7ta02264f

The Oxy-CaL process: A novel CO2 capture system by integrating partial oxy-combustion with the Calcium-Looping process


Ortiz, C; Valverde, JM; Chacartegui, R; Benitez-Guerrero, M; Perejon, A; Romeo, LM
Applied Energy, 196 (2017) 1-17

ABSTRACT

This paper proposes a novel CO2 capture technology from the integration of partial oxy-combustion and the Calcium -Looping capture process based on the multicycle carbonation/calcination of limestone derived CaO. The concentration of CO2 in the carbonator reactor is increased by means of partial oxycombustion, which enhances the multicycle CaO conversion according to thermogravimetric analysis results carried out in our work, thus improving the CO2 capture efficiency. On the other hand, energy consumption for partial oxy-combustion is substantially reduced as compared to total oxy-combustion. All in all, process simulations indicate that the integration of both processes has potential advantages mainly regarding power plant flexibility whereas the overall energy penalty is not increased. Thus, the resulting energy consumption per kilogram of CO2 avoided is kept smaller than 4 MI/kg CO2, which remains below the typical values reported for total oxy-combustion and amine based CO2 capture systems whereas CO2 capture efficiency is enhanced in comparison with the Calcium -Looping process.


Junio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.120

A novel, simple and rapid route to the synthesis of boron cabonitride nanosheets: combustive gaseous unfolding


Jalaly, Maisam; Jose Gotor, Francisco; Semnan, Masih; Jesus Sayagues, Maria
Scientific Reports, 7 (2017) art. 3453

ABSTRACT

The ternary compound boron carbonitride (BCN) was synthesized in the form of few-layer nanosheets through a mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction (MSR). Magnesium was used to reduce boron trioxide in the presence of melamine in a combustive manner. The process to form the nanostructured material was very rapid (less than 40 min). The prepared powder was investigated by various techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR), Micro-Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The thermal stability and the optical behavior of the BCN nanosheets were also studied by thermal analysis and UV-vis spectroscopy, respectively. The formation mechanism of the nanosheet morphology was described in detail.


Junio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-03794-7

In Situ Determination of the Water Condensation Mechanisms on Superhydrophobic and Superhydrophilic Titanium Dioxide Nanotubes


Macias-Montero, Manuel; Lopez-Santos, Carmen; Nicolas Filippin, A.; Rico, Victor J.; Espinos, Juan P.; Fraxedas, Jordi; Perez-Dieste, Virginia; Escudero, Carlos; Gonzalez-Elipe, Agustin R.; Borras, Ana
Langmuir, 33 (2017) 6449-6456

ABSTRACT

One-dimensional (1D) nanostructured surfaces based on high-density arrays of nanowires and nanotubes of photoactive titanium dioxide (TiO2) present a tunable wetting behavior from superhydrophobic to superhydrophilic states. These situations are depicted in a reversible way by simply irradiating with ultraviolet light (superhydrophobic to superhydrophilic) and storage in dark. In this article, we combine in situ environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and near ambient pressure photoemission analysis (NAPP) to understand this transition. These experiments reveal complementary information at microscopic and atomic level reflecting the surface wettability and chemical state modifications experienced by these 1D surfaces upon irradiation. We pay special attention to the role of the water condensation mechanisms and try to elucidate the relationship between apparent water contact angles of sessile drops under ambient conditions at the macroscale with the formation of droplets by water condensation at low temperature and increasing humidity on the nanotubes surfaces. Thus, for the as-grown nanotubes, we reveal a metastable and superhydrophobic Cassie state for sessile drops that tunes toward water dropwise condensation at the microscale compatible with a partial hydrophobic Wenzel state. For the UV-irradiated surfaces, a filmwise wetting behavior is observed for both condensed water and sessile droplets. NAPP analyses show a hydroxyl accumulation on the as-grown nanotubes surfaces during the exposure to water condensation conditions, whereas the water filmwise condensation on a previously hydroxyl enriched surface is proved for the superhydrophilic counterpart.


Junio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b00156

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