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A new family of cermets: Chemically complex but microstructurally simple

de la Obra, AG; Aviles, MA; Torres, Y; Chicardi, E; Gotor, FJ
International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, 63 (2017) 17-25


Cermets based on Ti(C,N) have interesting properties, such as high wear resistance, high chemical stability and good mechanical strength at high temperature, but to become a viable alternative to cemented carbides, the fracture toughness and damage tolerance must be significantly improved. Complete solid-solution cermets (CSCs) have been proposed to further improve the mechanical properties of these materials. However, to develop this family of cermets with a high level of quality and reliability, using pre-fabricated complex carbonitrides is necessary instead of unalloyed mixtures as the raw ceramic material. A mechanochemical process called mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction (MSR) is suitable to obtain these complex carbonitrides with high stoichiometric control. On the other hand, high entropy alloys (HEAs), which can also be obtained by mechanochemical processes, are a good candidate to replace the current binder phase in cermets because they exhibit high strength and ductility at high temperature and good resistance to both wear and corrosion. In this work, a new family of CSCs based on (Ti,Ta,Nb)CxN1-x, with HEAs belonging to the Fe-Co-Ni-Cr-Mn-V system as the binder phase is developed by mechanochemical processes. With only two constituent phases, these cermets have a simple microstructure but a high compositional complexity because both the ceramic and binder phases are complex solid solutions with at least five components.

Febrero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2016.04.011

Processing and characterization of surrogate nuclear materials with controlled radial porosity

Torres, Y; Garcia-Ostos, C; Arevalo, C; Gotor, FJ; Pavon, JJ; Trueba, P; Rodriguez-Ortiz, JA
Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 54 (2017) 167-173


Irradiated fuel pellets present radial gradient porosity. CeO2 has been proven as a surrogate material to understand irradiated mixed oxide (MOX) due to its similar structural and mechanical properties. A novel compaction device was developed to produce CeO2 cylindrical pellets with controlled radial porosity. Three blends of CeO2 with different binder contents (0.5, 3 and 7.5 vol.% of ethylene-bis-stearamide, EBS) were prepared and used to obtain three different porosities for the core, intermediate and outer rings of pellets, respectively. Different compaction pressures were employed in each region to get the intended porosities. The whole pellet was subjected to a heating rate up to 500 degrees C to remove the EBS binder. Finally, a pressureless sintering step was performed at 1700 degrees C for 4 h. A microstructural characterization was performed in the three areas, including grain size and porosity. Mechanical properties like hardness, fracture toughness and tribo-mechanical response, as scratch resistance, were also determined. Pellets fabricated from this device have shown microstructural and mechanical properties with a good correlation to those of irradiated nuclear fuel.

Febrero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1080/00223131.2016.1222918

Gold promoted Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalysts prepared from hydrotalcite precursors: Advanced materials for the WGS reaction

Santos, JL; Reina, TR; Ivanova, S; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 201 (2017) 310-317


Outstanding catalysts for the water was shift reaction are reported in this work. The combination of gold nanoparticles with Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 prepared from hydrotalcite-like precursors leads to very promising systems for pure hydrogen production. Full CO conversion is reached at temperatures as low as 180 degrees C. The key point seems to be the cooperation of Au and Cu and the optimal metal-oxide contact derived from the synthesis method. The high activity of gold for low temperature CO oxidation and the suitability of copper for the WGS results in a perfect synergy. Moreover the materials developed in this work present good stability and tolerance towards start/stop cycles an indispensable requisite for a realistic application in an integrated hydrogen fuel processor.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.08.017

Pt-impregnated catalysts on powdery SiC and other commercial supports for the combustion of hydrogen under oxidant conditions

Arzac, G. M.; Montes, O.; Fernandez, A.
Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 201 (2017) 391-399


We report the study of the catalytic hydrogen combustion over Pt-impregnated powdery silicon carbide (SiC) using H2PtCl6 as precursor. The reaction was conducted in excess of oxygen. beta-SiC was selected for the study because of its thermal conductivity, mechanical properties, chemical inertness and surface area. The obtained Pt particles over SiC were medium size (average particle diameter of 5 nm for 0.5 wt% Pt). The activity of the Pt-impregnated catalyst over SiC was compared to those obtained in oxidized form over TiO2 and Al2O3 commercial supports (Pt particles very small in size, average particle diameter of 1 nm for 0.5 wt% Pt in both cases). The case of a SiO2 support was also discussed. Those Pt/SiC particles were the most active because of their higher contribution of surface Pt, indicating that partially oxidized surfaces have better activity than those totally oxidized in these conditions. SiC was modified with an acid treatment and thus bigger (average particle diameter of 7 nm for 0.5 wt% Pt) and more active Pt particles were obtained. Durability of the SiC and TiO2 supported catalysts was tested upon 5 cycles and both have shown to be durable and even more active than initially. Exposure to the oxidative reaction mixture activates the catalysts and the effect is more pronounced for the completely oxidized particles. This is due to the surface oxygen chemisorption which activates catalystsi surface.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.08.042

Study of the E. coli elimination from urban wastewater over photocatalysts based on metallized TiO2

Murcia, JJ; Avila-Martinez, EG; Rojas, H; Navio, JA; Hidalgo, MC
Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 200 (2017) 469-476


In this study, a series of photocatalysts based on TiO2 was tested in the elimination of Escherichia coli (E. coli) from urban wastewater. Firstly, TiO2 obtained by sol-gel method was modified by sulfation, and then gold or platinum nanoparticles were photodeposited on sulfated titania surface. Platinized samples were also prepared with different Pt content of 0.5 and 2 wt.%. The samples thus obtained were extensively characterized and it was found that sulfation considerably increases the S-BET value of TiO2 and promotes the anatase phase formation; it was also found that 0.5 wt.% Pt-TiO2 sample presents the lowest noble metal particle size and the best particle dispersion. All the photocatalysts synthesized have shown bactericidal effect and the results obtained by using bare and metalized TiO2 were considerably better than the results obtained with the commercial TiO2 P25 Evonic. Different light intensities were also evaluated in the photocatalytic tests and it was found that 120 W/m(2) leads to obtain the highest E. coli elimination from wastewater samples; however no total elimination of E. coli or other species of bacteria was achieved even after 5 h of photocatalytic treatment without catalyst. Total elimination of the E. coli was achieved after 3 h of photocatalytic reaction by using 120 Wim(2) of light intensity and 2 wt.% Pt-TiO2 as photocatalyst; no bacterial regrowth was observed even after 72 h. 

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.07.045

Electron injection and scaffold effects in perovskite solar cells

M. Anaya, W. Zhang, B. Clasen Hames, Y. Li, F. Fabregat-Santiago, M.E. Calvo, H.J. Snaith, H. Míguez, I. Mora-Seró
Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 5 (2017) 634-644


In spite of the impressive efficiencies reported for perovskite solar cells (PSCs), key aspects of their working principles, such as electron injection at the contacts or the suitability of the utilization of a specific scaffold layer, are not yet fully understood. Increasingly complex scaffolds attained by the sequential deposition of TiO2 and SiO2 mesoporous layers onto transparent conducting substrates are used to perform a systematic characterization of both the injection process at the electron selective contact and the scaffold effect in PSCs. By forcing multiple electron injection processes at a controlled sequence of perovskite–TiO2 interfaces before extraction, interfacial injection effects are magnified and hence characterized in detail. An anomalous injection behavior is observed, the fingerprint of which is the presence of significant inductive loops in the impedance spectra with a magnitude that correlates with the number of interfaces in the scaffold. Analysis of the resistive and capacitive behavior of the impedance spectra indicates that the scaffolds could hinder ion migration, with positive consequences such as lowering the recombination rate and implications for the current–potential curve hysteresis. Our results suggest that an appropriate balance between these advantageous effects and the unavoidable charge transport resistive losses introduced by the scaffolds will help in the optimization of PSC performance.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/C6TC04639H

Gold catalysts screening in base-free aerobic oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid

Benitez, JJ; Heredia-Guerrero, JA; Cruz-Carrillo, MA; Barthel, MJ; Knicker, HE; Heredia, A
Catalysis Today, 279 (2017) 148-154


Base-free aerobic oxidation of glucose in presence of Au/Al2O3, Au/CeO2, Au/CeO2(20 wt%)/Al2O3, Au/CeO2(25 wt%)/ZrO2 and Au/CeO2(50 wt%)/ZrO2 catalysts using molecular oxygen at atmospheric pressure is studied. Within the whole series high conversion and selectivity to gluconic acid are observed after 18 h of reaction at 120 degrees C. The activity and especially the selectivity changes are related to the support nature in a way that the higher the Lewis acidity of the support the lower the selectivity to gluconic acid and the higher the production of lactic acid. The highest yield to gluconic acid is obtained over Au/Al2O3 for which the influence of the reaction time, temperature and stirring rate are further evaluated and discussed.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2016.06.046

Front contact optimization of industrial scale CIGS solar cells for low solar concentration using 2D physical modeling

Delgado-Sanchez, JM; Lopez-Gonzalez, JM; Orpella, A; Sanchez-Cortezon, E; Alba, MD; Lopez-Lopez, C; Alcubilla, R
Renewable Energy, 101 (2017) 90-95


Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 (CIGS) technology is one of the best absorber materials with record efficiencies among photovoltaic thin-film technologies (22.3% at lab scale and 16% at large commercial module). Although research on this material was originally motivated by low-cost, glass-glass applications focusing to fixed photovoltaic structures, the high efficiency values make CIGS an interesting alternative for low concentration systems. In this paper a 2D model for Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 (CIGS) solar cells under low solar concentration is described and contrasted with experimental data. Using simulation, the effect of front electric contact design parameters: finger width, finger separation, and number of buses are analyzed for solar concentrations from 1 up to 10 suns. Efficiency maps allowing front contact grid optimization are shown and analyzed for each concentration factor (Cx), assessing the viability of CIGS solar cells for low concentration applications, where commercial CIGS solar cells may exhibit 35% of electrical power increases with proper front grid optimization under low concentration respect to conventional grid design. 

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2016.08.046

Outstanding visible photocatalytic activity of a new mixed bismuth titanatate material

Zambrano, P; Sayagues, MJ; Navio, JA; Hidalgo, MC
Applied Surface Science, 394 (2017) 16-24


In this work, a new photocatalyst based on bismuth titanates with outstanding visible photocatalytic activity was prepared by a facile hydrothermal method. The synthesised material showed visible activity as high as UV activity of commercial TiO2 P25 under the same experimental conditions for phenol degradation. A wide characterisation of the photocatalyst was performed. The material was composed of three phases; majority of Bi20TiO32 closely interconnected to Bi4Ti3O12 and amorphous TiO2. The high visible activity showed by this material could be ascribed to a combination of several features; i.e. low band gap energy value (2.1 eV), a structure allowing a good separation path for visible photogenerated electron-holes pairs and a relatively high surface area. This photocatalyst appeared as a promising material for solar and visible applications of photocatalysis.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.10.042

Microcalorimetry: A powerful tool for quantitative analysis of aging hardening response of Cu-Ni-Sn alloys

Donoso, E; Dianez, MJ; Perejon, A; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Sayagues, MJ; Criado, JM
Journal of alloys and compounds, 694 (2017) 710-714


The method for the deconvolution of overlapping DSC peaks here proposed has been used by the first time for the quantitative determination of the enthalpies associated to the phase transitions undergone during the aging of an alloy. They have been determined the enthalpies evolved along the first and the second overlapping DSC traces of Cu-10 wt%Ni-5.5 wt%Sn alloy, which are associated, respectively, to the spinodal decomposition of the alloy and the segregation of a DO22 (CuxNi1-x)(3)Sn tetragonal phase. The fraction of the DO22 phase (responsible of the aging hardening of this alloy) has been successfully determined from DSC as a function of the annealing treatment, while TEM and XRD failed for this purpose. It has been demonstrated that a threshold higher than 50% of crystallization of the DO22 phase is required for achieving a significant increase of the hardness as a function of the crystallization percentage. These results suggest that microcalorimetric measurement can be a powerful tool to establish quantitative relationships between the mechanical, electrical or functional properties of alloys and their structural changes undergone by aging.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2016.10.060

Spark plasma sintering of fine-grained alumina ceramics reinforced with alumina whiskers

Tamura, Y; Moshtaghioun, BM; Gomez-Garcia, D; Rodriguez, AD
Ceramis International, 43 (2017) 658-663


Densification of alumina whisker-reinforced alumina ceramics by spark plasma sintering (SPS) has been investigated with the aim of obtaining a fine-grained microstructure and also studying the effect of whisker addition on the room-temperature mechanical properties. It was found that whisker addition retards slightly the sinterability of alumina by whisker hindering of particle rearrangement. Besides, the internal stress on the alumina matrix particles reduced due to the presence of a whisker network structure of strong rigid boundaries. Nevertheless near fully-dense and fine-grained alumina ceramics with alumina whisker content between 3 wt% and 10 wt% could be obtained under appropriate SPS conditions. The hardness of alumina ceramics with 3 wt% was comparable to that of pure alumina ceramics (similar to 26 GPa) whereas its fracture toughness (5.6 MPa m(1/2)) was higher (4.2 MPa m(1/2)). Crack bridging by well-dispersed whiskers and whiskers pull-out were identified as the main toughening mechanisms.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2016.09.210

Regenerative Endodontic Procedures: A Perspective from Stem Cell Niche Biology

M. Marí-Beffa, J.J. Segura-Egea, A. Díaz-Cuenca
Journal of Endodontics, 43 (2017) 52-62



Endodontics uses cell therapy strategies to treat pulpal and periapical diseases. During these therapies, surgeons aim to reconstruct the natural microenvironments that regulate the activity of dental stem cells.


We searched for more than 400 articles in PubMed using key words from regenerative endodontics and dental stem cell biology. In 268 articles, we reviewed what factors may influence histologic results after preclinical dental treatments that use regenerative endodontic procedures after pulpectomy.


Several factors, such as the origin of stem cells, the biomimicry of scaffolds used, and the size of lesions, are considered to influence the histologic appearance of the regenerated pulp-dentin complex after treatments. Information is accumulating on transcription factors that generate the pulp-dentin complex and survival/trophic factors that would benefit niche recovery and histologic results.


In this article, we discuss the noninterchangeability of stem cells, the influence of dentin-entrapped molecule release on pulp regeneration and survival of stem cells, and the need of positional markers to assess treatments histologically. The ex vivo amplification of appropriate dental stem cells, the search for scaffolds storing the molecular diversity entrapped in the dentin, and the use of positional transcription factors as histologic markers are necessary to improve future preclinical experiments.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.joen.2016.09.011

Optical Gas Sensing of Ammonia and Amines Based on Protonated Porphyrin/TiO2 Composite Thin Films

Castillero, Pedro; Roales, Javier; Lopes-Costa, Tania; Sanchez-Valencia, Juan R.; Barranco, Angel; Gonzalez-Elipe, Agustin R.; Pedrosa, Jose M.
Sensors, 17 (2017) 24


Open porous and transparent microcolumnar structures of TiO2 prepared by physical vapour deposition in glancing angle configuration (GLAD-PVD) have been used as host matrices for two different fluorescent cationic porphyrins, 5-(N-methyl 4-pyridyl)-10,15,20-triphenyl porphine chloride (MMPyP) and meso-tetra (N-methyl 4-pyridyl) porphine tetrachloride (TMPyP). The porphyrins have been anchored by electrostatic interactions to the microcolumns by self-assembly through the dip-coating method. These porphyrin/TiO2 composites have been used as gas sensors for ammonia and amines through previous protonation of the porphyrin with HCl followed by subsequent exposure to the basic analyte. UV-vis absorption, emission, and time-resolved spectroscopies have been used to confirm the protonation-deprotonation of the two porphyrins and to follow their spectral changes in the presence of the analytes. The monocationic porphyrin has been found to be more sensible (up to 10 times) than its tetracationic counterpart. This result has been attributed to the different anchoring arrangements of the two porphyrins to the TiO2 surface and their different states of aggregation within the film. Finally, there was an observed decrease of the emission fluorescence intensity in consecutive cycles of exposure and recovery due to the formation of ammonium chloride inside the film.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.3390/s17010024

Mixed alpha-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 oxides for photoassisted hetero-Fenton degradation of Methyl Orange and Phenol

Jaramillo-Paez, C; Navio, JA; Hidalgo, MC; Bouziani, A; El Azzouzi, M
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A-Chemistry, 332 (2017) 521-533


Mixed oxides, alpha-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6, were prepared using a mechanical mixing procedure by adding to the Bi2WO6 previously obtained by hydrothermal method the corresponding amount of a prepared alpha-Fe2O3, the latter obtained by thermal decomposition of Fe(NO3)center dot 9H(2)O. The physicochemical surface, structural, morphological characteristics and optical properties of the samples, single and mixed, were determined by BET, XRD, FE-SEM, XPS and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra showed that incorporating a 5%wt. of alpha-Fe2O3 to the corresponding amount of Bi2WO6 sample broadened the visible light absorption of Bi2WO6 as expected. The photocatalytic activity, of single and mixed catalysts, to degrade a selected dye such as Methyl Orange (MO) as well as the transparent substrate Phenol (Ph) was studied, in aqueous medium (pH 5.5) under UV and sun-like illumination conditions in the absence and presence of H2O2. In the present study the use of a alpha-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6/H2O2 system demonstrate much higher photocatalytic efficiency to degrade both MO and Ph than pristine Bi2WO6 or alpha-Fe2O3, single or mixed. Using the system alpha-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6/H2O2, around 85% of MO was degraded in 60 min under sun-like illumination whereas 100% was degraded in 60 min under UV-illumination. However, just around 30% of Ph was degraded in 120 min in the alpha-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6/H2O2 system under sun-like illumination whereas around a 95% was degraded in 90 min under UV-illumination. Under UV illumination, the generation of hydroxyl radicals is favorable; whereas under sun-like illumination, only the small fraction of the UV can produces the center dot OH. Under illumination, the H2O2 could react with photoinduced electrons from the photocatalysts leading to the production of hydroxyl radicals (center dot OH).

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2016.09.031

Analytical investigation of Mudejar polychrome on the carpentry in the Casa de Pilatos palace in Seville using non-destructive XRF and complementary techniques

Garrote, MA; Robador, MD; Perez-Rodriguez, JL
Spectrochimica Acta Part A-Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy


The pigments, execution technique and repainting used on the polychrome wood ceilings and doors in the Casa de Photos (Seville, Spain) were studied using portable X-ray fluorescence equipment. Cross-sections of small samples were also analysed by optical microscopy, SEM with EDX analysis, micro-Raman and micro-infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. These carpentry works are magnificent examples of the Mudejar art made in Spain in the early 16th century. Portable X-ray fluorescence gave good information on the different components of the polychrome. The SEM-EDX study of the surfaces of small samples gave information on their components and also characterized the compounds that had been deposited or formed by environmental contamination or by the alteration of some pigments. The SEM-EDX study of cross-sections facilitated the characterization of all layers and pigments from the support to the most external layer. The following pigments were characterized: red (cinnabar/vermillion, lead oxide, iron oxides and orpiment/realgar), black (carbon black), white (white lead and titanium barium white), yellow-orange-red-brown (orpiment/realgar and iron oxides), green (chromium oxide), blue (indigo blue and ultramarineblue), and gilding (gold leaf on bole). False gold, bronze and brass were also found. The pigments were applied with the oil painting technique over a support layer that had been primed with animal glue. This support layer was gypsum in some cases and white lead in others. This study is essential to the polychrome conservation of the studied artwork, and it will help clarify uncertainties in the history and painting of Mudejar art. 

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.saa.2016.09.027

Structural and Chemical Characteristics of Sisal Fiber and Its Components: Effect of Washing and Grinding

Benitez-Guerrero, M; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Artiaga, R; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Pascual-Cosp, J
Journal of Natural Fibers, 14 (2017) 26-39


This work covers the study of microstructural changes of natural sisal fibers induced by different conditioning pre-treatments: mechanical grinding, cryogenic grinding, and hot waterwashing. The aim of the work is to clarify the effects of the pre-treatments on crystallinity and infrared spectra of sisal. Scanning electron microscopy results allowed to identify morphological changes on the fiber surface. Deeper changes of chemical origin were studied by attenuated total reflectance/Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and focused on the main components of cellular walls: cellulose, lignin, and xylan. The work was complemented with crystallinity index (I-c) data determined by two very different methods: the widely used for lignocellulosic fibers Segal equation based on X-ray diffraction measurements, and the other based on FTIR through the 1430/900 cm(-1) band intensity ratio, which is mostly used with cellulosic samples.

Enero, 2017 | DOI: 10.1080/15440478.2015.1137529

Structuring Pt/CeO2/Al2O3 WGS catalyst: Introduction of buffer layer

Gonzalez-Castano, M; Ivanova, S; Laguna, OH; Martinez, LM; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 200 (2017) 420-427


This work is devoted to the development of novel structured catalytic system for WGS reaction. The new concept is related to the presence of a pre-catalytic "buffer" layer formed by WGS-inert oxide, i.e. not involved in CO conversion, but able to increase the number of participating sites in water dissociation step during the reaction. The performance of the proposed systems appears to depend strongly on the stream composition, being its effect beneficial in highly reducing atmospheres making it ideal for cleanup application. An increment of the partial kinetic order for water species is observed and reveals the key role of the water activation for superior catalytic behavior. 

Diciembre, 2016 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.07.039

Insolubilization and thermal stabilization of a long-chain polyester by noncatalyzed melt-polycondensation synthesis in air

Benitez, JJ; Heredia-Guerrero, JA; Cruz-Carrillo, MA; Barthel, MJ; Knicker, HE; Heredia, A
Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 134 (2017) 1 art 44350


Self-standing films of poly(-hydroxyl hexadecanoic acid) [poly(-OHC16)] have been prepared by noncatalyzed melt-polycondensation in air at 150, 175, and 200 degrees C. Poly(-OHC16)s obtained are characterized as polyesters by infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and solid state magic angle spinning C-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (C-13 MAS-NMR). Structurally, poly(-OHC16)s are quite crystalline as revealed by wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). The presence of oxygen in the reaction atmosphere causes a mild oxidation in the form of peroxyester species, tentatively at the interphase between poly(-OHC16) crystallites, and the structure amorphization. The interfacial peroxyester phase ends up in the encapsulation of the polyester grains and provides a barrier towards the action of solvents. Thermal stabilization and insolubility resulting from the synthesis conditions used are interesting features to prepare solvent and heat resistant poly(-OHC16) coatings. Thus, a few microns thick poly(-OHC16) layer has been fabricated on aluminum foil and its resistivity towards a chloroform:methanol (1:1, v:v) mixture has been confirmed.

Diciembre, 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/app.44350


Three-Dimensional Optical Tomography and Correlated Elemental Analysis of Hybrid Perovskite Microstructures: An Insight into Defect-Related Lattice Distortion and Photoinduced Ion Migration

Galisteo-Lopez, JF; Li, YL; Miguez, H
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 7 (2016) 5227-5234


Organic lead halide perovskites have recently been proposed for applications in light-emitting devices of different sorts. More specifically, regular crystalline microstructures constitute an efficient light source and fulfill the geometrical requirements to act as resonators, giving rise to waveguiding and optical amplification. Herein we show three-dimensional laser scanning confocal tomography studies of different types of methylammonium lead bromide microstructures which have allowed us to dissect their photoemission properties with a precision of 0.036 mu m(3). This analysis shows that their spectral emission presents strong spatial variations which can be attributed to defect-related lattice distortions. It is also largely enhanced under light exposure, which triggers the migration of halide ions away from illuminated regions, eventually leading to a strongly anisotropic degradation. Our work points to the need for performing an optical quality test of individual crystallites prior to their use in optoelectronics devices and provides a means to do so.

Diciembre, 2016 | DOI: 10.1021/acsjpclett.6b02456

Intensifying glycerol steam reforming on a monolith catalyst: A reaction kinetic model

Bobadilla, LF; Blay, V; Alvarez, A; Dominguez, MI; Romero-Sarria, F; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 306 (2016) 933–941


In this work, a structured monolithic catalyst has been tested under a wide range of conditions (partial pressure, residence time, temperature and time-on-stream), with the aim of modeling its kinetic behavior and assessing its economic and upscaling potential. We have developed a sequential model to help us interpret both main trends and salient features. Unexpected behavior was found for certain parameter values, which led us to consider kinetic parasitic effects such as mass or heat transfer limitations. By independently invoking these effects, a conciliatory view of the results observed could not be reached. A combined explanation may prove successful, although overfitting could not be ruled out at this point. More importantly, however, the observed salient features of this stable and selective monolith catalyst may hold potential for process intensification of glycerol steam reforming, thus contributing to a more sustainable industry.

Diciembre, 2016 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2016.08.021