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Scientific Papers in SCI

2018


High temperature compressive creep of SiC-HfB2 UHTCs up to 2000 °C has been studied. Microstructural analysis after deformation reveals formation of new phases in the Hf-B-Si and Hf-B-Si-C systems, which are responsible for the poor creep resistance. RE oxide additions have a negative effect reducing the creep resistance of SiC-HfB2 UHTCs. A simplistic analysis for the required creep resistance is described, indicating that only SiC-HfB2 UHTCs could withstand re-entry conditions for 5 min in a single use. However, RE oxide addition to SiC-HfB2UHTCs does not provide the required creep resistance for them to be candidate materials for hypersonic applications.

January, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.08.028

2017


Fluorescent Humidity Sensors Based on Photonic Resonators
Szendrei, K; Jimenez-Solano, A; Lozano, G; Lotsch, BV; Miguez, H
Advanced Optical Materials, 5 (2017) 1700663
abstract | fulltext


Among the different approaches to humidity sensing available, those based on fluorescent signals are gathering a great deal of attention due to their fast response and versatility of detection and design. So far, all proposals have focused on the use of luminescent probes whose emission is either triggered or inhibited by the presence of water that reacts or alters their chemical environment, hence inducing the signal change. Here, a novel concept in fluorescent humidity sensing based on combining stimuli-responsive photonic resonators with molecular fluorescent probes is introduced. The resonator is assembled from humidity-swellable antimony phosphate nanosheets embedding a planar light-emitting probe, whose emission is dramatically modified by the changes that ambient humidity causes in its photonic environment. Guided by "in silico" optical design of the resonator architecture and subsequent experimental realization, two embodiments of fluorescent photonic humidity sensors featuring turn-on and turn-off detection schemes are presented. The interplay between the luminescent properties of an emitter and its photonic environment implies a fundamental advantage as the emitters are not chemically altered during the detection process. At the same time, it paves the way toward a new generation of photonic humidity sensors which can conveniently be interfaced with common fluorescence detection schemes.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/adom.201700663

Local Disorder and Tunable Luminescence in Sr1–x/2Al2–xSixO4 (0.2 ≤ x ≤ 0.5) Transparent Ceramics
Fernandez-Carrion, AJ; Al Saghir, K; Veron, E; Becerro, AI; Porcher, F; Wisniewsld, W; Matzen, G; Fayon, F; Allix, M
Inorganic Chemistry, 56 (2017) 14446-14458
abstract | fulltext


Eu-doped Sr1–x/2Al2–xSixO4 (x = 0.2, 0.4, and 0.5) transparent ceramics have been synthesized by full and congruent crystallization from glasses prepared by aerodynamic levitation and laser-heating method. Structural refinements from synchrotron and neutron powder diffraction data show that the ceramics adopt a 1 × 1 × 2 superstructure compared to the SrAl2O4 hexagonal polymorph. While the observed superstructure reflections indicate a long-range ordering of the Sr vacancies in the structure, 29Si and 27Al solid-state NMR measurements associated with DFT computations reveal a significant degree of disorder in the fully polymerized tetrahedral network. This is evidenced through the presence of Si–O–Si bonds, as well as Si(OAl)4 units at remote distances of the Sr vacancies and Al(OAl)4 units in the close vicinity of Sr vacancies departing from local charge compensation in the network. The transparent ceramics can be doped by europium to induce light emission arising from the volume under UV excitation. Luminescence measurements then reveal the coexistence of Eu2+ and Eu3+ in the samples, thereby allowing tuning the emission color depending on the excitation wavelength and suggesting possible applications such as solid state lighting.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b01881

The Calcium Looping (CaL) process, based on the carbonation/calcination of CaO, has been proposed as a feasible technology for Thermochemical Energy Storage (TCES) in Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. The CaL process usually employs limestone as CaO precursor for its very low cost, non-toxicity, abundance and wide geographical distribution. However, the multicycle activity of limestone derived CaO under relevant CaL conditions for TCES in CSP plants can be severely limited by pore plugging. In this work, the alternative use of calcium-rich steel and blast furnace slags after treatment with acetic acid is investigated. A main observation is that the calcination temperature to regenerate the CaO is significantly reduced as compared to limestone. Furthermore, the multicycle activity of some of the slags tested at relevant CaL conditions for TCES remains high and stable if the treated samples are subjected to filtration. This process serves to remove silica grains, which helps decrease the porosity of the CaO resulting from calcination in the mesoporous range thus mitigating pore plugging.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcou.2017.09.021

Performance of biomorphic Silicon Carbide as particulate filter in diesel boilers
Orihuela, M Pilar; Gomez-Martin, Aurora; Becerra, Jose A; Chacartegui, Ricardo; Ramirez-Rico, Joaquin
Journal of Environmental Management, 203 (2017) 907-919
abstract | fulltext


Biomorphic Silicon Carbide (bioSiC) is a novel porous ceramic material with excellent mechanical and thermal properties. Previous studies have demonstrated that it may be a good candidate for its use as particle filter media of exhaust gases at medium or high temperature. In order to determine the filtration efficiency of biomorphic Silicon Carbide, and its adequacy as substrate for diesel particulate filters, different bioSiC-samples have been tested in the flue gases of a diesel boiler. For this purpose, an experimental facility to extract a fraction of the boiler exhaust flow and filter it under controlled conditions has been designed and built. Several filter samples with different microstructures, obtained from different precursors, have been tested in this bench. The experimental campaign was focused on the measurement of the number and size of particles before and after placing the samples. Results show that the initial efficiency of filters made from natural precursors is severely determined by the cutting direction and associated microstructure. In biomorphic Silicon Carbide derived from radially cut wood, the initial efficiency of the filter is higher than 95%. Nevertheless, when the cut of the wood is axial, the efficiency depends on the pore size and the permeability, reaching in some cases values in the range 70–90%. In this case, the presence of macropores in some of the samples reduces their efficiency as particle traps. In continuous operation, the accumulation of particles within the porous media leads to the formation of a soot cake, which improves the efficiency except in the case when extra-large pores exist. For all the samples, after a few operation cycles, capture efficiency was higher than 95%. These experimental results show the potential for developing filters for diesel boilers based on biomorphic Silicon Carbide.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.05.003

Fiber bonded silicon carbide ceramic materials provide cost-advantage over traditional ceramic matrix composites and require fewer processing steps. Despite their interest in extreme environment thermostructural applications no data on long term mechanical reliability other than static fatigue is available for them. We studied the high temperature compressive strength and creep behavior of a fiber bonded SiC material obtained by hot-pressing of Si Ti-C-O fibers. The deformation mechanism and onset of plasticity was evaluated and compared with other commercial SiC materials. Up to 1400 degrees C, plasticity is very limited and any macroscopic deformation proceeds by crack formation and damage propagation. A transient viscous creep stage is observed due to flow in the silica matrix and once steady state is established, a stress exponent n similar to 4 and an activation energy Q similar to 700 kJ mol(-1) are found. These results are consistent with previous data on creep of polymer derived SiC fibers and polycrystals.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.06.037

In this work we have developed an infiltration methodology to incorporate metal nanoparticles (NPs) of controlled size and shape into the open voids available in oblique angle deposited thin films. These NPs exhibited well-defined surface plasmon resonances (SPRs). The nanometric confined space provided by their porous microstructure has been used as a template for the growth of anisotropic NPs with interesting SPR properties. The fabrication methodology has been applied for the preparation of films with embedded Ag and Au NPs with two associated plasmon resonance features that developed a dichroic behaviour when examined with linearly polarized light. A confined alloying process was induced by near IR nanosecond laser irradiation yielding bimetallic NPs with SPR features covering a large zone of the electromagnetic spectrum. The possibilities of the method for the tailored fabrication of a wide range colour palette based on SPR features are highlighted.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa92af

Different colloidal powder processing routines have been used to prepare composites of 3 mol% Y2O3 -ZrO2 (tetragonal zirconia polycrystals, 3YTZP) with 2.5 vol% multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNT) with the aim of achieving a homogeneous distribution of the MWNTs in the ceramic, eliminating agglomerates but also minimizing carbon nanotube (CNT) damage during processing. Modifications of the acid treatment applied to the nanotubes, including subjecting them to stirring or ultrasonic agitation, and use of acid or basic pH during composite powder mixing have been approached.
No MWNT damage during processing was detected by Raman spectroscopy. CNT bundles were found in all the composites forming different patterns depending on the processing route. Similar values of hardness were obtained for all the composites, while different anisotropy in fracture propagation was found when studying parallel and perpendicular directions to the sintering pressing axis on the cross sections of the composites due to the MWNT preferential alignment. The CNT bundles were found to act as fracture short paths. A similar anisotropic behavior was observed for the electrical conductivity. These results have been correlated to the different microstructures obtained in the composites prepared with different processing routines.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2017.09.043

Micron-scale wedge thin films prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition
Lopez-Santos, MC; Alvarez, R; Palmero, A; Borras, A; del Campo, RC; Holgado, M; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Plasma Processes and Polymers, 14 (2017) e1700043
abstract | fulltext


Wedge-shaped materials are currently employed for optical analyses and sensing applications. In this paper, we present an easy to implement plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition procedure to grow wedge-shaped thin films with controlled slope at the scale of few hundred microns. The method relies on the use of few tenths micron height obstacles to alter the laminar flow of precursor gas during deposition and is applied for the fabrication of wedge-shaped ZnO thin films. Local interference patterns, refractive index, and birefringence of the films have been measured with one micron resolution using a specially designed optical set-up. Their micro- and nano-structures have been characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy and theoretically reproduced by Monte Carlo calculations.

December, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/ppap.201700043

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.

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

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