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Scientific Papers in SCI

2017


Title: A compact and portable optofluidic device for detection of liquid properties and label-free sensing
Author(s): Lahoz, F; Martin, IR; Walo, D; Gil-Rostra, J; Yubero, F; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Source: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 50 (2017) 21
abstract | fulltext


Optofluidic lasers have been widely investigated over the last few years mainly because they can be easily integrated in sensor devices. However, high power pulse lasers arc required as excitation sources, which, in practice, limit the portability of the system. Trying to overcome some of these limitations, in this paper we propose the combined use of a small CW laser with a Fabry-Perot optofluidic planar microcavity showing high sensitivity and versatility for detection of liquid properties and label-free sensing. Firstly, a fluorescein solution in ethanol is used to demonstrate the high performances of the FP microcavity as a temperature sensor both in the laser (high pump power above laser threshold) and in the fluorescence (low pump power) regimes. A shift in the wavelength of the resonant cavity modes is used to detect changes in the temperature and our results show that high sensitivities could be already obtained using cheap and portable CW diode lasers. In the second part of the paper, the demonstration of this portable device for label-free sensing is illustrated under low CW pumping. The wavelength positions of the optolluidic resonant modes are used to detect glucose concentrations in water solutions using a protein labelled with a fluorescent dye as the active medium.

June, 2017 | DOI: 10.1088/1361-6463/aa6cdd

Title: Analysis of Ni species formed on zeolites, mesoporous silica and alumina supports and their catalytic behavior in the dry reforming of methane
Author(s): Drobna, Helena; Kout, Martin; Soltysek, Agnieszka; Gonzalez-Delacruz, Victor M.; Caballero, Alfonso; Capek, Libor
Source: Reaction Kinetics Mechanisms and Catalysis, 121 (2017) 255-274
abstract | fulltext


The presented investigation is focused on the analysis of Ni species formed on microporous (zeolites MFI and FAU) and mesoporous materials (Al-MCM- 41 and SBA-15) and alumina supports and their catalytic behavior in the dry reforming of methane. The paper lays emphasis on the relationship between the catalytic behavior of Ni-based catalysts and their textural/structural properties. Ni-based catalysts were prepared by wet impregnation (11 wt% of Ni) followed by calcination in air and reduction in hydrogen. The properties of Ni-based catalysts were also compared prior and after the catalytic tests. The critical role was played by the high value of the specific surface area and the high strength of the interaction between the Ni species and the support, which both determined the high dispersion and stability of metal Ni-0 particles. Ni-Al-MCM-41 and Ni-SBA-15 showed the values of the conversion of CO2 and CH4 above 90% (stable during 12 h). Slightly lower values of the conversion of CO2 and CH4 were observed over Ni-Al2O3 (also stable during 12 h). In contrast to these materials, Ni-MFI and Ni-FAU exhibited the worse metallic Ni-0 particles dispersion and very bad catalytic behavior.

June, 2017 | DOI: 10.1007/s11144-017-1149-3

Title: Failure mode and effect analysis of a large scale thin-film CIGS photovoltaic module
Author(s): Delgado-Sanchez, JM; Sanchez-Cortezon, E; Lopez-Lopez, C; Aninat, R; Alba, MD
Source: Engireering failure analysis, 76 (2017) 55-60
abstract | fulltext


The efficiency of thin-film CIGS based cells at the laboratory scale is now getting closer to conventional Silicon technologies. As a consequence, the long-term stability of CIGS is now one of the main challenges left to address in order to assess its potential as an alternative for photovoltaic plants. This paper reports an overview of the critical risks for the commercial viability of the CIGS thin-film technology. The key causes of the potential failures of this technology are determined through the Failure Mode Analysis and Effects (FMEA) methodology. To validate the results obtained from the FMEA, aging tests and outdoor monitoring were also carried out. Based on the results obtained, we argue that the encapsulation material is the main cause of degradation in CIGS modules. 

May, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.engfailanal.2017.02.004

Title: Critical Role of Oxygen in Silver-Catalyzed Glaser-Hay Coupling on Ag(100) under Vacuum and in Solution on Ag Particles
Author(s): Orozco, N; Kyriakou, G; Beaumont, SK; Sanz, JF; Holgado, JP; Taylor, MJ; Espinos, JP; Marquez, AM; Watson, DJ; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Lambert, RM
Source: ACS Catalysis, 7 (2017) 3113-3120
abstract | fulltext


The essential role of oxygen in enabling heterogeneously catalyzed Glaser–Hay coupling of phenylacetylene on Ag(100) was elucidated by STM, laboratory and synchrotron photoemission, and DFT calculations. In the absence of coadsorbed oxygen, phenylacetylene formed well-ordered dense overlayers which, with increasing temperature, desorbed without reaction. In striking contrast, even at 120 K, the presence of oxygen led to immediate and complete disruption of the organic layer due to abstraction of acetylenic hydrogen with formation of a disordered mixed layer containing immobile adsorbed phenylacetylide. At higher temperatures phenylacetylide underwent Glaser–Hay coupling to form highly ordered domains of diphenyldiacetylene that eventually desorbed without decomposition, leaving the bare metal surface. DFT calculations showed that, while acetylenic H abstraction was otherwise an endothermic process, oxygen adatoms triggered a reaction-initiating exothermic pathway leading to OH(a) + phenylacetylide, consistent with the experimental observations. Moreover, it was found that, with a solution of phenylacetylene in nonane and in the presence of O2, Ag particles catalyzed Glaser–Hay coupling with high selectivity. Rigorous exclusion of oxygen from the reactor strongly suppressed the catalytic reaction. Interestingly, too much oxygen lowers the selectivity toward diphenyldiacetylene. Thus, vacuum studies and theoretical calculations revealed the key role of oxygen in the reaction mechanism, subsequently borne out by catalytic studies with Ag particles that confirmed the presence of oxygen as a necessary and sufficient condition for the coupling reaction to occur. The direct relevance of model studies to a mechanistic understanding of coupling reactions under conditions of practical catalysis was reaffirmed.

May, 2017 | DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.7b00431

Title: 1-dimensional TiO2 nano-forests as photoanodes for efficient and stable perovskite solar cells fabrication
Author(s): Salado, M; Oliva-Ramirez, M; Kazim, S; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Ahmad, S
Source: Nano Energy, 35 (2017) 215-222
abstract | fulltext


During the last years, perovskite solar cells have gained increasing interest among the photovoltaic community, in particularly after reaching performances at par with mature thin film based PV. This rapid evolution has been fostered by the compositional engineering of perovskite and new device architectures. In the present work, we report the fabrication of perovskite solar cells based on highly ordered 1-dimensional vertically oriented TiO2 nano-forests. These vertically oriented porous TiO2 photoanodes were deposited by physical vapor deposition in an oblique angle configuration, a method which is scalable to fabricate large area devices. Mixed (MA0.15FA0.85)Pb(I0.85Br0.15)3 or triple cation Cs0.05(MA0.15FA0.85)0.95Pb(I0.85Br0.15)3 based perovskites were then infiltrated into these 1-dimensional nanostructures and power conversion efficiencies of 16.8% along with improved stability was obtained. The devices fabricated using 1D-TiO2 were found to be more stable compare to the classical 3-dimensional TiO2 photoanodes prepared by wet chemistry. These 1-D photoanodes will be of interest for scaling up the technology and in other opto-electrical devices as they can be easily fabricated utilizing industrially adapted methodologies.

April, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2017.03.034

Title: NO photooxidation with TiO2 photocatalysts modified with gold and platinum
Author(s): Rodriguez, MJH; Melian, EP; Santiago, DG; Diaz, OG; Navio, JA; Rodriguez, JMD
Source: Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 205 (2017) 148-157
abstract | fulltext


In this study, a comparative analysis is made of TiO2 modified with Pt or Au in NO photoxidation under different radiation and humidity conditions. The metals were deposited on the TiO2 surface using two methods, photodeposition and chemical reduction. All catalysts were supported on borosilicate 3.3 plates using a dip-coating technique. These modified photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller measurements (BET), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectrum analysis (XPS). It was found from the XPS results that Pt and oxidized Pt species coexist on the samples obtained by photodeposition and chemical reduction. In the case of Au, though other oxidation states were also detected the dominant oxidation state for both catalysts is Au. TEM results showed most Au-C particles are below 5 nm, whereas for Au-P the nanoparticles are slightly bigger. With UV irradiation, the Pt modified catalysts do not show any significant improvement in NO photocatalytic oxidation in comparison with the unmodified P25. For Au, both modified photocatalysts (Au-P and Au-C) exceed the photocatalytic efficiency of the unmodified P25, with Au-C giving slightly better results. The incorporation of metals on the TiO2 increases its activity in the visible region. 

April, 2017 | DOI: 10.10161/j.apcatb.2016.12.006

Title: Non-enzymatic hydrogen peroxide detection at NiO nanoporous thin film-electrodes prepared by physical vapor deposition at oblique angles
Author(s): Salazar, Pedro; Rico, Victor; Gonzalez-Elipe, Agustin R.
Source: Electrochimica Acta, 235 (2017) 534-542
abstract | fulltext


In this work we report a non-enzymatic sensor for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) detection based on nanostructured nickel thin films prepared by physical vapor deposition at oblique angles. Porous thin films deposited on ITO substrates were characterized by X-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microcopy (SEMs), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electrochemical techniques such as Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) and Constant Potential Amperometry (CPA). The microstructure of the thin films consisted of inclined and separated Ni nanocolumns forming a porous thin layer of about 500 nm thickness. Prior to their use, the films surface was electrochemically modified and the chemical state studied by CV and XPS analysis. These techniques also showed that Ni2+/Ni3+ species were involved in the electrochemical oxidation and detection of H2O2 in alkaline medium. Main analytical parameters such as sensitivity (807 mA M(-1)cm(-2)), limit of detection (3.22 mu M) and linear range (0.011-2.4 mM) were obtained under optimal operation conditions. Sensors depicted an outstanding selectivity and a high stability and they were successfully used to determine H2O2 concentration in commercial antiseptic solutions.

April, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2017.03.087

Title: CO2 capture performance of Ca-Mg acetates at realistic Calcium Looping conditions
Author(s): Miranda-Pizarro, J; Perejon, A; Valverde, JM; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE
Source: Fuel, 196 (2017) 497-507
abstract | fulltext


The Calcium Looping (CaL) process, based on the cyclic carbonation/calcination of CaO, has emerged in the last years as a potentially low cost technique for CO2 capture at reduced energy penalty. In the present work, natural limestone and dolomite have been pretreated with diluted acetic acid to obtain Ca and Ca-Mg mixed acetates, whose CO2 capture performance has been tested at CaL conditions that necessarily imply sorbent regeneration under high CO2 partial pressure. The CaL multicycle capture performance of these sorbents has been compared with that of CaO directly derived from limestone and dolomite calcination. Results show that acetic acid pretreatment of limestone does not lead to an improvement of its capture capacity, although it allows for a higher calcination efficiency to regenerate CaO at reduced temperatures (similar to 900 degrees C) as compared to natural limestone (>similar to 930 degrees C). On the other hand, if a recarbonation stage is introduced before calcination to reactivate the sorbent, a significantly higher residual capture capacity is obtained for the Ca -Mg mixed acetate derived from dolomite as compared to either natural dolomite or limestone. The main reason for this behavior is the enhancement of carbonation in the solid-state diffusion controlled phase. It is argued that the presence of inert MgO grains in the mixed acetate with reduced segregation notably promotes solid state diffusion of ions across the porous structure created after recarbonation.

April, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2017.01.119

Title: New findings on thermal degradation properties of fluoropolymers
Author(s): Liu, SE; Zhou, WL; Yan, QL; Qi, XF; An, T; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Zhao, FQ
Source: Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 128 (2017) 675-685
abstract | fulltext


In this paper, the thermal degradation properties of Viton A and Fluorel are investigated by both isoconversional and combined kinetic analysis methods using non-isothermal thermogravimetry technique. It has been found that the heating rate has little affect on the degradation residue of Fluorel and Viton A, where around 1.3% char was formed for Fluorel and 3.5% for Viton A. Different from the literature, the decomposition of Viton A should be considered as an overlapped dehydrofluorination and carbon chain scission process, with activation energy of 214 +/- 11 and 268 +/- 13 kJ mol(-1), respectively. The effect of dehydrofluorination on degradation of Fluorel is not so significant due to low content of H, and hence, it could be considered as a single-step mechanism with average activation energy of 264 +/- 14 kJ mol(-1). The thermal stability of Fluorel is much better than that of Viton A, and the predicted half-life is around 218 min for Fluorel and 49 min for Viton A at 420 A degrees C, which are consistent with experimental values. If using a single-step model as in the literature for Viton A, its half-life at 420 A degrees C would be underestimated for > 20%.

April, 2017 | DOI: 10.1007/s10973-016-5963-z

Title: Aperiodic Metal-Dielectric Multilayers as Highly Efficient Sunlight Reflectors
Author(s): Alberto Jiménez-Solano; Miguel Anaya; Mauricio E. Calvo; Mercedes Alcon-Camas; Carlos Alcañiz; Elena Guillén; Noelia Martínez; Manuel Gallas; Thomas Preussner; Ramón Escobar-Galindo; Hernán Míguez
Source: Advanced Optical Materials, 5 (2017) 1600833
abstract | fulltext


The optimum reflection of the solar spectrum at well-defined incident directions as well as its durability in time are, both, fundamental requirements of the optics of thermosolar and photovoltaic energy conversion systems. The stringent high performance needed for these applications implies that, almost exclusively, second face mirrors based on silver are employed for this purpose. Herein, the possibility to develop solar mirrors using other metals, such as copper and aluminum, is theoretically and experimentally analyzed. It is found that reflectors based on these inexpensive metals are capable of reflecting the full solar spectrum with efficiencies comparable to that of silver-based reflectors. The designs herein proposed are based on aperiodic metal-dielectric multilayers whose optimized configuration is chosen employing a code based on a genetic algorithm that allows selecting the best one among 108 tested reflectors. The use of metals with wider spectral absorption bands is compensated by the use of multilayered designs in which metal absorption is almost suppressed, as the analysis of the electric field intensity distribution demonstrates. The feasibility of the proposed mirrors is demonstrated by their actual fabrication by large area deposition techniques amenable for mass production.

March, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600833

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