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Scientific Papers in SCI


Title: Self-lubricity of WSex nanocomposite coatings
Author(s): S. Dominguez-Meister; M. Conte; A. Igartua; T.C. Rojas; J.C. Sánchez-López
Source: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 7 (2015) 7979-7986
abstract | fulltext

Transition metal chalcogenides with lamellar structure are known for their use in tribological applications although limited to vacuum due to their easy degradation in the presence of oxygen and/or moisture. Here we present a tailored WSex coating with low friction (0.07) and low wear rates (3 × 10–7 mm3 Nm–1) even in ambient air. To understand the low friction behavior and lower chemical reactivity a tribological study is carried out in a high-vacuum tribometer under variable pressure (atmospheric pressure to 1 × 10–8 mbar). A detailed investigation of the film nanostructure and composition by advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques with nanoscale resolution determined that the topmost layer is formed by nanocrystals of WSe2 embedded in an amorphous matrix richer in W, a-W(Se). After the friction test, an increased crystalline order and orientation of WSe2 lamellas along the sliding direction were observed in the interfacial region. On the basis of high angle annular dark field, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray analysis, the release of W atoms from the interstitial basal planes of the a-W(Se) phase is proposed. These W atoms reaching the surface, play a sacrificial role preventing the lubricant WSe2 phase from oxidation. The increase of the WSe2 crystalline order and the buffer effect of W capturing oxygen atoms would explain the enhanced chemical and tribological response of this designed nanocomposite material.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1021/am508939s

Title: An Optically Controlled Microscale Elevator Using Plasmonic Janus Particles
Author(s): Nedev, S; Carretero-Palacios, S; Kuhler, P; Lohmuller, T; Urban, AS; Anderson, LJE; Feldmann, J
Source: ACS Photonics, 2 (2015) 491-496
abstract | fulltext

In this article, we report how Janus particles, composed of a silica sphere with a gold half-shell, can be not only stably trapped by optical tweezers but also displaced controllably along the axis of the laser beam through a complex interplay between optical and thermal forces. Scattering forces orient the asymmetric particle, while strong absorption on the metal side induces a thermal gradient, resulting in particle motion. An increase in the laser power leads to an upward motion of the particle, while a decrease leads to a downward motion. We study this reversible axial displacement, including a hysteretic jump in the particle position that is a result of the complex pattern of a tightly focused laser beam structure above the focal plane. As a first application we simultaneously trap a spherical gold nanoparticle and show that we can control the distance between the two particles inside the trap. This photonic micron-scale “elevator” is a promising tool for thermal force studies, remote sensing, and optical and thermal micromanipulation experiments.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1021/ph500371z

Title: Hydration and carbolenation reactions of calcium oxide by weathering: Kinetics and changes in the nanostructure
Author(s): Morales-Florez, V; Santos, A; Romero-Hermida, I; Esquivias, L
Source: Chemical Engineering Journal, 265 (2015) 194-200
abstract | fulltext

The weathering reactions of hydration and carbonation of nanostructured calcium oxide with atmospheric moisture and carbon dioxide have been characterized. This work is the first-to-date combined kinetic and nanostructural research on CaO oriented to two key processes for different systems, i.e. hardening of construction materials and carbon mineral sequestration. The evolution of the precipitated crystalline phases was monitored by X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetry, along with structural characterization by nitrogen physisorption, electron microscopy and small-angle scattering. Complete hydration of the samples was always found prior to the onset of carbon sequestration, which depended on the nanostructure of the samples. Hence, carbonation started after 300 h of weathering for samples with a specific surface area of 40 m(2)/g, whereas carbonation of the samples with 20 m(2)/g occurred after 550 h. Full carbonation from atmospheric CO2 (100% efficiency) was obtained in all cases. This combined research was completed by developing an empirical description of the weathering reactions in terms of a two-process Random Pore Model. Finally, this work aimed to determine the role of the nanostructure of samples based on industrial wastes as one of the most important factors for developing efficient carbon sequestration technologies.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2014.12.062

Title: Self-Assembling of Tetradecylammonium Chain on Swelling High Charge Micas (Na-Mica-3 and Na-Mica-2): Effect of Alkylammonium Concentration and Mica Layer Charge
Author(s): Pazos, MC; Cota, A; Osuna, FJ; Pavon, E; Alba, MD
Source: Langmuir, 31 (2015) 4394-4401
abstract | fulltext

A family of tetradecylammonium micas is synthesized using synthetic swelling micas with high layer charge (NanSi8-nAln,Mg6F4O20 center dot XH2O, where n = 2 and 3) exchanged with tetradecylammonium cations. The molecular arrangement of the surfactant is,elucidated on the basis of XRD patterns and DTA. The ordering conformation of the surfactant molecules into the interlayer space of Micas is investigated by IR/FT, C-13, Al-27, and Si-29 MAS NMR. The structural arrangement of the tetradecylammonium cation in the interlayer space of high-charge micas is more sensitive to the effect of the mica layer charge at high concentration. The surfactant arrangement is found to follow the bilayer-paraffin model for all values of layer charge and surfactant concentration. However, at initial concentration below the mica CEC, a lateral monolayer is also observed. The amount of ordered conformation all-trans is directly proportional to the layer charge and surfactant concentration.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b00224

Title: Morphological changes on graphene nanoplatelets induced during dispersion into an epoxy resin by different methods
Author(s): Moriche, R; Prolongo, SG; Sanchez, M; Jimenez-Suarez, A; Sayagues, MJ; Urena, A
Source: Composites Part B-Engineering, 72 (2015) 199-205
abstract | fulltext

A structural analysis demonstrating how the manufacturing method of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) into a polymer matrix can strongly modify the GNPs morphology and, consequently, their properties, was carried out. Three different methods based on sonication and high shear forces were used to elucidate defects induction and possible size diminution. Manufacturing methods including high shear forces caused the extension of the GNPs while sonication induces wrinkling of the sheets. Residual stresses are induced in the nanoplatelets structure showing an increase in the Raman intensities ratios I-D/I-G and I-D/I-G when a major cycles number of calendering are applied.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2014.12.012

Title: Hydrogen production through sodium borohydride ethanolysis
Author(s): Arzac, GM; Fernandez, A
Source: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 40 (2015) 5326-5332
abstract | fulltext

In this work, sodium borohydride (SB) ethanolysis was explored for the first time as a method to generate hydrogen for Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. Ethanolysis by-product was characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Metal and acid catalysts were tested. RuCl3 center dot 3H(2)O was the best metal catalyst. Acetic acid was selected for the study because of its effectiveness, low cost and relative greenness. The maximum gravimetric hydrogen density obtained was 2.1% wt. The addition of water produces an increase in hydrogen generation rate and a decrease in conversion. The use of ethanol-methanol mixtures produces an increase in reaction rates in absence of catalyst. As a proof of concept the reaction was performed in a small reactor which operates by the addition of ethanolic acetic acid solutions to solid SB (in the form of granules). The reactor produces stable and constant hydrogen generation in the range of 20-80 ml min(-1) during 1 h at constant temperature (around 27-35 degrees.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.01.115

Title: Pectin-Lipid Self-Assembly: Influence on the Formation of Polyhydroxy Fatty Acids Nanoparticles
Author(s): Guzman-Puyol, Susana; Jesus Benitez, Jose; Dominguez, Eva; Bayer, Ilker Sefik; Cingolani, Roberto; Athanassiou, Athanassia; Heredia, Antonio; Heredia-Guerrero, Jose Alejandro
Source: Plos One, 10 (2015) e0124639
abstract | fulltext

Nanoparticles, named cutinsomes, have been prepared from aleuritic (9,10,16-trihidroxipalmitic) acid and tomato fruit cutin monomers (a mixture of mainly 9(10), 16-dihydroxypalmitic acid (85%, w/w) and 16-hydroxyhexadecanoic acid (7.5%, w/w)) with pectin in aqueous solution. The process of formation of the nanoparticles of aleuritic acid plus pectin has been monitored by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, while their chemical and morphological characterization was analyzed by ATR-FTIR, TEM, and non-contact AFM. The structure of these nanoparticles can be described as a lipid core with a pectin shell. Pectin facilitated the formation of nanoparticles, by inducing their aggregation in branched chains and favoring the condensation between lipid monomers. Also, pectin determined the self-assembly of cutinsomes on highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surfaces, causing their opening and forming interconnected structures. In the case of cutin monomers, the nanoparticles are fused, and the condensation of the hydroxy fatty acids is strongly affected by the presence of the polysaccharide. The interaction of pectin with polyhydroxylated fatty acids could be related to an initial step in the formation of the plant biopolyester cutin.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124639

Title: Mechanically induced self-propagating reaction of vanadium carbonitride
Author(s): Roldan, MA; Alcala, MD; Real, C
Source: Ceramics International, 41 (2015) 4688-4695
abstract | fulltext

Vanadium carbonitrides (VCxN1-x) were prepared via mechanosynthesis from mixtures of elemental vanadium and carbon with different V/C atomic ratios under a nitrogen atmosphere using a high-energy ball mill. We obtained the full composition range of carbonitrides at room temperature. The products were characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. The results showed particle-sized products with high sinterability and very high microhardness.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2014.12.016

Title: Biosynthesis of silver fine particles and particles decorated with nanoparticles using the extract of Illicium verum (star anise) seeds
Author(s): Luna, Carlos; Chavez, V. H. G.; Diaz Barriga-Castro, Enrique; Nunez, Nuria O.; Mendoza-Resendez, Raquel
Source: Spectrochimica Acta Part A-Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 141 (2015) 43-50
abstract | fulltext

Given the upsurge of new technologies based on nanomaterials, the development of sustainable methods to obtain functional nanostructures has become an imperative task. In this matter, several recent researches have shown that the biodegradable natural antioxidants of several plant extracts can be used simultaneously as reducing and stabilizing agents in the wet chemical synthesis of metallic nanoparticles, opening new opportunities to design greener synthesis. However, the challenge of these new techniques is to produce stable colloidal nanoparticles with controlled particle uniformity, size, shape and aggregation state, in similar manner than the well-established synthetic methods. In the present work, colloidal metallic silver nanoparticles have been synthesized using silver nitrate and extracts of Illicium verum (star anise) seeds at room temperature in a facile one-step procedure. The resulting products were colloidal suspensions of two populations of silver nanoparticles, one of them with particle sizes of few nanometers and the other with particles of tens of nm. Strikingly, the variation of the AgNO3/extract weight ratio in the reaction medium yielded to the variation of the spatial distribution of the nanoparticles: high AgNO3/extract concentration ratios yielded to randomly dispersed particles, whereas for lower AgNO3/extract ratios, the biggest particles appeared coated with the finest nanoparticles.-This biosynthesized colloidal system, with controlled particle aggregation states, presents plasmonic and SERS properties with potential applications in molecular sensors and nanophotonic devices. 

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1016/j.saa.2014.12.076

Title: Photocatalytic reduction of CO2 over platinised Bi2WO6-based materials
Author(s): Murcia-Lopez, S; Vaiano, V; Hidalgo, MC; Navio, JA; Sannino, D
Source: Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 14 (2015) 678-685
abstract | fulltext

The photocatalytic reduction of CO2 with H2O to produce CH4 in the gas phase was carried out in the presence of two Bi2WO6-based materials. For this purpose, single Bi2WO6 and a coupled Bi2WO6-TiO2 system were synthesised and metallised with Pt, through a Pt photodeposition method. Then, the samples were characterised and the photocatalytic activity was evaluated in a continuous fluidised-bed reactor irradiated with UV light. Single Bi2WO6 presents an interesting behaviour under H2O rich conditions. In particular, the metallisation improves the material's performance for CH4 formation, while the TiO2 addition to Bi2WO6 increases the CH4 yield only at low H2O/CO2 ratio. The Bi2WO6-TiO2 system metallised with a Pt photocatalyst displayed the highest CH4 yield among all the prepared photocatalysts. The stability of the system can be enhanced through the addition of a blue phosphor to the reactant mixture, especially under H2O rich conditions.

March, 2015 | DOI: 10.1039/c4pp00407h



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