Menú secundario

Scientific Papers in SCI


Pillared clays with Al–Fe and Al–Ce–Fe in concentrated medium: Synthesis and catalytic activity

Sanabria, NR; Centeno, MA; Molina, R; Moreno, S
Applied Catalysis A-General, 356 (2009) 243-249


This paper proposes a new methodology for the modification of clays with the mixed Al–Fe and Al–Ce–Fe systems, which involves the synthesis of solid polymeric precursors and their use as pillaring agents in the modification of clays. The process of intercalation of clay with Al13, Al13 + Fe and Al13 + Ce + Fe nitrate was performed using ultrasound. The pillaring agents Al13, Al13 + Fe and Al13 + Ce + Fe were characterized by XRF, XRD, SEM and 27Al NMR techniques, and pillared clays were characterized by XRF, XRD and N2 adsorption to 77 K. The catalytic properties of pillared clays were evaluated using catalytic wet peroxide oxidation of phenol in dilute aqueous medium, demonstrating activity comparable to that of solids modified by the conventional method.

March, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2009.01.013

Cutin synthesis: A slippery paradigm

Heredia, A; Heredia-Guerrero, JA; Dominguez, E; Benitez, JJ
Biointerphases, 4 (2009) P1-P3


Despite its biological importance, the mechanism of construction of cutin, the polymer matrix of plant cuticles, has not yet been elucidated. Recently, progress on lipid barrier formation of polymers such as cutin and suberin has been recently reviewed by Pollard et al. In their review the authors state that the ubiquitous cutin is the least understood of the plant extracellular polymers and that major questions about cutin structure and its macromolecular assembly remain to be resolved. At the time this paper was being published our research group has developed a new hypothesis on plant cutin synthesis.

March, 2009 | DOI: 10.1116/1.3063816

Growth Mechanism and Chemical Structure of Amorphous Hydrogenated Silicon Carbide (a-SiC:H) Films Formed by Remote Hydrogen Microwave Plasma CVD From a Triethylsilane Precursor: Part 1

Wrobel, AM; Walkiewicz-Pietrzykowska, A; Ahola, M; Vayrynen, IJ; Ferrer-Fernandez, FJ; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Chemical Vapor Deposition, 15 (2009) 39-46


Amorphous hydrogenated silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) films are produced by remote microwave hydrogen plasma (RHP)CVD using triethylsilane (TrES) as the single-source precursor. The reactivity of particular bonds of the precursor in the activation step is examined using tetraethylsilane as a model compound for the RHP-CVD experiments. The susceptibility of a TrES precursor towards film formation is characterized by determining the yield of RHP-CVD and comparing it with that of the trimethylsilane precursor. The effect of substrate temperature (Ts) on the rate of the RHP-CVD process, chemical composition, and chemical structure of the resulting a-SiC:H films is reported. The substrate temperature dependence of the film growth rate implies that film growth is independent of the temperature and RHP-CVD is a mass transport-limited process. The examination of the a-SiC:H films, performed by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA), and Fourier transform infrared absorption spectroscopy (FTIR), reveals that the increase in the substrate temperature from 30 °C to 400 °C causes the elimination of organic moieties from the film and the formation of a Si-carbidic network structure. On the basis of the results of the structural study, the chemistry involved in film formation is proposed.

March, 2009 | DOI: 10.1002/cvde.200806726

Duplex SiCN/DLC coating as a solution to improve fretting—Corrosion resistance of steel

Pech, D; Schupp, N; Steyer, P; Hack, T; Gachon, Y; Heau, C; Loir, AS; Sanchez-Lopez, JC
Wear, 266 (2009) 832-838


Fretting corrosion damages are commonly observed when two metallic bodies, which are in contact with each other, are subjected to oscillatory motions of low amplitude. Such kind of degradation mode is often responsible for limited durability of aeronautical joints. In the present paper, a multifunctional duplex coating based on Si–C–N and diamond-like carbon (DLC) materials, combining corrosion resistance and good tribological properties is described. Amorphous hydrogenated SiC, SiCN, SiC/DLC and SiCN/DLC were deposited on steel substrates by a plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition (PACVD) technique, using tetramethylsilane (TMS), ammonia (NH3) or acetylene (C2H2) as gas precursors. Nitrogen incorporation has shown to improve the corrosion protection ability of SiC coatings. The corrosion behaviour and the tribological performance in aqueous media of SiCN/DLC coating have therefore been investigated. A test rig has been designed to validate the fretting resistance of this duplex coating for aeronautic applications. It was found that the combination of a SiCN-based PACVD sublayer with a DLC topcoat could provide an enhanced solution to withstand both fretting and corrosion.

March, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.wear.2008.12.007

Self-lubricating Ti–C–N nanocomposite coatings prepared by double magnetron sputtering

Martinez-Martinez, D; Lopez-Cartes, C; Justo, A; Fernandez, A; Sanchez-Lopez, JC
Solid State Sciences, 11 (2009) 660-670


This paper is devoted to the development of Ti(C,N)-based nanocomposite protective coatings consisting of nanocrystals of a hard phase (TiN or TiCxNy) embedded in an amorphous carbon-based matrix (a-C or a-CNx). The objective here is the achievement of a good compromise between the mechanical and tribological properties by the appropriate control of the hard/soft phase ratio and the microstructural characteristics of the film. To achieve this purpose, dual magnetron sputtering technique was employed following two different strategies. In the first one, we use Ti and graphite targets and Ar/N2 gas mixtures, while in the second case, TiN and graphite targets are sputtered in an Ar atmosphere. By changing the sputtering power applied to each magnetron, different sets of samples are prepared for each route. The effect of the bias voltage applied to the substrate is also studied in some selected cases. The mechanical and tribological properties of the films are characterized and correlated with the microstructure, crystallinity and phase composition. The establishment of correlations enables the development of advanced coatings with tailored mechanical and tribological properties for desired applications.

March, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.solidstatesciences.2008.10.017

Study by grazing incident diffraction and surface spectroscopy of amalgams from ancient mirrors

Herrera, LK; Duran, A; Franquelo, ML; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Espinos, JP; Rubio-Zuazo, J; Castro, GR; Justo, A; Perez-Rodriguez, JL
Central European Journal of Chemistry, 7 (2009) 47-53


Characterization of four amalgam surfaces, with different alteration degrees from Andalusia historical mirrors, has been carried out by grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD), and other spectroscopic techniques (SEM/EDX, XPS, and REELS). The combination of all these techniques allows determining the corrosion state of the amalgams. The results show that the amalgams are composed in all cases of a binary alloy of tin and mercury. As mercury has high vapour pressure at RT, it slowly segregates and eventually evaporates, it leaves finely divided particles of tin that easily can be oxidize, forming tin monoxide (SnO) and tin dioxide (SnO2). In one of the samples, most of the amalgam remains unoxidized, since Hg0.1Sn0.9 and metallic Sn phases are the major components; in two other samples, Hg0.1Sn0.9 and Sn phases are not detected while SnO2 and SnO phases appear. Finally, in the last studied sample, only SnO2 phase is detected. The surface analyses of these samples by XPS show that, for most of them an unique chemical species (Sn4+) is found.

March, 2009 | DOI: 10.2478/s11532-008-0089-1

Effect of the grinding mechanical treatment on the pyrophilite textural properties

Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio, 48 (2009) 59-68


Redox chemistry of gold in a Au/FeOx/CeO2 CO oxidation catalyst

Penkova, A; Chakarova, K; Laguna, OH; Hadjiivanov, K; Saria, FR; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Catalysis Communications, 10 (2009) 1196-1202


Calcination and evacuation of a Au/FeOx/CeO2 catalyst at 573 K leads to reduction of the deposited gold to metal. This metal state is stable under oxygen and only at 573 K some metal atoms are oxidized to Auδ+ sites (Au+ cations situated on metal gold particles). However, even at room temperature, gold is readily oxidized in a CO + O2 mixture producing, in addition to the Auδ+ sites, some isolated Au+ cations.

March, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.catcom.2009.01.014

Fabrication of ordered crystalline zirconium nanoporous membranes by an one-step procedure

Marquez, F; Morant, C; Pirota, KR; Borras, A; Sanz, JM; Elizalde, E
Nano Today, 4 (2009) 21-26


Crystalline porous zirconium membranes were obtained by physical vapor deposition on AAO templates at room temperature. These membranes were found to have similar hexagonal nanohole arrays as the template and high crystallinity. The pore size of the synthesized metallic membranes could be controlled during the synthesis through appropriate parameters in the experimental procedure.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.nantod.2008.10.012

Porous One-Dimensional Photonic Crystals Improve the Power-Conversion Efficiency of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Colodrero, S; Mihi, A; Haggman, L; Ocana, M; Boschloo, G; Hagfeldt, A; Miguez, H
Advanced Materials, 21 (2009) 764-770


A device for solar-energy conversion was introduced in which a porous and highly reflecting 1D photonic crystal (1D PC) was coupled to a dye-sensitized nanocrystals anatase (NC-TiO2) electrode. The results show that the transparency of the PC-based dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) in the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum is very similar to that of the reference cell. The multilayer whose photonic bandgap has a larger overlap with the absorption band of the ruthenium dye, gives rise to a larger enhancement of the photocurrent. It is also seen that the porous 0.5μm thick PC, whose deleterious effect is compensated by the large increment in photocurrent. The spectral photoelectric response of the cell clearly shows the effect that coupling to a PC has on the current photogenerated in the dye-sensitized electrode.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1002/adma.200703115

Towards a full understanding of the growth dynamics and optical response of self-assembled photonic colloidal crystal films

Lozano, GS; Dorado, LA; Depine, RA; Miguez, H
Journal of Materials Chemistry, 19 (2009) 185-190


Recent advances in the comprehension of the growth dynamics of colloidal crystal films opens the door to rational design of experiments aiming at fabricating lattices in which the density of intrinsic defects is minimized. Since such imperfections have a dramatic effect on scattered light of wavelength smaller than the lattice constant, the evaluation of the experimental optical response at those energy ranges, based on the comparison to rigorous calculations, is identified as the most sensitive guide to accurately evaluate the progress towards the actual realization of defect-free colloidal crystals.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1039/b811955d

Preferential Adsorption from Binary Mixtures on Graphite: The n-Decane−n-Heptan-1-ol System

Alba, MD; Castro, MA; Clarke, S; Medina, S; Messe, L; Millan, C; Orta, MM; Perdigon, AC
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113 (2009) 3176-3180


The competitive adsorption of n-decane and n-heptan-1-ol adsorbed from the binary liquid mixture onto graphite has been studied using differential scanning calorimetry, incoherent quasielastic neutron scattering, and 1H and 2H nuclear magnetic resonance. A solid monolayer is identified at all bulk solution compositions with a melting temperature that varies with bulk composition in a manner resembling the bulk behavior. Incoherent elastic neutron scattering, IQNS, and nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR, data indicate that decane is preferentially adsorbed onto the surface over most of the composition range, heptanol being the principal surface component only at very high heptanol concentrations. NMR is proved, for the first time, to be an efficient tool to provide independent information on each component of the system.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/jp8072014

Control over the Structural and Optical Features of Nanoparticle-Based One-Dimensional Photonic Crystals

Calvo, ME; Sanchez-Sobrado, O; Colodrero, S; Miguez, H
Langmuir, 25 (2012) 2443-2448


Herein we present a detailed analysis of the effect of the spin-coating protocol over the optical properties of nanoparticle-based one-dimensional photonic crystals. Based on these results, we provide a reliable synthetic route to attain high-quality porous multilayers in which the effect of imperfections is minimized and whose Bragg diffraction can be precisely tuned over the entire visible and near-infrared spectrum. We present a systematic study of the effect of the acceleration ramp and final rotation speed over the structural and optical quality of these materials. This allows us to relate the structural variations observed with the different relative importance of fluid flow and solvent evaporation on the thinning of each layer in the stack for the different deposition conditions employed.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/la8030057

Porosity and microstructure of plasma deposited TiO2 thin films

Borras, A; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Garrido-Molinero, J; Barranco, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 118 (2009) 314-324


The microstructure of TiO2 thin films prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition has been assessed by using water adsorption–desorption isotherms measured by means of a quartz crystal monitor (QCM). Thin films have been deposited by using titanium tetraisopropoxide as a precursor and by changing different experimental parameters of the deposition procedure such as temperature of the substrate, pressure, and gas composition in the plasma. The films were characteristic of different microstructures that, according to their scanning electron micrographs, have been categorized as columnar, homogeneous and crystalline. They also have different refraction indices with values between 1.95 and 2.41. Water and toluene adsorption isotherms have been measured by means of a QCM monitor for the films heated in vacuum to remove the water previously adsorbed in their pores. The analysis of the adsorption-desorption isotherms by means of the so called “t-plots” and the determination of the pore size distribution curves rendered that the three kinds of microstructures presented different kinds of isotherms and water adsorption behaviours. Columnar films consisted of micro- and meso-pores had a very high adsorption hystheresis at low pressures. Homogeneous films only had micropores and presented no adsorption hystheresis. Crystalline films consisted of both micro- and meso-pores but had no adsorption hystheresis at low pressures. A zone scheme has been proposed to account for the microstructure of the films depending on the plasma conditions utilized. The implications of the different water adsorption behaviours of the films for the determination of their refraction indices are discussed.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2008.09.002

Synthesis of MCM-22 zeolites of different Si/Al ratio and their structural, morphological and textural characterisation

Delitala, C; Alba, MD; Becerro, AI; Delpiano, D; Meloni, D; Musu, E; Ferino, I
Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 118 (2009) 1-10


MCM-22 zeolites with Si/Al in the 9–46 range were synthesised in rotating autoclave and characterised by X-ray diffraction, 1H, 29Si and 27Al magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance, scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen physisorption. For the Si/Al = 21, 30 and 46 samples both X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy revealed the crystallisation of pure MCM-22. Besides the latter, crystals of ferrierite also formed during the synthesis of the Si/Al = 9 sample. Based on the 1H MAS NMR spectra of dehydrated samples, the different proton species present on the MCM-22 samples were determined and quantified. Information about the incorporation of Al ions into the zeolite framework, as well as on the preferential crystallographic sites occupied in dependence on the Si/Al ratio of the sample, was obtained by 27Al MAS NMR spectroscopy. From 29Si MAS NMR spectra, differences in the degree of crystallinity of the samples were assessed, the results being in agreement with the diffraction data. Nitrogen physisorption runs revealed the microporous nature of the adsorbents, with a supermicropore to ultramicropore volume ratio in good agreement, for the best crystallised samples, with the porous structure with supercages and sinusoidal channels of the ideal MCM-22 crystal.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2008.07.047

Liquid-phase thiophene adsorption on MCM-22 zeolites. Acidity, adsorption behaviour and nature of the adsorbed products

Delitala, C; Cadoni, E; Delpiano, D; Meloni, D; Alba, MD; Becerro, AI; Ferino, I
Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 118 (2009) 11-20


The liquid-phase adsorption of thiophene from thiophene/iso-octane solutions has been investigated in batch conditions at room temperature and atmospheric pressure on MCM-22 zeolites with Si/Al in the 9–46 range. Thiophene adsorption was found to occur in two steps whatever the Si/Al ratio of the adsorbent. The presence of ferrierite besides the MCM-22 phase caused a significant loss of the adsorption performance. For pure MCM-22 samples, the Si/Al ratio influenced the adsorption performance. Based on the acid properties of the samples, investigated by adsorption microcalorimetry of ammonia, the adsorption features were interpreted by assuming that positively charged species were originated during the first step; these species underwent successive reaction with weakly adsorbed species formed in the second step, leading to heavy molecular weight organosulphur compounds. Direct evidence for the occurrence of reactive adsorption of thiophene involving its transformation into heavy molecular weight organosulphur compounds was obtained by GC/MS investigation of the nature of the adsorbed material recovered after the adsorption experiments. The peculiar structure of MCM-22 zeolites made possible the formation of long-sized organosulphur compounds. Due to the mechanism by which thiophene is transformed (i.e. progressive addition of other thiophene molecules), the size of the resulting products was found to depend also on the concentration of the weakly adsorbed thiophene molecules able to interact with those already activated through protonation.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2008.08.008

WC/a-C nanocomposite thin films: Optical and electrical properties

Abad, MD; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Cusnir, N; Sanjines, R
Journal of Applied Physics, 105 (2009) 033510


WC/amorphous carbon (a-C) thin films were deposited by dual magnetron sputtering from individual WC and graphite targets. The influence of film composition and microstructure on the optical and electrical properties was investigated. As evidenced by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and grazing angle x-ray diffraction measurements, the WC/a-C films are composite materials made of hexagonal W2C and/or cubic β-WC1−X nanocrystallites embedded in (a-C) matrix. The optical properties were studied by spectroscopic ellipsometry and the electrical resistivity was measured by the van der Pauw method between 20 and 300 K. Both the optical and the electrical properties of the WC/a-C films are correlated with the chemical composition and microstructure evolution caused by a-C addition. The optical properties of W2C/a-C and β-WC1−x/a-C films with a-C content ≤ 10 at. % are explained by modeling their dielectric functions by a set of Drude–Lorentz oscillators. Further increase in a-C content leads only to the formation of β-WC1−x/a-C nanocomposite structures and their optical properties progressively evolve to those of a-C single phase. The electrical resistivity as a function of the temperature of all the films exhibits a negative temperature coefficient of resistivity. Theoretical fitting using the grain-boundary scattering model shows that the transport properties are mainly limited by the grain size and electron mean free path parameters.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1063/1.3060717

Synthesis, Rietveld Analysis, and Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of X2-Sc2SiO5

Alba, MD; Chain, P; Gonzalez-Carrascosa, T
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 92 (2009) 487-490


Compounds containing rare earths are of increasing technological interest especially because of their unique mechanical, magnetic, electrical, and optical properties. Among them, rare earth oxyorthosilicates are attractive scintillators for γ- and X-ray spectroscopy and detection. However, there are many structural aspects of those compounds that are not clear. In this research, the structure parameters for Sc2Si2O5, X2-polymorph, have been refined from powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) data and the 29Si MAS NMR spectrum is reported for the first time. X2-Sc2SiO5 polymorph was synthesized by the sol–gel method and characterized by XRD and 29Si MAS NMR. The XRD pattern was indexed in a monoclinic unit cell with space group I2/c; the resulting unit cell parameters were a=9.9674(2) Å, b=6.4264(9) Å, c=12.0636(2) Å, and β=103.938(1)°. The 29Si MAS NMR spectrum showed a unique signal at −79.5 ppm, compatible with the unique Si crystallographic site in the unit cell. Finally, the band valence method has been applied to the calculation of a “shift parameter,” which is correlated with the NMR chemical shift.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1551-2916.2008.02877.x

Phase separation of carboxylic acids on graphite surface at submonolayer regime

Alba, MD; Bickerstaffe, AK; Castro, MA; Clarke, SM; Medina, S; Millan, C; Orta, MM; Pavon, E; Perdigon, AC
The European Physical Journal Special Topics, 167 (2009) 151-156


Mixing behaviour of solid crystalline monolayers adsorbed onto graphite from different mixtures of undecanoic and dodecanoic acids at submonolayer coverage has been investigated. X-ray diffraction measurements have been collected from a variety of compositions as a function of temperature. An extensive phase separation is found for all the compositions – the scattering patterns characteristic of the pure material crystalline structures being preserved across the entire composition range. The temperature dependence of the monolayer melting points and their depression is also clearly indicative of separation of the two surface components, in clear contrast to that expected if the two carboxylic acids mixed ideally in the monolayer.

February, 2009 | DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2009-00951-6

Experimental Demonstration of the Mechanism of Light Harvesting Enhancement in Photonic-Crystal-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Colodrero, S; Mihi, A; Anta, JA; Ocaña, M; Miguez, H
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113 (2012) 1150-1154


Herein, we report an experimental analysis of the photogenerated current of very thin and uniform dye-sensitized nanocrytalline titanium oxide (nc-TiO2) electrodes coupled to high-quality one-dimensional photonic crystals. The effect of well-defined optical absorption resonances are detected both in optical spectroscopy and photogenerated current experiments, a clear correspondence between them being established. Our study demonstrates that light trapping within absorbing electrodes is responsible for the absorption enhancement that has previously been reported and unveils the mechanism behind it. We prove that this effect improves significantly the power conversion efficiency of very thin electrodes.

January, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/jp809789s