Menú secundario

Scientific Papers in SCI


Sintering kinetics, defect chemistry and room-temperature mechanical properties of titanium nitride prepared by spark plasma sintering

Chavez, JMM; Moshtaghioun, BM; Hernandez, FLC; Garcia, DG
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 807 (2019) 151666


Fully dense titanium nitride polycrystals have been prepared by spark plasma sintering. The kinetics of the sintering process and the optimized conditions for SPS processing have been put forward. Microstructural analyses of the resulting samples have unambiguously shown the coexistence of titanium as Ti2+, Ti3+ and Ti4+, thus driving the presence of cation vacancies. This fact is a new ingredient which is shown to influence the mechanical properties of this strategic ceramic. 

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2019.151666

The Calcium-Looping (CaCO3/CaO) process for thermochemical energy storage in Concentrating Solar Power plants

Ortiz, C; Valverde, JM; Chacartegui, R; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Gimenez, P
Renewable & Sustanaible Energy Reviews, 113 (2019) 109252


Energy storage based on thermochemical systems is gaining momentum as a potential alternative to molten salts in Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants. This work is a detailed review about the promising integration of a CaCO3/CaO based system, the so-called Calcium-Looping (CaL) process, in CSP plants with tower technology. The CaL process relies on low cost, widely available and non-toxic natural materials (such as limestone or dolomite), which are necessary conditions for the commercial expansion of any energy storage technology at large scale. A comprehensive analysis of the advantages and challenges to be faced for the process to reach a commercial scale is carried out. The review includes a deep overview of reaction mechanisms and process integration schemes proposed in the recent literature. Enhancing the multicycle CaO conversion is a major challenge of the CaL process. Many lab-scale analyses carried out show that residual effective CaO conversion is highly dependent on the process conditions and the CaO precursors used, reaching values in a wide range (0.07–0.82). The selection of the optimal operating conditions must be based on materials performance, process integration, technology and economics aspects. Global plant efficiencies over 45% (without considering solar-side losses) show the interest of the technology. Furthermore, the technological maturity and potential of the process is assessed. The direction towards which future works should be headed is discussed.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2019.109252

Influence of Titanium Oxide Pillar Array Nanometric Structures and Ultraviolet Irradiation on the Properties of the Surface of Dental Implants-A Pilot Study

Leon-Ramos, JR; Diosdado-Cano, JM; Lopez-Santos, C; Barranco, A; Torres-Lagares, D; Serrera-Figallo, MA
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) 1458


Aim: Titanium implants are commonly used as replacement therapy for lost teeth and much current research is focusing on the improvement of the chemical and physical properties of their surfaces in order to improve the osseointegration process. TiO2, when it is deposited in the form of pillar array nanometric structures, has photocatalytic properties and wet surface control, which, together with UV irradiation, provide it with superhydrophilic surfaces, which may be of interest for improving cell adhesion on the peri-implant surface. In this article, we address the influence of this type of surface treatment on type IV and type V titanium discs on their surface energy and cell growth on them. Materials and methods: Samples from titanium rods used for making dental implants were used. There were two types of samples: grade IV and grade V. In turn, within each grade, two types of samples were differentiated: untreated and treated with sand blasting and subjected to double acid etching. Synthesis of the film consisting of titanium oxide pillar array structures was carried out using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition equipment. The plasma was generated in a quartz vessel by an external SLAN-1 microwave source with a frequency of 2.45 GHz. Five specimens from each group were used (40 discs in total). On the surfaces to be studied, the following determinations were carried out: (a) X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, (b) scanning electron microscopy, (c) energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, (d) profilometry, (e) contact angle measurement or surface wettability, (f) progression of contact angle on applying ultraviolet irradiation, and (g) a biocompatibility test and cytotoxicity with cell cultures. Results: The application of ultraviolet light decreased the hydrophobicity of all the surfaces studied, although it did so to a greater extent on the surfaces with the studied modification applied, this being more evident in samples manufactured in grade V titanium. In samples made in grade IV titanium, this difference was less evident, and even in the sample manufactured with grade IV and SLA treatment, the application of the nanometric modification of the surface made the surface optically less active. Regarding cell growth, all the surfaces studied, grouped in relation to the presence or not of the nanometric treatment, showed similar growth. Conclusions. Treatment of titanium oxide surfaces with ultraviolet irradiation made them change temporarily into superhydrophilic ones, which confirms that their biocompatibility could be improved in this way, or at least be maintained.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9101458

Highly selective few-ppm NO gas-sensing based on necklace-like nanofibers of ZnO/CdO n-n type I heterojunction

Naderi, H; Hajati, S; Ghaedi, M; Espinos, JP
Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 297 (2019) 126774


Electrospinning method followed by calcination is applied to synthesize ZnO/CdO nanofibers. Characterization is performed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS), which resulted in detailed analysis of the sensing material. For instance, it was found that the ZnO/CdO is n-n type I heterojunction which possesses straddling energy band gap, which could affect the mechanism of gas sensing. An electroless gold-plated interdigitated electrode with spacing 200 mu m is fabricated on alumina substrate to host the designed nanofibers being used as gas sensor. Gas-sensing activity of the heterojunction is investigated against NO, NO2, H2S, CH4, SO2 and CO in addition to VOCs such as ethanol, acetone, ammonia, methanol, and chloroform with high selectivity and response to NO gas by monitoring resistance changes. Detailed discussion on the mechanism of sensing is presented. The ZnO/CdO nanofibers are found to be highly sensitive to very low concentration range of NO gas (1.2-33 ppm) at optimal operating temperature of 215 degrees C. The influence of humidity (20-96%) on the sensor response was found to be ignorable. Additionally, good repeatability and long-term stability (45 days, every 5 days, SD = 0.7) was obtained for this sensor. Typically, short response times of 47 and 35 s are obtained versus 3 and 33 ppm of NO, respectively, making our sensor promisingly applicable for monitoring this toxic gas in polluting industries, metropolises and maybe in exhaled breath.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2019.126774

Effect of starch as binder in carbon aerogel and carbon xerogel preparation

Rodriguez, N; Agamez-Pertuz, YY; Romero, E; Diaz-Velasquez, JD; Odriozola, JA; Centeno, MA
Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 522 (2019) UNSP 119554


Carbon aerogels and carbon xerogels were synthesized through resorcinol - formaldehyde polycondensation using Na2CO3 as catalyst. The effect of soluble starch introduction in the organic gel preparation on the porous surface properties of these materials was studied. The role of the drying process of the organic gels on the changes in the surface and structural properties of these materials after the addition of soluble starch is discussed. The presence of starch in the prepared carbon xerogels results in the development of microporosity while maintaining the characteristic mesoporosity of carbon xerogels. The Brunauer - Emmett -Teller (BET) surface area increases from 309 m(2)/g in carbon xerogel without soluble starch until 685 m(2)/g when 10% of soluble starch is added. The R- value and average crystallite lattice parameters, inter-layer spacing, crystallite height, crystallite diameter and the average number of aromatic layers per carbon crystallite are discussed in function of drying step and presence of soluble starch. The surface properties were also studied by Raman and DRIFT spectroscopies.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2019.119554

Comparison of the effects generated by the dry-soft grinding and the photodeposition of Au and Pt processes on the visible light absorption and photoactivity of TiO2

Galeano, L; Valencia, S; Marin, JM; Restrepo, G; Navio, JA; Hidalgo, MC
Materials Research Express, 6 (2019) 1050d9


The influence of dry-soft grinding and photodeposition of gold (Au) or platinum (Pt) in the improvement of the photoactivity of TiO2 synthesized by an integrated sol-gel and solvothermal method was studied. TiO2 was modified by a dry-soft grinding process in a planetary ball mill (TiO2(G)). Subsequently, Au or Pt particles were photodeposited in both unmodified TiO2 and TiO2(G) obtaining Au-TiO2, Pt-TiO2, Au-TiO2(G), and Pt-TiO2(G) materials. The photoactivity of the materials was evaluated in the phenol photodegradation under simulated solar radiation. Pt-TiO2 showed the greatest degree of photoactivity improvement in comparison with TiO2 and TiO2-P25. The dry-soft grinding process led to a high photocatalytic activity of TiO2(G) that was similar to Pt-TiO2 activity as consequence of a slight increase in the crystallinity in TiO2(G) due to an additional anatase formation in comparison with TiO2. However, further photocatalytic improvement in TiO2(G) were not achieved with the addition of Au or Pt. Therefore, the dry-soft grinding treatment and noble metal deposition led to similar improvements in the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 for phenol oxidation.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1088/2053-1591/ab4316

From structure to luminescence investigation of oxyfluoride transparent glasses and glass-ceramics doped with Eu3+/Dy3+ ions

Walas, M; Lisowska, M; Lewandowski, T; Becerro, AI; Lapinski, M; Synak, A; Sadowski, W; Koscielska, B
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 896 (2019) 1410-1418


Glasses and glass-ceramics with nominal composition 73 TeO2- 4BaO-3Bi(2)O(3)-18SrF(2)-2RE(2)O(3) (where RE = Eu, Dy) have been synthesized by conventional melt-quenching technique and subsequent heat treatment at 370 degrees C for 24 h in air atmosphere. Various Eu3+ to Dy3+ molar ratio have been applied to investigate luminescence properties in both glass and glass-ceramic matrices. Especially, white light emission through simultaneous excitation of Eu3+ and Dy3+ has been studied in detail. Influence of crystalline SrF2 phase on luminescence kinetics has been determined by luminescence decay time measurements. Presence of crystalline SrF2 phase has been confirmed by X-ray diffraction technique XRD and transmission electron microscopy TEM. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy XPS and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy FTIR have been applied to get further insight into structural properties of glass and glass-ceramic materials. Color tunable white light emission has been obtained using UV excitation. Influence of the SrF2 crystallization on luminescence properties of prepared materials have been described in detail. Moreover, luminescence properties and especially emission color dependence on the Eu3+ to Dy3+ molar ratio have been exhaustively studied. Color-tunable white light emission has been observed as a result of simultaneous radiative transition of both, Eu3+ and Dy3+ ions when applying UV excitation. Judd - Ofelt and other optical parameters have been calculated based on luminescence emission spectra. Achieved results confirm that tellurite glass-ceramics containing SrF2 nanocrystals are good hosts for RE3+ ions and they can be considered as new phosphors for white light emitting diodes WLEDs.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2019.07.017

Casimir-Lifshitz Force Based Optical Resonators

Esteso, V; Carretero-Palacios, S; Miguez, H
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 10 (2019) 5856-5860


We theoretically investigate the building of optical resonators based on the levitation properties of thin films subjected to strong repulsive Casimir-Lifshitz forces when immersed in an adequate medium and confronted with a planar substrate. We propose a design in which cavities supporting high Q-factor optical modes at visible frequencies can be achieved by means of combining commonly found materials, such as silicon oxide, polystyrene or gold, with glycerol as a mediating medium. We use the balance between flotation and repulsive Casimir-Lifshitz forces in the system to accurately tune the optical cavity thickness and hence its modes. The effects of other forces, such as electrostatic, that may come into play are also considered. Our results constitute a proof of concept that may open the route to the design of photonic architectures in environments in which dispersion forces play a substantial role and could be of particular relevance for devising novel microfluidic optical resonators.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b02030

A QTAIM and DFT study of the dizinc bond in non-symmetric [CpZn2Ln] complexes

Ayala, R; Galindo, A
Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 898 (2019) UNSP 120878


Several [Zn2L2] and [CpZn2Ln] dizinc compounds have been studied by density functional theory (DFT) and quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM) in order to compare the nature and topology of the Zn-Zn bond in symmetrical and non-symmetrical complexes. The stability of these complexes have been evaluated on the basis of the formation energies. The disproportionation reaction has also been analysed indicating that symmetric complexes are less stable than non-symmetric ones. To certain extent, the properties of the [CpZn2Ln] complexes are between those of the [Zn2L2] and [Zn2Cp2] compounds. The asymmetry of the [CpZn2Ln] compounds is illustrated in terms of the topological properties, especially in the Source Function (SF) and Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis. 

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jorganchem.2019.120878

Influence of pre-deformation on the precipitation hardening in Cu-Ni-Si alloy

Donoso, E; Dianez, MJ; Criado, JM
Revista de Metalurgia, 55 (2019) e157


The effects of pre-deformation on the precipitation processes in a Cu-2.8 Ni-1.4 Si (at.%) alloy were studied using differential scanning calorimetric (DSC), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and microhardness measurements. The calorimetric curves shows the presence of one exothermic reaction attributed to the formation of delta-Ni2Si precipitates in the copper matrix that was confirmed by TEM. In addition it can be observed that the temperature of the maximum of the DSC peak decreases with the increase of the pre-deformation to the aging treatments. The activation energies calculated for the precipitation of by the Kissinger method, were similar to those calculated by an Arrhenius function, from the maximum hardening of the matrix due to aging treatments (saturation of the hardness during isothermal aging). The analysis of the microhardness measurements together with the calorimetric curves and the TEM micrographs confirm, on the one hand, that the formation of the delta-Ni2Si phase, during the aging treatments, are responsible for the hardening of the copper matrix, and on the other hand that the deformation prior to the aging treatment partially inhibits the formation of the precipitates.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.3989/revmetalm.157

Sodium ion storage performance of magnetron sputtered WO3 thin films

Garcia-Garcia, FJ; Mosa, J; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Aparicio, M
Electrochimica Acta, 321 (2019) 134669


WO3 thin film electrodes were successfully prepared by magnetron sputtering (MS) deposition under an oblique angle configuration (OAD). Intercalation of Na ions in the tungsten oxide layers has been studied using electrochemical techniques. Sample characterization before and after sodium intercalation has been carried out by Raman, XPS and XRD measurements. ToF-SIMS analysis has been also performed in order to analyze the element depth profiles along the electrode thickness. Electron microscopy evaluation of the cross section confirms the porous structure of the coatings. Batteries integrating these WO3 electrodes have a discharge capacity of 120 mA h g(-1) at the initial cycles and show an adequate capacity retention upon 300 cycles. The WO3-OAD thin-films are proposed as promising electrodes for Na-ion batteries.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2019.134669

Spatially Resolved Analysis of Defect Annihilation and Recovery Dynamics in Metal Halide Perovskite Single Crystals

Galisteo-Lopez, JF; Calvo, ME; Miguez, H
ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2 (2019) 6967-6972


The spectacular advances in efficiency of optoelectronic devices based on lead-halide perovskites have been accompanied by detailed structural and optical studies regarding the instability presented by these materials, which constitute their main bottleneck for commercialization. Following a pump and probe scheme in a laser scanning confocal microscope, we resolve the photoinduced emission activation/deactivation dynamics in CH3NH3PbBr3 single crystals with millisecond and sub-micrometer resolution. This is complemented with a study of spectral variations and interpreted in the framework of light-induced ion migration and associated defect passivation. Our results point to the presence of photoinduced structural changes accompanying the migration of ions.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.9b01335

Synthesis, functionalization and properties of uniform europium-doped sodium lanthanum tungstate and molybdate (NaLa(XO4)(2), X = Mo,W) probes for luminescent and X-ray computed tomography bioimaging

Laguna, M; Nunez, NO; Becerro, AI; Lozano, G; Moros, M; de la Fuente, JM; Corral, A; Balcerzyk, M; Ocana, M
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 554 (2019) 520-530


A one-pot simple procedure for the synthesis of uniform, ellipsoidal Eu3+-doped sodium lanthanum tungstate and molybdate (NaLa(XO4)(2), X = W, Mo) nanophosphors, functionalized with carboxylate groups, is described. The method is based on a homogeneous precipitation process at 120 degrees C from appropriate Na+ Ln(3+) and tungstate or molybdate precursors dissolved in ethylene glycol/water mixtures containing poly acrylic acid. A comparative study of the luminescent properties of both luminescent materials as a function of the Eu3+ doping level has been performed to find the optimum nanophosphor, whose efficiency as X-ray computed tomography contrast agent is also evaluated and compared with that of a commercial probe. Finally, the cell viability and colloidal stability in physiological pH medium of the optimum samples have also been studied to assess their suitability for biomedical applications.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2019.07.031

The Success Story of Gold-Based Catalysts for Gas- and Liquid-Phase Reactions: A Brief Perspective and Beyond

Price, CAH; Pastor-Perez, L; Ivanova, S; Reina, TR; Liu, J
Frontiers in Chemistry, 7 (2019) 691


Gold has long held the fascination of mankind. For millennia it has found use in art, cosmetic metallurgy and architecture; this element is seen as the ultimate statement of prosperity and beauty. This myriad of uses is made possible by the characteristic inertness of bulk gold; allowing it to appear long lasting and above the tarnishing experienced by other metals, in part providing its status as the most noble metal.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00691

The influence of mechanical activation process on the microstructure and mechanical properties of bulk Ti2AlN MAX phase obtained by reactive hot pressing

Salvo, C; Chicardi, E; Garcia-Garrido, C; Jimenez, JA; Aguilar, C; Usuba, J; Mangalaraja, RV
Ceramics International, 45 (2019) 17793-17799


The effect of mechanical activation process on the microstructure and mechanical properties of bulk nanostructured Ti2AlN compound has been investigated in this work. The mixture of Ti and AlN powders was prepared in a 2:1 molar ratio, and a part of this powder was subjected to a high-energy milling process under argon atmosphere for 10 h using agate as grinding media. Finally, the densification and formation of the ternary Ti2AlN MAX phase through solid state reaction of both unmilled and milled powders were carried out by hot pressing under 15 or 30 MPa at 1200 degrees C for 2 h. The microstructure of precursor powder mixtures and the consolidated samples was characterized by using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS). The X-ray diffraction patterns were fitted using the Rietveld refinement for phase quantification and to determine their most important microstructural parameters. Microstructure and mechanical properties of the consolidated samples were correlated with the load used for the hot pressing process. The substantial increase of hardness, the higher densification and the lower grain sizes observed in the samples prepared from the activated powders were attributed to the formation of second phases like Ti5Si3 and Al2O3.

October, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2019.05.350

Correlation of Structure and Performance of Hard Carbons as Anodes for Sodium Ion Batteries

Gomez-Martin, A; Martinez-Fernandez, J; Ruttert, M; Winter, M; Placke, T; Ramirez-Rico, J
Chemistry of Materials, 31 (2019) 7288-7299


Hard carbons are the material of choice as negative electrode in sodium ion batteries. Despite being extensively studied, there is still debate regarding the mechanisms responsible for storage in low- and high-potential regions. This work presents a comprehensive approach to elucidate the involved storage mechanisms when Na ions insert into such disordered structures. Synchrotron X-ray total scattering experiments were performed to access quantitative information on atomic ordering in these materials at the nanoscale. Results prove that hard carbons undergo an atomic rearrangement as the graphene layers cross-link at intermediate temperatures (1200-1600 degrees C), resulting in an increase of the average interplanar distance up to 1400 degrees C, followed by a progressive decrease. This increase correlates with the positive trend in the reversible capacity of biomass-derived carbons when processed up to 1200-1600 degrees C due to an increased capacity at low potential (<= 0.1 V vs Na/Na+). A decrease in achievable sloping capacity with increasing heat-treatment temperature arises from larger crystalline domains and a lower concentration of defects. The observed correlation between structural parameters and electrochemical properties clearly supports that the main storage of Na ions into a hard-carbon structure is based on an adsorption-intercalation mechanism.

September, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b01768

Antibacterial Nanostructured Ti Coatings by Magnetron Sputtering: From Laboratory Scales to Industrial Reactors

Alvarez, R; Munoz-Pina, S; Gonzalez, MU; Izquierdo-Barba, I; Fernandez-Martinez, I; Rico, V; Arcos, D; Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Palmero, A; Vallet-Regi, M; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Garcia-Martin, JM
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) art. 1217


Based on an already tested laboratory procedure, a new magnetron sputtering methodology to simultaneously coat two-sides of large area implants (up to similar to 15 cm(2)) with Ti nanocolumns in industrial reactors has been developed. By analyzing the required growth conditions in a laboratory setup, a new geometry and methodology have been proposed and tested in a semi-industrial scale reactor. A bone plate (DePuy Synthes) and a pseudo-rectangular bone plate extracted from a patient were coated following the new methodology, obtaining that their osteoblast proliferation efficiency and antibacterial functionality were equivalent to the coatings grown in the laboratory reactor on small areas. In particular, two kinds of experiments were performed: Analysis of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation, and osteoblasts-bacteria competitive in vitro growth scenarios. In all these cases, the coatings show an opposite behavior toward osteoblast and bacterial proliferation, demonstrating that the proposed methodology represents a valid approach for industrial production and practical application of nanostructured titanium coatings.

September, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9091217

Applications and potentialities of Atomic Force Microscopy in fossil and extant plant cuticle characterization

Benitez, JJ; Guzman-Puyol, S; Dominguez, E; Heredia, A; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 268 (2019) 125-132


Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a versatile technique of surface characterization, providing accurate information about the topography and other wide variety of magnitudes at submicron scale. It is extensively utilized in materials science, but its use in other disciplines such as paleobotany is infrequent. In this review, we introduce the main concepts of AFM to paleobotanists, comparing the characteristics of this technique to common electronic and optical microscopies. Then, main works with extant plants, in particular plant cuticles, are described. Finally, realistic applications with fossils are reviewed and their potential use in the characterization of plant fossils discussed. AFM is proposed as a complementary technique to common microscopies to characterize plant cuticle fine details at nanoscale.

September, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2019.06.015

SiOx by magnetron sputtered revisited: Tailoring the photonic properties of multilayers

Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Alvarez, R; Espinos, JP; Rico, V; Gil-Rostra, J; Palmero, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Applied Surface Science, 488 (2019) 791-800


Traditionally porous silicon based photonic structures have been prepared by electrochemically etching of silicon. In this work, porous multilayers of nanocolumnar SiOx and SiO2 thin films acting as near infrared (NIR) 1D-photonic nanostructures are prepared by magnetron sputtering deposition at oblique angles (MS-OA). Simultaneous control of porosity and stoichiometry of the stacked films is achieved by adjusting the deposition angle and oxygen partial pressure according to a parametric formula. This new methodologoy is proved for the synthesis of SiOx thin films with x close to 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6 and nanostructures varying from compact (at 0 degrees deposition angle) to highly porous and nanocolumnar (at 70 degrees and 85 degrees deposition angles). The strict control of composition, structure and nanostructure provided by this technique permits a fine tuning of the absorption edge and refraction index at 1500 nm of the porous films and their manufacturing in the form of SiOx-SiO2 porous multilayers acting as near infrared (NIR) 1D-photonic structures with well-defined optofluidic responses. Liquid tunable NIR Bragg mirrors and Bragg microcavities for liquid sensing applications are presented as proof of concept of the possibilities of this MS-OA manufacturing method as an alternative to the conventional electrochemical fabrication of silicon based photonic structures.

September, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2019.05.273


Elusive super-hard B6C accessible through the laser-floating zone method

Moshtaghioun, BM; Cumbrera, FL; Gomez-Garcia, D; Pena, JI
Scientific Reports, 9 (2019) art. 13340


Boron carbide is among the most promising ceramic materials nowadays: their mechanical properties are outstanding, and they open potential critical applications in near future. Since sinterability is the most critical drawback to this goal, innovative and competitive sintering procedures are attractive research topics in the science and technology of this carbide. This work reports the pioneer use of the laser-floating zone technique with this carbide. Crystallographic, microstructural and mechanical characterization of the so-prepared samples is carefully analysed. One unexpected output is the fabrication of a B6C composite when critical conditions of growth rate are adopted. Since this is one of the hardest materials in Nature and it is achievable only under extremely high pressures and temperatures in hot-pressing, the use of this technique offers a promising alternative for the fabrication. Hardness and elastic modulus of this material reached to 52 GPa and 600 GPa respectively, which is close to theoretical predictions reported in literature.

September, 2019 | DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-49985-2