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Pt–TiO2–Nb2O5 heterojunction as effective photocatalyst for the degradation of diclofenac and ketoprofen

Sacco, O.l; Murcia, J.J.; Lara, A.E.; Hernández-Laverde, M.; Rojas, H.; Navío, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.; Vaiano, V.
Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing, 107 (2020) 104839


Pt–TiO2–Nb2O5 heterojunction was synthetized and studied for the photocatalytic removal of diclofenac (DCF) and ketoprofen (KTF) under UV light irradiation. The physical-chemical properties of the prepared catalysts were analysed by different characterization techniques revealing that the lowest platinum nanoparticle size and the better metal distribution was observed in Pt–TiO2–Nb2O5 sample. The Pt–TiO2–Nb2O5 heterojunction possessed the best photocatalytic activity toward both the photodegradation and mineralization of the two selected pollutants. The optimal photocatalyst showed a DCF and KTF mineralization rate of 0.0555 and 0.0746 min−1, respectively, which were higher than those of Pt–TiO2 (0.0321 min−1 for DCF and 0.0597 min−1 for KTF). The experiments driven to analyse the effects of free radical capture showed that ·OH, ·O2− and h+ have a primary role in reactive during the photocatalytic reaction. The improved photocatalytic performances of the Pt–TiO2–Nb2O5 heterojunction could be argue by a direct Z-scheme mechanism in which the Pt0 nanoparticles could act as a bridge between TiO2 and Nb2O5, improving the electron-hole separation and, ultimately, enhancing the photocatalytic removal rate of both DCF and KTF.

Marzo, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.mssp.2019.104839

Preparation of ZnFe2O4/ZnO composite: Effect of operational parameters for photocatalytic degradation of dyes under UV and visible illumination

Zouhier, M.; Tanji, K.; Navio, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.; Jaramillo-Páez, C.; Kherbeche, A.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 390 (2020) 112305


An ZnFe2O4/ZnO composite catalyst was prepared by solution combustion method. In this study, one nominal molar percentage of iron was used in the synthesis, corresponding to 20 % molar relative to ZnO. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), Scanning Electronic Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electronic Microscopy (TEM) and Ultraviolet-visible (UV–vis) diffuse spectroscopy (DRS). The photocatalytic activities of the catalysts were investigated based on the degradation of two dyes, methylene blue (MB) and remazol brilliant blue (RBB), in aqueous solution under both UV and visible light illumination respectively. It was found that the composite had a good photocatalytic activity at basic pH by using 1 g/L of catalyst under UV illumination for both MB and RBB. Under visible illumination, while pristine ZnO showed no activity, the composite exhibited an excellent visible efficiency, reaching up to an 80 % conversion of the initial dye concentrations in 2 h. The enhancement of the visible photocatalytic activity of Fe/ZnO sample with respect to pristine ZnO is attributed to the formation of ZnFe2O4 coupled with ZnO, having a narrow band gap value that contributes to the absorption of visible photons with an improved separation path for the photo-generated carriers.

Marzo, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2019.112305

Role of Fe(III) in aqueous solution or deposited on ZnO surface in the photoassisted degradation of rhodamine B and caffeine

Tanji, Karim; Navio, J A; Martin-Gomez, A N; Hidalgo, M C; Jaramillo-Paez, C; Naja, Jamal; Hassoune, Hicham; Kherbeche, Abdelhak
Chemosphere, 241 (2020) 125009


Iron (III) was incorporated, to the surface of a synthesized ZnO, using two nominal molar percentages of Fe (III): 1% and 5% Fe relative to ZnO. Samples dried and calcined at 200 °C and 400 °C for 2 h, were characterized by XRD, XPS, XRF, N2-adsorption-BET and (UV–vis)-DRS. Photocatalytic activities of the catalysts were assessed based on the degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) and caffeine (CAF) in aqueous solution under two irradiation conditions: UV and visible light illumination. Prior to the photocatalytic tests, the interaction of each one of the substrates with either Fe(III) or Fe(II) was studied in homogeneous medium under UV-illumination and oxygenated environment. It was found that Fe (III) can play an important role in homogeneous media in the photoassisted degradation, both of rhodamine B and caffeine, while Fe (II) does not exert a relevant role in the photoassisted degradation of the referred substrates. Fe–ZnO samples display similar or poorer performance than pure ZnO in the presence of UV light for both studied substrates. The phenomenon can be attributed to the formation of either goethite or ZnFe2O4 at the ZnO surface where the coupled Fe3+/Fe2+ can act as recombination centers for the photogenerated charges. On the contrary, all Fe–ZnO samples showed enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible illumination which seems to be independent of the iron content. In this context, the mechanisms for photoassisted degradation of both the substrates in homogeneous medium and photocatalytic degradation are discussed, as well as the role of Fe in the photodegradation processes.

Febrero, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125009

Synthesis of Mn2+-doped ZnS by a mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction

Aviles, MA; Cordoba, JM; Sayagues, MJ; Gotor, FJ
Journal of Materials Science, 55 (2020) 1603-1613


The mechanochemical process denoted as a mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction was successfully applied in obtaining Mn-doped ZnS samples with Mn content between 0 and 5 mol%. The process consists in milling Zn/Mn/S powder elemental mixtures with the appropriate stoichiometry, which promotes after approximately 80 min the induction of a combustion reaction. The doping level was properly adjusted by controlling the atomic ratio of the starting mixture. A complete characterization of samples was carried out, including X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, diffuse reflectance UV-Vis spectroscopy and emission and excitation photoluminescence measurements. A wurtzite structure, in which Mn2+ replaces Zn2+, was obtained with a nanometric character. The photoluminescence of samples showed the characteristic (Mn2+T1)-T-4-(6)A(1) emission that was highly dependent on the doping level. The maximum luminescence efficiency through the ZnS excitation was found for a doping value of 1 mol%. The photoluminescence showed virtually no contribution from the host emission, which confirmed that samples were properly doped.

Febrero, 2020 | DOI: 10.1007/s10853-019-04138-8

Robust label-free CuxCoyOz electrochemical sensors for hexose detection during fermentation process monitoring

Lopez-Fernandez, E; Gil-Rostra, J; Espinos, JP; Gonzalez, R; Yubero, F; de Lucas-Consuegra, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 304 (2020) 127360


Label free electrochemical sensors of glucose are used whenever long-term operation and stable response are required. For this purpose, various metals and oxides of the first transition series have been proposed as alternative to more expensive noble metal electrochemical sensors. In this work we propose a new formulation consisting of copper-cobalt mixed oxides which, in the form of porous and nanostructured thin films with well controlled Co/Cu ratio, are prepared at room temperature in one step by a modification of the magnetron sputtering oblique angle deposition procedure. Films with various compositions were electrochemically characterized by cyclic voltammetry to determine their amperometric response to glucose as a function of voltage and NaOH electrolyte concentration. This analysis showed that films with a Co/Cu atomic ratio equal 3.4 presented a maximum sensitivity (0.710 A M−1 cm−2), a small limit of detection (0.105 μM) and a resilient behaviour upon cycling operation and long storage periods that clearly overpassed the performance of copper and cobalt single oxides. The CuxCoyO electrocatalysts also presented a good selectivity towards glucose and fructose in the presence of common interference compounds found in biological fluids (e.g., ascorbic acid, acetaminophen and uric acid), sucrose and ethanol, this latter present in many agrofood liquids. The possibilities of this sensor electrocatalyst have been tested for the analysis of a wine synthetic fermentation process. The comparison of the electrochemical results with conventional analytical methods showed a lineal amperometric response with respect hexose contents in a must at different stages of its transformation into wine.

Febrero, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2019.127360

Development of Ti(C,N)-based cermets with (Co,Fe,Ni)-based high entropy alloys as binder phase

de la Obra, AG; Sayagues, MJ; Chicardi, E; Gotor, FJ
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 814 (2020) 152218


High entropy alloys have been proposed as novel binder phases in cemented carbides and cermets. Many aspects related to the stability of these alloys during the liquid phase sintering process are still unclear and were addressed in this work. Consolidated Ti(C,N)-based cermets using four different (Co,Fe,Ni)based high entropy alloys as the binder phase were obtained. The chosen alloys - CoCrCuFeNi, CoCrFeNiV, CoCrFeMnNi and CoFeMnNiV - were previously synthesized through mechanical alloying and a single alloyed solid solution phase with fcc structure and nanometric character was always obtained. The powdered alloys and the consolidated cermets were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy. Differential thermal analysis was employed to determine the melting point of the four high entropy alloys that ranged between 1310 degrees C and 1375 degrees C. Although a high temperature of 1575 degrees C was required to obtain the highest cermet densification by pressureless sintering, porosity still remained in most of the cermets. Best densification was achieved when CoCrFeNiV was used as the binder phase. During liquid phase sintering, different compositional changes were observed in the ceramic and binder phases. A core-rim microstructure was observed in cermets containing V in the alloys (CoCrFeNiV and CoFeMnNiV), since this element was incorporated to the carbonitride structure during sintering. A slight Cr segregation was detected in cermets containing Cr, leading to CrTi-rich alloys in small binder regions. However, a great Cu segregation was produced when CoCrCuFeNi was used, and the formation of two different fcc alloys -a Cu-rich and a Cu-depleted- was observed. Finally, a loss of Mn was also evidenced in CoCrFeMnNi and CoFeMnNiV, probably due to its sublimation at the sintering temperature. 

Enero, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2019.152218

Effect of synthesis pH on the physicochemical properties of a synthesized Bi2WO6 and the type of substrate chosen, in assessing its photo-catalytic activities

Jaramillo-Páez, C.; Navío, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.
Arabian Journal of Chemistry, 13 (2020) 431-443


Crystalline orthorhombic Bi2WO6 powders were synthesized by a hydrothermal method from aqueous solutions of Bi(NO3)35H2O and Na2WO42H2O over a range of three selected pH values (2.0, 5.0 and 7.0), using NaOH as precipitating agent. The as-prepared catalysts were characterized by XRD, BET, FE-SEM, TEM, XPS and UV-vis spectroscopy. The effect of pH-synthesis on crystallinity,  morphologies, surface area and optical absorption properties, were investigated.
Although the pH has a marked influence on morphology, the nature of the precipitating agent (NaOH or TEA) also influences the morphology and surface structure composition, as it is observed in the present work. Three different probe molecules were used to evaluate the photocatalytic properties under two illumination conditions (UV and Visible): Methyl Orange and Rhodamine B were chosen as dye substrates and Phenol as a transparent substrate. The photo-catalytic activities are strongly dependent not only on the pH used in the synthesis but also on the nature of the chosen substrate in assessing the photo-catalytic activities. Results were compared with those obtained when using TiO2(P25, Evonik) in the same experimental conditions. The photocatalytic activity of one of the synthesised samples has been evaluated by exposing a mixture of Rhodamine B and Phenol in water, to different illumination conditions. Our results provide new evidences about the issue of whether dyes are suitable substrates to assess the activity of a photo-catalyst.

Enero, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.arabjc.2017.05.014

Effect of Gold Particles Size over Au/C Catalyst Selectivity in HMF Oxidation Reaction

Megias-Sayago, C; Lolli, A; Bonincontro, D; Penkova, A; Albonetti, S; Cavani, F; Odriozola, JA; Ivanova, S
Chemcatchem (2020)


A series of gold nanoparticles in the 4-40 nm range were prepared, immobilized on activated carbon and further tested, at low base concentration, in the catalytic oxidation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Gold particles size variation has no influence on HMF conversion but significantly affects product selectivity and carbon balance. This behavior is ascribed to the thermodynamically favorable oxygen reduction reaction on Au(100) faces. As the gold particle size decreases the Au(100)/Au(111) exposure ratio, estimated by using the van Hardeveld-Hartog model, increases as well as the FDCA selectivity. The smaller the gold particle size the smaller the 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furancarboxylic acid (HMFCA) to FDCA ratio pointing to the gold size dependent behavior of the oxidation of the alcohol function of the HMF molecule.

Enero, 2020 | DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201901742

Hybrid ZnO/Ag3PO4 photocatalysts, with low and high phosphate molar percentages

Martín-Gómez, A.N.;Navío, J.A.;Jaramillo-Páeza, C.;Sánchez-Cid, P.;Hidalgo, M.C.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, (2019) 112196


In this work, a previously optimized synthesized ZnO photocatalyst was modified with different molar percentages of Ag3PO4 through a facile in situ precipitation–deposition method and then characterized by different techniques (XRD, XRF, BET, UV–vis DRS, SEM, TEM and XPS). The incorporation of Ag3PO4 produces important changes in the light absorption properties with a significant absorbance in the visible region observed for ZnO modified with different amounts of Ag3PO4; the optical absorption intensity in the visible region of the coupled ZnO/Ag3PO4 increases as the molar percentages of Ag3PO4 increases, evidencing a clear dependence on the content of Ag3PO4. However, this work shows that the incorporation of Ag3PO4 in almost all cases reduces the photocatalytic capacity of ZnO, except when it is used in a specific percentage of 10 % and only being more active against rhodamine B and not on the Caffeine. SEM images and elemental mapping indicate that Ag3PO4 disperses very well in the ZnO particles, exhibiting an almost homogeneous distribution, showing zones with cumulus of Ag3PO4 (rich in P-Ag) in contact with ZnO-zones (rich in Zn). All the prepared photocatalysts were tested in the photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B as a dye, and caffeine as a toxic and persistent emerging compound under UV and visible light illumination. It is reported that not only the ZnO:Ag3PO4 ratio is an important factor that influences the photocatalytic process of substrate degradation, but also the nature of the substrate has an important influence on the photocatalytic behavior of the materials under both UV and visible illumination. Thus, pristine Ag3PO4 showed high photocatalytic degradation for rhodamine B, while for caffeine negligible photocatalytic degradation was found in both the UV and visible regions. The thermal- and photo-stability of the coupled system was also studied. At least, for rhodamine B no loss of photocatalytic activity has been observed after five recycles although the mineralization degree progressively diminished along the recycles.

Enero, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2019.112196


Low temperature synthesis of an equiatomic (TiZrHfVNb)C5 high entropy carbide by a mechanically-induced carbon diffusion route

Chicardi, E; Garcia-Garrido, C; Gotor, FJ
Ceramics International, 45 (2019) 21858-21863


A novel, homogeneous, nanostructured and equiatomic (TiZrHfVNb)C-5 High Entropy Carbide (HEC) was successfully synthesised in a powder form by a mechanosynthesis process from the elemental mixture. This synthesis method for HECs, not previously reported, is simple, reproducible and carried out at room temperature. During milling, the transition metals (Ti, Zr, Hf, V and Nb) alloying and the diffusion of carbon (introduced as graphite) into the alloy structure are simultaneously induced, obtaining the expected (TiZrHfVNb)C-5 HEC. The room temperature method employed contrasts with those reported in the bibliography from binary carbides that are carried out at a very high temperature (1800-2200 degrees C), with the consequent energy savings.

Diciembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2019.07.195

Understanding segregation processes in SAMs formed by mixtures of hydroxylated and non-hydroxylated fatty acids

Bueno, OVM; Benitez, JJ; San-Miguel, MA
RSC Advances, 9 (2019) 39252-39263


In this paper, we focus on the segregation processes emerging when preparing mixtures with different compositions of aleuritic (9,10,16 trihydroxyhexadecanoic) (ALE) and palmitic (hexadecanoic) (PAL) acids. The combination of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations enabled us to prove the role of the functional groups in the formation of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on muscovite mica surfaces. MD simulations indicate that segregation processes are favored in high ALE composition mixtures in agreement with the experimental evidence, whereas low ALE compositions promote the co-existence between segregated and dispersed systems. The secondary hydroxyl groups play a central role in the self-assembling mechanism because they control the formation of hydrogen bonding networks guarantying system stability.

Diciembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1039/c9ra06799j

Graphene Formation Mechanism by the Electrochemical Promotion of a Ni Catalyst

Espinos, JP; Rico, VJ; Gonzalez-Cobos, J; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Perez-Dieste, V; Escudero, C; de Lucas-Consuegra, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
ACS Catalysis, 9 (2019) 11447-11454


In this work, we show that multilayer graphene forms by methanol decomposition at 280 degrees C on an electrochemically promoted nickel catalyst film supported on a K-beta Al2O3 solid electrolyte. In operando near ambient pressure photoemission spectroscopy and electrochemical measurements have shown that polarizing negatively the Ni electrode induces the electrochemical reduction and migration of potassium to the nickel surface. This elemental potassium promotes the catalytic decomposition of methanol into graphene and also stabilizes the graphene formed via diffusion and direct K-C interaction. Experiments reveal that adsorbed methoxy radicals are intermediate species in this process and that, once formed, multilayer graphene remains stable after electrochemical oxidation and back migration of potassium to the solid electrolyte upon positive polarization. The reversible diffusion of ca. 100 equivalent monolayers of potassium through the carbon layers and the unprecedented low-temperature formation of graphene and other carbon forms are mechanistic pathways of high potential impact for applications where mild synthesis and operation conditions are required.

Diciembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.9b03820

Porous Graphene-like Carbon from Fast Catalytic Decomposition of Biomass for Energy Storage Applications

Gomez-Martin, A; Martinez-Fernandez, J; Ruttert, M; Winter, M; Placke, T; Ramirez-Rico, J
ACS Omega, 4 (2019) 21446-21458


A novel carbon material made of porous graphene-like nanosheets was synthesized from biomass resources by a simple catalytic graphitization process using nickel as a catalyst for applications in electrodes for energy storage devices. A recycled fiberboard precursor was impregnated with saturated nickel nitrate followed by high-temperature pyrolysis. The highly exothermic combustion of in situ formed nitrocellulose produces the expansion of the cellulose fibers and the reorganization of the carbon structure into a three-dimensional (3D) porous assembly of thin carbon nanosheets. After acid washing, nickel particles are fully removed, leaving nanosized holes in the wrinkled graphene-like sheets. These nanoholes confer the resulting carbon material with approximate to 75% capacitance retention, when applied as a supercapacitor electrode in aqueous media at a specific current of 100 A.g(-1) compared to the capacitance reached at 20 mA.g(-1), and approximate to 35% capacity retention, when applied as a negative electrode for lithium-ion battery cells at a specific current of 3720 mA.g(-1) compared to the specific capacity at 37.2 mA.g(-1). These findings suggest a novel way for synthesizing 3D nanocarbon networks from a cellulosic precursor requiring low temperatures and being amenable to large-scale production while using a sustainable starting precursor such as recycled fiberwood.

Diciembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.9b03142

Silver effect on the tribological and antibacterial properties of a-C:Ag coatings

Dominguez-Meister, S; Rojas, TC; Frias, JE; Sanchez-Lopez, JC
Tribology International, 140 (2019) UNSP 105837


a-C:Ag coatings (1.2-23.4 at.% of Ag) were deposited using magnetron sputtering. Ag nanoparticles appear embedded in the carbon matrix or segregated to the column boundaries or surface. The silver doping has not promoted significant changes of the sp(2)/sp(3) ratio although a decrease of the hardness is observed (from 17 to 7 GPa). The tribological behavior did not show a clear dependence on the silver concentration in unlubricated or lubricated conditions (fetal bovinum serum) against alumina or UHMWPE balls. Ag nanoparticle dispersion enhanced the bactericide behavior as determined by the released Ag+ ion in the fluid media. There is no clear effect of friction rubbing on the released silver indicating that diffusion and top segregation are prevalent mechanisms for its dissolution.

Diciembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.triboint.2019.06.030

Encapsulation of Upconversion Nanoparticles in Periodic Mesoporous Organosilicas

Rahmani, S; Jimenez, CM; Aggad, D; Gonzalez-Mancebo, D; Ocana, M; Ali, LMA; Nguyen, C; Nieto, AIB; Francolon, N; Oliveiro, E; Boyer, D; Mahiou, R; Raehm, L; Gary-Bobo, M; Durand, JO; Charnay, C
Molecules, 24 (2019) 22


(1) Background: Nanomedicine has recently emerged as a promising field, particularly for cancer theranostics. In this context, nanoparticles designed for imaging and therapeutic applications are of interest. We, therefore, studied the encapsulation of upconverting nanoparticles in mesoporous organosilica nanoparticles. Indeed, mesoporous organosilica nanoparticles have been shown to be very efficient for drug delivery, and upconverting nanoparticles are interesting for near-infrared and X-ray computed tomography imaging, depending on the matrix used. (2) Methods: Two different upconverting-based nanoparticles were synthesized with Yb3+-Er3+ as the upconverting system and NaYF4 or BaLuF5 as the matrix. The encapsulation of these nanoparticles was studied through the sol-gel procedure with bis(triethoxysilyl)ethylene and bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane in the presence of CTAB. (3) Results: with bis(triethoxysilyl)ethylene, BaLuF5: Yb3+-Er3+, nanoparticles were not encapsulated, but anchored on the surface of the obtained mesoporous nanorods BaLuF5: Yb3+-Er3+@Ethylene. With bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane, BaLuF5: Yb3+-Er3+ and NaYF4: Yb3+-Er(3+)nanoparticles were encapsulated in the mesoporous cubic structure leading to BaLuF5: Yb3+-Er3+@Ethane and NaYF4: Yb3+-Er3+@Ethane, respectively. (4) Conclusions: upconversion nanoparticles were located on the surface of mesoporous nanorods obtained by hydrolysis polycondensation of bis(triethoxysilyl)ethylene, whereas encapsulation occurred with bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane. The later nanoparticles NaYF4: Yb3+-Er3+@Ethane or BaLuF5: Yb3+-Er3+@Ethane were promising for applications with cancer cell imaging or X-ray-computed tomography respectively.

Noviembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/molecules24224054

Graphene nanoplatelets for electrically conductive 3YTZP composites densified by pressureless sintering

Lopez-Pernia, C; Gallardo-Lopez, A; Morales-Rodriguez, A; Poyato, R
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 39 (2015) 4435-4439


3 mol% yttria tetragonal zirconia polycrystalline (3YTZP) ceramic composites with 2.5, 5 and 10 vol% graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) were pressureless sintered in argon atmosphere between 1350 and 1450 degrees C. The effects of the GNP content and the sintering temperature on the densification, microstructure and electrical properties of the composites were investigated. An isotropic distribution of GNP surrounding ceramic regions was exhibited regardless the GNP content and sintering temperature used. Electrical conductivity values comparable to the ones of fully dense composites prepared by more complex techniques were obtained, even though full densification was not achieved. While the composite with 5 vol% GNP exhibited electrical anisotropy with a semiconductor-type behaviour, the composite with 10 vol% GNP showed an electrically isotropic metallic-type behaviour.

Noviembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2019.05.067

Modifications induced in photocuring of Bis- GMA/TEGDMA by the addition of graphene nanoplatelets for 3D printable electrically conductive nanocomposites

Moriche, R; Artigas, J; Reigosa, L; Sanchez, M; Prolongo, SG; Urena, A
Composites Science and Technology, 184 (2019) 107876


The incorporation of nanoreinforcement in photocurable polymeric matrices can strongly affect the degree of curing and properties of the final nanocomposites as well as the process parameters for 3D printing. Particularly, the addition of GNPs in contents from 1 up to 10 wt% limits the degree of curing to 60% in Bis-GMA/TEGDMA. The increase up to 10 wt% causes a diminution of similar to 20% in the mentioned property. Additionally, the maximum thickness that can be cured by UV light abruptly decreases with the GNPs content, being similar to 400 mu m when using 1 wt% and below 20 mu m for nanocomposites filled with 10 wt%. Above the percolation threshold, the electrical conductivity of the photocured monolayers is dependent on the curing time, making possible the use of this materials as self-sensor of the degree of curing in additive manufacturing technologies.

Noviembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2019.107876

Monodisperse Gold Cuboctahedral Nanocrystals Directly Synthesized in Reverse Micelles: Preparation, Colloidal Dispersion in Organic Solvents and Water, Reversible Self-Assembly and Plasmonic Properties

Luna, C; Castaneda-Rodriguez, D; Barriga-Castro, ED; Nunez, NO; Mendoza-Resendez, R
Langmuir, 34 (2019) 14291-14299


The synthesis of organic-solvent-dispersible gold nanoparticles in reverse micelles of didodecyldimethylammonium bromide (DDAB) is revisited in the present investigation. Some parameters of synthesis, specifically the reaction volume and the concentration of the reducing agent, were slightly modified obtaining directly monodisperse gold nanocrystals (AuNCs) without the need to use additional active surfactants or additional treatments such as digestive ripening. Interestingly, most of the obtained AuNCs display the same exposed crystalline faces composed of six bounding facets (four {111} faces and two {002} faces), corresponding to single-crystalline face-centered cubic nanoparticles with a cuboctahedron shape. When these AuNCs are subsequently functionalized with 1-decanethiol (C10H21SH) or 1-dodecanethiol (C12H25SH), they don’t experience significant changes in their size or crystalline texture, however, they self-aggregate directly in the suspension at room temperature into faceted supramolecular structures and exhibit collective plasmonic excitations. Such self-organization is reversible under heating treatments allowing the observation of the influence of the AuNCs aggregation state on their plasmonic properties. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy reveals that thiols only replace partially the DDAB molecules, and thus, DDAB molecules remain present in the thiol-capped AuNCs. To turn the thiol-capped nanocrystals into water-dispersible nanocrystals and extend their technological potential, they are stabilized with poloxamer 407 obtaining highly stable purple colloids in water.

Noviembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b02374

Morphological effects on the photocatalytic properties of SnO2 nanostructures

Kar, A; Olszowka, J; Sain, S; Sloman, SRI; Montes, O; Fernandez, A; Pradhan, SK; Wheatley, AEH
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 810 (2019) UNSP 151718


The photocatalytic properties of SnO2 nanocrystals are tuned by varying their morphology and microstructure. SnO2 nanoparticles and nanowedges have been synthesized using hydrothermal methods, while microwave irradiation techniques have given nanospheres. Detailed structural and chemical characterization of these different morphologies has been accomplished. The influence of SnO2 morphology on photocatalytic activity has been examined by monitoring the degradation of aqueous methylene blue dye. Results demonstrate that changing the morphology of the SnO2 modulates both surface area and levels of surface defects and that these alterations are reflected in the photocatalytic properties of the materials. The degradation of methylene blue dye (98%) in the presence of SnO2 nanoparticles under simulated solar irradiation is superior to previously reported photocatalyst performance and is comparable to that of standard TiO2 (Degussa P-25). The SnO2 nanoparticles perform better than both the nanowedges and nanospheres and this is attributed to the number of surface defects available to the high surface area material. They also reveal outstanding recyclability and stability. 

Noviembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2019.151718

Colombian metallurgical coke as catalysts support of the direct coal liquefaction

Rico, D; Agamez, Y; Romero, E; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA; Diaz, JD
Fuel, 255 (2019) 115748


A Colombian metallurgical coke was modified in its surface chemistry and was used as support of iron sulfide catalysts for direct coal liquefaction. The modification was made by treatments with diluted oxygen and HNO3 at different conditions. Changes in surface chemistry were studied by determining the point of zero charge (PZC), the isoelectric point (IEP), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), temperature programmed decomposition-mass spectrometry (TPD-MS), Diffuse-reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) and nitrogen adsorption at 77 K. The results show that the materials obtained have a wide range of functional groups incorporated in a different proportion and quantity. The textural parameters indicate that treatment with diluted oxygen increases the surface area and incorporates micropores while the samples treated with HNO3 maintain the textural properties of the original material. The catalysts were also characterized by Raman spectroscopy. It was found that impregnation with the iron sulfide precursor does not significantly affect the Raman characteristics of the support. Additionally, XRD analysis shows smaller pyrite crystallites in the coke enriched with oxygenated groups of phenol and lactone indicating better dispersion of the active phase. The amount of oxygen chemisorbed per gram of catalyst shows that both, oxygen and nitric acid treatments, improve the relative dispersion of the active phase. It was found that the presence of the catalysts increases the conversion and yields towards oils and gases with respect to those of the tests without catalysts. Cokes modified by dilute oxygen gaseous treatment contain surface phenol and lactone groups and present the highest yield to oils.

Noviembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2019.115748