Menú secundario

Artículos SCI


Impact of Tb4+ and morphology on the thermal evolution of Tb-doped TiO2 nanostructured hollow spheres and nanoparticles

Colomer, MT; Rodriguez, E; Moran-Pedroso, M; Vattier, F; de Andres, A
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 853 (2021) 156973
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Tb-doped TiO2 hollow spheres (HSs) in the range 0.0-2.0 at.% have been synthesized by the first time to the best of our knowledge. The HSs are compared with nanoparticles (NPs) to evaluate the impact of morphology on their physicochemical and photoluminescence (PL) behavior upon increasing calcination temperature. After calcination at 550 degrees C, the particles are anatase with a primary average size of 10.0 +/- 0.2 nm for the NPs and 12.0 +/- 0.2 nm for those that form the micron sized hollow spheres of 1.8 +/- 0.2 mu m diameter and ca. 64 nm shell thickness. The temperature of the anataseerutile transition is found to be strongly dependent on the presence of Tb as well as on morphology. Contrarily to the usual stabilization of anatase when doping with trivalent rare-earth ions, the transition temperature is reduced when doping with Tb. The rutile phase is further favored for the HSs compared to the NPs probably related to the low density of the HSs and/or a more efficient packing density and/or a bigger crystal size of the nanoparticles that form those spheres with respect to the packing and the size of the NPs and/or the crystal size of the nanoparticles of the HSs with respect to the size of the NPs. Only a slight unit-cell volume increase for the anatase structure is observed upon Tb doping, in both the NPs and in the HSs, contrary to the expected increment due to the larger ionic radius of Tb3+ compared to Ti4+. In addition, the intensity of the characteristic f-f Tb3+ emission bands is extremely weak both in the anatase and rutile phases. The transition is accompanied with the emergence of an infrared emission band centered at 810 nm related to the formation of defects during the structural transformation providing deep levels in the gap that partly quench the f-f emissions in the rutile phase. The results are consistent with the presence of Tb in both +3 and +4 valence states. XPS measurements confirmed the presence of Tb3+ as well as of Tb4+ in both HSs and NPs. The large fraction of Tb4+ present in the samples originates the weak f-f emission intensity, an only slight increase of the cell parameters and the destabilization of the anatase phase. 

Febrero, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2020.156973

Enhanced UV and visible light photocatalytic properties of synthesized AgBr/SnO2 composites

Puga, F.; Navío, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.
Separation and Purification Tecnology, 257 (2021) 117948
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


Composites (AgBr/SnO2) comprised of AgBr and SnO2 with different molar % of bare SnO2, have been synthesized by simple precipitation methods; the bare SnO2 used, was synthesized by hydrothermal procedure. Samples have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2-adsorption, UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Photocatalytic activity of the as-prepared photocatalysts was evaluated through photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) and caffeic acid (CAFA) under UV and Visible illumination. In photocatalytic degradation studies, for both substrates, conversion rates of around 95% were found in 45 min of both UV-illumination and 85% under visible lighting. These conversion rates were superior than the conversion rates of pure parental components, AgBr and SnO2 under the same experimental conditions. At least, for RhB no loss of photocatalytic activity has been observed after five recycles although the mineralization degree progressively diminished along the recycles. The enhanced photocatalytic degradation of AgBr/SnO2 compounds was attributed, in part, to a synergistic increase in adsorption viability, as well as to the effective separation of photoinduced load carriers that resulted from the formation of a heterojunction according to the type II junction. Radical scavengers’ experiments indicated that active oxidant species as O2.−, ·OH and h+ all are involved in this photocatalytic system, although it seems that O2.− played the major role in the photocatalytic degrading of RhB by AgBr/SnO2 composites. In summary, coupling AgBr with SnO2 remarkably improves the photocatalytic activity under both UV and visible-illumination with respect to the parental components. These features open the route to future applications of this material in the field of environmental remediation.

Febrero, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2020.117948

Sol-gel synthesis of ZnWO4-(ZnO) composite materials. Characterization and photocatalytic properties

Jaramillo-Páez, C., Navío, J.A., Puga, F., Hidalgo, M.C.
Journal of Photochemistry & Photobiology, A: Chemistry, 404 (2021) 112962
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


ZnWO4 based powder photocatalyst have been successfully prepared by calcining a co-precipitated precursor (ZnWO) obtained from aqueous Zn2+ and WO4 2− solutions at pH = 7, without surfactants addition. The as-formed sample was characterized by XRD, N2-absorption, SEM, TEM, DRS and XPS. Both techniques, XRD and XPS results showed that prepared sample corresponds to a crystalline, Zn-enriched composition, ZnWO4 indicating the formation of a ZnWO4-(ZnO) composite, whit ca. 10 wt.-% of ZnO confirmed by XRF analysis. Photocatalytic activities towards degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB), Methyl Orange (MO) and Phenol, under UV-illumination, was investigated not only by monitoring the percentages of conversion of substrates, but also by estimating the corresponding percentages of mineralization that accompany the photocatalytic process. Comparative substrateconversion rates estimated per surface area unit of catalyst, showed that the activity for ZnWO4-(ZnO) composite is similar to that for TiO2(P25), at least for MO and RhB, and even higher that for TiO2(P25) in respect to phenol conversion. By adding TEA to the synthesis procedure, a composite named as ZnWO4-ZnO-(pH = 10)-600 is generated, which has a higher proportion of ZnO (ca. 39 %) and superior specific surface area than the so-called ZnWO4-(ZnO) sample. Furthermore, the photocatalytic degradation of MO using the former material indicates that it is superior to ZnWO4-(ZnO) and even that TiO2(P25) itself under the same operational conditions. 

Enero, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2020.112962


(NH4)4[NiMo6O24H6].5H2O / g-C3N4 materials for selective photo-oxidation of Csingle bondO and Cdouble bondC bonds

Caudillo-Flores, U; Ansari, F; Bachiller-Baeza, B; Colon, G; Fernandez-Garcia, M; Kubacka, A
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 278 (2020) 119299
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


Novel composite photo-catalysts having (NH4)(4)[NiMo6O24H6]center dot 5H(2)O Polyoxometalate (POM) species deposited over g-C3N4 are synthesized. Materials were characterized through a multitechnique approach showing the stability of the carbon nitride component both through the synthesis process and under reaction. Contrarily, the POM component evolves under reaction conditions to maximize the interaction with the support. Such a behavior renders, as measured by the quantum efficiency, highly active photo-catalysts in the photo-oxidation of 2-propanol and styrene both under UV and sunlight illumination, setting up the basis for a green catalytic process. The material having a 4 wt. % POM showed improved activity with respect to both parent constituents but also higher selectivity to the partial oxidation of the alcohol and the aromatic hydrocarbon to generate added value chemical compounds. A multitechnique approach investigating charge carrier fate demonstrates the key role played by the interaction between components to promote activity and selectivity in selective oxidation reactions.

Diciembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2020.119299

Thin film electroluminescent device based on magnetron sputtered Tb doped ZnGa2O4 layers

Gil-Rostra, J; Valencia, FY; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Journal of Luminescence, 228 (2020) 117617
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Photoluminescent (PL) layers and electroluminescent (EL) systems prepared by different methods have been systematically studied for the fabrication of flat panel displays, monitoring screens, and lighting systems. In this work we report about a new procedure of preparing Tb doped ZnGa2O4 green luminescent thin films at low temperature that consists of the simultaneous reactive magnetron sputtering (R-MS) deposition of a Zn-Ga mixed oxide acting as a matrix and the plasma decomposition (PD) of evaporated terbium acetylacetonate. The resulting films were transparent and presented a high PL efficiency making them good candidates for EL applications. Layers of this phosphor film with thickness in the order of hundreds nanometers were sandwiched between two dielectric layers of Y2O3 and AlSiNxOy that were also prepared by R-MS. The response of the resulting EL device was characterized as a function of the applied voltage and the type of AC excitation signal. The high luminance and long-term stability of these thin film electroluminescent devices (TFELDs) proves the reliability and efficiency of this kind of transparent R-MS multilayer system (with a total thickness in order of 650 nm) for display and lighting applications.

Diciembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jlumin.2020.117617

High-temperature solar-selective coatings based on Cr(Al)N. Part 2: Design, spectral properties and thermal stability of multilayer stacks

Rojas, TC; Caro, A; Escobar-Galindo, R; Sanchez-Lopez, JC
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 218 (2020) 110812
Tribología y Protección de Superficies


Two multilayer solar selective absorber coatings [Al/CrN0.95/Cr0.96Al0.04N1.08/Cr0.53Al0.47N1.12/Al2O3 (stack #1) and Cr0.96Al0.04N0.89/Cr0.62Al0.38N1.00/Cr0.53Al0.47N1.12/Al2O3 (stack #2)] were deposited on 316L steel by combining direct current (DC) and high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) technologies with the aim of increasing the working limit temperature. The composition and thickness of the constituent layers were optimized using CODE software to achieve a high solar absorptance (alpha) and low values of thermal emittance (epsilon) in the infrared region. The deposited multilayered stacks were heated during 2 h in air at 600, 700 and 800 degrees C to study their thermal stability and optical performance. Compositional, structural and optical characterization of the stacks (as-prepared and after thermal treatment) was performed. Both stacks presented a good solar selectivity with alpha > 95% and epsilon < 15%, were stable up to 600 degrees C and fulfilled the performance criterion PC < 5% after 600 and 700 degrees C treatments. Despite the stacks suffered chemical transformations above 600 degrees C, partial oxidation (stack #1) and Cr2N formation (stack #1 and #2), the optical properties were optimum up to 700 degrees C for stack #1 (alpha = 94%, epsilon((25 degrees C)) = 12%) and 600 degrees C for stack #2 (alpha = 93%, epsilon((25 degrees C)) = 13%). The solar-to-mechanical energy conversion efficiencies (eta) of the as-deposited and annealed (600 and 700 degrees C) samples were up to 20% points higher than the absorber paint commercially used (Pyromark). At 800 degrees C, they underwent a further structural transformation, provoked by the oxidation of the inner layers, and they consequently lost their solar selectivity.

Diciembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2020.110812

Ru-Ni/MgAl2O4 structured catalyst for CO2 methanation

Navarro, Juan C.; Centeno, Miguel A.; Laguna, Oscar H.; Odriozola, Jose A.
Renewabel Energy, 161 (2020) 120-132
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Novel catalytic systems should be tested for the valorization of CO2 through the Sabatier reaction, since this process is gaining great importance within strategic sectors of the chemical industry. Therefore, this work explores the feasibility of structuring a catalyst (0.5%Ru-15%Ni/MgAl2O4) for CO2 methanation using metal micromonoliths. The coating of the catalyst over the surface of the micromonoliths is carried out by means of the washcoating procedure and different characterization techniques are applied to establish possible changes in the catalyst during structuring.
Regarding the performance in the Sabatier reaction, the structured systems are tested as well as the powder catalyst in order to establish the possible effects of the structuring processes. For this, variables such as catalyst loading, space velocity, inclusion of water in the feed-stream and the pressurization of the process were studied.
In general, the structuring of the proposed catalyst by the reported procedure is absolutely feasible. There are no substantial changes in the main features of the catalyst and this means that its catalytic performance is not altered after the structuring process either. Furthermore, the structured system exhibits high stability in a long-term test and is comparable with other CO2 methanation catalysts reported in research to date. 

Diciembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2020.07.055

Wetting and spreading of liquid lithium onto nanocolumnar tungsten coatings tailored through the topography of stainless steel substrates

Munoz-Pina, S; Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Oyarzabal, E; Gil-Rostra, J; Rico, V; Alcala, G; Alvarez, R; Tabares, FL; Palmero, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Nuclear Fusion, 60 (2020) 126033
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


The use of liquid metal as an alternative to cover the plasma-exposed areas of fusion reactors has called for the development of substrates where refilling and metal spreading occur readily and at reasonably low temperatures. In the search for common materials for this purpose, we show that nanostructured tungsten coatings deposited on stainless steel (SS) by magnetron sputtering at oblique angles (MS-OAD) is a good option, provided that the surface microstructure of substrate is properly engineered. Tungsten thin films with nominal thicknesses of 500 and 2500 nm were deposited onto SS plates subjected to conventional surface finishing treatments (sand blasting, sand paper abrasion and electrochemical polishing) to modify the surface topography and induce the appearance of different groove patterns. In the first part of this work we show how the topographical features of the SS substrates affect the typical nanocolumnar microstructure of OAD thin films of tungsten. Subsequently, we characterize the spreading behavior of liquid lithium onto these tungsten nanocolumnar surfaces and critically discuss whether nanocolumnar tungsten thin films are a suitable option for the wetting and spreading of molten lithium. As a result, we reveal that the features of the tungsten nanocolumnar coating, characterized by a given height and void spaces between nanocolumns in the order of 1–2 μm, is critical for the spreading of molten lithium, while the existence of wider channels affects it very weakly. Moreover, it is shown that tungsten films deposited by MS-OAD on SS substrates subjected to conventional finishing procedures represent a good alternative to other more complex surface engineering procedures utilized for this purpose.

Diciembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1088/1741-4326/abb53e

Tailoring CrNx stoichiometry and functionality by means of reactive HiPIMS

Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Caro, A; Alcala, G; Rojas, TC
Surface & Coatings Technology, 401 (2020) 126235
Tribología y Protección de Superficies


This work presents a complete study of the influence of HiPIMS pulse characteristics on the microstructure, chemical composition, mechanical and oxidation resistance properties of CrN thin films. The investigated parameters were frequency and pulse length at two different nitrogen fluxes, maintaining constant the duty cycle conditions (2%). The effect of a negative bias of 100 V was investigated in a particular case. By changing the synthesis conditions, it was possible to tailor the N/Cr ratio and thus to control the CrNx stoichiometry from x = 0.63 to 1.10. The selection of longer pulses (shorter frequencies) generates more disordered structures with lower N/Cr ratios. This is reflected in higher hardness and elastic modulus values on despite of a lower oxidation resistance due to existence of larger concentration of N vacancies. The best oxidation resistance is obtained at the highest peak current combined with additional ion bombardment provided by substrate biasing. The present results open the possibilities of modifying chemical composition and engineering surfaces by changing exclusively the pulse conditions in HiPIMS deposition processes.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2020.09.024

Graphene-coated Ti-Nb-Ta-Mn foams: A promising approach towards a suitable biomaterial for bone replacement

Lascano, S; Chavez-Vasconez, R; Munoz-Rojas, D; Aristizabal, J; Arce, B; Parra, C; Acevedo, C; Orellana, N; Reyes-Valenzuela, M; Gotor, FJ; Arevalo, C; Torres, Y
Surface & Coatings Technology, 401 (2020) 126250
Reactividad de Sólidos


The design of bone implants with proper biological and mechanical properties remains a challenge in medical implantology. The use of bioactive coatings has been shown to improve the biocompatibility of the implant surface. In this study, a new approach including porous scaffolds, beta-Ti alloys and nanocoatings to design new bone implants is presented. Porous Ti-Nb-Ta-xMn alloys (x: 2, 4, and 6 wt%) substrates were obtained by powder metallurgy and the effect of the porosity and Mn content on mechanical properties was studied. CVD single-layer graphene was transferred onto the porous substrates that presented the best mechanical response (x: 4 wt%) for further evaluation of in vitro cell behavior (biocompatibility and cell adhesion). Cytotoxicity and biocompatibility tests confirmed that cell adhesion and proliferation were successfully achieved on graphene-coated porous substrates, confirming these systems are potential candidates for using in partial bone tissue replacement.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2020.126250

Electrical and reaction performances of packed-bed plasma reactors moderated with ferroelectric or dielectric materials

Gomez-Ramirez, A; Alvarez, R; Navascues, P; Garcia-Garcia, FJ; Palmero, A; Cotrino, J; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Plasma Processes and Polymers, (2020) e2000193
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


The operational behavior of packed-bed plasma reactors depends on the dimension, shape, and chemical properties of the pellets used as moderators, but little information exists about the influence of their specific dielectric properties. Herein, we comparatively study the electrical behavior of a packed-bed reactor filled with pellets of either dielectric (Al2O3 and glass) or ferroelectric (BaTiO3 and lead zirconate titanate) materials. We found that plasma current was higher for ferroelectrics and presented a nonlineal dependence on voltage. Moreover, for BaTiO3, we found a drastic decrease at around its relatively low Curie temperature. Differences in electrical behavior have a direct effect on the reactor performance, as illustrated for the ammonia synthesis, demonstrating the importance of moderator material dielectric properties and their dependence on temperature.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1002/ppap.202000193

Flexible syngas production using a La2Zr2-xNixO7-delta pyrochlore-double perovskite catalyst: Towards a direct route for gas phase CO2 recycling

le Sache, E; Pastor-Perez, L; Garcilaso, V; Watson, DJ; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA; Reina, TR
Catalysis Today, 357 (2020) 583-589
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


The bi-reforming of methane (BRM) has the advantage of utilising greenhouse gases and producing H2 rich syngas. In this work Ni stabilised in a pyrochlore-double perovskite structure is reported as a viable catalyst for both Dry Reforming of Methane (DRM) and BRM. A 10 wt.% Ni-doped La2Zr2O7 pyrochlore catalyst was synthesised, characterised and tested under both reaction conditions and its performance was compared to a supported Ni/La2Zr2O7. In particular the effect of steam addition is investigated revealing that steam increases the H2 content in the syngas but limits reactants conversions. The effect of temperature, space velocity and time on stream was studied under BRM conditions and brought out the performance of the material in terms of activity and stability. No deactivation was observed, in fact the addition of steam helped to mitigate carbon deposition. Small and well dispersed Ni clusters, possibly resulting from the progressive exsolution of Ni from the mixed oxide structure could explain the enhanced performance of the catalyst.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2019.05.039

Thermo-optic response of MEH-PPV films incorporated to monolithic Fabry-Perot microresonators

Rostra, JG; Soler-Carracedo, K; Martin, LL; Lahoz, F; Yubero, F
Dyes and Pigments, 182 (2020) 108625
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Poly[2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene] (MEH-PPV) is a semiconducting optically active polymer widely used in optoelectronics research. MEH-PPV can be commercially acquired in a large range of molecular weights. However, the influence of this property on the optical performance of the polymer is often disregarded. In this paper, the thermal dependence of the refractive index of MEH-PPV thin films prepared from high and medium molecular weight polymers is investigated. Thus, monolithic Fabry-Perot (FP) microcavities are fabricated, in which the active polymer film is part of their defect layer. It is found that when these devices are used as optical temperature sensors, the position of the emission band of the microcavities excited with a blue diode laser shifts to lower wavelengths when temperature increases with sensitivities in the 0.2-0.3 nm/degrees C range. This effect is ascribed to the variation in the refractive index of the polymer active layer within the resonator with temperature. According to theoretical simulations of optical transmittance by classical transfer matrix method and the evaluation of the optical eigenmodes by finite element methods of the manufactured FP resonator cavities, it is found that the MEH-PPV films present negative thermo-optic coefficients of about-0.018 K-1 and-0.0022 K-1 for high and medium molecular weight polymers, respectively, in the temperature range between 20 and 60 degrees C. These values are about the highest reported so far, to the best of our knowledge, and points to high performance thermal sensor applications.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.dyepig.2020.108625

Upgrading the PtCu intermetallic compounds: The role of Pt and Cu in the alloy

Castillo, R; Garcia, ED; Santos, JL; Centeno, MA; Sarria, FR; Daturi, M; Odriozola, JA
Catalysis Today, 356 (2020) 390-398
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


This work is devoted to the study of the role of both metals in the intermetallic PtxCuy/ γ Al2O3 catalysts commonly employed in CO-PROX reaction. Therefore, monometallic Pt and Cu based catalysts and PtCu intermetallic compound with different molar ratios (Pt3Cu1 and Pt1Cu3) supported catalysts were carefully synthesized and deeply characterized. Room temperature CO adsorptions by FTIR spectroscopy were carried out on the mono- and intermetallic catalysts being the monometallic catalyst determinant for the study. From the analysis of the nature of the platinum surface in Pt/ γ Al2O3, we have demonstrated that the role of Pt sites is based in the CO dissociation for the CO2 formation and also how the platinum surface is partially blocked by leftovers from the synthesis. Moreover, the study of the Cu/ γ Al2O3 and the bimetallic catalysts PtxCuy/ γ Al2O3 allowed elucidating the effect of the copper in the metallic site and support interphase as well as the role of copper in the hydrocarbon oxidation.

Octubre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2019.11.026

Tribological performance of Nb-C thin films prepared by DC and HiPIMS

Sala, N; Abad, MD; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Cruz, M; Caro, J; Colominas, C
Materials Letters, 277 (2020) 12834
Tribología y Protección de Superficies


Nanostructured NbC thin films with variable contents of Nb and C were prepared by direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering, and for the first time, via high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) searching for an improvement in the tribological properties. X-ray diffraction shows that increasing the carbon incorporation, the crystalline composition evolves from Nb2C to NbC phase. Further carbon enrichment leads to a nanocomposite structure formed by small NbC crystals (8-14 nm) dispersed in a-C matrix. The friction coefficient varied from high friction (0.8) to low friction (0.25) and the hardness values between 20 and 11 GPa depending on the film composition. A densification of the coatings by changing the methodology from DC to HiPIMS was not observed. 

Octubre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2020.128334

Microstructure and thermal conductivity of Si-Al-C-O fiber bonded ceramics joined to refractory metals

Vera, MC; Martinez-Fernandez, J; Singh, M; Casalegno, V; Balagna, C; Ramirez-Rico, J
Materials Letters, 276 (2020) 128203
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


We explore joining Si-Al-C-O fiber-bonded ceramics to Cu-clad-Mo using an Ag-Ti-Cu brazing alloy. A temperature of 900 degrees C and times in the range of 10-20 min are required to obtain sound joints irrespectively of the fiber orientation. The reaction layer is 1-2 mu m thick and free of pores and defects. The thermal conductivity of the joined samples is well described considering that the metal and the ceramic are in series for thermal resistance. This implies that the joint is highly conductive and forms an almost perfect 

Octubre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2020.128203

Unraveling Discharge and Surface Mechanisms in Plasma-Assisted Ammonia Reactions

Navascues, P; Obrero-Perez, JM; Cotrino, J; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Gomez-Ramirez, A
ACS Sistainable Chemistry & Engineering, 8 (2020) 14855-14866
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Current studies on ammonia synthesis by means of atmospheric pressure plasmas respond to the urgent need of developing less environmentally aggressive processes than the conventional Haber-Bosch catalytic reaction. Herein, we systematically study the plasma synthesis of ammonia and the much less investigated reverse reaction (decomposition of ammonia into nitrogen and hydrogen). Besides analyzing the efficiency of both processes in a packed-bed plasma reactor, we apply an isotope-exchange approach (using D-2 instead of H-2) to study the reaction mechanisms. Isotope labeling has been rarely applied to investigate atmospheric plasma reactions, and we demonstrate that this methodology may provide unique information about intermediate reactions that, consuming energy and diminishing the process efficiency, do not effectively contribute to the overall synthesis/decomposition of ammonia. In addition, the same methodology has demonstrated the active participation of the interelectrode material surface in the plasma-activated synthesis/decomposition of ammonia. These results about the involvement of surface reactions in packed-bed plasma processes, complemented with data obtained by optical emission spectroscopy analysis of the plasma phase, have evidenced the occurrence of inefficient intermediate reaction mechanisms that limit the efficiency and shown that the rate-limiting step for the ammonia synthesis and decomposition reactions are the formation of NH* species in the plasma phase and the electron impact dissociation of the molecule, respectively.

Octubre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c04461

Multiple pollutants removal by functionalized heterostructures based on Na-2-Mica

Pazos, MC; Bravo, LR; Ramos, SE; Osuna, FJ; Pavon, E; Alba, MD
Applied Clay Science, 196 (2020) 105749
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Organomica, C8-2-Mica, was obtained from a high charged synthetic mica, Na-2-Mica, by cation exchange reaction with octylammonium cations and these were used to host other bulky guest species such as polyhydroxy aluminium cations, Al(13)20. The hydrolization of 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPTMS) allowed the covalent attachment with hydroxyl groups of the oligomeric cation, providing thiol groups that create specific adsorption sites, Al(13)20/SH. The structure of the adsorbents was analysed by XRD and Infrared spectroscopy and these were tested as an adsorbent for the removal of zinc and herbicide MCPA from aqueous solutions. C8-2-Mica was the best adsorbent for MCPA and thiol groups favoured the adsorption of Zn2+. Moreover, Al(13)20/SH showed excellent adsorptive properties for the simultaneous adsorption of MCPA and Zn2+.

Octubre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.clay.2020.105749

Internal quantum efficiency and time signals from intensity-modulated photocurrent spectra of perovskite solar cells

Riquelme, A; Galvez, FE; Contreras-Bernal, L; Miguez, H; Anta, JA
Journal of Applied Physics, 128 (2020) 133103
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Intensity Modulated Photocurrent Spectroscopy (IMPS) is a small-perturbation optoelectronic technique that measures the quantum efficiency of a photoelectrochemical device as a function of optical excitation frequency. Metal Halide Perovskites (MHPs) are mixed electronic-ionic semiconductors with an extraordinary complex optoelectronic behavior and a record efficiency surpassing 25%. In this paper, we propose a simplified procedure to analyze IMPS data in MHPs based on the analysis of the internal quantum efficiency and the time signals featuring in the frequency spectra. In this procedure, we look at the change of each signal when optical excitation wavelength, photon flux, and temperature are varied for an archetypical methyl ammonium lead iodide solar cell. We use drift-diffusion modeling and comparison with relatively simpler dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) with viscous and non-viscous electrolytes to help us to understand the origin of the three signals appearing in MHP cells and the measurement of the internal quantum efficiency.

Octubre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1063/5.0013317

Bimetallic PdAu catalysts for formic acid dehydrogenation

Santos, JL; Leon, C; Monnier, G; Ivanova, S; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 45 (2020) 23056-23068
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


A series of monometallic and bimetallic palladium gold catalyst were prepared and studied for the formic acid dehydrogenation reaction. Different Pd/Au compositions were employed (PdxAu100-x, where x = 25; 50 and 75) and their impact on alloy structure, particle size and dispersion was evaluated. Active phase composition and reaction parameters such as temperature, formic acid concentration or formate/formic acid ratio were adjusted to obtain active and selective catalyst for hydrogen production. An important particle size effect was observed and related to Pd/Au composition for all bimetallic catalysts. 

Septiembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.06.076