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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.

Octubre, 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.

Octubre, 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.

Octubre, 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. 

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

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.

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

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.

Octubre, 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.

Octubre, 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.

Octubre, 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.

Septiembre, 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.

Septiembre, 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.

Septiembre, 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.

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

Extraordinary visible photocatalytic activity of a Co0.2Zn0.8O system studied in the Remazol BB oxidation

KarimTanji; J.A.Navio; Jamal Naja; M.C.Hidalgo; Abdellah Chaqroune; C.Jaramillo-Páez; Abdelhak Kherbeche
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 382 (2019) 111877


Nanoparticles of CoxZn1-xO system with a nominal composition of x=0.2 were synthesized by the Solution Combustion Method (SCM). Structural and morphological studies as well as the chemical composition of the material were widely investigated by different techniques. Photocatalytic activity under UV and Visible illumination was studied by means of the Remazol Brilliant Blue dye (RBB) oxidation reaction. The effect of different experimental parameters, such as the initial dye concentration, photocatalyst mass, pH or hydrogen peroxide concentration on the RBB discoloration under UV irradiation was studied. Optimal experimental conditions were found to be a photocatalyst mass of 1 g.L-1, dye concentration of 20 mg.L-1 and solution pH of 11. Hydrogen peroxide addition was found to have no effect in the photocatalytic behavior of the material in the range of concentration studied (0 to 6•10-4 M). The optimal parameters were chosen to investigate the degradation of RBB under UV-illumination and just visible illumination. It was observed that the UV-photocatalytic property of pristine ZnO for the RBB removal was scarcely improved after cobalt-incorporation, whereas the effect of cobalt incorporation into ZnO greatly enhanced the RBB conversion under visible illumination. Even more interesting is that, under same experimental conditions, the visible efficiency of the Co-ZnO system is the same that the one showed under UV illumination, i.e. the system does not loose efficiency when illuminated only with visible light.

Septiembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2019.111877

Insoluble and Thermostable Polyhydroxyesters From a Renewable Natural Occurring Polyhydroxylated Fatty Acid

Benitez, JJ; Guzman-Puyol, S; Cruz-Carrillo, MA; Ceseracciu, L; Moreno, AG; Heredia, A; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
Frontiers in Chemistry, 7 (2019) art. 643


To explore the potential of long chain polyhydroxyalkanoates as non-toxic food packaging materials, the characterization of polyesters prepared from a natural occurring polyhydroxylated C16 carboxylic acid (9,10,16-trihydroxyhexadecanoic or aleuritic acid) has been addressed. Such monomer has been selected to elucidate the reactivity of primary and secondary hydroxyl groups and their contribution to the structure and properties of the polyester. Resulting polyaleuritate films have been produced using an open mold in one-step, solvent-free self-polycondensation in melt state and directly in air to evaluate the effect of oxygen in their final physical and chemical properties. These polymers are amorphous, insoluble, and thermostable, being therefore suitable for solvent, and heat resistant barrier materials. Structurally, most of primary hydroxyls are involved in ester bonds, but there is some branching arising from the partial participation of secondary O-H groups. The oxidative cleavage of the vicinal diol moiety and a subsequent secondary esterification had a noticeable effect on the amorphization and stiffening of the polyester by branching and densification of the ester bond network. A derivation of such structural modification was the surface compaction and the reduction of permeability to water molecules. The addition of Ti(OiPr)(4) as a catalyst had a moderate effect, likely because of a poor diffusion within the melt, but noticeably accelerated both the secondary esterification and the oxidative processes. Primary esterification was a high conversion bulk reaction while oxidation and secondary esterification was restricted to nearby regions of the air exposed side of cast films. The reason was a progressive hindering of oxygen diffusion as the reaction progresses and a self-regulation of the altered layer growth. Despite such a reduced extent, the oxidized layer noticeably increased the UV-vis light blockage capacity. In general, characterized physical properties suggest a high potential of these polyaleuritate polyesters as food preserving materials.

Septiembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00643

New waste-based clinkers for the preparation of low-energy cements. A step forward toward circular economy

Martinez-Martinez, S; Perez-Villarejo, L; Eliche-Quesada, D; Sanchez-Soto, PJ; Christogerou, A; Kanellopoulou, DG; Angelopoulos, GN
International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, (2019)


This paper describes the use of industrial wastes arising from different production processes of the ceramic and marble industries as raw materials for the design and formulation of new cement clinkers with a high content of dicalcium silicate (Belite). The aim was to reintroduce these wastes in the industrial sector and take advantage of them for a greater environmental benefit, as indicated by the principles of the circular economy. Formulations containing 2.5, 5 and 10 wt% of chamotte and marble sludge, respectively, and a waste-free formulation have been designed to obtain clinkers with a content of dicalcium silicate higher than 60 wt%. The different blends have been studied up to a maximum temperature of 1390 degrees C by Thermal Analysis. Other techniques such as XRD, XRF, Modified Bogue Equation, Quality Indexes (LSF, AM, SM) and Optical Microscopy have been used for the study and characterization of industrial wastes, the raw materials and the high belite-type cement dosages. The results indicate that this type of cements can be designed using different types of wastes and in this way reduce the environmental impacts caused by the extraction of raw materials and the deposition of the wastes in landfills, improving the circular economy of the construction industry.

Septiembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1111/ijac.13390

Support effects on NiO-based catalysts for the oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of ethane

Delgado, D; Sanchis, R; Cecilia, JA; Rodriguez-Castellon, E; Caballero, A; Solsona, B; Nieto, JML
Catalysis Today, 333 (2019) 10-16


We report on the effect of NiO-support interactions on the chemical nature of Ni species in a series of supported NiO catalysts for the ODH of ethane. SiO2, TiO2-anatase, a high surface area TiO2 and a porous clay hetero-structure (PCH) with TiO2 and SiO2 pillars were used as supports, which led to a selectivity to ethylene in the range 30-90% over supported NiO catalysts. The catalysts were characterized by means of XRD, N-2-Adsorption, H-2-TPR, XPS and in situ (under H-2 reductive atmosphere) and ex situ XAS spectroscopy. The catalytic performance of supported materials is discussed in terms of their reducibility and specific reduction kinetics, but also taking into account the specific chemical nature of Ni species on each catalyst. The influence of the particle size and the presence of Ni and O vacancies on the catalytic performance in the ODH of ethane is inferred.

Agosto, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2018.07.010

Au/Al2O3 - Efficient catalyst for 5-hydroxymethylfurfural oxidation to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid

Megias-Sayago, C; Lolli, A; Ivanova, S; Albonetti, S; Cavani, F; Odriozola, JA
Catalysis Today, 333 (2019) 169-175


The catalytic activity of a simple Au/Al2O3 catalytic system prepared by the direct anionic exchange (DAE) method was evaluated in the selective 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) oxidation under mild conditions, using molecular oxygen as the oxidant. The influence of the HMF/NaOH ratio and reaction time on product yield and distribution were studied and discussed in detail. Extremely high activity and selectivity were observed in mild conditions, with 99% of 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) production at full HMF conversion after 4 h with the use of only 4 equivalents of NaOH at 70 degrees C. Catalyst viability and stability were verified by repeating the cycle up to five times. Changes in the nature of the support were also contemplated by introducing some ceria fraction, i.e. 20 wt%.

Agosto, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2018.04.024

Mechanically induced combustion synthesis and thermoelectric properties of nanostructured strontium hexaboride (SrB6)

Jalaly, M; Khosroshahi, BK; Gotor, FJ; Sayagues, MJ; Yamini, SA; Failamani, F; Mori, T
Ceramics International, 45 (2019) 14426-14431


The nanoparticles of strontium hexaboride (SrB6) were synthesized by a mechanically induced magnesiothermic combustion in the Mg/B2O3/SrO system. Ignition time in this system was recorded to be 23 min of milling. X-ray diffraction(XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) techniques were used to characterize the combustion product. Thermal analysis was employed to assess the formation mechanism. It was revealed that Mg initially reduced B2O3 in a combustive manner to generate elemental boron and a large amount of heat, resulting in the reduction of SrO by Mg at high temperature. The in-situ formed elemental Sr and B react immediately to generate SrB6. Thermoelectric properties of consolidated SrB6, including thermal conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and figure-of-merit were evaluated at the temperature range of 300–873 K.

Agosto, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2019.04.163

Luminescence and X-ray Absorption Properties of Uniform Eu3+:(H3O)Lu3F10 Nanoprobes

Gonzalez-Mancebo, D; Becerro, AI; Corral, A; Balcerzyk, M; Ocana, M
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) 1153


Due to the high atomic number of lutetium and the low phonon energy of the fluoride matrix, Lu-based fluoride nanoparticles doped with active lanthanide ions are potential candidates as bioprobes in both X-ray computed tomography and luminescent imaging. This paper shows a method for the fabrication of uniform, water-dispersible Eu3+:(H3O)Lu3F10 nanoparticles doped with different Eu contents. Their luminescent properties were studied by means of excitation and emission spectra as well as decay curves. The X-ray attenuation capacity of the phosphor showing the highest emission intensity was subsequently analyzed and compared with a commercial contrast agent. The results indicated that the 10% Eu3+-doped (H3O)Lu3F10 nanoparticles fabricated with the proposed polyol-based method are good candidates to be used as dual probes for luminescent imaging and X-ray computed tomography.

Agosto, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9081153


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.

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