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Tuning the excitation wavelength of luminescent Mn2+-doped ZnSxSe1-x obtained by mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction

Aviles, MA; Gotor, FJ
Optical Materials, 117 (2021) 111121
Reactividad de Sólidos


Mn2+-doped ZnSxSe1-x solid solution samples (Mn:ZnSxSe1-x) were synthesized by the mechanochemical process denoted as mechanically-induced self-sustaining reaction from Mn/Zn/S/Se powder elemental mixtures. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, diffuse reflectance UV-Vis spectroscopy and emission and excitation photoluminescence measurements. The band-gap energy of samples was controlled by changing the stoichiometry, x, of the solid solution. All samples showed the characteristic Mn2+ 4T1-6A1 emission at -588 nm when exciting the host material, so it was possible to tune the excitation wavelength from 349 nm to 467 nm. However, an efficiency loss was observed with increasing Se content, probably due to the overlap between the absorption and emission spectra that induced self-absorption and emission quenching.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.optmat.2021.111121

Light-Harvesting Properties of a Subphthalocyanine Solar Absorber Coupled to an Optical Cavity

Esteso, V; Calio, L; Espinos, H; Lavarda, G; Torres, T; Feist, J; Garcia-Vidal, FJ; Bottari, G; Míguez, H
SOLAR RRL, (2021) 2100308
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Herein, both from the experimental and theoretical point of view, the optical absorption properties of a subphthalocyanine (SubPc), an organic macrocycle commonly used as a sunlight harvester, coupled to metallic optical cavities are analyzed. How different electronic transitions characteristic of this compound and specifically those that give rise to excitonic (Q band) and charge transfer (CT band) transitions couple to optical cavity modes is investigated. It is observed that whereas the CT band couples weakly to the cavity, the Q band transitions show evidence of hybridization with the photon eigenstates of the resonator, a distinctive trait of the strong coupling regime. As a result of the different coupling regimes of the two electronic transitions, very different spectral and directional light-harvesting features are observed, which for the weakly coupled CT transitions are mainly determined by the highly dispersive cavity modes and for the strongly coupled Q band by the less angle-dependent exciton-polariton bands. Modeling also allows discriminating parasitic from productive absorption in each case, enabling the estimation of the expected losses in a solar cell acting as an optical resonator.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1002/solr.202100308

Mechanistic Considerations on the H-2 Production by Methanol Thermal-assisted Photocatalytic Reforming over Cu/TiO2 Catalyst

Platero, F; Lopez-Martin, A; Caballero, A; Colon, G
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


We have studied the gas phase H-2 production by methanol thermo-photoreforming using Cu-modified TiO2. Metal co-catalyst has been deposited by means of photodeposition method. The concentration of methanol in the steam was also considered. It appears that H-2 production is notably higher as temperature increases. Moreover, the optimum H-2 yield is achieved using methanol concentration of 10 % v/v. CO and CO2 were monitored as side products of the overall reaction. It has been stated that CO evolution is significant at lower temperatures. As temperature increases, CO evolution is hindered and H-2 appeared boosted. We have demonstrated that other reactions such water-gas-shift or formate dehydration would participate in the overall process. On this basis, optimal operational condition for H-2 production is attained for thermo-photocatalytic reforming of methanol solution 10 % v/v at 200 degrees C.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1002/cctc.202100680

Bimetallic Ni-Ru and Ni-Re Catalysts for Dry Reforming of Methane: Understanding the Synergies of the Selected Promoters

Moreno, AA; Ramirez-Reina, T; Ivanova, S; Roger, AC; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Frontiers in Chemistry, 9 (2021) 694976
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Designing an economically viable catalyst that maintains high catalytic activity and stability is the key to unlock dry reforming of methane (DRM) as a primary strategy for biogas valorization. Ni/Al2O3 catalysts have been widely used for this purpose; however, several modifications have been reported in the last years in order to prevent coke deposition and deactivation of the samples. Modification of the acidity of the support and the addition of noble metal promoters are between the most reported strategies. Nevertheless, in the task of designing an active and stable catalyst for DRM, the selection of an appropriate noble metal promoter is turning more challenging owing to the lack of homogeneity of the different studies. Therefore, this research aims to compare Ru (0.50 and 2.0%) and Re (0.50 and 2.0%) as noble metal promoters for a Ni/MgAl2O4 catalyst under the same synthesis and reaction conditions. Catalysts were characterized by XRF, BET, XRD, TPR, hydrogen chemisorption (H-2-TPD), and dry reforming reaction tests. Results show that both promoters increase Ni reducibility and dispersion. However, Ru seems a better promoter for DRM since 0.50% of Ru increases the catalytic activity in 10% and leads to less coke deposition.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2021.694976

Ligand-Free MAPbI(3) Quantum Dot Solar Cells Based on Nanostructured Insulating Matrices

Rubino, A; Calio, L; Calvo, ME; Miguez, H
SOLAR RRL (2021) 2100204
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


The stability, either chemical or thermal, and performance of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) devices are typically limited by the presence of surface-bonded organic ligands required to stabilize the nanocrystals. In addition, optimization of charge transport implies lengthy ligand exchange processing. Herein, evidence of efficient charge transport through a network of ligand-free perovskite quantum dots (PQDs) embedded in an insulating porous matrix made of monodisperse SiO2 nanoparticles is shown. Methylammonium lead iodide (CH3NH3PbI3 or MAPbI(3)) QDs are prepared in situ by infiltration of precursors within the matrix pores, which act both as nanoreactors for the synthetic reaction and as supporting scaffolds, hence reducing the number of synthetic and postprocessing steps usually required in CQD solar cells. Above a certain nanocrystal load, charge percolation is reached and dot-to-dot transport achieved without compromising quantum confinement effects. Solar cells based on MAPbI(3) QDs prepared in this way present a 9.3% efficiency, the highest reported for a scaffold-supported PQD solar cell, and significantly improved stability under solar illumination with respect to their bulk counterparts. Therefore, adequately designed networks of ligand-free PQDs can be used as both light harvesters and photocarrier conductors, in an alternative configuration to that used in previously developed QD solar cells.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1002/solr.202100204

How a small modification in the imidazolium-based SDA can determine the zeolite structure? MFI vs. TON

Megias-Sayago, C; Blanes, JMM; Szyja, BM; Odriozola, JA; Ivanova, S
Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 322 (2021) 111160
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


The present study proposes an important contribution to the understanding of ionic liquid role as structure directing agent for zeolite synthesis. A series of imidazolium based ionic liquids are used for this purpose. While the anionic counterpart influences the micellar organization during the synthesis, the imidazolium cation clearly directs the structure to one or another zeolite family as a function of its substituents and their interaction with the zeolite framework. The experimental observations are contrasted with molecular modeling explaining the distinct zeolite families obtained on the basis of different preferential orientation of the ionic liquids to the Si33 precursor.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.micromeso.2021.111160

Current scenario and prospects in manufacture strategies for glass, quartz, polymers and metallic microreactors: A comprehensive review

Dominguez, MI; Centeno, MA; Martinez, TM; Bobadilla, LF; Laguna, OH; Odriozola, JA
Chemical Engineering Research & Design, 171 (2021) 13-35
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


One of the most remarkable benefits of the microreactors is the achievement of more efficient processes by enhancing the heat and mass transfer phenomena, which is the key factor for processes intensification in chemical reactions, resulting in higher conversion, selectivity and yield towards desired products. Currently, the entire scenario of microreaction approach is an emergent technology and further advances are ongoing. Several strategies have been successfully applied for structuring processes that imply the fixation of the catalysts on the microreactors. However, there are features such as the physicochemical stability of the coatings under reaction conditions that must be improved, motivating the search for new protocols. This review provides a general overview of the most important methodologies applied for glass, quartz, polymers and metals microreactors manufacture and for their coating, analyzing the advantages and drawbacks of every procedure. Furthermore, an outline of the novel insights based on additive manufacturing techniques are described.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cherd.2021.05.001

Characterizing the physicochemical and mechanical properties of ZrN thin films deposited on Zr substrates by pulsed laser technique

Ghemras, I; Abdelli-Messaci, S; Alili, B; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Rico, VJ; Izerrouken, M; Khereddine, AY; Hadj-Larbi, F
European Physical Journal-Applied Physics, 95 (2021) 10301
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Due to their outstanding physical and mechanical features, ZrN thin films are increasingly used as coatings to protect materials intended for nuclear applications such as Zirconium. To our knowledge, there is no report of pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of ZrN thin films on a Zr substrate. In this work, we have successfully prepared ZrN thin films on Zr substrates using the PLD technique with a KrF excimer laser, in a N-2 environment at 2 Pa pressure and a fixed substrate temperature of 500 degrees C. The deposited 200 nm ZrN thin films exhibited a homogeneous surface and showed a face-centered cubic polycrystalline structure. The surface roughness was 3.69 nm. X-ray diffraction, Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements confirmed the presence of ZrN. The coated sample's mean value of hardness (11.6 GP) doubled that of the uncoated sample.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1051/epjap/2021210064

Highly Versatile Upconverting Oxyfluoride-Based Nanophosphor Films

Ngo, TT; Cabello-Olmo, E; Arroyo, E; Becerro, AI; Ocana, M; Lozano, G; Miguez, H
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13 (2021) 30051-30060
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales - Materiales Coloidales


Fluoride-based compounds doped with rare-earth cations are the preferred choice of materials to achieve efficient upconversion, of interest for a plethora of applications ranging from bioimaging to energy harvesting. Herein, we demonstrate a simple route to fabricate bright upconverting films that are transparent, self-standing, flexible, and emit different colors. Starting from the solvothermal synthesis of uniform and colloidally stable yttrium fluoride nanoparticles doped with Yb3+ and Er3+, Ho3+, or Tm3+, we find the experimental conditions to process the nanophosphors as optical quality films of controlled thickness between few hundreds of nanometers and several micrometers. A thorough analysis of both structural and photophysical properties of films annealed at different temperatures reveals a tradeoff between the oxidation of the matrix, which transitions through an oxyfluoride crystal phase, and the efficiency of the upconversion photoluminescence process. It represents a significant step forward in the understanding of the fundamental properties of upconverting materials and can be leveraged for the optimization of upconversion systems in general. We prove bright multicolor upconversion photoluminescence in oxyfluoride-based phosphor transparent films upon excitation with a 980 nm laser for both rigid and flexible versions of the layers, being possible to use the latter to coat surfaces of arbitrary shape. Our results pave the way toward the development of upconverting coatings that can be conveniently integrated in applications that demand a large degree of versatility.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c07012

In-situ HDO of guaiacol over nitrogen-doped activated carbon supported nickel nanoparticles

Jin, Wei; Pastor-Perez, Laura; Villora-Pico, Juan J.; Mercedes Pastor-Blas, M.; Odriozola, Jose A.; Sepulveda-Escribano, Antonio; Ramirez Reina, Tomas
Applied Catalysis A-General, 620 (2021) 118033
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


In-situ hydrodeoxygenation of guaiacol over Ni-based nitrogen-doped activated carbon supported catalysts is presented in this paper as an economically viable route for bio-resources upgrading. The overriding concept of this paper is to use water as hydrogen donor for the HDO reaction, suppressing the input of external highpressure hydrogen. The effect of nitrogen sources, including polypyrrole (PPy), polyaniline (PANI) and melamine (Mel) on the structural, electronic and ultimately of catalytic features of the designed materials have been addressed. Nitrogen-doped samples are more active than the undoped counterparts in the "H2-free" HDO process. For instance, the conversion of guaiacol increased by 8 % for Ni/PANI-AC compared to that of Ni/AC catalysts. The superior performance of Ni/NC can be attributed to the acid-base properties and modified electronic properties, which favours the C-O cleavage and water activation as well as enhances dispersion of Ni particles on the catalysts' surface.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2021.118033

The Role of the Atmosphere on the Photophysics of Ligand-Free Lead-Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals

Moran-Pedroso, M; Rubino, A; Calvo, ME; Espinos, JP; Galisteo-Lopez, JF; Miguez, H
Advanced Optical Materials, (2021) 2100605
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Lead halide perovskite (LHP) nanocrystals (NCs) have gained attention over the past decade due to their outstanding optoelectronic properties, making them a suitable material for efficient photovoltaic and light emitting devices. Due to its soft nature, these nanostructures undergo strong structural changes upon irradiation, where these light-induced processes are strongly influenced by the environment. Since most processing routes for LHP NCs are based on colloidal approaches, the role of factors such as stabilizing ligands or solvents is usually hard to disentangle from the interaction of external radiation with the perovskite material. Employing a recently proposed synthetic approach, where ligand-free NCs can be grown within metal-oxide-based insulating nanoporous matrices, it has been feasible to perform a clean study of the effect of the surrounding atmosphere on the photophysical properties of perovskite NCs, avoiding the interference of protective capping layers or solvents. Simultaneous light-induced photo-activation and darkening processes are monitored and disentangled, and their relation with bulk and surface processes, respectively, demonstrated.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1002/adom.202100605

Stepping toward Efficient Microreactors for CO2 Methanation: 3D-Printed Gyroid Geometry

Baena-Moreno, FM; Gonzalez-Castano, M; de Miguel, JCN; Miah, KUM; Ossenbrink, R; Odriozola, J.A.
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 9 (2021) 8198-8206
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


This work presents a comparative study toward the development of efficient microreactors based on three-dimensional (3D)-printed structures. Thus, the study evaluates the influence of the metal substrate geometry on the performance of structured catalysts for the CO2 methanation reaction. For this purpose, the 0.5%Ru-15%Ni/MgAl2O4 catalyst is washcoated over two different micromonolithic metal substrates: a conventional parallel channel honeycomb structure and a novel 3D-printed structure with a complex gyroid geometry. The effect of metal substrate geometry is analyzed for several CO2 sources including ideal flue gas atmospheres and the presence of residual CH4 and CO in the flue gas, as well as simulated biogas sources. The advantages of the gyroid 3D complex geometries over the honeycomb structures are shown for all evaluated conditions, providing in the best-case scenario a 14% improvement in CO2 conversion. Moreover, this contribution shows that systematically tailoring geometrical features of structured catalysts becomes an effective strategy to achieve improved catalyst performances independent of the flue gas composition. By enhancing the transport processes and the gas-catalyst interactions, the employed gyroid 3D metal substrates enable boosted CO2 conversions and greater CH4 selectivity within diffusion-controlled regimes.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c01980

Pectin-cellulose nanocrystal biocomposites: Tuning of physical properties and biodegradability

Moreno, Ana Gonzalez; Guzman-Puyol, Susana; Dominguez, Eva; Benitez, Jose J.; Segado, Patricia; Lauciello, Simone; Ceseracciu, Luca; Porras-Vazquez, Jose M.; Leon-Reina, Laura; Heredia, Antonio; Heredia-Guerrero, Jose A.
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 180 (2021) 709-717
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


The fabrication of pectin-cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) biocomposites has been systematically investigated by blend-ing both polysaccharides at different relative concentrations. Circular free-standing films with a diameter of 9 cm were prepared by simple solution of these carbohydrates in water followed by drop-casting and solvent evaporation. The addition of pectin allows to finely tune the properties of the biocomposites. Textural characterization by AFM showed fibrous morphology and an increase in fiber diameter with pectin content. XRD analysis demonstrated that pectin incorporation also reduced the degree of crystallinity though no specific interaction between both poly-saccharides was detected, by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. The optical properties of these biocomposites were character-ized for the first time and it was found that pectin in the blend reduced the reflectance of visible light and increased UV absorbance. Thermal stability, analyzed by TGA, was improved with the incorporation of pectin. Finally, pectin-cellulose nanocrystal biocomposites showed a good biodegradability in seawater, comparable to other common bioplastics such as cellulose and low-molecular weight polylactide, among others.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.03.126

Kinetic study of complex processes composed of non-independent stages: pyrolysis of natural rubber

Perejon, A; Sánchez-Jiménez, PE; García-Garrido, C; Pérez-Maqueda, LA
Polymer Degradation and Stability, 188 (2021) 109590
Reactividad de Sólidos


In this work, it is proposed a method for studying kinetics of complex processes composed of non-independent stages. In this method, the variable contribution of the different stages as a function of the heating schedule is taken into account. The method involves the simultaneous kinetic analysis of a set of experimental data registered under linear heating rate conditions, without any previous assumptions regarding the kinetic models followed by the stages or their corresponding activation energies.
The method has been tested with the kinetic analysis of the pyrolysis of natural rubber, since the kinetics of this process is complex and depends on temperature and heating schedule. It is demonstrated that the behavior of the experimental curves can be accurately predicted with the kinetic parameters calculated by the proposed methodology.
The kinetic analysis presented here could be applied to other complex processes as those found in pyrolysis, without the need of using oversimplified kinetic models that could yield significant errors when used in real applications.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2021.109590

Self-preserving ice layers on CO2 clathrate particles: Implications for Enceladus, Pluto, and similar ocean worlds

Bostrom, M; Esteso, V; Fiedler, J; Brevik, I; Buhmann, SY; Persson, C; Carretero-Palacios, S; Parsons, DF; Corkey, RW
Astronomy & Astrophysics, 650 (2021) A54
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Context. Gas hydrates can be stabilised outside their window of thermodynamic stability by the formation of an ice layer - a phenomenon termed self-preservation. This can lead to a positive buoyancy for clathrate particles containing CO2 that would otherwise sink in the oceans of Enceladus, Pluto, and similar oceanic worlds.Aims. Here we investigate the implications of Lifshitz forces and low occupancy surface regions on type I clathrate structures for their self-preservation through ice layer formation, presenting a plausible model based on multi-layer interactions through dispersion forces.Methods. We used optical data and theoretical models for the dielectric response for water, ice, and gas hydrates with a different occupancy. Taking this together with the thermodynamic Lifshitz free energy, we modelled the energy minima essential for the formation of ice layers at the interface between gas hydrate and liquid water.Results. We predict the growth of an ice layer between 0.01 and 0.2 mu m thick on CO, CH4, and CO2 hydrate surfaces, depending on the presence of surface regions depleted in gas molecules. Effective hydrate particle density is estimated, delimiting a range of particle size and compositions that would be buoyant in different oceans. Over geological time, the deposition of floating hydrate particles could result in the accumulation of kilometre-thick gas hydrate layers above liquid water reservoirs and below the water ice crusts of their respective ocean worlds. On Enceladus, the destabilisation of near-surface hydrate deposits could lead to increased gas pressures that both drive plumes and entrain stabilised hydrate particles. Furthermore, on ocean worlds, such as Enceladus and particularly Pluto, the accumulation of thick CO2 or mixed gas hydrate deposits could insulate its ocean against freezing. In preventing freezing of liquid water reservoirs in ocean worlds, the presence of CO2-containing hydrate layers could enhance the habitability of ocean worlds in our Solar System and on the exoplanets and exomoons beyond.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202040181

Ni/YMnO3 perovskite catalyst for CO2 methanation

Gonzalez-Castano, M; de Miguel, JCN; Penkova, A; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA; Arellano-Garcia, H
Applied Materials Today, 23 (2021) 101055
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


This work proposes an innovative Ni catalyst supported over YMnO3 perovskite as a promising catalytic system for CO2 methanation reaction. Under reductive conditions, the attendance of Mn redox couples within the layered perovskite structure promotes the constitution of sub-stoichiometric YMnO3-x units which, by means of the flexible YMnO3-x reorganization capacity, results in boosted anionic mobility's. The competitive turnover frequencies (20.1 and 17.0 s(-1) at 400 degrees C under dry- and steamed- CO2 methanation conditions) displayed by Ni/YMnO3 system were related to the synergism between strongly interacting Ni particles with partially reduced YMnO3-x perovskites. The optimal Ni dispersions, for which no relevant signs of sintering issues were discerned, combined to effective role of oxygen vacancies towards the dissociative activation of CO2 molecules enabled highly active and stable catalytic behaviours with no evidence of cooking phenomena. On evaluating the water presence within CO2 methanation feedstock's, the deprived catalytic behaviour was fundamentally associated to depleted oxygen vacancies concentrations and promoted WGS side reactions.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apmt.2021.101055

New Trends in Nanoclay-Modified Sensors

Pavon, E; Martin-Rodriguez, R; Perdigon, AC; Alba, MD
Inorganics, 9 (2021) 43
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Nanoclays are widespread materials characterized by a layered structure in the nano-scale range. They have multiple applications in diverse scientific and industrial areas, mainly due to their swelling capacity, cation exchange capacity, and plasticity. Due to the cation exchange capacity, nanoclays can serve as host matrices for the stabilization of several molecules and, thus, they can be used as sensors by incorporating electroactive ions, biomolecules as enzymes, or fluorescence probes. In this review, the most recent applications as bioanalyte sensors are addressed, focusing on two main detection systems: electrochemical and optical methods. Particularly, the application of electrochemical sensors with clay-modified electrodes (CLME) for pesticide detection is described. Moreover, recent advances of both electrochemical and optical sensors based on nanoclays for diverse bioanalytes' detection such as glucose, H2O2, organic acids, proteins, or bacteria are also discussed. As it can be seen from this review, nanoclays can become a key factor in sensors' development, creating an emerging technology for the detection of bioanalytes, with application in both environmental and biomedical fields.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.3390/inorganics9060043

Thermal behaviour of the different parts of almond shells as waste biomass

Garzon, E; Arce, C; Callejon-Ferre, AJ; Perez-Falcon, JM; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, (2021)
Materiales Avanzados


The main aim of this study is to investigate the thermal behaviour of the different parts of almond shells produced in an almond industry as a waste biomass. For this purpose, several experiments have been conducted under laboratory conditions. After removing the mature almonds, the waste raw materials subject of this study were treated with distilled water (10 min) and separated in several parts. Taking into account their physical characteristics, they were: (a) complete shells: exocarp, mesocarp and endocarp without grinding (Sample C); (b) ground samples of complete shells, sieved under 0.2 mm (Sample M); (c) hard layers of the endocarp (Sample E); (d) internal layers of the endocarp (Sample I); and (e) mature drupes (Sample P) or skin, being constituted by the flexible part of green colour (fresh form) or yellow (after drying). The thermal behaviour of all these sample materials has been investigated using a laboratory furnace, with determination of ash contents and mass loss by progressive heating (120 min of holding time). Elemental and DTA-TG/DTG analyses of selected sample materials have been carried out. Although a complete study can be very complex, a first approach has been performed in this investigation. Results on thermal decomposition of this biomass waste have been presented to emphasize the main differences between sample materials of almond shells. These results have demonstrated the influence of several parameters, such as the particle size, and previous treatments in the thermal behaviour of the different parts of the almond shells, as showed in this investigation. Structural analysis of almond shells allowed to determine lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose. From the lignin content, it has been predicted the higher heating value (18.24 MJkg(-1)) of this waste as by-product of industrial interest. Other linear correlations to calculate this parameter have been applied with similar results in all these samples.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1007/s10973-021-10940-x

Features of coupled AgBr/WO3 materials as potential photocatalysts

Puga, F.; Navío, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 867 (2021) 159191
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


AgBr/WO3 composite photocatalysts with different selected molar AgBr/WO3 ratios were prepared and widely characterized by XRD, N2-adsorption, SEM, TEM, UV–visible/DRS and XPS techniques. The samples were tested using rhodamine B (RhB) or caffeine, under two illumination conditions (UV and visible light). Although AgBr and WO3 pristine materials have relatively low band gap values (2.6 eV and 2.8 eV, respectively), they exhibit low or no photocatalytic activity under visible light, at least for caffeine degradation. This fact may be mainly related to a high recombination rate of photogenerated charge carriers in these samples. However, the coupling of both leads to a substantial improvement in the degradation of caffeine and RhB under both UV and visible lighting conditions. The increased photocatalytic activity found in the coupled systems with respect to the pristine materials can be attributed to the formation of a type II heterostructure in the coupled AgBr/WO3 samples. Our results show that for AgBr/WO3 coupled systems, kinetic degradation profiles have clear dependence on the molar percentages of the coupled pristine materials, as well as on the nature (sensitizing or not sensitizing effect) of the substrate. For caffeine photodegradation, the best performance was obtained when AgBr/WO3(10–15%) catalysts were used. The AgBr/WO3(20%) sample showed the best photocatalytic activity for rhodamine B degradation, exhibiting also excellent dark adsorption capacity (40–45%). Additionally, studies of activity in five consecutive tests showed a good RhB degradation during the successive reuses being involving a N-de-ethylation mechanism with the main O2•− radicals participation; relatively low mineralization percentages were observed, both under UV and visible light conditions. In these successive runs, no silver leaching to the medium was observed but a change from AgBr towards Ag2CO3 and/or AgxO was produced at the catalyst surface. These features should be known in the use of these systems as potential photocatalysts for practical applications.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2021.159191

Swelling layered minerals applications: A solid state NMR overview

Pavon, E; Alba, MD
Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, 124 (2021) 99-128
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


Swelling layered clay minerals form an important sub-group of the phyllosilicate family. They are characterized by their ability to expand or contract in the presence or absence of water. This property makes them useful for a variety of applications, ranging from environmental technologies to heteroge-neous catalysis, and including pharmaceutical and industrial applications. Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (SS-NMR) has been extensively applied in the characterization of these materials, providing useful information on their dynamics and structure that is inaccessible using other characterization methods such as X-ray diffraction. In this review, we present the key contributions of SS-NMR to the understanding of the mechanisms that govern some of the main applications associated to swelling clay minerals. The article is divided in two parts. The first part presents SS-NMR conventional applications to layered clay minerals, while the second part comprises an in-depth review of the information that SS-NMR can provide about the different properties of swelling layered clay minerals.

Junio, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.pnmrs.2021.04.001