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Powder and Nanotubes Titania Modified by Dye Sensitization as Photocatalysts for the Organic Pollutants Elimination

Murcia, JJ; Avila-Martinez, EG; Rojas, H; Cubillos, J; Ivanova, S; Penkova, A; Laguna, OH
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) 517


In this study, titanium dioxide powder obtained by the sol-gel method and TiO2 nanotubes, were prepared. In order to increase the TiO2 photoactivity, the powders and nanotubes obtained were modified by dye sensitization treatment during the oxide synthesis. The sensitizers applied were Quinizarin (Q) and Zinc protoporphyrin (P). The materials synthesized were extensively characterized and it was found that the dye sensitization treatment leads to modify the optical and surface properties of Titania. It was also found that the effectiveness of the dye-sensitized catalysts in the phenol and methyl orange (MO) photodegradation strongly depends on the dye sensitizer employed. Thus, the highest degradation rate for MO was obtained over the conventional Q-TiO2 photocatalyst. In the case of the nanotubes series, the most effective photocatalyst in the MO degradation was based on TiO2-nanotubes sensitized with the dye protoporfirin (ZnP). Selected catalysts were also tested in the phenol and MO photodegradation under visible light and it was observed that these samples are also active under this radiation.

Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9040517

Operando Spectroscopic Evidence of the Induced Effect of Residual Species in the Reaction Intermediates during CO2 Hydrogenation over Ruthenium Nanoparticles

Navarro-Jaen, S; Szego, A; Bobadilla, LF; Laguna, OH; Romero-Sarria, F; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Chemcatchem, 11 (2019) 2063-2068


In this work, we present a highly active catalyst based on Ru nanoparticles dispersed on alumina, which showed an unexpected activity for CO2 methanation. This exceptional catalytic behavior was attributed to the presence of residual species that remained on the surface after synthesis. Furthermore, through Operando DRIFTS (diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy) measurements it was demonstrated that these remaining species provoked an induced effect on the nature of the surface intermediates spectroscopically observed, and consequently on their mechanistic role during the pathway of the CO2 hydrogenation to methane.

Abril, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201900101

Synthesis of sol-gel pyrophyllite/TiO2 heterostructures: Effect of calcination temperature and methanol washing on photocatalytic activity

El Gaidoumi, A.; Doña Rodríguez, J.M.; Pulido Melián, E.; González-Díaz, O.M.; Navío Santos, J.M.; El Bali, B.; Kherbeche, A.
Surfaces and Interfaces, 14 (2019) 19-25


We successfully synthesized an efficient photoactive pyrophyllite/TiO2 heterostructures using a sol-gel route at ambient temperature. The samples were prepared by exfoliation of a pyrophyllite layered-type clay by TiO2. The prepared samples exhibited strong photocatalytic activity for the degradation of phenol. The heterostructure PTi750 (SBET = 16.58 m2/g) calcined at 750 °C, in which the mixed phases of anatase and rutile exist (52.2% anatase/10.7% rutile), showed the highest photocatalytic activity against commercial TiO2Aeroxide P25. The methanol washed PTi750 was 5 times faster than the corresponding unwashed sample; phenol was totally degraded with a TOC reduction of 89.2%. The materials have been characterized by: X-ray diffraction (XRD), Diffuse reflectance UV–vis spectrophotometry (UV–Vis DRS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and BET specific surface area.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfin.2018.10.003

Sample-Controlled analysis under high pressure for accelerated process studies

Perejon, A; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Soria-Hoyo, C; Valverde, JM; Criado, JM; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 102 (2019) 1338-1346


The potential of controlled rate thermal analysis (CRTA) for studying high-pressure gas-solid processes has been evaluated. CRTA is a type of smart temperature program based on a feedback system that uses any experimental signal related to the process evolution for commanding the temperature evolution. In this work, an instrument that uses the gravimetric signal for CRTA control has been designed and used for the study of two high-pressure gas-solid reactions: the highly exothermic thermal oxidation of TiC under high pressure of oxygen and the reduction in Fe2O3 under high pressure of hydrogen. Advantages of CRTA for discriminating overlapping processes and appraising kinetic reaction mechanisms are shown.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1111/jace.15960

Tamm Plasmons Directionally Enhance Rare-Earth Nanophosphor Emission

Geng, DL; Cabello-Olmo, E; Lozano, G; Miguez, H
ACS Photonics, 6 (2019) 634-641


Rare-earth-based phosphors are the materials on which current solid-state lighting technology is built. However, their large crystal size impedes the tuning, optimization, or manipulation of emitted light that can be achieved by their integration in nanophotonic architectures. Herein we demonstrate a hybrid plasmonic-photonic architecture capable of both channeling in a specific direction and enhancing by eight times the emission radiated by a macroscopically wide layer of nanophosphors. In order to do so, a slab of rare-earth-based nanocrystals is inserted between a dielectric multilayer and a metal film, following a rational design that optimizes the coupling of nanophosphor emission to collective modes sustained by the metal-dielectric system. Our approach is advantageous for the optimization of solid-state lighting systems.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.8b01407

Anisotropic lattice expansion determined during flash sintering of BiFeO3 by in-situ energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction

Wassel, MAB; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Gil-Gonzalez, E; Charalambous, H; Perejon, A; Jha, SK; Okasinski, J; Tsakalakos, T
Scripta Materialia, 162 (2019) 286-291


BiFeO3 has a Curie temperature (T-c) of 825 degrees C, making it difficult to sinter using conventional methods while maintaining the purity of the material, as unavoidably secondary phases appear at temperatures above T-c Flash sintering is a relatively new technique that saves time and energy compared to other sintering methods. BiFeO3 was flash sintered at 500 degrees C to achieve 90% densification. In-situ energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDXRD) revealed that the material did not undergo any phase transformation, having been sintered well below the Tc. Interestingly, anisotropic lattice expansion in the material was observed when the sample was exposed to the electric field. 

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2018.11.028

Test of a He-3 target for transfer reactions in inverse kinematics

Carozzi, G; Valiente-Dobon, JJ; Gadea, A; Siciliano, M; Mengoni, D; Fernandez, A; Godinho, V; Hufschmidt, D; Di Nitto, A
Nuovo cimento c-colloquia and communications in physics, 42 (2019) 94


With the aim of studying exotic nuclei close to the proton dripline, an innovative He-3 target was produced and tested in a collaboration between the Materials Science Institute of Seville (Spain) and the Legnaro National Laboratories (Italy). The target was manufactured with a new technique that aims to reduce the costs while providing high quality targets. The target was tested at the Legnaro National Laboratories. The results of this test are presented in this contribution.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1393/ncc/i2019-19094-9

Trapping of Gas Bubbles in Water at a Finite Distance below a Water-Solid Interface

Esteso, V; Carretero-Palacios, S; Thiyam, P; Miguez, H; Parsons, DF; Brevik, I; Bostrom, M
Langmuir, 35 (2019) 4218-4223


Gas bubbles in a water-filled cavity move upward because of buoyancy. Near the roof, additional forces come into play, such as Lifshitz, double layer, and hydrodynamic forces. Below uncharged metallic surfaces, repulsive Lifshitz forces combined with buoyancy forces provide a way to trap micrometer-sized bubbles. We demonstrate how bubbles of this size can be stably trapped at experimentally accessible distances, the distances being tunable with the surface material. By contrast, large bubbles (>= 100 mu m) are usually pushed toward the roof by buoyancy forces and adhere to the surface. Gas bubbles with radii ranging from 1 to 10 mu m can be trapped at equilibrium distances from 190 to 35 nm. As a model for rock, sand grains, and biosurfaces, we consider dielectric materials such as silica and polystyrene, whereas aluminium, gold, and silver are the examples of metal surfaces. Finally, we demonstrate that the presence of surface charges further strengthens the trapping by inducing ion adsorption forces.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b04176

Promoting effect of CeO2, ZrO2 and Ce/Zr mixed oxides on Co/gamma-Al2O3 catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

Garcilaso, V; Barrientos, J; Bobadilla, LF; Laguna, OH; Boutonnet, M; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Renewable Energy, 132 (2019) 1141-1150


A series of cobalt-based catalysts have been synthesized using as support gamma-Al2O3 promoted by ceria/zirconia mixed oxides with a variable Ce/Zr molar ratio. The obtained catalysts demonstrated oxide promotion results in the protection of the major textural properties, especially for Zr-rich solids. Reducibility of cobalt species was enhanced by the presence of mixed oxides. The chemical composition of the oxide promoter influenced not only physicochemical properties of final catalysts but also determined their performance during the reaction. In this sense, Zr-rich systems presented a superior catalytic performance both in total conversion and in selectivity towards long chain hydrocarbons. The observed Zr-promotion effect could be explained by two significant contributions: firstly, the partial inhibition of Co-Al spinel compound formation by the presence of Zr-rich phases which enhances the availability of Co actives site and secondly, Zr-associate acidic sites promote higher hydrocarbons selectivity.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2018.08.080

CuxCo3-xO4 ultra-thin film as efficient anodic catalysts for anion exchange membrane water electrolysers

Lopez-Fernandez, E; Gil-Rostra, J; Espinos, JP; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Yubero, F; de Lucas-Consuegra, A
Journal of Power Sources, 415 (2019) 136-144


CuxCo3-xO4 ultra-thin films, deposited by magnetron sputtering at oblique angles have been used as anodic catalysts in anion exchange membrane water electrolysers. It has been demonstrated that the used deposition procedure provides porous and amorphous samples with a strict control of the total catalyst load and Co/Cu ratio. Electrocatalytic tests showed a maximum performance for the oxygen evolution reaction at Co/Cu atomic ratio around 1.8. The optimized anodic catalyst presented a long-term stability confirmed by accelerated lifetime tests together with the chemical surface analysis of the used samples. The effect of the crystallization of a single layer CuxCo3-xO4 and a multilayer (CuO/Co3O4)(n) anodic catalyst samples was also investigated. The observed loss of catalytic performance found in both cases may prove that a particular local chemical environment around the Co and Cu sites acts as an efficient catalytic site for the oxygen evolution reaction. A catalyst film with the optimum Co/Cu atomic ratio was incorporated into a Membrane Electrode Assembly, using a sputtered Ni film as cathode. Current density values up to 100 mA cm(-2) at 2.0 V were obtained in 1.0 M KOH electrolyte. Upon normalization by the amount of catalyst, this performance is one of the highest reported in literature.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.01.056

Technological evolution of ceramic glazes in the renaissance: In situ analysis of tiles in the Alcazar (Seville, Spain)

de Viguerie, Laurence; Robador, Maria D.; Castaing, Jacques; Perez-Rodriguez, Jose L.; Walter, Philippe; Bouquillon, Anne
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 102 (2019) 1402-1413


The Alcazar Palace (Seville, Spain) is famous for its ceramic decorations; 16th century wall tiles of different typologies have been analyzed in order to relate the manufacturing process of their colored glazes to the evolving technologies of the Renaissance. Chemical and mineralogical compositions have been determined in situ by nondestructive X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction on arista ceramics in the Cenador de Carlos Quinto, and majolica ceramics in the Palacio Gotico and the Royal oratory. The arista style belongs to the local Hispano-Moresque ceramic tradition. Majolica tiles have the complex microstructures of glazes from Italy. The two types are clearly differentiated by their typology, morphology (curved vs flat surface), and also microstructure (single vs multi-layers), glaze chemistry, and use of different coloring agents. Moreover, we found different glaze chemistries in the investigated majolicas, which correspond to different artists and/or practices.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1111/jace.15955

A theoretical study of the bonding capabilities of the zinc-zinc double bond

Ayala, R; Galindo, A
International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 119 (2019) e25823


The theoretical knowledge about the zinc-zinc bond has been recently expanded after the proposal of a zinc-zinc double bond in several [Zn-2(L)(4)] compounds (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2017, 56, 10151-10155). Prompted by these results, we have selected the [Zn-2(CO)(4)] species, isolobally related to ethylene, and theoretically investigated the possible (2)-Zn-2-coordination to several first-row transition metal fragments. The [Zn-2(CO)(4)] coordination to the metal fragment produces an elongation of the dizinc bond and a concomitant pyramidalization of the [Zn(CO)(2)] unit. These structural parameters are indicative of -backdonation from the metal to the coordinated dizinc moiety, as occurred with ethylene ligand. A quantum theory of atoms in molecules study of the ZnZn bond shows a decrease of (BCP), delta(2)(BCP) (ZnZn) and delocalization indexes (Zn,Zn), relative to corresponding values in the parent [Zn-2(CO)(4)] molecule. The ZnZn and MZn bonds in these [((2)-Zn-2(CO)(4))M(L)(n)] complexes can be described as shared interactions with an important covalent component where the ZnZn bond is preserved, albeit weakened, upon coordination.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/qua.25823

Combining dietary phenolic antioxidants with polyvinylpyrrolidone: transparent biopolymer films based on p-coumaric acid for controlled release

Contardi, M; Heredia-Guerrero, JA; Guzman-Puyol, S; Summa, M; Benitez, JJ; Goldoni, L; Caputo, G; Cusimano, G; Picone, P; Di Carlo, M; Bertorelli, R; Athanassioua, A; Bayer, IS
Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 7 (2019) 1384-1396


Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) has probably been one of the most utilized pharmaceutical polymers with applications ranging from a blood plasma substitute to nanoparticle drug delivery, since its synthesis in 1939. It is a highly biocompatible, non-toxic and transparent film forming polymer. Although high solubility of PVP in aqueous environment is advantageous, it still poses several problems for some applications in which sustained targeting and release are needed or hydrophobic drug inclusion and delivery systems are to be designed. In this study, we demonstrate that a common dietary phenolic antioxidant, p-coumaric acid (PCA), can be combined with PVP covering a wide range of molar ratios by solution blending in ethanol, forming new transparent biomaterial films with antiseptic and antioxidant properties. PCA not only acts as an effective natural plasticizer but also establishes H-bonds with PVP increasing its resistance to water dissolution. PCA could be released in a sustained manner up to a period of 3 days depending on the PVP/ PCA molar ratio. Sustained drug delivery potential of the films was studied using methylene blue and carminic acid as model drugs, indicating that the release can be controlled. Antioxidant and remodeling properties of the films were evaluated in vitro by free radical cation scavenging assay and in vivo on a murine model, respectively. Furthermore, the material resorption of films was slower as PCA concentration increased, as observed from the in vivo full-thickness excision model. Finally, the antibacterial activity of the films against common pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus and the effective reduction of inflammatory agents such as matrix metallopeptidases were demonstrated. All these properties suggest that these new transparent PVP/ PCA films can find a plethora of applications in pharmaceutical sciences including skin and wound care.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1039/c8tb03017k

Transparent and Robust All-Cellulose Nanocomposite Packaging Materials Prepared in a Mixture of Trifluoroacetic Acid and Trifluoroacetic Anhydride

Guzman-Puyol, S; Ceseracciu, L; Tedeschi, G; Marras, S; Scarpellini, A; Benitez, JJ; Athanassiou, A; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) 368


All-cellulose composites with a potential application as food packaging films were prepared by dissolving microcrystalline cellulose in a mixture of trifluoroacetic acid and trifluoroacetic anhydride, adding cellulose nanofibers, and evaporating the solvents. First, the effect of the solvents on the morphology, structure, and thermal properties of the nanofibers was evaluated by atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), respectively. An important reduction in the crystallinity was observed. Then, the optical, morphological, mechanical, and water barrier properties of the nanocomposites were determined. In general, the final properties of the composites depended on the nanocellulose content. Thus, although the transparency decreased with the amount of cellulose nanofibers due to increased light scattering, normalized transmittance values were higher than 80% in all the cases. On the other hand, the best mechanical properties were achieved for concentrations of nanofibers between 5 and 9 wt.%. At higher concentrations, the cellulose nanofibers aggregated and/or folded, decreasing the mechanical parameters as confirmed analytically by modeling of the composite Young's modulus. Finally, regarding the water barrier properties, water uptake was not affected by the presence of cellulose nanofibers while water permeability was reduced because of the higher tortuosity induced by the nanocelluloses. In view of such properties, these materials are suggested as food packaging films.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9030368

The impact of photocatalytic Ag/TiO2 and Ag/N-TiO2 nanoparticles on human keratinocytes and epithelial lung cells

Rebleanu, D; Gaidau, C; Voicu, G; Constantinescu, CA; Sanchez, CM; Rojas, TC; Carvalho, S; Calin, M
Toxicology, 416 (2019) 30-43


The potential human health risks following the exposure to inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) is a very important issue for their application in leather finishing industry. The aim of our study was to investigate the cytotoxic effect of silver (Ag)/titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs on human cells. Photocatalytic NPs were prepared by electrochemical deposition of Ag on the surface of TiO2 and nitrogen (N)-TiO2 NPs and, subsequently, physicochemical characterized. Then, a set of experiments have been performed to study the cytotoxicity and cell death mechanisms involved, the changes in cell morphology and the production of ROS induced in human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and human lung epithelial cells (A549) by exposure to NPs. Moreover, the changes in major signaling pathways and the inflammatory response induced by Ag/N-TiO2 NPs in A549 cells were investigated. The data showed that cell death by late apoptosis/necrosis is induced in cells as function of the dose and the type of NPs and is characterized by morphological changes and cytoskeletal disorganization and an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. The exposure of A549 cells to Ag/N-TiO2 NPs determine the activation of ERK1/2 MAP-kinase pathway and the release of pro-inflammatory mediators CXCL1, GM-CSF and MIF, known to be involved in the recruitment of circulating neutrophils and monocytes.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.tox.2019.01.013

Controlled thermolysis of MIL-101(Fe, Cr) for synthesis of FexOy/porous carbon as negative electrode and Cr2O3/porous carbon as positive electrode of supercapacitor

Farisabadi, A; Moradi, M; Hajati, S; Kiani, MA; Espinos, JP
Applied Surface Science, 469 (2019) 192-203


In the present study, two kinds of metal oxide/carbon nanocomposite were prepared through calcination of MIL-101(Fe, Cr). The morphological and structural properties of the specimens were investigated using X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller analysis, energy dispersive Xray spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The electrode materials were also electrochemically investigated using cyclic voltammetry, galvanostatic charge-discharge and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques in 6 M KOH electrolyte. Because of synergistic effect of metal oxides and carbon, the obtained samples showed excellent performance; in a way that Cr2O3/C and Fe Oy/C showed high specific capacitance of 420 F g(-1) and 114 F g(-1) at current density of 2 A g(-1), respectively. The Cr2O3/C electrode also displayed high rate capability even at scan rate of 1500 mV s(-1). Moreover, we successfully developed an asymmetric supercapacitor in which Cr2O3/C served as positive electrode and Fe Oy/C served as negative electrode. The asymmetric device can deliver an energy density of 9.6 W h kg(-1) and power density of 8000 W kg(-1), with 93% capacitance retention after 3000 charge-discharge cycles. These outcomes show that the MOF-derived metal oxide/carbon composite can be regarded as a promising development for advanced electrode materials for applying in supercapacitors.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2018.11.053

Comparative studies on electrochemical energy storage of NiFe-S nanoflake and NiFe-OH towards aqueous supercapacitor

Naseri, M; Moradi, M; Hajati, S; Espinos, JP; Kiani, MA
Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Electronics, 30 (2019) 4499-4510


In this study, electrochemical energy storage performances of an efficient Ni-Fe sulfide and hydroxide supported on porous nickel foam are compared. X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-rayphotoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) results confirmed the formation of Ni-Fe-S and Ni-Fe-OH electrodes. In addition, Brunauer-Emmett Teller (BET) was used to determine the specific surface area of the prepared materials. Moreover, the morphologies were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The brilliant characteristics of Ni-Fe-S could be attributed to transport acceleration in electrolyte ions and electrons, occurrence of redox reactions as well as the higher conductivity of the sample. From stand point of comparison, the capacitance of Ni-Fe-S is more than that of Ni-Fe-OH. Therefore, the exchange of O2- with S2- in Ni-Fe-OH lattice obviously improves the electrochemical performance. The as-fabricated Ni-Fe sulfide electrode exhibits a tremendous specific capacitance of 884.9Fg(-1) at 1A g(-1). Furthermore, an assembled asymmetric supercapacitor device using the activated carbon as negative electrode and this smart configuration (Ni-Fe-S) as positive electrode also provided a maximum specific power and specific energy of 8000Wkg(-1), 37.9 Whkg(-1), respectively. Also, it shows cycling stability with 88.8% capacitance retention after 1700 cycles in aqueous electrolyte, demonstrating its potential application in the next-generation high-performance supercapacitors used for energy storage.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1007/s10854-019-00738-x

XPS primary excitation spectra of Zn 2p, Fe 2p, and Ce 3d from ZnO, α‐Fe2O3, and CeO2

Pauly, N.; Yubero, F.; Espinós, J.P.; Tougaard, S.
Surface and Interface Analysis, 51 (2019) 353-360


Metal oxides are important for current development in nanotechnology. X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy(XPS) is a widely used technique to study the oxidation states of metals, and a basic understanding of the photoexcitation process is important to obtain the full information from XPS. We have studied core level excitations of Zn 2p, Fe 2p, and Ce 3d photoelectron emissions from ZnO, α‐Fe2O3, and CeO2. Using an effective energy‐differential XPS inelastic‐scattering cross section evaluated within the semiclassical dielectric response model for XPS, we analysed the experimental spectra to determine the corresponding primary excitation spectra, ie, the initial excitation processes. We find that simple emission (Zn 2p) as well as complex multiplet photoemission spectra (Fe 2p and Ce 3d) can be quantitatively analysed with our procedure. Moreover, for α‐Fe2O3, it is possible to use the software package CTM4XAS (Charge Transfer Multiplet program for X‐ray Absorption Spectroscopy) to calculate its primary excitation spectrum within a quantum mechanical model, and it was found to be in good agreement with the spectrum determined by analysis of the experiment.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/sia.6587

Microstructure, interfaces and properties of 3YTZP ceramic composites with 10 and 20 vol% different graphene-based nanostructures as fillers

Munoz-Ferreiro, C; Morales-Rodriguez, A; Rojas, TC; Jimenez-Pique, E; Lopez-Pernia, C; Poyato, R; Gallardo-Lopez, A
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 777 (2019) 213-224


The graphene family comprises not only single layer graphene but also graphene-based nanomaterials (GBN), with remarkably different number of layers, lateral dimension and price. In this work, two of these GBN, namely graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) with n similar to 15-30 layers and few-layer graphene (FLG) with n < 3 layers have been evaluated as fillers in 3 mol% yttria stabilized tetragonal zirconia (3YTZP) ceramic composites. Composites with 10 and 20 vol% GNP or FLG have been fabricated by wet powder processing and spark plasma sintering (SPS) and the influence of the content and number of layers of the graphene-based filler has been assessed. For both graphene-based fillers, an intermediate zirconia oxycarbide has been detected in the grain boundaries. The lower stacking degree and much more homogeneous distribution of the FLG, revealed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), can improve load transfer between the GBNs and the ceramic matrix. However, high FLG contents lower densification of the composites, due partly to the larger FLG interplanar spacing also estimated by TEM. The hardness (both Vickers and nanoindentation) and the elastic modulus decrease with increased GBN content and with improved graphene dispersion. The FLG greatly inhibit the crack propagation that occur perpendicular to their preferential orientation plane. The composites with thinner FLG have higher electrical conductivity than those with GNP. The highest electrical conductivity is achieved by composites with 20 vol% FLG in the direction perpendicular to the compression axis during sintering, sigma(perpendicular to) = 3400 +/- 500 Sm-1. 

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2018.10.336

Degradation processes of historic metal threads used in some Spanish and Portuguese ornamentation pieces

Duran, A; Perez-Maqueda, R; Perez-Rodriguez, JL
Journal of Cultural Heritage, 36 (2019) 135-142


The degradation processes that occurred on metal threads applied in the embroidery used for clothing and in the ornamentation of sculptures, the Sevillian Holy Week processions, and Portuguese and Spanish palace and museum are thoroughly analyzed. Some threads from the 14th and 18–19th centuries were considered. In the metal threads, sulphur- and chlorine-based compounds were detected either individually or together, depending on the degradation process. Basic silver carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and copper-based compounds were also observed. The different degradation processes were attributed to different factors, such as environmental contamination, degradation of the fibrous cores, and inadequate cleaning and/or mechanical treatments.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2018.09.006