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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
Reactividad de Sólidos


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

Influence of pre-deformation on the precipitation hardening in Cu-Ni-Si alloy

Donoso, E; Dianez, MJ; Criado, JM
Revista de Metalurgia, 55 (2019) e157
Reactividad de Sólidos


The effects of pre-deformation on the precipitation processes in a Cu-2.8 Ni-1.4 Si (at.%) alloy were studied using differential scanning calorimetric (DSC), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and microhardness measurements. The calorimetric curves shows the presence of one exothermic reaction attributed to the formation of delta-Ni2Si precipitates in the copper matrix that was confirmed by TEM. In addition it can be observed that the temperature of the maximum of the DSC peak decreases with the increase of the pre-deformation to the aging treatments. The activation energies calculated for the precipitation of by the Kissinger method, were similar to those calculated by an Arrhenius function, from the maximum hardening of the matrix due to aging treatments (saturation of the hardness during isothermal aging). The analysis of the microhardness measurements together with the calorimetric curves and the TEM micrographs confirm, on the one hand, that the formation of the delta-Ni2Si phase, during the aging treatments, are responsible for the hardening of the copper matrix, and on the other hand that the deformation prior to the aging treatment partially inhibits the formation of the precipitates.

Octubre, 2019 | DOI: 10.3989/revmetalm.157

Spatially Resolved Analysis of Defect Annihilation and Recovery Dynamics in Metal Halide Perovskite Single Crystals

Galisteo-Lopez, JF; Calvo, ME; Miguez, H
ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2 (2019) 6967-6972
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


The spectacular advances in efficiency of optoelectronic devices based on lead-halide perovskites have been accompanied by detailed structural and optical studies regarding the instability presented by these materials, which constitute their main bottleneck for commercialization. Following a pump and probe scheme in a laser scanning confocal microscope, we resolve the photoinduced emission activation/deactivation dynamics in CH3NH3PbBr3 single crystals with millisecond and sub-micrometer resolution. This is complemented with a study of spectral variations and interpreted in the framework of light-induced ion migration and associated defect passivation. Our results point to the presence of photoinduced structural changes accompanying the migration of ions.

Octubre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.9b01335

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
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


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
Materiales Coloidales - Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


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
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


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

Montmorillonite-stabilized gold nanoparticles for nitrophenol reduction

Chenouf, M; Megias-Sayago, C; Ammari, F; Ivanova, S; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Comptes Rendus Chimie, 22 (2019) 621-627
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Two gold-based catalysts were obtained by Au chemical reduction of the HAuCl(4 )precursor. The resulting nanoparticles were stabilized and immobilized on montmorillonite (Mt) and montmorillonite-ceria (Mt/CeO2). All prepared catalysts were active in 4-nitrophenol to aminophenol reduction at room temperature. Synergy between montmorillonite and ceria is postulated in such a way that the montmorillonite phase hinders particle growth either by influencing the nucleation behavior of gold or by increasing the number of nucleation sites and raising the overall dispersion. The role of the ceria support, on the other hand, may be associated with the 4-NP adsorption at the ceria-gold interface, stabilizing the reaction intermediate and hence lowering the activation barrier for the reduction of 4-NP to 4-AP. 

Septiembre, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.crci.2019.07.005

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
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


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
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


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
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


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
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


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
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


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
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


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

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
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


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
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


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
Reactividad de Sólidos


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
Materiales Coloidales


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

Natural abundance O-17 MAS NMR and DFT simulations: New insights into the atomic structure of designed micas

Pavon, E; Osuna, FJ; Alba, MD; Delevoye, L
Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, 100 (2019) 45-51
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Combining O-17 Magic-Angle Spinning (MAS) NMR at natural abundance with DFT calculations is a promising methodology to shed light on the structure and disorder in tetrahedral sheets of designed micas with enhanced properties. Among brittle micas, synthetic mica is an important alternative to natural ones with a swelling sheet-like structure that results in many applications, by exploiting unique characteristics. Lowenstein's rule is one of the main chemical factor that determines the atomic structure of aluminosilicates and furthermore their properties. In the present article, O-17 MAS NMR spectroscopy is used to validate (or not) the agreement of the Lowenstein's rule with the distribution of Si and Al sites in the tetrahedral sheets of synthetic micas. O-17 MAS spectra of synthetic high-charged micas exhibit two regions of signals that revealed two distinguishable oxygen environments, namely Si-O-X (with X = Si, Al-tet , Mg) and Al-tet -O-Y (Y=Mg or Al-tet). DFT calculations were also conducted to obtain the O-17 chemical shift and other NMR features like the quadrupolar coupling constant, C-Q, for all of the oxygen environments encountered in the two model structures, one respecting the Lowenstein's rule and the other involving Al-tet -O-Al-tet and Si-O-Si environments. Our DFT calculations support the O-17 assignment, by confirming that Al-tet -O-3Mg and Al tet -O-Al tet oxygen environments show chemical shifts under 30 ppm and more important, with quadrupolar coupling constants of about 1 MHz, in line with the spectral observation. By quantifying the O-17 MAS NMR spectra at natural abundance, we demonstrate that one of the synthetic mica compositions does not meet the Lowenstein's rule.

Agosto, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ssnmr.2019.03.006

Carbon Supported Gold Nanoparticles for the Catalytic Reduction of 4-Nitrophenol

Molina, HR; Munoz, JLS; Leal, MID; Reina, TR; Ivanova, S; Gallego, MNC; Odriozola, JA
Frontiers in Chemistry, 7 (2019) 548
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


This work is a detailed study on how to optimize gold colloids preparation and their deposition to very different in nature carbon materials. The change of the continuous phase and its dielectric constant is used to assure the good dispersion of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic carbons and the successful transfer of the preformed small size colloids to their surface. The sintering behavior of the particles during the calcination step is also studied and the optimal conditions to reduce to a minimum the particle size increase during the protecting agent removal phase are found. The as prepared catalysts have been tested in a relevant reaction in the field of environmental catalysis such as the reduction of 4-nitrophenol leading to promising results. Overall, this work proposes an important methodology to follow when a carbonaceous material are selected as catalyst supports for green chemistry reactions.

Agosto, 2019 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00548


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
Propiedades Mecánicas de Sólidos


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