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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

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

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

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

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

Sustainable polycondensation of multifunctional fatty acids from tomato pomace agro-waste catalyzed by tin (II) 2-ethylhexanoate

J.A. Heredia-Guerrero, G. Caputo, S. Guzmán-Puyol, G. Tedeschi, A. Heredia, L. Ceseracciu, J.J. Benítez, A. Athanassiou
Materials Today Sustainability, 3-4 (2019) 100004


Bioplastics were prepared from the fatty fraction (i.e., unsaturated and polyhydroxylated fatty acids) of tomato pomace agro-wastes. Aliphatic polyesters were synthesized at different temperatures (125, 150, and 175 °C), reaction times (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 3, 5, and 7 h), and amounts of tin (II) 2-ethylhexanoate (0, 0.02, 0.05, and 0.10 mmol) used as a catalyst. The rate constants and activation energies were calculated from infrared spectra. The right combination of reaction temperature and amount of catalyst improved the reaction kinetics (apparent k from ∼1 to ∼8.5 h−1), whereas the activation energy was reduced from ∼39 without catalyst to ∼28 kJ/mol when tin (II) 2-ethylhexanoate was present. Glass transitions between ca. −25 and ∼0 °C were measured by differential scanning calorimetry, strictly depending on the degree of polymerization. The amorphous character of the samples was confirmed by X-ray diffraction. Young's modulus and hardness were calculated from indentation tests and were typical of soft materials, although increased as the polycondensation reaction progressed. High water-contact angles (maximum value ∼109°) and low water uptakes (minimum value ∼2.1%) were determined. Physical properties were compared with those of common man-made plastics and polymers, finding that these tomato pomace bioplastics could be their realistic alternatives.

Marzo, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.mtsust.2018.12.001

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

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

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

Multicycle CO2 capture activity and fluidizability of Al-based synthesized CaO sorbents

Azimi, B; Tahmasebpoor, M; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Perejon, A; Valverde, JM
Chemical Engineering Journal, 358 (2019) 679-690


CaO-based materials have been identified as promising sorbents for highly efficient pre-combustion and post-combustion CO2 capture in fluidized beds operated at high temperatures by means of the Calcium Looping (CaL) process. However, Ca-based sorbents suffer from a decline of the capture capacity over multiple sorption/desorption cycles, mainly due to sintering, and from a markedly heterogeneous fluidization behavior due to the strength of interparticle attractive forces as compared to particle weight. The present study is focused on the development of novel synthetic CaO/Al2O3 sorbents for CO2capture with enhanced CaL performance and fluidizability by dry mixing with flow conditioner nanopowders. The influence of initial precursors on the sorbents multicycle activity at realistic CaL conditions has been investigated. The formation of a stable Ca9Al6O18 mixed-phase during the preparation of the sorbents promotes the multicycle capture capacity. The type of Ca and Al precursors, either soluble or insoluble, can significantly affect the dispersion of this stabilizer (Ca9Al6O18) in the sorbent matrix and, consequently, may affect the carbonation activity of the materials. The sorbent prepared from soluble aluminum nitrate and calcium nitrate precursors by sol-gel method exhibits a very stable multicycle capture capacity with a capture capacity around 0.2 g of CO2/g of sorbent after 21 cycles keeping a 72% of its initial capture capacity. The fluidizability of this promising sorbent was also investigated as affected by the addition of three different flow conditioners. Fluidization experiments confirmed the positive effect of using hydrophilic alumina and hydrophobic silica nanoparticles on improving the fluidizability of the synthesized sorbents.

Febrero, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2018.10.061

Immobilization of Stabilized Gold Nanoparticles on Various Ceria-Based Oxides: Influence of the Protecting Agent on the Glucose Oxidation Reaction

Chenouf, M; Megias-Sayago, C; Ammari, F; Ivanova, S; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Catalysts, 9 (2019) 125


The influence of the protecting agent's nature on gold particle size and dispersion was studied in this work over a series of gold-based catalysts. CO and glucose oxidation were chosen as catalytic reactions to determine the catalyst's structure-activity relationship. The nature of the support appeared to be the predominant factor for the increase in activity, as the oxygen mobility was decisive for the CO oxidation in the same way that the Lewis acidity was decisive for the glucose oxidation. For the same catalyst composition, the use of montmorillonite as the stabilizing agent resulted in better catalytic performance.

Febrero, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/catal9020125

Catalytic Efficiency of Cu-Supported Pyrophyllite in Heterogeneous Catalytic Oxidation of Phenol

El Gaidoumi, A.; Doña-Rodríguez, J.M.; Pulido Melián, E.; González-Díaz, O.M.; Navío, J.A.; El Bali, B.; Kherbeche, A.
Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, (2019) 1-13


The copper-impregnated pyrophyllite (Cu/RC) was prepared and used as catalyst in catalytic wet peroxide oxidation (CWPO) of phenol. The catalyst was prepared by impregnation of copper (2.5 wt%) into pyrophyllite-type clay and characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The optimum operation conditions for CWPO of phenol over Cu/RC were determined by investigating the effects of pH, temperature, catalyst amount, and hydrogen peroxide concentration. Stability of the Cu/RC catalyst and toxicity of treated solution were studied, by measuring the copper concentration leached out from the catalyst and the inhibition of Vibrio fischeri bacteria bioluminescence, respectively. The probable degradation mechanism of phenol over Cu/RC was considered by HPLC analysis. The obtained results showed that Cu/RC achieved highest activity (total phenol degradation and 80% TOC reduction) and detoxification with remarkable low copper leaching concentration (0.006 mg\,L−1)mg\,L−1) at optimized conditions (pH == 3, T=50∘T=50∘C, 2 g\,L−1g\,L−1 catalyst amount, 50 mg L−1L−1phenol concentration and 7.45 mmol\,L−1mmol\,L−1 hydrogen peroxide concentration during 4 h). Meanwhile, few intermediates with low concentration were observed by the HPLC analysis for the CWPO of phenol. The Cu/RC catalyst showed a good activity after five successive runs (88% of degradation and 73% mineralization) at optimized conditions.

Febrero, 2019 | DOI: 10.1007/s13369-019-03757-2

Environmentally Tight TiO2-SiO2 Porous 1D-Photonic Structures

Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Lopez-Santos, C; Rico, V; Alvarez, R; Palmero, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Advanced Materials Interfaces, 6 (2019) art. 1801212


Although thin film porosity is the basis of many optical sensors, it can be deleterious for a stable optical behavior of passive optical elements due to the condensation of water and other vapors in their pores. This paper proposes a new strategy for the magnetron sputtering (MS) fabrication of environmentally tight SiO2-TiO2 porous multilayers. Thin films of these two oxides deposited in an oblique angle configuration (MS-OAD) present a nanocolumnar and highly porous nanostructure and, as a consequence, experience significant changes in their optical properties when exposed to water vapor. Similarly, the optical properties of Bragg reflectors and Bragg microcavities made of the stacking of porous and compact SiO2 and TiO2 thin films experience reversible changes when these 1D-photonic structures are exposed to water pressure. A key finding of this work is that a very thin capping layer of SiO2 deposited on the surface of porous SiO2 films in the stack, at the interlayer between the two oxides, efficiently seals the pores making the photonic structures environmentally tight. This capping layer approach is a useful strategy to incorporate porosity as an additional parameter to design the optical behavior of planar photonic structures while preserving optical and environmental stability.

Febrero, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/admi.201801212

Amber, beads and social interaction in the Late Prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula: an update

Odriozola, CP; Sousa, AC; Mataloto, R; Boaventura, R; Andrade, M; Garcia, RV; Garrido-Cordero, JA; Rodriguez, E; Martinez-Blanes, JM; Aviles, MA; Daura, J; Sanz, M; Riquelme, JA
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11 (2019) 567-595


The identification of archaeological amber has been used in Iberian prehistory to evidence long-distance exchanges and engage Iberia in networks that connect western Europe with central and northern Europe, the emergence of social complexity, and the consolidation of trade networks. However, until now, no comprehensive analytical study of the Iberian amber has been produced to support any of the interpretive models currently in use. This paper approaches the analysis of Iberian Peninsula amber artefacts by considering their provenance (based on FTIR characterization), chronology, and spatial relationship with other exotica. Our work increases the number of analyzed artefacts to 156 (24%), out of the c. 647 currently known for the Iberian Peninsula. Based on these new data and a review of Murillo-Barroso and Martinon-Torres (2012), this overview outlines amber consumption patterns from the 6th to 2nd millennia BCE and demonstrates long-distance amber exchange connecting Iberia with the Mediterranean region from the Neolithic period onwards.

Febrero, 2019 | DOI: 10.1007/s12520-017-0549-7