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Near-ambient X-ray photoemission spectroscopy and kinetic approach to the mechanism of carbon monoxide oxidation over lanthanum substituted cobaltites

Hueso, JL; Martinez-Martinez, D; Caballero, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Mun, BS; Salmeron, M
Catalysis Communications, 10 (2009) 1898-1902
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma - Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


We have studied the oxidation of carbon monoxide over a lanthanum substituted perovskite (La0.5Sr0.5CoO3−d) catalyst prepared by spray pyrolysis. Under the assumption of a first-order kinetics mechanism for CO, it has been found that the activation energy barrier of the reaction changes from ∼80 to ∼40 kJ mol−1 at a threshold temperature of ca. 320 °C. In situ XPS near-ambient pressure (∼0.2 torr) shows that the gas phase oxygen concentration over the sample decreases sharply at ca. 300 °C. These two observations suggest that the oxidation of CO undergoes a change of mechanism at temperatures higher than 300 °C.

Agosto, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.catcom.2009.06.022

Synthesis of complex carbonitride powders TiyMT1−yCxN1−x (MT: Zr, V, Ta, Hf) via a mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction

Cordoba, JM; Aviles, MA; Sayagues, MJ; Alcala, MD; Gotor, FJ
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 482 (2012) 349-355
Reactividad de Sólidos


The machinability of materials is a dynamic field with enormous implications in different industrial sectors because manufacturers are constantly looking for improvements that can increase the overall productivity. Manufacturers of cutting tool inserts need to develop products that can perform at higher speeds and last longer under increasingly rigorous operating conditions. It has been revealed that cermets may exhibit better properties and performances when solid solution of multiple hard compounds is added instead of a mixture of several binary ones. In this work, a mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction (MSR) is described as a suitable synthesis method to obtain a wide range of different new quaternary carbonitride systems by milling mixtures of elemental powders of transition metals and graphite in a nitrogen atmosphere. Characterization was carried out using X-ray powder diffraction, elemental analysis, energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), scanning and transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction (ED).

Agosto, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2009.04.012

Incorporation and Thermal Evolution of Rhodamine 6G Dye Molecules Adsorbed in Porous Columnar Optical SiO2 Thin Films

Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Blaszczyk-Lezak, I; Espinos, JP; Hamad, S; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Barranco, A
Langmuir, 25 (2009) 6869-6874
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Rhodamine 6G (Rh6G) dye molecules have been incorporated into transparent and porous SiO2 thin films prepared by evaporation at glancing angles. The porosity of these films has been assessed by analyzing their water adsorption isotherms measured for the films deposited on a quartz crystal monitor. Composite Rh6G/SiO2 thin films were prepared by immersion of a SiO2 thin film into a solution of the dye at a given pH. It is found that the amount of Rh6G molecules incorporated into the film is directly dependent on the pH of the solution and can be accounted for by a model based on the point of zero charge (PZC) concepts originally developed for colloidal oxides. At low pHs, the dye molecules incorporate in the form of monomers, while dimers or higher aggregates are formed if the pH increases. Depending on the actual preparation and treatment conditions, they also exhibit high relative fluorescence efficiency. The thermal stability of the composite films has been also investigated by characterizing their optical behavior after heating in an Ar atmosphere at increasing temperatures up to 275 °C. Heating induces a progressive loss of active dye molecules, a change in their agglomeration state, and an increment in their relative fluorescence efficiency. The obtained Rh6G/SiO2 composite thin films did not disperse the light and therefore can be used for integration into optical and photonic devices.

Agosto, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/la900695t

Aluminium anodisation for Au-CeO2/Al2O3-Al monoliths preparation

Sanz, O; Martinez, LM; Echave, FJ; Dominguez, MI; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA; Montes, M
Chemical Engineering Journal, 151 (2009) 324-332
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


The anodisation of aluminium monoliths was performed in order to generate an alumina layer that ensures a good adherence of the catalysts. In this study, it is demonstrated that the morphology of the produced alumina layer depends on time, temperature, current density and concentration of the selected electrolyte. When anodisation process with the extreme conditions was applied (30 °C, 50 min, 2 A dm−2 and 2.6 M of sulphuric acid) a significant cracks were obtained and used to fix the subsequent catalytic coatings. The washcoating method was used to cover the monoliths with colloidal solutions of CeO2 and/or Au-CeO2 catalysts. The resulting monolithic catalysts were tested in the CO oxidation reaction being 1%Au-CeO2 containing system the most active. The structured catalyst prepared this way changed neither the textural nor the catalytic properties of the deposited catalytic powders.

Agosto, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2009.03.062

Degradation of n-Butyl tin Chlorides in Waters. A Comparative Assessment of the Process by Photo-assisted and Chemical- treatment Methods

Navio, JA; Cerrillos, C; Macias, M
Journal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies, 12 (2009) 158-163
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


Chemical State of Nitrogen and Visible Surface and Schottky Barrier Driven Photoactivities of N-Doped TiO2 Thin Films

Romero-Gomez, P; Rico, V; Borras, A; Barranco, A; Espinos, JP; Cotrino, J; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113 (2009) 13341-13351
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


N-doped TiO2 thin films have been prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and by physical vapor deposition by adding nitrogen or ammonia to the gas phase. Different sets of N-doped TiO2 thin films have been obtained by changing the preparation conditions during the deposition. The samples have been characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman, UV−vis spectroscopy, and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS). By changing the preparation conditions, different structures, microstructures, and degrees and types of doping have been obtained and some relationships have been established between these film properties and their visible light photoactivity. The N1s XP spectra of the samples are characterized by three main features, one tentatively attributed to Ti−N (i.e., nitride with a binding energy (BE) of 396.1 eV) and two others with BEs of 399.3 and 400.7 eV, tentatively attributed to nitrogen bonded simultaneously to titanium and oxygen atoms (i.e., Ti−N−O like species). By controlling the deposition conditions it is possible to prepare samples with only one of these species as majority component. It has been shown that only the samples with Ti−N−O like species show surface photoactivity being able to change their wetting angle when they are illuminated with visible light. The presence of these species and an additional complex structure formed by a mixture of anatase and rutile phases is an additional condition that is fulfilled by the thin films that also present photocatalytic activity with visible light (i.e., surface and Schottky barrier driven photoactivities). The relationships existing between the reduction state of the samples and the formation of Ti−N or Ti−N−O like species are also discussed.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/jp9024816

Study of degradation processes of metals used in some artworks from the cultural heritage of Andalusia, Spain

Duran, A; Herrera, LK; de Haro, MCJ; Perez-Rodriguez, JL; Justo, A
Revista de Metalurgia, 45 (2009) 277-286


The study of the alteration processes of metals, such as lead, bronze, iron and tin-mercury alloys, used in some of the
most important chosen artefacts of Andalusian Cultural Heritage is the main objective of this paper. Hydrocerussite
and cerussite were detected in lead seals stored in a hole of cardboard. Bronze is altered to atacamite by environmental
contamination, which is also responsible for the formation of rust from iron. Corrosion of the tin-mercury surface
of amalgam mirrors produces tin monoxide and tin dioxide and releases liquid mercury from the solid phase.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.3989/revmetalm.0827

Stability of phyllosilicates in Ca(OH)2 solution: Influence of layer nature, octahedral occupation, presence of tetrahedral Al and degree of crystallinity

Mantovani, M; Escudero, A; Alba, MD; Becerro, AI
Applied Geochemistry, 24 (2009) 1251-1260
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


This paper presents the results of a comprehensive investigation of the interaction of layered silicates with Ca(OH)2 in hydrothermal conditions. The study is intended to evaluate the stability of the clay buffer in radioactive waste repositories, at the intermediate stages of concrete leaching, when the pH is controlled by the dissolution of portlandite. The influence of layer nature, octahedral occupation, presence of tetrahedral Al and degree of crystallinity will be assessed by analysing the behaviour of a set of well-selected phyllosilicates and using the combined capabilities of 29Si and 27Al MAS-NMR spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction and SEM/EDX. The results show that the main factor affecting the stability of the clay is the octahedral occupation, so that trioctahedral phyllosilicates are much more stable than dioctahedral ones. The nature and expandability of the layer does not seem to much influence the stability of the clay, so that a 2:1 expandable phyllosilicate shows the same stability as a chemically analogous 1:1 non-expandable phyllosilicate. However other factors like the poor crystallinity of the starting material or the presence of Al in the tetrahedral sheet of trioctahedral phyllosilicates weaken the clay structure in alkaline conditions and favour the transformation towards other phases.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2009.03.012

Study of the gilding technique used in polychromed stones and ceramics by dedicated laboratory-made micro X-ray diffraction and complementary techniques

Duran, A; Perez-Rodriguez, JL; de Haro, MCJ
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 394 (2009) 1671-1677


This work describes the use of a new dedicated laboratory-made micro X-ray diffraction system for detecting the phases present in cross-sections of artworks. As an example, the phases present in samples from gilding ceramics and stone sculptures from the heritage of Seville (Spain) were successfully detected using this new system, which takes advantage of various devices developed for synchrotron radiation, and is complemented by the information provided by other techniques.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1007/s00216-009-2836-3

Light generation at the anomalous dispersion high energy range of a nonlinear opal film

Botey, M; Maymo, M; Molinos-Gomez, A; Dorado, L; Depine, RA; Lozano, G; Mihi, A; Miguez, H; Martorell, J
Optics Express, 17 (2009) 12210-12216
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


We study experimentally and theoretically light propagation and generation at the high energy range of a close-packed fcc photonic crystal of polystyrene spheres coated with a nonlinear material. We observe an enhancement of the second harmonic generation of light that may be explained on the basis of amplification effects arising from propagation at anomalous group velocities. Theoretical calculations are performed to support this assumption. The vector KKR method we use allows us to determine, from the linear response of the crystal, the behavior of the group velocity in our finite photonic structures when losses introduced by absorption or scattering by defects are taken into account assuming a nonzero imaginary part for the dielectric constant. In such structures, we predict large variations of the group velocity for wavelengths on the order or smaller than the lattice constant of the structure, where an anomalous group velocity behavior is associated with the flat bands of the photonic band structure. We find that a direct relation may be established between the group velocity reduction and the enhancement of a light generation processes such as the second harmonic generation we consider. However, frequencies for which the enhancement is found, in the finite photonic crystals we use, do not necessarily coincide with the frequencies of flat high energy bands.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1364/OE.17.012210

A recurrent error which needs to be resolved

Ortega, A
Thermochimica Acta, 491 (2009) 116-117
Reactividad de Sólidos


The recent paper by Jankovic et al. [B. Janković, B. Adnađevic, J. Jovanović; Thermochimica Acta 452 (2007) 106] and other similar papers have raised a problem which needs to be resolved. These authors use the method of Kennedy and Clark [J.A. Kennedy, S.M. Clark, Thermochimica Acta 307 (1997) 27] which is conceptually erroneous; this is analyzed in this paper.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.tca.2009.02.009

Effect of Sulfate Pretreatment on Gold-Modified TiO2 for Photocatalytic Applications

Hidalgo, MC; Maicu, M; Navio, JA; Colon, G
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113 (2009) 12840-12847
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


The influence of sulfated pretreatment of TiO2 on the structure, morphology, and dispersion of gold and photocatalytic properties of Au/TiO2 were studied. Notable enhancements in the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 were achieved by deposition of gold onto samples that had previously undergone sulfate treatment followed by high temperature calcination. The enhancement in activity can be attributed to the stronger bonding and improved electronic communication between gold particles and TiO2 on defect rich surfaces as are found on sulfated samples after calcination at 700 °C. Two different methods for gold deposition were evaluated: chemical reduction by citrate and photodeposition. The citrate method produced more homogeneous and smaller gold particles with a better dispersion than photodeposition, which lead to greater increases in activity in the photocatalytic degradation of phenol when the former method was used for deposition on both sulfated and nonsulfated TiO2. The combination of sulfate pretreatment and gold deposition by chemical reduction was shown to be a good strategy to obtain gold/titania catalysts possessing homogeneous particle size and dispersion of the metal and a strong bonding between the Au and the TiO2 surface.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/jp903432p

ZnO activation by using activated carbon as a support: Characterisation and photoreactivity

Melian, EP; Diaz, OG; Rodriguez, JMD; Colon, G; Arana, J; Melian, JH; Navio, JA; Pena, JP
Applied Catalysis A-General, 364 (2009) 176-181
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


The effect of the mixing ZnO with different portions of activated carbon (AC) has been studied. The resulting catalysts were characterised and evaluated in the photocatalytic decomposition of aqueous pollutants. Changes in the catalyst colour and in the FTIR vibration bands of the surface hydroxyl groups were recorded. νOH vibrations were shifted to lower wavenumbers as AC loading increased, demonstrating modification of the acid-base character of the catalysts. Laser scattering studies showed that AC loading leads to smaller ZnO particles. BET surface area measurements and scanning electron micrograph (SEM) analysis showed agglomeration of ZnO particle pores in the AC structure.

Results showed that in addition to a synergistic effect of the AC-ZnO combination, AC content modifies the ZnO particle properties and consequently photocatalytic behaviour. This was evident in phenol degradation experiments where changes in the concentration profiles of the catechol and hydroquinone degradation intermediates, were observed. However, the AC-ZnO catalysts were less efficient than pure ZnO in the degradation of 2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP). This seems to be due to the strong adsorption of the DCP molecule on AC, resulting in lower diffusion to the catalytic ZnO and thus a lower rate of photocatalysis.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2009.05.042

Electrical characteristics of mixed Zr–Si oxide thin films prepared by ion beam induced chemical vapor deposition at room temperature

Ferrer, FJ; Frutos, F; Garcia-Lopez, J; Jimenez, C; Yubero, F
Thin Solid Films, 517 (2009) 5446-5452
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Mixed Zr–Si oxide thin films have been prepared at room temperature by ion beam decomposition of organometallic volatile precursors. The films were flat and amorphous. They did not present phase segregation of the pure single oxides. A significant amount of impurities (–C–, –CHx, –OH, and other radicals coming from partially decomposed precursors) remained incorporated in the films after the deposition process. This effect is minimized if the Ar content in the O2/Ar bombarding gas is maximized. Static permittivity and breakdown electrical field of the films were determined by capacitance–voltage and current–voltage electrical measurements. It is found that the static permittivity increases non-linearly from ~ 4 for pure SiO2 to ~ 15 for pure ZrO2. Most of the dielectric failures in the films were due to extrinsic breakdown failures. The maximum breakdown electrical field decreases from ~ 10.5 MV/cm for pure SiO2 to ~ 45 MV/cm for pure ZrO2. These characteristics are justified by high impurity content of the thin films. In addition, the analysis of the conduction mechanisms in the formed dielectrics is consistent to Schottky and Poole-Frenkel emission for low and high electric fields applied, respectively.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2009.01.099

FTIR study of photocatalytic degradation of 2-propanol in gas phase with different TiO2 catalysts

Arana, J; Alonso, AP; Rodriguez, JMD; Colon, G; Navio, JA; Pena, JP
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 89 (2009) 204-213
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


The photocatalytic efficiency of different TiO 2 catalysts in the degradation of 2-propanol in gas phase has been studied. The obtained efficiencies have been compared considering the distribution of rutile-anatase phases, surface area, particle size, distribution of surface hydroxyl groups and Brönsted or Lewis acid centres. The catalysts used were Degussa-P25 (TiO 2-P25), Hombikat, Millennium, Kemira and s/g-TiO 2, a catalyst prepared by a sol-gel method. The best photocatalytic behaviours have been obtained with those catalysts with higher surface area and the presence of only anatase phase (Hombikat and Millennium). A progressive deactivation of TiO 2-P25 and s/g-TiO 2 has been observed during the photocatalytic process. FTIR studies indicated that degradation mechanisms depended on the catalyst employed. Deactivation processes observed in TiO 2-P25 have been correlated with the formation of carboxylates.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2008.11.027

Nanoindentation of TiO2 thin films with different microstructures

Gaillard, Y; Rico, VJ; Jimenez-Pique, E; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 42 (2009) 145305
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


A series of nanoindentation tests has been carried out with TiO2 films produced by physical vapour deposition (PVD) under different conditions. Films with different microstructures and crystallographic structures have been prepared by changing experimental parameters such as the temperature of the substrate, the deposition angle (by the so-called glancing angle physical vapour deposition, GAPVD) or by exposing the growing film to a beam of accelerated ions. The obtained results of hardness and Young's modulus depict interesting correlations with the microstructure and structure of the films providing a general picture for the relationships between these characteristics and their mechanical properties. Different models have been used to extract Young's modulus and hardness parameters from the experimental nanoindentation curves. The obtained results are critically discussed to ascertain the ranges of validity of each procedure according to the type of sample investigated.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/42/14/145305

Deposition of Al-Fe pillared bentonites and gold supported Al-Fe pillared bentonites on metallic monoliths for catalytic oxidation reactions

Martinez, LM; Dominguez, MI; Sanabria, N; Hernandez, WY; Moreno, S; Molina, R; Odriozola, JA; Centeno, MA
Applied Catalysis A-General, 364 (2009) 166-173
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Al-Fe pillared bentonite and gold supported on Al-Fe pillared bentonite catalysts deposed on Fecralloy monoliths have been prepared, characterized and tested in two oxidation reactions: gaseous oxidation of CO and phenol oxidation in aqueous medium. The deposition of the solid on the metallic substrate does not alter its structural characteristics. The use of monoliths improves the activity in both reactions and offers the additional advantage to facilitate the separation of the catalyst from the reaction medium.

Julio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2009.05.046

Fibrous MnO2 Nanoparticles with (2 × 2) Tunnel Structures. Catalytic Activity in the Total Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds

Dominguez, MI; Navarro, P; Romero-Sarria, F; Frias, D; Cruz, SA; Delgado, JJ; Centeno, MA; Montes, M; Odriozola, JA
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 9 (2009) 3837-3842
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Manganese oxides having 2 × 2 tunnel structures (cryptomelanes) have been synthesized by a milling method in order to test their efficiency as catalysts for the abatement of volatile organic compounds, using toluene as probe molecule. These materials present excellent textural properties, arising from the nanofiber morphology and were active for toluene total oxidation. DRIFTS of the adsorbed phase allow proposing the role of lattice oxygen in the catalytic reaction.

Junio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1166/jnn.2009.NS76

M-Doped Al2TiO5 (M=Cr, Mn, Co) Solid Solutions and their Use as Ceramic Pigments

Dondi, M; Lyubenova, TS; Carda, JB; Ocaña, M
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 92 (2009) 1972-1980
Materiales Coloidales


New ceramic pigments based on the tialite (Al2TiO5) structure, doped with Co (pink), Cr (green), or Mn (brown), were prepared through the pyrolysis of aerosols followed by calcination of the obtained powders at 1400°C. The expected decomposition of Al2TiO5 into a mixture of Al2O3 and TiO2 on refiring was inhibited by Cr-doping and also by co-doping with Mg the Mn- or Co-doped samples. Microstructure and phase evolution during pigment preparation were monitored by scanning electron microscopy and XRPD. Unit cell parameters of tialite were determined by Rietveld refinement of the X-ray diffraction patterns, revealing in all cases the formation of solid solutions where the solubility of dopants in the Al2TiO5 lattice followed the trend Co<Mn<Cr. The valence state and possible location of dopants in the tialite lattice were investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectra and diffuse reflectance spectroscopies, which suggested the presence of Cr3+ ions in a large interstitial site of the tialite lattice with a distorted octahedral geometry, and of Mn3+ and Co2+ ions in the Al3+ octahedral sites of the tialite lattice in the former case, and in both Al3+ and Ti4+ octahedral sites in the latter. Testing the ceramic glazes assessed the technological behavior of pigments, which found that the color stability was reasonably good for the Mn-doped tialite and the Cr-doped pigment, although the latter suffered a small loss of green hue. The Co-doped pigment was found to be not stable in glazes, undergoing a cobalt-leaching effect.

Junio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1551-2916.2009.03172.x

Chemical Reactions in 2D: Self-Assembly and Self-Esterification of 9(10),16-Dihydroxypalmitic Acid on Mica Surface

Heredia-Guerrero, JA; San-Miguel, MA; Sansom, MSP; Heredia, A; Benitez, JJ
Langmuir, 25 (2009) 6869-6874
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


9(10),16-Dihydroxypalmitic acid (diHPA) is a particularly interesting polyhydroxylated fatty acid (1) because it is the main monomer of cutin, the most abundant biopolyester in nature, and (2) because the presence of a terminal and a secondary hydroxyl group in midchain positions provides an excellent model to study their intermolecular interactions in a confined phase such as self-assembled layers. In this study we have combined atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FT-IR) spectroscopy, as well as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to conclude that the self-assembling of diHPA molecules on mica is a layer by layer process following a Brunauer−Emmett−Teller (BET) type isotherm and with the first layer growing much faster than the rest. Interactions between secondary hydroxyls reinforce the cohesive energy of the monolayer, while the presence of the terminal hydroxyl group is necessary to trigger the multilayered growth. Besides, XPS and ATR-FT-IR spectroscopies clearly indicate that spontaneous self-esterification occurs upon self-assembling. The esterification reaction is a prerequisite to propose a self-assembly route for the biosynthesis of cutin in nature. Molecular dynamics simulations have shown that internal molecular reorganization within the self-assembled layers provides the appropriate intermolecular orientation to facilitate the nucleophilic attack and the release of a water molecule required by the esterification reaction.

Junio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/la9001412