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2009


Growth of Crystalline TiO2 by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition


Borras, A; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Widmer, R; Rico, VJ; Justo, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Crystal Growth & Design, 9 (2009) 2868-2876
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma

ABSTRACT ▼

TiO2 thin films in the form of anatase have been prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) at 523 K as the substrate temperature and a low working pressure. The study of the microstructure and texture of the films at different stages of deposition show that their growth follows the Kolmogorov’s model developed to describe the evolution of crystalline films from a saturated homogeneous medium. An additional characteristic feature of the growth process by PECVD is the formation of different crystalline domains, particularly at low deposition rates. The effects of this parameter and of the characteristics of the substrate on the growing process are also addressed.


Junio, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/cg9001779

Cationic (V, Mo, Nb, W) doping of TiO2–anatase: A real alternative for visible light-driven photocatalysts


Kubacka, A; Colon, G; Fernandez-Garcia, M
Catalysis Today, 143 (2009) 286-292
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones

ABSTRACT ▼

In this article we investigate the structure–activity link of anatase-type Ti–M (M = V, Mo, Nb, and W) mixed oxides used for toluene photo-oxidation under sunlight-type excitation. An analysis of the local and long-range structural and electronic characteristics of the mixed oxides show that only structurally highly homogeneous anatase-type oxides with electronic properties exclusively leading to a band gap decrease drive to efficient visible light-driven photocatalysts. Within our microemulsion preparation method, this only occurs for Ti–V and Ti–W series of samples. The isoelectronic (V4+) substitution of Ti4+ ions at the anatase lattice is characterized by a low solubility limit (ca. 2.5 at. %), and drives to a limited modification of the band gap and to a moderate enhancement of the photo-activity with respect to bare titania reference systems. W presence at anatase cation positions occurs with concomitant presence of cation vacancies derived by the charge imbalance between the W6+ and Ti4+ species. A unique W-vacancy local arrangement is detected by the structural characterization, leading to both an important band gap decrease and enhancement of the photo-activity upon sunlight excitation.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2008.09.028

Molding with nanoparticle-based one-dimensional photonic crystals: a route to flexible and transferable Bragg mirrors of high dielectric contrast


Calvo, ME; Sobrado, OS; Lozano, G; Miguez, H
Journal of Materials Chemistry, 19 (2009) 3144-3148
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales

ABSTRACT ▼

Self-standing, flexible Bragg mirror films of high refractive index contrast and showing intense and wide Bragg peaks are herein presented. Nanoparticle-based one-dimensional photonic crystals are used as templates to infiltrate a polymer, which provides the multilayer with mechanical stability while preserving the dielectric contrast existing in the mold. Such films can be lifted off the substrate and used to coat another surface of arbitrary shape.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1039/B902090J

High deposition rates of uniform films in tetramethylsilane-based plasmas generated by elementary microwave sources in matrix configuration


Latrasse, L; Lacoste, A; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Bes, A; Rayar, M; Pelletier, J
Surface and Coatings Technology, 203 (2009) 2343-2349
Materiales Nanoestructurados y Microestructura

ABSTRACT ▼

Plasma scaling up can be achieved by distributing elementary microwave plasma sources on planar rectangular networks. These so-called matrix plasmas can generate uniform sheets of plasma over a wide argon pressure range, from 7.5 to 750 Pa, with densities between 1012 and 1013 cm− 3. In order to estimate the capabilities of matrix plasmas for PACVD processing in terms of deposition rate and uniformity, SiOCH and SiNCH films were deposited using TMS (tetramethylsilane), as the organic gas precursor of silicon, mixed with oxygen or nitrogen flows. Plasmas of O2 / TMS and N2 / TMS gas mixtures can be sustained between 5 and 25 Pa. Variations in the deposition rate as a function of microwave power and nitrogen partial pressure are reported. Thickness uniformity of SiOCH and SiNCH films was measured across a silicon wafer. The obtained deposition rates exceed 1.3 μm/min and the films present a uniformity better than 5% on 75 mm diameter silicon wafers. Composition of the films has also been analyzed by XPS as a function of process parameters: microwave input power, composition of gas mixture, and N2 partial pressure. In particular, these analyses have shown a very low yield of nitrogen incorporation when using N2 gas as nitrogen precursor and high Si and Si–Si bonding contents in the films, probably due to a strong fragmentation of the TMS precursor in the high density plasma.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2009.02.121

Wetting angles and photocatalytic activities of illuminated TiO2 thin films


Rico, V; Romero, P; Hueso, JL; Espinos, JP; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Catalysis Today, 143 (2009) 347-354
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma

ABSTRACT ▼

TiO2 thin films have been prepared by physical vapour deposition (PVD) and plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) to study the UV-induced photo-activity of this material. Wetting angle variations and photo-catalytic activity for the degradation of dyes upon UV illumination have been compared for thin films with different crystalline structure (amorphous, rutile and anatase), microstructure (columnar, compact, etc.) and porosities as estimated from the values of their refraction indices and their direct assessment with a quartz crystal monitor. The surface of the thin films became superhydrophilic upon UV light irradiation and then it recovered its original state by keeping the samples in the dark. Wetting angle decays follow very similar kinetics for amorphous and crystalline films, independently of their actual porosities. By contrast the photo-catalytic activity was very dependent on the crystalline structure of the films (anatase > rutile > amorphous) and on their porosities. The different behaviour depicted by the films with regard to these two properties suggests that they respond to different though related mechanisms and that they cannot be considered as equivalent when trying to prove the photo-activity of TiO2.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2008.09.037

Thermal Stability and Oxidation Resistance of Nanocomposite TiC/a-C Protective Coatings


Martinez-Martinez, D; Lopez-Cartes, C; Gago, R; Fernandez, A; Sanchez-Lopez, JC
Plasma Processes and Polymers, 6 (2009) S462-S467
Materiales Nanoestructurados y Microestructura

ABSTRACT ▼

Nanocomposite films composed by small crystallites of hard phases embedded in an amorphous lubricant matrix have been extensively studied as protective coatings. These kinds of coatings have often to work in extreme environments, exposed to high temperatures (above 800–900 °C), and/or oxidizing/corrosive atmospheres, which may resist. As a result, it is important to study the behavior of such coatings at high temperatures (thermal stability) and in the presence of oxygen (oxidation resistance). In this sense, we have selected a TiC/a-C nanocomposite coating with good mechanical and tribological properties in order to do several thermal tests under three different environments: high vacuum (10−6 mbar), low vacuum (10−1 mbar), and air. Our observations allow us to establish that the film microstructure is stable at least up to 1 000 °C in high vacuum. When oxygen is present, the practical temperature of use is reduced at 700 °C (low partial pressure) and 300 °C (air) by formation of Ti oxides and C removal.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1002/ppap.200931002

W,N-Codoped TiO2-Anatase: A Sunlight-Operated Catalyst for Efficient and Selective Aromatic Hydrocarbons Photo-Oxidation


Kubacka, A; Bachiller-Baeza, B; Colon, G; Fernandez-Garcia, M
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113 (2009) 8553-8555
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones

ABSTRACT ▼

New W,N-doped TiO2 anatase-based materials are synthesized having both unprecedent high activity and selectivity in the gas-phase partial oxidation of aromatic hydrocarbons using sunlight as excitation energy and molecular oxygen as oxidant.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/jp902618g

Integration of methanol steam reforming and combustion in a microchannel reactor for H2 production: A CFD simulation study


Arzamendi, G; Dieguez, PM; Montes, M; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA; Gandia, LM
Catalysis Today, 143 (2009) 25-31
Química de Superficies y Catálisis

ABSTRACT ▼

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study of the thermal integration of the steam reforming of methanol (SRM) and the combustion of methanol in a catalytic microchannel reactor is presented. This issue is of interest for in situ H2 production for portable power units based on low-temperature PEM fuel cells. Three-dimensional simulations have been carried out under relevant conditions for the SRM reaction that have shown that microreactors allow achieving complete methanol reforming and combustion at space velocities as high as 50,000 h−1, with selectivities for H2 above 99% at relatively low temperatures in the 270–290 °C range.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2008.09.034

AISI 304 Austenitic stainless steels monoliths for catalytic applications


Martinez, LM; Sanz, O; Dominguez, MI; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 148 (2009) 191-200
Química de Superficies y Catálisis

ABSTRACT ▼

The thermal treatments of austenitic stainless steels monoliths were studied in order to generate a highly homogeneous and rough oxide scale strongly attached to the base alloy, which will subsequently ensure the good adherence of the catalysts. In this work it has been shown that the morphology, integrity and homogeneity of the scale are strongly influenced by the temperature and time of treatment. Washcoating method was used to deposit on the monolith surface a Au/CeO2 catalyst. The drying procedure turned out to be the most critical variable for the adherence and homogeneity of the catalytic ceria layer, while the ceria colloid concentrations in the starting aqueous dispersion seems to have only a threshold effect. The monolithic reactors containing Au/CeO2 layers are active in the oxidation of CO.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2008.12.030

Molecular dynamics simulation of the effect of pH on the adsorption of rhodamine laser dyes on TiO2 hydroxylated surfaces


Hamad, S; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Barranco, A; Mejias, JA; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Molecular Simulation, 35 (2009) 1140-1151
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma

ABSTRACT ▼

We have carried out a study of adsorption, on the (1 0 1) surface of anatase TiO2, of two industrially relevant rhodamine molecules [rhodamine 6G (R6G) and rhodamine 800 (R800)] employing molecular dynamics. These theoretical studies have shown that R6G must adsorb on surfaces under basic conditions. Moreover, the adsorption of this molecule shows a strong dependence upon the pH of the system, i.e. under basic conditions the adsorption energy is quite high, under neutral conditions the adsorption energy is lower and under acidic conditions an even lower adsorption energy indicates that there must be very little adsorption under such conditions. By contrast, for R800, there is little dependence of the adsorption energy upon the pH, suggesting that the amount of adsorption of these molecules is little affected by this parameter. These theoretical results are in qualitative agreement with the experimental results consisting of the incorporation of these dye molecules into porous thin films.


Mayo, 2009 | DOI: 10.1080/08927020903108083

Co3O4 + CeO2/SiO2 Catalysts for n-Hexane and CO Oxidation


Todorova, S; Kadinov, G; Tenchev, K; Caballero, A; Holgado, JP; Pereniguez, R
Catalysis Letters, 129 (2009) 149-155
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético

ABSTRACT ▼

Two-component Co–Ce samples deposited onto SiO2 have been prepared, characterized and tested in the reaction of complete n-hexane and CO oxidation. It was established that cerium enhanced the catalytic activity of cobalt in the reaction of n-hexane oxidation, although this depended on the sequence of cobalt and cerium introduction. Co-impregnation of Co and Ce resulted in a close interaction between Co3O4 and CeO2 leading to more surface oxygen species available and, therefore, a better reactivity.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1007/s10562-008-9805-x

Study of ground and unground leached vermiculite


Maqueda, C; Perez-Rodriguez, JL; Subrt, J; Murafa, N
Applied Clay Science, 44 (2009) 178-184

ABSTRACT ▼

Grinding of clays modifies their surfaces and can significantly affect their leaching behaviour. The acid reaction of vermiculite from Santa Olalla (Huelva, Spain) with HCl at various concentrations was affected by grinding and acid concentration. The acid leaching of ground vermiculite for 3 min with 1 M HCl solution at 80 °C for 24 h removed MgO and Al2O3 almost completely, leaving a residue containing SiO2 and Fe2O3. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of akaganeite (β-FeOOH) and an amorphous phase (silica). Porosity studies showed a very high specific surface area for ground samples compared with unground vermiculite samples, attributed to the presence of iron in the residue coming from structural iron. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) confirmed the presence of iron oxyhydroxides embedded in the silica material. The particle morphology of the iron oxides corresponded well to akaganeite microcrystals precipitated from solution. The leached vermiculite residue also contained Cl− and a small amount of Ti4+, which were accumulated into the akaganeite microcrystals.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.clay.2009.01.019

Tribological carbon-based coatings: An AFM and LFM study


Martinez-Martinez, D; Kolodziejczyk, L; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Fernandez, A
Surface Science, 603 (2009) 973-979
Materiales Nanoestructurados y Microestructura

ABSTRACT ▼

In this work some carbon-based coatings were studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and lateral force microscopy (LFM) techniques in order to evaluate their microstructure and friction properties at the micro and nanoscale. With this aim, four samples were prepared by magnetron sputtering: an amorphous carbon film (a–C), two nanocomposites TiC/a–C with different phase ratio (∼1:1 and ∼1:3) and a nanocrystalline TiC sample. Additionally, a highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) and an amorphous hydrogenated carbon coating (a-C:H) were included to help in the evaluation of the influence of the roughness and the hydrogen presence respectively. The topography (roughness) of the samples was studied by AFM, whereas LFM was used to measure the friction properties at the nanoscale by two different approaches. Firstly, an evaluation of possible friction contrast on the samples was done. This task was performed by subtraction of forward and reverse images and lately confirmed by the study of lateral force profiles in both directions and the histograms of the subtraction images. Secondly, an estimation of the average friction coefficient over the analysed surface of each sample was carried out. To take into account the tip evolution/damaging, mica was used as a reference before and after each sample (hereafter called sandwich method), and samples-to-mica friction ratios were calculated. The LFM was shown to be a useful tool to characterise a mixture of phases with different friction coefficients. In general, the friction ratios seemed to be dominated by the amorphous carbon phase, as it was impossible to distinguish among samples with different proportions of the amorphous phase (friction ratios between 1.5 and 1.75). Nevertheless, it could be concluded that the differences in friction behaviour arose from the chemical aspects (nature of the phase and hydrogen content) rather than surface characteristics, since the roughness (Ra values up to 5.7 nm) does not follow the observed trend. Finally, the Ogletree method was employed in order to calibrate the lateral force and estimate the friction coefficient of our samples. A good agreement was found with macroscopic and literature values going from ∼0.3 for TiC to ∼0.1 for pure carbon.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2009.01.043

Gold/hydroxyapatite catalysts: Synthesis, characterization and catalytic activity to CO oxidation


Dominguez, MI; Romero-Sarria, F; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 87 (2009) 245-251
Química de Superficies y Catálisis

ABSTRACT ▼

This work reports the synthesis, characterization and catalytic activity for CO oxidation of gold catalysts supported on calcium hydroxyapatite. On both, the hydroxyapatite support and the gold-supported hydroxyapatite catalyst, the CO conversion shows a peak near 100% of conversion at room temperature. The generation of structural vacancies by interaction of CO with the solid provokes the formation of peroxide species in the presence of gaseous oxygen, which seems to be responsible of this high conversion of CO at room temperature. Moreover, the influence of the pre-treatment temperature on the activity has been observed and related with the elimination of carbonate species and the generation of structural defects in the apatite structure, which are able to modify the gold oxidation state.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2008.09.016

Synthesis and Characterization of Ce1−xEuxO2−x/2 Mixed Oxides and Their Catalytic Activities for CO Oxidation


Hernandez, WY; Centeno, MA; Romero-Sarria, F; Odriozola, JA
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113 (2012) 5629-5635
Química de Superficies y Catálisis

ABSTRACT ▼

A series of Ce1−xEuxO2−x/2 mixed oxides was synthesized by coprecipitation. The solids were characterized by means of XRF, SBET, XRD, UV−vis, and Raman techniques, and their catalytic activities toward CO oxidation were tested. A solid solution, with CeO2 F-type structure, is formed for europium contents (measured as Eu2O3 by XRF) ≤20% wt. For higher contents, the solid solution is not formed, but a physical mixture is detected. The existence of oxygen vacancies in the solids with Eu2O3 contents between 3 and 17% wt was demonstrated by the presence of bands at 532 and 1275 cm−1 in their Raman spectra. The catalytic performances of the solids correlate with the amount of these punctual defects in the solid solution.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1021/jp8092989

Surface nanostructuring of TiO2 thin films by ion beam irradiation


Romero-Gomez, P; Palmero, A; Yubero, F; Vinnichenko, M; Kolitsch, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Scripta Materialia, 60 (2009) 574-577
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma

ABSTRACT ▼

This work reports a procedure to modify the surface nanostructure of TiO2 anatase thin films through ion beam irradiation with energies in the keV range. Irradiation with N+ ions leads to the formation of a layer with voids at a depth similar to the ion-projected range. By setting the ion-projected range a few tens of nanometers below the surface of the film, well-ordered nanorods appear aligned with the angle of incidence of the ion beam. Slightly different results were obtained by using heavier (S+) and lighter (B+) ions under similar conditions.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2008.12.014

Sonication induced redox reactions of the Ojén (Andalucía, Spain) vermiculite


Poyato, J; Perez-Rodriguez, JL; Ramirez-Valle, V; Lerf, A; Wagner, FE
Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 16 (2009) 570-576

ABSTRACT ▼

Sonication in a 1:1 mixture (volume ratio) of water and concentrated H2O2 (30%) is a soft method for particle size reduction of phyllosilicate minerals like vermiculites. Repeated sonication causes a particle size reduction to about 70 nm for the Santa Olalla and to 45 nm for the Ojén-vermiculite. In this context the question arises whether the strong oxidising effect of the hydrogen peroxide affects the oxidation state of the iron in the vermiculites. Therefore, the Fe3+/Fetotal ratio before and after sonication was determined by means of Mössbauer spectroscopy. Whereas this ratio was found to remain almost constant in the Santa Olalla vermiculite, it increased from 0.79 to 0.85 in case of the Ojén sample. In the latter case, the oxidation is accompanied by a decrease of the layer charge.

Surprisingly, sonication in pure water leads to a decrease of the Fe3+/Fetotal ratio in the case of the Ojén-vermiculite, i.e., to an increase of the Fe2+ fraction to roughly twice the value before sonication. Again the Fe3+/Fetotal ratio of the Santa Olalla vermiculite remains unchanged. The surface area SBET of the reduced Ojén-vermiculite amounts to 50 m2/g, which is close to the value obtained in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The results presented should be taken as a warning that particle size reduction by sonication may be accompanied by a change of the redox state and the layer charge of the material.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2008.12.009

Comparison between micro-Raman and micro-FTIR spectroscopy techniques for the characterization of pigments from Southern Spain Cultural Heritage


Franquelo, ML; Duran, A; Herrera, LK; de Haro, MCJ; Perez-Rodriguez, JL
Journal of Molecular Structure, 924-926 (2009) 404-412

ABSTRACT ▼

An extensive overview of the complementary use of micro-FTIR and micro-Raman spectroscopy in the Cultural Heritage studies is described in this work.

The samples have been prepared using the cross-section technique. This technique allows the examination of a large portion of a single paint layer in its original condition. A variety of pigments from samples belonging principally to the Cultural Heritage of Southern Spain were characterized by micro-Raman spectroscopy using visible excitation sources and micro-FTIR spectroscopy. The pigments studied comprise blue (azurite, ultramarine blue, Prussian blue), red (vermilion, haematite, red ochre, red lead, etc.), ochre and yellow (goethite, orpiment, realgar, etc.), green (malachite, copper resinate), and white (calcite, gypsum, white lead, titanium white, barite, lithopone) pigments, among others. An orientation is given for their appropriate and unequivocal characterization. Characterization by micro-FTIR and micro-Raman presents difficulties with some pigments. In these cases, analysis by EDX solves most of these doubts. The combined use of both spectroscopic techniques, together with SEM–EDX microanalysis, provides one of the most useful methods in the characterization (and possible dating) of materials used in Cultural Heritage.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.molstruc.2008.11.041

Properties of Ti(C,N) cermets synthesized by mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction


Cordoba, JM; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Aviles, MA; Alcala, MD; Gotor, FJ
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 29 (2012) 1173-1182
Materiales Nanoestructurados y Microestructura - Reactividad de Sólidos

ABSTRACT ▼

The properties of TiCxN1−x/(Ni or Co) cermets sintered by a pressureless method from powder mixtures, and obtained for the first time by a mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction process (MSR), were studied. The hardness, toughness, friction and wear coefficients, and oxidation resistance were determined. It was shown that cermets obtained from powdered materials synthesized in one single MSR step possessed improved mechanical properties, similar to those obtained in cermets with more complex bulk compositions. Higher wear resistances were observed in cermets whose hard phase was richer in carbon. The oxidation resistance of the cermets depended primarily on the binder composition. This resistance was better for those cermets with cobalt as the binder. Superior oxidation resistance was displayed when small amounts of W or Mo were incorporated into the binder.


Abril, 2009 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2008.08.019

Effect of the grinding mechanical treatment on the pyrophilite textural properties


Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio, 48 (2009) 59-68
Materiales Avanzados

ABSTRACT ▼

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