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Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma

Thermo-optic response of MEH-PPV films incorporated to monolithic Fabry-Perot microresonators

Rostra, JG; Soler-Carracedo, K; Martin, LL; Lahoz, F; Yubero, F
Dyes and Pigments, 182 (2020) 108625

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Poly[2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene] (MEH-PPV) is a semiconducting optically active polymer widely used in optoelectronics research. MEH-PPV can be commercially acquired in a large range of molecular weights. However, the influence of this property on the optical performance of the polymer is often disregarded. In this paper, the thermal dependence of the refractive index of MEH-PPV thin films prepared from high and medium molecular weight polymers is investigated. Thus, monolithic Fabry-Perot (FP) microcavities are fabricated, in which the active polymer film is part of their defect layer. It is found that when these devices are used as optical temperature sensors, the position of the emission band of the microcavities excited with a blue diode laser shifts to lower wavelengths when temperature increases with sensitivities in the 0.2-0.3 nm/degrees C range. This effect is ascribed to the variation in the refractive index of the polymer active layer within the resonator with temperature. According to theoretical simulations of optical transmittance by classical transfer matrix method and the evaluation of the optical eigenmodes by finite element methods of the manufactured FP resonator cavities, it is found that the MEH-PPV films present negative thermo-optic coefficients of about-0.018 K-1 and-0.0022 K-1 for high and medium molecular weight polymers, respectively, in the temperature range between 20 and 60 degrees C. These values are about the highest reported so far, to the best of our knowledge, and points to high performance thermal sensor applications.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.dyepig.2020.108625

Tribología y Protección de Superficies

Tailoring CrNx stoichiometry and functionality by means of reactive HiPIMS

Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Caro, A; Alcala, G; Rojas, TC
Surface & Coatings Technology, 401 (2020) 126235

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This work presents a complete study of the influence of HiPIMS pulse characteristics on the microstructure, chemical composition, mechanical and oxidation resistance properties of CrN thin films. The investigated parameters were frequency and pulse length at two different nitrogen fluxes, maintaining constant the duty cycle conditions (2%). The effect of a negative bias of 100 V was investigated in a particular case. By changing the synthesis conditions, it was possible to tailor the N/Cr ratio and thus to control the CrNx stoichiometry from x = 0.63 to 1.10. The selection of longer pulses (shorter frequencies) generates more disordered structures with lower N/Cr ratios. This is reflected in higher hardness and elastic modulus values on despite of a lower oxidation resistance due to existence of larger concentration of N vacancies. The best oxidation resistance is obtained at the highest peak current combined with additional ion bombardment provided by substrate biasing. The present results open the possibilities of modifying chemical composition and engineering surfaces by changing exclusively the pulse conditions in HiPIMS deposition processes.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2020.126235

Materiales Nanoestructurados y Microestructura

Advances in the implementation of PVD-based techniques for the preparation of metal catalysts for the hydrolysis of sodium borohydride

Arzac, GM; Fernandez, A
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 58 (2020) 33288-33309

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Sodium borohydride constitutes a safe alternative for the storage of hydrogen with a high gravimetric content. Catalytic hydrolysis of sodium borohydride permits on-demand hydrogen generation for multiple applications. In this field, the rational design of efficient metal catalysts deposited on structured supports is highly desirable. For most reactions, chemical methods are the most commonly used methods for the preparation of supported metal catalysts. Physical vapour deposition techniques are emerging as an alternative for the preparation of catalytic materials because of their multiple advantages. They permit the one-step deposition of catalysts on structured supports with controlled microstructure and composition, avoiding the multi-step procedures and the generation of hazardous by-products associated with chemical routes.

In this short review, we will describe the available literature on the application of physical vapour deposition techniques for the preparation of supported metal catalysts for the hydrolysis of sodium borohydride. The effects of the deposition parameters on the properties of the catalytic materials will be discussed, and strategies for further improvement will be proposed. Here, we also present our new results on the study of nanoporous Pt catalysts that are prepared through the chemical dealloying of magnetron sputtered Pt-Cu thin films for the hydrolysis of sodium borohydride. We discuss the capabilities of the technique to tune the microstructure from columnar to closed porous microstructures, which, coupled with dealloying, produces more active supported catalysts with lower noble metal loading. At the end, we briefly mention the application of PVD for the preparation of supported catalysts for the hydrolysis of ammonia borane, another hydrogen generating reaction of high interest nowadays.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.09.041

Reactividad de Sólidos

Graphene-coated Ti-Nb-Ta-Mn foams: A promising approach towards a suitable biomaterial for bone replacement

Lascano, S; Chavez-Vasconez, R; Munoz-Rojas, D; Aristizabal, J; Arce, B; Parra, C; Acevedo, C; Orellana, N; Reyes-Valenzuela, M; Gotor, FJ; Arevalo, C; Torres, Y
Surface & Coatings Technology, 401 (2020) 126250

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The design of bone implants with proper biological and mechanical properties remains a challenge in medical implantology. The use of bioactive coatings has been shown to improve the biocompatibility of the implant surface. In this study, a new approach including porous scaffolds, beta-Ti alloys and nanocoatings to design new bone implants is presented. Porous Ti-Nb-Ta-xMn alloys (x: 2, 4, and 6 wt%) substrates were obtained by powder metallurgy and the effect of the porosity and Mn content on mechanical properties was studied. CVD single-layer graphene was transferred onto the porous substrates that presented the best mechanical response (x: 4 wt%) for further evaluation of in vitro cell behavior (biocompatibility and cell adhesion). Cytotoxicity and biocompatibility tests confirmed that cell adhesion and proliferation were successfully achieved on graphene-coated porous substrates, confirming these systems are potential candidates for using in partial bone tissue replacement.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2020.126250

Materiales Avanzados

Dust filter of secondary aluminium industry as raw material of geopolymer foams

Eliche-Quesada, D; Ruiz-Molina, S; Perez-Villarejo, L; Castro, E; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Hournal of Building Engineering, 32 (2020) 101656

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In this work, the use of waste dust filter of secondary aluminum industry (DFA) to obtain geopolymer foams has been studied. The waste was used as source of alumina and foaming agent. As precursor and principal reactive silica supplier rice husk ash was used. Precursors were chemically activated by means of a sodium hydroxide aqueous solution and a commercial sodium silicate solution. The influence of the DFA content or Si/Al molar ratio (4-7) were determined by keeping the Si/Na molar ratio of 0.7 M constant and the concentration of sodium hydroxide in the activating solution equal to 8.5 M. The geopolymer foams obtained were studied by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), adsorption/desorption of nitrogen, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscope (SEM) techniques. The results indicated that geopolymer foams presented low values of bulk density (643-737 kg/m(3)) high values of apparent porosity (62-70%), low, but sufficient values of compressive strength (0.5-1.7 MPa) and good values of thermal conductivity (0.131-0.157 W/mK). Lower values of thermal conductivity were obtained for Si/Al = 4 and 5 M ratios, due to the highest apparent porosity and the highest total pore volume. These geopolymer foam materials have similar properties to other construction materials sector such as gypsum boards, foamed concrete, or insulating materials. In addition, its use in other applications of interest such as catalyst support or gas filtration materials could be investigated.

Noviembre, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2020.101656