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Resolving a structural issue in cerium-nickel-based oxide : single compound or a two-phase system?
Jelena Kojčinović, Dalibor Tatar, Stjepan Šarić, Cora Pravda Bartus, Andraž Mavrič, Iztok Arčon, Zvonko Jagličić, Maximilian Mellin, Marcus Einert, Angela Altomare, Rocco Caliandro, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: CeNiO3 has been reported in the literature in the last few years as a novel LnNiO3 compound with promising applications in different catalytic fields, but its structure has not been correctly reported so far. In this research, CeNiO3 (RB1), CeO2 and NiO have been synthesized in a nanocrystalline form using a modified citrate aqueous sol-gel route. A direct comparison between the equimolar physical mixture (n(CeO2) : n(NiO) = 1:1) and a compound RB1 was made. Their structural differences were investigated by laboratory powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), selected area electron diffraction (SAED), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy detector (EDS), and Raman spectroscopy. The surface of the compounds was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), while the thermal behaviour was explored by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Their magnetic properties were also investigated with the aim of exploring the differences between these two compounds. There were clear differences between the physical mixture of CeO2 + NiO and RB1 presented by all of these employed methods. Synchrotron methods, such as atomic pair distribution function analysis (PDF), X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) were used to explore the structure of RB1 in more detail. Three different models for the structural solution of RB1 were proposed. One structural solution proposes that RB1 is a single-phase pyrochlore compound (Ce2Ni2O7) while the other two solutions suggest that RB1 is a two-phase system of either CeO2 + NiO or Ce1–xNixO2 and NiO.
Keywords: cerium oxide, nickel oxide, crystallography
Published in RUNG: 22.12.2023; Views: 1179; Downloads: 7
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Coevaporation of doped inorganic carrier-selective layers for high-performance inverted planar perovskite solar cells
Jiexuan Jiang, Andraž Mavrič, Nadiia Pastukhova, Matjaž Valant, Qiugui Zeng, Zeyu Fan, Beibei Zhang, Yanbo Li, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Inorganic carrier selective layers (CSLs), whose conductivity can be effectively tuned by doping, offer low-cost and stable alternatives for their organic counterparts in perovskite solar cells (PSCs). Herein, we employ a dual-source electron-beam co-evaporation method for the controlled deposition of copper-doped nickel oxide (Cu:NiO) and tungsten-doped niobium oxide (W:Nb2O5) as hole and electron transport layers, respectively. The mechanisms for the improved conductivity using dopants are investigated. Owing to the improved conductivity and optimized band alignment of the doped CSLs, the all-inorganic-CSLs-based PSCs achieves a maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 20.47%. Furthermore, a thin titanium buffer layer is inserted between the W:Nb2O5 and the silver electrode to prevent the halide ingression and improve band alignment. This leads to a further improvement of PCE to 21.32% and a long-term stability (1200 h) after encapsulation. Finally, the large-scale applicability of the doped CSLs by co-evaporation is demonstrated for the device with 1 cm2 area showing a PCE of over 19%. Our results demonstrate the potential application of the co-evaporated CSLs with controlled doping in PSCs for commercialization.
Keywords: carrier selective layers, Cu-doped nickel oxide, electron-beam evaporation, perovskite solar cells, W-doped niobium oxide
Published in RUNG: 17.03.2022; Views: 2157; Downloads: 121
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Nickel coordination in hyperaccumulator plants studied by XANES and EXAFS
Jana Padežnik Gomilšek, Katarina Vogel-Mikuš, Alojz Kodre, Iztok Arčon, 2018, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: nickel, hyperaccumulator plants
Published in RUNG: 12.09.2018; Views: 3357; Downloads: 0
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Surface modified titanium dioxide using transition metals : nickel as a winning transition metal for solar light photocatalysis
Andraž Šuligoj, Iztok Arčon, Matjaž Mazaj, Goran Dražić, Denis Arčon, Pegie Cool, Urška Lavrenčič Štangar, Nataša Novak Tušar, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Titanium dioxide has been widely used as an antimicrobial agent, UV-filter and catalyst for pollution abatement. Herein, surface modifications with selected transition metals (Me) over colloidal TiO2 nanoparticles and immobilization with a colloidal SiO2 binder as composite films (MeTiO2/SiO2) on a glass carrier were used to enhance solar-light photoactivity. Colloidal TiO2 nanoparticles were modified by loading selected transition metals (Me ¼ Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn) in the form of chlorides on their surface. They were present primarily as oxo-nanoclusters and a portion as metal oxides. The structural characteristics of bare TiO2 were preserved up to an optimal metal loading of 0.5 wt%. We have shown in situ that metal-oxo-nanoclusters with a redox potential close to that of O2/O2 were able to function as co-catalysts on the TiO2 surface which was excited by solar-light irradiation. The materials were tested for photocatalytic activity by two opposite methods; one detecting O2 (reduction, Rz ink test) while the other detecting OH (oxidation, terephthalic acid test). It was shown that the enhancement of the solar-light activity of TiO2 by the deposition of transition metal oxo-nanoclusters on the surface depends strongly on the combination of the reduction potential of such species and appropriate band positions of their oxides. The latter prevented excessive self-recombination of the photogenerated charge carriers by the nanoclusters in Ni and Zn modification, which was probably the case in other metal modifications. Overall, only Ni modification had a positive effect on solar photoactivity in both oxidation and reduction reactions.
Keywords: surface modified TiO2, XANES, EXAFS, Nickel, solar light photocatalyst
Published in RUNG: 01.06.2018; Views: 3814; Downloads: 0
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