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Development of Advanced TiO2/SiO2 Photocatalyst for Indoor Air Cleaning
Andraž Šuligoj, 2015, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: TiO2 - SiO2 composites were synthesized by low-temperature sol-gel impregnation method, using four different titania sources (P-25 from Degussa, PC500 from Millennium, CCA 100 AS and CCA 100 BS from Cinkarna, later denoted as AS and BS, respectively) and deposited on aluminium and glass carriers. Ordered and disordered mesoporous silicas were impregnated with ce{TiO2} in powder or suspension form in the Ti : Si molar ratio 1 : 1. Structure, size, band gap, chemical composition and specific surface area of nanoparticles were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DR-UV-vis), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and ce{N2} physisorption. Additionally, quantity of surface hydroxyl groups, surface acidity and mechanical stability of the coatings were determined by temperature programmed Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (TPD-IR) and Wolff-Wilborn method, respectively. The photocatalytic activity of TiO2 and TiO2 - SiO2 composites was evaluated in the photodegradation of toluene and formaldehyde, as model VOCs, under UVA light irradiation in lab-made photoreactor system with two different regimes; batch and plug-flow mode. These two VOCs are being considered as examples of two of the six major classes of indoor air contaminants. Adsorption properties of the samples with toluene, have shown that the addition of mesoporous silica was beneficial. The increase of the adsorption of the bare AS TiO2 (9.5 %) was higher in the case of ordered silica, SBA-15 (2.8 times for AS/SBA15 to 26.8 %) than disordered SiO2 KIL-2 (2.4 times for AS/KIL2 to 22.7 %) although it was significant in both types of mesoporous silica supports (over 20 %). Adsorption was found to be dependent mostly on the quantity of surface Si-OH groups. Regarding the photocatalytic activities towards toluene degradation, the results with pure TiO2 showed the fastest kinetics in case of sample AS followed by PC500 and P25. The observed behaviour was ascribed to smaller particle size, and consequently higher specific surface area. Grafting titania onto silica showed the importance of structural parameters. Most importantly, if the pore structure of bare TiO2 collapsed, this resulted in decreased activity. On the other hand, retainment of the pore structure improved the distribution of nanoparticles, crystallinity and optical properties, which resulted in improved photocatalytic activity. In the degradation of formaldehyde, it was found that adsorption and degradation abilities of the materials were much more dependent on the structural properties of the samples, i.e., the pore structure. This was explained as a consequence of the different degradation mechanisms of both pollutants. Toluene degradation is governed by the oxidation through photogenerated holes - direct oxidation, whereas in the degradation of formaldehyde, the major oxidative species are OH radicals. In addition, the same as in toluene oxidation, the activity was dependent mainly on the number of crystal defects and the band gap values, that is the oxidation and reduction potentials of the catalysts. The degradation efficiency was increased from 88 % in pure AS TiO2 to 97 % when this titania was grafted onto colloidal silica (7C). An important highlight of the thesis is synthesis of a novel photocatalyst, labelled AS7C, which comprises an acidic colloidal suspension AS as TiO2 source and colloidal silica, using a low-temperature sol-gel impregnation method. This sample used all the above mentioned properties that improve photocatalytic activity towards both pollutants. Mechanical stability of the samples was also tested. The tests showed that binder, in the form of colloidal SiO2 (in size of 25 nm) in combination with colloidal titania of appropriate size - 6 nm, produced the highest mechanical stability of the coatings, which also showed excellent photocatalytic activity. Stability of the coatings, using AS as titania source, was greatly improved. The Wolff-Wilborn test on AS coating showed no mechanical resistance, while with the optimal (in terms of photocatalytic performance) addition of 7C SiO2 binder stability was excellent (F, which is in the middle of 6B-6H hardness scale). This sample (AS7C) was also tested for release of aerosols, during operation of the reactor, which could be harmful for human health at longer exposure times. It was found that aerosols are formed, probably as a consequence of detachment of nanoparticles in the first period of photodegradation test. However, their formation in consecutive tests was greatly reduced. Last but not least, a pilot plug-flow reactor was constructed to test the photocatalyst's efficiency in one-pass degradation of toluene. Sample AS7C was able to degrade toluene at conditions applied (v= 400 mL/min, m(catalyst) = 1049 mg, C(0) = 1 ppmv), which means that the out-flow from reactor was clean of the pollutant and any possible intermediates, comprising only of humid air and CO2. Deactivation of the catalyst was found at higher air flow and higher initial concentration of the pollutant. However, the concentrations of pollutants in living conditions are few orders of magnitude lower, hence this is a promising result.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...Air remediation, TiO2 photocatalysis, Immobilization, Thin layers, TiO2/SiO2 composites...
Keywords: Air remediation, TiO2 photocatalysis, Immobilization, Thin layers, TiO2/SiO2 composites
Published: 31.08.2015; Views: 7476; Downloads: 178
.pdf Fulltext (33,47 MB)

Introduction to Electronic Properties and Dynamics of Organic Complexes as Self‐Assembled Monolayers
Maddalena Pedio, 2017, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Abstract: Self‐assembled monolayers (SAMs) of organic‐conjugated transition metal complexes on surfaces is a focus of both device engineering and basic science, since it is a key factor in nearly all important aspects of device performances, including operation voltages, degradation, and efficiency. The huge amount of literature results related to the first monolayer, and reorganization and self‐assembling processes are due to the general accepted result that structural and chemical properties of the first monolayer are the key parameters for controlled thin film growth. Optical and magneto‐electronic properties are intimately connected, and the accurate determination of electronic levels, excitation, and relaxation dynamics is mandatory for the optimization of electronic, photovoltaic, and opto‐electronic devices. Quite a number of electronic states is generated by the interaction of light with complex organic molecules. Time‐resolved spectroscopies are a new investigation tool that gives the possibility of correctly addressing their origin and life time. Examples of prototypical systems are presented and discussed. We review on complementary techniques, trying to single out how different approaches are fundamental to fully characterize these complex systems.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...self‐assembled monolayer (SAM), surface structures molecular layers, nanotechnology, electronic properties, spectroscopies, time resolved...
Keywords: self‐assembled monolayer (SAM), surface structures molecular layers, nanotechnology, electronic properties, spectroscopies, time resolved
Published: 12.06.2017; Views: 3715; Downloads: 195
.pdf Fulltext (5,78 MB)

Evidence of enhanced photocurrent response in corannulene films
Nadya Patukhova, Layla Martin Samos, Egona Pavlica, Gvido Bratina, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: Photoconductivity spectra measured in non-crystalline corannulene thin layers are compared to optical absorption in solution phase and thin films. The unexpected enhanced photoconductivity is correlated with GW–BSE theoretical predictions of corannulene gas-phase excitonic spectra. Theoretical analysis reveals a consistent contribution involving transitions to Super Atomic Molecular Orbitals (SAMOs), a unique set of diffuse orbitals typical of curved conjugated constructs. Results suggest SAMO population via direct photoexcitation as a potential mechanism towards exploiting these diffuse orbitals as conducting channels in suitably assembled quantum nanostructures or solids.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...Photoconductivity spectra measured in non-crystalline corannulene thin layers are compared to optical absorption in solution...
Keywords: Coranulene, photoconductivity, thin layers, photoexcitation
Published: 26.09.2017; Views: 3103; Downloads: 193
.pdf Fulltext (644,91 KB)

Characterization of organic semiconductor thin layers by transient photocurrent spectroscopy
Nadiia Pastukhova, Egon Pavlica, Gvido Bratina, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: organic semiconductors, thin layers, spectroscopy
Published: 10.02.2020; Views: 2275; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (865,49 KB)

Morphous aluminium oxide
Andraž Mavrič, Chunhua Cui, Matjaž Valant, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: aluminium oxide, metal oxides, protection layers
Published: 10.02.2020; Views: 2421; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (631,43 KB)

Characterization of organic semiconductor thin layers by transient photocurrent spectroscopy
Nadiia Pastukhova, Egon Pavlica, Gvido Bratina, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: organic semiconductors, thin layers, spectroscopy
Published: 10.02.2020; Views: 2273; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (626,90 KB)

Coevaporation of doped inorganic carrier-selective layers for high-performance inverted planar perovskite solar cells
Qiugui Zeng, Zeyu Fan, Beibei Zhang, Yanbo Li, Jiexuan Jiang, Andraž Mavrič, Nadiia Pastukhova, Matjaž Valant, 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.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: carrier selective layers, Cu-doped nickel oxide, electron-beam evaporation, perovskite solar cells, W-doped niobium oxide
Published: 17.03.2022; Views: 764; Downloads: 27
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Taming the topology of calix[4]arene-based 2D-covalent organic frameworks
Mark Anthony Olson, Ramesh Jagannathan, Maria Baias, Sudhir Kumar Sharma, Sabu Varghese, Nawavi Naleem, Felipe Gándara, Tina Škorjanc, Dinesh Shetty, Bikash Garai, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: A bowl-shaped calix[4]arene with its exciting host–guest chemistry is a versatile supramolecular building block for the synthesis of distinct coordination cages or metal–organic frameworks. However, its utility in the synthesis of crystalline covalent organic frameworks (COFs) remains challenging, presumably due to its conformational flexibility. Here, we report the synthesis of a periodic 2D extended organic network of calix[4]arenes joined by a linear benzidine linker via dynamic imine bonds. By tuning the interaction among neighboring calixarene units through varying the concentration in the reaction mixture, we show the selective formation of interpenetrated (CX4-BD-1) and non-interpenetrated (CX4-BD-2) frameworks. The cone-shaped calixarene moiety in the structural backbone allows for the interweaving of two neighboring layers in CX4-BD-1, making it a unique example of interpenetrated 2D layers. Due to the high negative surface charge from calixarene units, both COFs have shown high performance in charge-selective dye removal and an exceptional selectivity for cationic dyes irrespective of their molecular size. The charge distribution of the COFs and the resulting selectivity for the cationic dyes were further investigated using computational methods.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...allows for the interweaving of two neighboring layers in CX4-BD-1, making it a unique example...
Keywords: dyes and pigments, covalent organic frameworks, adsorption, layers, chemical structure
Published: 16.03.2021; Views: 1351; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (7,57 MB)

Hanna Budasheva, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: Advanced materials are promising ones in application in fields where it is necessary to decrease energy consumption and ensure better performance at a lower cost. They are materials, which have enhanced properties compared to conventional materials in the field of their applications.1 The huge group of them contributes significantly to every aspect of our lives. Among them, chosen for the present study, are resins for passive sampling of iron species in natural water and sediments, anticorrosive coatings, and multilayered polysaccharide aerogels for medical applications. The composition and structure of each material determine its chemical, mechanical and physical properties, consequently their performance.2 The ability to use advanced materials in areas where their impact will be significant is largely dependent on the ability to precisely determine their characteristics to identify their properties that are either unique or has a better value. Therefore, the development of new methods or improvement of already known ones will make a great contribution to the development of the fields of application of the selected materials. The present study is focused on the examination of the chosen materials by determining their optical, chemical, thermal and structural properties for applying them further in the desired applications. To provide the needed characterization, optothermal techniques such as optothermal beam deflection spectrometry (BDS) and thermal lens spectrometry (TLS) are developed and applied. This dissertation is composed of the following chapters: introduction, theoretical background, optothermal techniques, research goal, part I (gels for passive sampling of iron species in natural water and sediments), part II (anticorrosive coatings), part II (polysaccharide aerogels), references. The core of this dissertation is presented in chapters 5 to 7. Each of the chapters separately covers the information about a selected group of advanced materials, including the sections describing sample preparation, developing the required characterization method, results, and conclusion. The connection link of these chapters is the study of the diffusion process of iron into different types of binding gels in passive samplers; external composites through the anticorrosive layers; drugs into the surrounding during the drug delivery process. In Part I, the BDS method for the study was chosen, it was optimized, and a detailed protocol was developed for the determination of iron in passive sampler gels. The iron residues in the initial solutions were checked by a suitably tuned TLS method. The developed technique was applied to get the iron species distribution in the gel samples deposited in the sediments in the Vrtojbica River. The method was applied to the gels applied on ice from Antarctica in order to obtain the iron species distribution on its surface as well. The obtained results were validated using the TLS, UV-Vis and ICP-MS methods. The chapter contains the analysis of the Fe diffusion depth into the resin sampler, which is presented for the first time. The information is obtained by using the mathematical model and applying it to the obtained practical results by frequency scanning of the gels. The crucial information about the thermal properties of their layers containing Fe-ions from the fitting procedure was extracted. On the basis of these results, information about the diffusion depth of Fe inside the gels was obtained, which has not been previously described in the literature. In Part II, the porosity in the anticorrosion coatings on the basis of their thermal parameters was determined. For the first time, the opened porosity was extracted from the total one. The analysis of Si/Zr-based hybrid sol-gel coatings has shown that the addition of cerium salts into the sol-gel matrix produces changes in its physical, chemical and corrosion properties. And it was found that the sample with the biggest amount of incorporated zirconium and loaded with cerium has the lowest values of porosity and, hence, the best barrier properties of the coating. The obtained thermal parameters of the Si/Zr-based hybrid sol-gel coatings by BDS were validated by the use of the photothermal radiometry method. On the other hand, the analysis of siloxane methacrylate coating has shown that the sol-gel hybrid methodology offers an important route for modification of thermal properties by a combination of inorganic to organic contents where the former than as an integral part of the coating network affects the thermal properties without the need for introducing fillers or nanoparticles. In Part III, the multilayered structure of the samples, containing hyaluronic acid, amoxicillin and fucoidan layers deposited on stainless support has been analyzed by the use of the BDS technique. The thermal parameters of each layer were determined, as well as their thickness. The results revealed the diffusion between neighboring layers and followed changes in the properties of the whole sample, which is reflected in its thermal properties. Such data for multilayered materials, which potentially can be used for drug delivery systems, are presented for the first time. Presented results indicated the ability of the BDS system for the chemical characterisation of the solid materials, the detection of their thermal parameters; investigation of total, opened and closed porosity; determining the thickness of layers in multilayered structures. The TLS method served as the validating one for the purpose of getting comprehensive information in liquid samples about their chemical composition. In summary, this dissertation explores alternative ways to apply optothermal methods to various areas of advanced materials to characterize them in order to improve their initial properties.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...passive samplers; external composites through the anticorrosive layers; drugs into the surrounding during the drug...
Keywords: optothermal beam deflection spectrometry, thermal lens spectrometry, diffusive gradients in thin films, iron species, anticorrosive layers, porosity, polysaccharide aerogels, multilayered structures
Published: 29.08.2022; Views: 564; Downloads: 39
.pdf Fulltext (5,46 MB)

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