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1.
The role of lattice defects on the optical properties of TiO[sub]2 nanotube arrays for synergistic water splitting
Manel Machreki, Takwa Chouki, Georgi Tyuliev, Mattia Fanetti, Matjaž Valant, Denis Arčon, Matej Pregelj, Saim Emin, 2023, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: In this study, we report a facile one-step chemical method to synthesize reduced titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotube arrays (NTAs) with point defects. Treatment with NaBH4 introduces oxygen vacancies (OVs) in the TiO2 lattice. Chemical analysis and optical studies indicate that the OV density can be significantly increased by changing reduction time treatment, leading to higher optical transmission of the TiO2 NTAs and retarded carrier recombination in the photoelectrochemical process. A cathodoluminescence (CL) study of reduced TiO2 (TiO2–x) NTAs revealed that OVs contribute significantly to the emission bands in the visible range. It was found that the TiO2 NTAs reduced for a longer duration exhibited a higher concentration of OVs. A typical CL spectrum of TiO2 was deconvoluted to four Gaussian components, assigned to F, F+, and Ti3+ centers.
Ključne besede: TiO2 nanotubes, defects, cathodoluminescence
Objavljeno v RUNG: 13.12.2023; Ogledov: 510; Prenosov: 7
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2.
Defective ▫$TiO_2$▫ nanotube arrays for efficient photoelectrochemical degradation of organic pollutants
Manel Machreki, Takwa Chouki, Georgi Tyuliev, Dušan Žigon, Bunsho Ohtani, Alexandre Loukanov, Plamen Stefanov, Saim Emin, 2023, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Oxygen vacancies (OVs) are one of the most critical factors that enhance the electrical and catalytic characteristics of metal oxide-based photo-electrodes. In this work, a simple procedure was applied to prepare reduced TiO 2 nanotube arrays (NTAs) (TiO 2−x) via a one-step reduction method using NaBH 4. A series of characterization techniques were used to study the structural, optical, and electronic properties of TiO 2−x NTAs. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of defects in TiO 2−x NTAs. Photoacoustic measurements were used to estimate the electron-trap density in the NTAs. Photoelectrochemical studies show that the photocurrent density of TiO 2−x NTAs was nearly 3 times higher than that of pristine TiO 2. It was found that increasing OVs in TiO 2 affects the surface recombination centers, enhances electrical conductivity, and improves charge transport. For the first time, a TiO 2−x photoanode was used in the photo-electrochemical (PEC) degradation of a textile dye (basic blue 41, B41) and ibuprofen (IBF) pharmaceutical using in situ generated reactive chlorine species (RCS). Liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry was used to study the mechanisms for the degradation of B41 and IBF. Phytotoxicity tests of B41 and IBF solutions were performed using Lepidium sativum L. to evaluate the potential acute toxicity before and after the PEC treatment. The present work provides efficient PEC degradation of the B41 dye and IBF in the presence of RCS without generating harmful products.
Ključne besede: TiO2, nanotube arrays, photoelectrochemical degradation, organic pollutants
Objavljeno v RUNG: 12.06.2023; Ogledov: 1128; Prenosov: 7
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3.
Reduced TiO2 nanotube arrays for photoelectrochemical degradation of pharmaceutical
Manel Machreki, Takwa Chouki, Georgi Tyuliev, Dušan Žigon, Bunsho Ohtani, Alexandre Loukanov, Plamen Stefanov, Saim Emin, 2022, objavljeni povzetek znanstvenega prispevka na konferenci

Ključne besede: TiO2, nanotube arrays, photoelectrochemical degradation, pharmaceuticals
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.02.2023; Ogledov: 1118; Prenosov: 0
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Chemical (in)stability of interfaces between different metals and Bi[sub]2Se[sub]3 topological insulator
Katja Ferfolja, Mattia Fanetti, Sandra Gardonio, Matjaž Valant, 2018, objavljeni povzetek znanstvenega prispevka na konferenci

Opis: In recent years a classification of materials based on their topological order gained popularity due to the discovery of materials with special topological character – topological insulators (TI). TI have different band structure than regular insulators or conductors. They are characterized by a band gap in the bulk of the material, but at the surface they possess conductive topological surface states (TSS) that cross the Fermi level. TSS are a consequence of the non-trivial bulk band structure and have properties that differ from ordinary surface states. They are robust toward contamination and deformation of the surface. Additionally, they are also spin polarized, which means that an electron spin is locked to a crystal momentum and, therefore, backscattering during transport is suppressed [1]. Due to their specific properties the TI could be used in fields of spintronics, quantum computing and catalysis [2]. The investigation of the interfaces between metals and the TI has not been given much attention even though its characterization is interesting from fundamental physics and applicative point of view. (In)stability of the contacts with metal electrodes, in a form of a chemical reaction or diffusion, has to be taken into account since it can affect the transport properties of the material or increase the contact resistance. Our research is dedicated to the study of the metal/TI interfaces, in particular to Bi2Se3 with deposited metals that are relevant for electrical contacts (Au, Ag, Pt, Cr, Ti). The thermal and chemical stability of the interfaces are of fundamental importance for understanding the contact behavior, therefore, we focused our work to the characterization of these properties. The metal/TI interfaces are investigated mainly with an electron microscopy (SEM, TEM, STM), EDX microanalysis and XRD. Our previous studies showed that the interface between Bi2Se3, and Ag deposited either chemically or from a vapor phase, results in the formation of new phases already at room temperature [3]. On the contrary, Au deposited on the Bi2Se3 surface shows very limited reactivity and is stable at RT, but diffusion and coalescence of the metal are observed starting from 100 °C [4]. In this contribution, we will present further characterization on the evolution of the Ag/Bi2Se3 and Au/Bi2Se3 interfaces, show preliminary results about recently investigated systems (Pt/Bi2Se3, Ti/Bi2Se3) and compare the thermal and chemical stability of the systems under investigation.
Ključne besede: thermal lens spectrometry, photothermal beam deflection spectroscopy, dye remediation, photothermal technique, photocatalytic degradation, reactive blue 19, TiO2 modification
Objavljeno v RUNG: 20.08.2021; Ogledov: 2361; Prenosov: 0
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8.
Improved photocatalytic activity of SnO[sub]2-TiO[sub]2 nanocomposite thin films prepared by low-temperature sol-gel method
Ksenija Maver, Iztok Arčon, Mattia Fanetti, Samar Al Jitan, Giovanni Palmisano, Matjaž Valant, Urška Lavrenčič Štangar, 2021, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: The objective of this research was to investigate how the photocatalytic activity of pure TiO2 can be improved by SnO2 modification. Different molar ratios of tin to titanium were prepared. The correlation between tin concentration and structural properties was investigated to explain the mechanism of photocatalytic efficiency and to optimize the synthesis conditions to obtain enhanced activity of the SnO2-modified TiO2 photocatalysts under UV-irradiation. The SnO2-modified TiO2 photocatalysts were prepared by a low-temperature sol-gel method based on organic tin and titanium precursors. The precursors underwent sol-gel reactions separately to form SnO2-TiO2 sol. The sol-gels were deposited on a glass substrate by a dip-coating technique and dried at 150 ◦C to obtain the photocatalysts in the form of a thin film. To test the thermal stability of the material, an additional set of photocatalysts was prepared by calcining the dried samples in air at 500 ◦C. The photocatalytic activity of the samples was determined by measuring the degradation rate of an azo dye. An increase of up to 30% in the photocatalytic activity of the air-dried samples was obtained when the TiO2 was modified with the SnO2 in a concentration range of 0.1–1 mol.%. At higher SnO2 loadings, the photocatalytic activity of the photocatalyst was reduced compared to the unmodified TiO2. The calcined samples showed an overall reduced photocatalytic activity compared to the air-dried samples. Various characterization techniques (UV-Vis, XRD, N2-physisorption, TEM, EDX, SEM, XAS and photoelectrochemical characterization) were used to explain the mechanism for the enhanced and hindered photocatalytic performances of the SnO2-modified TiO2 photocatalysts. The results showed that the nanocrystalline cassiterite SnO2 is attached to the TiO2 nanocrystallites through the Sn-O-Ti bonds. In this way, the coupling of two semiconductors, SnO2 and TiO2, was demonstrated. Compared to single-phase photocatalysts, the coupling of semiconductors has a beneficial effect on the separation of charge carriers, which prolongs their lifetime for accessibility to participate in the redox reactions. The maximum increase in activity of the thin films was achieved in the low concentration range (0.1–1 mol.%), which means that an optimal ratio and contact of the two phases is achieved for the given physical parameters such as particle size, shape and specific surface area of the catalyst.
Ključne besede: photocatalytic activity, Sn-modified TiO2, low-temperature, thin films, XAS analysis
Objavljeno v RUNG: 05.07.2021; Ogledov: 2609; Prenosov: 0
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9.
Sn-modified TiO[sub]2 thin film photocatalysts prepared by low-temperature sol-gel processing : dissertation
Ksenija Maver, 2021, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Due to many advantageous physiochemical properties, titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the most widely used photocatalyst in numerous applications, such as wastewater treatment and air purification, self-cleaning surfaces and energy conversion (H2 generation). However, one of its disadvantages is the high electron-hole recombination rate, and coupling with other semiconductors is one of the strategies to improve it. The objective of this dissertation was to investigate how the photocatalytic activity of pure TiO2 can be improved by tin modification and to explain the mechanism of increased or hindered photoactivity in correlation with the structural properties of the modified TiO2 photocatalysts. A new low-temperature sol-gel synthesis route was developed to prepare Sn- or SnO2-modified TiO2 photocatalysts. In both cases, organic tin and titanium precursors were used. Tin in the form of Sn cations was used to prepare Sn-modified TiO2. In this case, the precursors went through the sol-gel reaction together to form a Sn-TiO2 sol. In the case of SnO2 modification, the SnO2 sol was prepared separately and additionally mixed with the TiO2 sol to form a TiO2/SnO2 bicomponent semiconductor system. Different molar ratios of tin to titanium were prepared to investigate the correlation between the tin concentration and the photocatalytic properties of the photocatalysts in the form of thin films. The results were used to optimize the synthesis conditions to obtain an improved activity of the modified TiO2 photocatalysts under UV-irradiation. The photocatalytic activity of the thin films was determined by measuring the degradation rate of an azo dye. An increase of up to 40 % in the photocatalytic activity of the dried samples (at 150 °C) was achieved when the TiO2 was modified with the Sn or SnO2 in a concentration range of 0.1 to 1 mol.%. At higher Sn or SnO2 loadings and after calcination of the samples at 500 °C, the photocatalytic activity of the photocatalyst was reduced compared to the unmodified TiO2. Different characterization techniques (UV-Vis, XRD, nitrogen physisorption, TEM, SEM and XAS) were employed to clarify the mechanism responsible for the enhanced and hindered photocatalytic performance of the Sn- and SnO2-modified TiO2 photocatalysts. The results showed that a nanocrystalline structure is already achieved in the samples by the low-temperature film treatment (drying at 150 °C) and that the photocatalytic efficiency is mainly influenced by the crystalline phase composition: anatase/rutile in the case of Sn-modified and TiO2/SnO2 in the case of SnO2-modified TiO2. The crystal size and specific surface area differ insignificantly between the equally thermally treated samples and partly explain the differences in photoefficiency of the calcined samples compared to the dried samples. The structural study at the atomic level, using the Sn K-edge EXAFS, revealed that Sn cations act as nucleation sites for the anatase to rutile transformation in the Sn-modified TiO2 photocatalysts, while in the SnO2-modified TiO2 samples the nanocrystalline cassiterite SnO2 is bound to the TiO2 nanocrystallites via the Sn-O-Ti bond. In both cases, the advantage of coupling the two semiconductors was achieved by separating the charge carriers and thus prolonging their lifetime for accessibility to participate in the redox reactions. The maximum activity enhancement was achieved in the low concentration range (0.1–1 mol.%), which means that an optimal ratio and contact of the two phases are obtained for the given physical parameters, such as particle size, shape and specific surface area of the catalyst.
Ključne besede: Sn-modified TiO2, SnO2-modified TiO2, low-temperature sol-gel, thin films, photocatalytic activity, anatase/rutile system, Sn K-edge EXAFS, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 09.06.2021; Ogledov: 4693; Prenosov: 163
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