Abstract: In almost all urban contexts and in many extra-urban conurbations, where road traffic is the main noise pollution source, the use of barriers is not allowed. In these cases, low-noise road surfaces are the most used mitigation action together with traffic flow reduction. Selecting the optimal surface is only the first problem that the public administration has to face. In the second place, it has to consider the issue of assessing the efficacy of the mitigation action. The purpose of the LEOPOLDO project was to improve the knowledge in the design and the characterization of low-noise road surfaces, producing guidelines helpful to the public administrations. Several experimental road surfaces were tested. Moreover, several measurement methods were implemented aiming to select those that are suitable for a correct assessment of the pavement performances laid as mitigation planning. In this paper, the experience gained in the LEOPOLDO project will be described, focusing on both the measurement methods adopted to assess the performance of a low-noise road surface and the criteria by which the experimental results have to be evaluated, presenting a comparison of the obtained results and their monitoring along time.
Abstract: Titanium dioxide thin films were deposited using a Tween® surfactant modified non-aqueous sol-gel method onto fluorine doped tin oxide glass substrates. The surfactant concentration and type in the sols was varied as well as the number of deposited layers. The as deposited thin films were annealed at 500 °C for 15 min before characterisation and photocatalytic testing with resazurin intelligent ink. The films were characterised using scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and UV-Vis spectroscopy. Photocatalytic activity of the films was evaluated using a resazurin dye-ink test and the hydrophilicity of the films was analysed by water-contact angles measurements. Characterisation and photocatalytic testing has shown that the addition of surfactant in varying types and concentrations had a significant effect on the resulting thin film microstructure, such as changing the average particle size from 130 to 25 nm, and increasing the average root mean square roughness from 11 to 350 nm. Such structural changes have resulted in an enhanced photocatalytic performance for the thin films, with an observed reduction in dye half-life from 16.5 to three minutes.
Abstract: Tungsten-modified hydrogenated amorphous carbon coatings (a-C:H:W) were deposited on high speed steel by reactive magnetron sputtering of a tungsten carbide target in an argon-ethine atmosphere. The deposition parameters, sputtering power, bias voltage, argon and ethine flow rate, were varied according to a central composite design comprising 25 different parameter combinations. For comparison, a tungsten carbide coating was deposited, as well. During coating deposition, the process variables, total pressure, sputtering voltage and bias current, were measured as process characteristics. The thickness of the deposited coatings was determined using the crater grinding method, and the deposition rate was calculated. Young’s modulus E and indentation hardness HIT were characterized by means of nanoindentation. With E = 80
Abstract: pH sensors are widely used in chemical and biological applications. Metal oxides-based pH sensors have many attractive features including insolubility, stability, mechanical strength, electrocatalyst and manufacturing technology. Various metal oxide thin films prepared by radio frequency (R.F.) magnetron sputtering have attractive features, including high pH sensitivity, fast response, high resolution, good stability and reversibility as well as potential for measuring pH under conditions that are not favourable for the commonly used glass electrodes-based pH sensors. In addition, thin film pH sensors prepared by R.F. magnetron sputtering offer many advantages, such as ease of packaging, low cost through the use of standard microfabrication processes, miniaturisation, capability of measuring pH at high temperatures, ruggedness and disposability. In this paper, recent development of R.F. magnetron sputtered thin films for pH sensing applications are reviewed.
Abstract: Pd-F:SnO2 thin films have been prepared by spray pyrolysis technique. Optimization has been done by doping SnO2 with palladium at varying levels of concentration and then recording sheet resistance. The sheet resistivity has been observed to decrease gradually as at% Pd concentration is increased; an optimum sheet resistivity value of 2.71 × 10−2 Ω cm has been recorded. The decrease in sheet resistivity has been attributed to presence of Pd ions which contribute in increment of charge carrier density. Using the optimum value of at% Pd doping, the same procedure has been repeated to study the effect of fluorine on Pd:SnO2; an optimum value of 1.64 × 10−4 Ω cm sheet resistivity has been recorded. This decrease has been attributed to substitution of O− with those of fluorine hence improving charge carrier density. The effect of passivation has been studied by comparing as prepared, annealed and passivated Pd-F:SnO2 thin films. Annealing has been observed to decrease the sheet resistivity to 1.21 × 10−4 Ω cm, while passivation has the effect of increasing the sheet resistivity to 1.53 × 10−4 Ω cm which is attributed to effects resulting from annealing the samples in nitrogen gas atmosphere.