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Special Issue "State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Dirk Poelman

Lumilab, Department of Solid State Sciences, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281-S1, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: lighting, vision, luminescence, displays; thin film optics, photocatalysis, medical imaging, structural characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Belgium is a small country. The days of minerals and ores from the former colony Congo have long passed by, and the last coal mine was closed 25 years ago. So, Belgium has hardly any physical resources which can be exploited in materials research and development, or industry. This drawback is compensated by focussing on highly technological fields of research, not requiring vast amounts of raw materials. This approach includes the development of new analytical methods for the characterization of materials, research into new advanced functional materials as well as finding new industrial processes utilizing existing materials.

This special issue aims at collecting an overview of materials research activities in Belgium. Research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Methods for the synthesis of new materials in powder, bulk or thin film form.
  • Surface modification or functionalization of materials.
  • Optical, electrical, mechanical or magnetic properties of materials.
  • New methods for materials characterization.
  • Material degradation and protection.
  • Applications of advanced functional materials.
  • Technologies for separation and recycling.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit manuscripts on the subject “State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium” for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, as well as comprehensive reviews are welcome. Please feel free contact me as guest editor in case of further questions.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Poelman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • synthesis; characterization
  • coatings; functional materials
  • degradation; protection; recycling; circular economy

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Understanding the Interaction between a Steel Microstructure and Hydrogen
Materials 2018, 11(5), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11050698
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
The present work provides an overview of the work on the interaction between hydrogen (H) and the steel’s microstructure. Different techniques are used to evaluate the H-induced damage phenomena. The impact of H charging on multiphase high-strength steels, i.e., high-strength low-alloy (HSLA), transformation-induced
[...] Read more.
The present work provides an overview of the work on the interaction between hydrogen (H) and the steel’s microstructure. Different techniques are used to evaluate the H-induced damage phenomena. The impact of H charging on multiphase high-strength steels, i.e., high-strength low-alloy (HSLA), transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) and dual phase (DP) is first studied. The highest hydrogen embrittlement resistance is obtained for HSLA steel due to the presence of Ti- and Nb-based precipitates. Generic Fe-C lab-cast alloys consisting of a single phase, i.e., ferrite, bainite, pearlite or martensite, and with carbon contents of approximately 0, 0.2 and 0.4 wt %, are further considered to simplify the microstructure. Finally, the addition of carbides is investigated in lab-cast Fe-C-X alloys by adding a ternary carbide forming element to the Fe-C alloys. To understand the H/material interaction, a comparison of the available H trapping sites, the H pick-up level and the H diffusivity with the H-induced mechanical degradation or H-induced cracking is correlated with a thorough microstructural analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Highly Efficient Low-Temperature N-Doped TiO2 Catalysts for Visible Light Photocatalytic Applications
Materials 2018, 11(4), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11040584
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, TiO2 prepared with an aqueous sol-gel synthesis by peptization process is doped with nitrogen precursor to extend its activity towards the visible region. Three N-precursors are used: urea, ethylenediamine and triethylamine. Different molar N/Ti ratios are tested and the
[...] Read more.
In this paper, TiO2 prepared with an aqueous sol-gel synthesis by peptization process is doped with nitrogen precursor to extend its activity towards the visible region. Three N-precursors are used: urea, ethylenediamine and triethylamine. Different molar N/Ti ratios are tested and the synthesis is adapted for each dopant. For urea- and trimethylamine-doped samples, anatase-brookite TiO2 nanoparticles of 6–8 nm are formed, with a specific surface area between 200 and 275 m2·g−1. In ethylenediamine-doped samples, the formation of rutile phase is observed, and TiO2 nanoparticles of 6–8 nm with a specific surface area between 185 and 240 m2·g−1 are obtained. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and diffuse reflectance measurements show the incorporation of nitrogen in TiO2 materials through Ti–O–N bonds allowing light absorption in the visible region. Photocatalytic tests on the remediation of water polluted with p-nitrophenol show a marked improvement for all doped catalysts under visible light. The optimum doping, taking into account cost, activity and ease of synthesis, is up-scaled to a volume of 5 L and compared to commercial Degussa P25 material. This up-scaled sample shows similar properties compared to the lab-scale sample, i.e., a photoactivity 4 times higher than commercial P25. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle LaAlO3:Mn4+ as Near-Infrared Emitting Persistent Luminescence Phosphor for Medical Imaging: A Charge Compensation Study
Materials 2017, 10(12), 1422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10121422
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3653 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mn4+-activated phosphors are emerging as a novel class of deep red/near-infrared emitting persistent luminescence materials for medical imaging as a promising alternative to Cr3+-doped nanomaterials. Currently, it remains a challenge to improve the afterglow and photoluminescence properties of these
[...] Read more.
Mn4+-activated phosphors are emerging as a novel class of deep red/near-infrared emitting persistent luminescence materials for medical imaging as a promising alternative to Cr3+-doped nanomaterials. Currently, it remains a challenge to improve the afterglow and photoluminescence properties of these phosphors through a traditional high-temperature solid-state reaction method in air. Herein we propose a charge compensation strategy for enhancing the photoluminescence and afterglow performance of Mn4+-activated LaAlO3 phosphors. LaAlO3:Mn4+ (LAO:Mn4+) was synthesized by high-temperature solid-state reaction in air. The charge compensation strategies for LaAlO3:Mn4+ phosphors were systematically discussed. Interestingly, Cl/Na+/Ca2+/Sr2+/Ba2+/Ge4+ co-dopants were all found to be beneficial for enhancing LaAlO3:Mn4+ luminescence and afterglow intensity. This strategy shows great promise and opens up new avenues for the exploration of more promising near-infrared emitting long persistent phosphors for medical imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Fe-Based Nano-Materials in Catalysis
Materials 2018, 11(5), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11050831
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
The role of iron in view of its further utilization in chemical processes is presented, based on current knowledge of its properties. The addition of iron to a catalyst provides redox functionality, enhancing its resistance to carbon deposition. FeOx species can be
[...] Read more.
The role of iron in view of its further utilization in chemical processes is presented, based on current knowledge of its properties. The addition of iron to a catalyst provides redox functionality, enhancing its resistance to carbon deposition. FeOx species can be formed in the presence of an oxidizing agent, such as CO2, H2O or O2, during reaction, which can further react via a redox mechanism with the carbon deposits. This can be exploited in the synthesis of active and stable catalysts for several processes, such as syngas and chemicals production, catalytic oxidation in exhaust converters, etc. Iron is considered an important promoter or co-catalyst, due to its high availability and low toxicity that can enhance the overall catalytic performance. However, its operation is more subtle and diverse than first sight reveals. Hence, iron and its oxides start to become a hot topic for more scientists and their findings are most promising. The scope of this article is to provide a review on iron/iron-oxide containing catalytic systems, including experimental and theoretical evidence, highlighting their properties mainly in view of syngas production, chemical looping, methane decomposition for carbon nanotubes production and propane dehydrogenation, over the last decade. The main focus goes to Fe-containing nano-alloys and specifically to the Fe–Ni nano-alloy, which is a very versatile material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Luminescent Lanthanide MOFs: A Unique Platform for Chemical Sensing
Materials 2018, 11(4), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11040572
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, lanthanide metal–organic frameworks (LnMOFs) have developed to be an interesting subclass of MOFs. The combination of the characteristic luminescent properties of Ln ions with the intriguing topological structures of MOFs opens up promising possibilities for the design of LnMOF-based chemical
[...] Read more.
In recent years, lanthanide metal–organic frameworks (LnMOFs) have developed to be an interesting subclass of MOFs. The combination of the characteristic luminescent properties of Ln ions with the intriguing topological structures of MOFs opens up promising possibilities for the design of LnMOF-based chemical sensors. In this review, we present the most recent developments of LnMOFs as chemical sensors by briefly introducing the general luminescence features of LnMOFs, followed by a comprehensive investigation of the applications of LnMOF sensors for cations, anions, small molecules, nitroaromatic explosives, gases, vapors, pH, and temperature, as well as biomolecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Use of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Ash in Various Building Materials: A Belgian Point of View
Materials 2018, 11(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11010141
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Huge amounts of waste are being generated, and even though the incineration process reduces the mass and volume of waste to a large extent, massive amounts of residues still remain. On average, out of 1.3 billion tons of municipal solid wastes generated per
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Huge amounts of waste are being generated, and even though the incineration process reduces the mass and volume of waste to a large extent, massive amounts of residues still remain. On average, out of 1.3 billion tons of municipal solid wastes generated per year, around 130 and 2.1 million tons are incinerated in the world and in Belgium, respectively. Around 400 kT of bottom ash residues are generated in Flanders, out of which only 102 kT are utilized here, and the rest is exported or landfilled due to non-conformity to environmental regulations. Landfilling makes the valuable resources in the residues unavailable and results in more primary raw materials being used, increasing mining and related hazards. Identifying and employing the right pre-treatment technique for the highest value application is the key to attaining a circular economy. We reviewed the present pre-treatment and utilization scenarios in Belgium, and the advancements in research around the world for realization of maximum utilization are reported in this paper. Uses of the material in the cement industry as a binder and cement raw meal replacement are identified as possible effective utilization options for large quantities of bottom ash. Pre-treatment techniques that could facilitate this use are also discussed. With all the research evidence available, there is now a need for combined efforts from incineration and the cement industry for technical and economic optimization of the process flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017)
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