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Solids, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 7 articles

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Article
Experimental Investigations of Effective Thermal Conductivity of the Selected Examples of Steel Porous Charge
Solids 2021, 2(4), 420-436; https://doi.org/10.3390/solids2040027 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
In many cases of heat treatment of steel products, the heated charge has a porous structure. The examples of such charges include bundles of long steel components e.g., bars. The basic thermal property of the charge in this form is effective thermal conductivity [...] Read more.
In many cases of heat treatment of steel products, the heated charge has a porous structure. The examples of such charges include bundles of long steel components e.g., bars. The basic thermal property of the charge in this form is effective thermal conductivity kef. This paper presents the results of experimental examinations of effective thermal conductivity of the porous charge, which is composed from various types of steel long components. Due to the specific nature of the samples, a special measurement stand was constructed based on the design of a guarded hot plate apparatus. The measurements were performed for sixteen different samples across a temperature range of 70–640 °C. The porosity of the samples, depending on the type of components used, ranged from 0.03 to 0.85. Depending on these factors, the effective thermal conductivity ranged from 1.75 to 8.19 W·m−1·K−1. This accounts for 0.03 to 0.25 of the value of thermal conductivity of the solid phase of the charge, which in the described cases was low-carbon steel. It was found that the effective thermal conductivity rises linearly with temperature. The intensity of this increase and the value of coefficient kef depend on the transverse dimension of the components that form the charge. The results may represent the basis for the validation of various models of effective thermal conductivity with respect to the evaluation of thermal properties of the porous charge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solids in Europe)
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Article
Development of SnO2 Composites as Electron Transport Layer in Unencapsulated CH3NH3PbI3 Solar Cells
Solids 2021, 2(4), 407-419; https://doi.org/10.3390/solids2040026 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1802
Abstract
Improving morphological and electronic properties of the electron transport layer (ETL) is a critical issue to fabricate highly efficient perovskite solar cells. Tin dioxide is used as an ETL for its peculiarities such as low-temperature solution-process and high electron mobility and several handlings [...] Read more.
Improving morphological and electronic properties of the electron transport layer (ETL) is a critical issue to fabricate highly efficient perovskite solar cells. Tin dioxide is used as an ETL for its peculiarities such as low-temperature solution-process and high electron mobility and several handlings have been tested to increase its performances. Herein, SnO2:ZnO and SnO2:In2O3 composites are studied as ETL in planar n-i-p CH3NH3PbI3 solar cells fabricated in ambient air, starting from glass/ITO substrates. Morphological, electrical and optical properties of zinc- and indium-oxide nanoparticles (NPs) are investigated. First-principle calculations are also reported and help to further explain the experimental evidences. Photovoltaic performances of full devices show an improvement in efficiency for SnO2:In2O3–based solar cells with respect to pristine SnO2, probably due to a suppression of interfacial charge recombination between ITO/ETL and ETL/perovskite. Moreover, a better homogeneity of SnO2:In2O3 deposition with respect to SnO2:ZnO composites, conducts an increase in perovskite grain size and, consequently, the device performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solids in Europe)
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Article
Development of Ti PVD Films to Limit the Carburization of Metal Powders during SPS Process
Solids 2021, 2(4), 395-406; https://doi.org/10.3390/solids2040025 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1700
Abstract
Spark plasma sintering technique is used for the fabrication of dense materials with a fine-grained microstructure. In this process, a powder is placed into a graphite mold and a uniaxial pressure is applied by two graphite punches. A graphite foil is inserted between [...] Read more.
Spark plasma sintering technique is used for the fabrication of dense materials with a fine-grained microstructure. In this process, a powder is placed into a graphite mold and a uniaxial pressure is applied by two graphite punches. A graphite foil is inserted between the punches and the powder and between the mold and the powder to ensure good electrical, physical and thermal contact. One of the major drawbacks during sintering of metal powders is the carburization of the powder in contact with the graphite foils. In this study, a PVD coating of titanium was applied on the graphite foils in contact with the metal powder (pure iron). The results are promising, as the investigations show that the application of a Ti PVD film of 1.5 and 1.1 µm thickness is effective to completely avoid the carburization of iron powder. Carbon diffuses inside the PVD film during sintering. In parallel, iron diffusion was revealed inside the Ti coating of 1.5 µm thickness. On the other hand, a Ti PVD film of 0.5 µm thickness provides a protection against carbon diffusion just on the sides in contact with the mold, proving that the coating thickness represents an important parameter to consider. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solids in Europe)
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Article
Anharmonic Effects in Ordered Kesterite-Type Cu2ZnSnS4
Solids 2021, 2(4), 385-394; https://doi.org/10.3390/solids2040024 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
We performed an in-depth investigation and analysis of the effect of temperature on the Raman-active A-modes of bulk kesterite-type Cu2ZnSnS4 within the 300–460 K temperature range. We acquired the individual contributions to each Raman mode, namely, the thermal expansion and [...] Read more.
We performed an in-depth investigation and analysis of the effect of temperature on the Raman-active A-modes of bulk kesterite-type Cu2ZnSnS4 within the 300–460 K temperature range. We acquired the individual contributions to each Raman mode, namely, the thermal expansion and anharmonic interactions terms responsible for the Raman shift and broadening with temperature. Our results indicate that the Raman shift with temperature is dominated by the thermal expansion term, whereas the broadening is mainly governed by three-phonon damping processes in this material. Considering relevant results from the literature, it appears that dimensionality is a key factor in regulating the dominant phonon decay mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Solids 2021)
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Article
A Scintillating One-Dimensional Coordination Polymer Based on Cadmium(II), N,N′-(1,4-Phenylenedicarbonyl)diglycinate, and 2,2′-Bipyridine: Crystal Structure, Hirshfeld Surface Analysis, and Luminescence Lifetime Properties
Solids 2021, 2(4), 371-384; https://doi.org/10.3390/solids2040023 - 13 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1804
Abstract
In recent years, several coordination polymers of different dimensions and metal–organic frameworks were tested and expected to be good candidates for closing the gap between organic and plastic scintillators on the one hand side and inorganic scintillators on the other hand side. In [...] Read more.
In recent years, several coordination polymers of different dimensions and metal–organic frameworks were tested and expected to be good candidates for closing the gap between organic and plastic scintillators on the one hand side and inorganic scintillators on the other hand side. In the present work, we report the synthesis and characterization of a novel one-dimensional scintillating coordination polymer based on cadmium(II), N,N′-(1,4-phenylenedicarbonyl)di-glycinate, and 2,2′-bipyridine. Crystals could be obtained from water–methanol solutions and the structure was determined by single-crystal diffraction. The coordination polymer exhibits scintillation under X-ray excitation and laser as well as UV-light induced photoluminescence with fast decay times. Photoluminescence and X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) properties and decay times were performed using a two-dimensional photon counting streak camera system with a time resolution up to 20 ps. The non-covalent interactions and supramolecular assemblies as a potential multiplier of the scintillating effect were investigated with the aid of a Hirshfeld surface analysis. The quality and phase purity of the used crystals and pellets was clarified by powder diffraction and Rietveld refinement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Solids 2021)
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Article
Effects on Microstructure and Ionic Conductivity of the Co-Doping with Strontium and Samarium of Ceria with Constant Oxygen Vacancy Concentration
Solids 2021, 2(4), 341-370; https://doi.org/10.3390/solids2040022 - 04 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1603
Abstract
Partially substituted cerias are attractive materials for use as electrolytes in intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Ceria doped with Sm or Gd has been found to have high ionic conductivities. However, there is interest in whether doping with multiple elements could lead [...] Read more.
Partially substituted cerias are attractive materials for use as electrolytes in intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Ceria doped with Sm or Gd has been found to have high ionic conductivities. However, there is interest in whether doping with multiple elements could lead to materials with higher ionic conductivities. The present study looks at the effects of co-doping Sr and Sm in ceria. A compositional series, Ce0.8+xSm0.2−2xSrxO2−δ (with x = 0–0.08), designed to have a constant oxygen vacancy concentration, was successfully prepared using the citrate–nitrate complexation method. A solubility limit of ~5 cation% Sr was found to impact material structure and conductivity. For phase-pure materials, with increasing Sr content, sinterability increased slightly and intrinsic conductivity decreased roughly linearly. The grain boundaries of phase-pure materials showed only a very small blocking effect, linked to the high-purity synthesis method employed, while at high %Sr, they became more blocking due to the presence of a SrCeO3 impurity. Grain capacitances were found to be 50–60 pF and grain boundary capacitances, 5–50 nF. The variation in the bulk capacitance with Sr content was small, and the variation in grain boundary capacitance could be explained by the variation in grain size. Slight deviations at high %Sr were attributed to the SrCeO3 impurity. In summary, in the absence of deleterious effects due to poor microstructure or impurities, such as Si, there is no improvement in conductivity on co-doping with Sr and Sm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solids in Europe)
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Article
Static Hardness Testing of Cement Mortars Containing Different Types of Recycled Construction Waste Powders
Solids 2021, 2(4), 331-340; https://doi.org/10.3390/solids2040021 - 10 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1832
Abstract
The present paper deals with the hardness of cement mortars prepared with recycled materials that are potential supplementary cementitious materials (SCM). Two potential SCMs (aerated concrete powder (ACP) and concrete powder) were investigated and compared with a reference (neat cement) sample and a [...] Read more.
The present paper deals with the hardness of cement mortars prepared with recycled materials that are potential supplementary cementitious materials (SCM). Two potential SCMs (aerated concrete powder (ACP) and concrete powder) were investigated and compared with a reference (neat cement) sample and a sample containing metakaolin (MK). The long-term performance of the mortars was studied up to the age of one year. Based on the compressive strength tests at different ages, neither concrete powder nor ACP significantly decreases the compressive strength at a 10% substitution ratio. The samples were studied with two types of static hardness tests: the Brinell hardness test and the depth sensing indentation test at two different load levels. The hardness test results indicated that the standard deviation of the results is lower at a higher load level. In the case of metakaolin and concrete powder, the change in the compressive strength was observable in the hardness test results. However, in case of the ACP, the compressive strength decreased, while the hardness increased, which can be traced back to the filler effect of aerated concrete powder. Finally, using the DSI test, the hardness results were analyzed on an energy basis. The analysis highlighted that the change in the hardness is connected to the elastic indentation energy, while it is independent from the dissipated (plastic) indentation energy. Full article
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