Abstract: Ion layer gas reaction (ILGAR) method allows for deposition of Cl-containing and Cl-free In2S3 layers from InCl3 and In(OCCH3CHOCCH3)3 precursor salts, respectively. A comparative study was performed to investigate the role of Cl on the diffusion of Cu from CuSCN source layer into ILGAR deposited In2S3 layers. The Cl concentration was varied between 7 and 14 at.% by varying deposition parameters. The activation energies and exponential pre-factors for Cu diffusion in Cl-containing samples were between 0.70 to 0.78 eV and between 6.0 × 10−6 and 3.2 × 10−5 cm2/s. The activation energy in Cl-free ILGAR In2S3 layers was about three times less compared to the Cl-containing In2S3, and the pre-exponential constant six orders of magnitude lower. These values were comparable to those obtained from thermally evaporated In2S3 layers. The residual Cl-occupies S sites in the In2S3 structure leading to non-stoichiometry and hence different diffusion mechanism for Cu compared to stoichiometric Cl-free layers.
Abstract: Surface coatings formed by immersion in the ionic liquids (ILs) 1,3-dimethylimidazolium methylphosphonate (LMP101), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium methylphosphonate (LMP102) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethylphosphonate (LEP102) on magnesium alloy AZ31B at 50 °C have been studied. The purpose of increasing the temperature was to reduce the immersion time, from 14 days at room temperature, to 48 hours at 50 °C. The abrasion resistance of the coated alloy was studied by microscratching under progressively increasing load, and compared with that of the uncoated material. The order of abrasion resistance as a function of the IL is LEP102 > LMP101 > LMP102, which is in agreement with the order obtained for the coatings grown at room temperature. The maximum reduction in penetration depth with respect to the uncovered alloy, of a 44.5%, is obtained for the sample treated with the ethylphosphonate LEP102. However, this reduction is lower than that obtained when the coating is grown at room temperature. This is attributed to the increased thickness and lower adhesion of the coatings obtained at 50 °C, particularly those obtained from methylphosphonate ionic liquids. The results are discussed from SEM-EDX and profilometry.
Abstract: Atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) technology is a versatile technology that has been applied in many energy harvesting and storage devices. This feature article provides an overview of the advances in APPJ technology and its application to solar cells and batteries. The ultrafast APPJ sintering of nanoporous oxides and 3D reduced graphene oxide nanosheets with accompanying optical emission spectroscopy analyses are described in detail. The applications of these nanoporous materials to photoanodes and counter electrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells are described. An ultrashort treatment (1 min) on graphite felt electrodes of flow batteries also significantly improves the energy efficiency.
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.