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1.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 17268, 2019 Nov 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31754165

RESUMO

Staggered gap radial heterojunctions based on ZnO-CuxO core-shell nanowires are used as water stable photocatalysts to harvest solar energy for pollutants removal. ZnO nanowires with a wurtzite crystalline structure and a band gap of approximately 3.3 eV are obtained by thermal oxidation in air. These are covered with an amorphous CuxO layer having a band gap of 1.74 eV and subsequently form core-shell heterojunctions. The electrical characterization of the ZnO pristine and ZnO-CuxO core-shell nanowires emphasizes the charge transfer phenomena at the junction and at the interface between the nanowires and water based solutions. The methylene blue degradation mechanism is discussed taking into consideration the dissolution of ZnO in water based solutions for ZnO nanowires and ZnO-CuxO core-shell nanowires with different shell thicknesses. An optimum thickness of the CuxO layer is used to obtain water stable photocatalysts, where the ZnO-CuxO radial heterojunction enhances the separation and transport of the photogenerated charge carriers when irradiating with UV-light, leading to swift pollutant degradation.

2.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 8902, 2019 Jun 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31222160

RESUMO

The work describes the development of a flexible, hydrogel embedded pH-sensor that can be integrated in inexpensive wearable and non-invasive devices at epidermal level for electrochemical quantification of H+ ions in sweat. Such a device can be useful for swift, real time diagnosis and for monitoring specific conditions. The sensors' working electrodes are flexible poly(methyl methacrylate) electrospun fibers coated with a thin gold layer and electrochemically functionalized with nanostructured palladium/palladium oxide. The response to H+ ions is investigated by cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy while open circuit potential measurements show a sensitivity of aprox. -59 mV per pH unit. The modification of the sensing interface upon basic and acid treatment is characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy and the chemical composition by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. In order to demonstrate the functionality of the pH-sensor at epidermal level, as a wearable device, the palladium/palladium oxide working electrode and silver/silver chloride reference electrode are embedded within a pad of polyacrylamide hydrogel and measurements in artificial sweat over a broad pH range were performed. Sensitivity up to -28 mV/pH unit, response time below 30 s, temperature dependence of approx. 1 mV/°C as well as the minimum volume to which the sensor responses of 250 nanoliters were obtained for this device. The proposed configuration represents a viable alternative making use of low-cost and fast fabrication processes and materials.

3.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 11(22): 19867-19877, 2019 Jun 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31081608

RESUMO

The present work describes a new simple procedure for the direct immobilization of biomolecules on Ni electrodes using magnetic Ni nanoparticles (NiNPs) as biomolecule carriers. Ni electrodes were fabricated by electroplating, and NiNPs were chemically synthesized. The chemical composition, crystallinity, and granular size of Ni electrodes, NiNP, and NiNP-modified Ni electrodes (NiNP/Ni) were determined by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The electrochemical characterization of Ni electrodes by cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy confirmed the existence of nickel oxides, hydroxides, and oxohydroxide films at the surface of Ni. Magnetic characterization and micromagnetic simulations were performed in order to prove that the magnetic force is responsible for the immobilization process. Further, Ni electrodes were employed as amperometric sensors for the detection of hydrogen peroxide because it is an important performance indicator for a material to be applied in biosensing. The working principle for magnetic immobilization of the enzyme-functionalized NiNP, without the use of external magnetic sources, was demonstrated for glucose oxidase (GOx) as a model enzyme. XPS results enabled to identify the presence of GOx attached to the NiNP (GOx-NiNP) on Ni electrodes. Finally, glucose detection and quantification were evaluated with the newly developed GOx-NiNP/Ni biosensor by amperometry at different potentials, and control experiments at different electrode materials in the presence and absence of NiNP demonstrated their importance in the biosensor architecture.


Assuntos
Técnicas Biossensoriais/métodos , Eletrodos , Nanopartículas/química , Eletroquímica , Glucose Oxidase/metabolismo , Microscopia Eletrônica de Varredura , Difração de Raios X
4.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 5553, 2019 Apr 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30944366

RESUMO

ZnO-CuxO core-shell radial heterojunction nanowire arrays were fabricated by a straightforward approach which combine two simple, cost effective and large-scale preparation methods: (i) thermal oxidation in air of a zinc foil for obtaining ZnO nanowire arrays and (ii) radio frequency magnetron sputtering for covering the surface of the ZnO nanowires with a CuxO thin film. The structural, compositional, morphological and optical properties of the high aspect ratio ZnO-CuxO core-shell nanowire arrays were investigated. Individual ZnO-CuxO core-shell nanowires were contacted with Pt electrodes by means of electron beam lithography technique, diode behaviour being demonstrated. Further it was found that these n-p radial heterojunction diodes based on single ZnO-CuxO nanowires exhibit a change in the current under UV light illumination and therefore behaving as photodetectors.

5.
Nanoscale ; 10(15): 7085-7094, 2018 Apr 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29616265

RESUMO

The adsorption of Si atoms on a metal surface might proceed through complex surface processes, whose rate is determined differently by factors such as temperature, Si coverage, and metal cohesive energy. Among other transition metals, iridium is a special case since the Ir(111) surface was reported first, in addition to Ag(111), as being suitable for the epitaxy of silicene monolayers. In this study we followed the adsorption of Si on the Ir(111) surface via high resolution core level photoelectron spectroscopy, starting from the clean metal surface up to a coverage exceeding one monolayer, in a temperature range between 300 and 670 K. Density functional theory calculations were carried out in order to evaluate the stability of the different Si adsorption configurations as a function of the coverage. Results indicate that, at low coverage, the Si adatoms tend to occupy the hollow Ir sites, although a small fraction of them penetrates the first Ir layer. Si penetration of the Ir surface can take place if the energy gained upon Si adsorption is used to displace the Ir surface atoms, rather then being dissipated differently. At a Si coverage of ∼1 monolayer, the Ir 4f spectrum indicates that not only the metal surface but also the layers underneath are perturbed. Our results point out that the Si/Ir(111) interface is unstable towards Si-Ir intermixing, in agreement with the silicide phase formation reported in the literature for the reverted interface.

6.
Nanoscale ; 9(31): 11055-11067, 2017 Aug 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28702656

RESUMO

The stability of thin films of lead zirco-titanate (PZT) under intense soft X-ray beams is investigated by time-resolved photoelectron spectromicroscopy with a lateral resolution below 1 micrometer. Surface dissociation is observed when samples are irradiated with intense (5 × 1023 photons per s per m2) soft X-rays, with promotion of reduced lead on the surface. On areas exhibiting outwards polarization (P(+)), the reduced lead is formed at the expense of P(+)-PZT. On areas presenting co-existing P(+) states with areas without out-of-plane polarization (P(0)), the reduced lead is formed at the expense of the P(0)-PZT component, while the P(+)-PZT remains constant. The main dissociation mechanism was found to be triggered by 'hot' electrons in the conduction band, with energies exceeding the surface dissociation energies. Dissociation occurs basically when the electron affinity is larger than the dissociation energy of PbO (for P(+) areas) or PbO- (for P(0) areas). Such mechanisms may be adapted for dissociation of other molecules on surfaces of ferroelectric thin films or for quantifying the stability of ferroelectric surfaces interacting with other radiation, with applications in the fields of photocatalysis or photovoltaic devices.

7.
Sci Rep ; 6: 35301, 2016 10 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27739461

RESUMO

Atomically clean lead zirco-titanate PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 (001) layers exhibit a polarization oriented inwards P(-), visible by a band bending of all core levels towards lower binding energies, whereas as introduced layers exhibit P(+) polarization under air or in ultrahigh vacuum. The magnitude of the inwards polarization decreases when the temperature is increased at 700 K. CO adsorption on P(-) polarized surfaces saturates at about one quarter of a monolayer of carbon, and occurs in both molecular (oxidized) and dissociated (reduced) states of carbon, with a large majority of reduced state. The sticking of CO on the surface in ultrahigh vacuum is found to be directly related to the P(-) polarization state of the surface. A simple electrostatic mechanism is proposed to explain these dissociation processes and the sticking of carbon on P(-) polarized areas. Carbon desorbs also when the surface is irradiated with soft X-rays. Carbon desorption when the polarization is lost proceeds most probably in form of CO2. Upon carbon desorption cycles, the ferroelectric surface is depleted in oxygen and at some point reverses its polarization, owing to electrons provided by oxygen vacancies which are able to screen the depolarization field produced by positive fixed charges at the surface.

8.
ACS Nano ; 10(4): 4543-9, 2016 04 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27054462

RESUMO

By means of a combination of surface-science spectroscopies and theory, we investigate the mechanisms ruling the catalytic role of epitaxial graphene (Gr) grown on transition-metal substrates for the production of hydrogen from water. Water decomposition at the Gr/metal interface at room temperature provides a hydrogenated Gr sheet, which is buckled and decoupled from the metal substrate. We evaluate the performance of Gr/metal interface as a hydrogen storage medium, with a storage density in the Gr sheet comparable with state-of-the-art materials (1.42 wt %). Moreover, thermal programmed reaction experiments show that molecular hydrogen can be released upon heating the water-exposed Gr/metal interface above 400 K. The Gr hydro/dehydrogenation process might be exploited for an effective and eco-friendly device to produce (and store) hydrogen from water, i.e., starting from an almost unlimited source.

9.
Nano Lett ; 16(3): 1808-17, 2016 Mar 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26829243

RESUMO

The possibility to intercalate noble gas atoms below epitaxial graphene monolayers coupled with the instability at high temperature of graphene on the surface of certain metals has been exploited to produce Ar-filled graphene nanosized blisters evenly distributed on the bare Ni(111) surface. We have followed in real time the self-assembling of the nanoblisters during the thermal annealing of the Gr/Ni(111) interface loaded with Ar and characterized their morphology and structure at the atomic scale. The nanoblisters contain Ar aggregates compressed at high pressure arranged below the graphene monolayer skin that is decoupled from the Ni substrate and sealed only at the periphery through stable C-Ni bonds. Their in-plane truncated triangular shapes are driven by the crystallographic directions of the Ni surface. The nonuniform strain revealed along the blister profile is explained by the inhomogeneous expansion of the flexible graphene lattice that adjusts to envelop the Ar atom stacks.

10.
Sci Rep ; 5: 14974, 2015 Oct 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26446442

RESUMO

The compensation of the depolarization field in ferroelectric layers requires the presence of a suitable amount of charges able to follow any variation of the ferroelectric polarization. These can be free carriers or charged defects located in the ferroelectric material or free carriers coming from the electrodes. Here we show that a self-doping phenomenon occurs in epitaxial, tetragonal ferroelectric films of Pb(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3, consisting in generation of point defects (vacancies) acting as donors/acceptors. These are introducing free carriers that partly compensate the depolarization field occurring in the film. It is found that the concentration of the free carriers introduced by self-doping increases with decreasing the thickness of the ferroelectric layer, reaching values of the order of 10(26) m(-3) for 10 nm thick films. One the other hand, microscopic investigations show that, for thicknesses higher than 50 nm, the 2O/(Ti+Zr+Pb) atomic ratio increases with the thickness of the layers. These results suggest that the ratio between the oxygen and cation vacancies varies with the thickness of the layer in such a way that the net free carrier density is sufficient to efficiently compensate the depolarization field and to preserve the outward direction of the polarization.

11.
ACS Nano ; 8(12): 12063-70, 2014 Dec 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25389799

RESUMO

We investigate the structure of epitaxially grown hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) on Ir(111) by chemical vapor deposition of borazine. Using photoelectron diffraction spectroscopy, we unambiguously show that a single-domain h-BN monolayer can be synthesized by a cyclic dose of high-purity borazine onto the metal substrate at room temperature followed by annealing at T=1270 K, this method giving rise to a diffraction pattern with 3-fold symmetry. In contrast, high-temperature borazine deposition (T=1070 K) results in a h-BN monolayer formed by domains with opposite orientation and characterized by a 6-fold symmetric diffraction pattern. We identify the thermal energy and the binding energy difference between fcc and hcp seeds as key parameters in controlling the alignment of the growing h-BN clusters during the first stage of the growth, and we further propose structural models for the h-BN monolayer on the Ir(111) surface.

12.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 16(12): 5793-802, 2014 Mar 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24535212

RESUMO

We report on structure-property relationships in Pr-doped CeO2 and ZrO2 using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman, UV to Vis Diffuse Reflectance (DR-UV/Vis), X-ray Photoelectron (XPS), and luminescence (PL) spectroscopies. Both 3+ and 4+ valence states of Pr are evidenced, irrespective of the host and calcination temperature, T (T = 500 and 1000 °C) with consequences on absorption, surface, vibrational and luminescence properties. Only zirconia represents a suitable host for Pr(3+) luminescence. The distinct trivalent Pr centers and their excitation mechanism are identified in relation to the tetragonal and monoclinic phases of ZrO2. A near-infrared to visible up-conversion (UPC) emission of Pr(3+) is observed upon excitation at 959 nm which occurs, most probably, via a two-photon excited state process. By using a multi-wavelength, time-gated excitation, the UPC process is established as phase selective, i.e. only Pr(3+) located in the monoclinic sites of the mixed phase, monoclinic and tetragonal ZrO2 (T = 1000 °C) contribute to the UPC emission. We believe that, besides the local symmetry, a key role in phase selective UPC is played by the presence of Pr(3+) low-lying 4f 5d levels. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of phase selective up-conversion emission in a lanthanide doped multi-phase host.

13.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 6(4): 2929-39, 2014 Feb 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24446901

RESUMO

Electrode interface is a key element in controlling the macroscopic electrical properties of the ferroelectric capacitors based on thin films. In the case of epitaxial ferroelectrics, the electrode interface is essential in controlling the leakage current and the polarization switching, two important elements in the read/write processes of nonvolatile memories. However, the relation between the polarization bound charges and the electronic properties of the electrode interfaces is not yet well understood. Here we show that polarization charges are controlling the height of the potential barriers at the electrode interfaces in the case of Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 and BaTiO3 epitaxial films. The results suggest that the height is set to a value allowing rapid compensation of the depolarization field during the polarization switching, being almost independent of the metals used for electrodes. This general behavior open a new perspective in engineering interface properties and designing new devices based on epitaxial ferroelectrics.

14.
Materials (Basel) ; 6(2): 612-625, 2013 Feb 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28809330

RESUMO

Ferromagnetic FexGe1-x with x = 2%-9% are obtained by Fe deposition onto Ge(001) at high temperatures (500 °C). Low energy electron diffraction (LEED) investigation evidenced the preservation of the (1 × 1) surface structure of Ge(001) with Fe deposition. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) at Ge 3d and Fe 2p core levels evidenced strong Fe diffusion into the Ge substrate and formation of Ge-rich compounds, from FeGe3 to approximately FeGe2, depending on the amount of Fe deposited. Room temperature magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) evidenced ferromagnetic ordering at room temperature, with about 0.1 Bohr magnetons per Fe atom, and also a clear uniaxial magnetic anisotropy with the in-plane easy magnetization axis. This compound is a good candidate for promising applications in the field of semiconductor spintronics.

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