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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 25(26): 25648-25658, 2018 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28342082


Pore space characteristics of biochars may vary depending on the used raw material and processing technology. Pore structure has significant effects on the water retention properties of biochar amended soils. In this work, several biochars were characterized with three-dimensional imaging and image analysis. X-ray computed microtomography was used to image biochars at resolution of 1.14 µm and the obtained images were analysed for porosity, pore size distribution, specific surface area and structural anisotropy. In addition, random walk simulations were used to relate structural anisotropy to diffusive transport. Image analysis showed that considerable part of the biochar volume consist of pores in size range relevant to hydrological processes and storage of plant available water. Porosity and pore size distribution were found to depend on the biochar type and the structural anisotopy analysis showed that used raw material considerably affects the pore characteristics at micrometre scale. Therefore, attention should be paid to raw material selection and quality in applications requiring optimized pore structure.

Carvão Vegetal , Processamento de Imagem Assistida por Computador , Imageamento Tridimensional , Difusão , Porosidade , Água/química
Sci Rep ; 5: 10165, 2015 May 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25959681


While understanding the properties of materials under stress is fundamentally important, designing experiments to probe the effects of large tensile stress is difficult. Here tensile stress is created in thin films of potassium (up to 4 atomic layers) by epitaxial growth on a rigid support, graphite. We find that this "simple" metal shows a long-range, periodic "herringbone" reconstruction, observed in 2- and 3- (but not 1- and 4-) layer films by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Such a pattern has never been observed in a simple metal. Density functional theory (DFT)simulations indicate that the reconstruction consists of self-aligned stripes of enhanced atom density formed to relieve the tensile strain. At the same time marked layer-dependent charging effects lead to substantial variation in the apparent STM layer heights.

Sci Rep ; 5: 8276, 2015 Feb 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25651973


Atomic manipulation in the scanning tunnelling microscopy, conventionally a tool to build nanostructures one atom at a time, is here employed to enable the atomic-scale imaging of a model low-dimensional system. Specifically, we use low-temperature STM to investigate an ultra thin film (4 atomic layers) of potassium created by epitaxial growth on a graphite substrate. The STM images display an unexpected honeycomb feature, which corresponds to a real-space visualization of the Wigner-Seitz cells of the close-packed surface K atoms. Density functional simulations indicate that this behaviour arises from the elastic, tip-induced vertical manipulation of potassium atoms during imaging, i.e. elastic atomic manipulation, and reflects the ultrasoft properties of the surface under strain. The method may be generally applicable to other soft e.g. molecular or biomolecular systems.

Phys Rev Lett ; 113(10): 106103, 2014 Sep 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25238371


We study a crystalline epitaxial alumina thin film with the characteristics of a spinel-type transition Al2O3(100) surface by using atom-resolved noncontact atomic force microscopy and density functional theory. It is shown that the films are terminated by an Al-O layer rich in Al vacancies, exhibiting a strong preference for surface hydroxyl group formation in two configurations. The transition alumina films are crystalline and perfectly stable in ambient atmospheres, a quality which is expected to open the door to new fundamental studies of the surfaces of transition aluminas.