• Issue front cover thumbnail

      Volume 34, Issue 6

      October 2011,   pages  1163-1284

    • Nanocrystalline TiO2 preparation by microwave route and nature of anatase–rutile phase transition in nano TiO2

      G M Neelgund S A Shivashankar B K Chethana P P Sahoo K J Rao

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      Nanopowders of TiO2 has been prepared using a microwave irradiation-assisted route, starting from a metalorganic precursor, bis(ethyl-3-oxo-butanoato)oxotitanium (IV), [TiO(etob)2]2. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) was used as a capping agent. The as-prepared amorphous powders crystallize into anatase phase, when calcined. At higher calcination temperature, the rutile phase is observed to form in increasing quantities as the calcination temperature is raised. The structural and physicochemical properties were measured using XRD, FT–IR, SEM, TEM and thermal analyses. The mechanisms of formation of nano-TiO2 from the metal–organic precursor and the irreversible phase transformation of nano TiO2 from anatase to rutile structure at higher temperatures have been discussed. It is suggested that a unique step of initiation of transformation takes place in Ti1/2O layers in anatase which propagates. This mechanism rationalizes several key observations associated with the anatase–rutile transformation.

    • Synthesis and characterization of polythiophene-modified TiO2 nanotube arrays

      Yuwei Lan Liya Zhou Zhangfa Tong Qi Pang Fan Wang Fuzhong Gong

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      The highly ordered and uniform TiO2 nanotube arrays were fabricated by anodic oxidation method and PTh(polythiophene)/TiO2 nanotube arrays electrode were obtained by electrochemical polymerization. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed the formation of TiO2 phase. The morphologies and optical characteristics of the TiO2 nanotube arrays were studied by scanning electron microscope (SEM), UV-Vis absorption spectra and Raman spectra. The results demonstrate that the PTh/TiO2 electrode could enlarge the visible light absorption region and increase the photocurrent in visible region. The modified TiO2 electrode with light-to-electric energy conversion efficiency of 1.46%, the short-circuit current density of 4.52 mAcm-2, open-circuit voltage of 0.74 V and fill factor of 0.44, were obtained.

    • Chemical synthesis and characterization of hydrous tin oxide (SnO2:H2O) thin films

      S N Pusawale P R Deshmukh C D Lokhande

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      In the present investigation, we report chemical synthesis of hydrous tin oxide (SnO2:H2O) thin films by successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) method at room temperature (∼300 K). The films are characterized for their structural and surface morphological properties. The formation of nanocrystalline SnO2 with porous and agglomerated particle morphology is revealed from X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies, respectively. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study confirmed the formation of Sn–O phase and hydrous nature of the deposited film. Static water contact angle studies showed the hydrophilic nature of SnO2:H2O thin film. Electrical resistivity showed the semiconducting behaviour with room temperature electrical resistivity of 105 𝛺 cm. The electrochemical properties studied in 0.5 M Na2SO4 electrolyte showed a specific capacitance of 25 F g-1 at 5 mVs-1 scan rate.

    • Synthesis and chemical etching of Te/C nanocables

      Guang Sheng Cao Yong Gang Liu Wen Wu Yang Chang Tan Hui Li Xiao Juan Zhang

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      In this paper, Te/C nanocables were fabricated by a hydrothermal method in the presence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). The products were characterized in detail by multiform techniques: transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The results showed that the products were nanocables with lengths of several microns, core about 20 nm in diameter, and a surrounding sheath of about 60–80 nm in thickness. Te/C nanocables were tailored freely by chemical etching. Carbonaceous nanotubes and Te/C nanocables with fragmentary Te core were obtained by adjusting time of chemical etching.

    • Gel–sol synthesis and aging effect on highly crystalline anatase nanopowder

      Sharif Shahini Masoud Askari S K Sadrnezhaad

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      Highly crystalline TiO2 anatase nanoparticles were synthesized via gel–sol method by using titanium isopropoxide and triethanolamine. The products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric/differential thermal analysis and nitrogen gas absorption methods. The particle size ranged from 7 to 24 nm having specific surface area of 64 to 220 m2/g. Selective Ti(OH)4 gel specifications and hydrothermal test conditions resulted in thermodynamically-stable phase-formation. Aging at 130°C for 4 h resulted in particle size of 7 nm; while at 130 and 160°C for 12 h resulted in 12 and 21 nm, respectively.

    • Synthesis of thorn-like Ca2B2O5.H2O by hydrothermal method

      Guowei Zhao Laiping Zhang Jilin Wang Jie Li Qiongli Qian Xinye Pan Yunle Gu

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      Thorn-like polycrystalline Ca2B2O5.H2O microspheres with nano-sized slices were synthesized using boric acid and calcium hydroxide as reactants by a facile catalyst-free hydrothermal method at low temperature. The products were characterized by means of X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The XRD pattern reveals that the Ca2B2O5.H2O is a monoclinic phase polycrystalline with cell parameters 𝑎 = 0.6702, 𝑏 = 0.5419 and 𝑐 = 0.3558 nm. SEM also reveals that the monoclinic phase polycrystalline are thornlike microspheres composed of many flakes with an average thickness of <100 nm. Possible reaction and growth mechanism were also discussed.

    • Phase developments and dielectric responses of barium substituted four-layer CaBi4Ti4O15 Aurivillius

      Huiling Du Xiang Shi Huilu Li

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      In this paper, mixed Ca–Ba oxide Ca1−𝑥Ba𝑥Bi4Ti4O15 (CBBT) ceramics, fabricated by the improved traditional ceramics process were investigated by doping concentrations of Ba ion up to 𝑥 = 0.9 (in steps of 0.1). At room temperature, an orthorhombic crystal system was confirmed using XRD, and their parameter was obtained using the Rietveld method. Dielectric properties and phase transitions were studied and are explained in terms of lattice response of these ceramics. A shift in ferroelectric–paraelectric phase transition (𝑇C) to lower temperatures and a corresponding decrease in permittivity peak with increasing concentration of Ba2+ are also observed. The ferroelectric–paraelectric phase transition of CBBT compounds is of normal type in nature, differing from the relaxor characteristic of BBT. The decrease of orthorhombicity in the lattice structure by the larger Ba2+ ion incorporation, indicating an approach of 𝑎 and 𝑏, results in lower Curie temperature. Appearance of anomalous loss peaks of Ba-rich compounds at 530°C reveals a phase transition development trend from ferroelectric orthorhombic structure to the paraelectric orthorhombic structure. Relationship of polarization with lattice response is discussed.

    • Electrical transport and thermoelectric properties of AgPb10SbTe12 prepared by high pressure method

      Taichao Su Hongyu Zhu Xiaolei Li Shangsheng Li Le Deng Shizhao Zheng Hongan Ma Xiaopeng Jia

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      Thermoelectric material, Ag1−𝑥Pb𝑚SbTe𝑚+2 (𝑥 = 0.2, 𝑚 = 10), have been successfully prepared by high pressure method. The pressure-dependent electrical transport and thermoelectric properties of Ag0.8Pb10SbTe12 were studied at room temperature. Electrical resistivity and Seebeck coefficient decreases with an increase of synthetic pressure. Thermal conductivities are nearly constant when the pressure is lower than 4 GPa. The carrier concentrations of Ag0.8Pb10SbTe12 were tuned by more than a factor of 100 through changing of synthetic pressure. These results indicate that high pressure technique provides a viable and controllable way of tuning the electrical transport properties for AgPb𝑚SbTe𝑚+2.

    • Electrical and microstructural properties of CaTiO3-doped K1/2Na1/2NbO3-lead free ceramics

      L Ramajo R Parra M A Ramírez M S Castro

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      Microstructure, electrical properties and dielectric behaviour of K1/2Na1/2NbO3 (KNN) and CaTiO3- modified K1/2Na1/2NbO3 (CTO-KNN) systems, were investigated. Discs doped with 0 to 0.55% mol of CaTiO3 (CTO) were sintered at 1125°C for 2 h. Although minority phases were found in doped samples, CaTiO3 was not detected. It was also observed that CTO changed the microstructure and grain size of KNN drastically. Also, the Curie temperature and permittivity values decreased. Addition of CTO between 0.15 and 0.45 mol% decreases the density and dielectric values. Samples prepared with higher content of CTO than 0.45 mol% showed better electrical properties.

    • Study of energy bands and magnetic properties of Co2CrSi Heusler alloy

      Dibya Prakash Rai Sandeep M P Ghimire R K Thapa

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      The electronic and magnetic properties of Co2CrSi is calculated by using full-potential linearized augmented plane wave (FP–LAPW) method based on density functional theory (DFT). Density of states (DOS), magnetic moment and band structures of the system are presented. For the exchange and correlation energy, local spin density approximation (LSDA+U) with the inclusion of Hubbard potential U is used. Our calculation shows indirect bandgap of 0.91 eV in the minority channel of DOS. This is supported by band structures and hence favoured the half metallic ferromagnetic (HMF) nature of the system. The effective magnetic moment of 4.006 𝜇B also supported our conclusion with a near integral value. The DOS of Co and Cr were found to hybridize and was also responsible for the ferromagnetic nature of the system.

    • Poisoning effect of bismuth on modification behaviour of strontium in LM25 alloy

      S Farahany A Ourdjini M H Idris L T Thai

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      Nucleation and growth, temperature measurements andmicrostructure observations of silicon phase are presented for strontium modified Al–7%Si (LM25) cast alloy treated with bismuth. The results show that addition of bismuth in strontium modified alloys may have a poisoning effect resulting in lost modification of the silicon phase. With increasing Bi/Sr ratio, thermal analysis measurements showed that the eutectic growth temperature increased remarkably to 573°C and recalescence decreased to 0.2°C and the morphology of silicon displayed the same flakelike structure as in the unmodified alloys. Microstructural observation showed that a minimum Bi/Sr ratio of 1.2 which is equivalent to a Sr/Bi ratio of 0.43 is required for effective strontium modification and neutralization of the poisoning effect of bismuth.

    • Low-firing Li2ZnTi3O8 microwave dielectric ceramics with BaCu(B2O5) additive

      Guo-Hua Chen Jin Liu Xu-Qiong Li Hua-Rui Xu Min-Hong Jiang Chang-Rong Zhou

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      Phase purity, microstructure, sinterability and microwave dielectric properties of BaCu(B2O5)-added Li2ZnTi3O8 ceramics and their cofireability with Ag electrode were investigated. A small amount of BaCu (B2O5) can effectively reduce the sintering temperature from 1075°C to 925°C, and it does not induce much degradation of the microwave dielectric properties. Microwave dielectric properties of 𝜀r = 23.1, 𝑄 × 𝑓 = 22,732 GHz and 𝜏𝑓= −17.6 ppm/°C were obtained for Li2ZnTi3O8 ceramic with 1.5 wt% BaCu(B2O5) sintered at 925°C for 4 h. The Li2ZnTi3O8 +BCB ceramics can be compatible with Ag electrode, which makes it a promising microwave dielectric material for low-temperature co-fired ceramic technology application.

    • D.C. conductivity and spectroscopic studies of polyaniline doped with binary dopant ZrOCl2/AgI

      Kiran Kumari Vazid Ali Anand Kumar Sushil Kumar M Zulfequar

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      Aqueous binary dopant (ZrOCl2/AgI) is used in different ratios such as 1:1, 1:2 and 2:1 (w/w) for chemical doping to enhance the conductivity of synthesized polyaniline (PANI). The doping of polyaniline is carried out using tetrahydrofuran as a solvent. Doped samples are characterized using various techniques such as 𝐼–𝑉 characteristics, UV-visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry (XRD), FTIR and photoluminescence (PL) studies. A significant enhancement in d.c. conductivity has been observed with the introduction of binary dopant. UV-visible study shows that optical parameters change considerably after doping. Interestingly, both direct and indirect bandgaps are observed in the doped samples. XRD patterns show the semi-crystalline nature of doped polyaniline. FTIR study shows structural modifications in functional groups with doping in PANI. Photoluminescence spectra exhibit emission properties of the samples.

    • Electrochemical, surface analytical and quantum chemical studies on Schiff bases of 4-amino-4H-1, 2, 4-triazole-3,5-dimethanol (ATD) in corrosion protection of aluminium in 1N HNO3

      Sam John K Mohammad Ali Abraham Joseph

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      The present study describes the inhibition of aluminium in 1N HNO3 with different concentrations of 1,2,4-triazole precursors ATD, BATD and DBATD using gravimetric method, potentiodynamic polarization studies (Tafel), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), adsorption studies, surface morphological studies and quantum chemical calculations at 298 K. Polarization studies clearly showed that ATD, BATD and DBATD act as mixed type inhibitors. As the electron density around the inhibitor molecule increases due to substitution, the inhibition efficiency also increases correspondingly. Quantum chemical approach was used to calculate some electronic properties of the molecule to ascertain the correlation between inhibitive effect and molecular structure of the inhibitor. The corrosion inhibition efficiencies of these molecules and the global chemical reactivity relate to some parameters, such as 𝐸HOMO, 𝐸LUMO, gap energy (𝛥 𝐸), electronegativity (𝜒), global hardness (𝜂) and the fraction of electrons transferred from the inhibitor molecule to the metallic atom (𝛥 𝑁). In addition, the local reactivity has been analysed through the Fukui function and condensed softness indices. Both the experimental and theoretical studies agree well in this regard and confirm that DBATD is a better inhibitor than BATD and ATD. The adsorption behaviours of molecules on the copper surface have been studied using molecular dynamics method and density functional theory. The order of inhibitory action is DBATD > BATD > ATD.

    • Ba3(P1−𝑥Mn𝑥O4)2 : Blue/green inorganic materials based on tetrahedral Mn(V)

      Sourav Laha Rohit Sharma S V Bhat M L P Reddy J Gopalakrishnan S Natarajan

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      We describe a blue/green inorganic material, Ba3(P1−𝑥Mn𝑥O4)2 (I) based on tetrahedral MnO$^{3-}_{4}$ :3𝑑2 chromophore. The solid solutions (I) which are sky-blue and turquoise-blue for 𝑥 ≤ 0.25 and dark green for 𝑥 ≥ 0.50, are readily synthesized in air from commonly available starting materials, stabilizing the MnO$^{3-}_{4}$ chromophore in an isostructural phosphate host. We suggest that the covalency/ionicity of P–O/Mn–O bonds in the solid solutions tunes the crystal field strength around Mn(V) such that a blue colour results for materials with small values of 𝑥. The material could serve as a nontoxic blue/green inorganic pigment.

    • Hydration behaviour of synthetic saponite at variable relative humidity

      Karmous Mohamed Salah Jean Louis Robert

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      Hydration behaviour of synthetic saponite was examined by X-ray powder diffraction simulation at various relative humidities (RH). The basal spacing of the Ca-saponite increased stepwise with increase in RH. The (00𝑙) reflections observed reflect single or dual hydration states of smectite. Quasi-rational, intermediate, or asymmetrical reflections were observed for all XRD patterns and reflecting heterogeneity of the samples, especially along the transition between two hydration states.

    • SEM investigation of minor constituents of carbide materials prepared from shungite rocks

      Vladislav E Grass Ludmila Y Nazarova Alexander V Nadutkin Boris A Goldin

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      The ``SiC–Al2OC”-based composite prepared from Karelian shungite rocks has been studied by X-ray diffraction analysis and scanning electron microscopy. SEM investigation has been done to determine the mode and distribution of admixture constituents. It is found that the most common minor phase represents Al–Fe–Si–C-based alloys. Special attention has been given to describing the noble metals admixtures. It is revealed that the noble metals phases occur as separate microsized grains, most of which have been indicated as Au–Ag–Hg amalgam and rarely as Pt-rich compounds. The obtained data can be mainly used to advance technologies for manufacturing carbide-based composite materials from natural carbonaceous rocks.

    • Role of clay as catalyst in Friedel–Craft alkylation

      Tanushree Choudhury Nirendra M Misra

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      Solid acids have become increasingly important for many liquid-phase industrial reactions these days. Montmorillonite clays (2:1 clay mineral) have been used as efficient solid acid catalysts for a number of organic and liquid phase reactions and offer several advantages over classic acids. Tailor made catalysts can be prepared from clays by suitably adjusting their acidity and surface area by acid activation. In the present work, preparation, characterization and performance of Pt (II) clays, Cu (II) clays, acid clay, and sol–gel hybrids of Cu (II) clays as solid catalysts in a test Friedel–Craft alkylation reaction of benzyl chloride with toluene using differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) are reported. Product formation has been analysed by FTIR spectroscopy. The main objective of this work is to show how clay as a solid catalyst affects reaction rates and activation energies. Acidity and dispersion of solid catalysts are twomain factors which govern a catalysis reaction. Kinetic parameter analysis and XRD studies confirm that acid Pt (II) clay and Pt (II) clay dispersed by natural dispersants aremore effective catalysts. In contrast to the reactions using AlCl3, the experimental conditions are non-polluting and the final work up does not require any aqueous treatment.

    • Combustion synthesis and photoluminescence study of silicate biomaterials

      V B Bhatkar N V Bhatkar

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      Silicate based bioceramics are promising candidates as biomaterials for tissue engineering. The combustion synthesis method provides control on the morphology and particle size of the synthesized material. This paper discusses the combustion synthesis of akermanite (Ca2MgSi2O7 and Sr2MgSi2O7), which has been shown to have good in vitro and in vivo bioactivities by earlier studies. Both Ca2MgSi2O7 and Sr2MgSi2O7 have akermanite structure. Ca2MgSi2O7 and Sr2MgSi2O7 were prepared using urea and ammonium nitrate. The combustion synthesis using urea and ammonium nitrate was found to be cost effective and efficient method of synthesis. The photoluminescence study of Ca2MgSi2O7 : Eu2+ and Sr2MgSi2O7 :Eu2+ shows host specific intense emission of Eu2+.

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