P R Mishra
Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science
Volume 31 Issue 3 June 2008 pp 313-318
The macroscopic coaxial carbon cylinders (dia. ∼ 0.5 cm with varying lengths, ∼ 7–10 cm) consisting of aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) stacks have been prepared by controlled spray pyrolysis method. The coaxial carbon cylinders of CNT stacks have been formed directly inside the quartz tube. Another study is done on multi-walled CNTs (MWNTs)–polymer (e.g. polyethylene oxide (PEO), polyacrylamide (PAM)) composite films. We have investigated the structural, electrical and mechanical properties of MWNTs–PEO composites. Composites with different wt% (between 0 and 50 wt% of MWNTs) have been prepared and characterized by the scanning electron microscopic technique. Enhanced electrical conductivity and mechanical strength were observed for the MWNTs–PEO composites. We have also studied the electrical property of MWNTs–PAM composite films.
Volume 31 Issue 3 June 2008 pp 319-325
In the present study, we report the synthesis, characterization and application of nanostructured oxide materials. The oxide materials (Cu2O and ZnO) have been synthesized by electrolysis based oxidation and thermal oxidation methods. Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) nanostructures have been synthesized by anodic oxidation of copper through a simple electrolysis process employing plain water (with ionic conductivity, ∼ 6 𝜇S/m) as electrolyte. In this method no special electrolytes, chemicals and surfactants are needed. The method is based on anodization pursuant to the simple electrolysis of water at different voltages. Two different types of Cu2O nanostructures have been found. One type got delaminated from copper anode and was collected from the bottom of the electrochemical cell and the other was located on the copper anode itself. The nanostructures collected from the bottom of the cell are either nanothreads embodying beads of different diameters, ∼ 10–40 nm or nanowires (length, ∼ 600–1000 nm and diameter, ∼ 10–25 nm). Those present on the copper anode were nanoblocks with preponderance of nanocubes (nanocube edge, ∼ 400 nm). The copper electrode served as a sacrificial anode for the synthesis of different nanostructures. Aligned ZnO nanorod array has been successfully synthesized by simple thermal evaporation catalyst free method. Detailed structural characterizations revealed that the as synthesized aligned ZnO nanorods are single crystalline, with a hexagonal phase, and with growth along the  direction. The room-temperature photoluminescence spectra showed a weak ultraviolet emission at 380 nm, a broad blue band at 435 nm and a strong orange–red emission at 630 nm. Structural/microstructural characterization of these nanomaterials have been carried out employing scanning (XL-20) and transmission electron microscopic (Philips EM, CM-12 and Technai 20G2) techniques and X-ray diffraction techniques having graphite monochromater with CuK𝛼 radiation (𝜆 = 1.54439 Å) (X’Pert PRO PAN analytical). The UV-visible absorption spectra were recorded on Model–VARIAN, Cary 100, and Bio UV-visible spectrophotometer. The photoluminescence (PL) measurement was carried out at room temperature with a He–Cd, a laser excited at 325 nm.
Volume 31 Issue 3 June 2008 pp 545-550
Nanocrystalline semiconducting materials are attracting much attention due to their potential applications in solar energy conversion, nonlinear optics, and heterogeneous photocatalysis. In the present investigation, we have synthesized nanostructured TiO2 photocatalysts, which have been used in the photocatalytic degradation of phenol (one of the most common water pollutants). These catalysts have been prepared through sol–gel technique using titanium tetra-isopropoxide as a raw material for synthesis. Characterization techniques such as XRD, SEM and TEM have been employed for structural/microstructural investigations. XRD results show that the as synthesized TiO2 nanopowder exhibit anatase phase, TiO2. The average sizes of the TiO2 nanopowders are ∼ 5–10 nm. The optical properties of the samples were investigated through UVvisible and fluorescence techniques. It has been observed that absorption edge corresponds to ∼ 410 nm (bandgap, ∼ 3.02 eV). The emission peak in the fluorescence spectrum at ∼ 418 nm corresponds to the bandgap energy of ∼ 2.97 eV. Concentration of phenol (initial concentration, ∼ 100 ppm) with illumination time was monitored by measuring the absorbance of pure and illuminated phenol through UV-visible spectrophotometer. Salient feature of this study relates to the fact that the present sol–gel synthesized TiO2 nanopowders have been found to be better photocatalysts for phenol degradation than the presently employed commercial TiO2 (P-25, Degussa) photocatalyst. Thus, whereas phenol concentration, with the presently synthesized TiO2 nanopowders, the concentration of phenol decreases up to ∼ 32% but for commercial TiO2 nanopowder (P-25, Degussa), it decreased only up to ∼ 25%. The improved surface area is considered as an important factor for the aforesaid decrease in phenol concentration.
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