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ISSN 1005-0302
CN 21-1315/TG
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      15 January 2014, Volume 30 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Plasmon-enhanced Performance of Dye-sensitized Solar Cells Based on Electrodeposited Ag Nanoparticles
    Xinning Luan, Ying Wang
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 1-7.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.09.007
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    In the present work, pulse current deposition is used to deposit evenly distributed and uniformly sized Ag nanoparticles onto a TiO2 nanotube array as photoelectrode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), and the size and amount of loading Ag nanoparticles are controlled by the pulse deposition time. Due to the enhanced light absorption and electron–hole separation caused by plasmon effect, DSSCs based on Ag-modified TiO2 nanotube arrays show higher energy conversion efficiencies than those based on bare nanotubes with the same tube length. Particularly, DSSC based on nanotubes modified using pulse deposition time 1 s/3 s delivers the highest energy conversion efficiency of 1.68% and the largest short-circuit current of 4.37 mA/cm2, while DSSC consisting of bare nanotubes exhibits efficiency of 1.20% and short-circuit current of 2.27 mA/cm2, which represents a 40% enhancement of cell efficiency in DSSC based on Ag-modified TiO2 nanotubes. It is also noted that overly long pulse deposition time will not further increase DSSC efficiency due to agglomeration of Ag particles. For example, when the pulse deposition time is increased to 2 s/6 s, DSSC based on Ag-modified nanotubes exhibits a lower efficiency of 1.42%. Moreover, high-concentration TiCl4 treatment on TiO2 nanotube arrays can further increase the energy conversion efficiencies to 3.82% and 2.61% for DSSC based on Ag-modified TiO2 nanotubes and DSSC based on bare TiO2 nanotubes, respectively, by significantly creating more surface area for dye loading.

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    Fabrication of Shape-Controlled Au Nanoparticles in a TiO2-Containing Mesoporous Template Using UV Irradiation and Their Shape-Dependent Photocatalysis
    Teruhisa Okuno, Go Kawamura, Hiroyuki Muto, Atsunori Matsuda
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 8-12.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.08.008
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    A SiO2–TiO2 template with ordered tubular mesochannels has been prepared by the sol–gel method. Au nanorods are deposited in the tubular mesochannels of the SiO2–TiO2 template, and the shape of Au is changed from nanorods to nanospheres by ultraviolet irradiation during thermal deposition. The photocatalytic activity of mesoporous SiO2–TiO2 with/without Au nanorods/nanospheres is evaluated. Deposition of Au in the mesoporous SiO2–TiO2 template enhances the photocatalysis of TiO2. Interestingly, the sample containing Au nanorods exhibits higher photocatalytic activity than that with Au nanospheres. Photocatalysis by exciting surface plasmon resonance is not detected in the composite samples regardless of the shape of the deposited Au nanoparticles.

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    Effect of Sm+ Rare Earth Ion on the Structural, Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties of Potassium Hydrogen Phthalate Single Crystals
    S. Sudhahar, M. Krishna Kumar, V. Jayaramakrishnan, R. Muralidharan, R. Mohan Kumar
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 13-18.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.08.017
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    Rare earth Sm+ ion doped potassium hydrogen phthalate (KHP) single crystal was grown by slow evaporation technique. Single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction analyses confirm the crystalline perfection of Sm+ ion doped KHP crystal. The functional groups of pure and Sm+ ion doped KHP crystals were identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectral studies. Thermogravimetric and differential thermal analyses were carried out to study the thermal behavior of the grown crystals. UV–Vis studies explored the optical transmittance of the grown crystals in the entire visible region. The mechanical strength and etching studies were performed to assess the perfection of the pure and Sm+ ion doped KHP crystals. The refractive index and birefringence properties of the grown crystal were analyzed. The second harmonic generation efficiency of Sm+ ion doped KHP crystals was observed by Kurtz–Perry powder test.

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    Quaternary Ammonium-based Composite Particles for Antibacterial Finishing of Cotton-based Textiles
    M. Messaoud, E. Chadeau, P. Chaudou?t, N. Oulahal, M. Langlet
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 19-29.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.09.012
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    The antibacterial finishing of cotton-based fabrics has been achieved from quaternary ammonium-based composite particles. This functionalization is based on the simple dilution of a quaternary ammonium cation (QAC) hybrid alkoxide within a sol–gel derived crystalline suspension (CS) of TiO2 in liquid solution. This protocol yields the preparation of QAC–TiO2 (QT) composite sols by using a same CS over a long period of time, and enables an easy regeneration of derived QT sols after quite long aging periods. Composite sols can then be impregnated on various kinds of substrates, including textile fabrics. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies, as well as optical and scanning electron microscopy observations, have been used to investigate chemical and morphological features arising from QT particles. Antibacterial tests have then been performed on so-finished textiles and are discussed in relation to chemical and morphological features. It is shown that this sol–gel route flexibly yields a similarly strong antibacterial activity on cotton-based fabrics against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, i.e. tested fabrics exhibit an antibacterial activity (according to the ISO 20743-2005 standard) ranging between 7.5 and 7.9 against both kinds of bacteria tested here. Finishing treatments also allow preserving the hand feeling and visual aspect of the textiles and promote a rather good attachment of impregnated particles on the surface of textile fibers.

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    Synthesis, Characterization and Biocompatibility of Potassium Ferrite Nanoparticles
    Lavanya Khanna, N.K. Verma
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 30-36.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.10.008
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    In the present study, morphology, size distribution, structure, biocompatibility and magnetic properties of potassium ferrite nanoparticles (KFeO2 NPs), synthesized by conventional sol–gel method have been reported. The formation of spherical nanoparticles with orthorhombic structure has been confirmed by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The particle size, as obtained by transmission electron microscopy has been found to be in the range of 4–7 nm. Further, the size distribution has been scrutinized using Analyse-it software, where a platykurtic feature in the size distribution was observed. Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis showed the formation of metal (Fe, K) bonds at Neel temperature of 337 °C. Vibrating sample magnetometer analysis revealed the superparamagnetic behaviour of the synthesized KFeO2 NPs, with saturation magnetization of 25.72 emu/g. In vitro cytotoxicity test, using MTT assay, on T cell lines (Jurkat cells) showed that KFeO2 NPs are biocompatible at a particle concentration of 100 μg/ml.

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    Characterisation of Photocathodes Based on Pb Thin Film Deposited by UV Pulsed Laser Ablation
    Francisco Gontad, Antonella Lorusso, Giancarlo Gatti, Massimo Ferrario,Laura Gioia Passione, Luana Persano, Nicola Lovergine, Alessio Perrone
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 37-40.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.09.010
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    This work deals with the deposition of lead (Pb) thin films by the UV pulsed laser ablation technique, for their further use as photocathode devices in superconducting radio frequency guns. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy analyses were performed to study the morphological features of Pb thin films deposited on Si (100) and Nb substrates. The films showed a granular structure with a nearly fully covered surface only for that one deposited on Nb substrate. X-ray diffraction measurements indicate the growth of polycrystalline Pb thin films with a preferential orientation along (111) planes. Results of the photoemission performance of Pb thin film deposited on Nb substrate showed a very encouraging average value of quantum efficiency of 6 × 10−5 through a single-photon absorption process, promoting further studies in the realisation of Pb photocathodes by this technique.

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    Characteristics of Twin Lamellar Structure in Magnesium Alloy during Room Temperature Dynamic Plastic Deformation
    Chao Lou, Xiyan Zhang, Gaolin Duan, Jian Tu, Qing Liu
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 41-46.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.08.003
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    The microstructures of the as-rolled magnesium alloy subjected to dynamic plastic deformation along the rolling direction have been investigated. Mostly one {1012} twin variant or a twin variant pair is activated in a grain, leading to a parallel {1012} twin lamellar structure. At the stage of twinning-dominated deformation (ε < w8%), lamellar thickness decreases significantly with strain, from 5.55 to 2.49 mm. The evolution of lamellar thickness during deformation is directly related to {1012} twin activity. When plastic strain is greater than w8%, the twin lamellar structure disappears because the volume fraction of twins almost saturates at a value of ~90%.

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    Corrosion Protective Conversion Coatings on Magnesium Disks Using a Hydrothermal Technique
    R.K. Gupta, K. Mensah-Darkwa, D. Kumar
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 47-53.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.07.012
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    A uniform, compact, and well adherent conversion coating of magnesium hydroxide has been formed on bioresorbable magnesium disks by means of a hydrothermal technique. Electrochemical results indicate that the coating brings about a significant reduction in magnesium corrosion in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution. It is also observed that corrosion resistance of the coating increases with an increase in treatment time, which in turn, increases the coating thickness. The protective behavior of magnesium hydroxide coating is attributed to its chemical inertness in PBS solution. The coatings are found to be free from pores that reduce the direct contact between corroding media and underlying magnesium.

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    Evolution of the Microstructure and Strength in the Nugget Zone of Friction Stir Welded SiCp/Al–Cu–Mg Composite
    D. Wang, B.L. Xiao, Q.Z. Wang, Z.Y. Ma
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 54-60.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.09.018
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    A6 mm-thick SiCp/2009Al composite plate was successfully joined by friction stir welding (FSW) using an ultra-hard material tool to investigate the evolution of the microstructure and the strength in the nugget zone (NZ). While some SiC particles were broken up during FSW, most of them rotated in the matrix. Large compound particles on the interfaces were broken off during FSW, whereas the amorphous layer and small compound particles remained on the interfaces. The dynamically recrystallized Al grains nucleated on the surface of fractured SiC particles during FSW, forming nano-sized grains around the SiC particles. The yield strength of the NZ decreased slightly due to the variation in the size, shape, and distribution of the SiC particles. The clean interfaces were beneficial to the load transfer between SiC particles and Al matrix and then increased the ultimate tensile strength of the NZ.

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    Thermal Expansion of Al Matrix Composites Reinforced with Hybrid Micro-/nano-sized Al2O3 Particles
    Zhibo Lei, Ke Zhao, Yiguang Wang, Linan An2
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 61-64.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.04.022
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    The thermal expansion behavior of aluminum matrix composites reinforced with hybrid (nanometer and micrometer) Al2O3 particles was measured between 100 and 600 °C and compared to theoretical models. The results revealed that the nanoparticle concentration had significant effect on the thermal expansion behavior of the composites. For the composites with lower nanoparticle concentration, their coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is determined by a stress relaxation process. While for the composites with higher nanoparticle concentration, their CTE is determined by a percolation process.

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    Effect of Hydrodynamic Conditions on Corrosion Inhibition of Cu–Ni (90/10) Alloy in Seawater and Sulphide Containing Seawater Using 1,2,3-Benzotriazole
    B.V. Appa Rao, K. Chaitanya Kumar
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 65-76.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.08.019
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    Electrochemical studies of the effect of hydrodynamic conditions on corrosion inhibition of Cu–Ni (90/10) alloy in synthetic seawater and sulphide containing synthetic seawater by 1,2,3-benzotriazole (BTAH) are presented. Impedance, potentiodynamic polarization and cyclic voltammetric (CV) studies are employed in the present investigation. The studies are carried out by using Cu–Ni (90/10) alloy rotating disc electrode at different rotation speeds and at different immersion periods. Reynolds numbers at each rotation speed infer that the flow of seawater is laminar. With increasing rotation speed of the electrode immersed in seawater without sulphide and BTAH, both the charge transfer resistance (Rct) and film resistance (Rfilm) are increased. However, in the presence of sulphide ions and without BTAH, both the Rct and Rfilm are found to decrease with increasing rotation speed at identical immersion periods. Interestingly, when BTAH is added to seawater or seawater containing sulphide, both the Rct and Rfilm are increased to such a great extent that an inhibition efficiency of 99.99% is obtained. In the presence of BTAH, the phase angle Bode plots are more broadened and the maximum values of phase angle are increased to a value close to 90° as the rotation speed is increased. The BTAH film is highly protective even under hydrodynamic condition also. Potentiodynamic polarization studies infer that BTAH functions as a mixed inhibitor under hydrodynamic conditions also. CV studies reveal that the protective BTAH film is stable even at anodic potentials of +850 mV vs Ag/AgCl.

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    Lactobionic Acid as a New Synergist in Combination with Phosphonate–Zn(II) System for Corrosion Inhibition of Carbon Steel
    S. Srinivasa Rao, B.V. Appa Rao, S. Roopas Kiran, B. Sreedhar
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 77-89.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.10.003
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    Studies on lactobionic acid introduced as a synergist in the presence of phosphonobutane-1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid (PBTC) and zinc ions for corrosion control of carbon steel in aqueous environment are presented. The investigations revealed that lactobionic acid (LBA) acts as an excellent synergist in corrosion inhibition. Optimum concentrations of all the three components of the ternary formulation are established by gravimetric studies. Potentiodynamic polarization studies indicate that the new ternary system is a mixed inhibitor. Impedance studies show that a protective film is formed on the metal surface in the presence of the inhibitor formulation. The film is found to exhibit its protective nature even at higher temperatures up to 60 °C. Analysis of the protective film by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and reflection absorption Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy infers the presence of Zn(OH)2, oxides and hydroxides of iron and the inhibitor molecules in the surface film probably in the form of a complex, [Zn(II)–PBTC–LBA]. The morphological studies by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the topographical studies by atomic force microscopy (AFM) also indicate the presence of protective film on the metal surface. A plausible mechanism of corrosion inhibition is proposed.

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    Simultaneously Enhanced Cryogenic Tensile Strength, Ductility and Impact Resistance of Epoxy Resins by Polyethylene Glycol
    Qingping Feng, Jiaoping Yang, Yu Liu, Hongmei Xiao, Shaoyun Fu
    J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2014, 30 (1): 90-96.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2013.08.016
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    Rubbers have been well accepted for modifying brittle epoxies but rubber modified epoxies usually posses lowered tensile strength though enhanced ductility and fracture resistance. In this work, a polyethylene glycol (PEG-4000) is used to modify diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A/methyltetrahydrophthalic anhydride system for enhancing cryogenic tensile strength, ductility and impact resistance. The results display that the cryogenic tensile strength, ductility (failure strain) and fracture resistance (impact strength) are all enhanced for the modified epoxy system at proper PEG contents. The maximum tensile strength (127.8 MPa) at the cryogenic temperature (77 K) with an improvement of 30.1% is observed for the modified system with the 15 wt% PEG content. The ductility and impact resistance at both room temperature and cryogenic temperature are all improved for the modified epoxy system with proper PEG-4000 contents. These observations are explained by the positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy results and scanning electron microscopy results. Moreover, the glass transition temperature decreases slightly with increasing PEG content.

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ISSN: 1005-0302
CN: 21-1315/TG
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