Materials Science and Applied Chemistry

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Authors: Andris Ozols, Edvins Letko, Peteris Augustovs, Dmitry Saharov, Elmars Zarins, Valdis Kokars
Abstract: We have experimentally studied photoinduced anisotropy (PA) of holographic gratings in IWK-2D [precise chemical notation: 2-(3-(4-((4-(bis (2-(trityloxy) ethyl) amino) phenyl) diazenyl) styryl)-5,5-dimethylcyclohex-2-enylidene) malononitrile] azobenzene molecular glassy films in transmission and reflection modes using a special simultaneous holographic recording and readout setups which enabled measurements of PA time evolution. PA manifested itself by diffraction efficiency difference with linear s- and p-polarizations. Three different types of polarization holographic gratings were recorded and studied using p-p, L-L and L-R polarized beams creating different recording interference patterns. Atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to study the surface profile changes. Experimental evidence was obtained that the transmission mode PA was due to the both recorded surface relief and volume polarization gratings whereas the reflection mode PA was due to the recorded surface relief gratings. The main PA features were similar for all three types of polarization gratings whereas details were different. PA properties of IWK-2D films were notably distinctive from those of previously studied films.
Authors: Ilze Malina, Valdis Kampars
Abstract: The Europium(III) ternary complexes Eu(BID)3(PHEN) and Eu(MBID)3(PHEN) (BID – 2-benzoyl-1,3-indandione, MBID - 2-(4-methylbenzoyl)-1,3-indandione and PHEN – 1,10-Phenantroline) were synthesized, characterized and incorporated into poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) and poly-N-vinylcarbazole (PVK) matrixes. Emission properties in solid-state and polymer films were investigated through excitation spectra, emission spectra and absolute photoluminescence quantum yields (PLQY). Both complexes in their solid-state and films exhibited red-light luminescence with narrow bands corresponding to Eu(III) ion emission. In solid-state complexes were characterized with PLQY of 6% and 10%, in PVK matrixes quantum yield dropped down to 4%, however, in PMMA films exhibited similar luminescence PLQY than in solid-state.
Authors: Ahmad Nazib Alias, Zubainun Mohamed Zabidi, N. Ramlee, Yanti Yaacob, Siti Hajar Noor Alshurdin, Abd Malik Marwan Ali, Muhd Zu Azhan Yahya
Abstract: Electrical dielectric spectra and alternating current (ac) conductivity of blended poly (N-vinlycarbazole) (PVK) with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) at different temperature are investigated. The polymer blends were prepared by dissolving in dimethylformamide (DMF) using drop casting method and further dried in vacuum oven. The dielectric and ac conductivity of each sample was investigated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) method. Dielectric permittivity studies revealed that there are significant changes in the spectra at different temperature. The ac conductivity was further analyzed by using universal power law. The hopping parameter was calculated by using correlated barrier hopping model.
Authors: Anastasia Ivanova, Kristina Lebedeva, Andrey Tokmakov, Modris Roze, Igors Kaulachs
Abstract: Organometal hybrid trihalide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have emerged a new class of optoelectronic devices for various applications. PSCs have demonstrated unprecedented progress in efficiency reaching certified power conversion efficiency 22.1% after only several years of active research. In this paper, we demonstrate inverted planar mixed halide perovskite solar cells where perovskite layers are built by two-step modified interdifussion and one-step methods. We demonstrate how PSC parameters change by doping electron transport layer (ETL). We used N,N-dimethyl-N-octadecyl (3-aminopropyl) trimethoxysilyl chloride (DMOAP) as dopant for ETL [6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). The highest EQE and Voc values were obtained for cell prepared by one-step method with fast crystallization and doped ETL but higher fill factor (FF) and shunt resistance (Rshunt) values were obtained for cells prepared by two-step method with undoped ETL.
Authors: Ilmārs Zālīte, Gundega Heidemane, Aija Krūmiņa, Dzintra Rašmane, Jānis Grabis, Mikhail Maiorov
Abstract: Ferrite materials, especially those containing nickel and cobalt, are popular due to their unique mechanical and magnetic properties. Single phase NiFe2O4 and CoFe2O4 nanopowders obtained by different methods were used for sintering studies. Chemical sol-gel self-propagating combustion method, co-precipitation technology combined with hydrothermal synthesis or spray-drying method, and high frequency plasma chemical synthesis have been used to synthesize ferrite nanopowders. Relatively dense (95-99%) materials with high saturation magnetization (MS = 80-84 emu/g for CoFe2O4 and MS = 46-48 emu/g for NiFe2O4) were obtained at 1100-1200 °C temperatures.
Authors: Margarita Karpe
Abstract: The aim of the research was to develop the area of mesoporous thin films of a binary TiO2–SiO2 system. Sol was synthesized from tetraethylorthosilicate as the silica source and titanium isopropoxide solution as the TiO2 source, while triblock copolymer surfactant (Pluronic F 127 (10% solution in water, (P))) was used as the mesostructure-directing agent. In this paper we present sol-gel obtained TiO2–SiO2 with a mesoporous structure. The effects of added titanium on the mesostructure and on the porosity are presented and discussed. Four different molar percentage ratios of Ti: Si were used for the synthesis of mixed TiO2–SiO2 mesoporous thin films on glass substrate. The mesoporous structure of thin films was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the water contact angle. These mesoporous TiO2–SiO2 thin films could have many potential applications in many areas such as separation membranes, catalysis, optics, and self-cleaning surfaces.
Authors: Oskars Lescinskis, Ruta Švinka, Visvaldis Švinka
Abstract: Clays are materials consisting of clay minerals and non-clay minerals. Some applications allow to use raw clay others require to separate clay minerals from non-clay minerals. Clay mineral fraction is considered to be a nanofraction. Description and characterization of 3 different Latvian clay nanosized minerals from 3 different geological periods (clay Liepa from Devonian period, clay Vadakste from Triassic period and clay Apriki from Quaternary period) are summarized. The main mineral in these clays is illite, however the presence of kaolinite is observed and its quantity depends on geological period in which clays formed. Nanosized clay mineral particles were obtained using sedimentation method. Comparison of mineralogical composition, BET nitrogen adsorption, zeta potential, DTA/TG analysis and FTIR spectra is given. XRD phase analysis results were very close to each other and shows that mineral of illite is more than that of kaolinite. BET nitrogen adsorption data shows that clay minerals of Apriki has the highest specific surface area (81 m2/g), whereas clay minerals of Vadakste has it the lowest (43 m2/g). Zeta potential values for clay minerals Apriki, Liepa and Vadakste are-40.9 mV, -49.6 mV and-43.0 mV, respectively. DTA analysis and FTIR spectra show similar tendencies for all 3 clay minerals.
Authors: Anzelms Zukuls, Gundars Mežinskis, Aigars Reinis, Ingus Skadins, Juta Kroica, Ramona Durena
Abstract: SnO2-TiO2 sol-gel coatings on soda-lime silicate glass heat treated at 500 °C and xerogel specimens also heat treated at 500 °C were investigated in this study. The morphology of 1, 3, 5 and 7 mol% SnO2 doped titanium oxide coatings were evaluated with a scanning electron microscope (SEM), an atomic force microscope (AFM) and an UV-VIS light spectrophotometer, whilst xerogel structure was analysed with X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD). The physicochemical properties of the TiO2-SnO2 systems depended mainly on the Sn-to-Ti ratio. The surface morphology of the layer was compact and homogeneous with no visible cracks. Anatase and rutile phase was found in the tested 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 mol% SnO2 doped and heat treated xerogel specimens. Rutile phase content in the heat treated xerogel was reduced, if Sn4+ content was increased. Photocatalytic activity and antibacterial properties were evaluated as well.
Authors: Anzelms Zukuls, Gundars Mežinskis, Aigars Reinis, Ingus Skadins, Juta Kroica, Ieva Stafecka, Ramona Durena
Abstract: Prepared and heat-treated sol-gel ZnO-TiO2 coatings onto microscope glass slides were characterised by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), as well as absorption spectra of light has been obtained. Thermally treated xerogels were characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD). As well as their photocatalytic activity using methyl orange (MO) and observing the colour changes over the time in visible light (VIS) and ultra violet (UV) light has been determined. The influence of ZnO concentration on morphology, photocatalytic activity and antibacterial properties of coatings was analysed. The growth of S. epidermidis on the surface of the samples was inhibited due to photocatalytic properties of coatings.
Authors: Reinis Drunka, Jānis Grabis, Aija Krūmiņa
Abstract: In the present work formation of active TiO2 nanofibers in microwave-assisted synthesis and their modification with Au, Pt, Pd and Ag nanoparticles were studied. Anatase nanopowder and 10M KOH solution were used as raw materials. Microwave-assisted synthesis permitted to obtain TiO2 nanofibers and nanowires with a diameter of 10nm and a specific surface area 158.5m2/g. Chemical deposition method were used to modify TiO2 nanofibers with precious metal nanoparticles. After modification, specific surface area decreased and were in range 73.1 – 74.7m2/g. Photocatalytic activity was determined by degradation of the methylene blue (MB) solution under visible light irradiation. High intensity LED lamp was used as light source. The obtained samples showed higher photocatalytic activity with respect to pure TiO2 nanofibers. The doped TiO2 nanofibers were appropriate for degradation of harmful organic compounds as well as for hydrogen production by water splitting.

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