Ru supported on N-doped reduced graphene oxide aerogels with different N-type for alcohol selective oxidation
Reduced graphene oxide aerogels doped with nitrogen have been prepared via two different strategies, namely, direct doping of rGO nanosheets with NH3 (GANH3) and coating the rGO nanosheets with an N-containing amorphous carbon derived from polydopamine (GADA). Both methods lead to comparable N/C ratios (3.4–4.7 %) but the relative contribution of quaternary nitrogen is 30 % for GADA while only 15 % for GANH3. Moreover, the N is incorporated within graphene lattice for GANH3 while it is within an amorphous carbon layer on top of graphene nanosheets for GADA. The Ru catalyst supported on the aerogels exhibited very distinct performance in the selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol depending on the support material despite having similar Ru particle size. The best performance for 5 wt% Ru on GADA can be explained by the larger reduction extent of Ru and the more hydrophobic surface. The open macroporosity of the aerogel makes it an excellent platform for using as structured catalyst in a continuous flow process.
Differential properties and effects of fluorescent carbon nanoparticles towards intestinal theranostics.
Given the potential applications of fluorescent carbon nanoparticles in biomedicine, the relationship between their chemical structure, optical properties and biocompatibility has to be investigated in detail. In this work, different types of fluorescent carbon nanoparticles are synthesized by acid treatment, sonochemical treatment, electrochemical cleavage and polycondensation. The particle size ranges from 1 to 6 nm, depending on the synthesis method. Nanoparticles that were prepared by acid or sonochemical treatments from graphite keep a crystalline core and can be classified as graphene quantum dots. The electrochemically produced nanoparticles do not clearly show the graphene core, but it is made of heterogeneous aromatic structures with limited size. The polycondensation nanoparticles do not have CC double bonds. The type of functional groups on the carbon backbone and the optical properties, both absorbance and photoluminescence, strongly depend on the nanoparticle origin. The selected types of nanoparticles are compatible with human intestinal cells, while three of them also show activity against colon cancer cells. The widely different properties of the nanoparticle types need to be considered for their use as diagnosis markers and therapeutic vehicles, specifically in the digestive system.
In-situ growth and immobilization of CdS nanoparticles onto functionalized MoS2 for managing charge-transfer processes.
A facile strategy for the controllable growth of CdS nanoparticles at the periphery of MoS2 en route the preparation of electron donor‐acceptor nanoensembles is developed. Precisely, the carboxylic group of α‐lipoic acid, as addend of the modified MoS2 obtained upon 1,2‐dithiolane functionalization, was employed as anchor site for the in situ preparation and immobilization of the CdS nanoparticles in an one‐pot two‐step process. The newly prepared MoS2/CdS hybrid material was characterized by complementary spectroscopic, thermal and microscopy imaging means. Absorption spectroscopy was employed to register the formation of MoS2/CdS, by observing a broad shoulder centered at 420 nm due to CdS nanoparticles, while the excitonic bands of MoS2 were also evident. Moreover, based on the efficient quenching of the characteristic fluorescence emission of CdS at 725 nm by the presence of MoS2, strong electronic interactions at the excited state between the two species within the ensemble were identified. Photoelectrochemical assays of MoS2/CdS thin‐film electrodes revealed a prompt, steady and reproducible anodic photoresponse during repeated on‐off cycles of illumination. A significant zero‐current photopotential of −540 mV and an anodic photocurrent of 1 μA were observed, underlining improved charge‐separation and electron transport from CdS to MoS2. The superior performance of the charge‐transfer processes in MoS2/CdS is of direct interest for the fabrication of photoelectrochemical and optoelectronic devices.
Laser-Deposited Carbon Aerogel Derived from Graphene Oxide Enables NO2-Selective Parts-Per-Billion Gas Sensing
Laser-deposited carbon aerogel is a low-density porous network of carbon clusters synthesized using a laser process. A one-step synthesis, involving deposition and annealing, results in the formation of a thin porous conductive film which can be applied as a chemiresistor. This material is sensitive to NO2 compared to ammonia and other volatile organic compounds and is able to detect ultra-low concentrations down to at least 10 parts-per-billion. The sensing mechanism, based on the solubility of NO2 in the water layer adsorbed on the aerogel, increases the usability of the sensor in practically relevant ambient environments. A heating step, achieved in tandem with a microheater, allows the recovery to the baseline, making it operable in real world environments. This, in combination with its low cost and scalable production, makes it promising for Internet-of-Things air quality monitoring.
Cobalt-Doped ZnO Nanorods Coated with Nanoscale Metal-Organic Framework Shells for Water-Splitting Photoanodes
Developing highly efficient and stable photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting electrodes via inexpensive, liquid phase processing is one of the key challenges for the conversion of solar energy into hydrogen for sustainable energy production. ZnO represents one the most suitable semiconductor metal oxide alternatives because of its high electron mobility, abundance, and low cost, although its performance is limited by its lack of absorption in the visible spectrum and reduced charge separation and charge transfer efficiency. Here, we present a solution-processed water-splitting photoanode based on Co-doped ZnO nanorods (NRs) coated with a transparent functionalizing metal–organic framework (MOF). The light absorption of the ZnO NRs is engineered toward the visible region by Co-doping, while the MOF significantly improves the stability and charge separation and transfer properties of the NRs. This …
Functionalized carbon dots on TiO2 for perovskite photovoltaics and stable photoanodes for water splitting
Various types of fluorescent carbon nanoparticles, often called carbon dots (CDs), are synthesized by different polycondensation methods: microwave irradiation, hydrothermal conditions or solution chemistry at ambient temperature with subsequent chemical functionalization. The CDs are deposited on TiO2 films to be probed as electron transport layers in perovskite photovoltaics and the anode for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Nitrogen CDs, which do not contain oxygen, lead to an increase of around 50 mV in the open circuit voltage of perovskite solar cells. All the CD types produce an improved photocurrent in water splitting, particularly CDs that are functionalized with thiol groups and butyl chains. It is demonstrated that the modified electrode is stable under continuous operation. Other electrochemical characteristics of the electrode, such as the voltammogram shape, onset potentials and open circuit potentials, remain nearly unchanged upon the deposition of CDs. Only the incident photon to current conversion efficiency improves clearly, extending the absorption range by around 20 nm towards longer wavelengths. This study provides new data about mechanisms and electrode arrangements for improving the performance of n-type semiconductors in photovoltaic cells and photoelectrochemical hydrogen production.
Bottom-up synthesized MoS2 interfacing polymer carbon nanodots with electrocatalytic activity for hydrogen evolution
The preparation of an MoS2–polymer carbon nanodot (MoS2‐PCND) hybrid material was accomplished by employing an easy and fast bottom‐up synthetic approach. Specifically, MoS2‐PCND was realized by the thermal decomposition of ammonium tetrathiomolybdate and the in situ complexation of Mo with carboxylic acid units present on the surface of PCNDs. The newly prepared hybrid material was comprehensively characterized by spectroscopy, thermal means, and electron microscopy. The electrocatalytic activity of MoS2‐PCND was examined in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and compared with that of the corresponding hybrid material prepared by a top‐down approach, namely MoS2‐PCND(exf‐fun), in which MoS2 was firstly exfoliated and then covalently functionalized with PCNDs. The MoS2‐PCND hybrid material showed superior electrocatalytic activity toward the HER with low Tafel slope, excellent electrocatalytic stability, and an onset potential of −0.16 V versus RHE. The superior catalytic performance of MoS2‐PCND was rationalized by considering the catalytically active sites of MoS2, the effective charge/energy‐transfer phenomena from PCNDs to MoS2, and the synergetic effect between MoS2 and PCNDs in the hybrid material.
Carbon Nanotube film electrodes with acrylic additives: Blocking electrochemical charge transfer reactions
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) processed into conductive films by liquid phase deposition technologies reveal increasing interest as electrode components in electrochemical device platforms for sensing and energy storage applications. In this work we show that the addition of acrylic latex to water-based CNT inks not only favors the fabrication of stable and robust flexible electrodes on plastic substrates but, moreover, sensitively enables the control of their electrical and electrochemical transport properties. Importantly, within a given concentration range, the acrylic additive in the films, being used as working electrodes, effectively blocks undesired faradaic transfer reactions across the electrode–electrolyte interface while maintaining their capacitance response as probed in a three-electrode electrochemical device configuration. Our results suggest a valuable strategy to enhance the chemical stability of CNT film electrodes and to suppress non-specific parasitic electrochemical reactions of relevance to electroanalytical and energy storage applications.
Modification of Physicochemical Properties and Boosting Electrical conductivity or reduced graphene oxide Aerogels by Post-Synthesis Treatment
Electrically conductive graphene aerogels are attracting great interest as functional materials. Nevertheless, graphene aerogels synthesized from graphene oxide usually exhibit low electrical conductivity. In order to increase conductivity, herein a postsynthesis thermal treatment at several temperatures (from 300 to 1000 °C) has been applied to pristine reduced graphene oxide aerogels under two different atmospheres, namely, inert Ar flow and isopropanol+H2 flow. Upon thermal treatment under Ar flow, the electrical conductivity of aerogel upscales with the treatment temperature. More remarkably, the electrical conductivity becomes 1 order of magnitude larger when the thermal treatment is carried out under isopropanol+H2 instead of under Ar, while maintaining a very low density and porous structure. The electrical conductivity achieved is exceptionally high for such a lightweight and porous material. The exhaustive characterization allowed disclosing that the generation of carbon links between the reduced graphene oxide nanosheets is the reason for this enhancement. The electrically conductive aerogels have excellent prospects for application as scaffolds for energy storage or biomedical applications.
Controlling the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles in fluids directly impacts on their liquid phase processing and applications in nanofluidics, thermal engineering, biomedicine and printed electronics. In this work, the temperature dependent viscosity of various aqueous nanofluids containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) or graphene oxide (GO), i.e. 1D and 2D nanoparticles with extreme aspect ratios, is analyzed by empirical and predictive physical models. The focus is to understand how the nanoparticle shape, concentration, motion degrees and surface chemistry affect the viscosity of diluted dispersions. To this end, experimental results from capillary viscosimeters are first examined in terms of the energy of viscous flow and the maximum packing fraction applying the Maron–Pierce model. Next, a comparison of the experimental data with predictive physical models is carried out in terms of nanoparticle characteristics that affect the viscosity of the fluid, mostly their aspect ratio. The analysis of intrinsic viscosity data leads to a general understanding of motion modes for carbon nanoparticles, including those with extreme aspect ratios, in a flowing liquid. The resulting universal curve might be extended to the prediction of the viscosity for any kind of 1D and 2D nanoparticles in dilute suspensions.