Publications

NEWS


2018-10-26

nanoGe Fall Meeting 2018

Víctor, Mariam and Elena attended the nanoGe Fall Meeting 2018, held from the 22nd to the 26th of October in Torremolinos, Spain. They participated with an oral communication each within the Solar to Fuels symposium, which was focused on the lastest advances in photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic approaches for water splitting and CO2 reduction.


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2018-10-12

HYMAP team goes to Diamond Synchrotron Light Source

For the second time this year, some of the members of our group, Ignacio, Fernando and Elena, have been to Diamond Light Source, in the UK, to perform some NAP-XPS and NEXAFS experiments to study the Core Hole Clock effect on different semiconductors. We hope that this week of hard work will help to deepen knowledge on the mechanism of charge transport in photocatalysts.


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2018-10-05

Mariam Barawi presented her research at The Americas International Meeting on Electrochemistry and Solid State Science (AiMES 2018) held in Cancun, México

Mariam presented an oral communication at the AiMES conference. The title of the presentation was “New Hybrid Photoelectrodes Composed of TiO2 and Nanostructured Conjugated Porous Polymers for Enhanced Photocurrents in Solar Energy Conversion Cells”. AiMES is a joint conference of the 234th Meeting of The Electrochemical Society (ECS), the XXXIII Congreso de la Sociedad Mexicana de Electroquimica (SMEQ), and the 11th Meeting of the Mexico Section of the Electrochemical Society that was held between September 30th and October 4th, 2018 in Cancun, México. In this conference 2,100 abstracts were presented across 53 symposia.


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2018-10-01

Contributions to the ALBA Synchrotron light facility activity report 2017

Congratulations to Víctor for his contributions to the ALBA activity report 2017: the publication Unraveling the Photoredox Nature Isolated Iron Active Sites for Volatile Organic Compound Remediation - from Elucidating the Photoredox Nature of Isolated Iron Active Sites on MCM-41. ACS Catalysis 7 (3), 1646–1654 (2017) - and the cover of the Catalysis section (see figure).


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2018-09-14

Hydrogen as an alternative to diesel and the electric car

The European Union set the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % by 2020 and by 40 % by 2030. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are considered zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) as they use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, emitting only water to the atmosphere. Their use would imply a reduction of 15.12 Mt of CO2 equivalent annually thanks to the estimation of 140,000 vehicles that would travel in Spain by 2030. “Nowadays, approximately 200 entities work to make these estimations see daylight with an accumulated inversion of 3,560 million euros by 2030”, said Javier Brey, CEO of the Spanish Hydrogen Association.


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2018-08-24

New publication from the HyMAP team

Pt/TiO2 and Pt/TiO2-COK-12 photocatalysts have been prepared by a deposition-precipitation method and characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2 adsorption isotherms, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV–vis DRS) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The photocatalytic activity of as-prepared photocatalyst was tested for the photocatalytic reduction of CO2 under UV light in a continuous flow gas-phase photoreactor. CH4 and CO were detected as major carbon products for all photocatalysts, with minor amounts of CH3OH. Carbon monoxide is the main product obtained over TiO2 regardless of the presence of COK-12 as a mesoporous support, whereas Pt leads to CO2 reduction towards CH4 formation, with a selectivity that reaches ca. 100% with optimum loading. Supporting the Pt/TiO2 catalysts on COK-12 preserves the selectivity of the reaction towards CH4 and further improves the overall activity of the Pt/TiO2 materials. After-reaction attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR) and in-situ near ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (NAP-XPS) have been employed to identify reaction intermediates and used to explain the observed selectivity trends. 50-day free access link:


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2018-07-27

XXVII INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON PHOTOCHEMISTRY: PHOTOIUPAC2018

Carmen, Marta and Raúl have recently attended the PhotoIUPAC 2018 conference held in Dublin, Ireland, from 8th to 13th July. Marta and Raúl presented the last results performed in the Photoactivated Processes Unit by two oral communications. Carmen showed some of her PhD investigations in a wonderful poster where many curious scientists went through it for getting interest in her topic. Fortunately, they were not alone in the conference and they had the chance to meet great people from Valencia Uni, La Rioja Uni, Nantes Uni and Cordoba (Argentina) Uni. Of course, they had many scientific discussions that derived to opportunities of new collaborations, as you can see in the picture.


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2018-07-20

24 Hour Solar Energy: Molten Salt Makes It Possible, and Prices Are Falling Fast

The image shows a 110-megawatt concentrated solar power (CSP) plant built and operated by Solar Reserve in Santa Monica, California. With this plant, they are trying to prove that the technology which drives Crescent Dunes can make solar power an affordable, carbon-free, day-and-night energy source, dispatched on the electric grid like any fossil fuel plant. In this plant, concentrated sunlight heats molten salt to 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit in the shimmering tower; then the salt gets stored in a giant insulated tank and can be tapped to make steam to run a turbine.


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2018-07-03

XXXIX Meeting of the Electrochemistry Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry

Mariam attend the XXXIX Meeting of the Electrochemistry Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry and 3rd E3 Mediterranean Symposium: Electrochemistry for Environment and Energy and she present a poster called: “Hybrid materials composed of nanostructured Conjugated Porous Polymers and TiO2 for Enhanced hydrogen evolution in Photoelectrochemical Cells”. There, she had the opportunity to meet many electrochemists who work in Spain and exchange impressions and ideas.


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2018-07-02

H2020 SUN-to-LIQUID Summer School

The Sun-to-Liquid Summer School took place at Rey Juan Carlos University and IMDEA Energy from the 25th to the 29th of June. Fernando participated with an oral presentation and guiding a practice session, while Elena attended as a student. In this summer school, the topic of solar fuels was addressed from many different points of view; ranging from the scientific basis of photocatalytic and thermochemical syngas generation to the life cycle, techno-economic and geopolitical assessment of its production.


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2018-06-29

Carbon Engineering to commercialise CO2 capture from air

The company recently published an article in Joule that has stimulated debate on the potential of extracting CO2 directly from air. In their web page they estimate cost of $100-150 USD per ton of CO₂ captured, purified, and compressed to 150 bar. The company is also trying to develop an Air to FuelsTM technology that uses the captured CO2 and H2 to produce fuels in a second step.


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2018-06-26

Congratulations Carmen!

Carmen was awarded the prize for the best poster at the XXVII Biennial Meeting in Organic Chemistry (20-22 June, 2018). Her poster addresses the design and synthesis of conjugated porous polymers based on BOPHY dyes for solar fuel production.


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2018-06-25

SINGLE CRYSTAL X-RAY CRYSTALLOGRAPHY SCHOOL

The Single Crystal X- Ray Crystallography School took place from 18 to 22th of June organized by Chemical Synthesis and Homogeneous catalysis Institute of CSIC at the University residence of International University Menendez Pelayo-UIMP in Jaca (Huesca). The course was given by excellent researchers from different Spanish centers, without forgetting the presence of Carmelo Giacovazzo, reference worldwide in structural resolution.


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2018-06-25

XXVII Biennial Meeting in Organic Chemistry

Raúl, Marta and Carmen attended the XXVII Biennial Meeting in Organic Chemistry (20-22 June, 2018) last week. Marta and Raúl both participated with oral communications about their research, and Carmen with a poster. They had the opportunity to meet other organic chemists and to exchange knowledge and ideas.


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2018-06-22

NEW COLLABORATION PAPER!

In collaboration with Benito Alcaide´s group of Complutense University of Madrid, some members of Hymap Group published the hot paper ”A Facile Synthesis of Blue Luminescent [7]HelicenoCarbazoles Based on Gold-Catalyzed Rearrangement-Iodonium Migration and Suzuki-Miyaura Benzannulation Reactions” in Chemistry- A European Journal. This paper demonstrates the utility of gold catalysis in the preparation of advanced materials with efficient blue luminescent properties that have been elucidated by single crystal X-Ray diffraction.


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2018-06-13

2nd FOTOFUEL School on Solar Fuels held in Almería on June 4th

The second edition of the FOTOFUEL School on Solar Fuels, chaired by V. de la Peña and F. Fresno, took place last week in Almería in connection to the 10th European Meeting on Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis (SPEA 10). The lectures by R. Navarro (ICP-CSIC), P. Fornasiero (Univ. Trieste), O. Ishitani (Tokyo Inst. of Technology), C. Gimbert-Suriñach (ICIQ), T. Andreu (IREC) and S. Giménez (Univ. Jaime I) were attended by 70 PhD students and postdocs from 23 different countries.


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2018-06-01

NEW PUBLICATION IN HYMAP GROUP!

Carmen, Marta, Víctor and Raúl recently published the paper “Synchronized biphotonic process triggering C-C coupling catalytic Reactions” in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. This work focuses on the study of a novel TTA-UC system and its application as a catalyst in C-C coupling reactions. Our researchers carried out several experiments in order to understand the mechanism of this kind of systems. They studied the scope of the reaction and finally they developed a continuous-flow system to scale up the reaction. Congratulations for your nice work!


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2018-05-28

XAS measurements at UVX synchrotron light source, Brazil

Nacho and Freddy (Dr. Freddy Oropeza, a collaborator from the University of Technology in Eindhoven) just spent two weeks in the UVX synchrotron light source in Campinas, Brazil, performing XAS and core hole clock experiments on the conjugated porous polymers and TiO2/polymer hybrids materials that we are studying in the group for artificial photosynthesis. We expect to characterise the conduction band and measure electron delocalisation times of these materials that will provide us with information on their ability to separate charges and avoid electron-hole recombination.


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2018-05-25

Promising artificial photosynthesis inspired by a frog

Engineers from the University of Cincinnati have created a foam to produce artificial photosynthesis inspired by the one that the Tungara frog (Engystomops pustulosus) uses to build a protective scum nest for its eggs. This foam, unlike many natural photosynthetic systems, converts all of the captured solar energy into sugars with a yield of around 96 %. For this reason, it can be used in a very carbon-rich environment , such as coal-fired power plant discharges.


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2018-05-18

Congratulations to Raúl!

The Spanish-German connection still gives rise to wonderful publications. See this interesting Mini Review on singlet oxygen and its role in the Schenck Ene reaction.


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2018-05-11

Electric vehicle infrastructure sector to gather this summer

The electric vehicle infrastructure industry will gather this summer to tackle the electrification of transport. The conference is organized by Clean Energy News’ publisher Solar Media and will be held on the 3rd and 4th of July 2018 at London’s America Square Conference Centre. The meeting includes sessions on EV infrastructure investment plans, business model innovations, the impact on the grid and energy networks, and emerging technologies such as vehicle-to-grid battery storage.


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2018-04-27

In-situ EXAFS and NEXAFS photoelectrochemical measurements at ALBA synchrotron

Mariam, Ignacio and Elena have been to BL22-CLAESS beamline at ALBA Synchrotron Light facility in Barcelona, where they performed in-situ NEXAFS and EXAFS experiments using a novel photoelectrochemical cell designed for this purpose. With this new setup, changes on the surface of different photoelectrodes due to illumination or the application of a potential were monitored.


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2018-04-20

2nd Workshop on Photocatalytic Materials

The 2nd Workshop on Photocatalytic Materials took place today at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM). It saw the participation of FRONCAT-UAM group, three IMDEA institutes (Energy, Materials and Nanoscience), the Materials Science Institute of Madrid and the Catalysis and Petrochemical Institute of Madrid.


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2018-03-26

NEW NAP-XPS system HAS ARRIVED!

A SPECS Near Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy (NAP-XPS) system has arrived to IMDEA Energy Institute. It has been purchased by the HyMAP group and it will enable us to do in-situ measurements in order to elucidate the artificial photosynthesis mechanism at our facilities.


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2018-03-19

XII Madri+d Awards Ceremony

Víctor Antonio de la Peña O'Shea has been awarded the Madri+d Award to the best European Research Council (ERC) Funded Project of the Community of Madrid for the HyMAP project. The ceremony has taken place at the Royal Post Office in Puerta del Sol, headquarters of the Presidential Council of the Community of Madrid. Congratulations Víctor!


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2018-02-14

In-situ near-ambient pressure XPS and NEXAFS at Diamond Light Source

Víctor, Ignacio and Elena from HyMAP group have visited Diamond Light Source, the UK' s national synchrotron science facility, to perform in-situ near-ambient pressure XPS and NEXAFS experiments on photocatalysts samples. Spectra were acquired under different gas conditions and light illumination. Their interpretation will help to get a better understanding of photocatalytic reaction mechanisms.


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2018-01-05

NEW research and development project for our group!

Raúl and Fernando have been awarded a new research and development project, including transfer, by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of Spain: Obtaining of Solar Fuels in Wide-Spectrum Photoactivated Catalytic Devices (code ENE2017-89170-R). It will have a duration of three years and it is included in the I+D+I projects (Challenges). Congratulations Raúl and Fernando!


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2017-12-22

NEW PUBLICATION! Polímeros Conjugados Porosos como fotocatalizadores para la generación de combustibles

Conjugated Porous Polymers comprising fully p-conjugated networks represent a new generation of heterogeneous photocatalyst for solar fuel production. These materials exhibit a great number of interesting properties such as semiconductor abilities, large photo- and thermo stabilities, light absorption in a wide range of solar spectrum and a huge chemical versatility in comparison with inorganic semiconductor. This mini review includes selected examples about their use as photocatalyst for artificial photosynthesis mainly in H2 evolution from water. Recent advances in the development of these polymers have shown how their textural, morphological and opto-electronic properties have a great influence in the photocatalytic behaviour; however, the relationship between these properties and the reaction mechanism is still unclear. Therefore, the design of new conjugated porous polymers as photocatalyst needs an intensive effort in the use advance “operando” characterisation and modelling to fully understand these processes. This is a very promising field in the development of multifunctional optoelectronic materials research area being one the most important challenges their applicability as photocatalyst for artificial photosynthesis by CO2 photoreduction which success will means a high environmental, energetic, social and economic impact. Revista de Plásticos Modernos, 114, 728, Noviembre 2017


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2017-12-15

6th Annual Workshop of Young Researchers of IMDEA Energy Awards

Patricia Reñones and Fernando Fresno from HyMAP group have been awarded for their outstanding scientific contributions in 2017 as predoctoral and postdoctoral researcher respectively in the 6th Annual Workshop of Young Researchers of IMDEA Energy, held in Madrid on 15th December the 2017. Congratulations!!


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2017-12-07

New photonic self-assembled metal-organic framework particles

Researchers from the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) in collaboration with Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) have developed highly porous metal-organic particles which spontaneously assemble in tridimensional superstructures. The band gap of this new material can be tuned by changing the size of its particles. This work has been published in Nature Chemistry and can be useful in a number of fields such as catalysis.


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2017-11-17

NEW PUBLICATION!

The work on substitutions in aryl halides by means of a dichromatic photocatalytic process has been just accepted in Chemistry A European Journal. Congratulations to Víctor and Raúl. Have a look here http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/chem.201705326/full


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2017-11-10

Hydrogen fuel cell trains will operate in Germany from 2021

LOWER Saxony Transport Authority (LNVG) signed a contract with Alstom and gas supplier Linde Group in Wolfsburg on November 9 for a fleet of 14 Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel multiple units, which will replace diesel trains on non-electrified routes in northwest Germany from 2021 onwards. The contract - the first order for the iLint - includes 30 years’ maintenance and energy supply for the fleet. Linde will install dedicated hydrogen refuelling facilities for the fleet of 140km/h trains, which will be capable of operating up to 1000km on a single tank of hydrogen.


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2017-11-06

Week of Science 2017 in IMDEA Energy

The Unit of Photoactivated Processes took part in the Week of Science 2017, organized by the Region of Madrid between November 6th and 19th, with the workshop “Solar fuels and photocatalysis”, framed in the activity “Energy for a sustainable world” organized by the IMDEA Energy Institute. In this workshop, the participant high school students attended a speech about the relevance of solar fuels and the related activities developed in this field in the frame of HyMAP. In addition, they could realize themselves a simple experiment about the relationships among light, colour and oxidation states.


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2017-10-30

Our colleague, Marta Liras, senior researcher of the photoactivated processes unit, presents the science week of madrid 2017

Learn fundamental concepts of physics through superheroes stories, learn about nanotechnology, discover how water supply works from the "El Atazar" reservoir, or didactic workshops for children to understand the process of artificial photosynthesis, are some of the activities programmed by the Community of Madrid, through the madri + d Foundation, in the 17th edition of the Science Week, which will take place from November 6 to 19 in more than 50 municipalities of the region. This initiative aims to encourage the participation of citizens in the scientific world, especially among children and young people, encourage vocations and entrepreneurship among students and show the immense scientific and technical heritage of the region.


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2017-09-12

NEW PUBLICATION! A new pathway for protein haptenation by β-lactams

The covalent binding of β-lactams to proteins upon photochemical activation has been demonstrated by using an integrated approach that combines photochemical, proteomic and computational studies, selecting human serum albumin (HSA) as a target protein and ezetimibe (1) as a probe. The results have revealed a novel protein haptenation pathway for this family of drugs that is an alternative to the known nucleophilic ring opening of β-lactams by the free amino group of lysine residues. Thus, photochemical ring splitting of the β-lactam ring, following a formal retro-Staudinger reaction, gives a highly reactive ketene intermediate that is trapped by the neighbouring lysine residues, leading to an amide adduct. For the investigated 1/HSA system, covalent modification of residues Lys414 and Lys525, which are located in sub-domains IIIA and IIIB, respectively, occurs. The observed photobinding may constitute the key step in the sequence of events leading to photoallergy. Docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies provide an insight into the molecular basis of the selectivity of 1 for these HSA sub-domains and the covalent modification mechanism. Computational studies also reveal positive cooperative binding of sub-domain IIIB that explains the experimentally observed modification of Lys414, which is located in a barely accessible pocket (sub-domain IIIA).


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2017-07-21

NEW PUBLICATION! Addressed realization of multication complex arrangements in metal-organic frameworks

The preparation of materials with structures composed of multiple metal cations that occupy specific sites is challenging owing to the difficulty of simultaneously addressing the incorporation of different elements at desired precise positions. We report how it is possible to use a metal-organic framework (MOF) built with a rod-shaped inorganic secondary building unit (SBU) to combine multiple metal elements at specific positions in a manner that is controllable at atomic and mesoscopic scales. Through the combination of four different metal elements at judiciously selected molar ratios, 20 MOFs of different compositions and the same topology have been prepared and characterized. The use of diffraction techniques, supported by density functional theory calculations, has led us to determine various possible atomic arrangements of the metal cations within the SBUs. In addition, seven of the compounds combine multiple types of atomic arrangements, which are mesoscopically distributed along the crystals. Given the large diversity and importance of rod-based MOFs, we believe that these findings offer a new general strategy to produce complex materials with required compositions and controllable arrangements of the metal cations for desired applications. Castillo-Blas et al., Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1700773


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2017-07-18

New publication! QDs decorated with thiol-monomer ligands as new multicrosslinkers for the synthesis of smart luminiscent nanogels and hydrogels

Herein, new smart thermo-responsive photoluminescent nano- and macrogel hybrids based on quantum dots (QDs) and poly(diethylene glycol methyl ether methacrylate) (pMEO2MA) are reported. The synthetic strategy comprises the functionalization of the homemade hydrophobic CdSe nanoparticles (NPs) with thiol-functionalized methacrylic monomers via ligand exchange reactions. Therefore, the organic–inorganic hybrid QD NPs decorated with methacrylic groups are able to connect the inorganic core with the growing pMEO2MA chains during the radical polymerization reaction by acting as multicrosslinker nanoagents. Depending on whether the bottom-up polymerization approach is conducted in solution or in bulk, nanometric core–shell QD@pMEO2MA NPs or hybrid pMEO2MA hydrogels crosslinked by QD NPs are achieved, respectively. Both nanogel and hydrogel hybrids experience a considerable and sudden increase in the fluorescence emission upon heating due to gel collapse at the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT), independent of pH. Moreover, at very basic pH (pH 12), the hydrogels also undergo a colour change from red to fully blue, which makes them promising as pH sensors. Both pH- and thermo-response are reversible in both nano- and macro-gel materials. Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 5317


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2017-06-30

DIPC School on PhotoElectroCatalysis at the Atomic Scale (PECAS)

Ignacio, Elena and Mariam attended the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC) School on PhotoElectroCatalysis at the Atomic Scale (PECAS), which took place in Donostia-San Sebastián, Basque Country (Spain), from June 27th to 30th, 2017. The school aimed at promoting interdisciplinary discussion of scientists in the material science and photoelectrochemistry fields in addition to presentation of new results, ideas and methods to understand the catalyst-electrolyte interface at an atomic level.


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2017-06-28

Mariam has been awarded a Juan de la Cierva-Formación grant




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2017-06-23

NEW GROUP PICTURE

New group picture taken outside the premises of IMDEA Energy.


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2017-06-06

NEW PUBLICATION! Visible-Light Photocatalytic Intramolecular Cyclopropane Ring Expansion

Described herein is a new visible-light photocatalytic strategy for the synthesis of enantioenriched dihydrofurans and cyclopentenes by an intramolecular nitro cyclopropane ring expansion reaction. Mechanistic studies and DFT calculations are used to elucidate the key factors in this new ring expansion reaction, and the need for the nitro group on the cyclopropane. Angew. Chem. 2017, 129, 7934-7938


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2017-06-02

1st Workshop UAM-FRONCAT and IMDEA Energy-PHOTPRO

The 1st Workshop UAM-FRONCAT and IMDEA Energy-PHOTPRO 2nd-June, IMDEA Energy will take place on Friday 2ndst June at the premises of IMDEA Energy Institute to stablish contact and promote collaborations between the Frontiers in Catalysis (FRONCAT) group at UAM and the Photoactivated Processes Group at IMDEA Energy.


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2017-04-19

New publication! Effect of La as Promoter in the Photoreduction of CO2 Over TiO2 Catalysts

In this work, TiO2 has been modified by treating it thermally together with different proportions (0.5–15 wt%) of La2O3. The resulting materials have been extensively characterized by XRD, TEM, N2 adsorption isotherms, temperature-programmed CO2 desorption, Raman, UV–VIS photoluminescence and X-Ray Photoelectron spectroscopies. The activity tests of these materials for the gas-phase photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide show that the main products of the reaction are in all cases CO and CH4, together with H2 from the parallel reduction of water. After the preparation procedure, La phases are best described as oxycarbonates, and lead to improved activity with respect to TiO2 with La contents up to 5 wt%. Higher loadings do not, however, lead to further enhanced activity. Retarded electron–hole recombination and enhanced CO2 adsorption are invoked as the key factors contributing to this activity improvement, which is optimized in the case of 0.5 wt% La leading to higher productions of CO and CH4 and increased quantum efficiency with respect to titania.


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2017-04-18

LECTURE: "Light-Matter Interaction: Evolution towards a Green Photochemistry"

Raúl Pérez was invited to teach a master´s lecture on the "Química Sostenible y Catálisis" topic in the "Master en Química Molecular y Catálisis Homogénea" at the Instituto de Síntesis Química y Catálisis Homogénea (CSIC-Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain).


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2017-04-11

New Mariam´s publication! Electronics and optoelectronics of quasi-1D layered transition metal trichalcogenides

The isolation of graphene and transition metal dichalcongenides has opened a veritable world to a great number of layered materials which can be exfoliated, manipulated, and stacked or combined at will. With continued explorations expanding to include other layered materials with unique attributes, it is becoming clear that no one material will fill all the post-silicon era requirements. Here we review the properties and applications of layered, quasi-1D transition metal trichalcogenides (TMTCs) as novel materials for next generation electronics and optoelectronics. The TMTCs present a unique chain-like structure which gives the materials their quasi-1D properties such as high anisotropy ratios in conductivity and linear dichroism. The range of band gaps spanned by this class of materials (0.2 eV–2 eV) makes them suitable for a wide variety of applications including field-effect transistors, infrared, visible and ultraviolet photodetectors, and unique applications related to their anisotropic properties which opens another degree of freedom in the development of next generation electronics. In this review we survey the historical development of these remarkable materials with an emphasis on the recent activity generated by the isolation and characterization of atomically thin titanium trisulfide (TiS3).


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2017-04-11

New publication! Cyclohexanedione as negative electrode reaction for aqueous organic redox flow batteries

The electrochemical reduction and oxidation of cyclohexanedione is evaluated for the first time as the negative electrode reaction in an organic redox flow battery. Electrochemical characterization indicates that the redox reaction of cyclohexanedione is a proton-coupled electron transfer process with quasi-reversible behavior in acidic media (pH < 3). Among three isomeric compounds (1,2-, 1,3- and 1,4-cyclohexanedione), the reduction of 1,3-cyclohexanedione exhibits the most negative electrode potential (c.a. −0.6 V vs. Ag|AgCl (c.a. −0.4 V vs. NHE)) as well as the widest pH operating range (pH 1–5) for relatively reversible reactions. The resulting electrode potential is the most negative of those to have been reported in neutral/acidic electrolytes. 1,3-cyclohexanedione is subsequently used as the active species in the negative electrode of a parallel plate flow cell, which is charge-discharge cycled at 3.4 mA cm−2 for 100 cycles, yielding half-cell coulombic efficiencies of c.a. 99%. The organic molecules derived from this group are observed to have high solubilities (>2 M) and exhibit reduction process with up to 4 electrons transferred.


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2017-03-10

NEW PUBLICATION: Upconversion nanoparticles with a strong acid-resistant capping

Water-dispersible upconversion nanoparticles (beta-NaYFCO4:YbCO3+,Er3+, UCNP) coated with a thin shell of a biocompatible copolymer comprising 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA) and 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulphonsulphonic acid (AMPS), which we will term COP, have been prepared by multidentate grafting. This capping is remarkably resistant to strong acidic conditions as low as pH 2. The additional functionality of the smart UCNP@COP nanosystem has been proved by its association to a well-known photosensitizer (namely, methylene blue, MB). The green-to-red emission ratio of the UC@COP@MB nanohybrid exhibits excellent linear dependence in the 7 to 2 pH range as a consequence of the release of the dye as the pH decreases.


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2017-03-10

NEW MEMBER IN THE GROUP

The group welcomes Ignacio Villar, a new posdoc who will be working on the advanced characterisation of photo- and photoelectro-catalytic processes using lab and synchrotron based techniques.


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2017-03-01

NEW SENIOR ASSISTANT RESEARCHER: Raúl Pérez-Ruiz

The group welcomes Raúl Pérez-Ruiz to the group, who will be working on applications of photochemical processes and molecular spectroscopy in synthetic and biological interest.


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2017-02-05

Marta Liras receives the prestigious Ramon y Cajal award

Marta Liras has been the recipient of one of the prestigious Ramón y Cajal award which will fund her project: “Design and Synthesisof Hybrid Materials for Advances Applications: Solar FuelsGeneration” (RYC - 2015 - 18677). The funding is provided by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness for the period: 2017-2021.


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2017-02-01

NEW MEMBER IN THE GROUP

The group welcomes Elena Alfonso, a new PhD student, who will be working on Tandem cells for solar fuels production.


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2017-01-17

NEW PUBLICATION: Elucidating the Photoredox Nature of Isolated Iron Active Sites on MCM-41

Photocatalytic performance is highly dependent on the nature and dispersion of the active sites, playing a crucial role in the optoelectronic and charge-transfer processes. Here, we report stabilized isolated iron on MCM-41 as a highly active catalyst for a photoredox reaction. The unique nature of the single-atom centers exhibit a trichloroethylene conversion per iron site that is almost 5 times higher than that of TiO2. Advanced characterization and theoretical calculations indicate the generation of hydroxyl radicals, through a photoinduced ligand-to-metal charge-transfer mechanism, which act as hole scavengers that lead to the formation of intermediate oxo–iron species (Fe-O). This intermediate species is the key step in promoting the photocatalytic reactions. Understanding the mechanistic photoredox pathway in isolated active site materials is imperative for developing highly efficient nonprecious photocatalysts for environmental or energy applications.


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2017-01-10

NEW MEMBER IN THE GROUP

The group welcomes Mariam Barawi, a new postdoctoral researcher in the group who will be working on the development of photoelectrochemical cells for solar fuel production (CO2 reduction and H2 evolution reaction).


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2017-01-01

CO2 reduction over NaNbO3 and NaTaO2 perovskite photocatalysts

The activity of NaNbO3 and NaTaO3 perovskites for the photocatalytic reduction of CO2 is studied in this work. For this purpose, sodium niobate and tantalate have been prepared using solid-state reactions, extensively characterised by means of powder X-ray diffraction, UV-vis, photoluminescence and Raman spectroscopies and N2 adsorption isotherms, and tested in the gas-phase reduction of CO2 under UV light in a continuous flow photoreactor. NaNbO3 is constituted of an orthorhombically distorted perovskite structure, while a ca. 4.5:1 combination of the orthorhombic and monoclinic modifications is found in the tantalate. Both catalysts exhibit interesting intrinsic activities, with the tantalate material giving rise to a slightly higher performance. This is attributed to a compromise situation between electron–hole recombination and the reducing potential of conduction band electrons. In addition, a decrease in the competition of water protons for photogenerated electrons is observed with both catalysts with respect to TiO2.


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2016-12-16

GROUP CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE 5th Annual Workshop of Young Researchers of IMDEA Energy

Fernando Fresno, Marta Liras, Carmen García, Alba García and Patricia Reñones presented their work in the 5th Annual Workshop of Young Researchers of IMDEA Energy.


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2016-12-01

NEW MEMBER IN THE GROUP

The group welcomes Sandra Galdón, a Master Interuniversitario en Ingeniería Química (URJC-UAM) student who will be doing her master thesis with us on gas phase CO2 photoreduction.


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2016-11-28

NEW PUBLICATION: A deprotection strategy of a BODIPY conjugated porous polymer to obtain a heterogeneous (dipyrrin)(bipyridine)ruthenium(II) visible light photocatalyst

This work shows that a deprotection strategy of BODIPY conjugated porous polymers (CMPBDPs) can be successfully applied to synthesize a new (dipyrrin)(bipyridine)Ru(II) (CMPBDP-Ru) efficient heterogeneous photocatalyst for iminium ion generation under visible light. CMPBDP-Ru shows high thermal and photochemical stability under irradiation, and it could be reused several times.


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2016-10-25

Conference organisation: 1st FOTOFUEL School & Conference

Fernando Fresno, Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea, Marta Liras, Carmen García, Alba García and Patricia Reñones are part of the organising commitee of the 1st FOTOFUEL School & Conference which is being organised in Almería Spain until 27th October in collaboration with PSA.


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2016-10-25

GROUP CONTRIBUTIONS AT THE 1st FOTOFUEL School & Conference

Patricia Reñones, Fernando Fresno, Alba García-Sánchez, Carmen García, Marta Liras, Víctor A. de la Peña O’Shea presented their work at the 1st FOTOFUEL School & Conference that it is being held in Almería, Spain this week.


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2016-10-01

NEW MEMBER IN THE GROUP

The group welcomes Olalla Iglesias Castrillo from the Universidad de Cantabria who will be doing a 3 months stay in our group working on water splitting + CO2 reduction using composites.


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2016-09-22

Oral Contribution: IV Reunión nacional de grupos de fotocatálisis

Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea participated in the "IV Reunión nacional de grupos de fotocatálisis" hosted at the Universidad de Badajoz, Spain.


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2016-09-11

ORAL COMMUNICATION: New insight in Artificial Photosynthesis: from inorganic semiconductors to hybrid multifunctional materials

Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea presented the talk: "New insight in Artificial Photosynthesis: from inorganic semiconductors to hybrid multifunctional materials" in the 6th EUCHEMS Chemistry Congress in Seville, Spain by authors: M. Liras; A. García; P. Reñones; F. Fresno; Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea.


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2016-09-11

ORAL COMMUNICATION: Conjugated microporous polymer based on dithienothiophene moieties and TiO2 hybrid materials as CO2 photoreduction catalyst

Marta Liras presented the talk: "Conjugated microporous polymer based on dithienothiophene moieties and TiO2 hybrid materials as CO2 photoreductioncatalyst" in the 6th EUCHEMS Chemistry Congress in Seville, Spain by authors: M. Liras; A. García; P. Reñones; F. Fresno; V. A. de la Peña O´Shea.


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2016-09-07

ORAL COMMUNICATION: Photoreduction of CO2 using hybrid heterojuntion photocatalysts

Víctor A. de la Peña O’Shea presented the talk: "Photoreduction of CO2 using hybrid heterojuntion photocatalysts" in the Catalysis for Clean Energy and Sustainable Chemistry (CCESC 2016) in Madrid, Spain by authors: Strasbourg, France by authors: Patricia Reñones, Fernando Fresno, Laura Collado, Alba García-Sánchez, Marta Liras, Víctor A. de la Peña O’Shea.


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2016-09-07

ORAL COMMUNICATION: Conjugated microporous polymer based on dithienothiophene moieties and TiO2 hybrid materials as CO2 photoreductioncatalyst

Marta Liras presented the talk: "Conjugated microporous polymer based on dithienothiophene moieties and TiO2 hybrid materials as CO2 photoreductioncatalyst" in the Vth Iberian Photochemistry Congress in Toledo, Spain by authors: M. Liras; A. García; P. Reñones; F. Fresno; V. A. de la Peña O´Shea.


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2016-08-19

NEW PUBLICATION: Ga-Promoted Photocatalytic H2 Production over Pt/ZnO Nanostructures

Photocatalytic H2 generation is investigated over a series of Ga-modified ZnO photocatalysts that were prepared by hydrothermal methods. It is found that the structural, textural, and optoelectronic properties remarkably depend on the Ga content. The photocatalytic activity is higher in samples with Ga content equal to or lower than 5.4 wt %, which are constituted by Zn1–xGaxO phases. Structural, textural, and optoelectronic characterization, combined with theoretical calculations, reveals the effect of Ga in the doped ZnO structures. Higher Ga incorporation leads to the formation of an additional ZnGa2O4 phase with spinel structure. The presence of such a phase is detrimental for the textural and optoelectronic properties of the photocatalysts, leading to a decrease in H2 production. When Pt is used as the cocatalyst, there is an increase of 1 order of magnitude in the activity with respect to the bare photocatalysts. This is a result of Pt acting as an electron scavenger, decreasing the electron–hole recombination rate and boosting the H2 evolution reaction


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2016-08-15

NEW PUBLICATION: Photocatalytic H2 production from aqueous methanol solutions using metal-co-catalysed Zn2SnO4 nanostructures

The activity of nanocrystalline Zn2SnO4 for photocatalytic hydrogen production from methanol aqueous solutions has been explored. A co-precipitation method starting from metal salts and a mild base as precipitating agent was used to obtain highly crystalline nanosized Zn2SnO4 with cubic inverse spinel structure. In-situ photodeposition of Pt and Au nanoparticles as co-catalysts was performed prior to the photocatalytic reaction. The obtained materials have been characterised by XRD, TEM, N2 adsorption isotherms and ICP-OES, Raman, UV–vis and photoluminescence spectroscopies. Bare Zn2SnO4 gives rise to hydrogen release from a methanol aqueous solution without catalyst deactivation. This photocatalytic activity is remarkably increased with the deposition of platinum. In contrast, the use of gold as co-catalyst increases the activity only slightly, with a lower hydrogen production than a Pt-loaded sample with the same nominal metal content. An improved charge separation and the activity of Pt as hydrogen evolution catalyst are invoked to account for the present findings.


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2016-07-26

Poster presentation: An Excellence Network Facing the New Challenges in Artificial Photosynthesis

Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea presented the poster: "An Excellence Network Facing the New Challenges in Artificial Photosynthesis" in the 21st International Conference on Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy in St. Petersburg, Russia by authors: : V. A. de la Peña O’Shea, F. Fresno, J. L. G. Fierro, A. Llobet, H. García, J. J. Vilatela, M. A. García-Aranda, F. Illas, S. Giménez, S. Malato.


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2016-07-25

Oral Communication: New insight into solar fuels production by artificial photosynthesis

Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea presented the talk: "New insight into solar fuels production by artificial photosynthesis " in the 21st International Conference on Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy in St. Petersburg, Russia by authors: L. Collado, P. Reñones, A. García-Sánchez, M. Liras, F. Fresno, V.A. de la Peña O`Shea.


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2016-06-27

POSTER PRESENTATION: FOTOREDUCCIÓN DE CO2 POR MEDIO DE CATALIZADORES HÍBRIDOS

Patricia Reñones presented the poster: "Fotoreducción de CO2 por Medio de catalizadores híbridos" in the "II Encuentro Jóvenes Investigadores de la SECAT" Ciudad Real, Spain by authors: P. Reñones, F. Fresno, A. García, M. Liras, L. Collado, V. A. de la Peña O’Shea


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2016-06-27

POSTER PRESENTATION: Synthesis of multifunctional Hybrid Materials: in the way to Artificial Photosynthesis

Alba García presented the poster: "Synthesis of multifunctional Hybrid Materials: in the way to Artificial Photosynthesis" in the "Valorización química sostenible de CO2" Congress in Santander, Spain, by authors: A. García, P. Reñones, F. Fresno, M. Liras, V. A. de la Peña O’Shea.


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2016-06-23

WORKSHOP: Las tecnologías CAC: una oportunidad en la mitigación del cambio climático

Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea participated in the workshop: “Las tecnologías CAC: una oportunidad en la mitigación del cambio climático” organised by the “Plataforma Tecnológica Española del CO2 (PTECO2)” network in Zaragoza, Spain.


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2016-06-16

WORKSHOP: Captura y usos del CO2: un camino hacia la sostenibilidad

Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea participated in the workshop: “Captura y usos del CO2: un camino hacia la sostenibilidad” organised by the “Plataforma Tecnológica Española del CO2 (PTECO2)” network in Bilbao, Spain.


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2016-06-14

POSTER PRESENTATION: An Excellence Network Facing the New Challenges in Artificial Photosynthesis

Fernando Fresno presented the talk: "An Excellence Network Facing the New Challenges in Artificial Photosynthesis" in the 9th European meeting on Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis: Environmental Applications (SPEA) in Strasbourg, France by authors: V. A. de la Peña O’Shea, F. Fresno, J. L. G. Fierro, A. Llobet, H. García, J. J. Vilatela, M. A. García-Aranda, F. Illas, S. Giménez, S. Malato


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2016-06-13

ORAL PRESENTATION: Boosting photocatalytic CO2 reduction: from inorganic semiconductors to hybrid multifunctional materials

Fernando Fresno presented the talk: "Boosting photocatalytic CO2 reduction: from inorganic semiconductors to hybrid multifunctional materials" in the 9th European meeting on Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis: Environmental Applications (SPEA) in Strasbourg, France by authors: Patricia Reñones, Fernando Fresno, Laura Collado, Marta Liras, Alba García-Sánchez, Víctor A. de la Peña O’Shea.


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2016-05-07

New Publication: Nitroxide amide-BODIPY probe behavior in fibroblasts analyzed by advanced fluorescence microscopy

A novel synthesized nitroxide amide-BODIPY prefluorescent probe was used to study cellular redox balance that modulates nitroxide/hydroxylamine ratio in cultured human fibroblasts. FLIM quantitatively differentiated between nitroxide states of the cytoplasm-localized probe imaged by TIRF, monitoring nitroxide depletion by hydrogen peroxide; eluding incorrect interpretation if only fluorescence intensity is considered.


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2016-05-01

NEW PhD STUDENT: Carmen García

The group welcomes Carmen García, who will be working on the design and synthesis of conducting polymers to create organic/inorganic hybrids to use as photocatalysts for the reduction of CO2.


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2016-05-01

NEW MEMBER IN THE GROUP

The group welcomes Kevin Toquero Gabuat to the group, who will be working on the new database: Art Leaf Database, which has the goal to compile, compare and share published data on CO2 valorisation.


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2016-05-01

NEW MEMBER IN THE GROUP

We are happy to welcome Mabel De Fez Febre from the Rey Juan Carlos University, who will be doing her master´s thesis with us on synthesis of photocatalysts for hydrogen production.


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2016-04-18

NEW PUBLICATION: Hierarchical TiO2 nanofibres as photocatalyst for CO2 reduction: Influence of morphology and phase composition on catalytic activity

In this research work, the gas phase CO2 photocatalytic reduction using water as electron donor has been performed using hierarchical assemblies of mesoporous TiO2 1-D nanofibres synthesised by a combination of electrospinning and sol–gel methods. In order to compare the effect of the crystallisation step on oxygen vacancies and conductivity, two different annealing conditions have been undertaken: under a high Ar flow (“TiO2 Fibres-A” sample) and under static Ar (“TiO2 Fibres B” sample). Moreover, these materials have been compared with individualised TiO2 nanoparticles prepared by a sol-gel procedure. CO and H2 are detected as major products with all photocatalysts, with lower amounts of CH4 and CH3OH. The TiO2 nanofibres exhibit better results than the sol-gel photocatalyst, behaviour that may be ascribed to an improved nanocrystals connection, which favours a fast charge transport along the grain boundaries, as measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The highest CO2 reduction activity is achieved with the TiO2 Fibres B catalyst, which gives rise to ca. 4 and 2.5 times higher H2 and CO production, respectively, than the TiO2 Fibres-A one. This sample is composed of a mixture of anatase and rutile crystalline phases (80:20), leading to a decrease in the electron-hole recombination rate observed by photoluminescence (PL) measurements.


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2016-04-12

WORKSHOP: Las tecnologías CAC: una oportunidad en la mitigación del cambio climático

Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea participated in the workshop: “Las tecnologías CAC: una oportunidad en la mitigación del cambio climático” organised by the “Plataforma Tecnológica Española del CO2 (PTECO2)” network in Mérida, Spain.


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2016-03-14

NEW PUBLICATION: Crystal phase competition by addition of a second metal cation in solid solution metal–organic frameworks

Herein we report a synthetic study focused on the preparation of solid-solution metal–organic frameworks, MOFs, with the use of two kinds of linkers. In particular, we have explored the system composed by zinc, cobalt, 1,2,4-triazole and 4,4′-hexafluoroisopropylidenebisbenzoic acid (H2hfipbb). During this study, four new MOFs have been isolated, denoted TMPF-88 [M3(hfipbb)2(triazole)2(H2O)], TMPF-90 [M2(triazole)3(OCH2CH3)], TMPF-91 [M2(hfipbb)(triazole)2(H2O)] and TMPF-95 [M5(hfipbb)4(triazole)2(H2O)] (TMPF = transition metal polymeric framework, M = Zn, Co, or mixture of them). The study demonstrates that the addition of a second metal element during the MOF synthesis has a major effect in the formation of new phases, even at very high Zn/Co metal ratios. Furthermore, we show that during the MOF formation reaction, there is a competition among different crystal phases, where kinetically favoured phases of various compositions crystallize in short reaction times, precluding the formation of the pure solid-solution phases of other energetically more stable MOFs.


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2016-01-05

NEW PUBLICATION: Role of the physicochemical properties of hausmannite on the hydrogen production via the MN 3O4–Na OH thermochemical cycle

In this work, hausmannite (Mn3O4) is used as the key component of a modified Na–Mn thermochemical cycle for hydrogen production. Although this cycle has a lower theoretical thermodynamic efficiency compared with that using MnO (54% instead of 76%), the reduction of (Mn2O3) to Mn3O4 occurs at temperatures of around 850 °C (about 550 °C lower than for MnO), and these less stringent operation conditions can be advantageous for increasing the durability of materials and reactors. The present study is mainly focused on determining how some relevant physicochemical properties affect the solid reactivity and, consequently, to the efficiency of hydrogen production. For this purpose, Mn3O4 samples with different morphological and textural characteristics were prepared by changing the conditions of the thermal treatment. These materials were characterized by XRD, SEM and temperature programmed reduction (TPR). The obtained results indicate that the surface area of Mn3O4 is the main factor affecting the hydrogen production yield, while the crystalline domain size has minor influence on the efficiency of the process. In order to explore the viability of the thermochemical cycle, the mn3O4 sample that exhibited the highest hydrogen production was submitted firstly to hydrolysis and subsequently to a thermal reduction to recover the initial oxide. This study reveals that, although the removal of Na is not complete in the low temperature stage, reducibility of the solid does not appear to be significantly modified by the presence of these impurities. Overall, these results suggest that the Mn3O4–NaOH can be a viable alternative for the production of solar hydrogen.


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NEW PUBLICATION! Visible-Light Photocatalytic




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New photonic, self-assembled metal-organic frameworks

Researchers from the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) in collaboration with Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) have developed highly porous metal-organic particles which spontaneously assemble in tridimensional superstructures. The band gap of this new material can be tuned by changing the size of its particles. This work has been published in Nature Chemistry and can be useful in a number of fields such as catalysis.


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New photonic self-assembled metal-organic framework particles

Researchers from the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) in collaboration with Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) have developed highly porous metal-organic particles which spontaneously assemble in tridimensional superstructures. The band gap of this new material can be tuned by changing the size of its particles. This work has been published in Nature Chemistry and can be useful in a number of fields such as catalysis.


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