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  • 1.
    Banari, Mohammad
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Faculty of Physics, Semnan University, P.O. Box: 35195-363, Semnan, Iran.
    Memarian, N.
    Faculty of Physics, Semnan University, P.O. Box: 35195-363, Semnan, Iran.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172, Venezia, Mestre, Italy.
    UV photodetector study based on Ce: ZnO nanostructures with different concentration of Ce dopant2023In: Optical materials (Amsterdam), ISSN 0925-3467, E-ISSN 1873-1252, Vol. 146, article id 114576Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Benetti, Daniele
    et al.
    INRS Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications.
    Dembele, Kadiatou Therese
    INRS Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications.
    Benavides, Jaime
    Département de Génie Électrique, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal.
    Zhao, Haiguang
    INRS Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, CNR-INO SENSOR Lab.
    Cloutier, Sylvain
    Département de Génie Électrique, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Rosei, Federico
    INRS Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, Institute for Fundamental and Frontier Science University of Electronic 15 Science and Technology of China, Center for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures, McGill University.
    Functionalized multi-wall carbon nanotubes/TiO2 composites as efficient photoanodes for dye sensitized solar cells2016In: Journal of Materials Chemistry C, ISSN 2050-7526, E-ISSN 2050-7534, Vol. 4, no 16, p. 3555-3562Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report on the effects of incorporation of different concentrations of carboxyl group (COOH)-functionalized multi-wall carbon nanotubes (F-MWCNTs) into TiO2 active layers for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Standard DSSCs with bare TiO2 exhibit a photo-conversion efficiency (PCE) of 6.05% and a short circuit current density (Jsc) of 13.3 mA cm−2. The presence of 2 wt% F-MWCNTs in the photoanodes increases the PCE up to 7.95% and Jsc up to 17.5 mA cm−2. The photoanodes were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The electrochemical behaviour of the solar cells was investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We attribute the improved performances to the combined effect of increased dye loading and reduced charge recombination (as clarified by dye loading and EIS measurements), due to the conformal coverage of F-MWCNTs, which allows fast and efficient charge collection in operating solar cells. These results can help in improving the PCE in DSSCs in an elegant and straightforward way, minimizing the need of additional steps (e.g. pre- and post-treatment with TiCl4) for photoanode preparation.

  • 3.
    Bianchi, F.
    et al.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Careni, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Mangia, A.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Mattarozzi, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Musci, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Concina, Isabella
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti 9, 25133 Brescia, Italy.
    Gobbi, Emanuela
    Dipartimento di Biologia e Protezione delle Piante, Università di Udine, Via Scienze 208, 33100 Udine, Italy.
    Characterisation of the volatile profile of orange juice contaminated with Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris2010In: Food Chemistry, ISSN 0308-8146, E-ISSN 1873-7072, Vol. 123, no 3, p. 653-658Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A rapid and reliable analytical method, based on the characterisation of the volatile profile by dynamic headspace extraction followed by gas chromatography mass-spectrometry, was developed in order to early detect Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spoilage in orange juice. Gas chromatographic peak areas were submitted to multivariate statistical analysis (principal component and linear discriminant analysis) in order to visualise clusters within samples and to detect the volatile compounds able to differentiate contaminated from not-contaminated samples. Significant differences in the volatile profile of the analysed samples were found, assessing the reliability of the proposed method to detect the A. acidoterrestris contamination in orange juice.Neither guaiacol nor 2,6-dibromophenol, usually regarded as A. acidoterrestris contamination markers, were detected in the analysed samples.

  • 4.
    Bianchi, F.
    et al.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Careri, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Mangia, A.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Mattarozzi, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Musci, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Concina, Isabella
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti 9, 25133 Brescia, Italy; CNR-Istituto di Biofisica, Via La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti 9, 25133 Brescia, Italy.
    Gobbi, Emanuela
    DBADP, Università di Udine, Via Scienze 208, 33100 Udine, Italy.
    Pardo, Matteo
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti 9, 25133 Brescia, Italy.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti 9, 25133 Brescia, Italy.
    Differentiation of the volatile profile of microbiologically contaminated canned tomatoes by dynamic headspace extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis2009In: Talanta: The International Journal of Pure and Applied Analytical Chemistry, ISSN 0039-9140, E-ISSN 1873-3573, Vol. 77, no 3, p. 962-970Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aromatic profile of microbiologically contaminated canned tomatoes was analyzed by the dynamic headspace extraction technique coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Canned tomatoes contaminated with Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergillus carbonarius were analyzed after 2 and 7 days. About 100 volatiles were detected, among which alcohols, aldehydes and ketones were the most abundant compounds. Gas chromatographic peak areas were used for statistical purposes. First, principal component analysis was carried out in order to visualize data trends and clusters. Then, linear discriminant analysis was performed in order to detect the set of volatile compounds ables to differentiate groups of analyzed samples. Five volatile compounds, i.e. ethanol, beta-myrcene,o-methyl styrene, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-ol and 1-octanol, were found to be able to better discriminate between uncontaminated and contaminated samples. Prediction ability of the calculated model was estimated to be 100% by the "leave-one-out" cross-validation. An electronic nose device was then used to analyze the same contaminated and not contaminated canned tomato samples. Preliminary results were compared with those obtained by dynamic headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, showing a good agreement.

  • 5.
    Braga, Antonio
    et al.
    Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices Group.
    Giménez, Sixto
    Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices Group.
    Concina, Isabella
    Department of Physics and Chemistry, INFM — University of Brescia.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Department of Physics and Chemistry for Materials and Engineering and CNR-IDASC SENSOR Lab, Brescia University.
    Mora-Seró, Iván
    Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices Group.
    Panchromatic sensitized solar cells based on metal sulfide quantum dots grown directly on nanostructured TiO2 electrodes2011In: Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol. 2, no 5, p. 454-460Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of narrow band gap semiconductors such as PbS may expand the light absorption range to the near-infrared region in quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs), increasing the generated photocurrent. However, the application of PbS as a sensitizer in QDSCs causes some problems of stability and high recombination. Here, we show that the direct growth of a CdS coating layer on previously deposited PbS by the simple method of successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) minimizes these problems. A remarkable short-circuit current density for PbS/CdS QDSCs is demonstrated, ∼11 mA/cm2, compared to that of PbS QDSCs, with photocurrents lower than 4 mA/cm2, using polysulfide electrolyte in both cells. The cell efficiency reached a promising 2.21% under 1 sun of simulated irradiation (AM1.5G, 100 mW/cm2). Enhancement of the solar cell performance beyond the arithmetic addition of the efficiencies of the single constituents (PbS and CdS) is demonstrated for the nanocomposite PbS/CdS configuration. PbS dramatically increases the obtained photocurrents, and the CdS coating stabilizes the solar cell behavior. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  • 6.
    Comini, Elisabetta
    et al.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Baratto, Camilla
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Concina, Isabella
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Faglia, Guido
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Ferroni, Matteo
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Galstyan, Vardan
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Gobbi, Emanuela
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Ponzoni, Andrea
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Zappa, Dario
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Sberveglieri, Veronica
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Metal oxide nanoscience and nanotechnology for chemical sensors2013In: Sensors and actuators. B, Chemical, ISSN 0925-4005, E-ISSN 1873-3077, Vol. 179, p. 3-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on the capabilities and development prospects of nanostructured metal oxides (MOX) representing the most versatile and richest class of materials in terms of electronic structure and structural, chemical, and physical properties. MOX nano-materials with controlled composition, surface terminations, and crystalline structures to be used as chemical sensors as a new area in analytical chemistry and instrument engineering are discussed. Their principles of operation, and basic characteristics are outlined and main applications of MOX sensor technology are presented. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 7.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Bornsek, M
    Pivovarna Union Dd, Ljubljana.
    Baccilliere, S
    ARPAV, Dipartimento Reg, Lab SL di Padova.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, University of Brescia.
    Gobbi, Emanuela
    Biodivers SPA, Brescia,, Univ Udine.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Alicyclobacillus spp Detection in soft drinks by Electronic Nose2010In: Food Research International, ISSN 0963-9969, E-ISSN 1873-7145, Vol. 43, no 8, p. 2108-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper the skill of an electronic nose to early diagnose the natural contamination by Alicyclobacillus spp in commercial flavoured drinks is presented The instrument was able to identify contaminated products at very low bacterial loads (tens of copies/ml) with an excellent classification rate (almost 100%) The identification of Alicyclobacillus spp by means of the electronic nose was not based on the analysis of the secondary metabolites as it is done by classical analytical techniques thus allowing a surprising capability in recognising the contaminated products at early stage of growth This study strongly suggests the use of the Electronic Noses as screening tools in industrial quality control laboratories but at the same time it underlines some limits still present in the technology

  • 8.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    INFM-CNR Sensor Lab.
    Bornsek, M
    Pivovarna Union Dd, Ljubljana.
    Baccilliere, S
    ARPAV, Dipartimento Reg, Lab SL di Padova.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, University of Brescia.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Electronic Nose: A Promising Tool For Early Detection Of Alicyclobacillus spp In Soft Drinks2009In: Olfaction and electronic nose, 2009, Vol. 1137, p. 535-536Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the present work we investigate the potential use of the Electronic Nose EOS835 (SACMI scarl, Italy) to early detect Alicyclobacillus spp in two flavoured soft drinks. These bacteria have been acknowledged by producer companies as a major quality control target microorganisms because of their ability to survive commercial pasteurization processes and produce taint compounds in final product. Electronic Nose was able to distinguish between uncontaminated and contaminated products before the taint metabolites were identifiable by an untrained panel. Classification tests showed an excellent rate of correct classification for both drinks (from 86% no to 100%). High performance liquid chromatography analyses showed no presence of the main metabolite at a level of 200 ppb, thus confirming the skill of the Electronic Nose technology in performing an actual early diagnosis of contamination.

  • 9.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Comini, Elisabetta
    University of Brescia, CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Kacilius, S.
    CNR-ISMN, Institute for the Study of Nanostructured Materials, Rome.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Quantum dots as mediators in gas sensing: A case study of CdS sensitized WO3 sensing composites2014In: Applied Surface Science, ISSN 0169-4332, E-ISSN 1873-5584, Vol. 290, p. 295-300Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study the proof of principle of the use of naked semiconductor directly generated on metal oxide surface as mediators in gas sensing is provided. Successive ionic layer absorption and reaction (SILAR) technique has been applied to sensitize a WO3 thin film with CdS quantum dots. Response to gases of bare WO3 is deeply modified: quantum dots dramatically increase the metal oxide conductance, otherwise rather poor, and modify the capability of detecting environmental pollutants, such as CO and NO2. A modified sensing mechanism is proposed to rationalize the mediation exerted by the semiconducting active layer on the interaction between gaseous species and WO3 surface.

  • 10.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR-Istituto di Biofisica, Via La Malfa, 153 – 90146 Palermo, Italy.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti, 9 – 25133 Brescia, Italy.
    Gobbi, Emanuela
    DBADP, Università di Udine, Via Scienze, 208 – 33100 Udine, Italy; Biodiversity s.p.a., Via Corfù, 71 – 25124 Brescia, Italy.
    Bianchi, F.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Musci, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Mattarozzi, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Pardo, Matteo
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti, 9 – 25133 Brescia, Italy.
    Mangia, A.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Careri, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e per i Materiali, Università di Brescia, Via Valotti, 9 – 25133 Brescia, Italy.
    Early detection of microbial contamination in processed tomatoes by electronic nose2009In: Food Control, ISSN 0956-7135, E-ISSN 1873-7129, Vol. 20, no 10, p. 873-880Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Microbial contamination can easily affect processed tomato, thus determining both organoleptic adulterations and potential health risks for customers. Innovative techniques for a rapid and reliable diagnose of spoilage, such as electronic nose technology, are highly requested in order to guarantee food safety and to improve production. In this work canned peeled tomatoes were artificially spoiled with different kinds of microbial flora and then were analyzed by means of an electronic nose based on thin film metal oxide gas sensors. Preliminary analyses by dynamic-headspace gas chromatographic-mass spectrometry showed significant differences in the semi-quantitative volatile compounds profile of spoiled tomato samples just after few hours from contamination, thus suggesting to employ the electronic nose for an early diagnose of microbial presence. The electronic nose was indeed able to reveal contamination, even at early stages depending on the type of contaminant (e.g. for Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli), and to recognize spoiled tomato samples with good classification performances.

  • 11.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Electronic Noses As Flexible Tools For Evaluating Food Quality And Safety: Can We Trust Them?2011In: OLFACTION AND ELECTRONIC NOSE, 2011, p. 109-110Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since most food adulterations are reflected on volatile chemical profile, Electronic Noses (ENs) appear as excellent candidates for process monitoring, freshness evaluation, shelf-life investigation, sensory and authenticity assessment, microbial contamination diagnosis [1]. In this study three applications recently carried out in our laboratory are presented and discussed, with the aim to illustrate three paradigmatic and diverse issues related to food quality control in which EN can find application and discuss the reliability of sensor technology in food analysis.

  • 12.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, University of Brescia.
    Sberveglieri, Veronica
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, University of Brescia.
    Electronic noses as flexible tools to assess food quality and safety: Should we trust them?2012In: IEEE Sensors Journal, ISSN 1530-437X, E-ISSN 1558-1748, Vol. 12, no 11, p. 3232-3237, article id 6189022Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents three different applications of an electronic nose (EN) based on a metal oxide sensor array, in order to illustrate the broad spectrum of potential uses of the technique in food quality control. The following scenarios are considered: 1) the screening of a typical error that may occur during the processing of tomato pulp, which leads to sensory damage of the product; 2) the detection of microbial contamination by Alicyclobacillus spp. (ACB) affecting soft drinks; and 3) the proof of evidence of extra virgin olive oil fraudulently adulterated with hazelnut oil. In each case, the EN is able to identify the spoiled product by means of the alterations in the pattern of volatile compounds, reconstructed by principal component analysis of the sensor responses.

  • 13.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Chemistry and Physics Department, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Frison, Enrico
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, ITM-CNR (Sezione di Padova), University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Via Marzolo 1, Italy.
    Braga, Antonio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Chemistry and Physics Department, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Silvestrini, Simone
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, ITM-CNR (Sezione di Padova), University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Via Marzolo 1, Italy.
    Maggini, Michele
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, ITM-CNR (Sezione di Padova), University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Via Marzolo 1, Italy.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Chemistry and Physics Department, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Chemistry and Physics Department, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Carofiglio, Tommaso
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, ITM-CNR (Sezione di Padova), University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Via Marzolo 1, Italy.
    On-line monitoring and active control of dye uptake in dye-sensitised solar cells2011In: Chemical Communications, ISSN 1359-7345, E-ISSN 1364-548X, Vol. 47, no 42, p. 11656-11658Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Ibupoto, Zafar Hussain
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Dr. M. A. Kazi Institute of Chemistry University of Sindh Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Semiconducting metal oxide nanostructures for water splitting and photovoltaics2017In: Advanced Energy Materials, ISSN 1614-6832, E-ISSN 1614-6840, Vol. 7, no 23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Metal oxide (MOx) semiconducting nanostructures hold the potential for playing a critical role in the development of a new platform for renewable energies, including energy conversion and storage through photovoltaic effect, solar fuels, and water splitting. Earth-abundant MOx nanostructures can be prepared through simple and scalable routes and integrated in operating devices, which enable exploitation of their outstanding optical, electronic, and catalytic properties. In this review, the latest research results in this field are illustrated, highlighting the versatility of MOx nanostructures in meeting the stringent requirements to boost the efficiency of different systems. The functional properties inherently correlate to the morphology and the crystalline habit of MOx, which in most of the cases are organized in complex heterostructures. Tailoring the assembly of heterojunctions and their electronic band structure, the catalytic surface properties and the charge transport through complex networks represent the main challenge for the transition of MOx from the research to the real-life in the field of energy conversion and storage.

  • 15.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Ibupoto, Zafar
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Kazi Institute of Chemistry University of Sindh Jamshoro.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Electrochemical Water Splitting: Semiconducting Metal Oxide Nanostructures for Water Splitting and Photovoltaics2017In: Advanced Energy Materials, ISSN 1614-6832, E-ISSN 1614-6840, Vol. 7, no 23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Semiconducting metal oxide nanostructures represent an appealing class of materials to be applied as efficient electrodes in electrochemical and photoelectrochemical water splitting and in photovoltaics. In article number 1700706, Isabella Concina, Zafar Hussain Ibupoto, and Alberto Vomiero review the latest achievements in the field, illustrating how the structural and functional properties of metal oxides and metal oxide composites can be optimized for targeted applications.

  • 16.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Università di Brescia.
    Manzoni, Cristian
    Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (IFN)-CNR, Politecnico di Milano.
    Granchini, Giulia
    Center for Nano Science and Technology@Polimi, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.
    Celikin, Mert
    INRS Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications.
    Soudi, Afsoon
    INRS Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications.
    Rosei, Federico
    INRS Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications.
    Zavelani-Rossi, Margherita
    Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Milano, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (IFN)-CNR.
    Cerullo, Giulio
    Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Milano, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (IFN)-CNR.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Modulating Exciton Dynamics in Composite Nanocrystals for Excitonic Solar Cells2015In: Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, ISSN 1948-7185, E-ISSN 1948-7185, Vol. 6, no 13, p. 2489-2495Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Quantum dots (QDs) represent one of the most promising materials for third-generation solar cells due to their potential to boost the photoconversion efficiency beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit. Composite nanocrystals can challenge the current scenario by combining broad spectral response and tailored energy levels to favor charge extraction and reduce energy and charge recombination. We synthesized PbS/CdS QDs with different compositions at the surface of TiO2 nanoparticles assembled in a mesoporous film. The ultrafast photoinduced dynamics and the charge injection processes were investigated by pump-probe spectroscopy. We demonstrated good injection of photogenerated electrons from QDs to TiO2 in the PbS/CdS blend and used the QIN to fabricate solar cells. The fine-tuning of chemical composition and size of lead and cadmium chalcogenide QDs led to highly efficient PV devices (3% maximum photoconversion efficiency). This combined study paves the way to the full exploitation of QDs in next-generation photovoltaic (PV) devices.

  • 17.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Memarian, N.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Selopal, G. S.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Natile, M. M.
    CNR-ISTM.
    Sberveglieri, G.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Spray-assisted silar deposition of cadmium sulphide quantum dots on metal oxide films for excitonic solar cells2013In: Journal of Power Sources, ISSN 0378-7753, E-ISSN 1873-2755, Vol. 240, p. 736-744Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The proof of principle of the successful application of spray deposition to the SILAR (successive ionic layer absorption and reaction) technique, one of the most effective strategies to sensitized TiO2 scaffold with QDs, is demonstrated. Systematically improved optical features of the materials (higher optical density together with reduced nanocrystal sizes) as well as of the functional performances of QD solar cells (photoconversion efficiency, fill factor, short circuit current, open circuit voltage) sensitized via SD-SILAR, with respect to traditional SILAR sensitization based on impregnation, are demonstrated. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 18.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Natile, M.
    Department of Chemical Sciences and INSTM Padova, Padova University.
    Braga, A.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Department of Physics and Chemistry for Materials and Engineering and CNR-IDASC SENSOR Lab, Brescia University.
    Morandi, V.
    CNR-IMM Sezione di Bologna.
    Ortolani, L.
    CNR-IMM Sezione di Bologna.
    Ferroni, M.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Sberveglieri, G.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    One pot synthesis of bi-linker stabilised CdSe quantum dots2010In: Journal of Physics, Conference Series, ISSN 1742-6588, E-ISSN 1742-6596, Vol. 244, article id 12067Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we exploited the classic Murray's synthesis for generating a hydrophilic CdSe quantum dot system in a single step procedure, with the aim of directly obtaining a material responding to the characteristic of polarity required in many end applications. 6-phosphonohexanoic acid was used as both ligand for generating the active monomer during the synthesis of the quantum dots and final stabiliser. Diffraction measurements identified the cubic phase of cadmium selenide. Energy dispersive spectroscopy analysis revealed non-stoichiometric quantum dots, being the Cd/Se ratio 60/40. This feature suggests a configuration in which Cd2+ ions are present on the nanocrystal surface. Diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform analysis was applied in order to investigate the structure of the quantum dot system: the results indicate a configuration in which the carboxylic function of 6-phosphonohexanoic acid establishes only a partial interaction with the quantum dot surface, being set in a pseudo-ester configuration. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

  • 19.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory, Brescia University, 25133 Brescia, via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Natile, M. M.
    Department of Chemical Science, INSTM Padova, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, via Marzolo 1, Italy.
    Ferroni, M.
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory, Brescia University, 25133 Brescia, via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Migliori, A.
    CNR-IMM Sezione di Bologna, 40129 Bologna, via Gobetti 101, Italy.
    Morandi, V.
    CNR-IMM Sezione di Bologna, 40129 Bologna, via Gobetti 101, Italy.
    Ortolani, L.
    CNR-IMM Sezione di Bologna, 40129 Bologna, via Gobetti 101, Italy.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory, Brescia University, 25133 Brescia, via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Sberveglieri, G.
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory, Brescia University, 25133 Brescia, via Valotti 9, Italy.
    CdSe spherical quantum dots stabilised by thiomalic acid: Biphasic wet synthesis and characterisation2011In: ChemPhysChem, ISSN 1439-4235, E-ISSN 1439-7641, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 863-870Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory, 25131 Brescia, via Branze 45, Italy.
    Natile, Marta Maria
    CNR-ISTM, INSTM, University of Padova, Padova, 35131 Padova, via Marzolo, 1, Italy.
    Tondello, Eugenio
    CNR-ISTM, INSTM, University of Padova, Padova, 35131 Padova, via Marzolo, 1, Italy.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory, 25131 Brescia, via Branze 45, Italy.
    Growth kinetics of CdSe quantum dots generated in polar polymers2012In: Dalton Transactions, ISSN 1477-9226, E-ISSN 1477-9234, Vol. 41, no 47, p. 14354-14359Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Selopal, Gurpreet S.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Milan, Riccardo
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Light harvester band gap engineering in excitonic solar cells: A case study on semiconducting quantum dots sensitized rainbow solar cells2014In: Pure and Applied Chemistry, ISSN 0033-4545, E-ISSN 1365-3075, Vol. 86, no 5, p. 575-584Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A systematic study on the fabrication of quantum dots sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) exploiting hybrid networks of semiconducting light harvesters is presented, which shows how the engineering of band gaps of the device components by a very simple technique allows improving the solar energy conversion performances. Panchromatic devices are fabricated and tested, and correspondent functional parameters analyzed in order to highlight both advantages and drawbacks of the most common (CdS, CdSe, PbS) quantum dots applied for light collection in QDSSCs. Judicious engineering of the light harvester layer is demonstrated as a simple and powerful strategy for boosting device performances, through the management of light collection in a rather broad range of solar spectrum and photogenerated charges injection and collection. © 2014 IUPAC & De Gruyter.

  • 22.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Selopal, Gurpreet S.
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia, CNR-INO SENSOR Lab.
    Milan, Riccardo
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia, CNR-INO SENSOR Lab.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia and SENSOR Laboratory, CNR-INO.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia, CNR-INO SENSOR Lab.
    Engineering metal oxide structures for efficient photovoltaic devices2014In: Oxide-based materials and devices V: 2 - 5 February 2014, San Francisco, California, United States ; [proceedings of the Fifth Annual Oxide Based Materials and Devices Conference ... held at SPIE photonics west] / [ed] Ferechteh Hosseini Teherani, Bellingham, Wash.: SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering, 2014, article id 89872EConference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Metal oxide-based photoanodes are critical components of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), which are photoelectrochemical cells for the conversion of solar energy, promising to have several benefits as compared with their traditional counterparts. A careful engineering of the wide band gap metal oxide composing the photoanode, as well as their process design, is strategic for improving device performances and for planning a near future production scale up, especially devoted to reducing the environmental impact of the device fabrication. Herein, we present the application of ZnO hierarchical structures as efficient materials to be applied as photoanodes in DSSC, in the perspective of looking for alternative to TiO2 nanoparticles, currently the most exploited metal oxide in these devices. © 2014 SPIE.

  • 23.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Fluid and Experimental Mechanics. Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Metal Oxide Semiconductors for Dye- and Quantum-Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells2015In: Small, ISSN 1613-6810, E-ISSN 1613-6829, Vol. 11, no 15, p. 1744-1774Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This Review provides a brief summary of the most recent research developments in the synthesis and application of nanostructured metal oxide semiconductors for dye sensitized and quantum dot sensitized solar cells. In these devices, the wide bandgap semiconducting oxide acts as the photoanode, which provides the scaffold for light harvesters (either dye molecules or quantum dots) and electron collection. For this reason, proper tailoring of the optical and electronic properties of the photoanode can significantly boost the functionalities of the operating device. Optimization of the functional properties relies with modulation of the shape and structure of the photoanode, as well as on application of different materials (TiO2, ZnO, SnO2) and/or composite systems, which allow fine tuning of electronic band structure. This aspect is critical because it determines exciton and charge dynamics in the photoelectrochemical system and is strictly connected to the photoconversion efficiency of the solar cell. The different strategies for increasing light harvesting and charge collection, inhibiting charge losses due to recombination phenomena, are reviewed thoroughly, highlighting the benefits of proper photoanode preparation, and its crucial role in the development of high efficiency dye sensitized and quantum dot sensitized solar cells.

  • 24.
    Concina, Isabella
    et al.
    CNR-IDASC SENSOR Laboratory.
    Zecca, M
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Stabilisation of monometallic nanoparticles by polyamide 62011In: Journal of nanoparticle research, ISSN 1388-0764, E-ISSN 1572-896X, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 1289-1300Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Monometallic metal nanoparticles (Pd, Pt, Ag and Ru) stabilised by polyamide 6 (PA6) have been prepared via a polyol process sustained by microwave irradiation. PA6 proved to be a good stabiliser, being spherical particles with little dimensional dispersion identified by transmission electron microscopy. Due to the inclusion of the metals in small amount (up to 3% w/w) into the macromolecular lattice, the polymer underwent changes in thermal behaviour, which, however, do not impair the possibility to process the material. The observed changes in differential scanning calorimetry curves indicated that metal containing PA6 materials are less crystalline and ordered than pure PA6. This was confirmed by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform analysis, which indicated that the introduction of the metal nanoparticles lowered the conformational order of the polymer matrix and partly disrupted the hydrogen bond network of the polyamide.

  • 25.
    Cruzata, O.
    et al.
    Universidad de La Habana, Technological Laser Laboratory, La Habana, Cuba.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Universita degli Studi di Brescia, Department of Information Engineering, Brescia, Italy.
    Vaillant, Lídice
    Universidad de La Habana, División ENERMAT, La Habana, Cuba.
    Rotary sample holder design for the optimization of the nanostructures seeding [Diseñ o de porta-muestra rotatorio para la optimizació n del proceso de sedimentació n de nanoestructuras]2017In: Revista Cubana de Fisica, ISSN 0253-9268, E-ISSN 2224-7939, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 140-142Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A cylinder-plug device capable of holding a sample and rotating at 2000 turns per second in a stable fashion was designed and constructed. It reproduces the working principle of a commercial spin-coating system to grow films. The device was successfully used in the activation by nucleation centers of ZnO on glass for the hydrothermal obtainment of ZnO nanorods, of potential use in nanostructured solar cells.

  • 26.
    Dembele, Kadiatou Therese
    et al.
    INRS-EMT.
    Selopal, Gurpreet Singh
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Milan, Riccardo
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Trudeau, Charles
    Département de Génie Électrique, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal.
    Benetti, Daniele
    INRS-EMT.
    Soudi, Afsoon
    INRS-EMT.
    Natile, Marta Maria
    CNR-IENI.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Cloutier, Sylvain
    Département de Génie Électrique, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal.
    Concina, Isabella
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia.
    Rosei, Federico
    INRS-EMT.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Graphene below the percolation threshold in TiO2 for dye-sensitized solar cells2015In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ISSN 2050-7488, Vol. 3, no 6, p. 2580-2588Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We demonstrate a fast and large area-scalable methodology for the fabrication of efficient dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) by simple addition of graphene micro-platelets to TiO2 nanoparticulate paste (graphene concentration in the range of 0 to 1.5 wt%). Two dimensional (2D) Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) confirm the presence of graphene after 500°C annealing for 30 minutes. Graphene addition increases the photocurrent density from 12.4 mA cm-2 in bare TiO2 to 17.1 mA cm-2 in an optimized photoanode (0.01 wt% graphene, much lower than those reported in previous studies), boosting the photoconversion efficiency (PCE) from 6.3 up to 8.8%. The investigation of the 2D graphene distribution showed that an optimized concentration is far below the percolation threshold, indicating that the increased PCE does not rely on the formation of an interconnected network, as inferred by prior investigations, but rather, on increased charge injection from TiO2 to the front electrode. These results give insights into the role of graphene in improving the functional properties of DSSCs and identifying a straightforward methodology for the synthesis of new photoanodes.

  • 27.
    Dembele, Kadiatou Therese
    et al.
    Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique.
    Selopal, Gurpreet Singh
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Soldano, Caterina
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Nechache, Riad
    Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique.
    Rimada, Julio Cesar
    Solar Cells Laboratory, Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMRE), University of Havana.
    Concina, Isabella
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Rosei, Federico
    Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Hybrid carbon nanotubes-TiO2 photoanodes for high efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells2013In: The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, ISSN 1932-7447, E-ISSN 1932-7455, Vol. 117, no 28, p. 14510-14517Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We describe a fast and effective procedure for the preparation of high efficiency hybrid photoanodes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), based on nanocrystalline TiO2 with limited addition of multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The mixing process between CNTs and TiO2 nanoparticles is almost instantaneous, which makes it feasible for large-scale fabrication. Enhanced electron lifetime and reduced charge recombination lead to highly increased short circuit current density and overall photoconversion efficiency (from 13.6 mA cm-2 to 16.0 mA cm-2 and from 7.0% to 9.0%, respectively, considering the bare TiO2 and the optimum CNTs concentration, which is 0.010 wt %), while the small reduction in open circuit photovoltage does not significantly affect cell performances. This result is remarkable since a standard dye molecule (N719) was used and no chemical treatments of the photoanodes prior to cell fabrication were applied (i.e., soaking in TiCl4 to boost open circuit photovoltage). © 2013 American Chemical Society.

  • 28.
    Di Mauro, Alessandro
    et al.
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania.
    Landström, Anton
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Impellizzeri, Giuliana
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce.
    Privitera, Vittorio
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy.
    Epifani, Mauro
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.
    Surface Modification by Vanadium Pentoxide Turns Oxide Nanocrystals into Powerful Adsorbents of Methylene Blue2019In: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, ISSN 0021-9797, E-ISSN 1095-7103, Vol. 533, p. 369-374Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hypothesis: If nanocrystals of such semiconductor as SnO2 and TiO2, which are not known as powerful adsorbents, have their surface modified by layer of V2O5, how will the adsorption properties be affected? Answering this question would provide a new set of surface properties to be designed by surface engineering of oxide nanocrystals.

    Experiments: SnO2 and TiO2 colloidal nanocrystals were prepared by coupling sol-gel and solvothermal synthesis. By co-processing with V chloroalkoxide and subsequent heat-treatment at 400-500 °C, surface deposition of V2O5 layers was obtained. The methylene blue adsorption onto the prepared materials was tested and compared with the pure oxide supports. Cycling of the materials and analysis of the adsorption process was also investigated.

    Findings: The V-modified nanocrystals extracted ∼ 80% methylene blue from 1.5 x 10-5 M aqueous solution after 15 min only, contrarily to pure materials, which took up only 30% of the dye even after 120 min. Comparison with pure commercial V2O5 showed that the peculiar adsorption properties were imparted by the surface deposition of the V2O5-like layers. This report demonstrates that new classes of adsorbing materials can be conceived by suitably coupling different metal oxides.

  • 29.
    Di Mauro, Alessandro
    et al.
    CNR-IMM, Via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy.
    Natile, Marta Maria
    Istituto di Chimica della Materia Condensata e Tecnologie per l’Energia, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ICMATE-CNR) and Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova, Via F. Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova, Italy.
    Landström, Anton
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Ferroni, Matteo
    Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia, Via Branze, Brescia, Italy. CNR-IMM, Via Gobetti, Bologna, Italy.
    Privitera, Vittorio
    CNR-IMM, Via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy.
    Impellizzeri, Giuliana
    CNR-IMM, Via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy.
    Epifani, Mauro
    CNR-IMM, Via Monteroni c/o Campus Universitario, 73100 Lecce, Italy.
    Visible Light Photodegradation of Dyes and Paracetamol by Direct Sensitization Mechanism onto Metallic MoO2 Nanocrystals2021In: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, ISSN 1010-6030, E-ISSN 1873-2666, Vol. 413, article id 113258Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    MoO2 nanocrystals were prepared by solvothermal treatment of a Mo chloromethoxide at 250 °C in oleic acid. The monoclinic MoO2 phase, with a mean crystallite size of 29 nm, formed through reduction of molybdenum bronzes. The as-prepared MoO2 nanocrystals were free from organics, allowing their use in photodegradation tests of organic pollutants (methylene blue, rhodamine B, paracetamol), without any preliminary purification treatment of the nanocrystals. It was found that MoO2 was an efficient adsorbent of methylene blue (43 mg g-1 for 1.5 × 10−4 M concentration) in the dark and an efficient photodegradation catalyst under visible light (all methylene blue removed from the solution after 240 min). From the analysis of the combined photodegradation tests of rhodamine B and paracetamol, it was clarified that direct sensitization was responsible for photodegradation. This finding was related to the work function value of metallic MoO2, placed at more negative values if compared with other metallic materials.

  • 30.
    Dobryden, Illia
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Division of Surface and Corrosion Science, Department of Chemistry, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; .
    Borgani, Riccardo
    Nanostructure Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Rigoni, Federica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venezia Mestre, Italy.
    Ghamgosar, Pedram
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Almqvist, Nils
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venezia Mestre, Italy.
    Nanoscale characterization of an all-oxide core-shell nanorod heterojunction using intermodulation atomic force microscopy (AFM) methods2021In: Nanoscale Advances, E-ISSN 2516-0230, Vol. 3, no 15, p. 4388-4394Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The electrical properties of an all-oxide core–shell ZnO–Co3O4 nanorod heterojunction were studied in the dark and under UV-vis illumination. The contact potential difference and current distribution maps were obtained utilizing new methods in dynamic multifrequency atomic force microscopy (AFM) such as electrostatic and conductive intermodulation AFM. Light irradiation modified the electrical properties of the nanorod heterojunction. The new techniques are able to follow the instantaneous local variation of the photocurrent, giving a two-dimensional (2D) map of the current–voltage curves and correlating the electrical and morphological features of the heterostructured core–shell nanorods.

  • 31.
    Epafini, Mauro
    et al.
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR.
    Kaciulis, Saulius
    Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, ISMN-CNR.
    Mezzi, Alessio
    Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, ISMN-CNR.
    Altamura, Davide
    Istituto di Cristallografia, IC-CNR.
    Giannini, Cinzia
    Istituto di Cristallografia, IC-CNR.
    Díaz, Raül
    Electrochemical Processes Unit, IMDEA Energy Institute, Avda.
    Force, Carmen
    NMR Unit, Centro de Apoyo Tecnológico, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.
    Genç, Aziz
    Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Campus UAB, Bellaterra.
    Arbiol, Jordi
    Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Campus UAB, Bellaterra.
    Pietro, Siciliano
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR.
    Comini, Elisabetta
    Department of Information Engineering, Brescia University.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Inorganic Photocatalytic Enhancement: Activated RhB Photodegradation by Surface Modification of SnO2 Nanocrystals with V2O5-like species2017In: Scientific Reports, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 44763Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    SnO2 nanocrystals were prepared by precipitation in dodecylamine at 100 °C, then they were reacted with vanadium chloromethoxide in oleic acid at 250 °C. The resulting materials were heat-treated at various temperatures up to 650 °C for thermal stabilization, chemical purification and for studying the overall structural transformations. From the crossed use of various characterization techniques, it emerged that the as-prepared materials were constituted by cassiterite SnO2 nanocrystals with a surface modified by isolated V(IV) oxide species. After heat-treatment at 400 °C, the SnO2 nanocrystals were wrapped by layers composed of vanadium oxide (IV-V mixed oxidation state) and carbon residuals. After heating at 500 °C, only SnO2 cassiterite nanocrystals were obtained, with a mean size of 2.8 nm and wrapped by only V2O5-like species. The samples heat-treated at 500 °C were tested as RhB photodegradation catalysts. At 10-7 M concentration, all RhB was degraded within 1 h of reaction, at a much faster rate than all pure SnO2 materials reported until now.

  • 32.
    Epifani, Mauro
    et al.
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Lecce, Italy.
    Kaciulis, Saulius
    Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, ISMN-CNR, Roma, Italy.
    Mezzi, Alessio
    Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, ISMN-CNR, Roma, Italy.
    Altamura, Davide
    Istituto di Cristallografia, IC-CNR, Bari, Italy.
    Giannini, Cinzia
    Istituto di Cristallografia, IC-CNR, Bari, Italy.
    Tang, Pengyi
    Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Morante, Joan R.
    Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Arbiol, Jordi
    Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; ICREA, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Siciliano, Pietro
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Lecce, Italy.
    Comini, Elisabetta
    Department of Information Engineering, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy; SENSOR, Brescia University & CNR INO, Brescia, Italy.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Solvothermal Synthesis, Gas-Sensing Properties, and Solar Cell-Aided Investigation of TiO2-MoOx Nanocrystals2017In: ChemNanoMat, E-ISSN 2199-692X, Vol. 3, no 11, p. 798-807Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Titania anatase nanocrystals were prepared by sol-gel/solvothermal synthesis in oleic acid at 250 °C, and modified by co-reaction with Mo chloroalkoxide, aimed at investigating the effects on gas-sensing properties induced by tailored nanocrystals surface modification with ultra-thin layers of MoOx species. For the lowest Mo concentration, only anatase nanocrystals were obtained, surface modified by a disordered ultra-thin layer of mainly octahedral MoVI oxide species. For larger Mo concentrations, early MoO2 phase segregation occurred. Upon heat treatment up to 500 °C, the sample with the lowest Mo concentration did not feature any Mo oxide phase segregation, and the surface Mo layer was converted to dense octahedral MoVI oxide. At larger Mo concentrations all segregated MoO2 was converted to MoO3. The two different materials typologies, depending on the Mo concentration, were used for processing gas-sensing devices and tested toward acetone and carbon monoxide, which gave a greatly enhanced response, for all Mo concentrations, to acetone (two orders of magnitude) and carbon monoxide with respect to pure TiO2. For the lowest Mo concentration, dye-sensitized solar cells were also prepared to investigate the influence of anatase surface modification on the electrical transport properties, which showed that the charge transport mainly occurred in the ultra-thin MoOx surface layer.

  • 33.
    Epifani, Mauro
    et al.
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Via Monteroni, Lecce, Italy.
    Kaciulis, Saulius
    Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, ISMN–CNR, Roma, Italy.
    Mezzi, Alessio
    Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, ISMN–CNR, Roma, Italy.
    Zhan, Ting
    Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC BIST, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Arbiol, Jordi
    Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC BIST, Campus UAB, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. ICREA, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Siciliano, Pietro
    Istituto per la Microelettronica e i Microsistemi, IMM-CNR, Via Monteroni, Lecce, Italy.
    Landström, Anton
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Moumen, Abderrahim
    Department of Information Engineering, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy.
    Comini, Elisabetta
    Department of Information Engineering, Brescia University, Brescia, Italy.
    Xiangfeng, Chu
    School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Anhui University of Technology, Maanshan, Anhui, PR China.
    Rhodium as efficient additive for boosting acetone sensing by TiO2 nanocrystals: Beyond the classical view of noble metal additives2020In: Sensors and actuators. B, Chemical, ISSN 0925-4005, E-ISSN 1873-3077, Vol. 319, article id 128338Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Anatase TiO2 nanocrystals were prepared by solvothermal synthesis and modified by in- situ generated Rh nanoparticles, with a starting nominal Rh:Ti atomic concentration of 0.01 and 0.05. After heat-treatment at 400 °C the TiO2 host was still in the anatase crystallographic phase, embedding Rh nanoparticles homogeneously distributed and whose surface had been oxidized to Rh2O3, as established by X-ray diffraction, Transmission Electron Microscopy and X-ray Photoelectron spectroscopy. Moreover, Rh seemed also homogeneously distributed in elemental form or as Rh2O3 nanoclusters. The acetone sensing properties of the resulting materials were enhanced by Rh addition, featuring a response increase of one order of magnitude at the best operating temperature of 300 °C. Moreover, Rh addition enlarged the detection range down to 10 ppm whereas pure TiO2 was not able of giving an appreciable response already at a concentration as high as 50 ppm. From the sensing data, the enhancement of the sensor response was attributed to the finely dispersed Rh species and not to the oxidized Rh nanocrystals.

  • 34.
    Galstyan, V.
    et al.
    Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University.
    Comini, E.
    Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Brescia University and CNR-IDASC.
    Ponzoni, A.
    Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University.
    Concina, Isabella
    Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University.
    Brisotto, M.
    INSTM and Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory.
    Bontempi, E.
    INSTM and Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory.
    Faglia, G.
    Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University.
    Sberveglieri, G.
    Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University.
    Fabrication of pure and Nb-TiO 2 nanotubes and their functional properties2012In: Journal of Alloys and Compounds, ISSN 0925-8388, E-ISSN 1873-4669, Vol. 536, no SUPPL.1, p. S488-S490Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    TiO 2 and Nb-doped TiO 2 nanotubes were obtained on flexible polymeric substrates (Kapton HN) and alumina with high roughness (alumina substrate with granular surface). Nanotubes were prepared by electrochemical anodization of a Ti thick film. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to investigate the morphology of the structures and the roughness of the substrates. The functional properties of tubular arrays obtained on flexible and rough substrates were investigated towards two applications, namely, chemoresistive gas sensors and flexible dye sensitized solar cells. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 35.
    Galstyan, Vardan
    et al.
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l'Ingegneria e per i Materiali, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l'Ingegneria e per i Materiali, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Concina, Isabella
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l'Ingegneria e per i Materiali, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Braga, Antonio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l'Ingegneria e per i Materiali, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Brisotto, Mariangela
    INSTM and Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Branze 28, Italy.
    Bontempi, Elza
    INSTM and Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Branze 28, Italy.
    Faglia, Guido
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l'Ingegneria e per i Materiali, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l'Ingegneria e per i Materiali, University of Brescia, 25133 Brescia, Via Valotti 9, Italy.
    Vertically aligned TiO 2 nanotubes on plastic substrates for flexible solar cells2011In: Small, ISSN 1613-6810, E-ISSN 1613-6829, Vol. 7, no 17, p. 2437-2442Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 36.
    Ghamgosar, Pedram
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Rigoni, Federica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    You, Shujie
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Morales, Edgar Abarca
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Mazzaro, Raffaello
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Morandi, Vittorio
    Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems Section of Bologna , National Research Council , Bologna , Italy..
    Almqvist, Nils
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Self-Powered Photodetectors Based on Core-Shell ZnO-Co3O4 Nanowire Heterojunctions2019In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ISSN 1944-8244, E-ISSN 1944-8252, Vol. 11, no 26, p. 23454-23462Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Self-powered photodetectors operating in the UV–visible–NIR window made of environmentally friendly, earth abundant, and cheap materials are appealing systems to exploit natural solar radiation without external power sources. In this study, we propose a new p–n junction nanostructure, based on a ZnO–Co3O4 core–shell nanowire (NW) system, with a suitable electronic band structure and improved light absorption, charge transport, and charge collection, to build an efficient UV–visible–NIR p–n heterojunction photodetector. Ultrathin Co3O4 films (in the range 1–15 nm) were sputter-deposited on hydrothermally grown ZnO NW arrays. The effect of a thin layer of the Al2O3 buffer layer between ZnO and Co3O4 was investigated, which may inhibit charge recombination, boosting device performance. The photoresponse of the ZnO–Al2O3–Co3O4 system at zero bias is 6 times higher compared to that of ZnO–Co3O4. The responsivity (R) and specific detectivity (D*) of the best device were 21.80 mA W–1and 4.12 × 1012 Jones, respectively. These results suggest a novel p–n junction structure to develop all-oxide UV–vis photodetectors based on stable, nontoxic, low-cost materials.

  • 37.
    Ghamgosar, Pedram
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Rigoni, Federica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    You, Shujie
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Dobryden, Iliya
    Division of Surface and Corrosion Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technolog.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Pellegrino, Anna Lucia
    Dipartimento Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Catania, INSTM UdR-Catania.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Almqvist, Nils
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Malandrino, Graziella
    Dipartimento Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Catania, INSTM UdR-Catania.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    ZnO-Cu2O core-shell nanowires as stable and fast response photodetectors2018In: Nano Energy, ISSN 2211-2855, E-ISSN 2211-3282, Vol. 51, p. 308-316Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this work, we present all-oxide p-n junction core-shell nanowires (NWs) as fast and stable self-powered photodetectors. Hydrothermally grown n-type ZnO NWs were conformal covered by different thicknesses (up to 420 nm) of p-type copper oxide layers through metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The ZnO NWs exhibit a single crystalline Wurtzite structure, preferentially grown along the [002] direction, and energy gap Eg=3.24 eV. Depending on the deposition temperature, the copper oxide shell exhibits either a crystalline cubic structure of pure Cu2O phase (MOCVD at 250 °C) or a cubic structure of Cu2O with the presence of CuO phase impurities (MOCVD at 300 °C), with energy gap of 2.48 eV. The electrical measurements indicate the formation of a p-n junction after the deposition of the copper oxide layer. The core-shell photodetectors present a photoresponsivity at 0 V bias voltage up to 7.7 µA/W and time response ≤0.09 s, the fastest ever reported for oxide photodetectors in the visible range, and among the fastest including photodetectors with response limited to the UV region. The bare ZnO NWs have slow photoresponsivity, without recovery after the end of photo-stimulation. The fast time response for the core-shell structures is due to the presence of the p-n junctions, which enables fast exciton separation and charge extraction. Additionally, the suitable electronic structure of the ZnO-Cu2O heterojunction enables self-powering of the device at 0 V bias voltage. These results represent a significant advancement in the development of low-cost, high efficiency and self-powered photodetectors, highlighting the need of fine tuning the morphology, composition and electronic properties of p-n junctions to maximize device performances.

  • 38.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy.
    All-oxide solar cells2020In: Solar Cells and Light Management: Materials, Strategies and Sustainability / [ed] Francesco Enrichi and Giancarlo C. Righini, Elsevier, 2020, p. 229-246Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the most intensively investigated directions in the field of photovoltaics is the development of technologies able to provide vacuum-free and low-cost solar cells with decent efficiency, based on earth-abundant and environmentally friendly materials. Solar cells based on oxide materials are a promising candidate for the purpose, being most of the investigated oxides comparatively more stable than most of solar cell technologies alternative to silicon, and composed of harmless materials. While oxides can exhibit high extinction coefficient in the visible and near-infrared spectral region, guaranteeing full absorption of sunlight, the main factor limiting efficiency in such kind of p–n junction devices is the low hole mobility in the p-type oxide, which represents the main challenge to be overcome to make this technology competitive. This chapter illustrates the latest results in the field, including integration of nanowire geometries as viable solution toward fast charge transport and collection.

  • 39.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Dobryden, Illia
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Division of Surface and Corrosion Science, Department of Chemistry, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Forchheimer, Daniel
    Nanostructure Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 114 19 Stockholm, Sweden; Intermodulation Products AB, 823 93 Segersta, Sweden.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia Mestre, Italy.
    In-depth Carrier Transport in a Barrier Variable Iron-oxide and Vertically Aligned Reduced-Graphene Oxide Composite.Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A key requirement for semiconductors operating in light harvesting devices, is to efficiently convert the absorbed photons to electronic excitations while accommodating low loss pathways for the photogenerated carrier’s transport. The quality of this process corresponds to different relaxation phenomena, yet primarily it corresponds to minimized thermalization of photoexcited carriers and maximum transfer of electron-hole pairs in the bulk of semiconductor through carrier-carrier scattering process. However, several semiconductors, while providing a suitable platform for light harvesting applications, pose intrinsic low carrier diffusion length of photoexcited carriers. Here we report a system based on a vertical network of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) embedded in a thin-film structure of iron oxide semiconductor, intended to employ carrier-carrier scattering properties of rGO to increase the photoexcited carrier transfer in the bulk of the semiconductor. Using intermodulation conductive force microscopy, we locally monitored the fluctuation of current output, which is the prime indication of the prevailing carrier-carrier scattering mechanism in the system. We reveal the fundamental properties of vertical rGO and semiconductor junction in light harvesting systems that enable the design of new promising materials with broad-band optical applications. 

  • 40.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Dobryden, Illia
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Division of Surface and Corrosion Science, Department of Chemistry, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Forchheimer, Daniel
    Nanostructure Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 114 19, Stockholm, Sweden; Intermodulation Products AB, 823 93, Segersta, Sweden.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172, Venezia, Mestre, Italy.
    In-depth photocarrier dynamics in a barrier variable iron-oxide and vertically aligned reduced-graphene oxide composite2022In: NPJ 2D MATERIALS AND APPLICATIONS, E-ISSN 2397-7132, Vol. 6, no 1, article id 57Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A key requirement for semiconductors operating in light-harvesting devices, is to efficiently convert the absorbed photons to electronic excitations while accommodating low loss pathways for the photogenerated carrier’s transport. The quality of this process corresponds to different relaxation phenomena, yet primarily it corresponds to minimized thermalization of photoexcited carriers and maximum transfer of electron-hole pairs in the bulk of semiconductor. However, several semiconductors, while providing a suitable platform for light-harvesting applications, pose intrinsic low carrier diffusion length of photoexcited carriers. Here we report a system based on a vertical network of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) embedded in a thin-film structure of iron oxide semiconductor, intended to exploit fast electron transport in rGO to increase the photoexcited carrier transfer from the bulk of the semiconductor to rGO and then to the external circuit. Using intermodulation conductive force microscopy, we locally monitored the fluctuation of current output, which is the prime indication of successful charge transfer from photoexcited semiconductor to rGO and efficient charge collection from the bulk of the semiconductor. We reveal the fundamental properties of vertical rGO and semiconductor junction in light-harvesting systems that enable the design of new promising materials for broad-band optical applications.

  • 41.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Mazzaro, Raffaello
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. CNR-IMM, Area della Ricerca di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
    Morandi, Vittorio
    CNR-IMM, Area della Ricerca di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
    You, Shujie
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Plasma assisted vapor solid deposition of Co3O4 tapered nanorods for energy applications2019In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ISSN 2050-7488, Vol. 7, no 46, p. 26302-26310Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Self-standing, 1-dimensional (1D) structures of p-type metal oxide (MOx) have been the focus of considerable attention, due to their unique properties in energy storage and solar light conversion. However, the practical performance of p-type MOx is intrinsically limited by their interfacial defects and strong charge recombination losses. Single crystalline assembly can significantly reduce recombination at interface and grain boundaries. Here, we present a one-step route based on plasma assisted physical vapor deposition (PVD), for the rational and scalable synthesis of single crystalline 1D vertically aligned Co3O4 tapered nanorods (NRs). The effect of PVD parameters (deposition pressure, temperature and duration) in tuning the morphology, composition and crystalline structure of resultant NRs is investigated. Crystallographic data obtained from X-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated the single crystalline nature of NRs with [111] facet preferred orientation. The NRs present two optical band gaps at about 1.48 eV and 2.1 eV. Current–voltage (I–V) characteristic of the Co3O4 NRs electrodes, 400 nm long, present two times higher current density at −1 V forward bias, compared to the benchmarking thin film counterpart. These array structures exhibit good electrochemical performance in lithium-ion adsorption–desorption processes. Among all, the longest Co3O4 NRs electrodes delivers a 1438.4 F g−1 at current density of 0.5 mA cm−2 and presents 98% capacitance retention after 200 charge–discharge cycles. The very low values of charge transfer resistance (Rct = 5.2 Ω for 400 nm long NRs) of the NRs testifies their high conductivity. Plasma assisted PVD is demonstrated as a facile technique for synthesizing high quality 1D structures of Co3O4, which can be of interest for further development of different desirable 1D systems based on transition MOx.

  • 42.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Solomon, Getachew
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    You, Shujie
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Yusupov, Khabib
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, Venezia, Mestre, 30172 Italy.
    Vertically aligned Co3O4 nanorods as a platform for inverted all‐oxide heterojunctions2021In: Nano Select, E-ISSN 2688-4011, Vol. 2, no 5, p. 967-978Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Direct stacking of n‐type and p‐type metal oxide (MOx) semiconductors is one of the appealing directions toward low cost and environmentally friendly photovoltaics (PVs). However, the main shortcoming, hindering the PV performance of MOx heterojunction devices is attributed to the tradeoff between light absorption and maximized carrier extraction in p‐type MOx. In this work, we demonstrate that the nanorod (NR) geometry of Co3O4 light absorber with a nearly ideal bandgap of ∼1.48 eV, can remove this hurdle through strong internal light trapping of adjacent one‐dimensional (1D) structure and enhanced carrier mobility. The inverted n‐on‐p configuration of the core‐shell 1D heterojunction, obtained by depositing a thin TiO2 n‐type layer, resulted in enlarged charge generation compared to the typical p‐on‐n counterpart device. Fine‐tuning of Co3O4 NRs length, permits PV investigation of the heterojunctions with respect to absorber layers thickness. The optimized Co3O4 NRs/TiO2 heterojunction (30 nm Co3O4 NR length) presented a record high open circuit photovoltage (Voc) of (0.52 ± 0.03) V under 1 sun irradiation. Impedance analysis of the heterojunctions, indicates formation of the p+‐p depletion. The presented work can highlight some vital venues to enhance photoconversion efficiency of the all‐oxide heterojunctions while introducing a pioneer contender as inverted (n‐on‐p) MOx heterojunction.

  • 43.
    Gilzad Kohan, Mojtaba
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    You, Shujie
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Camellini, Andrea
    Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano, Via G. Ponzio 34/3, Milano I-20133, Italy .
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Rossi, Margherita Zavelani
    Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano, Via G. Ponzio 34/3, Milano I-20133, Italy; IFN-CNR, piazza L. Da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy .
    Vomiero, Alberto
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia Mestre, Italy .
    Optical field coupling in ZnO nanorods decorated with silver plasmonic nanoparticles2021In: Journal of Materials Chemistry C, ISSN 2050-7526, E-ISSN 2050-7534, Vol. 9, no 43, p. 15452-15462Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Characterizing carrier redistribution due to optical field modulation in a plasmonic hot-electron/semiconductor junction can be used to raise the framework for harnessing the carrier decay of plasmonic metals in more efficient conversion systems. In this work we comprehensively studied the carrier redistribution mechanisms of a 1-dimensional (1D) metal-semiconductor Schottky architecture, holding the dual feature of a hot-electron plasmonic system and a simple metal/semiconductor junction. We obtained a strongly enhanced external quantum efficiency (EQE) of the plasmonic Ag decorated ZnO semiconductor in both the band-edge region of ZnO and the corresponding plasmonic absorption profile of the Ag NPs (visible region). Simultaneously, the insertion of an insulating Al2O3 intermediate layer between Ag NPs and ZnO resulted in a parallel distinction of the two main non-radiative carrier transfer mechanisms of plasmonic NPs, i.e. direct electron transfer (DET) and plasmonic induced resonance energy transfer (PIRET). The multi-wavelength transient pump-probe spectroscopy indicated the very fast plasmonic radiative transfer dynamics of the system in <500 fs below 389 nm. We demonstrate a 13% increase of photogenerated current in ZnO upon visible irradiation as a result of non-radiative plasmonic hot-electron injection from Ag NPs. Overall, our device encompasses several effective solutions for designing a plasmonic system featuring non-radiative electron-electron plasmonic dephasing and high photoconversion efficiencies.

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  • 44.
    Gisenti, A
    et al.
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova.
    Frasson, A
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova.
    Galenda, A
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova.
    Ferroni, Matteo
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Concina, Isabella
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Natilea, M.M.
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova.
    Synthesis and characterization of Ag/CeO2 nanocomposites2010In: Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, Materials Research Society, 2010, Vol. 1257, p. 323-328Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two Ag/CeO2 nanocomposite samples were prepared by deposition-precipitation (Ag/Ce nominal atomic ratio = 0.03 and 0.12). XPS data suggest the possible presence of traces of Ce(III). Beside Ag (0), oxidized silver species are also revealed in the Ag/CeO2 sample with lower metal content. The deposition of metal increases surface hydroxylation and carbonation. Methanol interacts molecularly and dissociatively with the samples; oxidation products are observed from low temperature and depend on Ag content. Both the samples reveal a high activity in methanol complete oxidation; traces of partial oxidation products are observed in the sample with lower Ag content

  • 45.
    Gobbi, Emanuela
    et al.
    Biodiversity s.p.a., via Corfù 71, Brescia, Italy; Dipartimento di Biologia e Protezione delle Piante, Università di Udine, Via delle Scienze 208, I-33100 Udine, Italy.
    Falasconi, Matteo
    Sensor Laboratory, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e i Materiali, Università di Brescia & CNR-IDASC, Via Valotti 9, I-25123 Brescia, Italy.
    Concina, Isabella
    Sensor Laboratory, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e i Materiali, Università di Brescia & CNR-IDASC, Via Valotti 9, I-25123 Brescia, Italy.
    Mantero, G.
    Biodiversity s.p.a., via Corfù 71, Brescia, Italy.
    Bianchi, F.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Mattarozzi, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Musci, M.
    Dipartimento di Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Analitica, Chimica Fisica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale Usberti 17/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    Sensor Laboratory, Dipartimento di Chimica e Fisica per l’Ingegneria e i Materiali, Università di Brescia & CNR-IDASC, Via Valotti 9, I-25123 Brescia, Italy.
    Electronic nose and Alicyclobacillus spp. spoilage of fruit juices: An emerging diagnostic tool2010In: Food Control, ISSN 0956-7135, E-ISSN 1873-7129, Vol. 21, no 10, p. 1374-1382Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The application of an electronic nose equipped with a Metal Oxide Semiconductor sensor array for the detection of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris and A. acidocaldarius artificially inoculated in peach, orange and apple fruit juices is described in this study. Overall the system was able to detect the presence of Alicyclobacillus spp. in all the tested fruit juices at 24 h from inoculation. The electronic nose could detect bacterial concentration as low as <10(2) colony forming unit/ml and it was also able to classify bacterial contamination independently of the Alicyclobacillus species. The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry characterization of the volatile profile of orange juices confirmed the existence of quantitatively different patterns between contaminated and uncontaminated samples.

  • 46.
    Jirlèn, Johan
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Lundström, Ingemar
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Almqvist, Nils
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Towards nanolithography with starch and α-amylase: Invited lecture2017In: Proceedings and Abstracts Book of European Advanced Materials Congress 2017, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nanotechnology using enzyme technology to modify surfaces on the nanometer scale and nanostructuring surfaces is an evolving research field. One of the advantages with enzyme assisted nanolithography is the high substrate specificity. Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) in liquid or ambient conditions is highly suited for such nanolithography: we are in particular using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to develop negative nanolithography based on an enzyme and its substrate. The possibility of high accuracy positioning of the SPM probe tip is combined with the activity of an enzyme. There are very few related such studies by other groups [1-3]. In our approach, the enzyme is α-amylase and the substrate starch, whose hydrolysis into sugars by α-amylase is well studied on the macro-scale. The system α-amylase-starch is exploited as a model to demonstrate the proof of principle that the enzyme can be used with SPM methods to locally degrade starch and ultimately write nanopatterns on starch surfaces. Silicon surfaces are covered with smooth and thin layers of starch, whose roughness, morphology and nanomechanical properties are characterized by AFM methods. In the next step the degradation of these starch layers will be demonstrated with an AFM tip functionalized with amylase molecules, either on the apex of a “sharp” AFM tip (outer radius 5-50 nm) or on a micrometer-sized bead of silicon dioxide glued to an AFM cantilever. The α-amylase molecules may be either spontaneously adsorbed or covalently attached to the tip through established functionalization chemistry. Results will be presented related to the structure and quality of the starch layer and its degradation by amylase in solution as observed by AFM and FTIR-spectroscopy and to the activity of amylase immobilized on (silicon/silicon dioxide) surfaces. Preliminary results will be given on the local degradation of starch caused by AFM tips modified by α-amylase and/or by micro droplets of amylase solution released on the substrate by using the AFM tip in a dip-pen configuration. The ultimate goal is to achieve a situation like that illustrated in the drawing above, where a single (or few) α-amylase molecule(s) is attached on the AFM tip so to maintain its enzymatic activity and can be used to write nanopatterns in a layer of starch.

  • 47.
    Khasevani, Sepideh G.
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Nikjoo, Dariush
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Ojwang, Dickson O.
    Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, Box 538, SE-751 21, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Nodari, Luca
    Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy; Istituto di Chimica della Materia Condensata e di Tecnologie per l’Energia, ICMATE-CNR, 35127 Padova, Italy.
    Sarmad, Shokat
    Technical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Chemical-Biological Centre, Umeå University, SE-90871 Umeå, Sweden.
    Mikkola, Jyri-Pekka
    Technical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Chemical-Biological Centre, Umeå University, SE-90871 Umeå, Sweden; Industrial Chemistry & Reaction Engineering, John Gadolin Process Chemistry Centre, Åbo Akademi University, Biskopsgatan 8, Fl-20500 Åbo-Turku, Finland.
    Rigoni, Federica
    Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 30170 Venezia-Mestre, Italy.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    The beauty of being complex: Prussian blue analogues as selective catalysts and photocatalysts in the degradation of ciprofloxacin2022In: Journal of Catalysis, ISSN 0021-9517, E-ISSN 1090-2694, Vol. 410, p. 307-319Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigate the performance of four Prussian blue analogues (PBAs) as catalysts for the selective degradation of ciprofloxacin in water, under both dark and illumination conditions. We show that no light is actually needed to induce a selective degradation of the molecular target, while light irradiation spurs the process, without, however, resulting in the commonly reported photolysis-supported breaking down. We present a systematic characterization of the PBAs aiming at interpreting the catalytic outcomes in the light of a classic coordination chemistry analysis, empowered by the most recent findings in literature. We show that varying the transition metal binding the N atom of the cyanide bridge is key to promote photoinduced charge generation and transfer, which effectively disrupts the molecular target. The analysis of the materials before and after the irradiation with solar simulated light results in a change of the lattice parameters, indicating the possibility of a light-induced spin cross-over.

  • 48.
    Khasevani, Sepideh Gholizadeh
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Nikjoo, Dariush
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Chaxel, Cécile
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Umeki, Kentaro
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Energy Science.
    Sarmad, Shokat
    Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Department of Chemistry Technical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Chemical-Biological Centre, Umeå University, SE-90871 Umeå, Sweden.
    Mikkola, Jyri-Pekka
    Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Department of Chemistry Technical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Chemical-Biological Centre, Umeå University, SE-90871 Umeå, Sweden; Industrial Chemistry & Reaction Engineering, Johan Gadolin Process Chemistry Centre, Åbo Akademi University, FI-20500 Åbo-Turku, Finland.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Empowering Adsorption and Photocatalytic Degradation of Ciprofloxacin on BiOI Composites: A Material-by-Design Investigation2023In: ACS Omega, E-ISSN 2470-1343, Vol. 8, no 46, p. 44044-44056Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Binary and ternary composites of BiOI with NH2-MIL-101(Fe) and a functionalized biochar were synthesized through an in situ approach, aimed at spurring the activity of the semiconductor as a photocatalyst for the removal of ciprofloxacin (CIP) from water. Experimental outcomes showed a drastic enhancement of the adsorption and the equilibrium (which increased from 39.31 mg g–1 of bare BiOI to 76.39 mg g–1 of the best ternary composite in 2 h time), while the kinetics of the process was not significantly changed. The photocatalytic performance was also significantly enhanced, and the complete removal of 10 ppm of CIP in 3 h reaction time was recorded under simulated solar light irradiation for the best catalyst of the investigated batch. Catalytic reactions supported by different materials obeyed different reaction orders, indicating the existence of different mechanisms. The use of scavengers for superoxide anion radicals, holes, and hydroxyl radicals showed that although all these species are involved in CIP photodegradation, the latter play the most crucial role, as also confirmed by carrying out the reaction at increasing pH conditions. A clear correlation between the reduction of BiOI crystallite sizes in the composites, as compared to the bare material, and the material performance as both adsorbers and photocatalyst was identified. 

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  • 49.
    Kozma, Erika
    et al.
    CNR.
    Concina, Isabella
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Braga, Antonio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Borgese, Laura
    INSTM and Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory.
    Depero, Laura E.
    INSTM and Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory.
    Vomiero, Alberto
    SENSOR Lab, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Brescia University and CNR-IDASC.
    Sberveglieri, Giorgio
    CNR IDASC SENSOR Lab.
    Catellani, Marinella
    CNR.
    Metal-free organic sensitizers with a sterically hindered thiophene unit for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells2011In: Journal of Materials Chemistry, ISSN 0959-9428, E-ISSN 1364-5501, Vol. 21, no 36, p. 13785-13788Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two new organic sensitizers for dye solar cells containing a sterically hindered moiety have been synthesized. The introduction of a 3,4-dibutyl-thiophene ring into D-π-A dyes reduces the sensitizer aggregation and allows the preparation of solar cells with PCE of 7.17% and 6.27% without the use of coadsorbant agents. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • 50.
    Landström, Anton
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Gradone, Alessandro
    National Research Council, Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, Via Piero Gobetti 101, 40129, Bologna, Italy. Department of Chemistry “G. Ciamician”, University of Bologna, Via Francesco Selmi 2, 40126, Bologna, Italy.
    Mazzaro, Raffaello
    National Research Council, Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, Via Piero Gobetti 101, 40129, Bologna, Italy.
    Morandi, Vittorio
    National Research Council, Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, Via Piero Gobetti 101, 40129, Bologna, Italy.
    Concina, Isabella
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science.
    Reduced graphene oxide-ZnO hybrid composites as photocatalysts: The role of nature of the molecular target in catalytic performance2021In: Ceramics International, ISSN 0272-8842, E-ISSN 1873-3956, Vol. 47, no 14, p. 19346-19355Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Spurred by controversial literature findings, we enwrapped reduced graphene oxide (rGO) in ZnO hierarchical microstructures (rGO loadings spanning from 0.01 to 2 wt%) using an in situ synthetic procedure. The obtained hybrid composites were carefully characterized, aiming at shining light on the possible role of rGO on the claimed increased performance as photocatalysts. Several characterization tools were exploited to unveil the effect exerted by rGO, including steady state and time resolved photoluminescence, electron microscopies and electrochemical techniques, in order to evaluate the physical, optical and electrical features involved in determining the catalytic degradation of rhodamine B and phenol in water.

    Several properties of native ZnO structures were found changed upon the rGO enwrapping (including optical absorbance, concentration of native defects in the ZnO matrix and double-layer capacitance), which are all involved in determining the photocatalytic performance of the hybrid composites. The findings discussed in the present work highlight the high complexity of the field of application of graphene-derivatives as supporters of semiconducting metal oxides functionality, which has to be analyzed through a multi-parametric approach.

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