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  • 1.
    Yang, Taimin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    3D Electron Microscopy Methods and Applications: Structures from Atomic Scale to Mesoscale2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The crystal structure determines the physical properties of a material. The structure can be analysed at different levels, from atomic level, mesoscale level, all the way up to the macroscale level. Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) is a powerful tool for studying the structure of materials at atomic scale level and mesoscale level because of the short wavelength of the electrons. At atomic scale level, structure determination using TEM can be performed in diffraction mode. The recent developments in 3D electron diffraction methods make structure determination from nano- and micron-sized crystals much easier than before. However, due to the strong interactions, electrons can be scattered multiple times through the crystal, causing the measured intensities to be less accurate than that in the X-ray case.

    In this thesis, we use the continuous rotation electron diffraction (cRED) developed in our group to investigate the structure of materials and the accuracy of this method. In the third chapter, we use cRED method to determine the structure of two aluminophosphate zeolites, PST-13 and PST-14. We presented that these structures can be built from two pairs of enantiomeric structural building units. In the fourth chapter, we show that despite the inaccuracy in measured intensities originated from dynamical effect, it is still possible to determine the structure accurately. We show that the atomic coordinates of ZSM-5 and sucrose crystal structure determined by multiple electron diffraction datasets is identical to that determined from X-ray data or neutron data. We also assessed the linearity between calculated structure factor and observed structure factor and use this as a coarse assessment indicator for diffraction data quality for protein crystals.

    Apart from atomic structure, mesoscale structures, such as mesopores, can also determine the property of materials. For the 3D structures of these nanoscale structures, we can also use TEM electron tomography techniques to investigate. In chapter five, we performed electron tomography for two different materials with mesoporous structure and illustrated the formation mechanism of mesoporous magnesium carbonate and the internal tunnel structure of hierarchical TS-1 zeolite.

  • 2.
    Etman, Ahmed S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Aqueous Exfoliation of Transition Metal Oxides for Energy Storage and Photocatalysis Applications: Vanadium Oxide and Molybdenum Oxide Nanosheets2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal oxides (TMOs) are a category of materials which have unique physical and chemical properties compared to their bulk counterparts. However, the synthesis of 2D TMOs commonly includes the use of environmental threats such as organic solvents. In this thesis, we developed environmentally friendly strategies to fabricate TMO nanosheets from the commercially available bulk oxides. In particular, hydrated vanadium pentoxide (V2O5∙nH2O) nanosheets and oxygen deficient molybdenum trioxide (MoO3-x) nanosheets were prepared.  The V2O5∙nH2O nanosheets were drop-cast onto multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) paper and applied as a free-standing electrode (FSE) for a lithium battery. The accessible capacity of the FSE was dependent on the electrode thickness; the thickest electrode delivered the lowest accessible capacity.  Alternatively, a composite material of V2O5∙nH2O nanosheets with 10% MWCNT (VOx-CNT composite) was prepared and two types of electrodes, FSE and conventionally cast electrode (CCE), were employed as cathode materials for lithium batteries. A detailed comparison between these electrodes was presented. In addition, the VOx-CNT composite was applied as a negative electrode for a sodium-ion battery and showed a reversible capacity of about 140 mAh g-1. On the other hand, the MoO3-x nanosheets were employed as binder-free electrodes for supercapacitor application in an acidified Na2SO4 electrolyte. Furthermore, the MoO3-x nanosheets were used as photocatalysts for organic dye degradation. The simple eco-friendly synthesis methods coupled with the potential application of the TMO nanosheets reflect the significance of this thesis in both the synthesis and the energy-related applications of 2D materials.

  • 3.
    Agosta, Lorenzo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Atomistic simulations of structural and dynamical properties of liquids under geometric constraints2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The statistical-mechanical description of liquids represents a formidable problem in physic due to the absence of the analytical theory of the liquid state. Atomistic simulations represent a unique source of information in this respect and can be implemented in order address macroscopically measurable liquid properties, including its structure and dynamics, based on the information of the interactions between its constituent molecules. A particularly intriguing challenge is represented by the problem of studying liquids under geometric constraints like surfaces, or where the dimensionality is strongly suppressed like for liquids in 2 dimensions. Experimental measurements cannot access to these regions due to the resolution limitations. In this thesis the study of confined liquids is achieved by particle-based simulations at different level of theory. In particular 3 study cases are considered: the first is the characterization of solid-liquid interfaces. The problem of adsorbing surfaces is treated as a specific case of inorganic surfaces in contact with liquid water. TiO2, chosen as reference material, is studied in its polymorphic structures in aqueous conditions. The surface reactivity and its influence on the liquid structure is solved considering the quantum nature of the system. The mechanism of a solute adsorbing at the interface, considering the interfacial liquid properties, is also addressed. New advanced analysis tools for determining the structural and dynamical properties of water under a surface confinement and the thermodynamic associated to relative adsorption processes are developed. We are confident that this study will represent a mile stone for a systematic study of complex environments as bio-inorganic interfaces. As second case a liquid confined in a 2D surface is studied. Simple liquids having spherically symmetric interaction are very powerful in order to understand the relevant degrees of freedom that governs a certain physical process. Here we expand the definition of 2D hexatic phases to smectic systems in 3D. Finally the self-assembly of a triply periodic mesophase having a Fddd space symmetry group is fully characterized for a simple liquid. This phase can be thought as a geometrical reduction to a two-dimensional separation surface. The possibility of generating such complex network with simple particles, like in colloids, opens the frontiers for the exploration of new materials and applications.

  • 4.
    Valencia, Luis
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Cellulose Nanofibril-based Hybrid Materials: Eco-friendly design towards separation and packaging applications2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Nanocellulose has been lately considered as the “Holy-Grail” in the design of sustainable materials due to its bio-origin and an unprecedented combination of prominent features, including good mechanical properties, anisotropy and versatile surface chemistry. In addition, nanocellulose in the form of cellulose nanofibrils, can adopt variable structures and morphologies depending on the processing technique, such as aerogels, films and monoliths.

    However, there are limitations that hinder the implementation of cellulose nanofibrils in “real-life applications”, such as inherent interaction with bacteria and proteins, thus leading to surface-fouling; and loss of integrity due to water-induced swelling. A way to overcome these challenges, and provide further functionality, is through hybridization strategies, at which the multiple components act synergistically towards specific properties and applications. In this thesis, the aim is to present multiple strategies for the synthesis of novel cellulose nanofibril-based hybrid materials, in the form of 2D-films and 3D-foams, towards their employment for separation applications or active food packaging.

    A novel strategy to surface-functionalize cellulose nanofibril-membranes is proposed via grafting zwitterionic polymer brushes of poly (cysteine methacrylate). The modification can suppress the absorption of proteins in an 85%, as well as decreasing the adhesion of bacteria in an 87%, while introducing antimicrobial properties, as demonstrated against S. aureus.

    The spontaneous formation of functional metal oxide nanoparticles occurring in situ on cellulose nanofibrils-films during the adsorption of metal ions from water is investigated, which occurs without the additional use of chemicals or temperature. Notably, this process not only enables the upcycling of materials through multi-stage applications, but also provides a cost-effective method to prepare multifunctional hybrid materials with enhanced dye-removal/antimicrobial activity.

    The processing of functional composite films from cellulose nanofibril-stabilized Pickering emulsions and their suitability to be used as active edible barriers was demonstrated. The presence of oil in the films fine-tuned the properties of the films, as well as acted as the medium to encapsulate bio-active hydrophobic compounds, providing further functionality such as antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

    Anisotropic porous hybrid foams with ultra-high loading capacity of sorbents (e.g., zeolites and metal-organic frameworks) were produced via unidirectional freeze-casting method using cellulose nanofibrils/gelatin as template material. The foams indeed exhibited ultra-high loading capacity of sorbent nanomaterials, a linear relationship between sorbent content and CO2 adsorption capacity, and high CO2/N2 selectivity.

  • 5.
    Wang, Bin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Development of rotation electron diffraction as a fully automated and accurate method for structure determination2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the past decade, electron diffraction methods have aroused more and more interest for micro-crystal structure determination. Compared to traditional X-ray diffraction, electron diffraction breaks the size limitation of the crystals studied, but at the same time it also suffers from much stronger dynamical effects. While X-ray crystallography has been almost thoroughly developed, electron crystallography is still under active development. To be able to perform electron diffraction experiments, adequate skills for using a TEM are usually required, which makes ED experiments less accessible to average users than X-ray diffraction. Moreover, the relatively poor data statistics from ED data prevented electron crystallography from being widely accepted in the crystallography community.

    The thesis focused on both application and method development of continuous rotation electron diffraction (cRED) technique. The cRED method was first applied to a beam sensitive metal-organic framework sample, Co-CAU-36, and the structure was determined and refined within one working day. More importantly, the guest molecules in the pores were also located using only electron diffraction data. To facilitate general users to perform cRED data collection for useful data, software was developed to automate the overall data collection procedure. Through combination of hierarchical cluster analysis tools, the automatically collected data showed comparable quality to those from recent publications, and thus were useful for structure determination and even phase identification. To deal with dynamical refinement for ED data, a frame orientation refinement algorithm was designed to calculate accurate frame orientations for rotation data. Accuracy for the method was validated and compared to an existing software, and the behavior of TEM goniometer was studied by applying the method to an experimental data set.

  • 6.
    Ermilova, Inna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Modeling of biomembranes: from computational toxicology to simulations of neurodegenerative diseases2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It was known from the middle of the last century that a cell-membrane is a lipid bilayer. Since that time a large number of experimental studies has been done in order to see how a certain molecule can penetrate through a membrane. Due to the complexity of laboratory experiments computational chemistry became a convenient tool for investigations involving this process. In a real life a compound has to pass through several membranes of different chemical composition before reaching the actual target. Such a diversity in constitution gives a various selectivity to cell-membranes: some molecules will penetrate through them and others will not. That is why the development and a choice of suitable models for lipid bilayers are important steps in such a research. In this thesis new all-atomistic models for polyunsaturated phospholipids in cis conformations have been derived and added to the SLipids force field. After a successful force field validation, the new lipid models were used in molecular dynamics and well-tempered metadynamics simulations of several problems, such as toxicity of hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDE), behavior of cholesterol in various membranes, an aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. The significance of the presence of lipid unsaturation has been demonstrated by all computations. 2’-OH-BDE68 (ortho) showed the affinity to saturated lipid bilayer, but had more conformational variations in the center of the unsaturated membrane. Cholesterol did not exhibit the preference to polynsaturated lipid bilayers from free energy calculations, but the diversity in orientations of this molecule, depending on its locations was observed. The behavior of Aβ peptides was dependent on membrane saturation as well. The insertion of Aβ peptides was detected in lipid bilayers containing higher amounts of polyunsaturated phospholipids, while in systems with more saturated membranes amyloids aggregated on membrane surfaces. Moreover, a comparison of simulations for quadro- and mono-component lipid bilayers showed that the membrane built of 18:0-22:6 PC can serve as a good model for the ’healthy’ tissue of a human brain. Also the lipid bilayer built of 14:0-14:0 PC exhibited similar features as the quadro-lipid membrane representing the brain tissue affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Good agreement of some computational results with available experimental findings demonstrated the applicability of computer simulations to real life problems.

  • 7.
    Guccini, Valentina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Nanocellulose: Energy Applications and Self-Assembly2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Technologies based on renewable materials are required to decrease the environmental cost and promote the development of a sustainable society. In this regard, nanocellulose extracted from wood finds many applications thanks to its intrinsic mechanical and chemical properties as well as the versatility in its manufacturing processes. In this thesis, I present the results of the investigations on carboxylated cellulose nanofibres (CNF) as ionic conductive membranes and electrode component in fuel cells and lithium ion batteries. Moreover, I also show the results of the assembly of CNF suspension and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) - lepidocrocite nanorods (LpN) hybrids.

    The fuel cell performance of CNF-based proton conductive membranes was evaluated as a function of intrinsic material parameters such as membrane thickness and surface charge density as well as extrinsic parameters such as the relative humidity (RH). It was found that the proton conductivity is about 2 mS cm-1 at 30 °C between 65 and 95 % RH. At the same time, the water uptake of the membrane was measured and correlated with the structural evolution of the membrane using small angle X-ray scattering.

    The performance of the CNF-based separator in lithium ion batteries was investigated as a function of membrane porosity and protonation of the functional groups. The Li-ion battery assembled with the protonated separators showed stable and good rate performance.

    The CNF was also tested as binder in lithium ion battery, showing that the morphology and mechanical properties of the cathode depend on the nanofibre surface charge and degree of defibrillation. In particular, high surface charge and medium degree of defibrillation give the best electrochemical performance.

    Pyrolysed CNF (cCNF) improved the electrochemical performance of silicon nanoparticles-based anode thanks to the carbon network derived from the nanofibres. Si-cCNF has a capacity retention of 72.2 % after 500 cycles at 1 C and better performance rate than the pristine silicon nanoparticles.

    Regarding the assembly of nanocellulose, the nematic order of CNF suspension at different nanofibre concentrations (0.5 – 4.9 wt%) was studied by small angle X-ray scattering, polarized optical microscopy and rheological measurements. The order parameter reaches a maximum value of 0.8 depending on the CNF concentration. Small angle neutron scattering with contrast matching experiments reveals that the natural alignment of CNC and LpN can be switched using a combination of magnetic fields of up to 6.8 T and varying the amount of LpN incorporated in the CNC.

  • 8.
    Chamoun, Mylad
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Rechargeable Aqueous Batteries Based on Available Resources: Investigation and Development towards Efficient Battery Performance2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Batteries employing water based electrolytes enable extremely low manufacturing costs and are inherently safer than Li-ion batteries. Batteries based on zinc, manganese dioxide, iron, and air have high energy relevancy, are not resource restricted, and can contribute to large scale energy storage solutions. Zinc has a rich history as electrode material for primary alkaline Zn–MnO2 batteries. Historically, its use in secondary batteries has been limited because of morphological uncertainties and passivation effects that may lead to cell failure. Manganese dioxide electrodes are ineffective as rechargeable electrodes because of failure mechanisms associated with phase transformations during cycling. The irreversibility of manganese dioxide is strongly correlated to the formation of the electrochemically inactive spinel, Mn3O4/ZnMn2O4. The development of the iron electrode for Fe–air batteries was initiated in late the 1960s and these batteries still suffer from charging inefficiency, due to the unwanted hydrogen evolution reaction. Meanwhile, the air electrode is limited in long-term operation because of the sluggish oxygen evolution and reduction kinetics. These limitations of the Fe–air battery yield poor overall efficiencies, which bring vast energy losses upon cycling.

    Herein, the limitations described above were countered for rechargeable Zn–MnO2 and Fe–air batteries by synthesizing electrode materials and modifying electrolyte compositions. The electrolyte mixture of 1 M KOH + 3 M LiOH for rechargeable alkaline Zn–MnO2 batteries limited the formation of the inactive spinels and improved their cycle life significantly. Further, the formation of the inactive spinels was overcome in mildly acidic electrolytes containing 2 M ZnSO4, enabling the cells to cycle reversibly at lower pH via a distinctive reaction mechanism. The iron electrodes were improved with the addition of stannate, which suppressed hydrogen evolution. Furthermore, optimal charge protocols of the iron electrodes were identified to minimize the hydrogen evolution rate. On the air electrode, the synthesized NiCo2O4 showed excellent bifunctional catalytic activity for oxygen evolution and reduction, and was incorporated to a flow assisted rechargeable Fe–air battery, in order to prove the practicability of this technology. Studies of the electrode materials on the micro, macro, nano, and atomic scales were carried out to increase the understanding of the nature of and interactions between of these materials. This included both in operando and ex situ characterization. X-ray and neutron radiation, and analytical- and electrochemical methods provided insight to improve the performance and cycle life of the batteries.

  • 9.
    Eklöf, Daniel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Structure-property investigation of ZnSb, ZnAs, and SiB3: - binary semiconductors with electron poor framework structures2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In today’s society, where energy conservation and green energy are buzz words, new scientific discoveries in green energy harvesting is key. This work focuses on materials capable of recycling low value thermal energy. Low value thermal energy, waste heat, is for free, and can be transformed into valuable electricity via thermoelectric technology. A thermoelectric device cleanly converts heat into electricity through the Seebeck effect. Thermoelectric devices can play an important role in satisfying the future global need for efficient energy management, however, the primary barrier of improving thermoelectric devices is the materials themselves.

    The aim of this thesis is to identify new compositions and structures for thermoelectric materials. In particular, the concept of “electron poor framework semiconductors” is explored. Electron Poor Framework Semiconductors (EPFS) are materials at the border between metals and non-metals, which often show intricate and unique structures with complex bonding schemes. Generally, constituting elements should be from group 12(II) (Zn, Cd), 13(III) (B, Al, Ga, In), 14(IV) (Si, Ge, Sn, Pb), 15(V) (Sb, Bi), and 16(VI) (Te), i.e. elements which have a similar electronegativity (between 1.5-2.0). All EPFS materials have in common highly complex crystal structures, which are thought to be a consequence of their electron-poor bonding patterns. EPFS materials have an intrinsically very low – glass like - lattice thermal conductivity. The focus of this thesis is on combinations of group 12(II) (Zn) with 16 (V) (As, Sb), and 13(III) (B) with 14(IV) (Si).

    ZnSb possesses a simple structure with 8 formula units in an orthorhombic unit cell, it is considered a stoichiometric compound without noticeable structural disorder. In this thesis ZnSb is used as a model system to establish more broadly structure–property correlations in Sb based EPFS materials.

    ZnSb was established to possess an impurity band that determines electrical transport properties up to 300–400 K. Doping of ZnSb with Ag seems to enhance the impurity band by increasing the number of acceptor states and improving charge carrier density by two orders of magnitude. ZT values of Ag doped ZnSb are found to exceed 1 at 350 K. The origin of the low thermal conductivity of ZnSb was traced back to a multitude of localized low energy optic modes, acting as Einstein-like rattling modes.

    ZnAs was accessed through high pressure synthesis. The compound is isostructural to ZnSb and possess an indirect band gap of 0.9 eV, which is larger than that for ZnSb (0.5 eV). The larger band gap is attributed to the higher polarity of Zn-As bonds. The electrical resistivity of ZnAs is higher and the Seebeck coefficient is lower compared to ZnSb. However, ZnAs and ZnSb exhibit similarly low lattice thermal conductivity, although As is considerably lighter than Sb. This was explained by their similar bonding properties.

    Lastly, the longstanding mystery of SiB3 phases was resolved. The formation of metastable and disordered α-SiB3-x is fast and thus kinetically driven, whereas formation of stable β-SiB3 is slow and not quantitative unless high pressure conditions are applied. This thesis work established reproducible synthesis routes for both materials. The fast kinetics can be exploited for simultaneous synthesis and sintering of α -SiB3-x specimens in a SPS device. It is suggested that α -SiB3-x represents a promising refractory thermoelectric material.

  • 10.
    Rzepka, Przemyslaw
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    The chemical nature of CO2 adsorption in zeolite A2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The climate changes are accelerated by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere connected to the fossil-fuel-based energy system. Substantial reforms of the system are needed immediately and could include the implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Adsorption-driven CO2 capture is one of the most promising post-combustion CO2 capture techniques, which aim to remove CO2 from N2 in flue gas.

    The nature of adsorption of CO2 can vary. The process can act as physisorption with intermolecular interactions of the van der Waals type or as chemisorption with a significantly perturbed electronic structure of CO2 and for example the formation of CO32- and HCO3- species. The molecular details were elucidated by MAS NMR and IR studies for a zeolite, and the placement of adsorbed molecules was revealed by in situ diffraction data analysis.

    Adsorption-driven processes can be implemented only if highly functional adsorbent materials have been developed. Zeolite A seems to be a promising candidate. This thesis broadly discussed the potential enhancement of the selectivity of CO2 over N2 and CH4 by replacing Na+ with larger monovalent cation e.g. K+ in pore apertures of zeolite A. The positions of the extra-framework cations were analyzed by in situ X-ray diffraction using synchrotron light source. The cations were positioned at the 4- and 6-rings and the 8-ring apertures of the aluminosilicate framework of zeolite A. K+ was favored at the 8-ring sites, and this cation did also gradually substitute the 6-ring sites with and increasing x in |Na12-xKx|-A. Large cations did not fit the mirror plane of the 6-ring and were placed on both its sides. K+ at both positions, in 8-rings and 6-rings, seems to have tailored the size of pore openings.

    The effective pore aperture size was shown to depend on the K+ content and to partition small CO2 molecules from large N2 and CH4 because of, likely, differences in diffusivities. Various compositions of |Na12-xKx|-A demonstrated gradual decrease of CO2 uptake with x and an exclusion of N2 and CH4 already for low x. Although already absorbed CO2 molecules were revealed by in situ neutron diffraction to be coordinated mainly by the 8-ring cation or bridging adjacent 8-ring sites. Adsorbed CO2 molecules displaced the cations into the a-cages and resulted in a slight contraction of the overall distribution of extra-framework cations upon the adsorption of CO2.

    The kinetically-enhanced separation of CO2 from N2/CH4 seemed to be associated by a restrained diffusion also for the CO2 molecules. This is problematic for pressure swing adsorption processes. However, it could potentially be addressed by the reduction of size of zeolite crystals to increase the extent of accessible porous space over limited time.

  • 11.
    Cichocka, Magdalena Ola
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Unraveling the structures of complex nanocrystalline materials by combining TEM and XRPD – development and application2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge of the three-dimensional (3D) atomic structure of materials is essential to a fundamental understanding of their properties. The key to understanding the functionality of many materials, particularly those of commercial and industrial interest, is often hidden in the details at the nanoscale. For this reason, it is very important to choose the right strategy to analyze the structure of challenging materials with complex disordered framework structures, or of the layered materials that are the subject of this thesis. Structure analysis of beam-sensitive or uniquely disordered materials can be complicated. Although there are already existing methods such as X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), the data may exhibit reflection overlap or other problems that make structure determination difficult. To overcome these limitations for nanocrystalline materials, complementary characterization techniques can be used. Here, I will focus on 3D electron crystallography (continuous rotation electron diffraction and high-resolution electron microscopy) methods that have grown during the past years as hybrid methods for structure determination. Based on the presented materials, I will also emphasize that any kind of challenges can be a driving force for method development.  Furthermore, some of the insights gained lead to better understanding of how to collect and process 3D electron diffraction data, which could be applied to make data collection of challenging samples easier and obtain higher quality structure refinements from the data. Finally, I will try to describe the general procedures for ab initio structure elucidation of disordered nanocrystals and layered materials.

  • 12.
    Yuan, Ning
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK). Stockholm University.
    Unveiling Catalytic Species in Suspension/Solution-Based Reactions by In Situ X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy: Evolution of Palladium and Ruthenium Species2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The palladium (Pd) and ruthenium (Ru) species in several attractive catalysts have been probed using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The study of catalyst evolution in suspension- and solution-based reactions was the primary aim. It was achieved by performing in situ XAS experiments on Pd and Ru over the course of the reactions. A custom-made reactor was employed which allowed the catalysts to be mixed with other reaction components under desired conditions.

    The first system investigated was the Heck coupling reaction catalyzed by Pd(II) complexes embedded on metal-organic frameworks. It was realized that the as-synthesized catalysts go through an instant ligand substitution process when added to the reaction mixture. Mononuclear Pd complexes are the active species at the first stage of the measurement which then gradually transform into Pd nanoclusters. At a later stage of the measurement, chloride ligands start to bind to surface atoms of the Pd nanoclusters, leading to a deactivation of the catalyst. Following the first successful in situ XAS experiment, Pd(II) carbene complexes catalyzing undirected C–H acetoxylation of benzene in the presence of an oxidant were explored. A gradual ligand substitution occurs, and the mean oxidation state of Pd increases at the same time. At a later stage, Pd nanoclusters form, while the mean oxidation state of Pd returns to the start value. Deactivation of a heterogeneous Pd(II) catalyst during cycloisomerization of acetylenic acids was then investigated using in situ XAS. The choice of substrates showed to significantly influence the nature of Pd species, and the reduction of Pd(II) forming Pd(0) aggregates causes the deactivation. Moreover, strategies of reactivating the catalyst and prevention of the deactivation were developed and examined. In the end, the activation process of a Ru catalyst was studied and the structure of the intermediate was determined by in situ XAS. It was demonstrated that an electron-donating substituent on the cyclopentadiene ligand exhibits a promoting effect on the activation, while an electron-withdrawing substituent inhibits the activation.

  • 13.
    Gordeyeva, Korneliya
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Materials Chemistry.
    Design, processing and properties of lightweight foams from cellulose nanofibers2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Foams are applied in many areas including thermal insulation of buildings, flotation devices, packaging, filters for water purification, CO2 sorbents and for biomedical devices. Today, the market is dominated by foams produced from synthetic, non-renewable polymers, which raises serious concerns for the sustainable and ecological development of our society. This thesis will demonstrate how lightweight foams based on nanocellulose can be processed and how the properties in both the wet and dry state can be optimized.

    Lightweight and highly porous foams were successfully prepared using a commercially available surface-active polyoxamer, Pluronic P123TM, cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), and soluble CaCO3 nanoparticles. The stability of wet and dry composite foams was significantly improved by delayed aggregation of the CNF matrix by gluconic acid-triggered dissolution of the CaCO3 nanoparticles, which generated a strong and dense CNF network in the foam walls. Drying the Ca2+-reinforced foam at 60 °C resulted in moderate shrinkage but the overall microstructure and pore/foam bubble size distribution were preserved after drying. The elastic modulus of Ca2+-reinforced composite foams with a density of 9 – 15 kg/m3 was significantly higher than fossil-based polyurethane foams.

    Lightweight hybrid foams have been prepared from aqueous dispersions of a surface-active aminosilane (AS) and CNF for a pH range of 10.4 – 10.8. Evaporative drying at a mild temperature (60 °C) resulted in dry foams with low densities (25 – 50 kg/m3) and high porosities (96 – 99%). The evaporation of water catalyzed the condensation of the AS to form low-molecular linear polymers, which contributed to the increase in the stiffness and strength of the CNF-containing foam lamella.

    Strong wet foams suitable for 3D printing were produced using methylcellulose (MC), CNFs and montmorillonite clay (MMT) as a filler and tannic acid and glyoxal as cross-linkers. The air-water interface of the foams was stabilized by the co-adsorption of MC, CNF and MMT. Complexation of the polysaccharides with tannic acid improved the foam stability and the viscoelastic properties of the wet foam for direct ink writing of robust cellular architectures. Glyoxal improved the water resistance and stiffened the lightweight material that had been dried at ambient pressure and elevated temperatures with minimum shrinkage. The highly porous foams displayed a specific Young’s modulus and yield strength that outperformed other bio-based foams and commercially available expanded polystyrene.

    Unidirectional freezing, freeze-casting, of nanocellulose dispersions produced cellular foams with high alignment of the rod-like nanoparticles in the freezing direction. Quantification of the alignment with X-ray diffraction showed high orientation of CNF and short and stiff cellulose nanocrystals (CNC).

  • 14.
    Shen, Yang
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Development of metal hydride surface structures for high power NiMH batteries: Also extended cycle-life and lead to more effective recycling methods2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    By combining alkaline etching of hydrogen storage alloys or their hydrides with a controlled oxidation, it was possible to improve reaction kinetics and accelerate activation of MH-electrodes. Both AB5 and AB2 alloys were studied where A is mixtures of rare earth elements for AB5 alloys and titanium and/or vanadium, zirconium for AB2 alloys; nickel contributes the major part of B. With SEM and TEM studies the surface could be described as consisting of several phases where an interphase with active Ni-containing cluster protected the inner metallic hydrogen storage part of the powder particles. These catalytic Ni-clusters presumably lead to the fast activation and high discharge capacity of alloy.

    This interphase was observed to be stable enough to allow us to develop a method, where we could add pure oxygen to a NiMH battery pack in order to regenerate the amount of electrolyte that was lost during long time cycling of the battery. Meanwhile, the method will rebalance the electrodes mitigating excessive pressures during over charge. Therefore, the internal resistance of cells can be reduced and cycle life will increase.

    It was also shown that the stable interphase could survive a mild ball milling or sonication which enabled us to upcycle material from spent NiMH batteries into a better working MH-electrodes with improved kinetics and activation properties. Reuse of ball-milled or sonicated material could serve as a simple recycling alternative to energy-demanding metallurgical smelting methods and chemical consuming hydrometallurgical recycling processes, where the possibilities of up-scaling further favour the less complex mechanical treatments. The stable but catalytic interphase protecting the inner particles indicates that the MH-electrode material may perform better in its second life in a new NiMH battery.

  • 15.
    Neagu, Alexandra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Local structure of perovskite ferroelectric ceramics as revealed by 3D electron diffuse scattering: A walk in between the Bragg peaks2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Local structural disorder in crystalline materials plays a crucial role in understanding their properties. The means to study structural disorder is diffuse scattering (DS). Even though DS was observed since the early days of X-ray diffraction the weak intensity and the sheer number of different kinds of disorder hindered the development of a unique solution strategy. However, the advent of X-ray and neutron synchrotron sources together with recent advances in automated electron diffraction techniques have unraveled a new world in between Bragg peaks where a wealth of information is available.

    In this thesis electron diffraction is used to explore the different kinds of DS in three-dimensions, for several perovskite ferroelectric ceramics. Based on the information presented in the reconstructed 3D reciprocal space volumes, disordered atomic structures were proposed and verified by the calculated electron diffraction patterns. A complex structural model for the local disorder in 85Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3-10K0.5Bi0.5TiO3-5BaTiO3 piezoceramic was developed by analyzing the morphology and intensity of electron DS in 3D. Next, the influence of potassium-content on the octahedral-tilt disorder for three different piezoceramics was studied by a combination of dark-field imaging and electron diffraction. Further on, the temperature-dependence of electron DS for 95Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3-5BaTiO3 piezoceramic revealed a local structural phase transition that was correlated with the depolarization mechanism. Lastly, strong electron DS was recorded from a Pb-based relaxor and simulations of disordered atomic structures showed that the local structure resembles a dipolar glass state. These demonstrate that electron diffraction is a powerful tool for the study of local structural disorder in crystalline materials, especially for ceramics. The major advantage is that we are able to record single-crystal electron diffraction data from individual grains. Moreover, since we are analyzing a 3D reciprocal volume several orientations can be studied simultaneously and we are not limited to zero-Laue zones. Finally, the models for local structural disorder provided valuable insight into how macroscopic properties are influenced by local structural disorder, in addition to the average structure.

  • 16.
    Zhu, Chuantao
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Nanocellulose and Its Biohybrids for Water Purification: Atomic Force Microscopy as a Tool to Probe Surface Properties and Interactions2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Nanocellulose has been explored extensively in recent years as an adsorbent due to its promising performance in the removal of charged contaminants from water. In this thesis, various atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques are used to understand the surface characteristics and specific interactions of nanocellulose with water contaminants (heavy metal ions and dyes) and nanoscale entities (Graphene Oxide (GO) and Graphene Oxide nanocolloids (nanoGO)), and explain the mechanisms related to adsorption, metal ion clustering, self-assembly and mechanical reinforcement.

    AFM probes functionalised with microscale and nanoscale celluloses were used as colloidal probes to study specific surface interactions with heavy metal ions and dyes in the aqueous medium. This approach enabled quantitative measurements of the adhesion force between nanocellulose and the water pollutants under in situ conditions by direct or in-direct methods. Adhesion forces, including the piconewton range, were measured, and the forces depended on the surface groups present on the nanocellulose.

    AFM imaging in dry and/or wet conditions was successfully used to investigate the adsorption, self-assembly, morphology and mechanical properties of nanocellulose and its bio-hybrids. The self-assembly, the metal nanolayer and the nanoclusters on the surface of nanocellulose and its biohybrids after adsorption were confirmed and explained by advanced microscopy, spectroscopy and computational modelling.

    The adhesion and stiffness measurement of single nanocellulose fibers using in situ PeakForce Quantitative Nanomechanical (PF-QNM) characterization confirmed the adsorption of metal ions on the surface in the liquid medium. PF-QNM mapping of the freestanding biohybrid membranes also revealed the enhanced modulus of the biohybrid membrane compared with the TEMPO(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxylradical)-mediated oxidation nanofibers (TOCNF) membrane, which explained the hydrolytic stability and recyclability of these membranes.

    The established methodology, which combines advanced microscopy with spectroscopy and modelling techniques, can be extended to other biobased macromolecular systems to investigate the adsorption behaviour and/or surface interactions in bio nanotechnology.

  • 17.
    Liu, Yingxin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK). Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Sweden.
    Nanocellulose-based materials: from colloidal assembly to functional films2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The assembly of nature-based nanomaterials into complex architectures is both a design principle of biological composites, e.g., wood and nacre with outstanding properties and a promising route for developing functional macroscopic materials. This thesis aims to investigate and understand the colloidal and self-assembly behaviour of nanocellulose in aqueous dispersions. Moreover, composite films of nanocellulose and nanoclay/lignin with diverse functionalities, e.g., mechanical and optical properties, are fabricated by tailoring the electrostatic interactions of these building blocks.

    The evaporation induced assembly of sulfonated cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) has been followed in either an aqueous droplet on substrates or a levitated droplet by real-time small angle X-ray scattering. The evolution of structural features, e.g., an isotropic phase, biphasic phase, fully liquid crystalline and contracted helical structures of drying CNC dispersions were related to the power-law scaling of the particle separation distance (d) with concentrations (c, from 1 vol% to 38 vol%). Below 2 vol%, CNC dispersions consolidated isotropically with a scaling of d c-1/3, while the fully cholesteric liquid crystalline phase showed a unidimensional contraction of the nematic structure (d c-1) with increasing concentrations. Competition between gelation and the ordered assembly of CNC was quantitatively evaluated in nanoscale for the first time, which was reflected by a scaling of d c-2/3.

    The rheology of composite dispersions of carboxylated cellulose nanofibril (CNF) and nanoclay was investigated, which was influenced by the surface charge of CNF, the morphology of nanoclays and interactions between CNF and clay particles. Optically transparent films of synthetic aminoclay (50 wt%) and CNF were fabricated, of which tensile strength and strain to failure (205 MPa and 7.5%) were significantly higher than those of nacre and other nacre-mimicking nanocellulose-based materials, e.g., montmorillonite-CNF films, due to the formation of ionic bonding between the cationic clay and anionic CNF.

    Lignin nanoparticles were testified to enhance the colloidal stability and dispersity of carboxylated CNF in dispersions, and showed a remarkable strengthening and stiffening effect on the matrix of CNF. The mechanical properties of lignin-CNF films were superior to previously reported polymer/nanoparticle-CNF composites, such as polyvinyl alcohol-CNF films and even reduced graphene oxide-CNF films.

  • 18.
    Björnerbäck, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Sustainable porous organic materials: Synthesis, sorption properties and characterization2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The resources available to us humans, including metals, minerals, biomass, air, water, and anything else on the planet, are being used at an increasing rate. This anthropogenic use of resources both depletes the resources and has negative impacts on other resources, e.g. the biosphere. Thus, developing (more) sustainable chemical and industrial processes are of the utmost importance for the well-being of the creatures of Earth and for the long-term sustainability of human society.

    This thesis focuses on organic porous materials, and more specifically their synthesis and characterization. Porous materials are, for example, used in detergents, water treatment, bio gas upgrading, carbon dioxide capture, as catalysts, in sensors, and in various biological applications. The application of porous materials can contribute to the drive towards a more sustainable society. However, porous materials are typically not sustainable themselves. Thus, there is a need to develop more sustainable porous materials. The synthesis and characterization of three different groups of porous organic materials are described in this thesis.

    In pulp- and paper manufacturing, lignin is separated from desirable products and is typically combusted for heat. In one section of this thesis, lignin was used to produce bio-oil for potential use in fuels and chemicals. However, the bio-oil process produced a solid by-product. The by-product was used to synthesize and study activated carbons with very high porosities and magnetic properties, a combination of properties that may prove to be useful in applications.

    Sugar is known to produce solid and unwanted compounds through reactions with acids. It is shown here that it is possible to produce highly microporous humins, i.e. organic porous materials with a large amount of small pores, using sulphuric acid and a range of saccharides and bio-based polymers. This work supports that solid by-products in a wide range of biomass conversion processes can be of high value, both economically and as replacements for less sustainable alternatives.

    The biosphere contains vast amounts of molecules with aromatic structures. The last section of this thesis shows how such aromatic molecules can be used to produce highly porous materials through Friedel-Crafts type chemistry using sulfolane as a solvent and iron chloride as a catalyst. This synthesis strategy produces high-performance materials, improves upon the sustainability of traditional Friedel-Crafts chemistry, and makes use of typically underutilized and abundant bio-based molecules.

  • 19.
    Lin, Junzhong
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Synthesis, characterization and applications of hierarchical porous inorganic materials: a multi-dimensional approach2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Zeolites are a type of microporous crystalline materials that have been widely used in industrial applications including separation, adsorption, and catalysis. However, great limitations on diffusion through these materials can arise due to the small pores present in mircoporous frameworks, and this can impact catalytic reactions in particular. The synthesis of hierarchical zeolites has solved the diffusion problem. In this thesis, various hierarchically porous materials have been synthesized and tested as catalysts.

    In the first part of this thesis, a titanium-containing hierarchically porous silicate material has been constructed from double-four-ring (D4R) units as building blocks.

    In the second part of this thesis, hierarchical MWW zeolites were synthesized by swelling and pillaring of a lamellar MWW zeolitic precursor (MCM-22) using D4R building units. The synthesis procedure has been carefully studied by various characterization methods, such as PXRD, TEM, N2 adsorption–desorption etc.

    In the last part of this thesis, MFI zeolites with controllable hierarchical pore systems have been prepared. Firstly, hierarchical ZSM-5 and TS-1 with open pores were generated using a temperature programmed dissolution–recrystallization post-synthesis treatment and tested as catalysts for benzyl alcohol self-etherification and cyclohexanone ammoximation. Secondly, single-crystalline hierarchical shell-like ZSM-5 has been synthesized via a dissolution–recrystallization post-treatment of mesoporous ZSM-5. The post-treatment increased the catalytic activity of the ZSM-5 zeolite for the aldol condensation of bulky substrates.

  • 20.
    Yu, Yang
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Understanding Composition–Structure–Bioactivity Correlations in Bioactive Glasses2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Bioactive glasses integrate with bone/tooth tissues by forming a layer of hydroxy-carbonate apatite (HCA), which mimics the composition of bone mineral. In the current thesis, we investigated composition–structure–bioactivity correlations of phosphosilicate and borophosphosilicate (BPS) glasses. Bioactive phosphosilicate glasses extend the compositional space of the ”45S5 Bioglass®”, which has been in clinical use for decades. Recently developed bioactive BPS glasses with SiO2→B2O3 substitutions transform more completely into HCA and their glass dissolution behaviors can be tuned by varying the relative contents of B and Si. 

    It is known that the average silicate network connectivity NSi and the phosphate content (x(P2O5)) affect the apatite formation (in vitro bioactivity) of phosphosilicate glasses, but the details remain poorly explored. Three series of phosphosilicate glasses were designed by independently varying NSi and x(P2O5). After immersion of the glasses in a simulated body fluid (SBF) for 24 hours, different degrees of their apatite formation were quantified by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The results revealed that a high P content widened the NSi range that generated optimum amounts of apatite and also mitigated the detrimental effects associated with using glass particles with < 50 μm. The amounts of apatite derived from FTIR agreed with those from 31P magic angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The growth of apatite at bioactive glass surfaces was found to follow a sigmoidal growth model, in which the precursor phase, amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP), formed in the induction period and then crystallized into HCA in the following proliferation period, with an improvement in the structural ordering of HCA in the maturation period. This formation process closely resembles the apatite precipitated spontaneously from supersaturated Ca/P-containing solutions. The simultaneous growth of ACP and HCA is discussed in conjunction with a previously proposed mechanism for explaining in vitro bioactivity and apatite growth from bioactive glasses. 

    The short- and medium- range structures of bioactive borophosphosilicate (BPS) glasses were investigated by solid-state MAS NMR. Two series of BPS glasses were designed by gradually replacing SiO2 with B2O3 in the 45S5 glass, as well as another base glass featuring a more condensed glass network. As the B2O3 content is increased, the glass networks become more polymerized, together with decreased fractions of the dominating BO3 and orthophosphate units. Borate groups are homogeneously mixed with the isolated orthophosphate groups, while the remaining phosphate groups exhibit a slight preference for bonding to BO4 over SiO4 units. Linkages among borate groups are dominated by B[3]–O–B[4] linkages at the expenses of B[3]–O–B[3] and B[4]–O–B[4] linkages, with the latter B[4]–O–B[4] motifs disfavored yet abundant. A similar fashion of borate mixing was observed in P-free Na/Ca-based borosilicate glasses that span a large compositional space. The content of B[4]–O–B[4] linkages was found to be controlled by the relative fractions of BO4 groups and non-bridging oxygen ions.

  • 21.
    Wang, Yunchen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    3D Electron Diffraction: Application and Development towards High-quality Structure Determination2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Electron crystallography has been proven to be effective for structure determination of nano- and micron-sized crystals. In the past few years, 3D electron diffraction (3DED) techniques were used for the structure solution of various types of complex structures such as zeolites, metal-organic frameworks (MOF) and pharmaceutical compounds. However, unlike X-ray crystallography, electron diffraction has not yet become an independent technique for a complete structure determination due to relatively poorer diffraction intensities and often powder X-ray diffraction data are used for structure validation and refinement.

    Electron beam damage to the structures that are sensitive to high energy electrons and dynamical scattering are important factors to lead to the deviation of electron diffraction intensities from the squared amplitudes of the structure factors. In this thesis, we investigate various aspects around the 3D electron diffraction data quality and strategies for obtaining better data and structure models. We combined 3D electron diffraction methods and powder X-ray diffraction to determine the structure of an open-framework material and discussed the difficulties and limitations of electron diffraction for beam sensitive materials. Next, we illustrated the structure determination of a pharmaceutical compound, bismuth subgallate, using 3D electron diffraction. While severe beam damage and diffuse scattering were observed in the dataset collected with the conventional rotation electron diffraction (RED) method, the continuous rotation electron diffraction (cRED) method coupled with sample cooling significantly improved the data quality and made the structure solution possible. In order to better understand the potentials and limitations of the continuous rotation method, we collected multiple datasets from different crystals of a known structure and studied the data quality by evaluating the accuracy of the refined structure models. To tackle dynamical scattering in electron diffraction data, we explored a routine for structure refinement with dynamical intensity calculation using RED data from a known structure and discussed its potentials and limitations.

  • 22.
    Nedum Kandathil, Reji
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Hydrogen incorporation in Zintl phases and transition metal oxides- new environments for the lightest element in solid state chemistry2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This PhD thesis presents investigations of hydrogen incorporation in Zintl phases and transition metal oxides. Hydrogenous Zintl phases can serve as important model systems for fundamental studies of hydrogen-metal interactions, while at the same time hydrogen-induced chemical structure and physical property changes provide exciting prospects for materials science. Hydrogen incorporation in transition metal oxides leads to oxyhydride systems in which O and H together form an anionic substructure. The H species in transition metal oxides may be highly mobile, making these materials interesting precursors toward other mixed anion systems. 

    Zintl phases consist of an active metal, M (alkali, alkaline earth or rare earth) and a more electronegative p-block metal or semimetal component, E (Al, Ga, Si, Ge, etc.). When Zintl phases react with hydrogen, they can either form polyanionic hydrides or interstitial hydrides, undergo full hydrogenations to complex hydrides, or oxidative decomposition to more E-rich Zintl phases. The Zintl phases investigated here comprised the CaSi2, Eu3Si4, ASi (A= K, Rb) and GdGa systems which were hydrogenated at various temperature, H2 pressure, and dwelling time conditions. For CaSi2, a regular phase transition from the conventional 6R to the rare 3R took place and no hydride formation was observed. In contrast, GdGa and Eu3Si4 were very susceptible to hydrogen uptake. Already at temperatures below 100 ºC the formation of hydrides GdGaH2-x and Eu3Si4H2+x was observed. The magnetic properties of the hydrides (antiferromagnetic) differ radically from that of the Zintl phase precursor (ferromagnetic). Upon hydrogenating ASi at temperatures around 100 oC, silanides ASiH3 formed which contain discrete complex ion units SiH3-. The much complicated β – α order-disorder phase transition in ASiH3 was evaluated with neutron powder diffraction (NPD), 2H NMR and heat capacity measurements. 

    A systematic study of the hydride reduction of BaTiO3 leading to perovskite oxyhydrides BaTiO3-xHx was done. A broad range of reducing agents including NaH, MgH2, CaH2, LiAlH4 and NaBH4 was employed and temperature and dwelling conditions for hydride reduction examined. Samples were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), thermal gravimetric analysis and 1H NMR. The concentration of H that can be incorporated in BaTiO3-xHx was found to be very low, which is in contrast with earlier reports. Instead hydride reduction leads to a high concentration of O vacancies in the reduced BaTiO3. The highly O-deficient, disordered, phases - BaTiO3-xHy(x-y) with x up to 0.6 and y in a range 0.05 – 0.2 and (x-y) > y – are cubic and may represent interesting materials with respect to electron and ion transport as well as catalysis.

  • 23.
    Kranak, Verina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Investigating Hydrogenous Behavior of Zintl Phases: Interstitial Hydrides, Polyanionic Hydrides, Complex Hydrides, Oxidative Decomposition2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is an investigation into the hydrogenous behavior of Zintl phases. Zintl phases are comprised of an active metal (i.e alkali, alkaline earth, and rare earth) and a p-block element. The discussion gives an overview of the influence hydrogen affects the electronic and geometric structure of Zintl phases and subsequent properties. Incorporation of hydrogen into a Zintl phase is categorized as either polyanionic or interstitial Zintl phase hydrides. In the former the hydrogen covalently bonds to the polyanion and in the latter the hydrogen behaves hydridic, coordinates exclusively with the active metal, leading to an oxidation of the polyanion. Synthesis of hydrogenous Zintl phases may be through either a direct hydrogenation of a Zintl phase precursor or by combining active metal hydrides and p-block elements. The latter strategy typically leads to thermodynamically stable hydrides, whereas the former supports the formation of kinetically controlled products. 

    Polyanionic hydrides are exemplified by SrAlGeH and BaAlGeH. The underlying Zintl phases SrAlGe and BaAlGe have a structure that relates to the AlB2 structure type. These Zintl phases possess 9 valence electrons for bonding and, thus, are charge imbalanced species. Connected to the charge imbalance are superconductive properties (the Tc of SrAlGe and BaAlGe is 6.7 and 6.3 °C, respectively). In the polyanionic hydrides the hydrogen is covalently bonded as a terminating ligand to the Al atoms. The Al and Ge atoms in the anionic substructure [AlGeH]2- form corrugated hexagon layers. Thus, with respect to the underlying Zintl phases there is only a minimal change to the arrangement of metal atoms. However, the electronic properties are drastically changed since the Zintl phase hydrides are semiconductors. 

    Interstitial hydrides are exemplified by Ba3Si4Hx (1 < x < 2) which was obtained from the hydrogenation of the Zintl phase Ba3Si4. Ba3Si4 contains a Si46- “butterfly” polyanion. Hydrogenation resulted in a disordered hydride in which blocks of two competing tetragonal structures are intergrown. In the first structure the hydrogen is located inside Ba6 octahedra (I-Ba3Si4H), and in the second structure the hydrogen is located inside Ba5 square pyramids (P-Ba3Si4H2). In both scenarios the “butterfly anions appear oxidized and form Si44- tetrahedra.

    Hydrogenation may also be used as a synthesis technique to produce p-block element rich Zintl phases, such as silicide clathrates. During hydrogenation active metal is removed from the Zintl phase precursor as metal hydride. This process, called oxidative decomposition, was demonstrated with RbSi, KSi and NaSi. Hydrogenation yielded clathrate I at 300 °C and 500 °C for RbSi and KSi, respectively. Whereas a mixture of both clathrate I and II resulted at 500 °C for NaSi. 

    Low temperature hydrogenations of KSi and RbSi resulted in the formation of the silanides KSiH3 and RbSiH3. These silanides do not represent Zintl phase hydrides but are complex hydrides with discrete SiH3- complex species. KSiH3 and RbSiH3 occur dimorphic, with a disordered α-phase (room temperature; SG Fm-3m) and an ordered β-phase (below -70 °C; SG = Pnma (KSiH3); SG = P21/m ( RbSiH3)). During this thesis the vibrational properties of the silyl anion was characterized. The Si–H stretching force constants for the disordered α-phases are around 2.035 Ncm-1 whereas in the ordered b-forms this value is reduced to ~1.956 Ncm-1. The fact that SiH3- possesses stronger Si-H bonds in the α-phases was attributed to dynamic disorder where SiH3- moieties quasi freely rotate in a very weakly coordinating alkali metal ion environment.

  • 24.
    Abdelhamid, Hani Nasser
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Lanthanide Metal-Organic Frameworks and Hierarchical Porous Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis presents the synthesis, properties, and applications of two important classes of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs); lanthanide MOFs and hierarchical porous zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs). The materials have been characterized using a wide range of techniques including diffraction, imaging, various spectroscopic techniques, gas sorption, dynamical light scattering (DLS) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).

    In Chapter 1, the unique features of MOFs and ZIFs as well as their potential applications are summarized. In Chapter 2, different characterization techniques are presented.

    Chapter 3 describes a family of new isoreticular lanthanide MOFs synthesized using tri-topic linkers of different sizes, H3L1-H3L4, denoted SUMOF-7I-IV (Ln) (SU; Stockholm University, Ln = La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu and Gd, Paper I). The SUMOF-7I-III (Ln) contain permanent pores and exhibit exceptionally high thermal and chemical stability. The luminescence properties of SUMOF-7IIs are reported (Paper II). The influences of Ln ions and the tri-topic linkers as well as solvent molecules on the luminescence properties are investigated. Furthermore, the potential of SUMOF-7II (La) for selective sensing of Fe (III) ions and the amino acid tryptophan is demonstrated (Paper III). 

    Chapter 4 presents a simple, fast and scalable approach for the synthesis of hierarchical porous zeolitic imidazolate framework ZIF-8 and ZIF-67 using triethylamine (TEA)-assisted approach (Paper IV). Organic dye molecules and proteins are encapsulated directly into the ZIFs using the one-pot method. The photophysical properties of the dyes are improved through the encapsulation into ZIF-8 nanoparticles (Paper IV). The porosity and surface area of the ZIF materials can be tuned using the different amounts of dye or TEA. To further simplify the synthesis of hierarchical porous ZIF-8, a template-free approach is presented using sodium hydroxide, which at low concentrations induces the formation of zinc hydroxide nitrate nanosheets that serve as in situ sacrificial templates (Chapter 5, Paper V). A 2D leaf-like ZIF (ZIF-L) is also obtained using the method. The hierarchical porous ZIF-8 and ZIF-L show good performance for CO2 sorption.

  • 25.
    Li, Yunxiang
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Modification of zeolites and synthesis of SAPO-templated carbon2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Zeolites are crystalline aluminosilicates with diverse structures and uniform porosities. They are widely used as catalysts, adsorbents and ion-exchangers in industry. Direct or post modifications optimize the performance of zeolites for different applications. In this thesis, IZM-2 and TON-type zeolites were synthesized, modified and studied. In addition, FAU-type zeolite and silicoaluminophosphate (SAPO) molecular sieves were applied as templates for the preparation of microporous carbons.

    In the first part of this thesis, the IZM-2 zeolite with an unknown structure was synthesized. We focused on the increasing the secondary porosity and the varied framework compositions upon post modifications.

    The structure determination of this IZM-2 zeolite was hindered by the small size of crystals. In the second part of this thesis, the synthesis composition was directly modified in order to increase the crystal sizes. IZM-2 crystals were enlarged by excluding the aluminium atoms from the framework. The micropores of the obtained pure-silica polymorphs were activated by ion-exchanging alkali-metal ions with protons.

    Typically, TON-type zeolites that are synthesized at hydrothermal conditions under stirring have needle-shaped crystals. In the third part of this thesis, snowflake-shaped aggregates were produced by using static hydrothermal conditions for the synthesis of TON-type zeolites. The effects of synthesis parameters on the growth and morphology of crystals were discussed in detail.

    In the last part of this thesis, microporous carbons with a structural regularity were prepared by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of propylene using a silicoaluminophosphate (SAPO-37) template. Compared to the conventional zeolite templates, the SAPO template could be removed under mild conditions, without using hydrofluoric acid, and the generated carbons had a large specific surface area and a high fraction of ultrasmall micropores.

  • 26.
    Ojwang, Dickson Odhiambo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Prussian blue analogue copper hexacyanoferrate: Synthesis, structure characterization and its applications as battery electrode and CO2 adsorbent2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Prussian blue (PB) and Prussian blue analogues (PBAs) are compounds with potential applications in a large variety of fields such as gas storage, poison antidotes, electrochromism, electrochemistry and molecular magnets. The compounds are easy to synthesize, cheap, environmentally friendly and have been pursued for both fundamental research and industrial purposes. Despite the multifunctionality of PB and PBAs, they have complicated compositions, which are largely dependent on the synthesis methods and storage conditions. Thus, performing investigations on such compounds with defined composition, stoichiometry and crystal structure is essential.

    This thesis has focused on synthesis and detailed structure characterization of copper hexacyanoferrate (CuHCF) via X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), neutron powder diffraction (NPD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Mössbauer spectroscopy, extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS), infrared (IR) and Raman techniques. In addition, kinetics of thermal dehydration process, CO2 adsorption and CO2 adsorption kinetics were investigated. Moreover, in operando synchrotron X-ray diffraction experiments were performed to gain insight into the structure-electrochemistry relationships in an aqueous CuHCF/Zn battery during operation.

  • 27.
    Peng, Fei
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Structure determination of beam sensitive crystals by rotation electron diffraction: the impact of sample cooling2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Electron crystallography is complementary to X-ray crystallography. Single crystal X-ray diffraction requires the size of a crystal to be larger than about 5 × 5 × 5 μm3 while a TEM allows a million times smaller crystals being studied. This advantage of electron crystallography has been used to solve new structures of small crystals. One method which has been used to collect electron diffraction data is rotation electron diffraction (RED) developed at Stockholm University. The RED method combines the goniometer tilt and beam tilt in a TEM to achieve 3D electron diffraction data. Using a high angle tilt sample holder, RED data can be collected to cover a tilt range of up to 140o

    Here the crystal structures of several different compounds have been determined using RED. The structure of needle-like crystals on the surface of NiMH particles was solved as La(OH)2. A structure model of metal-organic layers has been built based on RED data. A 3D MOF structure was solved from RED data. Two halide perovskite structures and two newly synthesized aluminophosphate structures were solved. For those beam sensitive crystals characterized here, sample cooling down to -170oC was used to reduce the beam damage. The low temperature not only reduces electron beam damage, but also keeps the structure more stable in the high vacuum in a TEM and improves the quality of the diffraction data. It is shown that cooling can improve the resolution of diffraction data for MOFs and zeolites, for samples undergoing phase changes at low temperature, the data quality could be worse by cooling. In summary, cooling can improve the ED data quality as long as the low temperature does not trigger structural changes. 

  • 28.
    Zhong, Yuan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Sub-grain structure in additive manufactured stainless steel 316L2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thesis focuses on exploring the sub-grain structure in stainless steel 316L prepared by additive manufacturing (AM). Two powder-bed based AM methods are involved: selective laser melting (SLM) and electron beam melting (EBM). It is already known that AM 316L has heterogeneous property and hierarchy structure: micro-sized melt pools, micro-sized grains, nano-sized sub-grain structure and nano-sized inclusions. Yet, the relation among these structures and their influence on mechanical properties have not been clearly revealed so far. Melt pool boundaries having lower amount of sub-grain segregated network structures (Cellular structure) are weaker compared to the base material. Compared with cell boundaries, grain boundaries have less influence on strength but are still important for ductility. Cell boundaries strengthen the material without losing ductility as revealed by mechanical tests. Cellular structure can be continuous across the melt pool boundaries, low angle sub-grain boundaries, but not grain boundaries. Based on the above understanding, AM process parameters were adjusted to achieve customized mechanical properties. Comprehensive characterization were carried out to investigate the density, composition, microstructure, phase, magnetic permeability, tensile property, Charpy impact property, and fatigue property of both SLM and EBM SS316L at room temperature and at elevated temperatures (250°C and 400°C). In general, SLM SS316L has better strength while EBM SS316L has better ductility due to the different process conditions. Improved cell connection between melt pools were achieved by rotating 45° scanning direction between each layer compared to rotating 90°. Superior mechanical properties (yield strength 552 MPa and elongation 83%) were achieved in SLM SS316L fabricated with 20 µm layer thickness and tested in the building direction. Y2O3 added oxide dispersed strengthening steel (ODSS) were also prepared by SLM to further improve its performance at elevated temperatures. Slightly improved strength and ductility (yield strength 574 MPa and elongation 90%) were obtained on 0.3%Y2O3-ODSS with evenly dispersed nanoparticles (20 nm). The strength drops slightly  but ductility drops dramatically at elevated temperatures. Fractographic analysis results revealed that the coalescence of nano-voids is hindered at room temperature but not at elevated temperatures. The achieved promising properties in large AM specimens assure its potential application in nuclear fusion. For the first time, ITER first wall panel parts with complex inner pipe structure were successfully fabricated by both SLM and EBM which gives great confidence to application of AM in nuclear industry. 

  • 29.
    Svengren, Henrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Water splitting by heterogeneous catalysis2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A sustainable solution for meeting the energy demands at our planet is by utilizing wind-, solar-, wave-, thermal-, biomass- and hydroelectric power. These renewable and CO2 emission-free energy sources are highly variable in terms of spatial and temporal availability over the Earth, introducing the need for an appropriate method of storing and carrying energy. Hydrogen has gained significant attention as an energy storage- and carrier media because of the high energy density that is exploited within the ‘power-to-gas’ process chain. A robust way of producing sustainable hydrogen is via electrochemical water splitting.

    In this work the search for new heterogeneous catalyst materials with the aim of increasing energy efficiency in water splitting has involved methods of both electrochemical water splitting and chemical water oxidation. Some 21 compounds including metal- oxides, oxofluorides, oxochlorides, hydroxide and metals have been evaluated as catalysts. Two of these were synthesized directly onto conductive backbones by hydrothermal methods. Dedicated electrochemical cells were constructed for appropriate analysis of reactions, with one cell simulating an upscale unit accounting for realistic large scale applications; in this cell gaseous products are quantified by use of mass spectrometry. Parameters such as real time faradaic efficiency, production of H2 and O2 in relation to power input or overpotentials, Tafel slopes, exchange current density and electrochemical active surface area as well as turnover numbers and turnover frequencies have been evaluated.

    Solubility, possible side reactions, the role of the oxidation state of catalytically active elements and the nature of the outermost active surface layer of the catalyst are discussed. It was concluded that metal oxides are less efficient than metal based catalysts, both in terms of energy efficiency and in terms of electrode preparation methods intended for long time operation. The most efficient material was Ni-Fe hydroxide electrodeposited onto Ni metal foam as conductive backbone. Among the other catalysts, Co3Sb4O6F6 was of particular interest because the compound incorporate a metalloid (Sb) and redox inert F and yet show pronounced catalytic performance.

    In addition, performance of materials in water splitting catalysis has been discussed on the basis of results from electron microscopy, solubility experiments and X-ray diffraction data.

  • 30.
    Kapla, Jon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Computer Simulations of Membrane–Sugar Interactions2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Carbohydrate molecules are essential parts of living cells. They are used as energy storage and signal substances, and they can be found incorporated in the cell membranes as attachments to glycoproteins and glycolipids, but also as free molecules. In this thesis the effect of carbohydrate molecules on phospholipid model membranes have been investigated by the means of Molecular Dynamics (MD) computer simulations.

    The most abundant glycolipid in nature is the non-bilayer forming monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG). It is known to be important for the membrane stacking typical for the thylakoid membranes in plants, and has also been found essential for processes related to photosynthesis. In Paper I, MD simulations were used to characterize structural and dynamical changes in a lipid bilayer when MGDG is present. The simulations were validated by direct comparisons between dipolar couplings calculated from the MD trajectories, and those determined from NMR experiments on similar systems. We could show that most structural changes of the bilayer were a consequence of lipid packing and the molecular shape of MGDG.

    In certain plants and organisms, the enrichment of small sugars such as sucrose and trehalose close to the membrane interfaces, are known to be one of the strategies to survive freezing and dehydration. The cryoprotecting abilities of these sugar molecules are long known, but the mechanisms at the molecular level are still debated. In Papers II–IV, the interactions of trehalose with a lipid bilayer were investigated. Calculations of structural and dynamical properties, together with free energy calculations, were used to characterize the effect of trehalose on bilayer properties. We could show that the binding of trehalose to the lipid bilayer follows a simple two state binding model, in agreement with recent experimental investigations, and confirm some of the proposed hypotheses for membrane–sugar interactions. The simulations were validated by dipolar couplings from our NMR investigations of TRH in a dilute liquid crystal (bicelles). Furthermore, the assumption about molecular structure being equal in the ordered and isotropic phases was tested and verified. This assumption is central for the interpretation of experimentally determined dipolar couplings in weakly ordered systems.

    In addition, a coarse grain model was used to tackle some of the problems with slow dynamics that were encountered for trehalose in interaction with the bilayer. It was found that further developments of the interaction models are needed to properly describe the membrane–sugar interactions. Lastly, from investigations of trehalose curvature sensing, we concluded that it preferably interacts in bilayer regions with high negative curvature.

  • 31.
    Agthe, Michael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Crystallization on the Mesoscale: Self-Assembly of Iron Oxide Nanocubes into Mesocrystals2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Self-assembly of nanoparticles is a promising route to form complex, nanostructured materials with functional properties. Nanoparticle assemblies characterized by a crystallographic alignment of the nanoparticles on the atomic scale, i.e. mesocrystals, are commonly found in nature with outstanding functional and mechanical properties. This thesis aims to investigate and understand the formation mechanisms of mesocrystals formed by self-assembling iron oxide nanocubes.

    We have used the thermal decomposition method to synthesize monodisperse, oleate-capped iron oxide nanocubes with average edge lengths between 7 nm and 12 nm and studied the evaporation-induced self-assembly in dilute toluene-based nanocube dispersions. The influence of packing constraints on the alignment of the nanocubes in nanofluidic containers has been investigated with small and wide angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS, respectively). We found that the nanocubes preferentially orient one of their {100} faces with the confining channel wall and display mesocrystalline alignment irrespective of the channel widths. 

    We manipulated the solvent evaporation rate of drop-cast dispersions on fluorosilane-functionalized silica substrates in a custom-designed cell. The growth stages of the assembly process were investigated using light microscopy and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D). We found that particle transport phenomena, e.g. the coffee ring effect and Marangoni flow, result in complex-shaped arrays near the three-phase contact line of a drying colloidal drop when the nitrogen flow rate is high. Diffusion-driven nanoparticle assembly into large mesocrystals with a well-defined morphology dominates at much lower nitrogen flow rates. Analysis of the time-resolved video microscopy data was used to quantify the mesocrystal growth and establish a particle diffusion-based, three-dimensional growth model. The dissipation obtained from the QCM-D signal reached its maximum value when the microscopy-observed lateral growth of the mesocrystals ceased, which we address to the fluid-like behavior of the mesocrystals and their weak binding to the substrate. Analysis of electron microscopy images and diffraction patterns showed that the formed arrays display significant nanoparticle ordering, regardless of the distinctive formation process. 

    We followed the two-stage formation mechanism of mesocrystals in levitating colloidal drops with real-time SAXS. Modelling of the SAXS data with the square-well potential together with calculations of van der Waals interactions suggests that the nanocubes initially form disordered clusters, which quickly transform into an ordered phase.

  • 32.
    Mayence, Arnaud
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Design and characterization of nanoparticles and their assemblies: Transmission electron microscopy investigations from atomic to mesoscopic length scales2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a powerful and versatile tool for investigating nanomaterials. In this thesis, various transmission electron microscopy techniques are used to study the chemical and structural features of different types of inorganic nanoparticles of well-defined morphologies as well as their assemblies. The synthesis of spherical and anisotropic nanoparticles (iron oxide nanocubes and other morphologies, gadolinium orthophosphate nanorods, tungsten oxide nanowires and nanorods, palladium nanospheres, and facetted iron-manganese oxides hybrid nanoparticles) using thermal decomposition of metal complex precursors in high-boiling point organic solvents and hydrothermal process are described in details.

    Electron diffraction tomography (3D EDT) is a recently developed technique that is used to investigate the 3D structure of crystalline materials. Reciprocal space volume reconstruction of 3D EDT data of thin WO3 nanowires assembled into nanorods revealed single crystal domains of hexagonal symmetry. Moreover, the use of 3D EDT enabled to identify and solve the structures of individual GdPO4 nanorods in a mixed phase powder. The use of 3D EDT was extended using small-angle diffraction mode to investigate the packing arrangements and defects in nanoparticle assemblies. A high concentration of planar defects found in different nanoparticle assemblies highlights the competition between the fcc and hcp arrangements during the assembly process.

    Iron-manganese oxides hybrid nanoparticles with different three-dimensional configurations, i.e. core|shell and asymmetric facetted dimers, were investigated using a combination of several electron microscopy techniques (HRTEM, SAED, STEM-HAADF, EFTEM, EELS). The growth of the facetted cubic MnO phase onto preformed Fe3O4 seed particles occurs preferentially along the Fe3O4 nanocube edges forming a well-oriented crystalline interface despite the lattice mismatch and defects. Atomic resolution monitoring of the structural changes in Mn3O4|Fe3O4 and Fe3O4|Mn3O4 core|shell nanoparticles induced by the electron beam revealed a strain relief mechanism at the interface involving inhomogeneous diffusion of cations and defects creation.

  • 33.
    Li, Duan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Rapid sintering of ceramics by intense thermal radiation2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sintering is an important processing step for obtaining the necessary mechanical stability and rigidity of ceramic bulk materials. Both mass and heat transfer are essential in the sintering process. The importance of radiation heat transfer is significantly enhanced at high temperatures according to the well-known Stefan-Boltzmann’s law. In this thesis, we modified the pressure-less spark plasma sintering set-up to generate intense thermal radiation, aiming at rapid consolidation of ceramic bulk materials. This approach was named as “Sintering by Intense Thermal Radiation (SITR)” as only thermal radiation contributed.

    Firstly, the heat and mass transfer mechanisms during the SITR process were studied by choosing zirconia ceramics as references. The results revealed that the multiple scattering and absorption of radiation by the materials contributed to the heat diffusion. The observed enhanced densification and grain growth can be explained by a multiple ordered coalescence of zirconia nanocrystals using high heating rates.

    Secondly, the temperature distribution during the SITR process was investigated by both numerical simulation and experimental verifications. It showed that the radiator geometry, sample geometry and radiating area were influencing factors. Besides, the change of material and geometry of the radiators resulted in an asymmetric temperature distribution that favored the formation of SiC foams. The foams had gradient structures with different open porosity levels and pore sizes and size distributions.

    Finally, ceramic bulk materials were successfully fabricated by the SITR method within minutes. These materials included dense and strong ZrO2 ceramics, Si3N4 foams decorated with one-dimensional nanostructures, and nasal cavity-like SiC-Si3N4 foams with hierarchical heterogeneities. Sufficient densification or formed strong necks were used for tailoring these unique microstructures. The SITR approach is well applicable for fast manufacture of ceramic bulk materials because it is clean and requires low energy consumption and properties can be controlled and tuned by selective heating, heating speed or temperature distribution.

  • 34.
    Saeidi, Kamran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Stainless steels fabricated by laser melting: Scaled-down structural hierarchies and microstructural heterogeneities2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the way of production and use of materials. The clear tendency for shifting from mass production to individual production of net-shape components has encouraged using selective laser melting (SLM) or electron beam melting (EBM). In this thesis, austenitic, duplex and martensitic stainless steel parts were fabricated by laser melting technique using fixed laser scanning parameters. The fabricated steel parts were characterised using XRD, SEM, TEM/STEM, SADP and EBSD techniques. Mechanical properties of the fabricated steel parts were also measured. The mechanism of the evolution of microstructure during laser melting as well as the mechanism of the effect of developed microstructure on the mechanical properties was investigated. It was found that the intense localized heating, non-uniform and asymmetric temperature gradients and subsequently fast cooling introduces unique high level structural hierarchies and microstructure heterogeneities in laser melted steel parts. A unique structural hierarchy from the millimetre scale melt pools down to the sub-micron/nano scale cellular sub-grains was observed. The cellular sub-grains were 0.5-1μm with Molybdenum enriched at the sub-grain boundaries in SLM 316L. The Mo enriched cell boundaries affected the chemical and microstructure stability of the post heat treated samples. Well dispersed and large concentration of dislocations around the cell boundaries and well distributed oxide nano inclusions, imposed large strengthening and hardening effect that led to relatively superior tensile strength (700 MPa), yield strength (456 MPa), and microhardness (325Hv) compared to those of HIP 316L steel. The in-situ formation of oxide nano inclusions provided a unique way for preparation of oxide dispersion-strengthened (ODS) steel in a single process. The formation of oxide nano inclusions in the very low oxygen partial pressure of laser chamber was thermodynamically explained. High concentration of nano size dislocation loops, formation of nitride phases along with nitrogen enriched islands and oxide nano inclusions lead to strong dislocation pinning effect which strengthened the laser melted duplex stainless steel with a total tensile strength of 1321 MPa, yield strength of 1214 MPa and microhardness of 450HV. The grade 420 stainless steel was laser melted in Ar and N2 atmosphere which also showed a two level hierarchy with nanometric martensite lathes embedded in parental austenite cellular grains. The Ar treated sample had relatively higher retained austenite, lower YS (680-790 MPa) and UTS (1120-1200 MPa) compared to those treated in N2 (YS= 770-1100 MPa, UTS=1520-1560 MPa). The mechanism of the effect of atmosphere on phase transformation was explained.

  • 35.
    Ma, Yanhang
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Structural study of nano-structured materials: electron crystallography approaches2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The structural analysis serves as a bridge to link the structure of materials to their properties. Revealing the structure details allows a better understanding on the growth mechanisms and properties of materials, and a further designed synthesis of functional materials. The widely used methods based on X-ray diffraction have certain limitations for the structural analysis when crystals are small, poorly crystallized or contain many defects. As electrons interact strongly with matter and can be focused by electromagnetic lenses to form an image, electron crystallography (EC) approaches become prime candidates for the structural analysis of a wide range of materials that cannot be done using X-rays, particularly nanomaterials with poor crystallinity.

    Three-dimensional electron diffraction tomography (3D EDT) is a recently developed method to automatically collect 3D electron diffraction data. By combining mechanical specimen tilt and electronic e-beam tilt, a large volume of reciprocal space can be swept at a fine step size to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the diffraction data with respect to both position and intensity. Effects of the dynamical scattering are enormously reduced as most of the patterns are collected at conditions off the zone axes. In this thesis, 3D EDT has been used for unit cell determination (COF-505), phase identifications and structure solutions (ZnO, Ba-Ta3N5, Zn-Sc, and V4O9), and the study of layer stacking faults (ETS-10 and SAPO-34 nanosheets).

    High-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) imaging shows its particular advantages over diffraction by allowing observations of crystal structure projections and the 3D potential map reconstruction. HRTEM imaging has been used to visualize fine structures of different materials (hierarchical zeolites, ETS-10, and SAPO-34). Reconstructed 3D potential maps have been used to locate the positions of metal ions in a woven framework (COF-505) and elucidate the pore shape and connectivity in a silica mesoporous crystal.

    The last part of this thesis explores the combination with X-ray crystallography to obtain more structure details.

  • 36.
    Guo, Peng
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Structure Determination and Prediction of Zeolites: A Combined Study by Electron Diffraction, Powder X-Ray Diffraction and Database Mining2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Zeolites are crystalline microporous aluminosilicates with well-defined cavities or channels of molecular dimensions. They are widely used for applications such as gas adsorption, gas storage, ion exchange and catalysis. The size of the pore opening allows zeolites to be categorized into small, medium, large and extra-large pore zeolites. A typical zeolite is the small pore silicoaluminophosphate SAPO-34, which is an important catalyst in the MTO (methanol-to-olefin) process. The properties of zeolite catalysts are determined mainly by their structures, and it is therefore important to know the structures of these materials in order to understand their properties and explore new applications.

    Single crystal X-ray diffraction has been the main technique used to determine the structures of unknown crystalline materials such as zeolites. This technique, however, can be used only if crystals larger than several micrometres are available. Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) is an alternative technique to determine the structures if only small crystals are available. However, peak overlap, poor crystallinity and the presence of impurities hinder the solution of structures from PXRD data. Electron crystallography can overcome these problems. We have developed a new method, which we have called “rotation electron diffraction” (RED), for the automated collection and processing of three-dimensional electron diffraction data. This thesis describes how the RED method has been applied to determine the structures of several zeolites and zeolite-related materials. These include two interlayer expanded silicates (COE-3 and COE-4), a new layered zeolitic fluoroaluminophosphate (EMM-9), a new borosilicate (EMM-26), and an aluminosilicate (ZSM-25). We have developed a new approach based on strong reflections, and used it to determine the structure of ZSM-25, and to predict the structures of a series of complex zeolites in the RHO family. We propose a new structural principle that describes a series of structurally related zeolites known as “embedded isoreticular zeolite structures”, which have expanding unit cells. The thesis also summarizes several common structural features of zeolites in the Database of Zeolite Structures.

  • 37.
    Jaworski, Aleksander
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Structure of Rare-Earth Aluminosilicate Glasses Probed by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy and Quantum Chemical Calculations2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aluminosilicate glasses incorporating rare earth elements feature highly beneficial physical and chemical properties, at the level beyond that accessible for compositions based on alkali and/or alkaline earth metals. Extraordinary hardness, high glass transition temperatures and indices of refraction, favorable coefficients of thermal expansion, as well as excellent chemical durability, result in many potential technological applications. However, in contrast to the systematically explored and commercially exploited aluminosilicate glasses that contain Na, K, and Ca elements, their rare earth counterparts were sparsely investigated, although exhibit several unique structural features.

    This thesis explored the short- and medium-range structural organization of glasses belonging to the ternary RE2O3—Al2O3—SiO2 systems, where RE denotes one of the trivalent and diamagnetic rare earth metal ions of scandium (Sc), yttrium (Y), lanthanum (La), and lutetium (Lu). Comprehensive multinuclear solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance studies complemented with atomistic molecular dynamics computer simulations and quantum chemical calculations provided detailed insight into local environments of the glass networkforming elements (Si, Al), oxygen species, as well as the rare earth ions, thereby offering a deeper understanding of the glass structure.

  • 38.
    Westberg, Emelie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Biomarkers of internal exposure/dose: Methods to quantify adducts to protein and DNA by LC/MS studied with benzo[a]pyrene and isocyanates2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis focuses on methods for quantification by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) of specific biomarkers for internal dose of chemicals which induce toxicity through their electrophilic reactivity. In vivo such compounds are short-lived, and could feasibly be measured as their reaction products (adducts) with biomacromolecules. Analysis by MS methods of stable adducts offers the specificity and accuracy required to generate data on internal dose useful in risk estimation.

    The primary aim was to develop a method for quantification by LC/MS of bulky adducts to serum albumin (SA) from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, using the genotoxic diolepoxide (DE) of benzo[a]pyrene (BP) as a model. A method for analysis of the BPDE adducts to His146 in SA was developed which is robust, easy-to-use, has good reproducibility and which reached a high sensitivity. A method for quantification of BPDE adducts to N2-deoxyguanosine (dG) in DNA by LC/MS was also established.

    In mice exposed to BP, adducts to SA and DNA from stereoisomers of BPDE were identified and quantified. The adduct level was shown to be >400 times higher in DNA than in SA, which from an in vitro study could be concluded to mainly depend on a large difference in the rates of adduct formation to His in SA and to dG in DNA. BPDE adduct levels to SA and DNA, and a biomarker of genotoxic effect (frequency of micronuclei), were compared in BP-exposed mice. The results were used to evaluate how these methods could be used in procedures for cancer risk estimation.

    An LC/MS method for analysis of valine hydantoins (VH) formed as adducts from isocyanates to N-termini in haemoglobin was established. VH, formed from urea/isocyanic acid, was investigated in mice as a potential biomarker of renal failure and for dose adjustment during treatment with a radioactive cytostatic drug. The kidney dysfunction was not severe enough to give a significant increase of VH in the experiment. 

  • 39.
    Mathew, Renny
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Composition-Structure Correlations of Bioactive Glasses Explored by Multinuclear Solid-state NMR Spectroscopy2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This PhD thesis presents a study of structure-composition correlations of bioactive glasses (BGs) by employing solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

    Silicate-based Na2O−CaO−SiO2−P2O5 BGs are utilized clinically and are extensively investigated for bone regeneration purposes. Once implanted in the human body, they facilitate bone regeneration by partially dissolving in the body fluids, followed by the formation of a biomimetic surface-layer of calcium hydroxy-carbonate apatite (HCA). Eventually, the implanted BG totally integrates with the bone. The bioactivity of melt-prepared BGs depends on their composition and structure, primarily on the phosphorus content and the average silicate-network connectivity (NC). We explored these composition-structure relationships for a set of BGs for which the NC and phosphorus contents were varied independently.

    The short-range structural features of the glasses were explored using 29Si and 31P magic-angle-spinning (MAS) NMR spectroscopy. 31P MAS NMR revealed that the orthophosphate content is directly proportional to the total P content of the glass, with a linear correlation observed between the orthophosphate content and the silicate network connectivity. The bearings of the results for future BG design are discussed.

    By using multiple-quantum coherence-based 31P NMR experiments, the spatial distribution of orthophosphate groups was probed in the melt prepared BGs, as well as in two mesoporous bioactive glasses prepared by an evaporation-induced self-assembly technique. The results evidence randomly distributed orthophosphate groups in the melt-prepared BGs, whereas the pore-walls of the mesoporous bioactive glasses constitute nanometer-sized clusters of calcium phosphate. The distribution of Na+ ions among the phosphate/silicate groups were studied by heteronuclear dipolar-based 23Na−31P NMR experiments, verifying that sodium is dispersed nearly randomly in the glasses.

    The phosphorus and proton environments in biomimetically grown HCA were investigated by using 1H and 31P MAS NMR experiments. Our studies revealed that the biomimetic HCA shared many local structural features with synthetic and well-ordered hydroxy-apatite.