Beams Document 7411-v1

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Preparation and Characterization of Pure and Decorated Metal Oxide Materials for Energy Applications Using Novel Physical Deposition Methods

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Tiziana Spina
Updated by:
Tiziana Spina
Document Created:
21 Jun 2019, 09:50
Contents Revised:
21 Jun 2019, 09:50
Metadata Revised:
28 Jun 2019, 16:55
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Changes in the global climate, especially noticeable by recent storms and significant
weather variations, have led to an urgent need to understand if and/or how these changes
are related to CO2 and methane emissions. In concert with understanding this relationship
it is incumbent on the scientific community to discover and develop more sustainable and
efficient ways to produce and store energy. Because of their abundance and broad range
of optoelectronic and physicochemical properties, metal oxides (MO) offer a unique
opportunity to address these energy/environmental challenges. Our research activities
are focused on the study of pure and decorated nanoscale particles of magnesium (MgO)
and zinc oxide (ZnO) and their applicability to optoelectronics, catalysis, gas separationstorage and anti-fungal/bacterial properties. The MO we employ are synthesized using
patented and novel approach which produces chemically and size selective particles.
These particles can be subsequently decorated using an innovative physical vapor
deposition (PVD) process that is used to deposit atomic clusters of copper, nickel and
cobalt on MgO and ZnO. Powder X-ray diffraction, photoluminescence (PL), and diffuse
reflectance (DR) spectroscopy have been used to examine the structural and
optoelectronic properties of the bare and decorated materials. Diffraction data clearly
show the emergence of ordered metal structures on the MO; while PL and DR results
indicate a potential modification of the absorbing and emitting sites on the surface.
Electron microscopy measurements have revealed a presence of metal species on the
MO surface. Finally, in order to more fully understand the electronic properties of these
decorated MO materials, photoemission studies are currently being performed.
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