WP1 – Synthesis and Characterization of MACs

Objectives. Identify traditional and new synthesis processes of MACs. Achieve better control of size and shape of primary materials (nano-particles) to exploit their full potential. Develop a detailed microscopic understanding of how a given artificial nano-architecture and its properties are related. Develop a new level of analytical capability for characterization of nano-materials, nano-ceramics, and nano-devices under relevant operating conditions. Identification of the most relevant existing networks in EU & LA.

Description of work. Conduct a comprehensive overall study on MACs and its applications in some important sectors of industrial interest for the EU and LA countries to carry out the complementary and scheduled socio-economic study (WP3) and the diffusion of results (WP5). The objectives of this WP will be achieved thourgh the different task by means of: mobility plan for researchers/students/technical staff, training courses, diffusion of results and associated workshops, etc.

TASK 1.1: Synthesis of ceramic materials with applications in environment (water and soils) (ICMAB-CSIC-KTH) For direct synthesis of ceramic materials it is necessary to firstly study number, chemical nature, and boundaries of the phases. A technology review has been conducted on the current and emerging ceramic powder production technologies, such as carbothermal reduction, vapor-phase reaction, plasma processes, sol-gel techniques, and chemical techniques (including precipitation, hydrothermal process, emulsion process, laser synthesis, and self-propagating high-temperature synthesis). Specific scientific and technological issues where this task will be focused on are:

  • Sub-task 1.1.1 Synthesis of Nanoparticles with homogeneous composition and controlled crystal size. (INTEMA-ICMAB-CSIC) addressed to the synthesis of nanoceramics (oxides, nitride, carbide, borites, sialon, mullite, etc.) and find new methods for powder production to overcome size limitations of milling processes (Sol-Gel and Precipitation Technologies; Combustion Flame-Chemical vapor condensation process; gas Phase condensation Synthesis; Reverse micelle Synthesis; Polymer-mediated Synthesis; Protein Microtube-mediated synthesis; Sonochemical Synthesis, supercritical gases (CO)2, electric and magnetic fields, bio-mimicry, ie, to mimic the mechanism used by Mother Nature (Shells, Abalone, etc.).
  • Sub-task 1.1.2 Nanoparticle arrangement with uniform particle size, integration, and dispersion control. (INTEMA-ICMAB-CSIC-UCH) to control the dispersion of the nanopowders, determining the rheological properties. Seek and apply new Sintering methods to improve all properties but especially mechanical properties identifying the crack formation (i.e. hard friction coatings, corrosion protection coatings, smart coatings, aesthetic coatings, etc).
  • Sub-task 1.1.3 Fabrication of ceramics with pore structures. (INTEMA-ICMAB-CSIC-UCH) to design new absorbents taking into account different parameters (Potential Energies for Absorption, Heat of Absorption, Polarizability, Dipole Moment, Quadropole Moment, Electronic Charge, van der Waals Radius, pore and size geometry).
  • Sub-task 1.1.4 High order structural control from the micrometer to the nanometer order. (INTEMA) on the synthesis and patterns of reactivity of supported metal complexes and nanoclusters consistent with the rules of conventionally organometallic chemistry.
  • Sub-task 1.1.5 Nanostructure design based on theoretical and experimental study of the relationships between local structures and the manifestation of object functions. (KTH) on the two complementary approaches used to produce bulk nanostructured/ultra-fine grain metallic materials. The “bottom-up” approach in which nanostructured materials are assembled from individual atoms, molecules or nanoscale building blocks such as nanoparticles. The second, “top-down” approach, existing coarse-grained materials are processed to produce substantial grain refinement and a nanostructure.
  • Sub-task 1.1.6 Ceramic with applications in environment (water and soils). (KTH) based on functional and nanoparticle-based remediation strategies using nanostructured inorganic materials (such as layered materials like the apatites), nanostructured organic/inorganic hybrid materials, and the use of nanomaterials to enhance the performance of sensors.

TASK 1.2: Characterization of MACs (UCH) by diffraction with x-rays, electrons or neutrons, and various forms of spectroscopy and chemical analysis such as Raman spectroscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), ICP-MS, ICP-OES, FP-XRF, chromatography, thermal analysis, electron microscope analysis, etc., in order to understand and define the properties of ceramic materials.

  • Sub-task 1.2.1: Physical and chemical characterizations (UFMG). The concrete activities in this Sub-task 1.2.2 include:
    • Twining activities: seminars, lectures etc. for short periods of 1-2 days during the visits of seniors researchers.
    • Twining/Mobility, modality 1: Shorts exchance of personnel (seniors in general, during a maximum of 1-2 months) from EU/LA to LA/EU. Objectives: MACs knowledge transfer. Identification of new opportunities for future cooperation activities, under FP8 and bilateral programs. Formulation and presentation of joint proposals of mutual interest, joint publications etc.
    • Twining/Mobility, modality 2: To EU: KTH and/or UAB and to LA: UFMG, UCH and/or INTEMA, for young scientist (Postdocs or PhD students of AR-BR-CL). Facilities: ICP-MS, IR and UV-Vis and microscopy equipments, Solid RMN etc. Duration of each training: between from 2 to 6 months.
    • Training course: On characterization techniques (INTEMA or UNLU, in the frame of Sub-Task 5.2.3 “Training courses in Argentina, Brazil and Chile”) dedicated to chemical and structural characterization of MACs (advanced ceramics & solid state chemistry) as well as proprieties and applications derived from the analytical results.
    • Training course of 2 working days for young students: Training on ALBA Synchrotron Activities (UAB):
    • Examples of real cases of identification of micro-crystals in a complex matrix (year 2014)
  • Sub-task 1.2.2: Crystallographic and structural characterizations (UAB) The UAB has an X-ray Diffraction Service located in the Unit of Crystallography with 3 automatics XRD operating 24/7 hours/day. At ICMAB-CSIC, located in the UAB Campus, 2 more XRD (Siemens and Rigaku) operate. The UAB Optical and Electron Microscopy Core contain a variety of different EM microscopes, equipment, and preparation services. Highly experienced personnel provide users with training, consulting, and assistance with sample preparation. The concrete activities in this Sub-task 1.2.2 include:
    • Twining: Exchance of personnel (seniors in general) from LA and from the EU. Objectives: Knowledge transfer from EU/LA to LA/EU. Identification of new opportunities for future cooperation activities, under FP8 and bilateral programs.
    • Training 1: In UAB and/or ICMAB-CSIC for young scientist (Postdoc or PhD students from AR-BR-CL), by means of the modern crystallographic equips (DRX) existing in the laboratories/services of the UAB and ICMAB-CSIC. Duration of each training: between from 2 to 6 months
    • Training 2: In UAB and/or ICMAB-CSIC for young scientist (Postdoc or PhD students from AR-BR-CL), by means of the modern Optical and Electron Microscopy equips existing in the laboratories/services of UAB and ICMAB-CSIC. Duration of each training: between from 2 to 6 months
    • Training course: On characterization techniques (in the frame of Sub-Task 5.2.3 “Training courses in Argentina, Brazil and Chile”) dedicated to research in crystal structure identification of ceramic materials (advanced ceramics solid state chemistry) and properties and applications derived of the ceramics tridimensional structure.

TASK 1.3: Identification of the most relevant networks of Ceramic Materials, Advanced Ceramic Materials and Nanotechnologies in EU and LA, by employing several tools (internet, surveys, congress assistance, CORDIS-EC consultation, DG RTD et.). The results will be grouped in: 1) List of EU and LA Networks and core research issues for further evaluation by the consortium as potential partners in future projects or networks; 2) Distribution of all the Nets (LA and EU) by ceramic sub-sectors.

  • Sub-task 1.3.1: Identification of the most relevant EU networks (ICMAB-CSIC and KTH). Identification by means of internet, EC programs (FP7 and FP8), CYTED netwoks, Chambers of industry, universitary survey, ongoing projects based in NETs etc. the existing EU27 networks in ceramic materials or in Material Sciences and Nanotechnologies.
  • Sub-task 1.3.2: Identification of the most relevant networks in advanced materials and nanotechnologies in Argentina, Brazil and Chile (UNLu). Identification inside governmental bodies (SECYT-AR, CNPq-BR, CONACYT-CL etc.) and Chambers of industry/commerce (like FIESC-BR, EUROCHAMBER, etc.) the existing NETs in Material Sciences and Ceramics.