Micrograph of the November from the Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

Each month, the ISGS Newsletter features an interesting and striking micrograph (or series of micrographs) chosen from a recent issue of the Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology or from unpublished sources such as PhD theses, etc (with full attribution given). If you know of any interesting images that might be suitable, please contact the ISGS Newsletter Editor for inclusion. The micrographs can be optical, SEM, TEM, AFM, etc, and a brief description of the samples should be provided.

This month’s images are taken from three different papers in the latest issue of JSST and once again highlight the breadth of sol-gel science and technology, together with the areas in which our community is making an impact.

The first is taken from the work of Ahmad, Abdullah, Yuhana, Yuliarto and Othman entitled “Enhanced photovoltaic performance of various temperature TiO2 -SiO2 -Ni-GO dye-sensitized solar cells assembled with PAN gel electrolyte” (JSST, (2021), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-021-05670-3), which explores the effect of annealing temperature on the efficiency of dye-sensitized photovoltaic cells incorporating TiO2 -SiO2 -Ni-GO photoanodes. As shown in the micrographs, a highly porous, interconnected structure was obtained at 350 oC, which yields an efficiency of 3.4% when used in conjunction with a solid gel electrolyte. In contrast, annealing at 400 or 450 oC leads to reduced efficiencies of 1.8 and 1.1%, respectively.

The second series of micrographs is from the work of Dearden, Edwards, Evans, Woolsey, Blair, Harrison and Harrison. This paper, entitled “Synthesis of zinc oxide nanoplates and their use for hydrogen sulfide adsorption” (JSST, (2021), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-021-05686-9), explores the sorption performance of ZnO nanoplates, nanoparticles and prisms for the uptake of hydrogen sulfide gas. Hydrogen sulfide reacts with ZnO via the formation of ZnS, with the nanoplates showing the highest uptake of 32 G S/100 g sorbent. The sorbents were readily regenerated by heating the sorbents at 600 oC.