4 October - 10 October 2015
My stay at the Chemische Kristallographie fester Stoffe group was extremely positive. The excellent infrastructure of this group and the helpfulness of its members made the stay very productive, educative, and enjoyable. Without any doubt, the MAPEX grant offered me a very nice opportunity in the context of my PhD studies.
My home research group works in collaboration with the Chemische Kristallographie fester Stoffe group led by Prof. Dr. Gesing in Bremen. The joint project combines the areas of expertise of both groups: synthesis and characterization of materials by the German group, and surfaces and photocatalysis by the Photonic Photocatalysis group led by Prof. Dr. Mendive in Argentina. The general goal of this short research stay at the German group was to learn advanced synthesis techniques of mullite-type compounds. This represents an important contribution to my PhD thesis, focused on the photocatalytic activity of inverse opal structures based on titanium dioxide and mullite-type compounds. The particular objective was the synthesis of Bi2Fe4O9 nanoparticles following a published protocol, under the supervision of a group which redounds expertise in that matter. It was reported that the particle size of this material strongly affects its photocatalytic activity, and this procedure offers a simple way to control the particle size by changing the experimental conditions. The know-how gained during the stay will be ultimately used for the preparation of photocatalytically active Bi2Fe4O9 inverse opals once back in the Argentinean group.
The stay at the German group was also useful for discussing results of theoretical calculations previously performed at my home institution, within the framework of the joint project. On the basis of these discussions, new calculations were planned and a manuscript is being prepared for its prompt submission.
The infrastructure and organization of the group led by Prof. Gesing not only made the stay very productive, but was also educative and enjoyable.New contacts with the members from the German group were created, and further collaborative work will follow after this stay.