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The adsorption and retention of phosphates in soil systems is of wide environmental importance, and understanding the surface chemistry of halloysite (a common soil clay mineral) is also of prime importance in many emerging technological applications of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs). The adsorption of phosphate anions on tubular halloysite (7 Å) has been studied to gain a greater understanding of the mechanism and kinetics of adsorption on the surface of HNTs. Two well-characterized tubular halloysites with differing morphologies have been studied: one polygonal prismatic and one cylindrical, where the cylindrical form has a greater surface area and shorter tube length. Greater phosphate adsorption of up to 42 μmol g–1 is observed on the cylindrical halloysite when compared to the polygonal prismatic sample, where adsorption reached a maximum of just 15 μmol g–1 compared to a value for platy kaolinite (KGa-2) of 8 μmol g–1. Phosphate adsorption shows strong pH dependence, and the differences in phosphate sorption between the prismatic and cylindrical morphologies suggest that phosphate absorption does not occur at the same pH-dependent alumina edge sites and that the lumen may have a greater influence on uptake for the cylindrical form.
In a constant effort to capture effectively more of the spectral range from the sun, multi-junction cells are being investigated. In this context, the marriage of thin film and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) PV technologies may be able to offer greater efficiency whilst maintaining the benefits of each individual technology. DSC devices offer advantages in the nature of both the metal oxide photo-electrode and dye absorption bands, which can be tuned to vary the optical performance of this part of a tandem device, while CdTe cells absorb the majority of light above their band-gap in only a few microns of thickness. The key challenge is to assess the optical losses with the goal of reaching a net gain in photocurrent and consequently increased conversion efficiency. This study reports on the influence of optical losses from various parts of the stacked tandem structure using UV-VIS spectrometry and EQE measurements. A net gain in photocurrent was achieved from a model developed for the DSC/CdTe mechanically stacked tandem structure.
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