Ecaterina Andronescu


4 Graphene-Graphene Oxide Dopping Effect on the Mechanical Properties of Polyamide Composites

Authors: Ecaterina Andronescu, Daniel Sava, Dragos Gudovan, Iulia Alexandra Gudovan, Ioana Ardelean, Maria Sonmez, Denisa Ficai, Laurentia Alexandrescu


Graphene and graphene oxide have been intensively studied due to the very good properties, which are intrinsic to the material or come from the easy doping of those with other functional groups. Graphene and graphene oxide have known a broad band of useful applications, in electronic devices, drug delivery systems, medical devices, sensors and opto-electronics, coating materials, sorbents of different agents for environmental applications, etc. The board range of applications does not come only from the use of graphene or graphene oxide alone, or by its prior functionalization with different moieties, but also it is a building block and an important component in many composite devices, its addition coming with new functionalities on the final composite or strengthening the ones that are already existent on the parent product. An attempt to improve the mechanical properties of polyamide elastomers by compounding with graphene oxide in the parent polymer composition was attempted. The addition of the graphene oxide contributes to the properties of the final product, improving the hardness and aging resistance. Graphene oxide has a lower hardness and textile strength, and if the amount of graphene oxide in the final product is not correctly estimated, it can lead to mechanical properties which are comparable to the starting material or even worse, the graphene oxide agglomerates becoming a tearing point in the final material if the amount added is too high (in a value greater than 3% towards the parent material measured in mass percentages). Two different types of tests were done on the obtained materials, the hardness standard test and the tensile strength standard test, and they were made on the obtained materials before and after the aging process. For the aging process, an accelerated aging was used in order to simulate the effect of natural aging over a long period of time. The accelerated aging was made in extreme heat. For all materials, FT-IR spectra were recorded using FT-IR spectroscopy. From the FT-IR spectra only the bands corresponding to the polyamide were intense, while the characteristic bands for graphene oxide were very small in comparison due to the very small amounts introduced in the final composite along with the low absorptivity of the graphene backbone and limited number of functional groups. In conclusion, some compositions showed very promising results, both in tensile strength test and in hardness tests. The best ratio of graphene to elastomer was between 0.6 and 0.8%, this addition extending the life of the product. Acknowledgements: The present work was possible due to the EU-funding grant POSCCE-A2O2.2.1-2013-1, Project No. 638/12.03.2014, code SMIS-CSNR 48652. The financial contribution received from the national project ‘New nanostructured polymeric composites for centre pivot liners, centre plate and other components for the railway industry (RONERANANOSTRUCT)’, No: 18 PTE (PN-III-P2-2.1-PTE-2016-0146) is also acknowledged.

Keywords: Graphene, Mechanical Properties, Graphene Oxide, dopping effect

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3 The Effect of Silanization on Alumina for Improving the Compatibility with Poly(Methacrylic Acid) Matrix for Dental Restorative Materials

Authors: Ecaterina Andronescu, Cristina Daniela Ghitulica, Andreia Cucuruz, Andrei Tiberiu Cucuruz


In modern dentistry, the application of resin-based composites continues to increase and in the majority of countries has completely replaced mercury amalgams. Alumina (Al2O3) is a representative bioinert ceramic with a variety of applications in industry as well as in medicine. Alumina has the potential to improve electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity of polymers. The application of poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) in medicine was poorly investigated in the past but can lead to good results by the incorporation of alumina particles that can bring bioinertness to the composite. However, because of the differences related to chemical bonding of these materials, the interaction is very weak at the interface leading to no significant values in practical situations. The aim of this work was to modify the structure of alumina with silane coupling agents and to study the influence of silanization on the physicomechanical properties of the resulting composite materials. Two silanes were used in this study: 3-aminopropyl-trimethoxysilane (APTMS) and dichlorodimethylsilane (DCDMS). Both silanes proved to have a significant effect on the overall performance of composites by establishing bonds with the polymer matrix and the filler. All these improvements in dental adhesive systems made for bonding resin composites to tooth structure have enhanced the clinical application of polymeric restorative materials to the position that they are now considered the material of choice for esthetic restoration.

Keywords: Dental Materials, compressive strength, alumina, silane coupling agents, poly(methacrylic acid)

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2 Synthesis and Characterization of Graphene Composites with Application for Sustainable Energy

Authors: Bogdan S. Vasile, Ecaterina Andronescu, Daniel F. Sava, Anton Ficai, Georgeta Voicu


The energy crisis and environmental contamination are very serious problems, therefore searching for better and sustainable renewable energy is a must. It is predicted that the global energy demand will double until 2050. Solar water splitting and photocatalysis are considered as one of the solutions to these issues. The use of oxide semiconductors for solar water splitting and photocatalysis started in 1972 with the experiments of Fujishima and Honda on TiO2 electrodes. Since then, the evolution of nanoscience and characterization methods leads to a better control of size, shape and properties of materials. Although the past decade advancements are astonishing, for these applications the properties have to be controlled at a much finer level, allowing the control of charge-carrier lives, energy level positions, charge trapping centers, etc. Graphene has attracted a lot of attention, since its discovery in 2004, due to the excellent electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties that it possesses. These properties make it an ideal support for photocatalysts, thus graphene composites with oxide semiconductors are of great interest. We present in this work the synthesis and characterization of graphene-related materials and oxide semiconductors and their different composites. These materials can be used in constructing devices for different applications (batteries, water splitting devices, solar cells, etc), thus showing their application flexibility. The synthesized materials are different morphologies and sizes of TiO2, ZnO and Fe2O3 that are obtained through hydrothermal, sol-gel methods and graphene oxide which is synthesized through a modified Hummer method and reduced with different agents. Graphene oxide and the reduced form could also be used as a single material for transparent conductive films. The obtained single materials and composites were characterized through several methods: XRD, SEM, TEM, IR spectroscopy, RAMAN, XPS and BET adsorption/desorption isotherms. From the results, we see the variation of the properties with the variation of synthesis parameters, size and morphology of the particles.

Keywords: Renewable Energy, Composites, Graphene, Hydrothermal

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1 In vitro Cytotoxicity Study on Silver Powders Synthesized via Different Routes

Authors: Roxana Trusca, Otilia Ruxandra Vasile, Ecaterina Andronescu, Cristina Daniela Ghitulica, Bogdan Stefan Vasile, Eugeniu Vasile, Alina Maria Holban, Carmen Mariana Chifiriuc, Florin Iordache, Horia Maniu


Engineered powders offer great promise in several applications, but little information is known about cytotoxicity effects. The aim of the current study was the synthesis and cytotoxicity examination of silver powders using pyrosol method at temperatures of 600°C, 650°C and 700°C, respectively sol-gel method and calcinations at 500°C, 600°C, 700°C and 800°C. We have chosen to synthesize and examine silver particles cytotoxicity due to its use in biological applications. The synthesized Ag powders were characterized from the structural, compositional and morphological point of view by using XRD, SEM, and TEM with SAED. In order to determine the influence of the synthesis route on Ag particles cytotoxicity, different sizes of micro and nanosilver synthesized powders were evaluated for their potential toxicity. For the study of their cytotoxicity, cell cycle and apoptosis have been done analysis through flow cytometry on human colon carcinoma cells and mesenchymal stem cells and through the MTT assay, while the viability and the morphological changes of the cells have been evaluated by using cloning studies. The results showed that the synthesized silver nanoparticles have displayed significant cytotoxicity effects on cell cultures. Our synthesized silver powders were found to present toxicity in a synthesis route and time-dependent manners for pyrosol synthesized nanoparticles; whereas a lower cytotoxicity has been measured after cells were treated with silver nanoparticles synthesized through sol-gel method.

Keywords: Cytotoxicity, Sol-Gel Method, pyrosol method

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