The European Ceramic Society

YCN representative - Croatia

Arijeta Bafti, mag. chem.

YCN representative for the Croatian Ceramic Society

Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology

Marulićev trg 20, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

           

I am Arijeta Bafti, a 2nd year PhD student working in the field of porous materials at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology (FCET) University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. The Group I work in is engaged in comprehensive studies of preparation, infiltration, characterization, and processing of various materials for a variety of applications. Our focus is on the ability to tailor the properties of advanced materials by controlling various parameters for the desired application.

The subject of my dissertation relates to the advance preparation and characterization of infiltrated porous composites. The experimental part of my dissertation is in progress, and the synthesis and characterization of different types of infiltrated nanostructured porous materials are being carried out to improve the common efficiency indicators of functional materials. These porous materials under investigation can be classified into the following categories: (i) materials from natural sources or with naturally occurring precursors (currently geopolymers and zeolites), (ii) oxide materials (TiO2, SnO2) in nanoscale configurations and (iii) former materials in combination with a solid template (currently, cellulose) for the purpose of developing a macroporous configuration (aerogels, networks, spheres) with the further potential application for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Among the materials that are in the thesis scope, geopolymers deserve special attention. They are ceramic-like inorganic polymers that could act as concrete-like materials, only without concrete-like energy and environmental concerns. Geopolymers, with additional formulations and treatment, attain formations similar to zeolites. Following, the contribution in overlapping construction and energy materials could originate from preparing geopolymers/zeolites in the form of a paste that can be further developed into a thin-film. Such films, prepared in a conductive configuration, open the possibility of application in solar-cells. In this context, materials with specific properties such as aluminosilicates, activated by alkali solutions, require investigation by a considerable number of advanced techniques. Precursors based on amorphous mullite material raise considerable attention due to their ease of preparation in the laboratory. The preparation of new geopolymer and/or zeolite formulations with characteristic properties, the study of the relationships between composition, structure, configuration and mechanical properties are important for understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of these materials.

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