M. Di Michiel

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France

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Publications (156)430.48 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Composite TiO2-WO3 oxide materials were prepared by a single pot microemulsion method and studied during calcination treatments under dry air in order to analyze the influence of tungsten on the behavior of the dominant titania component. To this end, the surface and bulk morphological and structural evolution of the solid precursors was studied using X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy. In the calcination process, differences in the dominant titania component behavior appeared as a function of the W/Ti atomic ratio of the precursor. First, the crystallization of the anatase phase is affected by tungsten through an effect on the primary particle size growth. Furthermore, such an effect also influences the anatase to rutile phase transformation. The study provides evidence that the W-Ti interaction develops differently for a low/high W/Ti atomic ratio below/above 0.25 affecting fundamentally the above-mentioned anatase primary particle size growth process and the subsequent formation of the rutile phase and showing that addition of tungsten provides a way to control morphology and phase behavior in anatase-based oxide complex materials.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 08/2014; · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ageing characteristics of flame-made 2 wt% Pd supported on YFeO3 were analysed in comparison with a Pd/Al2O3–CeO2–ZrO2 three-way catalyst (TWC) with respect to structural changes and catalytic performance for methane oxidation under stoichiometric reaction conditions. Thermal treatment under lean conditions (air, 900 °C) resulted in slight decrease in the methane oxidation activity of the TWC. In marked contrast, YFeO3-supported Pd catalysts exhibit an increase in activity after such treatment. Activity enhancement is even higher when the treatment was performed under stoichiometric conditions (air–fuel equivalence ratio, λ = 1, 900 °C). To explain this observation, in-depth characterization (BET, STEM, OSCC, XAS, and CO chemisorption) of fresh and aged catalysts was performed. Both thermal and stoichiometric ageing cause a severe sintering of the support particles and the phase transformation from hexagonal to orthorhombic YFeO3. Despite the absence of a mixed Pd–YFeO3 phase, the growth of Pd particles appears to be limited under the λ = 1 atmosphere. In contrast to thermally aged catalysts where large PdO particles are formed, well-defined metallic Pd nanoparticles of 10–20 nm are present after stoichiometric ageing along with higher methane oxidation activity. Although it is tempting to conclude that metallic Pd is active for methane oxidation under the given conditions, reversible and periodic partial oxidation of the large metallic particles is observed in modulation excitation high energy X-ray diffraction (HXRD) experiments designed to simulate the oscillating redox conditions experienced during operation. These results indicate that large Pd particles exhibit improved methane oxidation activity but equally confirm that activity under stoichiometric conditions is the result of a delicate equilibrium dictated by the bulk-Pd/surface-PdO pair.
    Catal. Sci. Technol. 08/2014; 4(9).
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray diffraction (XRD) is typically silent towards information on low loadings of precious metals on solid catalysts because of their finely dispersed nature. When combined with a concentration modulation approach, time-resolved high-energy XRD is able to provide the detailed redox dynamics of palladium nanoparticles with a diameter of 2 nm in 2 wt % Pd/CZ (CZ=ceria-zirconia), which is a difficult sample for extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) measurements because of the cerium component. The temporal evolution of the Pd(111) and Ce(111) reflections together with surface information from synchronous diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) measurements reveals that Ce maintains Pd oxidized in the CO pulse, whereas reduction is detected at the beginning of the O2 pulse. Oxygen is likely transferred from Pd to Ce(3+) before the onset of Pd re-oxidation. In this context, adsorbed carbonates appear to be the rate-limiting species for re-oxidation.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English 06/2014; · 13.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Evolution of the inner microstructure of uniaxially pressed copper powders was investigated by in situ X-ray microtomography. Experiments were carried out at the European Synchrotron in Grenoble, France. Sintering was performed under reducing atmosphere at 1050 °C. Qualitative and quantitative information from the 3D images acquired along the whole sintering cycle were analyzed. From that, macro- and microstructural features of the evolving microstructure were obtained. We found that large pores can be created during sintering and then they can grow during the whole thermal cycle by reducing the initial relative density of the sample by 10 %. The effect of the pore shape and the heterogeneous distribution of the pore volume fraction inside the sample are responsible for the behavior observed during sintering. The heterogeneous deformation measured is controlled by the evolution of the porosity.
    Journal of Materials Science 06/2014; 49(12). · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The lattice parameter changes in three types of Nb3Sn superconducting wires during uniaxial stress–strain measurements at 4.2 K have been measured by high-energy synchrotron x-ray diffraction. The nearly-stress-free Nb3Sn lattice parameter has been determined using extracted filaments, and the elastic strain in the axial and transverse wire directions in the different wire phases has been calculated. The mechanical properties of the PIT and RRP wire are mainly determined by the properties of Nb3Sn and unreacted Nb. This is in contrast to the bronze route wire, where the matrix can carry substantial loads. In straight wires the axial Nb3Sn pre-strain is strongest in the bronze route wire, its value being smaller in the PIT and RRP wires. A strong reduction of the non-Cu elastic modulus of about 30% is observed during cool-down from ambient temperature to 4.2 K. The Nb3Sn Poisson ratio at 4.2 K measured in the untwisted bronze route wire is 0.35. The present study also shows that the process route has a strong influence on the Nb3Sn texture.
    Superconductor Science and Technology 03/2014; 27(4):044021. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The texture of Nb3Sn in recent multifilamentary composite wires has been studied by neutron diffraction, synchrotron x-ray diffraction and electron backscatter diffraction. In powder-in-tube (PIT) type superconductors the Nb precursor filaments exhibit a strong <110> fiber texture as a consequence of the severe cold drawing process, and a <110> texture is also observed in the Nb3Sn. In the Nb-Ta precursor of the restacked rod process (RRP) strand there is an additional texture component, and in both Ta-alloyed and Ti-alloyed RRP type conductors the Nb3Sn grains grow with a preferential <100> orientation.
    Superconductor Science and Technology 01/2014; 27(2). · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-brilliance and high-energy polychromatic X-ray diffraction (XRD) has been used for time-resolved studies of rapid solidification microstructure evolution in situ during simulated spot welding in austenitic steels. Weld pools of 5.0 mm diameter and 0.6–1.5 mm depth were formed at the steel plate surfaces by radiation heating from halogen lamps. Solidification was initiated by powering off the lamps, and completed within 1.5 s while measuring diffraction from the solidifying grains of the pool at a 1 kHz frame rate. The data contain time-resolved information on individual grain growth and overall solid fraction evolution, and furthermore reveal prominent individual and collective motion of grains during early stages of solidification, presumably caused by convective currents in the pool. Ultrafast polychromatic high-energy XRD is novel in studies of microstructure evolution during welding. The experimental technique could quite readily be used for similar studies in real welding.
    Acta Materialia. 01/2014; 68:159–168.
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    ABSTRACT: Graphical abstract Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (55 K)Download as PowerPoint slide
    Journal of Catalysis. 01/2014; 314:94–100.
  • Coordination Chemistry Reviews 01/2014; · 11.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In-situ synchrotron x-ray experiments have been used to follow the evolution of the diffraction peaks for crystalline dendrites embedded in a bulk metallic glass matrix subjected to a compressive loading-unloading cycle. We observe irreversible diffraction-peak splitting even though the load does not go beyond half of the bulk yield strength. The chemical analysis coupled with the transmission electron microscopy mapping suggests that the observed peak splitting originates from the chemical heterogeneity between the core (major peak) and the stiffer shell (minor peak) of the dendrites. A molecular dynamics model has been developed to compare the hkl-dependent microyielding of the bulk metallic-glass matrix composite. The complementary diffraction measurements and the simulation results suggest that the interface, as Maxwell damper, between the amorphous matrix and the (211) crystalline planes relax under prolonged load that causes a delay in the reload curve which ultimately catches up with the original path.
    Scientific Reports 01/2014; 4:4394. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An emerging theme of modern composites and devices is the coupling of nanostructural properties of materials with their targeted arrangement at the microscale. Of the imaging techniques developed that provide insight into such designer materials and devices, those based on diffraction are particularly useful. However, to date, these have been heavily restrictive, providing information only on materials that exhibit high crystallographic ordering. Here we describe a method that uses a combination of X-ray atomic pair distribution function analysis and computed tomography to overcome this limitation. It allows the structure of nanocrystalline and amorphous materials to be identified, quantified and mapped. We demonstrate the method with a phantom object and subsequently apply it to resolving, in situ, the physicochemical states of a heterogeneous catalyst system. The method may have potential impact across a range of disciplines from materials science, biomaterials, geology, environmental science, palaeontology and cultural heritage to health.
    Nature Communications 09/2013; 4:2536. · 10.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate that Si planar parabolic lens with long focus distance can collimate high energy X-rays with microradian precision. A divergent beam from a wiggler at the ESRF ID15 beamline is reduced from 15 microradian down to 1 microradian. We propose a new imaging technique for direct measurements of beam divergence. It is shown experimentally that precision better than 1 mrad may be really achieved. Measurements are done at the energy range 60 - 90 keV. Contribution of source size and diffraction phenomena to the precision and ultimate sensitivity of the developed technique is discussed.
    Proc SPIE 07/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Different solutions have been proposed over the years to optimize control of the temperature and atmosphere over a catalyst in order to reach an ideal reactor behavior. Here, a new innovative solution which aims to minimize temperature gradients along the catalyst bed is demonstrated. This was attained by focusing the infrared radiation generated from the heating elements onto the catalyst bed with the aid of an aluminium shield. This method yields a ~0.13 K mm-1 axial temperature gradient ranging from 960 to 1173 K. With the selection of appropriate capillaries, pressures of 20 bar (2 MPa) can be attained.
    Journal of Applied Crystallography 07/2013; 46(5):1523. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray microtomography is a fruitful technique to characterize damage during high-temperature deformation. Usually, such characterizations are carried out in post mortem conditions. In the present study, three-dimensional (3-D) damage characterization was performed in in situ conditions, namely directly during high-temperature deformation tests. Continuous 3-D damage characterization was successfully performed during high-temperature deformation of a magnesium alloy. Nucleation and growth of cavities were studied and a particular attention was also given to the possibility of coalescence between cavities.
    Scripta Materialia 07/2013; 69(1):85–88. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The internal crystalline structure of a human molar tooth has been non-destructively imaged in cross section using X-ray diffraction computed tomography. Diffraction signals from high energy X-rays which have large attenuation lengths for hard biomaterials have been collected in a transmission geometry. Coupling this with a computed tomography data acquisition and mathematically reconstructing their spatial origins, diffraction patterns from every voxel within the tooth can be obtained. Using this method we have observed the spatial variations of some key material parameters including nanocrystallite size, organic content, lattice parameters, crystallographic preferred orientation and degree of orientation. We have also made the link between the spatial variations of the unit cell lattice parameters and the chemical make-up of the tooth. In addition, we have determined how the onset of tooth decay occurs through clear amorphisation of the hydroxyapatite crystal, and we have been able to map the extent of decay within the tooth. The described method has strong prospects for non-destructive probing of mineralised biomaterials.
    Acta biomaterialia 06/2013; · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction are suitable probes of the chemical state of a catalyst under working conditions but are limited to bulk information. Here we show in two case studies related to hydrothermal aging and chemical modification of model automotive catalysts that enhanced detailed information of structural changes can be obtained when the two methods are combined with a concentration modulated excitation (cME) approach and phase sensitive detection (PSD). The catalysts are subject to a modulation experiment consisting of the periodic variation of the gas feed composition to the catalyst and the time-resolved data are additionally treated by PSD. In the case of a 2 wt% Rh/Al2O3 catalyst, a very small fraction (ca. 2%) of Rh remaining exposed at the alumina surface after hydrothermal aging at 1273 K can be detected by PSD. This Rh is sensitive to the red-ox oscillations of the experiment and is likely responsible for the observed catalytic activity and selectivity during NO reduction by CO. In the case of a 1.6 wt% Pd/Al2O3-Ce1-xZrxO2 catalyst, preliminary results of cME-XRD demonstrate that access to the kinetics of the whole material at work can be obtained. Both the red-ox processes involving the oxygen storage support and the Pd component can be followed with great precision. PSD enables the differentiation between Pd deposited on Al2O3 or on Ce1-xZrxO2. Modification of the catalyst by phosphorous clearly induces loss of the structural dynamics required for oxygen storage capacity that is provided by the Ce(4+)/Ce(3+) pair. The two case studies demonstrate that detailed kinetics of subtle changes can be uncovered by the combination of in situ X-ray absorption and high energy diffraction methods with PSD.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 05/2013; · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The methanol to gasoline process over the zeolite catalyst ZSM-5 in a lab-sized reactor bed (4 mm diameter) has been studied in operando with high energy synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The fast z-scan method was used, scanning the reactor repeatedly and at speed through the X-ray beam. The X-ray diffraction data were processed using high throughput parametric Rietveld refinement to obtain real structural parameters. The diffraction data show only very subtle changes during the process and this allows us to demonstrate the combination of very large data volumes with parametric Rietveld methods to study weak features of the data. The different possible data treatment methodologies are discussed in detail and their effects on the results obtained are demonstrated. The trends in unit cell volume, zeolite channel occupancy and crystallite strain indicate that more or larger reaction intermediates are present close to the reactor outlet.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 04/2013; · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The behaviour of the Pd phase in three way catalysts (TWCs) having a Ce-Zr oxide as a promoter component has been examined under CO/NO cycling conditions. In order to extract information on the role of the noble metal and the metal-promoter interface, two catalysts in, respectively, the presence or the absence of the promoter and having a similar Pd particle size were analyzed by a synchronous multitechnique approach using X-ray absorption (XAS) or high energy X-ray diffraction (HXRD) in combination with diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (DRIFTS) and mass spectrometry (MS). From a structural point of view it is shown that the promoter oxide strongly influences Pd behaviour, limiting morphological (size/shape) and structural (formation of carbide/oxide phases) modifications occurring under dynamic conditions in the absence of the promoter. Activity measurements show that these phenomena have important chemical consequences in terms of CO/NO pollutant metal coverage(s), the occurrence of NO and/or CO dissociation steps as well as the subsequent transformation of the pollutants into CO2 and N2.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 04/2013; · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The freezing of colloidal suspensions is encountered in many natural and engineering processes such as the freezing of soils, food engineering and cryobiology. It can also be used as a bio-inspired, versatile and environmentally friendly processing route for porous materials and composites. Yet, it is still a puzzling phenomenon with many unexplained features, owing to the complexity of the system and the space and time scales at which the process should be investigated. This study demonstrates the interest in fast X-ray computed tomography for providing time-lapse, three-dimensional, in situ imaging of ice crystal growth in a colloidal silica suspension. The experimental measurements show that the local increase in colloid concentration does not affect the growth kinetics of the crystals until the colloidal particles become closely packed. For particles much smaller than ice crystals, the concentrated colloidal suspension is equivalent to a simple liquid phase with higher viscosity and a freezing point determined by the concentration of colloidal particles.
    Acta Materialia. 04/2013; 61(6):2077–2086.
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    ABSTRACT: The promoting effect of SO(2) on the activity for methane oxidation over platinum supported on silica, alumina and ceria has been studied using a flow-reactor, in situ infrared spectroscopy and in situ high-energy X-ray diffraction experiments under transient reaction conditions. The catalytic activity is clearly dependent on the support material and its interaction with the noble metal both in the absence and presence of sulfur. On platinum, the competitive reactant adsorption favors oxygen dissociation such that oxygen self-poisoning is observed for Pt/silica and Pt/alumina. Contrarily for Pt/ceria, no oxygen self-poisoning is observed, which seems to be due to additional reaction channels via sites on the platinum-ceria boundary and/or ceria surface considerably far from the Pt crystallites. Addition of sulfur dioxide generally leads to the formation of ad-SO(x) species on the supports with a concomitant removal and/or blockage/rearrangement of surface hydroxyl groups. Thereby, the methane oxidation is inhibited for Pt/silica, enhanced for Pt/alumina and temporarily enhanced followed by inhibition after long-term exposure to sulfur for Pt/ceria. The observations can be explained by competitive oxidation of SO(2) and CH(4) on Pt/silica, formation of new active sites at the noble metal-support interface promoting dissociative adsorption of methane on Pt/alumina, and in the case of Pt/ceria, formation of promoting interfacial surface sulfates followed by formation of deactivating bulk-like sulfate species. Furthermore, it can be excluded that reduction of detrimental high oxygen coverage and/or oxide formation on the platinum particles through SO(2) oxidation is the main cause for the promotional effects observed.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 02/2013; · 3.83 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
430.48 Total Impact Points


  • 1999–2014
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
      • Division of Experiments
      Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France
    • Bologna Center
      Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2012–2013
    • Spanish National Research Council
      • Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
    • Birkbeck, University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2011–2013
    • CERN
      Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
    • Vienna University of Technology
      • Institute of Materials Science and Technology
      Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    • University of Geneva
      Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
    • Universiteit Utrecht
      • Division of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis
      Utrecht, Provincie Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2010
    • Université de Poitiers
      Poitiers, Poitou-Charentes, France
  • 2003
    • Lomonosov Moscow State University
      • Division of Chemistry
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia
  • 2000
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1998–2000
    • Università degli Studi di Trieste
      • Department of Physics
      Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
    • Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A.
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 1995–1998
    • INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
      Frascati, Latium, Italy