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Nanomaterials, Volume 13, Issue 24 (December-2 2023) – 92 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants requires close monitoring to prevent the reoccurrence of a new pandemic in the near future. Hyperbranched poly-L-lysine nanopolymers have shown an excellent ability to block the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Modification with L-arginine increases a nanomaterial’s ability to inhibit viral replication for the Delta and Omicron variants as well. The therapeutic index and an in vitro prevention and post-infection model show the safety profile and effectiveness of the various polymeric compositions in inhibiting or suppressing viral infection. View this paper
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30 pages, 2619 KiB  
Review
Review of Piezoelectric Properties and Power Output of PVDF and Copolymer-Based Piezoelectric Nanogenerators
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3170; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243170 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 868
Abstract
The highest energy conversion efficiencies are typically shown by lead-containing piezoelectric materials, but the harmful environmental impacts of lead and its toxicity limit future use. At the bulk scale, lead-based piezoelectric materials have significantly higher piezoelectric properties when compared to lead-free piezoelectric materials. [...] Read more.
The highest energy conversion efficiencies are typically shown by lead-containing piezoelectric materials, but the harmful environmental impacts of lead and its toxicity limit future use. At the bulk scale, lead-based piezoelectric materials have significantly higher piezoelectric properties when compared to lead-free piezoelectric materials. However, at the nanoscale, the piezoelectric properties of lead-free piezoelectric material can be significantly larger than the bulk scale. The piezoelectric properties of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene) (PVDF-TrFE) lead-free piezoelectric nanomaterials are reviewed and their suitability for use in piezoelectric nanogenerators (PENGs) is determined. The impact of different PVDF/PVDF-TrFE composite structures on power output is explained. Strategies to improve the power output are given. Overall, this review finds that PVDF/PVDF-TrFE can have significantly increased piezoelectric properties at the nanoscale. However, these values are still lower than lead-free ceramics at the nanoscale. If the sole goal in developing a lead-free PENG is to maximize output power, lead-free ceramics at the nanoscale should be considered. However, lead-free ceramics are brittle, and thus encapsulation of lead-free ceramics in PVDF is a way to increase the flexibility of these PENGs. PVDF/PVDF-TrFE offers the advantage of being nontoxic and biocompatible, which is useful for many applications. Full article
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17 pages, 1972 KiB  
Article
Ultrahighly Sensitive Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Film of Silver Nanoparticles Dispersed in Three Dimensions on a Thin Alumina Nanowire Framework
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3169; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243169 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 529
Abstract
To develop highly sensitive surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) films, various types of aggregated Ag nanowire (NW) and nanoparticle (NP) complex structures were fabricated using anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates and thermal evaporation. Aggregated AgNW structures with numerous tapered nanogaps were fabricated via Ag [...] Read more.
To develop highly sensitive surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) films, various types of aggregated Ag nanowire (NW) and nanoparticle (NP) complex structures were fabricated using anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates and thermal evaporation. Aggregated AgNW structures with numerous tapered nanogaps were fabricated via Ag deposition on aggregated thin alumina nanowires of different lengths. AgNP complex structures were obtained by collapsing vertically aligned thin alumina nanowires 1 μm in length and depositing AgNPs on their tops and sides using surface tension during ethanol drying after functionalization. The Raman signal enhancement factors (EFs) of the samples were evaluated by comparing the SERS signal of the thiophenol (TP) self-assembled monolayer (SAM) on the nanostructures with the Raman signal of neat TP. EFs as high as ~2.3 × 107 were obtained for the optimized aggregated AgNW structure (NW length of 1 μm) and ~3.5 × 107 for the optimized AgNP complex structure. The large EF of the AgNP complex film is attributed mainly to the AgNPs dispersed in three dimensions on the sides of the thin alumina nanowires, strongly implying some important, relevant physics yet to be discovered and also a very promising nanostructure scheme for developing ultrahighly sensitive SERS films with EF > 108. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advanced Nanomaterials for Sensing Applications)
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13 pages, 2642 KiB  
Article
Coating of Filter Materials with CeO2 Nanoparticles Using a Combination of Aerodynamic Spraying and Suction
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3168; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243168 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 561
Abstract
Textiles and nonwovens (including those used in ventilation systems as filters) are currently one of the main sources of patient cross-infection. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) affect 5–10% of patients and stand as the tenth leading cause of death. Therefore, the development of new methods [...] Read more.
Textiles and nonwovens (including those used in ventilation systems as filters) are currently one of the main sources of patient cross-infection. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) affect 5–10% of patients and stand as the tenth leading cause of death. Therefore, the development of new methods for creating functional nanostructured coatings with antibacterial and antiviral properties on the surfaces of textiles and nonwoven materials is crucial for modern medicine. Antimicrobial filter technology must be high-speed, low-energy and safe if its commercialization and mass adoption are to be successful. Cerium oxide nanoparticles can act as active components in these coatings due to their high antibacterial activity and low toxicity. This paper focuses on the elaboration of a high-throughput and resource-saving method for the deposition of cerium oxide nanoparticles onto nonwoven fibrous material for use in air-conditioning filters. The proposed spraying technique is based on the use of an aerodynamic emitter and simultaneous suction. Cerium oxide nanoparticles have successfully been deposited onto the filter materials used in air conditioning systems; the antibacterial activity of the ceria-modified filters exceeded 4.0. Full article
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20 pages, 4646 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Potential of siRNA Delivery in Acute Myeloid Leukemia for Therapeutic Silencing
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3167; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243167 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 714
Abstract
We investigated the feasibility of using siRNA therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by developing macromolecular carriers that facilitated intracellular delivery of siRNA. The carriers were derived from low-molecular-weight (<2 kDa) polyethyleneimine (PEI) and modified with a range of aliphatic lipids. We identified [...] Read more.
We investigated the feasibility of using siRNA therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by developing macromolecular carriers that facilitated intracellular delivery of siRNA. The carriers were derived from low-molecular-weight (<2 kDa) polyethyleneimine (PEI) and modified with a range of aliphatic lipids. We identified linoleic acid and lauric acid-modified PEI as optimal carriers for siRNA delivery to AML cell lines KG1 and KG1a, as well as AML patient-derived mononuclear cells. As they have been proven to be potent targets in the treatment of AML, we examined the silencing of BCL2L12 and survivin and showed how it leads to the decrease in proliferation of KG1 and stem-cell-like KG1a cells. By optimizing the transfection schedule, we were able to enhance the effect of the siRNAs on proliferation over a period of 10 days. We additionally showed that with proper modifications of PEI, other genes, including MAP2K3, CDC20, and SOD-1, could be targeted to decrease the proliferation of AML cells. Our studies demonstrated the versatility of siRNA delivery with modified PEI to elicit an effect in leukemic cells that are difficult to transfect, offering an alternative to conventional drugs for more precise and targeted treatment options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery Applications)
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17 pages, 1899 KiB  
Article
Intravenous Injection of PEI-Decorated Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Impacts NF-kappaB Protein Expression in Immunologically Stressed Mice
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3166; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243166 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Nanoparticle-based formulations are considered valuable tools for diagnostic and treatment purposes. The surface decoration of nanoparticles with polyethyleneimine (PEI) is often used to enhance their targeting and functional properties. Here, we aimed at addressing the long-term fate in vivo and the potential “off-target” [...] Read more.
Nanoparticle-based formulations are considered valuable tools for diagnostic and treatment purposes. The surface decoration of nanoparticles with polyethyleneimine (PEI) is often used to enhance their targeting and functional properties. Here, we aimed at addressing the long-term fate in vivo and the potential “off-target” effects of PEI decorated iron oxide nanoparticles (PEI-MNPs) in individuals with low-grade and persistent systemic inflammation. For this purpose, we synthesized PEI-MNPs (core–shell method, PEI coating under high pressure homogenization). Further on, we induced a low-grade and persistent inflammation in mice through regular subcutaneous injection of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs, from zymosan). PEI-MNPs were injected intravenously. Up to 7 weeks thereafter, the blood parameters were determined via automated fluorescence flow cytometry, animals were euthanized, and the organs analyzed for iron contents (atomic absorption spectrometry) and for expression of NF-κB associated proteins (p65, IκBα, p105/50, p100/52, COX-2, Bcl-2, SDS-PAGE and Western blotting). We observed that the PEI-MNPs had a diameter of 136 nm and a zeta-potential 56.9 mV. After injection in mice, the blood parameters were modified and the iron levels were increased in different organs. Moreover, the liver of animals showed an increased protein expression of canonical NF-κB signaling pathway members early after PEI-MNP application, whereas at the later post-observation time, members of the non-canonical signaling pathway were prominent. We conclude that the synergistic effect between PEI-MNPs and the low-grade and persistent inflammatory state is mainly due to the hepatocytes sensing infection (PAMPs), to immune responses resulting from the intracellular metabolism of the uptaken PEI-MNPs, or to hepatocyte and immune cell communications. Therefore, we suggest a careful assessment of the safety and toxicity of PEI-MNP-based carriers for gene therapy, chemotherapy, and other medical applications not only in healthy individuals but also in those suffering from chronic inflammation. Full article
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3 pages, 199 KiB  
Editorial
Advanced Nanoscale Materials for Thermoelectric Applications
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3165; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243165 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Recently, there has been growing academic interest in researching thermoelectric materials that exhibit energy conversion capability between thermal energy and electricity, providing solutions to energy crises and environmental pollution [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanoscale Materials for Thermoelectric Applications)
14 pages, 5544 KiB  
Article
Engulfment and Pushing of Cylindrical Liquid Nano-Inclusion by Advancing Crystal/Melt Interface: An Atomistic Simulation Study
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3164; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243164 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 647
Abstract
We reported a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation study of an advancing pure Al(100)/melt interface that encounters a foreign immiscible liquid Pb cylindrical nano-inclusion. When the advancing interface approaches the inclusion, the interface may engulf, push to an extent and then engulf or push [...] Read more.
We reported a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation study of an advancing pure Al(100)/melt interface that encounters a foreign immiscible liquid Pb cylindrical nano-inclusion. When the advancing interface approaches the inclusion, the interface may engulf, push to an extent and then engulf or push the nano-inclusion away from the solidifying phase depending on the velocity of the interface. Here, we investigated cylindrical liquid Pb nano-inclusion pushing or engulfment by a growing crystal Al that strongly depends on the velocity of the crystal/melt interface, and a critical velocity (vc) is deduced. If the velocity of the interface is less than vc, then the inclusion is pushed and engulfed otherwise. The relationship between vc and the radius of the nano-inclusion is expressed using a power function that agrees well with the previous studies. For velocity above the vc, the crystal/melt interface plays a vital role; it hinders the matrix atoms from setting below the cylindrical nano-inclusion due to insufficient mass transfer below the inclusion, resulting in the engulfment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Theory and Simulation of Nanostructures)
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13 pages, 2007 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Ecotoxicity Study of Molybdenum Disulfide Nanosheets versus Bulk form in Soil Organisms
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3163; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243163 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 694
Abstract
The increasing use of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanoparticles (NPs) raises concerns regarding their accumulation in soil ecosystems, with limited studies on their impact on soil organisms. Study aim: To unravel the effects of MoS2 nanosheets (two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 NPs) [...] Read more.
The increasing use of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanoparticles (NPs) raises concerns regarding their accumulation in soil ecosystems, with limited studies on their impact on soil organisms. Study aim: To unravel the effects of MoS2 nanosheets (two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 NPs) and bulk MoS2 (156, 313, 625, 1250, 2500 mg/kg) on Enchytraeus crypticus and Folsomia candida. The organisms’ survival and avoidance behavior remained unaffected by both forms, while reproduction and DNA integrity were impacted. For E. crypticus, the individual endpoint reproduction was more sensitive, increasing at lower concentrations of bulk MoS2 and decreasing at higher ones and at 625 mg/kg of 2D MoS2 NPs. For F. candida, the molecular endpoint DNA integrity was more impacted: 2500 mg/kg of bulk MoS2 induced DNA damage after 2 days, with all concentrations inducing damage by day 7. 2D MoS2 NPs induced DNA damage at 156 and 2500 mg/kg after 2 days, and at 1250 and 2500 mg/kg after 7 days. Despite affecting the same endpoints, bulk MoS2 induced more effects than 2D MoS2 NPs. Indeed, 2D MoS2 NPs only inhibited E. crypticus reproduction at 625 mg/kg and induced fewer (F. candida) or no effects (E. crypticus) on DNA integrity. This study highlights the different responses of terrestrial organisms to 2D MoS2 NPs versus bulk MoS2, reinforcing the importance of risk assessment when considering both forms. Full article
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7 pages, 232 KiB  
Editorial
70th Year Anniversary of Carbon Nanotube Discovery—Focus on Real-World Solutions
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3162; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243162 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Seventy years ago in 1952, Russian scientists LV Radushkevich and VM Lukyanovich published clear images showing multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with 50 nm diameters [...] Full article
21 pages, 1995 KiB  
Article
Carvacrol Microemulsion vs. Nanoemulsion as Novel Pork Minced Meat Active Coatings
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3161; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243161 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1241
Abstract
Carvacrol is well documented for its antibacterial and antioxidant effects. However, its high volatility has directed researchers toward nanoencapsulation technology according to bioeconomy and sustainability trends. This study examined and compared free carvacrol (FC), carvacrol microemulsion (MC), carvacrol microemulsion busted with chitosan (MMC), [...] Read more.
Carvacrol is well documented for its antibacterial and antioxidant effects. However, its high volatility has directed researchers toward nanoencapsulation technology according to bioeconomy and sustainability trends. This study examined and compared free carvacrol (FC), carvacrol microemulsion (MC), carvacrol microemulsion busted with chitosan (MMC), and carvacrol nanoemulsions (NC) as active coatings on extending minced pork meat shelf life at 4 ± 1 °C for 9 days, focusing on microbiological, physiochemical, and sensory characteristics. The research involved pre-characterizing droplet sizes, evaluating antioxidants, and determining antibacterial efficacy. The results demonstrated that NC with a 21 nm droplet size exhibited the highest antioxidant and antibacterial activity. All coatings succeeded in extending the preservation of fresh minced pork meat in comparison to the free carvacrol sample (FC). The NC coating showed the highest extension of minced pork meat preservation and maintained meat freshness for 9 days, with a lower TBARs of 0.736 mg MDA/Kg, and effectively reduced mesophilic, lactic acid, and psychotrophic bacterial counts more significantly by 1.2, 2, and 1.3 log, respectively, as compared to FC. Sensory assessments confirmed the acceptability of NC and MCC coatings. Overall, the carvacrol-based nanoemulsion can be considered a novel antioxidant and antimicrobial active coating due to its demonstrated higher efficacy in all the examined tests performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials and Nanostructures for Food Processing and Preservation)
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12 pages, 2467 KiB  
Article
Nitrogen-Doped CuO@CuS Core–Shell Structure for Highly Efficient Catalytic OER Application
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3160; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243160 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Water electrolysis is a highly efficient route to produce ideally clean H2 fuel with excellent energy conversion efficiency and high gravimetric energy density, without producing carbon traces, unlike steam methane reforming, and it resolves the issues of environmental contamination via replacing the [...] Read more.
Water electrolysis is a highly efficient route to produce ideally clean H2 fuel with excellent energy conversion efficiency and high gravimetric energy density, without producing carbon traces, unlike steam methane reforming, and it resolves the issues of environmental contamination via replacing the conventional fossil fuel. Particular importance lies in the advancement of highly effective non-precious catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The electrocatalytic activity of an active catalyst mainly depends on the material conductivity, accessible catalytically active sites, and intrinsic OER reaction kinetics, which can be tuned via introducing N heteroatoms in the catalyst structure. Herein, the efficacious nitrogenation of CuS was accomplished, synthesized using a hydrothermal procedure, and characterized for its electrocatalytic activity towards OER. The nitrogen-doped CuO@CuS (N,CuO@CuS) electrocatalyst exhibited superior OER activity compared to pristine CuS (268 and 602 mV), achieving a low overpotential of 240 and 392 mV at a current density of 10 and 100 mA/cm2, respectively, ascribed to the favorable electronic structural modification triggered by nitrogen incorporation. The N,CuO@CuS also exhibits excellent endurance under varied current rates and a static potential response over 25 h with stability measured at 10 and 100 mA/cm2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology for Electrocatalytic Applications)
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9 pages, 1784 KiB  
Communication
Barrier Height, Ideality Factor and Role of Inhomogeneities at the AlGaN/GaN Interface in GaN Nanowire Wrap-Gate Transistor
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3159; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243159 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 497
Abstract
It is essential to understand the barrier height, ideality factor, and role of inhomogeneities at the metal/semiconductor interfaces in nanowires for the development of next generation nanoscale devices. Here, we investigate the drain current (Ids)–gate voltage (Vgs) [...] Read more.
It is essential to understand the barrier height, ideality factor, and role of inhomogeneities at the metal/semiconductor interfaces in nanowires for the development of next generation nanoscale devices. Here, we investigate the drain current (Ids)–gate voltage (Vgs) characteristics of GaN nanowire wrap-gate transistors (WGTs) for various gate potentials in the wide temperature range of 130–310 K. An anomalous reduction in the experimental barrier height and rise in the ideality factor with reducing the temperature have been perceived. It is noteworthy that the variations in barrier height and ideality factor are attributed to the spatial barrier inhomogeneities at the AlGaN/GaN interface in the GaN nanowire WGTs by assuming a double Gaussian distribution of barrier heights at 310–190 K (distribution 1) and 190–130 K (distribution 2). The standard deviation for distribution 2 is lower than that of distribution 1, which suggests that distribution 2 reflects more homogeneity at the AlGaN/GaN interface in the transistor’s source/drain regions than distribution 1. Full article
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9 pages, 3700 KiB  
Communication
Solar-Powered Switch of Antiferromagnetism/Ferromagnetism in Flexible Spintronics
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3158; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243158 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 572
Abstract
The flexible electronics have application prospects in many fields, including as wearable devices and in structural detection. Spintronics possess the merits of a fast response and high integration density, opening up possibilities for various applications. However, the integration of miniaturization on flexible substrates [...] Read more.
The flexible electronics have application prospects in many fields, including as wearable devices and in structural detection. Spintronics possess the merits of a fast response and high integration density, opening up possibilities for various applications. However, the integration of miniaturization on flexible substrates is impeded inevitably due to the high Joule heat from high current density (1012 A/m2). In this study, a prototype flexible spintronic with device antiferromagnetic/ferromagnetic heterojunctions is proposed. The interlayer coupling strength can be obviously altered by sunlight soaking via direct photo-induced electron doping. With the assistance of a small magnetic field (±125 Oe), the almost 180° flip of magnetization is realized. Furthermore, the magnetoresistance changes (15~29%) of flexible spintronics on fingers receiving light illumination are achieved successfully, exhibiting the wearable application potential. Our findings develop flexible spintronic sensors, expanding the vision for the novel generation of photovoltaic/spintronic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanostructured Materials and Spin Electronics)
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14 pages, 7269 KiB  
Article
A Design of High-Efficiency: Vertical Accumulation Modulators Based on Silicon Photonics
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3157; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243157 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 725
Abstract
On-chip optical modulators, which are capable of converting electrical signals into optical signals, constitute the foundational components of photonic devices. Photonics modulators exhibiting high modulation efficiency and low insertion loss are highly sought after in numerous critical applications, such as optical phase steering, [...] Read more.
On-chip optical modulators, which are capable of converting electrical signals into optical signals, constitute the foundational components of photonic devices. Photonics modulators exhibiting high modulation efficiency and low insertion loss are highly sought after in numerous critical applications, such as optical phase steering, optical coherent imaging, and optical computing. This paper introduces a novel accumulation-type vertical modulator structure based on a silicon photonics platform. By incorporating a high-K dielectric layer of ZrO2, we have observed an increase in modulation efficiency while maintaining relatively low levels of modulation loss. Through meticulous study and optimization, the simulation results of the final device structure demonstrate a modulation efficiency of 0.16 V·cm, with a mere efficiency–loss product of 8.24 dB·V. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanophotonics in Optical Communications)
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13 pages, 2404 KiB  
Article
Scalable Precursor-Assisted Synthesis of a High Voltage LiNiyCo1−yPO4 Cathode for Li-Ion Batteries
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3156; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243156 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 659
Abstract
A solid-solution cathode of LiCoPO4-LiNiPO4 was investigated as a potential candidate for use with the Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) anode in Li-ion batteries. A pre-synthesized nickel–cobalt hydroxide precursor is mixed with lithium and phosphate sources by wet [...] Read more.
A solid-solution cathode of LiCoPO4-LiNiPO4 was investigated as a potential candidate for use with the Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) anode in Li-ion batteries. A pre-synthesized nickel–cobalt hydroxide precursor is mixed with lithium and phosphate sources by wet ball milling, which results in the final product, LiNiyCo1−yPO4 (LNCP) by subsequent heat treatment. Crystal structure and morphology of the product were analyzed by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Its XRD patterns show that LNCP is primarily a single-phase compound and has olivine-type XRD patterns similar to its parent compounds, LiCoPO4 and LiNiPO4. Synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) analysis, however, indicates that Ni doping in LiCoPO4 is unfavorable because Ni2+ is not actively involved in the electrochemical reaction. Consequently, it reduces the charge storage capability of the LNCP cathode. Additionally, ex situ XRD analysis of cycled electrodes confirms the formation of the electrochemically inactive rock salt-type NiO phase. The discharge capacity of the LNCP cathode is entirely associated with the Co3+/Co2+ redox couple. The electrochemical evaluation demonstrated that the LNCP cathode paired with the LTO anode produced a 3.12 V battery with an energy density of 184 Wh kg−1 based on the cathode mass. Full article
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16 pages, 4410 KiB  
Article
Upscale Synthesis of Magnetic Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles and Application to Metal Ion Separation: Nanosafety Evaluation
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3155; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243155 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 612
Abstract
The synthesis of core–shell magnetic mesoporous nanoparticles (MMSNs) through a phase transfer process is usually performed at the 100–250 mg scale. At the gram scale, nanoparticles without cores or with multicore systems are observed. Iron oxide core nanoparticles (IO) were synthesized through a [...] Read more.
The synthesis of core–shell magnetic mesoporous nanoparticles (MMSNs) through a phase transfer process is usually performed at the 100–250 mg scale. At the gram scale, nanoparticles without cores or with multicore systems are observed. Iron oxide core nanoparticles (IO) were synthesized through a thermal decomposition procedure of α-FeO(OH) in oleic acid. A phase transfer from chloroform to water was then performed in order to wrap the IO nanoparticles with a mesoporous silica shell through the sol–gel procedure. MMSNs were then functionalized with DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentacetic acid) and used for the separation of metal ions. Their toxicity was evaluated. The phase transfer procedure was crucial to obtaining MMSNs on a large scale. Three synthesis parameters were rigorously controlled: temperature, time and glassware. The homogeneous dispersion of MMSNs on the gram scale was successfully obtained. After functionalization with DTPA, the MMSN-DTPAs were shown to have a strong affinity for Ni ions. Furthermore, toxicity was evaluated in cells, zebrafish and seahorse cell metabolic assays, and the nanoparticles were found to be nontoxic. We developed a method of preparing MMSNs at the gram scale. After functionalization with DTPA, the nanoparticles were efficient in metal ion removal and separation; furthermore, no toxicity was noticed up to 125 µg mL−1 in zebrafish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Porous Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Properties, and Application)
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12 pages, 4274 KiB  
Article
Investigating Anisotropic Magnetoresistance in Epitaxially Strained CoFe Thin Films on a Flexible Mica
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3154; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243154 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 584
Abstract
This study investigates the crystal structure, epitaxial relation, and magnetic properties in CoFe thin films deposited on a flexible mica substrate. The epitaxial growth of CoFe thin films was successfully achieved by DC magnetron sputtering, forming three CoFe(002) domains exhibiting four-fold symmetry on [...] Read more.
This study investigates the crystal structure, epitaxial relation, and magnetic properties in CoFe thin films deposited on a flexible mica substrate. The epitaxial growth of CoFe thin films was successfully achieved by DC magnetron sputtering, forming three CoFe(002) domains exhibiting four-fold symmetry on the mica substrate. A notable achievement of this work was the attainment of the highest anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) value reported to date on a flexible substrate. Additionally, it was observed that the magnetic characteristics of the CoFe films on the flexible mica substrate display reversibility upon strain release. More importantly, the AMR effect of epitaxial CoFe films on flexible mica shows lesser dependence on the crystalline orientation and remains the same under different bending states. These findings demonstrate the potential of utilizing CoFe films on flexible substrates to develop wearable magnetoresistance sensors with diverse applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanoelectronics, Nanosensors and Devices)
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12 pages, 2891 KiB  
Article
Sheet-Like Morphology CuO/Co3O4 Nanocomposites for Enhanced Catalysis in Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3153; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243153 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 640
Abstract
The selective hydrogenation of CO2 into high-value chemicals is an effective approach to address environmental issues. Cobalt-based catalysts have significant potential in CO2 hydrogenation reaction systems; however, there is a need to control their selectivity better. In this study, copper is [...] Read more.
The selective hydrogenation of CO2 into high-value chemicals is an effective approach to address environmental issues. Cobalt-based catalysts have significant potential in CO2 hydrogenation reaction systems; however, there is a need to control their selectivity better. In this study, copper is introduced onto Co3O4 nanosheets using the ion exchange reverse loading method. The unique interaction of these materials significantly alters the selectivity of the cobalt-based catalyst. Results from scanning transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy indicate that this catalyst enables a more even dispersion of copper species in the Co3O4 nanosheets. Temperature-programmed reduction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal that the catalyst facilitates the metal–metal interaction between Co and Cu. Temperature-programmed desorption experiments for CO2 and H2 demonstrate that the close interaction between Co and Cu modifies CO2 adsorption, leading to differences in catalytic activity. Moreover, the catalyst effectively suppresses CO2 methanation and promotes methanol formation by altering the alkalinity of the catalyst surface and weakening the hydrogen dissociation ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meso-/Nanoporous Materials for Catalytic Applications)
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9 pages, 1801 KiB  
Article
Phase of Topological Lattice with Leaky Guided Mode Resonance
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3152; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243152 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Topological nature in different areas of physics and electronics has often been characterized and controlled through topological invariants depending on the global properties of the material. The validity of bulk–edge correspondence and symmetry-related topological invariants has been extended to non-Hermitian systems. Correspondingly, the [...] Read more.
Topological nature in different areas of physics and electronics has often been characterized and controlled through topological invariants depending on the global properties of the material. The validity of bulk–edge correspondence and symmetry-related topological invariants has been extended to non-Hermitian systems. Correspondingly, the value of geometric phases, such as the Pancharatnam–Berry or Zak phases, under the adiabatic quantum deformation process in the presence of non-Hermitian conditions, are now of significant interest. Here, we explicitly calculate the Zak phases of one-dimensional topological nanobeams that sustain guided-mode resonances, which lead to energy leakage to a continuum state. The retrieved Zak phases show as zero for trivial and as π for nontrivial photonic crystals, respectively, which ensures bulk–edge correspondence is still valid for certain non-Hermitian conditions. Full article
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13 pages, 7299 KiB  
Article
Zinc Oxide-Loaded Cellulose-Based Carbon Gas Sensor for Selective Detection of Ammonia
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3151; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243151 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Cellulose-based carbon (CBC) is widely known for its porous structure and high specific surface area and is liable to adsorb gas molecules and macromolecular pollutants. However, the application of CBC in gas sensing has been little studied. In this paper, a ZnO/CBC heterojunction [...] Read more.
Cellulose-based carbon (CBC) is widely known for its porous structure and high specific surface area and is liable to adsorb gas molecules and macromolecular pollutants. However, the application of CBC in gas sensing has been little studied. In this paper, a ZnO/CBC heterojunction was formed by means of simple co-precipitation and high-temperature carbonization. As a new ammonia sensor, the prepared ZnO/CBC sensor can detect ammonia that the previous pure ZnO ammonia sensor cannot at room temperature. It has a great gas sensing response, stability, and selectivity to an ammonia concentration of 200 ppm. This study provides a new idea for the design and synthesis of biomass carbon–metal oxide composites. Full article
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17 pages, 4201 KiB  
Article
Optimization of the Centrifugal Spinning Parameters to Prepare Poly(butylene succinate) Nanofibers Mats for Aerosol Filter Applications
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3150; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243150 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Air pollution is becoming a serious issue because it negatively impacts the quality of life. One of the first most useful self-defense approaches against air pollution are face masks. Typically made of non-renewable petroleum-based polymers, these masks are harmful to the environment, and [...] Read more.
Air pollution is becoming a serious issue because it negatively impacts the quality of life. One of the first most useful self-defense approaches against air pollution are face masks. Typically made of non-renewable petroleum-based polymers, these masks are harmful to the environment, and they are mostly disposable. Poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) is regarded as one of the most promising materials because of its exceptional processability and regulated biodegradability in a range of applications. In this regard, nanofiber-based face masks are becoming more and more popular because of their small pores, light weight, and excellent filtration capabilities. Centrifugal spinning (CS) provides an alternative method for producing nanofibers from various materials at high speeds and low costs. This current study aimed to investigate the effect of processing parameters on the resultant PBS fiber morphology. Following that, the usability of PBS nonwoven as a filter media was investigated. The effects of solution concentration, rotating speed, and needle size have been examined using a three-factorial Box–Behnken experimental design. The results revealed that PBS concentration had a substantial influence on fiber diameter, with a minimum fiber diameter of 172 nm attained under optimum production conditions compared to the anticipated values of 166 nm. It has been demonstrated that the desired function and the Box–Behnken design are useful instruments for predicting the process parameters involved in the production of PBS nanofibers. PBS filters can achieve an excellent efficiency of more than 98% with a pressure drop of 238 Pa at a flow rate of 85 L/min. The disposable PBS filter media was able to return to nature after use via hydrolysis processes. The speed and cost-effectiveness of the CS process, as well as the environmentally benign characteristics of the PBS polymer, may all contribute considerably to the development of new-age filters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials and Textiles)
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28 pages, 8560 KiB  
Review
Metal-Ion Intercalation Mechanisms in Vanadium Pentoxide and Its New Perspectives
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3149; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243149 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
The investigation into intercalation mechanisms in vanadium pentoxide has garnered significant attention within the realm of research, primarily propelled by its remarkable theoretical capacity for energy storage. This comprehensive review delves into the latest advancements that have enriched our understanding of these intricate [...] Read more.
The investigation into intercalation mechanisms in vanadium pentoxide has garnered significant attention within the realm of research, primarily propelled by its remarkable theoretical capacity for energy storage. This comprehensive review delves into the latest advancements that have enriched our understanding of these intricate mechanisms. Notwithstanding its exceptional storage capacity, the compound grapples with challenges arising from inherent structural instability. Researchers are actively exploring avenues for improving electrodes, with a focus on innovative structures and the meticulous fine-tuning of particle properties. Within the scope of this review, we engage in a detailed discussion on the mechanistic intricacies involved in ion intercalation within the framework of vanadium pentoxide. Additionally, we explore recent breakthroughs in understanding its intercalation properties, aiming to refine the material’s structure and morphology. These refinements are anticipated to pave the way for significantly enhanced performance in various energy storage applications. Full article
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32 pages, 11685 KiB  
Review
3D Printed Integrated Sensors: From Fabrication to Applications—A Review
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3148; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243148 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 976
Abstract
The integration of 3D printed sensors into hosting structures has become a growing area of research due to simplified assembly procedures, reduced system complexity, and lower fabrication cost. Embedding 3D printed sensors into structures or bonding the sensors on surfaces are the two [...] Read more.
The integration of 3D printed sensors into hosting structures has become a growing area of research due to simplified assembly procedures, reduced system complexity, and lower fabrication cost. Embedding 3D printed sensors into structures or bonding the sensors on surfaces are the two techniques for the integration of sensors. This review extensively discusses the fabrication of sensors through different additive manufacturing techniques. Various additive manufacturing techniques dedicated to manufacture sensors as well as their integration techniques during the manufacturing process will be discussed. This review will also discuss the basic sensing mechanisms of integrated sensors and their applications. It has been proven that integrating 3D printed sensors into infrastructures can open new possibilities for research and development in additive manufacturing and sensor materials for smart goods and the Internet of Things. Full article
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16 pages, 2555 KiB  
Article
Encapsulation of Olive Leaf Polyphenol-Rich Extract in Polymeric Micelles to Improve Its Intestinal Permeability
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3147; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243147 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 616
Abstract
In the present study, polymeric micelles were developed to improve the intestinal permeability of an extract of Olea europaea L. leaf with a high content of total polyphenols (49% w/w), with 41% w/w corresponding to the oleuropein amount. [...] Read more.
In the present study, polymeric micelles were developed to improve the intestinal permeability of an extract of Olea europaea L. leaf with a high content of total polyphenols (49% w/w), with 41% w/w corresponding to the oleuropein amount. A pre-formulation study was conducted to obtain a stable formulation with a high loading capacity for extract. The freeze-drying process was considered to improve the stability of the formulation during storage. Micelles were characterized in terms of physical and chemical properties, encapsulation efficiency, stability, and in vitro release. The optimized system consisted of 15 mg/mL of extract, 20 mg/mL of Pluronic L121, 20 mg/mL of Pluronic F68, and 10 mg/mL of D-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate (TPGS), with dimensions of 14.21 ± 0.14 nm, a polydisersity index (PdI) of 0.19 ± 0.05 and an encapsulation efficiency of 66.21 ± 1.11%. The influence of the micelles on polyphenol permeability was evaluated using both Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeability Assay (PAMPA) and the Caco-2 cell monolayer. In both assays, the polymeric micelles improved the permeation of polyphenols, as demonstrated by the increase in Pe and Papp values. Full article
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14 pages, 8653 KiB  
Article
Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of AlTiVCuN Coatings Prepared by Ion Source-Assisted Magnetron Sputtering
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3146; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243146 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 517
Abstract
The AlTiVCuN coatings were deposited by magnetron sputtering with anode layer ion source (ALIS) assistance, and the microstructure and mechanical properties were significantly affected by the ion source power. With increasing the ion source power from 0 to 1.0 kW, the deposition rate [...] Read more.
The AlTiVCuN coatings were deposited by magnetron sputtering with anode layer ion source (ALIS) assistance, and the microstructure and mechanical properties were significantly affected by the ion source power. With increasing the ion source power from 0 to 1.0 kW, the deposition rate decreased from 2.6 to 2.1 nm/min, and then gradually increased to 4.0 nm/min at 3.0 kW, and the surface roughness gradually decreased from 28.7 nm at 0 kW to 9.0 nm at 3.0 kW. Due to the enhanced ion bombardment effect, the microstructure of the coatings changed from a coarse into a dense columnar structure at 1.0 kW, and the grain size increased at higher ion source powers. All the coatings exhibited c-TiAlVN phase, and the preferred orientation changed from the (220) to the (111) plane at 3.0 kW. Due to the low Cu contents (1.0~3.1 at.%), the Cu atoms existed as an amorphous phase in the coatings. Due to the microstructure densification and high residual stress, the highest hardness of 32.4 GPa was achieved for the coating deposited at 1.0 kW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multifunctional Nanomaterials for Coatings)
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14 pages, 2407 KiB  
Article
Layered Double Hydroxides as an Intercalation System for Hydrophobic Molecules
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3145; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243145 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 553
Abstract
Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) have been extensively studied as drug delivery systems due to their favorable characteristics, including biocompatibility, high loading efficiency, and pH-responsive release. However, the current research predominantly focuses on LDHs as carriers for various anionic drugs, while there are only [...] Read more.
Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) have been extensively studied as drug delivery systems due to their favorable characteristics, including biocompatibility, high loading efficiency, and pH-responsive release. However, the current research predominantly focuses on LDHs as carriers for various anionic drugs, while there are only limited reports on LDHs as carriers for hydrophobic drugs. In this study, we successfully achieved the loading of a hydrophobic drug mimic, Nile red (NR), into LDHs using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as an intermediate storage medium. Furthermore, we optimized the experimental methods and varied the SDS/NR molar ratio to optimize this intercalation system. With an increase in the SDS/NR molar ratio from 2/1 to 32/1, the loading efficiency of LDH-SDS-NR for NR initially increased from 1.32% for LDH-SDS-NR_2/1 to 4.46% for LDH-SDS-NR_8/1. Then, the loading efficiency slightly decreased to 3.64% for LDH-SDS-NR_16.8/1, but then increased again to 6.31% for LDH-SDS-NR_32/1. We believe that the established method and the obtained results in this study broaden the application scope of LDHs as delivery systems for hydrophobic drugs and contribute to the further expansion of the application scope of LDHs. Full article
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14 pages, 3549 KiB  
Article
An In Situ Chemotherapy Drug Combined with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor for Chemoimmunotherapy
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3144; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243144 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Clinically, cancer chemotherapy still faces unsatisfactory efficacy due to drug resistance and severe side effects, including tiredness, hair loss, feeling sick, etc. The clinical benefits of checkpoint inhibitors have revived hope for cancer immunotherapy, but the objective response rate of immune checkpoint inhibitors [...] Read more.
Clinically, cancer chemotherapy still faces unsatisfactory efficacy due to drug resistance and severe side effects, including tiredness, hair loss, feeling sick, etc. The clinical benefits of checkpoint inhibitors have revived hope for cancer immunotherapy, but the objective response rate of immune checkpoint inhibitors remains around 10–40%. Herein, two types of copper-doped mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MS-Cu–1 with a diameter of about 30 nm and MS-Cu–2 with a diameter of about 200 nm) were synthesized using a one-pot method. Both MS-Cu–1 and MS-Cu–2 nanoparticles showed excellent tumor microenvironment regulation properties with elevated extracellular and intracellular ROS generation, extracellular and intracellular oxygenation, and intracellular GSH depletion. In particular, MS-Cu–2 nanoparticles demonstrated a better microenvironment modulation effect than MS-Cu–1 nanoparticles. The DSF/MS-Cu composites with disulfiram (DSF) and copper co-delivery characteristics were prepared by a straightforward method using chloroform as the solvent. Cell survival rate and live/dead staining results showed that DSF and MS-Cu alone were not toxic to LLC cells, while a low dose of DSF/MS-Cu (1–10 μg/mL) showed a strong cell-killing effect. In addition, MS-Cu–2 nanoparticles released more Cu2+ in a weakly acidic environment (pH = 5) than in a physiological environment (pH = 7.4), and the Cu2+ released was 41.72 ± 0.96 mg/L in 1 h under weakly acidic conditions. UV–visible absorption spectrometry confirmed the production of tumor-killing drugs (CuETs). The intratumoral injection of DSF/MS-Cu significantly inhibited tumor growth in vivo by converting nontoxic DSF/MS-Cu into toxic CuETs. The combination of DSF/MS-Cu and anti-CTLA–4 antibody further inhibited tumor growth, showing the synergistic effect of DSF/MS-Cu and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Full article
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11 pages, 1527 KiB  
Article
The Use of Semiconductor Quantum Dots with Large, Built-In Spontaneous Polarizations for the Electric Potential Stimulation of Biological Structures on the Nanoscale
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3143; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243143 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 598
Abstract
The feasibility of using quantum dots fabricated from materials with built-in spontaneous polarizations for the electric potential stimulation of biological structures in aqueous environments is evaluated by modeling the electric potential produced in the vicinity of such quantum dots. By modeling the external [...] Read more.
The feasibility of using quantum dots fabricated from materials with built-in spontaneous polarizations for the electric potential stimulation of biological structures in aqueous environments is evaluated by modeling the electric potential produced in the vicinity of such quantum dots. By modeling the external potential created by the spherical nanoscale region of a material with spontaneous polarization, and by considering Debye screening in the vicinity of the quantum dot, it is found that electric potential around these nanostructures is sufficient to cause physiological effects in selected biological systems. These findings suggest that quantum dots may be used in lieu of quantum dots with polarizations produced using an external laser to cause physiological effects. The elimination of the external laser represents a significant benefit of using quantum dots with permanent, built-in spontaneous polarization. Full article
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23 pages, 13621 KiB  
Review
Key Strategies on Cu2O Photocathodes toward Practical Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3142; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243142 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) has been intensively in the limelight as a promising photocathode material for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. The state-of-the-art Cu2O photocathode consists of a back contact layer for transporting the holes, an overlayer for accelerating charge separation, [...] Read more.
Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) has been intensively in the limelight as a promising photocathode material for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. The state-of-the-art Cu2O photocathode consists of a back contact layer for transporting the holes, an overlayer for accelerating charge separation, a protection layer for prohibiting the photocorrosion, and a hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalyst for reducing the overpotential of HER, as well as a Cu2O layer for absorbing sunlight. In this review, the fundamentals and recent research progress on these components of efficient and durable Cu2O photocathodes are analyzed in detail. Furthermore, key strategies on the development of Cu2O photocathodes for the practical PEC water-splitting system are suggested. It provides the specific guidelines on the future research direction for the practical application of a PEC water-splitting system based on Cu2O photocathodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting)
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13 pages, 2027 KiB  
Article
Multi-Wavelength Selective and Broadband Near-Infrared Plasmonic Switches in Anisotropic Plasmonic Metasurfaces
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(24), 3141; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13243141 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 780
Abstract
Anisotropic plasmonic metasurfaces have attracted broad research interest since they possess novel optical properties superior to natural materials and their tremendous design flexibility. However, the realization of multi-wavelength selective plasmonic metasurfaces that have emerged as promising candidates to uncover multichannel optical devices remains [...] Read more.
Anisotropic plasmonic metasurfaces have attracted broad research interest since they possess novel optical properties superior to natural materials and their tremendous design flexibility. However, the realization of multi-wavelength selective plasmonic metasurfaces that have emerged as promising candidates to uncover multichannel optical devices remains a challenge associated with weak modulation depths and narrow operation bandwidth. Herein, we propose and numerically demonstrate near-infrared multi-wavelength selective passive plasmonic switching (PPS) that encompasses high ON/OFF ratios and strong modulation depths via multiple Fano resonances (FRs) in anisotropic plasmonic metasurfaces. Specifically, the double FRs can be fulfilled and dedicated to establishing tailorable near-infrared dual-wavelength PPS. The multiple FRs mediated by in-plane mirror asymmetries cause the emergence of triple-wavelength PPS, whereas the multiple FRs governed by in-plane rotational asymmetries avail the implementation of the quasi-bound states in the continuum-endowed multi-wavelength PPS with the ability to unfold a tunable broad bandwidth. In addition, the strong polarization effects with in-plane anisotropic properties further validate the existence of the polarization-resolved multi-wavelength PPS. Our results provide an alternative approach to foster the achievement of multifunctional meta-devices in optical communication and information processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanophotonics Materials and Devices)
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