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The 15th Anniversary of Materials—Recent Advances in Advanced Materials Characterization

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Materials Characterization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2024 | Viewed by 6002

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Physics, Southeastern Louisiana University, SLU 10878, Hammond, LA 70402, USA
Interests: deformation theory; optical techniques for material characterization; acoustical techniques for material characterization; dynamics; field theories
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Meccanica, Matematica e Management, Politecnico di Bari, Viale Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: bioengineering and cell mechanics; nanosciences and nanotechnology; optical methods; materials science and characterization; structural optimization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Structural, Geotechnical and Building Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: nondestructive testing (NDT); acoustic emission; electromagnetic emission; critical phenomena in structural mechanics; critical phenomena in geophysics; fracture mechanics; static and dynamic analysis of high-rise buildings
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue focuses on the advancement in the characterization of materials. The recent development of materials has made their structures and properties sophisticated. This situation requires us to modify existing techniques to characterize material properties accurately. A well-established method conventionally used for materials at the macroscopic scale may be inapplicable to the same material at the nanoscopic scale. Conventional characterization methods developed for metals may be inappropriate for biological specimens. On some occasions, a completely new characterization technique is necessary. At the same time, a combination of traditional methods may be sufficient. Analytical methods are also critical. Efficient extraction of signals buried in noise may make a conventional characterization technique effective. This special issue welcomes papers that discuss these problems in various science and engineering fields. Interdisciplinary studies are of particular interest.

Submissions should be in the form of original research articles or authoritative review papers. The topics of interest include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Multiscale and hybrid methods for material characterization;
  • Inverse methods for material characterization;
  • Conventional and Super-resolution microscopy for material characterization;
  • Optical methods (including image correlation) for material characterization;
  • Mechanical characterization (static and dynamic);
  • Acoustic methods (including acoustic microscopy) and characterization;
  • Thermophysical methods and characterization;
  • Electromagnetic methods and characterization;
  • Characterization of biomedical materials;
  • Surface characterization;
  • Machine learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence) for data extraction/analysis and pattern processing.

Prof. Dr. Sanichiro Yoshida
Prof. Dr. Luciano Lamberti
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Lacidogna
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomedical materials
  • material characterization with multiple methods
  • machine learning algorithms for data analysis
  • optical methods
  • acoustic methods
  • electromagnetic methods
  • novel probing techniques

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 3208 KiB  
Article
Thermogravimetric/Thermal–Mass Spectroscopy Insight into Oxidation Propensity of Various Mechanochemically Made Kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 Nanopowders
by Katarzyna Lejda, Janusz Partyka and Jerzy F. Janik
Materials 2024, 17(6), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17061232 - 7 Mar 2024
Viewed by 605
Abstract
Thermogravimetry coupled with thermal analysis and quadrupole mass spectroscopy TGA/DTA-QMS were primarily used to assess the oxidation susceptibility of a pool of nanocrystalline powders of the semiconductor kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 for prospective photovoltaic applications, which were prepared via the mechanochemically assisted [...] Read more.
Thermogravimetry coupled with thermal analysis and quadrupole mass spectroscopy TGA/DTA-QMS were primarily used to assess the oxidation susceptibility of a pool of nanocrystalline powders of the semiconductor kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 for prospective photovoltaic applications, which were prepared via the mechanochemically assisted synthesis route from two different precursor systems. Each system, as confirmed by XRD patterns, yielded first the cubic polytype of kesterite with defunct semiconductor properties, which, after thermal annealing at 500 °C under neutral gas atmosphere, was converted to the tetragonal semiconductor polytype. The TGA/DTA-QMS determinations up to 1000 °C were carried out under a neutral argon Ar atmosphere and under a dry, oxygen-containing gas mixture of O2:Ar = 1:4 (vol.). The mass spectroscopy data confirmed that under each of the gas atmospheres, a distinctly different, multistep evolution of such oxygen-bearing gaseous compounds as sulfur oxides SO2/SO3, carbon dioxide CO2, and water vapor H2O was taking place. The TGA/DTA changes in correlation with the nature of evolving gases helped in the elucidation of the plausible chemistry linked to kesterite oxidation, both in the stage of nanopowder synthesis/storage at ambient air conditions and during forced oxidation up to 1000 °C in the dry, oxygen-containing gas mixture. Full article
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13 pages, 3425 KiB  
Article
Design of an Optical Device Based on Kirigami Approach
by Marta De Giorgi
Materials 2024, 17(5), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17051211 - 6 Mar 2024
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The aim of this work was to design a kirigami-based metamaterial with optical properties. This idea came from the necessity of a study that can improve common camouflage techniques to yield a product that is cheap, light, and easy to manufacture and assemble. [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to design a kirigami-based metamaterial with optical properties. This idea came from the necessity of a study that can improve common camouflage techniques to yield a product that is cheap, light, and easy to manufacture and assemble. The author investigated the possibility of exploiting a rotation to achieve transparency and color changing. One of the most important examples of a kirigami structure is a geometry based on rotating squares, which is a one-degree-of-freedom mechanism. In this study, light polarization and birefringence were exploited to obtain transparency and color-changing properties using two polarizers and common cellophane tape. These elements were assembled with a rotating-square structure that allowed the rotation of a polarizer placed on the structure with respect to a fixed polarizer equipped with cellophane layers. Full article
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21 pages, 5905 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Behavior of Thin-Film Formation over Time as a Function of Precursor Concentration and Gas Residence Time in Nitrogen Dielectric Barrier Discharge
by Faegheh Fotouhiardakani, Alex Destrieux, Jacopo Profili, Morgane Laurent, Sethumadhavan Ravichandran, Gowri Dorairaju and Gaetan Laroche
Materials 2024, 17(4), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17040875 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 528
Abstract
This study aims to establish a correlation between the fragmentation process and the growth mechanisms of a coating deposited on a fluoropolymer. Deposition was carried out using dielectric barrier discharge at atmospheric pressure, employing an oxygen-containing organic precursor in a nitrogen environment. The [...] Read more.
This study aims to establish a correlation between the fragmentation process and the growth mechanisms of a coating deposited on a fluoropolymer. Deposition was carried out using dielectric barrier discharge at atmospheric pressure, employing an oxygen-containing organic precursor in a nitrogen environment. The findings reveal that the impact of precursor concentration on the formation of specific functionalities is more significant than the influence of treatment time. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results obtained indicate a reduction in the N/O ratio on the coating’s surface as the precursor concentration in the discharge increases. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, conducted in the spectral range of 1500 cm−1 to 1800 cm−1, confirmed the connection between the chemical properties of plasma-deposited thin films and the concentration of organic precursors in the discharge. Furthermore, the emergence of nitrile moieties (C≡N) in the FTIR spectrum at 2160 cm−1 was noted under specific experimental conditions. Full article
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13 pages, 2095 KiB  
Article
Application of the Van Cittert Algorithm for Deconvolving Loss Features in X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Spectra
by Giorgio Speranza
Materials 2024, 17(3), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17030763 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The convolution of two physical entities, denoted as f and g, delineates the manner in which one entity undergoes modification in response to the other. This transformative process is mathematically represented by the expression fg, symbolizing the convolution of [...] Read more.
The convolution of two physical entities, denoted as f and g, delineates the manner in which one entity undergoes modification in response to the other. This transformative process is mathematically represented by the expression fg, symbolizing the convolution of the two entities in a resultant function h. Frequently, it becomes imperative to comprehend the magnitude of the induced modifications. From the derived function h, a crucial step involves the separation of the two original signals, a process commonly referred to as deconvolution. Various techniques have been proposed to facilitate the calculation of the deconvolution, with one notable approach originating in 1931 by van Cittert. The algorithm, based on an iterative method, has been scrutinized over time, notably by Bracewell and, more recently, by Jansson. This work represents the current state-of-the-art, focusing specifically on the analysis of Auger spectra obtained through XPS. Emphasis is placed on delineating the procedural aspects of the analysis, and the algorithm utilized in the open-source software RxpsG is comprehensively described. Full article
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19 pages, 5269 KiB  
Article
Study on the Influence of UV Light on Selective Antibacterial Activity of Silver Nanoparticle Synthesized Utilizing Protein/Polypeptide-Rich Aqueous Extract from The Common Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata
by James Lee Cho, Luc Gaston Allain and Sanichiro Yoshida
Materials 2024, 17(3), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17030713 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
Common walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) aqueous extract (CWSAE) can induce the synthesis of useful bionanomaterials. CWSAE is rich in water-soluble organic compounds such as proteins and polypeptides that function as reducing/stabilizing agents for nanoparticle formation from Ag+ ion precursors. The synthesized [...] Read more.
Common walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) aqueous extract (CWSAE) can induce the synthesis of useful bionanomaterials. CWSAE is rich in water-soluble organic compounds such as proteins and polypeptides that function as reducing/stabilizing agents for nanoparticle formation from Ag+ ion precursors. The synthesized AgNPs exhibited a moderately uniform size, with the majority falling within the range of 20–80 nm. These AgNPs were UV-treated and tested as antibacterial agents to inhibit the growth of four pathogenic bacteria (Burkholderia cenocepacia K-56, Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, and Staphylococcus aureus USA300), as well as one common bacterium (Escherichia coli BW25113). The disk diffusion test demonstrated that the UV-treated AgNPs significantly and selectively inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus USA300 and P. aeruginosa, while showing a small effect on the other two species. This suggests the potential application of green-chemically synthesized AgNPs as selective antibacterial agents. Furthermore, we studied the effects of short-term (1–2 min) and long-term (5–30 min) UV treatment on the selective cytotoxicity of the AgNPs and found that the cytotoxicity of the AgNPs could depend on the duration of UV exposure against certain bacteria. Full article
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18 pages, 10867 KiB  
Article
Impact of Notches on Additively Manufactured Inconel 718 Tensile Performance
by Joseph Johnson and Daniel Kujawski
Materials 2023, 16(20), 6740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16206740 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 826
Abstract
This study was completed in effort to characterize the notch sensitivity of additively manufactured (AM) Inconel 718 produced by laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). Three different root radii on V-notched test specimens and smooth specimens were evaluated under tensile conditions for specimens built [...] Read more.
This study was completed in effort to characterize the notch sensitivity of additively manufactured (AM) Inconel 718 produced by laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). Three different root radii on V-notched test specimens and smooth specimens were evaluated under tensile conditions for specimens built in vertical and horizontal orientations. Both the total axial strain and localized notch diametral strain were measured. Finite element analysis (FEA) was completed on each specimen geometry to confirm the actual strain measurements near the notch. Test results showed the tensile strength of the notched specimens were larger than the tensile strength values of the smooth specimens. These tensile results equate to a notch-sensitivity ratio (NSR) greater than one, indicating that the L-PBF Inconel 718 material is a notch-strengthened material. It is suspected that the notch strengthening is a result of increased triaxial stress produced near the notch tip causing added material constraints, resulting in higher strength values for the notched specimens. Fractography analysis was completed on the various fracture surfaces and identified a dominate ductile failure mode within all of the specimens; however, the amount of ductility reduced with smaller notch root radii. While this study provides the initial notch responses of the L-PBF Inconel 718, further research must be completed in regard to the impact of notches on more complex loading behaviors, such as fatigue and stress-rupture conditions. Full article
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Review

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32 pages, 5550 KiB  
Review
Advances in Focused Ion Beam Tomography for Three-Dimensional Characterization in Materials Science
by Francesco Mura, Flavio Cognigni, Matteo Ferroni, Vittorio Morandi and Marco Rossi
Materials 2023, 16(17), 5808; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16175808 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
Over the years, FIB-SEM tomography has become an extremely important technique for the three-dimensional reconstruction of microscopic structures with nanometric resolution. This paper describes in detail the steps required to perform this analysis, from the experimental setup to the data analysis and final [...] Read more.
Over the years, FIB-SEM tomography has become an extremely important technique for the three-dimensional reconstruction of microscopic structures with nanometric resolution. This paper describes in detail the steps required to perform this analysis, from the experimental setup to the data analysis and final reconstruction. To demonstrate the versatility of the technique, a comprehensive list of applications is also summarized, ranging from batteries to shale rocks and even some types of soft materials. Moreover, the continuous technological development, such as the introduction of the latest models of plasma and cryo-FIB, can open the way towards the analysis with this technique of a large class of soft materials, while the introduction of new machine learning and deep learning systems will not only improve the resolution and the quality of the final data, but also expand the degree of automation and efficiency in the dataset handling. These future developments, combined with a technique that is already reliable and widely used in various fields of research, are certain to become a routine tool in electron microscopy and material characterization. Full article
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