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Low-Dimensional Structures for Smart Materials and Composites: Preparation, Properties and Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 28642

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to highlighting significant findings in the field of materials based on low-dimensional systems (i.e. 0D, 1D, and 2D), their assembly and mixing to make composite materials. In fact, a variety of newly developed structures have attracted a remarkable attention due to their unprecedented properties, boosting those of more traditional counterparts. These low-dimensional systems are known for their high surface area and small spatial dimensions, leading to intrinsic and distinctive characteristics (electrical, optical, and magnetic properties). A shrewd combination of these structures or an arrangement in bulk materials may open new perspectives paving the way for unprecedented uses. On this matter, significant examples come from carbon nanostructures (i.e., high-structure carbon-black, carbon nanotubes, graphene) in polymers. These nanocarbons can effectively engender new (electrical, thermal, optical) properties in polymer materials. On the other hand, contact between two materials with small sliding friction can make superlubricity possible, implying a reduction in friction of orders of magnitude compared to 3D counterparts.

The present Special Issue is primarily addressed to materials with low-dimensional structures, from their preparation to their properties and applications. Fundamental and theoretical studies contributing to the understanding of their basic principles are also welcomed.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the preparation, properties, and applications of materials containing:

  • 0D (nanoparticles, quantum dots, and small molecules);
  • 1D (nanotubes, nanofibers, nanorods, and nanowires);
  • 2D (2D organic framework systems, 2D polymers, and few-layered materials, including graphene, graphene-like systems (i.e., graphene oxide), and graphene analogues (i.e., transition metal dichalcogenides, carbides, nitrides, carbonitrides, silicene, germanene, stanene, and phosphorene);
  • The interplay of low-dimensional structures in materials and composites;
  • Materials engineering;
  • Van der Waals heterostructures, all-inorganic materials, and organic–inorganic hybrids. 

Prof. Dr. Federico Cesano
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • 0D (nanoparticles, quantum dots, and small molecules)
  • 1D (nanotubes, nanofibers, nanorods, and nanowires)
  • 2D (2D organic framework systems, 2D polymers, and few-layered materials, including graphene, graphene-like systems (i.e., graphene oxide), and graphene analogues (i.e., transition metal dichalcogenides, carbides, nitrides, carbonitrides, silicene, germanene, stanene, and phosphorene)

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Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

7 pages, 529 KiB  
Editorial
Low-Dimensional Structures for Smart Materials and Composites: Preparation, Properties and Applications
by Federico Cesano
Materials 2023, 16(17), 5743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16175743 - 22 Aug 2023
Viewed by 670
Abstract
The Special Issue covers low-dimensional structures or systems with reduced spatial dimensions, resulting in unique properties. The classification of these materials according to their dimensionality (0D, 1D, 2D, etc.) emerged from nanoscience and nanotechnology. One review and eighteen research articles highlight recent developments [...] Read more.
The Special Issue covers low-dimensional structures or systems with reduced spatial dimensions, resulting in unique properties. The classification of these materials according to their dimensionality (0D, 1D, 2D, etc.) emerged from nanoscience and nanotechnology. One review and eighteen research articles highlight recent developments and perspectives in the field of low-dimensional structures and demonstrate the potential of low-dimensional systems in various fields, from nanomaterials for energy applications to biomedical sensors and biotechnology sector. Full article
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

11 pages, 1954 KiB  
Article
Non-Destructive Evaluation of Thermal Aging in EPDM Rubber Using Electromagnetic Techniques
by Sobhan Sepehri, Stacy Trey, Kajsa Lake, Carl Cumming and Christer Johansson
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5471; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155471 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
This study investigates the use of eddy-current technology and impedance spectroscopy in sensing the change in rubber properties after it is exposed to accelerated thermal aging. The thermal aging process, by application of temperature and pressure over time, of ethylene propylene diene monomer [...] Read more.
This study investigates the use of eddy-current technology and impedance spectroscopy in sensing the change in rubber properties after it is exposed to accelerated thermal aging. The thermal aging process, by application of temperature and pressure over time, of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubbers containing both carbon black (CB) and graphene are investigated. Both eddy-current sensing and electrical impedance measurement techniques were used for electromagnetic analysis. Both methods measure the in- and out-of-phase responses as a function of excitation frequency at room temperature. The measurements were performed before and after the aging process. The electrical percolation threshold was detected in the rubber samples by varying the CB content from 0 to 40 wt%. In the rubber sample containing 30 wt% CB, 0–5 wt% of the CB was replaced with graphene flakes. The substitution of graphene for CB in the EPDM rubber formulation provided an enhanced eddy-current and electrical impedance response. The findings demonstrate the feasibility of employing electromagnetic analysis techniques to investigate the extent of aging. Full article
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14 pages, 688 KiB  
Article
Theoretical Prediction of Electrical Conductivity Percolation of Poly(lactic acid)—Carbon Nanotube Composites in DC and RF Regime
by Freddys R. Beltrán, Hammouche Aksas, Lakhdar Sidi Salah, Yann Danlée and Isabelle Huynen
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5356; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155356 - 30 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Polymer composites based on polylactic acid (PLA) reinforced with 0.25–5 wt.% of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized by melt blending. The static (DC) and microwave (RF) electrical conductivity have been investigated on the PLA–CNT composites. The electrical percolation threshold has been theoretically determined [...] Read more.
Polymer composites based on polylactic acid (PLA) reinforced with 0.25–5 wt.% of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized by melt blending. The static (DC) and microwave (RF) electrical conductivity have been investigated on the PLA–CNT composites. The electrical percolation threshold has been theoretically determined using classical models of percolation in order to predict the conductivity of the different nanocomposites. Through the fitting process, it has been found that the percolation threshold is obtained at 1 wt.% of CNTs in the DC regime and reached below 0.25 wt.% of CNTs in the microwave regime. Among the Mamunya, McLachlan, or GEM models, the McCullough model remarkably fits the experimental DC and RF electrical conductivities. The obtained results are correlated to the electrical properties of a range of CNT-based composites, corresponding to the percolation threshold required for a three-dimensional network of CNTs into the polymer matrix. Full article
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15 pages, 7273 KiB  
Article
1D Narrow-Bandgap Tin Oxide Materials: Systematic High-Resolution TEM and Raman Analysis
by Kazuhiro Manseki, Saeid Vafaei, Loren Scott, Katelyn Hampton, Nagisa Hattori, Kosuke Ohira, Kyle Prochotsky, Stephen Jala and Takashi Sugiura
Materials 2023, 16(13), 4539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16134539 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
We demonstrate for the first time the structure identification and narrow-bandgap property of 1D hybridized SnO/SnO2 nanoparticles derived from the calcination of a single-source precursor, i.e., tin(II) oxalate. Systematic Raman analysis together with high-resolution TEM (HR-TEM) measurements of the tin oxide samples [...] Read more.
We demonstrate for the first time the structure identification and narrow-bandgap property of 1D hybridized SnO/SnO2 nanoparticles derived from the calcination of a single-source precursor, i.e., tin(II) oxalate. Systematic Raman analysis together with high-resolution TEM (HR-TEM) measurements of the tin oxide samples were carried out by changing the calcination temperatures. These data revealed the simultaneous formation of 1D SnO/SnO2 in the rod particles that grew in air. It was also found that Sn(II) can be introduced by changing the concentration of Sn(II) salt in the precursor synthesis and the maximum temperature in calcination. Particles measuring 20~30 nm were sintered to produce tin oxide nanorods including tin monoxide, SnO. Photoabsorption properties associated with the formation of the SnO/SnO2 nanocomposites were also investigated. Tauc plots indicate that the obtained tin oxide samples had a lower bandgap of 2.9~3.0 eV originating from SnO in addition to a higher bandgap of around 3.5~3.7 eV commonly observed for SnO2. Such 1D SnOx/SnO2 hybrids via tin oxalate synthesis with this optical property would benefit new materials design for photoenergy conversion systems, such as photocatalysts. Full article
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16 pages, 2292 KiB  
Article
Engineering of Silica Mesoporous Materials for CO2 Adsorption
by Oyundari Tumurbaatar, Margarita Popova, Violeta Mitova, Pavletta Shestakova and Neli Koseva
Materials 2023, 16(11), 4179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16114179 - 04 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1235
Abstract
Adsorption methods for CO2 capture are characterized by high selectivity and low energy consumption. Therefore, the engineering of solid supports for efficient CO2 adsorption attracts research attention. Modification of mesoporous silica materials with tailor-made organic molecules can greatly improve silica’s performance [...] Read more.
Adsorption methods for CO2 capture are characterized by high selectivity and low energy consumption. Therefore, the engineering of solid supports for efficient CO2 adsorption attracts research attention. Modification of mesoporous silica materials with tailor-made organic molecules can greatly improve silica’s performance in CO2 capture and separation. In that context, a new derivative of 9,10-dihydro-9-oxa-10-phosphaphenanthrene-10-oxide, possessing an electron-rich condensed aromatic structure and also known for its anti-oxidative properties, was synthesized and applied as a modifying agent of 2D SBA-15, 3D SBA-16, and KIT-6 silicates. The physicochemical properties of the initial and modified materials were studied using nitrogen physisorption and temperature-gravimetric analysis. The adsorption capacity of CO2 was measured in a dynamic CO2 adsorption regime. The three modified materials displayed a higher capacity for CO2 adsorption than the initial ones. Among the studied sorbents, the modified mesoporous SBA-15 silica showed the highest adsorption capacity for CO2 (3.9 mmol/g). In the presence of 1 vol.% water vapor, the adsorption capacities of the modified materials were enhanced. Total CO2 desorption from the modified materials was achieved at 80 °C. The obtained silica materials displayed stable performance in five CO2 adsorption/desorption cycles. The experimental data can be appropriately described by the Yoon–Nelson kinetic model. Full article
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12 pages, 3944 KiB  
Article
Nanocomposite Films of Silver Nanoparticles and Conjugated Copolymer in Natural and Nano-Form: Structural and Morphological Studies
by Rebeca da Rocha Rodrigues, Diogo Silva Pellosi, Guy Louarn and Laura Oliveira Péres
Materials 2023, 16(10), 3663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16103663 - 11 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
The use of conjugated polymers (CPs) and metallic nanoparticles is an interesting way to form nanocomposites with improved optical properties. For instance, a nanocomposite with high sensitivity can be produced. However, the hydrophobicity of CPs may hamper applications due to their low bioavailability [...] Read more.
The use of conjugated polymers (CPs) and metallic nanoparticles is an interesting way to form nanocomposites with improved optical properties. For instance, a nanocomposite with high sensitivity can be produced. However, the hydrophobicity of CPs may hamper applications due to their low bioavailability and low operability in aqueous media. This problem can be overcome by forming thin solid films from an aqueous dispersion containing small CP nanoparticles. So, in this work we developed the formation of thin films of poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PDOF-co-PEDOT) from its natural and nano form (NCP) from aqueous solution. These copolymers were then blended in films with triangular and spherical silver nanoparticles (AgNP) for future applicability as a SERS sensor of pesticides. TEM characterization showed that the AgNP were adsorbed on the NCP surface, forming a nanostructure with an average diameter of 90 nm (value according to that obtained by DLS) and with a negative potential zeta. These nanostructures were transferred to a solid substrate, forming thin and homogeneous films with different morphology of PDOF-co-PEDOT films, as observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). XPS data demonstrated the presence of the AgNP in the thin films, as well as evidence that films with NCP are more resistant to the photo-oxidation process. Raman spectra showed characteristic peaks of the copolymer in the films prepared with NCP. It should also be noted the enhancement effect of Raman bands observed on films containing AgNP, a strong indication of the SERS effect induced by the metallic nanoparticles. Furthermore, the different geometry of the AgNP influences the way in which the adsorption between the NCP and the metal surface occurs, with a perpendicular adsorption between the NCP chains and the surface of the triangular AgNP. Full article
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18 pages, 5807 KiB  
Article
Changes to Material Phase and Morphology Due to High-Level Molybdenum Doping of ZnO Nanorods: Influence on Luminescence and Defects
by Maksym Buryi, Vladimir Babin, Neda Neykova, Yu-Min Wang, Zdeněk Remeš, Katarína Ridzoňová, Filip Dominec, Marina Davydova, Jan Drahokoupil, Sergii Chertopalov, Lucie Landová and Ognen Pop-Georgievski
Materials 2023, 16(9), 3294; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16093294 - 22 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1296
Abstract
The influence of Mo on the electronic states and crystalline structure, as well as morphology, phase composition, luminescence, and defects in ZnO rods grown as free-standing nanoparticles, was studied using a variety of experimental techniques. Mo has almost no influence on the luminescence [...] Read more.
The influence of Mo on the electronic states and crystalline structure, as well as morphology, phase composition, luminescence, and defects in ZnO rods grown as free-standing nanoparticles, was studied using a variety of experimental techniques. Mo has almost no influence on the luminescence of the grown ZnO particles, whereas shallow donors are strongly affected in ZnO rods. Annealing in air causes exciton and defect-related bands to drop upon Mo doping level. The increase of the Mo doping level from 20 to 30% leads to the creation of dominating molybdates. This leads to a concomitant drop in the number of formed ZnO nanorods. Full article
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14 pages, 2186 KiB  
Article
An Electrochemical Sensor for the Determination of Trace Concentrations of Cadmium, Based on Spherical Glassy Carbon and Nanotubes
by Malgorzata Grabarczyk, Cecylia Wardak, Robert Piech and Agnieszka Wawruch
Materials 2023, 16(8), 3252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16083252 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
The practical application of a novel, eco-friendly electrochemical sensor based on low-dimensional structures, spherical glassy carbon microparticles, and multiwall carbon nanotubes is described. This sensor, modified with a bismuth film, was used for the determination of Cd(II) by the anodic stripping voltammetric method. [...] Read more.
The practical application of a novel, eco-friendly electrochemical sensor based on low-dimensional structures, spherical glassy carbon microparticles, and multiwall carbon nanotubes is described. This sensor, modified with a bismuth film, was used for the determination of Cd(II) by the anodic stripping voltammetric method. The instrumental and chemical factors influencing the sensitivity of the procedure were thoroughly investigated and their most favorable values were selected (acetate buffer solution pH = 3 ± 0.1; 0.15 mmol L−1 Bi(III); activation potential/time: −2 V/3 s; accumulation potential/time: −0.9 V/50 s). Under the selected conditions, the method exhibited linearity in the range of 2 × 10−9 to 2 × 10−7 mol L−1 Cd(II) with a detection limit of 6.2 × 10−10 mol L−1 Cd(II). The results obtained also showed that the application of the sensor for Cd(II) detection did not experience any significant interference in the presence of a number of foreign ions. The applicability of this procedure was evaluated using TM-25.5 Environmental Matrix Reference Material and SPS-WW1 Waste Water Certified Reference Material as well as river water samples through addition and recovery tests. Full article
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17 pages, 14446 KiB  
Article
Porogen Concentration Effect on the Pore Structure and Properties Evolution of Polymer Monolith Based on Oligocarbonate Dimethacrylate OCM-2
by Roman S. Kovylin, Vladimir V. Yudin, Margarita P. Shurygina, Victor B. Fedoseev, Sergey A. Chesnokov, Igor L. Fedushkin and Alexandr V. Piskunov
Materials 2023, 16(8), 3177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16083177 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Porous polymer monolith materials of 2-mm thickness were obtained by visible light-induced radical polymerization of oligocarbonate dimethacrylate (OCM-2) in the presence of 1-butanol (10 to 70 wt %) as a porogenic additive. The pore characteristics and morphology of polymers were studied by mercury [...] Read more.
Porous polymer monolith materials of 2-mm thickness were obtained by visible light-induced radical polymerization of oligocarbonate dimethacrylate (OCM-2) in the presence of 1-butanol (10 to 70 wt %) as a porogenic additive. The pore characteristics and morphology of polymers were studied by mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscopy. Monolithic polymers with both open and closed pores up to 100 nm in size are formed when the alcohol content in the initial composition is up to 20 wt %. The pore structure in such materials is a system of holes in the bulk of the polymer (hole-type pores). Open interconnected pores with a specific volume up to 2.22 cm3/g and modal pore size up to 10 microns are formed in the volume of the polymer with 1-butanol content of more than 30 wt %. Such porous monoliths are a structure of covalently bonded polymer globules (interparticle-type pores). The free space between the globules represents a system of open interconnected pores. In the transition region of 1-butanol concentrations (from 20 to 30 wt %), areas with both structures and intermediate frameworks, as well as honeycomb structures of polymer globules connected by bridges, are fixed on the polymer surface. It was found that the transition from one type of pore system to another is accompanied by a sharp change in the strength characteristics of the polymer. Approximation of experimental data using the sigmoid function made it possible to determine the concentration of the porogenic agent in the vicinity of which the percolation threshold is observed. Full article
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14 pages, 9934 KiB  
Article
Metallurgical Aspects of Ni-Coating and High Temperature Treatments for FBG Spectrum Regeneration
by Carla Lupi, Cristian Vendittozzi, Erwin Ciro, Ferdinando Felli and Daniela Pilone
Materials 2023, 16(8), 2943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16082943 - 07 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 998
Abstract
The structural integrity of mechanical components is assessed by FBG sensors in many industrial fields. The FBG sensor has a relevant application at very high or low temperatures. To avoid the variability of the reflected spectrum and the mechanical properties degradation of the [...] Read more.
The structural integrity of mechanical components is assessed by FBG sensors in many industrial fields. The FBG sensor has a relevant application at very high or low temperatures. To avoid the variability of the reflected spectrum and the mechanical properties degradation of the FBG sensor, metal coatings have been used to guarantee the grating’s integrity in extreme temperature environments. Particularly, at high temperatures, Ni could be a suitable selection as a coating to improve the features of FBG sensors. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Ni coating and high-temperature treatments can recover a broken, seemingly unusable sensor. In this work, two main objectives were pursued: first, the determination of the best operative parameters to achieve the most compact, adherent, and homogeneous coating; second, the correlation between the obtained morphology and structure and the FBG spectrum modification, once Ni was deposited on the FBG sensor. The Ni coating was deposited from aqueous solutions. By performing heat treatments of the Ni-coated FBG sensor, it was investigated how the wavelength (WL) varied as a function of temperature and how that variation was caused by the structural or dimensional change of the Ni coating. Full article
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13 pages, 1948 KiB  
Article
Photothermal Effect and Phase Transition in VO2 Enhanced by Plasmonic Particles
by Vladimir Kaydashev, Boris Khlebtsov, Maxim Kutepov, Anatoliy Nikolskiy, Alexey Kozakov, Alexey Konstantinov, Alexey Mikheykin, Gevork Karapetyan and Evgeni Kaidashev
Materials 2023, 16(7), 2579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16072579 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Phase change metasurfaces based on VO2, which are pre-heated with electric current and optically addressed by projected structured light hologram, are considered to become a new paradigm in programmed THz/middle IR flat optics. Macroscopic quasi-homogeneous arrays of Au nanoparticles show large [...] Read more.
Phase change metasurfaces based on VO2, which are pre-heated with electric current and optically addressed by projected structured light hologram, are considered to become a new paradigm in programmed THz/middle IR flat optics. Macroscopic quasi-homogeneous arrays of Au nanoparticles show large near IR absorption and a significant photothermal effect capable of boosting a light-triggered switching of VO2 and are to be carefully examined. We propose a new approach to simultaneously probe the altered temperature and electric conductivity of a hybrid Au particle-VO2 film composite by monitoring a phase shift and attenuating a surface acoustic wave in a YX128° cut LiNbO3 substrate. The method shows a temperature resolution of 0.1 °C comparable with the best existing techniques for studying nanoobjects and surfaces. The laser-induced photothermal effects were characterized in a macroscopic array of Au nanostars (AuNSts) with different surface coverage. In a monolayer of 10 nm Au, coupled plasmonic nanoparticles were deposited on the LiNbO3 substrate. An optically triggered insulator-metal transition assisted by photothermal effect in AuNSts/VO2/TiO2/LiNbO3 composites was studied at varied light power. We believe that the proposed SAW-based method is of significant importance for the characterization and optimization of radiation absorbing or/and electrically heated elements of metasurfaces and other devices for lab-on-chip and optical communication/processor technology. Full article
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17 pages, 3570 KiB  
Article
Reduced Graphene Oxide Aerogels Cartridges for Solid Phase Extraction of Benzotriazoles
by Samantha L. Flores-López, Ana Arenillas, Ivan Mikšík, J. Angel Menéndez and Miguel A. Montes-Morán
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062519 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1062
Abstract
UV-benzotriazoles have been identified as water micropollutants that cause serious problems for human health and the environment. Their low concentration in water bodies complicates their detection by direct water analysis, slowing the corrective actions to avoid bioaccumulation. In this regard, the use of [...] Read more.
UV-benzotriazoles have been identified as water micropollutants that cause serious problems for human health and the environment. Their low concentration in water bodies complicates their detection by direct water analysis, slowing the corrective actions to avoid bioaccumulation. In this regard, the use of graphene-based materials with a high affinity for non-polar molecules has been demonstrated to be a potential tool for the optimal separation and concentration of this type of molecules in solid phase extraction (SPE) processes. This work evaluates the potential of novel reduced graphene oxide aerogels (rGO) as extractants of mixtures of three UV-benzotriazoles in water at low concentrations. These rGO aerogels incorporate graphenic domains into a tough structure of polymeric chains by adding graphene oxide during the synthesis of resorcinol-formaldehyde gels. Aerogels with a different content and ordering of graphenic domains were obtained and characterized using Raman, XRD, SEM and nitrogen adsorption isotherms (−196 °C). The rGO aerogels that performed better as solid phase extractants were those containing 60% rGO. Aerogels with lower rGO contents (40%) required a high-temperature (2000 °C) treatment to render competitive results. The SPE methodology using selected rGO aerogels was optimized by varying the elution solvent, elution time and volume. The best performances, i.e., recoveries of 80–100% and enrichment factors of 12.5–50, were accomplished when using 0.8 mL of tetrahydrofuran (THF) as an elution solvent. As a result, a fast (10 min) and simple extraction method of UV-benzotriazoles in water was attained, achieving a detection limit of 1 ng mL−1. Selected aerogels were finally tested for the SPE of spiked samples of river waters, showing a similar performance to that observed with synthetic mixtures. Full article
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12 pages, 1961 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Rapid Electrical Pulse-Based Biosensor Consisting of Truncated DNA Aptamer for Zika Virus Envelope Protein Detection in Clinical Samples
by Moonbong Jang, Myoungro Lee, Hiesang Sohn, Chulhwan Park and Taek Lee
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062355 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
Zika virus (ZV) infection causes fatal hemorrhagic fever. Most patients are unaware of their symptoms; therefore, a rapid diagnostic tool is required to detect ZV infection. To solve this problem, we developed a rapid electrical biosensor composed of a truncated DNA aptamer immobilized [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZV) infection causes fatal hemorrhagic fever. Most patients are unaware of their symptoms; therefore, a rapid diagnostic tool is required to detect ZV infection. To solve this problem, we developed a rapid electrical biosensor composed of a truncated DNA aptamer immobilized on an interdigitated gold micro-gap electrode and alternating current electrothermal flow (ACEF) technique. The truncated ZV aptamer (T-ZV apt) was prepared to reduce the manufacturing cost for biosensor fabrication, and it showed binding affinity similar to that of the original ZV aptamer. This pulse-voltammetry-based biosensor was composed of a T-ZV apt immobilized on an interdigitated micro-gap electrode. Atomic force microscopy was used to confirm the biosensor fabrication. In addition, the optimal biosensor performance conditions were investigated using pulse voltammetry. ACEF promoted aptamer-target binding, and the target virus envelope protein was detected in the diluted serum within 10 min. The biosensor waveform increased linearly as the concentration of the Zika envelope in the serum increased, and the detection limit was 90.1 pM. Our results suggest that the fabricated biosensor is a significant milestone for rapid virus detection. Full article
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12 pages, 1314 KiB  
Article
Effect of Carbon Nanotubes on the Na+ Intercalation Capacity of Binder Free Mn2V2O7-CNTs Electrode: A Structural Investigation
by Rahul Parmar, Javad Rezvani, Matteo Amati, Luca Gregoratti, Decio Batista de Freitas Neto, Jose Mauricio Rosolen and Roberto Gunnella
Materials 2023, 16(5), 2069; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16052069 - 02 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1666
Abstract
Improvements in sodium intercalation in sodium cathodes have been debated in recent years. In the present work, we delineate the significant effect of the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their weight percent in the intercalation capacity of the binder-free manganese vanadium oxide (MVO)-CNTs composite [...] Read more.
Improvements in sodium intercalation in sodium cathodes have been debated in recent years. In the present work, we delineate the significant effect of the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their weight percent in the intercalation capacity of the binder-free manganese vanadium oxide (MVO)-CNTs composite electrodes. The performance modification of the electrode is discussed taking into account the cathode electrolyte interphase (CEI) layer under optimal performance. We observe an intermittent distribution of the chemical phases on the CEI, formed on these electrodes after several cycles. The bulk and superficial structure of pristine and Na+ cycled electrodes were identified via micro-Raman scattering and Scanning X-ray Photoelectron Microscopy. We show that the inhomogeneous CEI layer distribution strongly depends on the CNTs weight percentage ratio in an electrode nano-composite. The capacity fading of MVO-CNTs appears to be associated with the dissolution of the Mn2O3 phase, leading to electrode deterioration. This effect is particularly observed in electrodes with low weight percentage of the CNTs in which the tubular topology of the CNTs are distorted due to the MVO decoration. These results can deepen the understanding of the CNTs role on the intercalation mechanism and capacity of the electrode, where there are variations in the mass ratio of CNTs and the active material. Full article
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18 pages, 6800 KiB  
Article
Effect of Calcination Temperature and Time on the Synthesis of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: Green vs. Chemical Method
by Johar Amin Ahmed Abdullah, Mercedes Jiménez-Rosado, Antonio Guerrero and Alberto Romero
Materials 2023, 16(5), 1798; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16051798 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2799
Abstract
Nowadays, antioxidants and antibacterial activity play an increasingly vital role in biosystems due to the biochemical and biological reactions that involve free radicals and pathogen growth, which occur in many systems. For this purpose, continuous efforts are being made to minimize these reactions, [...] Read more.
Nowadays, antioxidants and antibacterial activity play an increasingly vital role in biosystems due to the biochemical and biological reactions that involve free radicals and pathogen growth, which occur in many systems. For this purpose, continuous efforts are being made to minimize these reactions, including the use of nanomaterials as antioxidants and bactericidal agents. Despite such advances, iron oxide nanoparticles still lack knowledge regarding their antioxidant and bactericidal capacities. This includes the investigation of biochemical reactions and their effects on nanoparticle functionality. In green synthesis, active phytochemicals give nanoparticles their maximum functional capacity and should not be destroyed during synthesis. Therefore, research is required to establish a correlation between the synthesis process and the nanoparticle properties. In this sense, the main objective of this work was to evaluate the most influential process stage: calcination. Thus, different calcination temperatures (200, 300, and 500 °C) and times (2, 4, and 5 h) were studied in the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles using either Phoenix dactylifera L. (PDL) extract (green method) or sodium hydroxide (chemical method) as the reducing agent. The results show that calcination temperatures and times had a significant influence on the degradation of the active substance (polyphenols) and the final structure of iron oxide nanoparticles. It was found that, at low calcination temperatures and times, the nanoparticles exhibited small sizes, fewer polycrystalline structures, and better antioxidant activities. In conclusion, this work highlights the importance of green synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles due to their excellent antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Full article
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10 pages, 2714 KiB  
Article
Graphene/PVDF Nanocomposite-Based Accelerometer for Detection of Low Vibrations
by Surendra Maharjan, Victor K. Samoei and Ahalapitiya H. Jayatissa
Materials 2023, 16(4), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16041586 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
A flexible piezoresistive sensor was developed as an accelerometer based on Graphene/PVDF nanocomposite to detect low-frequency and low amplitude vibration of industrial machines, which may be caused due to misalignment, looseness of fasteners, or eccentric rotation. The sensor was structured as a cantilever [...] Read more.
A flexible piezoresistive sensor was developed as an accelerometer based on Graphene/PVDF nanocomposite to detect low-frequency and low amplitude vibration of industrial machines, which may be caused due to misalignment, looseness of fasteners, or eccentric rotation. The sensor was structured as a cantilever beam with the proof mass at the free end. The vibration caused the proof mass to accelerate up and down, which was converted into an electrical signal. The output was recorded as the change in resistance (response percentage) with respect to the acceleration. It was found that this accelerometer has a capability of detecting acceleration up to 8 gpk-pk in the frequency range of 20 Hz to 80 Hz. The developed accelerometer has the potential to represent an alternative to the existing accelerometers due to its compactness, simplicity, and higher sensitivity for low frequency and low amplitude applications. Full article
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12 pages, 2582 KiB  
Article
Magnetic-Field-Assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy: Engineering of Fe3O4 Ultrathin Films on MgO(111)
by Adam Dziwoki, Bohdana Blyzniuk, Kinga Freindl, Ewa Madej, Ewa Młyńczak, Dorota Wilgocka-Ślęzak, Józef Korecki and Nika Spiridis
Materials 2023, 16(4), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16041485 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Molecular beam epitaxy is widely used for engineering low-dimensional materials. Here, we present a novel extension of the capabilities of this method by assisting epitaxial growth with the presence of an external magnetic field (MF). MF-assisted epitaxial growth was implemented under ultra-high vacuum [...] Read more.
Molecular beam epitaxy is widely used for engineering low-dimensional materials. Here, we present a novel extension of the capabilities of this method by assisting epitaxial growth with the presence of an external magnetic field (MF). MF-assisted epitaxial growth was implemented under ultra-high vacuum conditions thanks to specialized sample holders for generating in-plane or out-of-plane MF and dedicated manipulator stations with heating and cooling options. The significant impact of MF on the magnetic properties was shown for ultra-thin epitaxial magnetite films grown on MgO(111). Using in situ and ex situ characterization methods, scanning tunneling microscopy, conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy, and the magneto-optic Kerr effect, we showed that the in-plane MF applied during the reactive deposition of 10 nm Fe3O4(111)/MgO(111) heterostructures influenced the growth morphology of the magnetite films, which affects both in-plane and out-of-plane characteristics of the magnetization process. The observed changes are explained in terms of modification of the effective magnetic anisotropy. Full article
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14 pages, 2236 KiB  
Article
Antitumor Effects of Microencapsulated Gratiola officinalis Extract on Breast Carcinoma and Human Cervical Cancer Cells In Vitro
by Nikita Navolokin, Maria Lomova, Alla Bucharskaya, Olga Godage, Natalya Polukonova, Alexander Shirokov, Vyacheslav Grinev and Galina Maslyakova
Materials 2023, 16(4), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16041470 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1508
Abstract
Flavonoid-containing Gratiola officinalis extract has been studied in relation to breast carcinoma and human cervical cancer cells in encapsulated and native form. Encapsulation was realized in polymer shells, which were formed by the layer-by-layer method using sequential adsorption of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and poly(sodium [...] Read more.
Flavonoid-containing Gratiola officinalis extract has been studied in relation to breast carcinoma and human cervical cancer cells in encapsulated and native form. Encapsulation was realized in polymer shells, which were formed by the layer-by-layer method using sequential adsorption of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) on the destructible cores. The extract was prepared by the author’s method and characterized using high performance liquid chromatography. By means of optical and fluorescent microscopy, cell changes under the action of pure and encapsulated extracts were comprehensively studied, and statistical analysis was carried out. Cells were stained with propidium iodide, acridine orange, and Hoechst 33258. A fluorescence microscope with a digital video camera were used for cell imaging. The encapsulated extract caused 100% death of breast cancer SKBR-3 cells and 34% death of cervical cancer HeLa cells and prevented the formation of autophagosomes in both cultures. Analysis of the viability and morphological features of tumor cells under the action of microencapsulated extract allows us to consider microencapsulation as an effective strategy for delivering Gratiola officinalis extract to tumor cells and a promising way to overcome the protective autophagy. Full article
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15 pages, 3714 KiB  
Article
Development and Up-Scaling of Electrochemical Production and Mild Thermal Reduction of Graphene Oxide
by Markus Ostermann, Peter Velicsanyi, Pierluigi Bilotto, Juergen Schodl, Markus Nadlinger, Guenter Fafilek, Peter A. Lieberzeit and Markus Valtiner
Materials 2022, 15(13), 4639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15134639 - 01 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1904
Abstract
To reduce the global emissions of CO2, the aviation industry largely relies on new light weight materials, which require multifunctional coatings. Graphene and its derivatives are particularly promising for combining light weight applications with functional coatings. Although they have proven to [...] Read more.
To reduce the global emissions of CO2, the aviation industry largely relies on new light weight materials, which require multifunctional coatings. Graphene and its derivatives are particularly promising for combining light weight applications with functional coatings. Although they have proven to have outstanding properties, graphene and its precursor graphene oxide (GO) remain far from application at the industrial scale since a comprehensive protocol for mass production is still lacking. In this work, we develop and systematically describe a sustainable up-scaling process for the production of GO based on a three-step electrochemical exfoliation method. Surface characterization techniques (XRD, XPS and Raman) allow the understanding of the fast exfoliation rates obtained, and of high conductivities that are up to four orders of magnitude higher compared to GO produced via the commonly used modified Hummers method. Furthermore, we show that a newly developed mild thermal reduction at 250 °C is sufficient to increase conductivity by another order of magnitude, while limiting energy requirements. The proposed GO powder protocol suggests an up-scaling linear relation between the amount of educt surface and volume of electrolyte. This may support the mass production of GO-based coatings for the aviation industry, and address challenges such as low weight, fire, de-icing and lightning strike protection. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

17 pages, 1164 KiB  
Review
Novel Concepts for Graphene-Based Nanomaterials Synthesis for Phenol Removal from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)
by Kehinde Shola Obayomi, Sie Yon Lau, Michael K. Danquah, Jianhua Zhang, Tung Chiong, Masahiro Takeo and Jaison Jeevanandam
Materials 2023, 16(12), 4379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16124379 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
In recent years, the global population has increased significantly, resulting in elevated levels of pollution in waterways. Organic pollutants are a major source of water pollution in various parts of the world, with phenolic compounds being the most common hazardous pollutant. These compounds [...] Read more.
In recent years, the global population has increased significantly, resulting in elevated levels of pollution in waterways. Organic pollutants are a major source of water pollution in various parts of the world, with phenolic compounds being the most common hazardous pollutant. These compounds are released from industrial effluents, such as palm oil milling effluent (POME), and cause several environmental issues. Adsorption is known to be an efficient method for mitigating water contaminants, with the ability to eliminate phenolic contaminants even at low concentrations. Carbon-based materials have been reported to be effective composite adsorbents for phenol removal due to their excellent surface features and impressive sorption capability. However, the development of novel sorbents with higher specific sorption capabilities and faster contaminant removal rates is necessary. Graphene possesses exceptionally attractive chemical, thermal, mechanical, and optical properties, including higher chemical stability, thermal conductivity, current density, optical transmittance, and surface area. The unique features of graphene and its derivatives have gained significant attention in the application of sorbents for water decontamination. Recently, the emergence of graphene-based adsorbents with large surface areas and active surfaces has been proposed as a potential alternative to conventional sorbents. The aim of this article is to discuss novel synthesis approaches for producing graphene-based nanomaterials for the adsorptive uptake of organic pollutants from water, with a special focus on phenols associated with POME. Furthermore, this article explores adsorptive properties, experimental parameters for nanomaterial synthesis, isotherms and kinetic models, mechanisms of nanomaterial formation, and the ability of graphene-based materials as adsorbents of specific contaminants. Full article
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