Metal Nanostructures and Devices

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "D:Materials and Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 6766

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The last several decades have seen the exploitation of nanotechnology’s potential in all technological fields connected to the challenges of human society. Metal nanostructures in particular are established as key components for innovative devices to be used in technological fields ranging from nano-electronics to energy production and storage and sensing and bio-sensing. These technologies require the exploitation of the size-, shape-, and structure-dependent properties unique to metallic materials. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to control the characteristics of nanostructures resulting from their fabrication or post-fabrication processes in order to tailor their properties.   

This Special Issue of Micromachines aims to collect a compilation of review articles and original research papers illustrating: (a) the latest developments in the fabrication and shaping of mono-metallic and multi-metallic nanostructures; (b) the development of new 1D, 2D and 3D complex metallic nano-architectures for specific applications; (c) the use of advanced state-of-the-art characterization methods to obtain a full understanding of metallic nanostructures’ properties; (d) the exploitation of the physico-chemical properties of metallic nanostructures towards device fabrication, in applications ranging from electronics to energy and sensing. 

In this sense, papers covering up-to-date theoretical and experimental concepts from the elucidation of the basic mechanisms involved in the fabrication processes to those involved in the exploitation of the properties for cutting-edge applications are expected. Topics cover multidisciplinary research fields, including nanomaterials, biotechnology, nanofabrication, and sensors.

Contributions regarding metal nanostructures and devices falling within the following topics are particularly encouraged:

  • The fabrication of mono-metallic and multi-metallic nanostructures using chemical, electrochemical, laser-based and ion beam-based approaches;
  • The fabrication and exploitation of metal-based nanocomposites, such as metal–graphene and metal–polymer nanocomposites;
  • Metallic-nanostructures-based plasmonics;
  • Metal-nanostructures-based optical sensors (SERS, etc.);
  • Metal-nanostructures-based electrochemical sensors;
  • Metallic nanomaterials for solar cells, fuel cells, hydrogen production and storage, new-generation batteries, supercapacitors, thermoelectric devices, and photocatalytic devices;
  • Cutting-edge techniques for the quantitative characterization of morphological, structural, chemical, optical, electrical, magnetic, etc. properties of nanostructures (advanced spectroscopies, microscopies, etc.).

Dr. Ruffino Francesco
Guest Editor

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. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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

  • metallic and multi-metallic nanomaterials
  • self-organization
  • chemical synthesis
  • electrochemical synthesis
  • laser-based synthesis
  • ion-beam synthesis
  • solar cells
  • plasmonics
  • catalysis
  • fuel cells
  • metal-based nanocomposites
  • hydrogen
  • nanoelectronics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 9918 KiB  
Article
Towards High Efficiency and Rapid Production of Room-Temperature Liquid Metal Wires Compatible with Electronic Prototyping Connectors
by Luka Morita, Shima Jalali, Abolfazl Vaheb, Rawan Elsersawy, Kunj Golwala, Asad Asad, Patricia I. Dolez, James D. Hogan, Mohammad Abu Hasan Khondoker and Dan Sameoto
Micromachines 2023, 14(12), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14122227 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 919
Abstract
We present in this work new methodologies to produce, refine, and interconnect room-temperature liquid-metal-core thermoplastic elastomer wires that have extreme extendibility (>500%), low production time and cost at scale, and may be integrated into commonly used electrical prototyping connectors like a Japan Solderless [...] Read more.
We present in this work new methodologies to produce, refine, and interconnect room-temperature liquid-metal-core thermoplastic elastomer wires that have extreme extendibility (>500%), low production time and cost at scale, and may be integrated into commonly used electrical prototyping connectors like a Japan Solderless Terminal (JST) or Dupont connectors. Rather than focus on the development of a specific device, the aim of this work is to demonstrate strategies and processes necessary to achieve scalable production of liquid-metal-enabled electronics and address several key challenges that have been present in liquid metal systems, including leak-free operation, minimal gallium corrosion of other electrode materials, low liquid metal consumption, and high production rates. The ultimate goal is to create liquid-metal-enabled rapid prototyping technologies, similar to what can be achieved with Arduino projects, where modification and switching of components can be performed in seconds, which enables faster iterations of designs. Our process is focused primarily on fibre-based liquid metal wires contained within thermoplastic elastomers. These fibre form factors can easily be integrated with wearable sensors and actuators as they can be sewn or woven into fabrics, or cast within soft robotic components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Nanostructures and Devices)
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10 pages, 2525 KiB  
Article
Plasmonic Enhanced SERS in Ag/TiO2 Nanostructured Film: An Experimental and Theoretical Study
by Chawki Awada
Micromachines 2022, 13(10), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13101595 - 25 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
In this work, we present a new study on the electromagnetic (EM) enhancement properties generated by Ag/TiO2 toward the finger print of methylene blue (MB) molecules deposited on the surface of Ag nanostructures. SERS intensity generated by MB molecules reflects the interaction [...] Read more.
In this work, we present a new study on the electromagnetic (EM) enhancement properties generated by Ag/TiO2 toward the finger print of methylene blue (MB) molecules deposited on the surface of Ag nanostructures. SERS intensity generated by MB molecules reflects the interaction between the local electric field and their bonds. A power-dependent SERS study in order to reveal the magnitude effect of a local electric field on the vibration behavior of molecular bonds of MB was performed. A theoretical study using finite element (COMSOL Multiphysics) was performed in order to understand the effect of interparticle distance of Ag nanoparticles on the enhancement properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Nanostructures and Devices)
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16 pages, 3586 KiB  
Article
Electro-Sorption of Hydrogen by Platinum, Palladium and Bimetallic Pt-Pd Nanoelectrode Arrays Synthesized by Pulsed Laser Ablation
by Antonino Scandurra, Maria Censabella, Antonino Gulino, Maria Grazia Grimaldi and Francesco Ruffino
Micromachines 2022, 13(6), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13060963 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
Sustainable and renewable production of hydrogen by water electrolysers is expected to be one of the most promising methods to satisfy the ever-growing demand for renewable energy production and storage. Hydrogen evolution reaction in alkaline electrolyte is still challenging due to its slow [...] Read more.
Sustainable and renewable production of hydrogen by water electrolysers is expected to be one of the most promising methods to satisfy the ever-growing demand for renewable energy production and storage. Hydrogen evolution reaction in alkaline electrolyte is still challenging due to its slow kinetic properties. This study proposes new nanoelectrode arrays for high Faradaic efficiency of the electro-sorption reaction of hydrogen in an alkaline electrolyte. A comparative study of the nanoelectrode arrays, consisting of platinum or palladium or bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs) Pt80Pd20 (wt.%), obtained by nanosecond pulsed laser ablation in aqueous environment, casted onto graphene paper, is proposed. The effects of thin films of perfluoro-sulfonic ionomer on the material morphology, nanoparticles dispersion, and electrochemical performance have been investigated. The NPs-GP systems have been characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy, Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and galvanostatic charge-discharge cycles. Faradaic efficiency up to 86.6% and hydrogen storage capacity up to 6 wt.% have been obtained by the Pt-ionomer and Pd/Pt80Pd20 systems, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Nanostructures and Devices)
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Review

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17 pages, 5135 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Side-Selective Laser Tailoring of Titania Nanotubes on Changes in Photoelectrocatalytic Activity
by Katarzyna Siuzdak, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Łukasz Haryński, Zuzanna Bielan and Katarzyna Grochowska
Micromachines 2023, 14(2), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14020274 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1530
Abstract
Over the last few decades, titanium(IV) oxide-based materials have gained particular attention due to their stability, corrosion resistance, photocatalytic activity under UV light, and possibilities for modification. Among various structures, TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) grown on Ti foil or glass substrates and obtained [...] Read more.
Over the last few decades, titanium(IV) oxide-based materials have gained particular attention due to their stability, corrosion resistance, photocatalytic activity under UV light, and possibilities for modification. Among various structures, TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) grown on Ti foil or glass substrates and obtained through a simple anodization process are widely used as photocatalysts or photoanodes. During the anodization process, the geometry of the nanotubes (length, distribution, diameter, wall thickness, etc.) is easily controlled, though the obtained samples are amorphous. Heat treatment is required to transform the amorphous material into crystalline material. However, instead of time- and cost-consuming furnace treatment, fast and precise laser annealing is applied as a promising alternative. Nonetheless, laser treatment can result in geometry changes of TiO2 NTs, consequently altering, their electrochemical activity. Moreover, modification of the TiO2 NTs surfaces with transition metals and further laser treatment can result in materials with unique photoelectrochemical properties. In this regard, we gathered the latest achievements in the field of laser-treated titania for this review paper. We mainly focused on single structural and morphological changes resulting from pulsed laser annealing and their influence on the electrochemical properties of titania. Finally, the theoretical basis for and combination of laser- and metal-modifications and their impact on the resulting possibilities for electrochemical water splitting are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Nanostructures and Devices)
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