Nanomaterials for Nanophotonics, Nonlinear Optical and Energy Applications

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanophotonics Materials and Devices".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2022) | Viewed by 20811

Special Issue Editor

Nonlinear Optical Group, Institute of Sciences and Molecular Technologies of Angers, University of Angers, MOLTECH Anjou-UMR CNRS 6200, Angers, France
Interests: optical properties of new architectures of nanostructured materials, including advanced polymers for photonics, nonlinear optics, and energy applications; nonlinear optics as a tool for the diagnosis and characterization of specific molecular systems; molecular photonics and light amplification
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This issue covers a large spectrum of recently emerging developments and future perspectives of advanced nanomaterials processing for photonics and/or energy applications. The objective of this Special Issue of Nanomaterials is to highlight advances in new findings on nanomaterials for nanophotonics, nonlinear optical and energy applications and also to underline their impact on emerging nanotechnologies; diagnostics of photonic and/or energy nanomaterials properties remains an important challenge for future perspectives and will also be discussed. Contributions based on nanoprocessing of specific molecular systems for photonics and energy, including state-of-the-art and emerging photonic nanomaterials for diverse promising optoelectronics applications are welcome to this Special Issue. This issue present a unique opportunity for discussions on recent emerging trends and future prospects of the hot topics of nanophotonics, nonlinear spectroscopy, optical limiting properties, and/or energy by assembling papers addressing both the fundamental and advancement innovations in nanomaterials and asset integrity analysis for applied photonics and energy. Recognizing the increasing importance of innovative photonics technologies and nanoengineering of advanced materials to create active cells with substantially improved energy efficiency in the future of photonics and energy devices technologies, it is clear that the community still needs contributions devoted to the understanding and controlling the structure and properties for all emerging new technologies applications.

Prof. Bouchta Sahraoui
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • nonlinear optics
  • nanostructures
  • nanocrystals
  • nanophotonics
  • active cells
  • energy harvesting
  • energy application

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 11103 KiB  
Article
Investigation of the Surface Coating, Humidity Degradation, and Recovery of Perovskite Film Phase for Solar-Cell Applications
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(17), 3027; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12173027 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
Presently, we inquire about the organic/inorganic cation effect on different properties based on structure, morphology, and steadiness in preparing a one-step solution of APbI3 thin films, where A = MA, FA, Cs, using spin coating. This study was conducted to understand those [...] Read more.
Presently, we inquire about the organic/inorganic cation effect on different properties based on structure, morphology, and steadiness in preparing a one-step solution of APbI3 thin films, where A = MA, FA, Cs, using spin coating. This study was conducted to understand those properties well by incorporating device modeling using SCAPS-1D software and to upgrade their chemical composition. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to analyze the crystal structures. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were conducted to characterize the surface morphology; photoluminescence, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and a UV–Visible spectrometer helped us to study the optical properties. The (110) plane is where we found the perovskite’s crystalline structure. According to the XRD results and by changing the type of cation, we influence stabilization and the growth of the APbI3 absorber layer. Hither, a homogenous, smooth-surfaced, pinhole-free perovskite film and large grain size are results from the cesium cation. For the different cations, the band gap’s range, revealed by the optical analysis, is from 1.4 to 1.8 eV. Moreover, the stability of CsPbI3 remains excellent for two weeks and in a ~60% humid environment. Based on the UV–Visible spectrometer and photoluminescence characterization, a numerical analysis for fabricated samples was also performed for stability analysis by modeling standard solar-cell structures HTL/APbI3/ETL. Modeling findings are in good agreement with experimental results that CsPbI3 is more stable, showing a loss % in PCE of 14.28%, which is smaller in comparison to FAPbI3 (44.46%) and MAPbI3 (20.24%). Full article
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14 pages, 6226 KiB  
Article
Manufacture of High-Efficiency and Stable Lead-Free Solar Cells through Antisolvent Quenching Engineering
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(17), 2901; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12172901 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1754
Abstract
Antisolvent quenching has shown to significantly enhance several perovskite films used in solar cells; however, no studies have been conducted on its impact on MASnI3. Here, we investigated the role that different antisolvents, i.e., diethyl ether, toluene, and chlorobenzene, have on [...] Read more.
Antisolvent quenching has shown to significantly enhance several perovskite films used in solar cells; however, no studies have been conducted on its impact on MASnI3. Here, we investigated the role that different antisolvents, i.e., diethyl ether, toluene, and chlorobenzene, have on the growth of MASnI3 films. The crystallinity, morphology, topography, and optical properties of the obtained thin films were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), photoluminescence (PL) measurements, and UV–visible spectroscopy. The impact of the different antisolvent treatments was evaluated based on the surface homogeneity as well as the structure of the MASnI3 thin films. In addition, thermal annealing was optimized to control the crystallization process. The applied antisolvent was modified to better manage the supersaturation process. The obtained results support the use of chlorobenzene and toluene to reduce pinholes and increase the grain size. Toluene was found to further improve the morphology and stability of thin films, as it showed less degradation after four weeks under dark with 60% humidity. Furthermore, we performed a simulation using SCAPS-1D software to observe the effect of these antisolvents on the performance of MASnI3-based solar cells. We also produced the device FTO/TiO2/MASnI3/Spiro-OMeTAD/Au, obtaining a remarkable photoconversion efficiency (PCE) improvement of 5.11% when using the MASnI3 device treated with chlorobenzene. A PCE improvement of 9.44% was obtained for the MASnI3 device treated with toluene, which also showed better stability. Our results support antisolvent quenching as a reproducible method to improve perovskite devices under ambient conditions. Full article
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16 pages, 12621 KiB  
Article
Structure and Luminescence Properties of Transparent Germanate Glass-Ceramics Co-Doped with Ni2+/Er3+ for Near-Infrared Optical Fiber Application
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(8), 2115; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11082115 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2250
Abstract
An investigation of the structural and luminescent properties of the transparent germanate glass-ceramics co-doped with Ni2+/Er3+ for near-infrared optical fiber applications was presented. Modification of germanate glasses with 10–20 ZnO (mol.%) was focused to propose the additional heat treatment process [...] Read more.
An investigation of the structural and luminescent properties of the transparent germanate glass-ceramics co-doped with Ni2+/Er3+ for near-infrared optical fiber applications was presented. Modification of germanate glasses with 10–20 ZnO (mol.%) was focused to propose the additional heat treatment process controlled at 650 °C to obtain transparent glass-ceramics. The formation of 11 nm ZnGa2O4 nanocrystals was confirmed by the X-ray diffraction (XRD) method. It followed the glass network changes analyzed in detail (MIR—Mid Infrared spectroscopy) with an increasing heating time of precursor glass. The broadband 1000–1650 nm luminescence (λexc = 808 nm) was obtained as a result of Ni2+: 3T2(3F) → 3A2(3F) octahedral Ni2+ ions and Er3+: 4I13/24I15/2 radiative transitions and energy transfer from Ni2+ to Er3+ with the efficiency of 19%. Elaborated glass–nanocrystalline material is a very promising candidate for use as a core of broadband luminescence optical fibers. Full article
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13 pages, 2359 KiB  
Article
Effect of UV-Irradiation and ZnO Nanoparticles on Nonlinear Optical Response of Specific Photochromic Polymers
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020492 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
A series of methacrylic styrylquinoline polymers have been synthesized and characterized by spectroscopic and nonlinear optical (NLO) investigations. The NLO properties of studied polymer compounds in the form of thin films prepared by a spin coating method have been investigated by means of [...] Read more.
A series of methacrylic styrylquinoline polymers have been synthesized and characterized by spectroscopic and nonlinear optical (NLO) investigations. The NLO properties of studied polymer compounds in the form of thin films prepared by a spin coating method have been investigated by means of second and third harmonic generation via Maker fringe setup with a laser source at 1064 nm and a pulse duration of 30 ps. The results show strong second harmonic signal dependence on polarization configurations. This second harmonic generation (SHG) response was enhanced by UV-irradiation at 366 nm and doping by ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) (100 nm), while the opposite effect was achieved for a third harmonic generation experiment. Thus, values of second and third order nonlinear susceptibilities were determined by theoretical calculations based on comparative models. The remarkable NLO results presented in this paper expose potential optoelectronic and photonic applications. Full article
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15 pages, 9924 KiB  
Article
Rhodamine B Doped ZnO Monodisperse Microcapsules: Droplet-Based Synthesis, Dynamics and Self-Organization of ZnO Nanoparticles and Dye Molecules
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2351; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122351 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2932
Abstract
In the present work, droplet-based microfluidics and sol-gel techniques were combined to synthesize highly monodisperse zinc oxide (ZnO) microspheres, which can be doped easily and precisely with dyes, such as rhodamine B (RhB), and whose size can be finely tuned in the 10–30 [...] Read more.
In the present work, droplet-based microfluidics and sol-gel techniques were combined to synthesize highly monodisperse zinc oxide (ZnO) microspheres, which can be doped easily and precisely with dyes, such as rhodamine B (RhB), and whose size can be finely tuned in the 10–30 μm range. The as-synthesized microparticles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and confocal microscopy. The results reveal that the microspheres exhibit an excellent size monodispersity, hollow feature, and a porous shell with a thickness of about 0.6 μm, in good agreement with our calculations. We show in particular by means of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) analysis that the electric charges carried by ZnO nanoparticles primary units play a crucial role not just in the formation and structure of the synthesized ZnO microcapsules, but also in the confinement of dye molecules inside the microcapsules despite a demonstrated porosity of their shell in regards to the solvent (oil). Our results enable also the measurement of the diffusion coefficient of RhB molecules inside the microcapsules (DRhB=3.8×108 cm2/s), which is found two order of magnitude smaller than the literature value. We attribute such feature to a strong interaction between dye molecules and the electrical charges carried by ZnO nanoparticles. These results are important for potential applications in micro-thermometry (as shown recently in our previous study), photovoltaics, or photonics such as whispering gallery mode resonances. Full article
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14 pages, 3596 KiB  
Article
Enhancing and Tuning the Nonlinear Optical Response and Wavelength-Agile Strong Optical Limiting Action of N-octylamine Modified Fluorographenes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2319; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112319 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2398
Abstract
Fluorographene has been recently shown to be a suitable platform for synthesizing numerous graphene derivatives with desired properties. In that respect, N-octylamine-modified fluorographenes with variable degrees of functionalization are studied and their nonlinear optical properties are assessed using 4 ns pulses. A [...] Read more.
Fluorographene has been recently shown to be a suitable platform for synthesizing numerous graphene derivatives with desired properties. In that respect, N-octylamine-modified fluorographenes with variable degrees of functionalization are studied and their nonlinear optical properties are assessed using 4 ns pulses. A very strong enhancement of the nonlinear optical response and a very efficient optical limiting action are observed, being strongly dependent on the degree of functionalization of fluorographene. The observed enhanced response is attributed to the increasing number of defects because of the incorporation of N-heteroatoms in the graphitic network upon functionalization with N-octylamine. The present work paves the way for the controlled covalent functionalization of graphene enabling a scalable access to a wide portfolio of graphene derivatives with custom-tailored properties. Full article
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17 pages, 1029 KiB  
Article
Single-Particle Tracking with Scanning Non-Linear Microscopy
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1519; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081519 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2360
Abstract
This study describes the adaptation of non-linear microscopy for single-particle tracking (SPT), a method commonly used in biology with single-photon fluorescence. Imaging moving objects with non-linear microscopy raises difficulties due to the scanning process of the acquisitions. The interest of the study is [...] Read more.
This study describes the adaptation of non-linear microscopy for single-particle tracking (SPT), a method commonly used in biology with single-photon fluorescence. Imaging moving objects with non-linear microscopy raises difficulties due to the scanning process of the acquisitions. The interest of the study is based on the balance between all the experimental parameters (objective, resolution, frame rate) which need to be optimized to record long trajectories with the best accuracy and frame rate. To evaluate the performance of the setup for SPT, several basic estimation methods are used and adapted to the new detection process. The covariance-based estimator (CVE) seems to be the best way to evaluate the diffusion coefficient from trajectories using the specific factors of motion blur and localization error. Full article
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13 pages, 4002 KiB  
Article
Laser-Ablative Synthesis of Stable Aqueous Solutions of Elemental Bismuth Nanoparticles for Multimodal Theranostic Applications
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081463 - 26 Jul 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3508
Abstract
Elemental bismuth (Bi) nanoparticles (NPs), with the high atomic density of the Bi nuclei, could serve as efficient targeted agents for cancer treatment, with applications such as contrast agents for computed tomography (CT) imaging, sensitizers for image-guided X-ray radiotherapy, and photothermal therapy. However, [...] Read more.
Elemental bismuth (Bi) nanoparticles (NPs), with the high atomic density of the Bi nuclei, could serve as efficient targeted agents for cancer treatment, with applications such as contrast agents for computed tomography (CT) imaging, sensitizers for image-guided X-ray radiotherapy, and photothermal therapy. However, the synthesis of elemental Bi NPs suitable for biological applications is difficult using conventional chemical routes. Here, we explore the fabrication of ultrapure Bi-based nanomaterials by femtosecond laser ablation from a solid Bi target in ambient liquids and characterize them by a variety of techniques, including TEM, SEM, XRD, FTIR, Raman, and optical spectroscopy. We found that laser-ablative synthesis using an elemental Bi solid target leads to the formation of spherical Bi NPs having the mean size of 20–50 nm and a low size-dispersion. The NPs prepared in water experience a fast (within a few minutes) conversion into 400–500 nm flake-like nanosheets, composed of bismuth subcarbonates, (BiO)2CO3 and (BiO)4CO3(OH)2, while the NPs prepared in acetone demonstrate high elemental stability. We introduce a procedure to obtain a stable aqueous solution of elemental Bi NPs suitable for biological applications, based on the coating of Bi NPs prepared in acetone with Pluronic® F68 and their subsequent transfer to water. We also show that the laser-synthesized elemental Bi NPs, due to their vanishing band gap, exhibit remarkable absorption in the infrared range, which can be used for the activation of photothermal therapy in the near IR-to-IR window with maximum optical transparency in biological media. Exempt of any toxic synthetic by-products, laser-ablated elemental Bi NPs present a novel appealing nanoplatform for combination image-guided photoradiotherapies. Full article
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