Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2023) | Viewed by 12114

Special Issue Editors

National Institute of Materials Physics, Magurele, Romania
Interests: organic and hybrid photovoltaic structures obtained through different methods (vacuum evaporation, spin coating, matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation—MAPLE); transparent conductive oxides; atomic force microscopy (AFM); organic crystal growth
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
National Institute of Materials Physics, Bucharest, Magurele, Romania
Interests: metal oxide nanostructures with tailored morphology; core–shell nanostructures; hybrid composites based on polymer and semiconducting micro/nanostructures; nanostructured thin films; biomorphic mineralization; optical properties of nanomaterials; surfaces with special wetting properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following the tremendous success of the first edition of the Special Issue “Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites”, in which a total of 16 papers were published, (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/nanomaterials/special_issues/films_nanocomposites), a second edition is being launched.

Nanocomposites have received increasing attention in recent years from both a fundamental scientific research and technological application perspective, emerging as a fascinating class of advanced functional nanomaterials which can be used in various areas, such as electronics, energy, environmental protection, healthcare, etc. Involving two or more organic and/or inorganic components, nanocomposites are characterized by enhanced properties owing to the synergistic effect resulting from the combined desirable attributes of their component materials. One of the hottest current research topics is the design and development of nanocomposites as thin films with tailored properties suitable for applications in different fields, including (opto-) electronics, (photo-) catalysis, (bio-) sensing, photovoltaic cells, spintronic, (bio-) medicine, surfaces with special characteristics such as biomimetic surfaces, smart patterned surfaces, surfaces with controlled wettability, and so on. Wet and dry preparation methods, laser and vapor deposition techniques, and lithographical approaches are key paths for fabricating/integrating these thin films based on nanocomposites into devices.

Consequently, taking into account the multidisciplinary aspect of the nanomaterials research area, this Special Issue invites authors to contribute with research articles or reviews focused on synthesis, characterization, and/or applications of thin films based on nanocomposites. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Nanostructured thin films;
  • Nanocomposites based on organic and/or inorganic materials;
  • Conducting and insulating polymers; natural and synthetic biopolymers;
  • Metal oxides, semiconductors, metals, dielectrics, carbon nanostructures;
  • Synthesis through wet (solution processing) and dry (thermal oxidation, magnetron sputtering) methods;
  • Preparation via laser and vapor deposition techniques;
  • Lithography processing;
  • Characterization;
  • Applications;
  • Devices.

Dr. Marcela Socol
Dr. Nicoleta Preda
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • nanostructured thin films
  • hybrid nanocomposites
  • polymers
  • inorganic nanostructures
  • designing advanced functional nanomaterials through wet and dry methods, laser and vapor deposition techniques, lithography processing
  • characterization and applications of functional nanomaterials
  • devices integrating thin films based on nanocomposites

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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23 pages, 6785 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Anti-Melanoma Activity of L-Cysteine-Coated Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Loaded with Doxorubicin
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(4), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13040621 - 04 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
In this study, we report on the synthesis of L-Cysteine (L-Cys)-coated magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with doxorubicin (Dox). The Fe3O4-L-Cys-Dox NPs were extensively characterized for their compositional and morpho-structural features using EDS, SAED, XRD, FTIR and TEM. [...] Read more.
In this study, we report on the synthesis of L-Cysteine (L-Cys)-coated magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with doxorubicin (Dox). The Fe3O4-L-Cys-Dox NPs were extensively characterized for their compositional and morpho-structural features using EDS, SAED, XRD, FTIR and TEM. XPS, Mӧssbauer spectroscopy and SQUID measurements were also performed to determine the electronic and magnetic properties of the Fe3O4-L-Cys-Dox nanoparticles. Moreover, by means of a FO-SPR sensor, we evidenced and confirmed the binding of Dox to L-Cys. Biological tests on mouse (B16F10) and human (A375) metastatic melanoma cells evidenced the internalization of magnetic nanoparticles delivering Dox. Half maximum inhibitory concentration IC50 values of Fe3O4-L-Cys-Dox were determined for both cell lines: 4.26 µg/mL for A375 and 2.74 µg/mL for B16F10, as compared to 60.74 and 98.75 µg/mL, respectively, for unloaded controls. Incubation of cells with Fe3O4-L-Cys-Dox modulated MAPK signaling pathway activity 3 h post-treatment and produced cell cycle arrest and increased apoptosis by 48 h. We show that within the first 2 h of incubation in physiological (pH = 7.4) media, ~10–15 µM Dox/h was released from a 200 µg/mL Fe3O4-L-Cys-Dox solution, as compared to double upon incubation in citrate solution (pH = 3), which resembles acidic environment conditions. Our results highlight the potential of Fe3O4-L-Cys-Dox NPs as efficient drug delivery vehicles in melanoma therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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25 pages, 4980 KiB  
Article
Effect of Aluminum Nanostructured Electrode on the Properties of Bulk Heterojunction Based Heterostructures for Electronics
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(23), 4230; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12234230 - 28 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1180
Abstract
The properties of organic heterostructures with mixed layers made of arylenevinylene-based polymer donor and non-fullerene perylene diimide acceptor, deposited using Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation on flat Al and nano-patterned Al electrodes, were investigated. The Al layer electrode deposited on the 2D array [...] Read more.
The properties of organic heterostructures with mixed layers made of arylenevinylene-based polymer donor and non-fullerene perylene diimide acceptor, deposited using Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation on flat Al and nano-patterned Al electrodes, were investigated. The Al layer electrode deposited on the 2D array of cylindrical nanostructures with a periodicity of 1.1 µm, developed in a polymeric layer using UV-Nanoimprint Lithography, is characterized by an inflorescence-like morphology. The effect of the nanostructuring on the optical and electrical properties was studied by comparison with those of the heterostructures based on a mixed layer with fullerene derivative acceptor. The low roughness of the mixed layer deposited on flat Al was associated with high reflectance. The nano-patterning, which was preserved in the mixed layer, determining the light trapping by multiple scattering, correlated with the high roughness and led to lower reflectance. A decrease was also revealed in photoluminescence emission both at UV and Vis excitation of the mixed layer, with the non-fullerene acceptor deposited on nano-patterned Al. An injector contact behavior was highlighted for all Al/mixed layer/ITO heterostructures by I-V characteristics in dark. The current increased, independently of acceptor (fullerene or non-fullerene), in the heterostructures with nano-patterned Al electrodes for shorter conjugation length polymer donors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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11 pages, 2021 KiB  
Article
A Study of the Structural and Surface Morphology and Photoluminescence of Ni-Doped AlN Thin Films Grown by Co-Sputtering
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(21), 3919; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12213919 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1916
Abstract
Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a semiconductor material possessing a hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure with a large band gap of 6.2 eV. AlN thin films have several potential applications and areas for study, particularly in optoelectronics. This research study focused on the preparation of [...] Read more.
Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a semiconductor material possessing a hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure with a large band gap of 6.2 eV. AlN thin films have several potential applications and areas for study, particularly in optoelectronics. This research study focused on the preparation of Ni-doped AlN thin films by using DC and RF magnetron sputtering for optoelectronic applications. Additionally, a comparative analysis was also carried out on the as-deposited and annealed thin films. Several spectroscopy and microscopy techniques were considered for the characterization of structural (X-ray diffraction), morphological (SEM), chemical bonding (FTIR), and emission (PL spectroscopy) properties. The XRD results show that the thin films have an oriented c-axis hexagonal structure. SEM analysis validated the granular-like morphology of the deposited sample, and FTIR results confirm the presence of chemical bonding in deposited thin films. The photoluminescence (PL) emission spectra exhibit different peaks in the visible region when excited at different wavelengths. A sharp and intense photoluminescence peak was observed at 426 nm in the violet-blue region, which can be attributed to inter-band transitions due to the incorporation of Ni in AlN. Most of the peaks in the PL spectra occurred due to direct-band recombination and indirect impurity-band recombination. After annealing, the intensity of all observed peaks increases drastically due to the development of new phases, resulting in a decrease in defects and a corresponding increase in the crystallinity of the thin film. The observed structural, morphological, and photoluminescence results suggest that Ni: AlN is a promising candidate to be used in optoelectronics applications, specifically in photovoltaic devices and lasers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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14 pages, 958 KiB  
Article
Thin Films of Nonlinear Metallic Amorphous Composites
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3359; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193359 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
We studied the nonlinear optical response of metallic amorphous composite layers in terms of a self-phase-modulated, third-order Kerr nonlinearity. A nonlinear effective medium theory was used to describe low densities of gold and iridium nanoparticles embedded in an equally nonlinear host material. The [...] Read more.
We studied the nonlinear optical response of metallic amorphous composite layers in terms of a self-phase-modulated, third-order Kerr nonlinearity. A nonlinear effective medium theory was used to describe low densities of gold and iridium nanoparticles embedded in an equally nonlinear host material. The fill fraction strongly influences the effective nonlinear susceptibility of the materials, increasing it by orders of magnitude in the case of gold due to localized surface plasmonic resonances. The enhancement of the nonlinear strength in amorphous composites with respect to the bulk material has an upper limit in metallic composites as dominating absorption effects take over at higher fill factors. Both saturated and induced absorption in the thin films of amorphous composites were observed depending on the selected frequency and relative position to the resonant frequency of electron excitation in the metallic inclusions. We demonstrated the depths to which thin films are affected by nonlinear enhancement effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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12 pages, 2437 KiB  
Article
Laser Fabrication of Highly Ordered Nanocomposite Subwavelength Gratings
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(16), 2811; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12162811 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
Optical nanogratings are widely used for different optical, photovoltaic, and sensing devices. However, fabrication methods of highly ordered gratings with the period around optical wavelength range are usually rather expensive and time consuming. In this article, we present high speed single-step approach for [...] Read more.
Optical nanogratings are widely used for different optical, photovoltaic, and sensing devices. However, fabrication methods of highly ordered gratings with the period around optical wavelength range are usually rather expensive and time consuming. In this article, we present high speed single-step approach for fabrication of highly ordered nanocomposite gratings with a period of less than 355 nm. For the purpose, we used commercially available nanosecond-pulsed fiber laser system operating at the wavelength of 355 nm. One-dimensional and two-dimensional nanostructures can be formed by direct laser treatment with different scan speed and intensity. These structures exhibit not only dispersing, but also anisotropic properties. The obtained results open perspectives for easier mass production of polarization splitters and filters, planar optics, and also for security labeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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15 pages, 8719 KiB  
Article
Hierarchical Flax Fibers by ZnO Electroless Deposition: Tailoring the Natural Fibers/Synthetic Matrix Interphase in Composites
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(16), 2765; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12162765 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1057
Abstract
Hierarchical functionalization of flax fibers with ZnO nanostructures was achieved by electroless deposition to improve the interfacial adhesion between the natural fibers and synthetic matrix in composite materials. The structural, morphological, thermal and wetting properties of the pristine and ZnO-coated flax fibers were [...] Read more.
Hierarchical functionalization of flax fibers with ZnO nanostructures was achieved by electroless deposition to improve the interfacial adhesion between the natural fibers and synthetic matrix in composite materials. The structural, morphological, thermal and wetting properties of the pristine and ZnO-coated flax fibers were investigated. Thus, the ZnO-coated flax fabric discloses an apparent contact angle of ~140° immediately after the placement of a water droplet on its surface. An assessment of the interfacial adhesion at the yarn scale was also carried out on the flax yarns coated with ZnO nanostructures. Thus, after the ZnO functionalization process, no significant degradation of the tensile properties of the flax yarns occurs. Furthermore, the single yarn fragmentation tests revealed a notable increase in the interfacial adhesion with an epoxy matrix, reductions of 36% and 9% in debonding and critical length values being measured compared to those of the pristine flax yarns, respectively. The analysis of the fracture morphology by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microtomography highlighted the positive role of ZnO nanostructures in restraining debonding phenomena at the flax fibers/epoxy resin matrix interphase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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15 pages, 6521 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Surface Chemical Composition Differences between Zirconia and Titanium with the Similar Surface Structure and Roughness on Bone Formation
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(14), 2478; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12142478 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
The osseointegration of zirconia (ZrO2) implants is still controversial. In this study, we aimed to make clear the influence of surface chemical composition, Ti or ZrO2, to osseointegration. First, a roughened Ti surface was prepared with a combination of [...] Read more.
The osseointegration of zirconia (ZrO2) implants is still controversial. In this study, we aimed to make clear the influence of surface chemical composition, Ti or ZrO2, to osseointegration. First, a roughened Ti surface was prepared with a combination of large-grit sandblasting and acid treatment. Then, we applied molecular precursor solution containing Zr complex onto roughened Ti surface and can deposit thin ZrO2 film onto roughened Ti surface. We can change surface chemical composition from Ti to ZrO2 without changing the surface structure and roughness of roughened Ti. The tetragonal Zr was uniformly present on the ZrO2-coated Ti surface, and the surface of the ZrO2-coated Ti showed a higher apparent zeta potential than Ti. Ti and ZrO2-coated Ti rectangular plate implant was placed into the femur bone defect. After 2 and 4 weeks of implantation, histomorphometric observation revealed that the bone-to-implant contact ratio and the bone mass values for ZrO2-coated Ti implants inserted into the femur bone defects of the rats at 2 weeks were significantly higher than those for Ti implants (p < 0.05). It revealed that ZrO2 with a similar surface structure and roughness as that of roughened Ti promoted osteogenesis equivalent to or better than that of Ti in the early bone formation stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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Review

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42 pages, 13095 KiB  
Review
Insight into the Mechanisms of Nitride Films with Excellent Hardness and Lubricating Performance: A Review
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(15), 2205; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13152205 - 29 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 967
Abstract
Transition metal nitride (TMN) films with excellent hardness and lubricating performance are versatile low dimension materials, which are widely used in various fields including industries, transportation, aerospace, and so on. This paper introduces one film design strategy and provides a review of the [...] Read more.
Transition metal nitride (TMN) films with excellent hardness and lubricating performance are versatile low dimension materials, which are widely used in various fields including industries, transportation, aerospace, and so on. This paper introduces one film design strategy and provides a review of the mechanisms for strengthening and lubricating nitride films. The design strategy refers to two aspects which determine the structures, the performance, the components, and the chemical constitutions of nitride films The strengthening mechanisms of nitride films are then illuminated in detail, including the solid solution effect, the grain size effect, the secondary phase effect, the stress or stress field effect, the template effect, and the valence electron concentration effect. Five lubricating mechanisms are next summarized, including the easy-shear nature, the tribo-chemical reactions, the lubricious fluorides, the textured contact surface, and the synergistic effect. This paper aims to give a comprehensive introduction for understanding the mechanisms of strengthening and lubrication of nitride films for students and researchers, as well as to understand the current research progress in nitride films for exploring research gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites II)
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