Natural Polymer-Based Nanocomposites for Advanced Applications

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 7361

Special Issue Editors

BCMaterials, Basque Center for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures, UPV/EHU Science Park, 48940 Leioa, Spain
Interests: multifunctional materials; smart materials; energy storage; energy harvesting; sensors; actuators
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The area of smart and multifunctional materials is having increasing impact in a significant number of application areas, including sensors and actuators, biomedicine, and energy conversion and storage, among others, with focus on increasing performance and safety, as well as reducing environmental impact.

Typically, these materials are polymer-based composites that combine different fillers to tailor the material’s response.

In order to contribute to sustainability and circular economy, there is a need to replace synthetic polymers with environmentally friendly and natural ones to reduce their environmental footprint. This has to be together with the implementation of environmentally friendlier processing technologies, such as additive manufacturing.

In this context, this Special Issue aims to contribute to recent scientific and engineering studies focusing on the improvement of the performance and economics of natural-polymer-based multifunctional materials for advanced applications.

It is our pleasure to invite you to submit original research papers or state-of-the-art reviews within the scope of this Special Issue.

Dr. Carlos Miguel Costa
Prof. Dr. Senentxu Lanceros-Mendez
Guest Editors

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. Nanomaterials 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 2900 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

  • Natural polymers
  • Multifunctional materials
  • Smart materials
  • Composites
  • Advanced applications
  • Environmental impact
  • Circular economy
  • Reuse and recycling

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 3817 KiB  
Article
Milk–Ta2O5 Hybrid Memristors with Crossbar Array Structure for Bio-Organic Neuromorphic Chip Applications
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(17), 2978; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12172978 - 28 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1390
Abstract
In this study, a high-performance bio-organic memristor with a crossbar array structure using milk as a resistive switching layer (RSL) is proposed. To ensure compatibility with the complementary metal oxide semiconductor process of milk RSL, a high-k Ta2O5 layer [...] Read more.
In this study, a high-performance bio-organic memristor with a crossbar array structure using milk as a resistive switching layer (RSL) is proposed. To ensure compatibility with the complementary metal oxide semiconductor process of milk RSL, a high-k Ta2O5 layer was deposited as a capping layer; this layer enables high-density, integration-capable, photolithography processes. The fabricated crossbar array memristors contain milk–Ta2O5 hybrid membranes, and they exhibit bipolar resistance switching behavior and uniform resistance distribution across hundreds of repeated test cycles. In terms of the artificial synaptic behavior and synaptic weight changes, milk–Ta2O5 hybrid crossbar array memristors have a stable analog RESET process, and the memristors are highly responsive to presynaptic stimulation via paired-pulse facilitation excitatory post-synaptic current. Moreover, spike-timing-dependent plasticity and potentiation and depression behaviors, which closely emulate long-term plasticity and modulate synaptic weights, were evaluated. Finally, an artificial neural network was designed and trained to recognize the pattern of the Modified National Institute of Standards and Technology (MNIST) digits to evaluate the capability of the neuromorphic computing system. Consequently, a high recognition rate of over 88% was achieved. Thus, the milk–Ta2O5 hybrid crossbar array memristor is a promising electronic platform for in-memory computing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymer-Based Nanocomposites for Advanced Applications)
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29 pages, 21443 KiB  
Article
Wood Surface Modification with Hybrid Materials Based on Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(12), 1990; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12121990 - 09 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
In this work, new treatments based on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), MWCNTs decorated with zinc oxide (ZnO), MWCNTs decorated with hydroxyapatite (HAp) and MWCNTs decorated with silver (Ag) nanoparticles dispersed in PHBHV solution are proposed for improving sound oak wood properties. We hypothesize [...] Read more.
In this work, new treatments based on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), MWCNTs decorated with zinc oxide (ZnO), MWCNTs decorated with hydroxyapatite (HAp) and MWCNTs decorated with silver (Ag) nanoparticles dispersed in PHBHV solution are proposed for improving sound oak wood properties. We hypothesize that the solutions containing decorated MWCNTs will be more efficient as wood consolidants, not only because of the improved mechanical properties of the treated wood but also because of the hydrophobic layer created on the wood surface. In order to test these hypotheses, the treatments’ potential was investigated by a number of complex methods, such as colorimetric parameter measurements, water absorption tests, mechanical tests, artificial aging and antifungal tests. The data confirm that the treated wood materials have moderate stability, and the color differences are not perceived with the naked eye. A significant improvement of the treated samples was observed by water absorption, humidity and mechanical tests compared to untreated wood. The best results were obtained for samples treated by brushing with solutions based on decorated CNTs, which confirms that a uniform and thicker layer is needed on the surface to ensure better protection. The wood behavior with accelerated aging revealed that the control sample degraded faster compared to the other treated samples. Antifungal tests showed that higher growth inhibition was obtained for samples treated with 0.2% MWCNTs_ZnO + PHBHV. Considering all of the obtained results, it can be concluded that the most effective treatment was MWCNTs_ZnO + PHBHV at a nanocomposite concentration of 0.2%, applied by brushing. Thus, wood protection against mold and fungi will be achieved, simultaneously ensuring improved mechanical strength and water barrier properties and therefore maintaining the structural integrity of sound oak wood over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymer-Based Nanocomposites for Advanced Applications)
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Review

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71 pages, 10194 KiB  
Review
Cellulose Structures as a Support or Template for Inorganic Nanostructures and Their Assemblies
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(11), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12111837 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2823
Abstract
Cellulose is the most abundant natural polymer and deserves the special attention of the scientific community because it represents a sustainable source of carbon and plays an important role as a sustainable energent for replacing crude oil, coal, and natural gas in the [...] Read more.
Cellulose is the most abundant natural polymer and deserves the special attention of the scientific community because it represents a sustainable source of carbon and plays an important role as a sustainable energent for replacing crude oil, coal, and natural gas in the future. Intense research and studies over the past few decades on cellulose structures have mainly focused on cellulose as a biomass for exploitation as an alternative energent or as a reinforcing material in polymer matrices. However, studies on cellulose structures have revealed more diverse potential applications by exploiting the functionalities of cellulose such as biomedical materials, biomimetic optical materials, bio-inspired mechanically adaptive materials, selective nanostructured membranes, and as a growth template for inorganic nanostructures. This article comprehensively reviews the potential of cellulose structures as a support, biotemplate, and growing vector in the formation of various complex hybrid hierarchical inorganic nanostructures with a wide scope of applications. We focus on the preparation of inorganic nanostructures by exploiting the unique properties and performances of cellulose structures. The advantages, physicochemical properties, and chemical modifications of the cellulose structures are comparatively discussed from the aspect of materials development and processing. Finally, the perspective and potential applications of cellulose-based bioinspired hierarchical functional nanomaterials in the future are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymer-Based Nanocomposites for Advanced Applications)
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31 pages, 2633 KiB  
Review
Natural Polymers and Their Nanocomposites Used for Environmental Applications
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(10), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12101707 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3196
Abstract
The aim of this review is to bring together the main natural polymer applications for environmental remediation, as a class of nexus materials with advanced properties that offer the opportunity of integration in single or simultaneous decontamination processes. By identifying the main natural [...] Read more.
The aim of this review is to bring together the main natural polymer applications for environmental remediation, as a class of nexus materials with advanced properties that offer the opportunity of integration in single or simultaneous decontamination processes. By identifying the main natural polymers derived from agro-industrial sources or monomers converted by biotechnology into sustainable polymers, the paper offers the main performances identified in the literature for: (i) the treatment of water contaminated with heavy metals and emerging pollutants such as dyes and organics, (ii) the decontamination and remediation of soils, and (iii) the reduction in the number of suspended solids of a particulate matter (PM) type in the atmosphere. Because nanotechnology offers new horizons in materials science, nanocomposite tunable polymers are also studied and presented as promising materials in the context of developing sustainable and integrated products in society to ensure quality of life. As a class of future smart materials, the natural polymers and their nanocomposites are obtained from renewable resources, which are inexpensive materials with high surface area, porosity, and high adsorption properties due to their various functional groups. The information gathered in this review paper is based on the publications in the field from the last two decades. The future perspectives of these fascinating materials should take into account the scale-up, the toxicity of nanoparticles, and the competition with food production, as well as the environmental regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymer-Based Nanocomposites for Advanced Applications)
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