Topic Editors

Department of Engineering Materials and Biomaterials, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Dr. Pawel Jarka
Department of Engineering Materials and Biomaterials, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Dr. Marcin Bilewicz
Department of Engineering Materials and Biomaterials, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland

Nanofibers and Thin Coatings with Special Physicochemical Properties

Abstract submission deadline
closed (15 October 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (15 December 2022)
Viewed by
10917

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the beginning of the century, nanomaterials have been gaining deserved attention from all over the world, and the associated range of applications in technical fields is increasing day by day. According to a report by BCC Research, the nanomaterials market is predicted to grow from 2019 to 2029 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.32%. The wide spectrum of possible nanostructure applications includes biomedical (drug delivery systems (DDS), bioimaging, wounds dressing, scaffolds in tissue engineering, enzyme immobilization), energy storage (fuel cells, solar cells, supercapacitors, and li-ions batteries), protective clothing (UV protection, air filtration, antibacterial protection, detoxification), and gas filtration (chemi- and physisorption) applications. Poland is recognized as a country with potential in nanotechnology field, aspiring to respond to worldwide trends in nanomaterials manufacturing and to broaden the national market with high-tech solutions. Nanofibers are defined as one-dimensional nanomaterials whose diameter is in the range of nanometers, that they are experiencing exceptional attention due to their superior properties. One-dimensional (1D) nanostructures possess certain outstanding characteristics, including high surface area resulting in high surface-to-volume ratio, elasticity, porosity, high contact area with substrates and other molecules, and improved optical and electrical features from enhanced electron mobility resulting from their limitation to one dimension. Among the various methods for producing continuous nanofibers, including melt spinning, solution and emulsion spinning, self-assembly, drawing, and template synthesis, electrospinning is recognized as the most commonly used method. In considering nanomaterials as a whole, special attention should also be paid to two-dimensional (2D) polymer thin films. Their unique properties allow for the production of functional coatings that can modify and/or enhance the functionality of surfaces and substrates. Unlike nanofibrous films, thin films can be manufactured using a wide range of methods, of which a combination of sol-gel, spin- and dip-coating, and vapor deposition polymerization methods are most common. This Special Issue aims to report on recent advances in the topic of nanofibers and thin polymer films. A broad range of topics will be covered, from material design to fabrication methods, advanced characterization, unique properties, and application potential. I encourage the authors of original research articles as well as reviews and perspectives which cover the topics related to the mentioned fields. The topics of particular interest to this Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • preparation, characterization, and surface modification of nanofibers;
  • recent advances in electrospun nanofibers;
  • nanofibers for filtration, photocatalysis, and optoelectronic devices;
  • thin polymer films produced using different processes such as vapor deposition polymerization, spin- and dip-coating, and sol-gel methods;
  • design of thin films with unique physicochemical properties;
  • functional applications of thin polymer films.

Prof. Dr. Tomasz Tański
Dr. Pawel Jarka
Dr. Marcin Bilewicz
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • organic photovoltaics (OPv)
  • bulk heterojunctions
  • hybrid thin films
  • solar cells
  • nanofiber
  • electrospinning
  • semiconductors
  • perovskites
  • sol-gel process
  • calcination
  • nanocomposite

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Coatings
coatings
3.4 4.7 2011 13.8 Days CHF 2600
Fibers
fibers
3.9 7.0 2013 24.1 Days CHF 2000
Materials
materials
3.4 5.2 2008 13.9 Days CHF 2600
Nanomaterials
nanomaterials
5.3 7.4 2010 13.6 Days CHF 2900
Polymers
polymers
5.0 6.6 2009 13.7 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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15 pages, 2927 KiB  
Article
A Form of Non-Volatile Solid-like Hexadecane Found in Micron-Scale Silica Microtubule
by Weiqing An, Xiangan Yue, Jirui Zou, Lijuan Zhang, Yu-Chun Fu and Rongjie Yan
Materials 2023, 16(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16010009 - 20 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Anomalous solid-like liquids at the solid–liquid interface have been recently reported. The mechanistic factors contributing to these anomalous liquids and whether they can stably exist at high vacuum are interesting, yet unexplored, questions. In this paper, thin slices of silica tubes soaked in [...] Read more.
Anomalous solid-like liquids at the solid–liquid interface have been recently reported. The mechanistic factors contributing to these anomalous liquids and whether they can stably exist at high vacuum are interesting, yet unexplored, questions. In this paper, thin slices of silica tubes soaked in hexadecane were observed under a transmission electron microscope at room temperature. The H-spectrum of hexadecane in the microtubules was measured by nuclear magnetic resonance. On the interior surface of these silica tubes, 0.2–30 μm in inside diameter (ID), a layer (12–400 nm) of a type of non-volatile hexadecane was found with thickness inversely correlated with the tube ID. A sample of this anomalous hexadecane in microtubules 0.4 μm in ID was found to be formable by an ion beam. Compared with the nuclear magnetic resonance H-spectroscopy of conventional hexadecane, the characteristic peaks of this abnormal hexadecane were shifted to the high field with a broader characteristic peak, nuclear magnetic resonance hydrogen spectroscopy spectral features typical of that of solids. The surface density of these abnormal hexadecanes was found to be positively correlated with the silanol groups found on the interior silica microtubular surface. This positive correlation indicates that the high-density aggregation of silanol is an essential factor for forming the abnormal hexadecane reported in this paper. Full article
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12 pages, 4008 KiB  
Article
Carbon Nanofibers-Sheathed Graphite Rod Anode and Hydrophobic Cathode for Improved Performance Industrial Wastewater-Driven Microbial Fuel Cells
by Nasser A. M. Barakat, Rasha H. Ali, Hak Yong Kim, Mamdouh M. Nassar, Olfat A. Fadali, Gehan M. K. Tolba, Hager M. Moustafa and Marwa A. Ali
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(22), 3961; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12223961 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
Carbon nanofiber-decorated graphite rods are introduced as effective and low-cost anodes for industrial wastewater-driven microbial fuel cells. Carbon nanofiber deposition on the surface of the graphite rods could be performed by the electrospinning of polyacrylonitrile/N,N-Dimethylformamide solution using the rod as nanofiber collector, which [...] Read more.
Carbon nanofiber-decorated graphite rods are introduced as effective and low-cost anodes for industrial wastewater-driven microbial fuel cells. Carbon nanofiber deposition on the surface of the graphite rods could be performed by the electrospinning of polyacrylonitrile/N,N-Dimethylformamide solution using the rod as nanofiber collector, which was calcined under inert atmosphere. The experimental results indicated that at 10 min electrospinning time, the proposed graphite anode demonstrates very good performance compared to the commercial anodes. Typically, the generated power density from sugarcane industry wastewater-driven air cathode microbial fuel cells were 13 ± 0.3, 23 ± 0.7, 43 ± 1.3, and 185 ± 7.4 mW/m2 using carbon paper, carbon felt, carbon cloth, and graphite rod coated by 10-min electrospinning time carbon nanofibers anodes, respectively. The distinct performance of the proposed anode came from creating 3D carbon nanofiber layer filled with the biocatalyst. Moreover, to annihilate the internal cell resistance, a membrane-less cell was assembled by utilizing a poly(vinylidene fluoride) electrospun nanofiber layer-coated cathode. This novel strategy inspired a highly hydrophobic layer on the cathode surface, preventing water leakage to avoid utilizing the membrane. However, in both anode and cathode modifications, the electrospinning time should be optimized. The best results were obtained at 5 and 10 min for the cathode and anode, respectively. Full article
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18 pages, 13043 KiB  
Article
A Novel Treatment: Effects of Nano-Sized and Micro-Sized Al2O3 on Steel Surface for the Shear Strength of Epoxy–Steel Single-Lap Joints
by Wanru Wang, Zhen Wang, Rui Guo and Guijun Xian
Polymers 2022, 14(17), 3438; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14173438 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Traditional steel surface treatment (e.g., sand blasting, or silane treatment) was regarded as an effective method to improve the bonding strength of steel–epoxy single-lap joints. In the present study, a new steel surface treatment method was developed. With this method, the steel surfaces [...] Read more.
Traditional steel surface treatment (e.g., sand blasting, or silane treatment) was regarded as an effective method to improve the bonding strength of steel–epoxy single-lap joints. In the present study, a new steel surface treatment method was developed. With this method, the steel surfaces were treated with suspensions of nano-sized and micro-sized Al2O3 particles in ethanol/water mixture using the dip-coating method. Both Al2O3 particle sizes were previously treated or not treated with silane. Single-lap shear tests of the steel–epoxy bonds were conducted to compare the effects of the treating methods. According to the testing results, the highest increase in the bonding strength (by 51.8%) was found for the steel coated with the suspension of silane treated nano-Al2O3 particles. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis and energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) analysis indicates that the nano-Al2O3 particles were clearly attached to the treated steel surfaces. Moreover, the steel surface with the silane-treated nano-Al2O3 particles was found to clearly enhance the contact angle between the steel and epoxy resin. The fracture morphology analysis of the single-lap shear testing specimen shows that the bonding between the steel and adhesive changed from steel–epoxy interfacial failure to cohesive failure when the steel surfaces were treated with the nano-Al2O3 particles suspension. The developed steel surface treatment method with the suspension of nano-particles proves to be effective and reliable in enhancing the bonding strength of the steel-to-epoxy adhesives. Full article
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13 pages, 2684 KiB  
Article
High-Temperature Aroma Mitigation and Fragrance Analysis of Ethyl Cellulose/Silica Hybrid Microcapsules for Scented Fabrics
by Zuobing Xiao, Bin Zhang, Xingran Kou, Yunwei Niu, Liu Hong, Wei Zhao, Haocheng Cai and Xinyu Lu
Coatings 2022, 12(5), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12050711 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2407
Abstract
Microencapsulation can improve the thermal stability of a fragrance, and composite wall materials are one way to further improve the thermal stability of microcapsules. This paper presents a facile approach for cotton fabric coatings by using cellulose/silica hybrid microcapsules. Lavender fragrance oil-loaded cellulose/silica [...] Read more.
Microencapsulation can improve the thermal stability of a fragrance, and composite wall materials are one way to further improve the thermal stability of microcapsules. This paper presents a facile approach for cotton fabric coatings by using cellulose/silica hybrid microcapsules. Lavender fragrance oil-loaded cellulose/silica hybrid microcapsules were one-step synthesized via emulsion solvent diffusion. The prepared microcapsules were found to be spherical in shape with a particle size distribution between 500 to 1000 nm. Due to the slow releasing of lavender fragrance oil in the capsules, the fragrance loss rate of (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES)-, triethoxy(3-glycidyloxypropyl)silane (GPTES)-, and (3-aercaptopropyl)trie-thoxysilane (MPTES)- modified cellulose/silica hybrid microcapsules are 25.2%, 35.1%, and 16.7% after six hours at 120 °C. E-nose and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GCMS) studies found that the fragranced cotton fabrics had good retention of characteristic aromas. It provides the basis for the application of the heating treatment of cotton fabrics in sterilization, bleaching, printing, and other processes. Full article
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12 pages, 6656 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Investigation on Structural and Chemical Differences between the Pith and Rind of Sunflower Stalk and Their Influences on Nanofibrillation Efficiency
by Lingyan Zhang, Wenting Ren, Fangqingxin Liu, Linmin Xia, Xiaomei Wu, Rilong Yang, Yan Yu and Xuexia Zhang
Polymers 2022, 14(5), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14050930 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
The structure and chemical composition of cell walls play a vital role in the bioconversion and utilization of plants. In the present study, the cell wall structure and chemical composition of pith and rind from sunflower stalks were compared and correlated to their [...] Read more.
The structure and chemical composition of cell walls play a vital role in the bioconversion and utilization of plants. In the present study, the cell wall structure and chemical composition of pith and rind from sunflower stalks were compared and correlated to their nanofibrillation efficiency with ultrasonic treatment. Mild chemical pretreatment using 1% or 4% NaOH without any bleaching process were applied prior to ultrasonication nanofibrillation. Significant structural and chemical differences were demonstrated between the pith and rind, with the former exhibiting a much lower lignin and hemicellulose contents, higher pectin, much looser cell structure and higher cell wall porosity than the latter. Alkaline treatment alone was sufficient to eliminate most of the hemicellulose and pectin from stalk pith, whereas only partial removal of hemicellulose and lignin was achieved for the woody rind part. After 30 min of ultrasonic treatment, the stalk pith exhibited fully defibrillated fibrils with a continuous and entangled micro/nanofibrillated network, whereas numerous micron-sized fiber and fragments remained for the rind. The results indicated that stalk pith is less recalcitrant and easier to be fibrillated with ultrasonication than rind, which must be correlated to their distinct differences in both structure and chemical composition. Full article
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