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C, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Physico-Mechanical, Dielectric, and Piezoelectric Properties of PVDF Electrospun Mats Containing Silver Nanoparticles
C 2017, 3(4), 30; doi:10.3390/c3040030
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract
Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is a piezoelectric material with outstanding physical and mechanical properties. The piezoelectric properties depend on the β-phase content of this polymer, while the physical and mechanical properties depend on the morphology and degree of crystallinity of the material. Silver
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Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is a piezoelectric material with outstanding physical and mechanical properties. The piezoelectric properties depend on the β-phase content of this polymer, while the physical and mechanical properties depend on the morphology and degree of crystallinity of the material. Silver has antibacterial effects, and silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) have large surface areas rich in electrons. In this paper, we produced electrospun PVDF fibrous mats that contained different contents of Ag-NPs between 0% and 1.0%. The β-content in PVDF was found to increase by about 8% for Ag-NPs content of 0.4–0.6%. The electrospun fiber mats had a higher β-crystalline content, nano-pores were visible on the fiber surfaces, and the tensile strength and thermal stability were improved. Dielectric analysis indicated weak interfacial adhesion between the PVDF and Ag-NPs. Good piezoelectric response was observed in the electrospun fibers containing 0.4% AgNPs, which shows a good correlation between the β-crystalline phase content of the composites and its energy-harvesting application. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Graphene–Noble Metal Nano-Composites and Applications for Hydrogen Sensors
C 2017, 3(4), 29; doi:10.3390/c3040029
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 5 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
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Abstract
Graphene based nano-composites are relatively new materials with excellent mechanical, electrical, electronic and chemical properties for applications in the fields of electrical and electronic devices, mechanical appliances and chemical gadgets. For all these applications, the structural features associated with chemical bonding that involve
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Graphene based nano-composites are relatively new materials with excellent mechanical, electrical, electronic and chemical properties for applications in the fields of electrical and electronic devices, mechanical appliances and chemical gadgets. For all these applications, the structural features associated with chemical bonding that involve other components at the interface need in-depth investigation. Metals, polymers, inorganic fibers and other components improve the properties of graphene when they form a kind of composite structure in the nano-dimensions. Intensive investigations have been carried out globally in this area of research and development. In this article, some salient features of graphene–noble metal interactions and composite formation which improve hydrogen gas sensing properties—like higher and fast response, quick recovery, cross sensitivity, repeatability and long term stability of the sensor devices—are presented. Mostly noble metals are effective for enhancing the sensing performance of the graphene–metal hybrid sensors, due to their superior catalytic activities. The experimental evidence for atomic bonding between metal nano-structures and graphene has been reported in the literature and it is theoretically verified by density functional theory (DFT). Multilayer graphene influences gas sensing performance via intercalation of metal and non-metal atoms through atomic bonding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Bond Formation for Nanocarbon-Based Composites)
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Open AccessReview Nitrogen-Doped Activated Carbon as Metal-Free Catalysts Having Various Functions
C 2017, 3(4), 31; doi:10.3390/c3040031 (registering DOI)
Received: 23 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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Abstract
Nitrogen-doped carbon materials have been gaining increasing interest as metal-free catalysts. In this article, the authors have briefly introduced their recent studies on the utilization of nitrogen-doped activated carbon (N-AC) for several organic synthesis reactions, which include base catalyzed reactions of Knoevenagel condensation
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Nitrogen-doped carbon materials have been gaining increasing interest as metal-free catalysts. In this article, the authors have briefly introduced their recent studies on the utilization of nitrogen-doped activated carbon (N-AC) for several organic synthesis reactions, which include base catalyzed reactions of Knoevenagel condensation and transesterification, aerobic oxidation of xanthene and alcohols, and transfer hydrogenation of nitrobenzene, 3-nitrostyrene, styrene, and phenylacetylene with hydrazine. Doped-nitrogen species existed on the AC surface in different structures. For example, pyridine-type nitrogen species appear to be involved in the active sites for Knoevenagel condensation and for the oxidation of xanthene, while graphite-type nitrogen species appear to be involved for the oxidation of alcohols. Being different from these reactions, both surface nitrogen and oxygen species are involved in the active sites for the hydrogenation of nitrobenzene. N-AC was practically inactive for the transfer hydrogenation of vinyl and ethynyl groups, but it can catalyze those hydrogenation reactions assisted by co-existing nitrobenzene. Comparison of N-AC with conventional catalysts shows that N-AC can alternate with conventional solid base catalysts and supported metal catalysts for the Knoevenagel condensation and oxidation reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Carbon Materials in Catalysis)
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