Special Issue "Inorganic Fullerene-like Nanoparticles and Inorganic Nanotubes"


A special issue of Inorganics (ISSN 2304-6740).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Reshef Tenne
Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Website: http://www.weizmann.ac.il/materials/tenne/
E-Mail: reshef.tenne@weizmann.ac.il
Interests: nanoparticles synthesis; solid state chemistry; characterization of nanoparticles

Guest Editor
Dr. Andrey N. Enyashin
Institute of Solid State Chemistry UB RAS, Pervomayskaya Str. 91, 620990 Ekaterinburg, Russia
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/andreyenyashin/
E-Mail: enyashin@ihim.uran.ru
Interests: computational materials science; inorganic fullerenes and nanotubes; carbon nanostructures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles and inorganic nanotubes represent a relatively new type of condensed matter. They are constructed from non-carbon layers that are folded into tubular, polyhedral or quasi-spherical shells. This combination of low dimensionality and nano-size can enhance the layered compounds’ performance in their already known applications, as well as in new fields of use. The production of inorganic hollow nanoparticles initially arose in the 1990’s from a fortuitous lab discovery of a great number of fullerenic and nanotubular chalco- and halogenides. Commercial production of said particles now focuses on molybdenum and tungsten disulfides; tons per year are currently synthesized. MoS2 and WS2 are well established dry lubricants. The tribological characteristics and stability of these lubricants can be considerably enhanced by taking advantage of fullerene-like morphologies. Moreover, nanotubes and fullerene-like MoS2 and WS2 can be functionalized so as to transfer their excellent properties to oil-based lubricants and wear-resistant surface coatings, thus pushing ahead the large-scale use of layered sulfides in the machinery, aerospace, and medical industries. Apart from tribological qualities, the significant stability of sulfide fullerene-like nanoparticles and nanotubes under shock-wave propagation suggests their potential as fillers for impact resilient polymer or ceramic composites.

Substantial progress in the warrantable production and pioneering use of this kind of inorganic nanomaterials was possible due to comprehensive basic research on their formation mechanism, chemical reactivities, and mechanical and electronic characteristics. However, current experimental work has rapidly advanced in the direction of targeted functionalization of the nanoparticles using doping, intercalation, surface modification by molecules, endohedral sealing. Furthermore, various polymer nanocomposites containing minute amounts of these nanoparticles were shown to exhibit enhanced mechanical properties (reinforcement).The optical and electronic transport properties have been recently studied in some cases. Although the primary emphasis has been placed on molybdenum and tungsten disulfide species, the mass fabrication of BN nanotubes and the potential strategies for extended production of various other fullerene-like nanoparticles (BN, ReS2, LnF3 etc.) has also been demonstrated. Novel and modified nanoparticles can provide for a much larger diversity of new nanomaterials in catalysis, electronics and electrochemistry; however, the detailed characterization of such particles is required. Despite some success in the description of polyhedral fullerenes’ construction principles, understanding the morphology of fullerene-like nanoparticles at the atomistic level is still a challenge from both theoretical and experimental perspectives. The exact formation mechanisms, the interface phenomena, along with the details of mechanical destruction of the inorganic hollow nanoparticles under load, are still poorly described or remain unknown in most of the cases.

Therefore, this special issue welcomes comprehensive reviews and research articles to collect the widest information available to date in the field of inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles and nanotubes.

Prof. Dr. Reshef Tenne
Dr. Andrey N. Enyashin
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Published Papers

No papers have been published in this special issue yet, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: The Mechanism of MX2 (M=Mo,W; X=S,Se) Nanotubes Formation through High Temperature Reaction in the Presence of Lead (Pb)
Authors: O. Brontvein 1, R. Tenne 1 and A.N. Enyashin 2
1 Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel
2 Institute of Solid State Chemistry RAS Pervomayskaya Str., 91, 620990 Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation; E-Mail: enyashin@ihim.uran.ru
Abstract: Recent studies have clearly indicated the favorable effect of lead as a growth promoter for  MX2 (M = Mo,W; X=S,Se) nanotubes using MX2 powder as a precursor material. The mechanism of this high temperature (>2500 °C) reaction can be visualized as a Pb-promoted MX2 conversion into PbxMOy nanowhiskers. Once formed, the nanowhiskers react back with the X-vapor which leads to the formation of MX2 nanotubes.
In order to elucidate the properties of such fabricated nanotubes in greater details, the Pb-“modified” MX2 compounds were studied by means of DFT calculations and additional experimental work. Particularly, the electronic structure of 2H-MoS2 doped or intercalated by Pb atoms was investigated. Substitutional PbMo doping leads to p-type semiconducting character of MoS2 and a nominal oxidation state of Pb2+, while an intercalation of MoS2 by Pb atoms should cause n-type semiconducting behavior. The calculations indicate that Pb doping as well as Pb intercalation of MoS2 lead to the destabilization of the system and a high Pb content within MoS2 lattice cannot be expected in the final products.
The experimental work indicated that the lead atoms are not stable in the molybdenum oxide lattice. The initial lead concentration in the precursor oxide (Pb:Mo ratio is 0.2) is reduced by one order of magnitude after one year in the drawer. The Pb concentration in the MoS2 lattice is appreciably smaller (Pb:Mo ratio for the primary samples is 0.08) and can be further reduced by annealing at 810 °C, without consuming the nanotubes. This study not only sheds light on the growth mechanism of the nanotubes, but furthermore paves the way to possibly large scale synthesis of MoS2 nanotubes.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Continuous production of IF-WS2 nanoparticles by a rotary process
Authors: Fang Xu, Nannan Wang, Hong Chang, Yongde Xia, Yanqiu Zhu*
Affiliation: College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK; E-Mail: y.zhu@exeter.ac.uk
Abstract: This manuscript demonstrates the design, modification and initial investigation of a rotary furnace aiming to scaling up the manufacturing of inorganic fullerene WS2 nanoparticles. Based on the designed rotary system, different preparation methods starting with different precursors have been investigated first, of which the gas-solid reaction starting with WO3 nanoparticles precursor was proved the most efficient technique. Furthermore, systematic studies have been carried out to investigate the influence of temperature, reaction time, and reaction gases etc. on the synthesis of inorganic fullerene WS2 nanomaterials, to optimise the parameters for WS2 manufacturing, using combined characterisation techniques including XRD, SEM and TEM. In addition, further modifications of the rotary furnace including a baffled tube and a continuous gas-blow feeding system have also been investigated, to further improve the batch yield and realise a semi-continuous process. This technique has improved production from less than 1 g/batch in a traditional tube furnace to a few tens of grams/batch, and could be easily scaled up to industry level production.

Confirmed authors:

Adolfo Senatore, Salerno University, Italy
Mohammed Naffakh, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
Fabrice Dassenoy, Ecole Central de Lyon, France
Alla Zak, Holon Institute of Technology, Israel
Reshef Tenne, Weizmann Institute, Israel
Andrey N. Enyashin, Institute of Solid State Chemistry UB RAS, Russia

Last update: 11 March 2014

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