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Special Issue "Hard and Soft Hybrid Functional Materials"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Mele

Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Via Arnesano 73100 Lecce, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: functional green materials and processes; materials from renewables; nanomaterials; (photo)catalysis; organic/inorganic hybrids

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on Hard and Soft Hybrid Functional Materials will offer an attractive forum to present recent results concerning the preparation and characterization of novel functional hybrid materials and their utilization to perform innovative processes. “Soft” matter science can be considered as an interdisciplinary area, bridging chemistry, physics, biology and materials science and engineering. A variety of liquids can be included in the area of the soft materials: colloids; polymers; organic and metal organic films; liquid crystals; vesicles; and a number of biological materials. On the other hand, condensed matter and materials physics seeks to understand the diverse and often unexpected phenomena that emerge when large numbers of constituents are brought together to form macroscopic matter. "Hard" condensed matter generally deals with materials with structural rigidity, such as crystalline solids; glasses; metals; insulators; and semiconductors and includes inorganic; non-metallic; crystalline oxide; nitride; carbon or silica based materials. Considering the variety of combinations of hard and soft hybrid components, and related properties, the preparation and utility of novel intriguing classes of multipurpose materials can be presented in the form of reviews, regular research papers and short communications in this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Mele
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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.

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. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1600 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

  • organic
  • inorganic
  • metal organic
  • hybrid functional materials
  • materials from renewables
  • catalysis
  • photocatalysis
  • (semi)conductors/(metal)organic hybrids
  • surface functionalization
  • lanthanides
  • coatings
  • drug delivery systems
  • molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs)
  • metal organic frameworks (MOFs)
  • magnetic nanoparticles

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Improved Photo-Ignition of Carbon Nanotubes/Ferrocene Using a Lipophilic Porphyrin under White Power LED Irradiation
Materials 2018, 11(1), 127; doi:10.3390/ma11010127
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this work is to investigate and characterize the photo-ignition process of dry multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) mixed with ferrocene (FeCp2) powder, using an LED (light-emitting diode) as the light source, a combination that has never been used, to
[...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to investigate and characterize the photo-ignition process of dry multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) mixed with ferrocene (FeCp2) powder, using an LED (light-emitting diode) as the light source, a combination that has never been used, to the best of our knowledge. The ignition process was improved by adding a lipophilic porphyrin (H2Pp) in powder to the MWCNTs/FeCp2 mixtures—thus, a lower ignition threshold was obtained. The ignition tests were carried out by employing a continuous emission and a pulsed white LED in two test campaigns. In the first, two MWCNT typologies, high purity (HP) and industrial grade (IG), were used without porphyrin, obtaining, for both, similar ignition thresholds. Furthermore, comparing ignition thresholds obtained with the LED source with those previously obtained with a Xenon (Xe) lamp, a significant reduction was observed. In the second test campaign, ignition tests were carried out by means of a properly driven and controlled pulsed XHP70 LED source. The minimum ignition energy (MIE) of IG-MWCNTs/FeCp2 samples was determined by varying the duration of the light pulse. Experimental results show that ignition is obtained with a pulse duration of 110 ms and a MIE density of 266 mJ/cm2. The significant reduction of the MIE value (10–40%), observed when H2Pp in powder form was added to the MWCNTs/FeCp2 mixtures, was ascribed to the improved photoexcitation and charge transfer properties of the lipophilic porphyrin molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hard and Soft Hybrid Functional Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Continuous-Flow Production of Injectable Liposomes via a Microfluidic Approach
Materials 2017, 10(12), 1411; doi:10.3390/ma10121411
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 10 December 2017
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Abstract
Injectable liposomes are characterized by a suitable size and unique lipid mixtures, which require time-consuming and nonstraightforward production processes. The complexity of the manufacturing methods may affect liposome solubility, the phase transition temperatures of the membranes, the average particle size, and the associated
[...] Read more.
Injectable liposomes are characterized by a suitable size and unique lipid mixtures, which require time-consuming and nonstraightforward production processes. The complexity of the manufacturing methods may affect liposome solubility, the phase transition temperatures of the membranes, the average particle size, and the associated particle size distribution, with a possible impact on the drug encapsulation and release. By leveraging the precise steady-state control over the mixing of miscible liquids and a highly efficient heat transfer, microfluidic technology has proved to be an effective and direct methodology to produce liposomes. This approach results particularly efficient in reducing the number of the sizing steps, when compared to standard industrial methods. Here, Microfluidic Hydrodynamic Focusing chips were produced and used to form liposomes upon tuning experimental parameters such as lipids concentration and Flow-Rate-Ratios (FRRs). Although modelling evidenced the dependence of the laminar flow on the geometric constraints and the FRR conditions, for the specific formulation investigated in this study, the lipids concentration was identified as the primary factor influencing the size of the liposomes and their polydispersity index. This was attributed to a predominance of the bending elasticity modulus over the vesiculation index in the lipid mixture used. Eventually, liposomes of injectable size were produced using microfluidic one-pot synthesis in continuous flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hard and Soft Hybrid Functional Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A New Ion-Imprinted Chitosan-Based Membrane with an Azo-Derivative Ligand for the Efficient Removal of Pd(II)
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1133; doi:10.3390/ma10101133
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Herein, we described the synthesis of a novel ion-imprinted membrane for the detection of palladium(II) prepared through the glutaraldehyde crosslinking of chitosan with a 4-[(4-Hydroxy)phenylazo]benzenesulfonic acid ligand trapped into the membrane. The imprinting technology was used to improve adsorption capacity and adsorption selectivity,
[...] Read more.
Herein, we described the synthesis of a novel ion-imprinted membrane for the detection of palladium(II) prepared through the glutaraldehyde crosslinking of chitosan with a 4-[(4-Hydroxy)phenylazo]benzenesulfonic acid ligand trapped into the membrane. The imprinting technology was used to improve adsorption capacity and adsorption selectivity, and was combined with some advantages of the developed membrane, such as low cost and ease of preparation, water-friendly synthesis, and high biocompatible chitosan material. The membranes were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS). The results obtained showed a high swelling ratio with a maximum value of 16.4 (1640%) at pH 4 with a strong pH dependence. Batch rebinding experiments gave a maximum adsorption capacity of 101.6 mg of Pd(II) per gram of imprinted membrane. The Pd(II) adsorption behavior was well-described by a Langmuir model with a theoretical maximum adsorption capacity of 93.48 mg g−1, similar to the experimental one. Finally, a selectivity study versus Ag(I), Pb(II), and Fe(III) ions demonstrated a good selectivity of chitosan-imprinted membrane towards Pd(II). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hard and Soft Hybrid Functional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle New ZnO@Cardanol Porphyrin Composite Nanomaterials with Enhanced Photocatalytic Capability under Solar Light Irradiation
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1114; doi:10.3390/ma10101114
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
This work describes the synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic activity of new composite nanomaterials based on ZnO nanostructures impregnated by lipophlilic porphyrins derived from cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL). The obtained nanomaterials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), Fourier
[...] Read more.
This work describes the synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic activity of new composite nanomaterials based on ZnO nanostructures impregnated by lipophlilic porphyrins derived from cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL). The obtained nanomaterials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and steady-state photoluminescence spectra (PL). The results confirm nanostructures showing average diameter of 55 nm and an improved absorption in the visible region. Further, the FTIR analysis proved the existence of non-covalent interactions between the porphyrin molecules and ZnO. The photocatalytic activity of prepared photocatalysts was investigated by degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation and natural sunlight. It was demonstrated that the photocatalytic activity increases in the presence of the porphyrins and, also, depends on the irradiation source. The development of composite photocatalysts based on porphyrins derived from CNSL provides an alternative approach to eliminate efficiently toxic wastes from water under ambient conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hard and Soft Hybrid Functional Materials)
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