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Special Issue "Zinc Oxide Nanostructures: Synthesis and Characterization"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Sotirios Baskoutas

Department of Materials Science, University of Patras, Patra, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: theoretical and computational methods for the study of the electronic and optical properties of semiconducting nanomaterials; synthesis with physical methods; characterization of amorphous and nanocrystalline materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among various metal oxide materials, ZnO presents itself as a multifunctional material due to its own properties and functionalities. The properties of ZnO include its wide band gap (3.37 eV), high exciton binding energy (60 meV), biocompatibility, ease of fabrication and so on. Due to its excellent properties, ZnO is widely used for various potential applications such as catalysis, solar cells, ultraviolet (UV) lasers, light emitting diodes, photo-detectors, sensors (chemical, bio- and gas), optical and electrical devices and so on. Among various applications, the use of ZnO nanomaterials as a photocatalyst has particular interest due to their large surface area; wide band gap; ease of fabrication and cost effective synthesis; biocompatible and environmentally benign nature.

More specifically, the nanostructured ZnO semiconductor used as photocatalytic degradation material against environmental pollutants has also been extensively studied, because of its advantages of non-toxic nature, low cost and high reactivity. However, such a photocatalytic degradation only proceeds under UV irradiation because this semiconductor can only absorb UV light. Therefore, ZnO-based materials capable of visible-light photocatalysis are required.

Furthermore, the synthesis of large-scale arrayed 1D ZnO nanostructures, including nanowires, nanorods, nanobelts and whiskers, is an important step for the fabrication of functional nano/microdevices. Recently, because of its high-temperature strength and rigidity, as well as excellent chemical stability, small-diameter ZnO whiskers have received great attention for industrial applications as reinforcement phase in composite materials. ZnO whiskers with high aspect ratio have also been successfully used as a probing tip to develop new precise high-resolution imaging techniques for atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy.

Finally, Magnetic ion-doped ZnO quantum dots (QDs) have been targeted as promising candidates for the implementation of novel technologies, such as in spintronic and quantum computation.

Assoc. Prof. Sotirios Baskoutas
Guest Editor

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. 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 1500 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

  • ZnO nanostructures
  • electronic properties
  • synthesis
  • characterization
  • sensors
  • optoelectronics
  • excitons
  • fine structure splitting
  • quantum computation
  • photon entanglement

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Nanostructured ZnO in a Metglas/ZnO/Hemoglobin Modified Electrode to Detect the Oxidation of the Hemoglobin Simultaneously by Cyclic Voltammetry and Magnetoelastic Resonance
Materials 2017, 10(8), 849; doi:10.3390/ma10080849
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 July 2017 / Published: 25 July 2017
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Abstract
In the present work, a nanostructured ZnO layer was synthesized onto a Metglas magnetoelastic ribbon to immobilize hemoglobin (Hb) on it and study the Hb’s electrochemical behavior towards hydrogen peroxide. Hb oxidation by H2O2 was monitored simultaneously by two different
[...] Read more.
In the present work, a nanostructured ZnO layer was synthesized onto a Metglas magnetoelastic ribbon to immobilize hemoglobin (Hb) on it and study the Hb’s electrochemical behavior towards hydrogen peroxide. Hb oxidation by H2O2 was monitored simultaneously by two different techniques: Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) and Magnetoelastic Resonance (MR). The Metglas/ZnO/Hb system was simultaneously used as a working electrode for the CV scans and as a magnetoelastic sensor excited by external coils, which drive it to resonance and interrogate it. The ZnO nanoparticles for the ZnO layer were grown hydrothermally and fully characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and photoluminescence (PL). Additionally, the ZnO layer’s elastic modulus was measured using a new method, which makes use of the Metglas substrate. For the detection experiments, the electrochemical cell was performed with a glass vial, where the three electrodes (working, counter and reference) were immersed into PBS (Phosphate Buffer Solution) solution and small H2O2 drops were added, one at a time. CV scans were taken every 30 s and 5 min after the addition of each drop and meanwhile a magnetoelastic measurement was taken by the external coils. The CV plots reveal direct electrochemical behavior of Hb and display good electrocatalytic response to the reduction of H2O2. The measured catalysis currents increase linearly with the H2O2 concentration in a wide range of 25–350 μM with a correlation coefficient 0.99. The detection limit is 25–50 μM. Moreover, the Metglas/ZnO/Hb electrode displays rapid response (30 s) to H2O2, and exhibits good stability and reproducibility of the measurements. On the other hand, the magnetoelastic measurements show a small linear mass increase versus the H2O2 concentration with a slope of 152 ng/μM, which is probably due to H2O2 adsorption in ZnO during the electrochemical reaction. No such effects were detected during the control experiment when only PBS solution was present for a long time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Oxide Nanostructures: Synthesis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Characterization of Highly Sensitive Acetone Chemical Sensor Based on ZnO Nanoballs
Materials 2017, 10(7), 799; doi:10.3390/ma10070799
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
Highly sensitive acetone chemical sensor was fabricated using ZnO nanoballs modified silver electrode. A low temperature, facile, template-free hydrothermal technique was adopted to synthesize the ZnO nanoballs with an average diameter of 80 ± 10 nm. The XRD and UV-Vis. studies confirmed the
[...] Read more.
Highly sensitive acetone chemical sensor was fabricated using ZnO nanoballs modified silver electrode. A low temperature, facile, template-free hydrothermal technique was adopted to synthesize the ZnO nanoballs with an average diameter of 80 ± 10 nm. The XRD and UV-Vis. studies confirmed the excellent crystallinity and optical properties of the synthesized ZnO nanoballs. The electrochemical sensing performance of the ZnO nanoballs modified AgE towards the detection of acetone was executed by simple current–voltage (IV) characteristics. The sensitivity value of ∼472.33 μA·mM−1·cm−2 and linear dynamic range (LDR) of 0.5 mM–3.0 mM with a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.97064 were obtained from the calibration graph. Experimental limit of detection (LOD) for ZnO nanoballs modified AgE was found to be 0.5 mM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Oxide Nanostructures: Synthesis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle A Highly-Sensitive Picric Acid Chemical Sensor Based on ZnO Nanopeanuts
Materials 2017, 10(7), 795; doi:10.3390/ma10070795
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
Herein, we report a facile synthesis, characterization, and electrochemical sensing application of ZnO nanopeanuts synthesized by a simple aqueous solution process and characterized by various techniques in order to confirm the compositional, morphological, structural, crystalline phase, and optical properties of the synthesized material.
[...] Read more.
Herein, we report a facile synthesis, characterization, and electrochemical sensing application of ZnO nanopeanuts synthesized by a simple aqueous solution process and characterized by various techniques in order to confirm the compositional, morphological, structural, crystalline phase, and optical properties of the synthesized material. The detailed characterizations revealed that the synthesized material possesses a peanut-shaped morphology, dense growth, and a wurtzite hexagonal phase along with good crystal and optical properties. Further, to ascertain the useful properties of the synthesized ZnO nanopeanut as an excellent electron mediator, electrochemical sensors were fabricated based on the form of a screen printed electrode (SPE). Electrochemical and current-voltage characteristics were studied for the determination of picric acid sensing characteristics. The electrochemical sensor fabricated based on the SPE technique exhibited a reproducible and reliable sensitivity of ~1.2 μA/mM (9.23 μA·mM−1·cm−2), a lower limit of detection at 7.8 µM, a regression coefficient (R2) of 0.94, and good linearity over the 0.0078 mM to 10.0 mM concentration range. In addition, the sensor response was also tested using simple I-V techniques, wherein a sensitivity of 493.64 μA·mM−1·cm−2, an experimental Limit of detection (LOD) of 0.125 mM, and a linear dynamic range (LDR) of 1.0 mM–5.0 mM were observed for the fabricated picric acid sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Oxide Nanostructures: Synthesis and Characterization)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Flower-Like CuO/ZnO Hybrid Hierarchical Nanostructures Grown on Copper Substrate: Glycothermal Synthesis, Characterization, Hydrophobic and Anticorrosion Properties
Materials 2017, 10(7), 697; doi:10.3390/ma10070697
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 25 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5448 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work we have demonstrated a facile formation of CuO nanostructures on copper substrates by the oxidation of copper foil in ethylene glycol (EG) at 80 °C. On immersing a prepared CuO film into a solution containing 0.1 g Zn(acac)2 in
[...] Read more.
In this work we have demonstrated a facile formation of CuO nanostructures on copper substrates by the oxidation of copper foil in ethylene glycol (EG) at 80 °C. On immersing a prepared CuO film into a solution containing 0.1 g Zn(acac)2 in 20 mL EG for 8 h, ZnO flower-like microstructures composed of hierarchical three-dimensional (3D) aggregated nanoparticles and spherical architectures were spontaneously formed at 100 °C. The as-synthesized thin films and 3D microstructures were characterized using XRD, SEM, and EDS techniques. The effects of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000 as surfactants and stabilizers on the morphology of the CuO and ZnO structures were discussed. Possible growth mechanisms for the controlled organization of primary building units into CuO nanostructures and 3D flower-like ZnO architectures were proposed. The hydrophobic property of the products was characterized by means of water contact angle measurement. After simple surface modification with stearic acid and PDMS, the resulting films showed hydrophobic and even superhydrophobic characteristics due to their special surface energy and nano-microstructure morphology. Importantly, stable superhydrophobicity with a contact angle of 153.5° was successfully observed for CuO-ZnO microflowers after modification with PDMS. The electrochemical impedance measurements proved that the anticorrosion efficiency for the CuO/ZnO/PDMS sample was about 99%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Oxide Nanostructures: Synthesis and Characterization)
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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.

Artile Type: Review
Title: Molecular mechanisms of zinc oxide nanoparticle-induced genotoxicity
Authors: Stephan Hackenberg, Agmal Scherzad and Norbert Kleinsasser
Abstract: Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) are among the most frequently applied nanomaterials in consumer products. Evidence exists regarding the cytotoxic effects of ZnO-NPs in mammalian cells, however, knowledge about potential genotoxicity of ZnO-NPs is rare, and results presented in the current literature are inconsistent. The aim of this review is to summarize data about DNA damage induced by ZnO-NPs, and to focus on the possible molecular mechanisms underlying genotoxic events. Most publications describe in vitro assessment of oxidative DNA damage triggered by dissoluted Zn2+ ions, but there is a lack of long-term exposure experiments clarifying intracellular bioaccumulation of ZnO-NPs and the possible mechanisms of DNA repair and cell survival. 

Article Type: Review
Title: Three Dimensional ZnO Hierarchical Nanostructures: Solution Phase Synthesis and Applications
Authors: Xiaoliang Wang 1, Mashkoor Ahmad 2 and Hongyu Sun 3
Affiliation: 1 College of Science, Hebei University of Science and Technology, Shijiazhuang 050018, PR China
2 Nanomaterials Research Group, Physics Division, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
3  Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby 2800, Denmark
Abstract: Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures have been studied extensively in the past years due to the novel electronic, photonic, mechanical and electrochemical properties. Recently, more attention has been paid to assemble nanoscale building blocks into three dimensional (3D) complex hierarchical structures, which not only inherit the excellent properties of the single building blocks but also provide potential applications in the bottom-up fabrication of functional devices. This mini review article focuses on 3D ZnO hierarchical nanostructures, and summarizes major advances in the solution phase synthesis, characterization, applications in environment, and electrical/electrochemical devices. We present the principles and growth mechanisms of ZnO nanostructures via different solution methods, with an emphasis on rational control of the morphology, assembly as well as chemical composition. We next discuss the applications of 3D ZnO hierarchical nanostructures in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in water, field electron emission, electrochemical sensor, and lithium ion batteries. Throughout the discussion, the relationship between the device performance and the microstructures of 3D ZnO hierarchical nanostructures will be highlighted. This review concludes with a personal perspective on the current challenges and future researches.
Keywords: zinc oxide; hierarchical nanostructures; solution phase synthesis; photocatalytic degradation; field emission; sensor; lithium ion battery

Title: Scale-up of the electrodeposition of ZnO/eosin Y hybrid thin films for the fabrication of flexible dye-sensitized solar cell modules
Authors: Florian Bittner, Jan Ellinger, Jiri Rathousky, Torsten Oekermann, and Michael Wark

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