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Special Issue "Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Rongchao Jin

Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanoclusters; nanocrystals; colloids; atomic precision
Guest Editor
Dr. Gang Chen

Department of Chemistry, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nano-synthesis; self-assembly; nano-chemistry/devices; energy saving materials; DNA nanotechnology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanocrystals occupy the central position in modern nanoscience and nanotechnology. Early endeavors in nanocrystal research focused on the attainment of novel structures (e.g. shape and size control) with diversity as the main objective. From atomically precise nanoclusters of tens of atoms to shape-controlled polyhedral nanocrystals of tens of nanometers in size, a variety of nanostructures have been created in recent years and such materials have also found a wide range of applications such as in optical, electrical, catalytic, optoelectronic, chemo- and bio-sensing, and nanomedicine fields. Currently, a primary goal is to achieve mastery of hierarchical structures and precise composition of nanocrystals through rational design and sophisticated control in synthesis, as an endeavor toward achieving the desired properties and targeting applications. This Special Issue, “Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications”, aims to present a glimpse of the current research activities in the field of nanocrystals, which will cover, without being limited to, synthetic methods, characterization techniques, self-assembly strategies, theoretical simulations, nano-manufacturing, and various applications.

Prof. Dr. Rongchao Jin
Dr. Gang Chen
Guest Editors

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. Molecules 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 1800 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

•    nanocrystal
•    metallic
•    semiconductor
•    self-assembly
•    surface plasmon resonance
•    electron mobility
•    tomography
•    cryo-electron microscopy
•    liquid phase transmission electron microscopy
•    nanocrystal surface patterning
•    nanofabrication
•    photothermal
•    bio-imaging
•    surface enhanced spectroscopy
•    solar energy harvesting
•    nano eletromechanical system

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessCommunication Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Based on Nanoflower-like ZnO Photoelectrode
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1284; doi:10.3390/molecules22081284
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
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Abstract
A photoanode material ZnO nanoflower (ZNFs) for efficient dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) was prepared. This unique structure can significantly increase the specific surface area and amount of light absorption, leading to a higher short-circuit current density. Furthermore, ZNFs resulted in closer spacing between
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A photoanode material ZnO nanoflower (ZNFs) for efficient dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) was prepared. This unique structure can significantly increase the specific surface area and amount of light absorption, leading to a higher short-circuit current density. Furthermore, ZNFs resulted in closer spacing between the nanorods and more direct conduction paths for electrons, leading to higher open-circuit voltage. The overall promising power conversion efficiency of 5.96% was obtained with photoanodes of 8.5 μm thickness. This work shows that ZNFs is an attractive material and has good potential for application in high efficiency ZnO-based DSSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Study of Fe-Doped Bi2S3 Semimagnetic Nanocrystals Embedded in a Glass Matrix
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1142; doi:10.3390/molecules22071142
Received: 28 May 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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Abstract
Iron-doped bismuth sulphide (Bi2−xFexS3) nanocrystals have been successfully synthesized in a glass matrix using the fusion method. Transmission electron microscopy images and energy dispersive spectroscopy data clearly show that nanocrystals are formed with an average diameter
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Iron-doped bismuth sulphide (Bi2−xFexS3) nanocrystals have been successfully synthesized in a glass matrix using the fusion method. Transmission electron microscopy images and energy dispersive spectroscopy data clearly show that nanocrystals are formed with an average diameter of 7–9 nm, depending on the thermic treatment time, and contain Fe in their chemical composition. Magnetic force microscopy measurements show magnetic phase contrast patterns, providing further evidence of Fe incorporation in the nanocrystal structure. The electron paramagnetic resonance spectra displayed Fe3+ typical characteristics, with spin of 5/2 in the 3d5 electronic state, thereby confirming the expected trivalent state of Fe ions in the Bi2S3 host structure. Results from the spin polarized density functional theory simulations, for the bulk Fe-doped Bi2S3 counterpart, corroborate the experimental fact that the volume of the unit cell decreases with Fe substitutionally doping at Bi1 and Bi2 sites. The Bader charge analysis indicated a pseudo valency charge of 1.322|e| on FeBi1 and 1.306|e| on FeBi2 ions, and a spin contribution for the magnetic moment of 5.0 µB per unit cell containing one Fe atom. Electronic band structures showed that the (indirect) band gap changes from 1.17 eV for Bi2S3 bulk to 0.71 eV (0.74 eV) for Bi2S3:FeBi1 (Bi2S3:FeBi2). These results are compatible with the 3d5 high-spin state of Fe3+, and are in agreement with the experimental results, within the density functional theory accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle An All-Nanocrystal Biosensing System for In Vitro Detection of STAT3 Oligonucleotides
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1085; doi:10.3390/molecules22071085
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Lanthanide-doped nanocrystals have shown great promise in bio-detection due to their outstanding luminescent properties, including large Stokes shift and sharp emission bands. Herein, we describe an in vitro detection of STAT3 by using an all-nanocrystal biosensing system that takes advantage of inter-particle energy
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Lanthanide-doped nanocrystals have shown great promise in bio-detection due to their outstanding luminescent properties, including large Stokes shift and sharp emission bands. Herein, we describe an in vitro detection of STAT3 by using an all-nanocrystal biosensing system that takes advantage of inter-particle energy transfer between two types of lanthanide-doped nanocrystals. We investigate the effect of nanocrystal size on the sensing performance and find that smaller nanocrystals offer a lower detection limit and larger dynamic range. As STAT3 is identified as an oncogene aberrantly activated and expressed in malignant transformation and tumorigenesis, our study thus holds promise for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Nanocrystalline TiO2 Composite Films for the Photodegradation of Formaldehyde and Oxytetracycline under Visible Light Irradiation
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 950; doi:10.3390/molecules22060950
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 4 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
In order to effectively photodegradate organic pollutants, ZnO composite and Co-B codoped TiO2 films were successfully deposited on glass substrates via a modified sol-gel method and a controllable dip-coating technique. Combining with UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and photoluminescence spectra (PL) analyses,
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In order to effectively photodegradate organic pollutants, ZnO composite and Co-B codoped TiO2 films were successfully deposited on glass substrates via a modified sol-gel method and a controllable dip-coating technique. Combining with UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and photoluminescence spectra (PL) analyses, the multi-modification could not only extend the optical response of TiO2 to visible light region but also decrease the recombination rate of electron-hole pairs. XRD results revealed that the multi-modified TiO2 film had an anatase-brookite biphase heterostructure. FE-SEM results indicated that the multi-modified TiO2 film without cracks was composed of smaller round-like nanoparticles compared to pure TiO2. BET surface area results showed that the specific surface area of pure TiO2 and the multi-modified TiO2 sample was 47.8 and 115.8 m2/g, respectively. By degradation of formaldehyde and oxytetracycline, experimental results showed that the multi-modified TiO2 film had excellent photodegradation performance under visible light irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle CTAB-Assisted Fabrication of Bi2WO6 Thin Nanoplates with High Adsorption and Enhanced Visible Light-Driven Photocatalytic Performance
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 859; doi:10.3390/molecules22050859
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
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Abstract
Two-dimensional thin Bi2WO6 nanoplates have been fabricated using a cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-assisted hydrothermal method. We investigated the proposed formation mechanism based on the crystalline structures of the thin Bi2WO6 nanoplates. The high adsorption ability and excellent visible-light
[...] Read more.
Two-dimensional thin Bi2WO6 nanoplates have been fabricated using a cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-assisted hydrothermal method. We investigated the proposed formation mechanism based on the crystalline structures of the thin Bi2WO6 nanoplates. The high adsorption ability and excellent visible-light driven photocatalytic activities of the Bi2WO6 nanoplates were illustrated, in view of exposed (001) facets of nanoplates possessing faster separation of photo-generated charge carriers and increased catalytically active sites. Such a cost-effective way to obtain Bi2WO6 nanoplates offers new possibilities for the design of adsorptive semiconductor photocatalysts with strengthened photocatalytic activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
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