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Nanomaterials, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) We developed novel Co3O4 nanoparticles with complex, three-dimensional, raspberry-shaped [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Carbon-Related Defects as a Source for the Enhancement of Yellow Luminescence of Unintentionally Doped GaN
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090744
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
Yellow luminescence (YL) of unintentionally doped GaN (u-GaN) peaking at about 2.2 eV has been investigated for decades, but its origin still remains controversial. In this study, ten u-GaN samples grown via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) are investigated. It is observed from
[...] Read more.
Yellow luminescence (YL) of unintentionally doped GaN (u-GaN) peaking at about 2.2 eV has been investigated for decades, but its origin still remains controversial. In this study, ten u-GaN samples grown via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) are investigated. It is observed from the room temperature (RT) photoluminescence (PL) measurements that the YL band is enhanced in the PL spectra of those samples if their MOCVD growth is carried out with a decrease of pressure, temperature, or flow rate of NH3. Furthermore, a strong dependence of YL band intensity on the carbon concentration is found by secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) measurements, demonstrating that the increased carbon-related defects in these samples are responsible for the enhancement of the YL band. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Piezoelectric Effect and Electroactive Phase Nucleation in Self-Standing Films of Unpoled PVDF Nanocomposite Films
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090743
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
Novel polymer-based piezoelectric nanocomposites with enhanced electromechanical properties open new opportunities for the development of wearable energy harvesters and sensors. This paper investigates how the dissolution of different types of hexahydrate metal salts affects β-phase content and piezoelectric response (d33)
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Novel polymer-based piezoelectric nanocomposites with enhanced electromechanical properties open new opportunities for the development of wearable energy harvesters and sensors. This paper investigates how the dissolution of different types of hexahydrate metal salts affects β-phase content and piezoelectric response (d33) at nano- and macroscales of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanocomposite films. The strongest enhancement of the piezoresponse is observed in PVDF nanocomposites processed with Mg(NO3)2⋅6H2O. The increased piezoresponse is attributed to the synergistic effect of the dipole moment associated with the nucleation of the electroactive phase and with the electrostatic interaction between the CF2 group of PVDF and the dissolved salt through hydrogen bonding. The combination of nanofillers like graphene nanoplatelets or zinc oxide nanorods with the hexahydrate salt dissolution in PVDF results in a dramatic reduction of d33, because the nanofiller assumes a competitive role with respect to H-bond formation between PVDF and the dissolved metal salt. The measured peak value of d33 reaches the local value of 13.49 pm/V, with an average of 8.88 pm/V over an area of 1 cm2. The proposed selection of metal salt enables low-cost production of piezoelectric PVDF nanocomposite films, without electrical poling or mechanical stretching, offering new opportunities for the development of devices for energy harvesting and wearable sensors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Atmospheric-Pressure Cold Plasma Activating Au/P25 for CO Oxidation: Effect of Working Gas
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090742
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
Commercial TiO2 (P25) supported gold (Au/P25) attracts increasing attention. In this work, atmospheric-pressure (AP) cold plasma was employed to activate the Au/P25-As catalyst prepared by a modified impregnation method. The influence of cold plasma working gas (oxygen, argon, hydrogen, and air) on
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Commercial TiO2 (P25) supported gold (Au/P25) attracts increasing attention. In this work, atmospheric-pressure (AP) cold plasma was employed to activate the Au/P25-As catalyst prepared by a modified impregnation method. The influence of cold plasma working gas (oxygen, argon, hydrogen, and air) on the structure and performance of the obtained Au/P25 catalysts was investigated. X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray spectroscopy (XPS) were adopted to characterize the Au/P25 catalysts. CO oxidation was used as model reaction probe to test the Au/P25 catalyst. XRD results reveal that supporting gold and AP cold plasma activation have little effect on the P25 support. CO oxidation activity over the Au/P25 catalysts follows the order: Au/P25-O2P > Au/P25-As > Au/P25-ArP ≈ Au/P25-H2P > Au/P25-AirP. Au/P25-AirP presents the poorest CO oxidation catalytic activity among the Au/P25 catalysts, which may be ascribed to the larger size of gold nanoparticles, low concentration of active [O]s, as well as the poisoning [NOx]s. The poor catalytic performance of Au/P25-ArP and Au/P25-H2P is ascribed to the lower concentration of [O]s species. 100% CO conversion temperatures for Au/P25-O2P is 40 °C, which is 30 °C lower than that over the as-prepared Au/P25-As catalyst. The excellent CO oxidation activity over Au/P25-O2P is mainly attributed to the efficient decomposition of gold precursor species, small size of gold nanoparticles, and the high concentration of [O]s species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma for Energy and Catalytic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Engineering Surface and Optical Properties of TiO2-Coated Electrospun PVDF Nanofibers Via Controllable Self-Assembly
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090741
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
Understanding the effect of a porous TiO2 nanolayer on the optical scattering and absorption through electrospun fibers is of great importance for the design and development of advanced optical extinction materials. Based on electrospinning and controllable self-assembly techniques, pure electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride)
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Understanding the effect of a porous TiO2 nanolayer on the optical scattering and absorption through electrospun fibers is of great importance for the design and development of advanced optical extinction materials. Based on electrospinning and controllable self-assembly techniques, pure electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) fibers and TiO2-coated ones with different self-assembly cycles were prepared. The effect of TiO2 self-assembly cycles on surface parameters, e.g., thickness, assembled content, and porosity of the TiO2 nanolayer were determined by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. With an increase in the self-assembly cycles, the TiO2-coated electrospun PVDF fibers presented rougher surfaces and greater average diameters. According to the characterized surface parameters, the effects of the controllable self-assembly on the optical refractive index, absorption index, and infrared extinction were investigated to increase the optical properties of electrospun PVDF fibers. The results indicated that an increase of almost 120–130 cm−1 in infrared extinction could be achieved through the controllable self-assembly with only 5.7 wt. % assembled TiO2 content. This is highly efficient when compared with other coating modes. We believe that this study could give some positive guidance in the design of TiO2-coated electrospun fibers for improving their surface and optical properties. Full article
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Open AccessReview Magnetic Nanoparticles Applications for Amyloidosis Study and Detection: A Review
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090740
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 16 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have great potential in biomedical and clinical applications because of their many unique properties. This contribution provides an overview of the MNPs mainly used in the field of amyloid diseases. The first part discusses their use in understanding the amyloid
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Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have great potential in biomedical and clinical applications because of their many unique properties. This contribution provides an overview of the MNPs mainly used in the field of amyloid diseases. The first part discusses their use in understanding the amyloid mechanisms of fibrillation, with emphasis on their ability to control aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins. The second part deals with the functionalization by various moieties of numerous MNPs’ surfaces (molecules, peptides, antibody fragments, or whole antibodies of MNPs) for the detection and the quantification of amyloid aggregates. The last part of this review focuses on the use of MNPs for magnetic-resonance-based amyloid imaging in biomedical fields, with particular attention to the application of gadolinium-based paramagnetic nanoparticles (AGuIX), which have been recently developed. Biocompatible AGuIX nanoparticles show favorable characteristics for in vivo use, such as nanometric and straightforward functionalization. Their properties have enabled their application in MRI. Here, we report that AGuIX nanoparticles grafted with the Pittsburgh compound B can actively target amyloid aggregates in the brain, beyond the blood–brain barrier, and remain the first step in observing amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticles in Biological Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Extra Surfactant-Assisted Self-Assembly of Highly Ordered Monolayers of BaTiO3 Nanocubes at the Air–Water Interface
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090739
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Assembly of nanocrystals into ordered two- or three-dimensional arrays is an essential technology to achieve their application in novel functional devices. Among a variety of assembly techniques, evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) is one of the prospective approaches because of its simplicity. Although EISA has
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Assembly of nanocrystals into ordered two- or three-dimensional arrays is an essential technology to achieve their application in novel functional devices. Among a variety of assembly techniques, evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) is one of the prospective approaches because of its simplicity. Although EISA has shown its potential to form highly ordered nanocrystal arrays, the formation of uniform nanocrystal arrays over large areas remains a challenging subject. Here, we introduce a new EISA method and demonstrate the formation of large-scale highly ordered monolayers of barium titanate (BaTiO3, BT) nanocubes at the air-water interface. In our method, the addition of an extra surfactant to a water surface assists the EISA of BT nanocubes with a size of 15–20 nm into a highly ordered arrangement. We reveal that the compression pressure exerted by the extra surfactant on BT nanocubes during the solvent evaporation is a key factor in the self-assembly in our method. The BT nanocube monolayers transferred to substrates have sizes up to the millimeter scale and a high out-of-plane crystal orientation, containing almost no microcracks and voids. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Surface Properties of SnO2 Nanowires Deposited on Si Substrate Covered by Au Catalyst Studies by XPS, TDS and SEM
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090738
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
The surface chemistry and the morphology of SnO2 nanowires of average length and diameter of several µm and around 100 nm, respectively, deposited by vapor phase deposition (VPD) method on Au-covered Si substrate, were studied before and after subsequent air exposure. For
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The surface chemistry and the morphology of SnO2 nanowires of average length and diameter of several µm and around 100 nm, respectively, deposited by vapor phase deposition (VPD) method on Au-covered Si substrate, were studied before and after subsequent air exposure. For this purpose, surface-sensitive methods, including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) and the scanning electron microscopy (SEM), were applied. The studies presented within this paper allowed to determine their surface non-stoichiometry combined with the presence of carbon contaminations, in a good correlation with their surface morphology. The relative concentrations of the main components [O]/[Sn]; [C]/[Sn]; [Au]/[Sn], together with the O–Sn; O–Si bonds, were analyzed. The results of TDS remained in a good agreement with the observations from XPS. Moreover, conclusions obtained for SnO2 nanowires deposited with the use of Au catalyst were compared to the previous obtained for Ag-assisted tin dioxide nanowires. The information obtained within these studies is of a great importance for the potential application of SnO2 nanowires in the field of novel chemical nanosensor devices, since the results can provide an interpretation of how aging effects influence gas sensor dynamic characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Semiconductor Nanomaterials for Gas Sensors)
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Open AccessCommunication Exfoliation and Characterization of V2Se9 Atomic Crystals
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090737
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Mass production of one-dimensional, V2Se9 crystals, was successfully synthesized using the solid-state reaction of vanadium and selenium. Through the mechanical exfoliation method, the bulk V2Se9 crystal was easily separated to nanoribbon structure and we have confirmed that
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Mass production of one-dimensional, V2Se9 crystals, was successfully synthesized using the solid-state reaction of vanadium and selenium. Through the mechanical exfoliation method, the bulk V2Se9 crystal was easily separated to nanoribbon structure and we have confirmed that as-grown V2Se9 crystals consist of innumerable single V2Se9 chains linked by van der Waals interaction. The exfoliated V2Se9 flakes can be controlled thickness by the repeated-peeling method. In addition, atomic thick nanoribbon structure of V2Se9 was also obtained on a 300 nm SiO2/Si substrate. Scanning Kelvin probe microscopy analysis was used to explore the variation of work function depending on the thickness of V2Se9 flakes. We believe that these observations will be of great help in selecting suitable metal contacts for V2Se9 and that a V2Se9 crystal is expected to have an important role in future nano-electronic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of 2D Materials)
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Open AccessReview A Mini Review Focused on the Recent Applications of Graphene Oxide in Stem Cell Growth and Differentiation
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090736
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 15 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can give rise to any types of cells in our body. Hence, they have been utilized for various applications, such as drug testing and disease modeling. However, for the successful of those applications, the survival and differentiation
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Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can give rise to any types of cells in our body. Hence, they have been utilized for various applications, such as drug testing and disease modeling. However, for the successful of those applications, the survival and differentiation of stem cells into specialized lineages should be well controlled. Growth factors and chemical agents are the most common signals to promote the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. However, those approaches holds several drawbacks such as the negative side effects, degradation or denaturation, and expensive. To address such limitations, nanomaterials have been recently used as a better approach for controlling stem cells behaviors. Graphene oxide is the derivative of graphene, the first two-dimensional (2D) materials in the world. Recently, due to its extraordinary properties and great biological effects on stem cells, many scientists around the world have utilized graphene oxide to enhance the differentiation potential of stem cells. In this mini review, we highlight the key advances about the effects of graphene oxide on controlling stem cell growth and various types of stem cell differentiation. We also discuss the possible molecular mechanisms of graphene oxide in controlling stem cell growth and differentiation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modification of Microelectrode Arrays with High Surface Area Dendritic Platinum 3D Structures: Enhanced Sensitivity for Oxygen Detection in Ionic Liquids
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090735
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Electrochemical gas sensors are often used for identifying and quantifying redox-active analyte gases in the atmosphere. However, for amperometric sensors, the current signal is usually dependent on the electroactive surface area, which can become small when using microelectrodes and miniaturized devices. Microarray thin-film
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Electrochemical gas sensors are often used for identifying and quantifying redox-active analyte gases in the atmosphere. However, for amperometric sensors, the current signal is usually dependent on the electroactive surface area, which can become small when using microelectrodes and miniaturized devices. Microarray thin-film electrodes (MATFEs) are commercially available, low-cost devices that give enhanced current densities compared to mm-sized electrodes, but still give low current responses (e.g., less than one nanoamp), when detecting low concentrations of gases. To overcome this, we have modified the surface of the MATFEs by depositing platinum into the recessed holes to create arrays of 3D structures with high surface areas. Dendritic structures have been formed using an additive, lead acetate (Pb(OAc)2) into the plating solution. One-step and two-step depositions were explored, with a total deposition time of 300 s or 420 s. The modified MATFEs were then studied for their behavior towards oxygen reduction in the room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) [N8,2,2,2][NTf2]. Significantly enhanced currents for oxygen were observed, ranging from 9 to 16 times the current of the unmodified MATFE. The highest sensitivity was obtained using a two-step deposition with a total time of 420 s, and both steps containing Pb(OAc)2. This work shows that commercially-available microelectrodes can be favorably modified to give significantly enhanced analytical performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Electrocatalytic Applications in Energy and Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Electrospinning Fabrication of Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Coptis chinensis Extract Nanofibers for Antimicrobial Exploits
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090734
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Coptis chinensis (CC) is used in conventional Chinese medicine. The main active components of CC are isoquinoline alkaloids, including berberine, coptisine, palmatine, and magnoflorine; all these are known to have several pharmacological properties. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a well-known synthetic biocompatible polymer suitable
[...] Read more.
Coptis chinensis (CC) is used in conventional Chinese medicine. The main active components of CC are isoquinoline alkaloids, including berberine, coptisine, palmatine, and magnoflorine; all these are known to have several pharmacological properties. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a well-known synthetic biocompatible polymer suitable for a range of pharmaceutical uses; it can be used as a matrix for the incorporation of functional materials and has a wide range of applications in the cosmetics, food, pharmaceutical, and packaging industries. In this study, PVA-based electrospun nanofibers containing CC extract were successfully fabricated. Furthermore, the effects of different CC extract contents on the morphologies, and antimicrobial and antifungal properties of PVA/CC extract nanofibers were investigated. Morphological changes were observed using different molecular weights of PVA. For characterization, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and Fourier transform infrared analysis were performed. The effectiveness of these nanofibers has been demonstrated by evaluating the thermal stability against Staphylococcus aureus, antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, and the antifungal activity against the fungi Aureobasidium pullulans and Penicillium pinophilum. The PVA/CC extract nanofibers were found to have excellent antibacterial and antifungal activity and thermal stability; hence, their use in medicinal sectors is highly recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Enhanced Lithium-Storage Performance for MnO Nanoparticles Anchored on Electrospun Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Fibers
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090733
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Manganese monoxide (MnO) is a promising anode material in the lithium-ion battery for its high capacity, low operation potential, and environmental benignity. However, its application is impeded by poor rate capability and rapid capacity fading. In this work, a MnO/carbon hybrid material, in
[...] Read more.
Manganese monoxide (MnO) is a promising anode material in the lithium-ion battery for its high capacity, low operation potential, and environmental benignity. However, its application is impeded by poor rate capability and rapid capacity fading. In this work, a MnO/carbon hybrid material, in which small-sized MnO nanoparticles are tightly anchored on carbon fibers (denoted as MnO@CFs), was prepared by annealing the electrospun precursor fibers at 650 °C. When applied as the anode material of the Li-ion battery, the small size of MnO shortens the Li-ion diffusion path, and the carbon fibers not only greatly improve the conductivity but also efficiently buffer the MnO structure strain during the charge–discharge process, endowing the MnO@CFs electrode with a good rate capability (185 mAh g−1 at 5 A g−1) and cyclic stability (406 mAh g−1 after 500 cycles at 1.0 A g−1). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Contact Pressure on the Performance of Carbon Nanotube Arrays Thermal Interface Material
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090732
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Vertically aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays are promising candidates for advanced thermal interface materials (TIMs) since they possess high mechanical compliance and high intrinsic thermal conductivity. Some of the previous works indicate that the CNT arrays in direct dry contact with the target
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Vertically aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays are promising candidates for advanced thermal interface materials (TIMs) since they possess high mechanical compliance and high intrinsic thermal conductivity. Some of the previous works indicate that the CNT arrays in direct dry contact with the target surface possess low contact thermal conductance, which is the dominant thermal resistance. Using a phase sensitive transient thermo-reflectance (PSTTR) technique, we measure the thermal conductance between CNT arrays and copper (Cu) surfaces under different pressures. The experiments demonstrated that the contact force is one of the crucial factors for optimizing the thermal performance of CNT array-based TIMs. The experimental results suggest that the Cu-CNT arrays’ contact thermal conductance has a strong dependence on the surface deformation and has an order of magnitude rise as the contact pressure increases from 0.05 to 0.15 MPa. However, further increase of the contact pressure beyond 0.15 MPa has little effect on the contact thermal resistance. This work could provide guidelines to determine the minimum requirement of packaging pressure on CNT TIMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Carbon Nanotubes)
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Open AccessArticle Deep Airway Inflammation and Respiratory Disorders in Nanocomposite Workers
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090731
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 16 September 2018
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Abstract
Thousands of researchers and workers worldwide are employed in nanocomposites manufacturing, yet little is known about their respiratory health. Aerosol exposures were characterized using real time and integrated instruments. Aerosol mass concentration ranged from 0.120 mg/m3 to 1.840 mg/m3 during nanocomposite
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Thousands of researchers and workers worldwide are employed in nanocomposites manufacturing, yet little is known about their respiratory health. Aerosol exposures were characterized using real time and integrated instruments. Aerosol mass concentration ranged from 0.120 mg/m3 to 1.840 mg/m3 during nanocomposite machining processes; median particle number concentration ranged from 4.8 × 104 to 5.4 × 105 particles/cm3. The proportion of nanoparticles varied by process from 40 to 95%. Twenty employees, working in nanocomposite materials research were examined pre-shift and post-shift using spirometry and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in parallel with 21 controls. Pro-inflammatory leukotrienes (LT) type B4, C4, D4, and E4; tumor necrosis factor (TNF); interleukins; and anti-inflammatory lipoxins (LXA4 and LXB4) were analyzed in their exhaled breath condensate (EBC). Chronic bronchitis was present in 20% of researchers, but not in controls. A significant decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) was found in researchers post-shift (p ˂ 0.05). Post-shift EBC samples were higher for TNF (p ˂ 0.001), LTB4 (p ˂ 0.001), and LTE4 (p ˂ 0.01) compared with controls. Nanocomposites production was associated with LTB4 (p ˂ 0.001), LTE4 (p ˂ 0.05), and TNF (p ˂ 0.001), in addition to pre-shift LTD4 and LXB4 (both p ˂ 0.05). Spirometry documented minor, but significant, post-shift lung impairment. TNF and LTB4 were the most robust markers of biological effects. Proper ventilation and respiratory protection are required during nanocomposites processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxicity and Ecotoxicity of Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessReview Analysis of Biomolecules Based on the Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090730
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
Analyzing biomolecules is essential for disease diagnostics, food safety inspection, environmental monitoring and pharmaceutical development. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a powerful tool for detecting biomolecules due to its high sensitivity, rapidness and specificity in identifying molecular structures. This review focuses on the
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Analyzing biomolecules is essential for disease diagnostics, food safety inspection, environmental monitoring and pharmaceutical development. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a powerful tool for detecting biomolecules due to its high sensitivity, rapidness and specificity in identifying molecular structures. This review focuses on the SERS analysis of biomolecules originated from humans, animals, plants and microorganisms, combined with nanomaterials as SERS substrates and nanotags. Recent advances in SERS detection of target molecules were summarized with different detection strategies including label-free and label-mediated types. This comprehensive and critical summary of SERS analysis of biomolecules might help researchers from different scientific backgrounds spark new ideas and proposals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Nano-Carbon Reinforced Titanium Matrix/Hydroxyapatite Biocomposites Prepared by Spark Plasma Sintering
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090729
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
Nano-carbon reinforced titanium matrix/hydroxyapatite (HA) biocomposites were successfully prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS). The microstructure, mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and the relationship between microstructure and properties of biocomposites were systematically investigated. Results showed there are some new phases in sintered composites, such as
[...] Read more.
Nano-carbon reinforced titanium matrix/hydroxyapatite (HA) biocomposites were successfully prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS). The microstructure, mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and the relationship between microstructure and properties of biocomposites were systematically investigated. Results showed there are some new phases in sintered composites, such as β-Ti, TiO3, ZrO2, etc. Moreover, a small amount of Ti17P10, CaTiO3, Ca3(PO4)2 were also detected. The reaction that may occur during the preparation process is suppressed to some extent, which is because that the addition of second phases can prevent the direct contact of titanium with HA and reduce the contact areas. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) analysis proved the existence of elemental diffusion and chemical reactions in sintered composites. Compared with results of composites prepared by hot-pressed sintering before, mechanical properties (microhardness, compressive strength, and shear strength) of 0.5-GNFs composites prepared by SPS were increased by about 2.8, 4.8, and 4.1 times, respectively. The better mechanical properties of 0.5-GNFs composite in nano-carbon reinforced composites are mainly due to the lower degree of agglomeration of tubular carbon nanotubes (CNTs) compared to lamellar graphene nanoflakes (GNFs). Moreover, the strengthening and toughening mechanisms of nano-carbon reinforced titanium alloy/HA biocomposite prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS) mainly included second phase strengthening, grain refinement strengthening, solution strengthening, graphene extraction, carbon nanotubes bridging, crack tail stripping, etc. In addition, in vitro bioactivity test revealed that the addition of nano-carbon was beneficial to promote the adhesion and proliferation of cells on the surface of titanium alloy/HA composite, because nano-carbon can enhance the formation of mineralized necks in the composites after transplantation, stimulate biomineralization and promote bone regeneration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Aggregation-Induced Emission of Tetraphenylethene-Conjugated Phenanthrene Derivatives and Their Bio-Imaging Applications
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090728
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
In this study, a series of rationally designed emissive phenanthrene derivatives were synthesized and their aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties in tetrahydrofuran (THF)/water mixtures were investigated. Two tetraphenylethene (TPE) segments were conjugated to both ends of the phenanthrene core at the para-positions and
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In this study, a series of rationally designed emissive phenanthrene derivatives were synthesized and their aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties in tetrahydrofuran (THF)/water mixtures were investigated. Two tetraphenylethene (TPE) segments were conjugated to both ends of the phenanthrene core at the para-positions and meta-positions, resulting in pTPEP and mTPEP derivatives, respectively. While the TPE-conjugated phenanthrene derivatives did not show any emission when dissolved in pure THF, they showed strong sky-blue emissions in water-THF mixtures, which is attributed to the restriction of intramolecular motions of TPE segments by aggregation. Furthermore, silica nanoparticles loaded with these AIE-active compounds were prepared and proved to be promising intracellular imaging agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanosized Luminescent Materials: Advances and Applications)
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Open AccessReview Nanoparticles as a Solution for Eliminating the Risk of Mycotoxins
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090727
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain filamentous fungi. The occurrence of mycotoxins in food and feed causes negative health impacts on both humans and animals. Clay binders, yeast cell walls, or antioxidant additives are the most widely used products for mycotoxin
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Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain filamentous fungi. The occurrence of mycotoxins in food and feed causes negative health impacts on both humans and animals. Clay binders, yeast cell walls, or antioxidant additives are the most widely used products for mycotoxin elimination to reduce their impact. Although conventional methods are constantly improving, current research trends are looking for innovative solutions. Nanotechnology approaches seem to be a promising, effective, and low-cost way to minimize the health effects of mycotoxins. This review aims to shed light on the critical knowledge gap in mycotoxin elimination by nanotechnology. There are three main strategies: mold inhibition, mycotoxin adsorption, and reducing the toxic effect via nanoparticles. One of the most promising methods is the use of carbon-based nanomaterials. Graphene has been shown to have a huge surface and high binding capacity for mycotoxins. Attention has also been drawn to polymeric nanoparticles; they could substitute adsorbents or enclose any substance, which would improve the health status of the organism. In light of these findings, this review gives new insights into possible future research that might overcome challenges associated with nanotechnology utilization for mycotoxin elimination from agricultural products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ex Situ Fabrication of Polypyrrole-Coated Core-Shell Nanoparticles for High-Performance Coin Cell Supercapacitor
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090726
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Silica-conducting polymer (SiO2-CP) has the advantages of high electrical conductivity, structural stability, and the facile formation of thin-film. This work deals with the preparation and optimization of polypyrrole (PPy)-encapsulated silica nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) using an ex situ method. The SiO
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Silica-conducting polymer (SiO2-CP) has the advantages of high electrical conductivity, structural stability, and the facile formation of thin-film. This work deals with the preparation and optimization of polypyrrole (PPy)-encapsulated silica nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) using an ex situ method. The SiO2-PPy core-shell NPs prepared by the ex situ method are well dispersed in water and facilitate the mass production of thin-film electrodes with improved electrical and electrochemical performances using a simple solution process. As-prepared SiO2-PPy core-shell NPs with different particle sizes were applied to electrode materials for two-electrode supercapacitors based on coin cell batteries. It was confirmed that the areal capacitance (73.1 mF/cm2), volumetric capacitance (243.5 F/cm3), and cycling stability (88.9% after 5000 cycles) of the coin cell employing the ex situ core-shell was superior to that of the conventional core-shell (4.2 mF/cm2, 14.2 mF/cm3, and 82.2%). Considering these facts, the ex situ method provides a facile way to produce highly-conductive thin-film electrodes with enhanced electrical and electrochemical properties for the coin cell supercapacitor application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Thickness-Dependent Differential Reflectance Spectra of Monolayer and Few-Layer MoS2, MoSe2, WS2 and WSe2
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090725
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 2 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
The research field of two dimensional (2D) materials strongly relies on optical microscopy characterization tools to identify atomically thin materials and to determine their number of layers. Moreover, optical microscopy-based techniques opened the door to study the optical properties of these nanomaterials. We
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The research field of two dimensional (2D) materials strongly relies on optical microscopy characterization tools to identify atomically thin materials and to determine their number of layers. Moreover, optical microscopy-based techniques opened the door to study the optical properties of these nanomaterials. We presented a comprehensive study of the differential reflectance spectra of 2D semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2, with thickness ranging from one layer up to six layers. We analyzed the thickness-dependent energy of the different excitonic features, indicating the change in the band structure of the different TMDC materials with the number of layers. Our work provided a route to employ differential reflectance spectroscopy for determining the number of layers of MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Facile Synthesis of β-Lactoglobulin-Functionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide and Trimetallic PtAuPd Nanocomposite for Electrochemical Sensing
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090724
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
The use of graphene has leapt forward the materials field and the functional modification of graphene has not stopped. In this work, β-lactoglobulin (BLG) was used to functionalize reduced graphene oxide (RGO) based on its amphiphilic properties. Also, trimetallic PtAuPd nanoparticles were reduced
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The use of graphene has leapt forward the materials field and the functional modification of graphene has not stopped. In this work, β-lactoglobulin (BLG) was used to functionalize reduced graphene oxide (RGO) based on its amphiphilic properties. Also, trimetallic PtAuPd nanoparticles were reduced to the surface of BLG-functionalized RGO and formed BLG-PtAuPd-RGO nanocomposite using facile synthesis. Transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectra were used to characterize the nanocomposite. Electrocatalytic analysis was evaluated through cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry methods. We developed a glucose sensor by fabricating GOD-BLG-PtAuPd-RGO/glassy carbon (GC) electrode. It presented a remarkable sensitivity of 63.29 μA mM−1 cm−2 (4.43 μA mM−1), a wider linear range from 0.005 to 9 mM and a lower detection limit of 0.13 μM (S/N = 3). Additionally, the glucose sensor exhibited excellent testing capability in human serum samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrochemical Synthesis of Nanostructures and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation into the Potential Migration of Nanoparticles from Laponite-Polymer Nanocomposites
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090723
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
In this study, the migration potential of laponite, a small synthetic nanoclay, from nanocomposites into foods was investigated. First, a laponite/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) masterbatch was compounded several times and then extruded into thin low-density polyethylene (LDPE) based films. This way, intercalation and
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In this study, the migration potential of laponite, a small synthetic nanoclay, from nanocomposites into foods was investigated. First, a laponite/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) masterbatch was compounded several times and then extruded into thin low-density polyethylene (LDPE) based films. This way, intercalation and partial exfoliation of the smallest type of clay was achieved. Migration of laponite was investigated using Asymmetric Flow Field-Flow Fractionation (AF4) with Multi-Angle Laser Light Scattering (MALLS) detection. A surfactant solution in which laponite dispersion remained stable during migration test conditions was used as alternative food simulant. Sample films with different loadings of laponite were stored for 10 days at 60 °C. No migration of laponite was found at a limit of detection of 22 µg laponite per Kg food. It can be concluded that laponite (representing the worst case for any larger structured type of clay) does not migrate into food once it is incorporated into a polymer matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Based on Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Photodynamic Anticancer Activities of Multifunctional Magnetic Nanoparticles (Fe3O4) Conjugated with Chlorin e6 and Folic Acid in Prostate and Breast Cancer Cells
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090722
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising alternative to conventional cancer treatment methods. Nonetheless, improvement of in vivo light penetration and cancer cell-targeting efficiency remain major challenges in clinical photodynamic therapy. This study aimed to develop multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles conjugated with a photosensitizer (PS)
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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising alternative to conventional cancer treatment methods. Nonetheless, improvement of in vivo light penetration and cancer cell-targeting efficiency remain major challenges in clinical photodynamic therapy. This study aimed to develop multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles conjugated with a photosensitizer (PS) and cancer-targeting molecules via a simple surface modification process for PDT. To selectively target cancer cells and PDT functionality, core magnetic (Fe3O4) nanoparticles were covalently bound with chlorin e6 (Ce6) as a PS and folic acid (FA). When irradiated with a 660-nm long-wavelength light source, the Fe3O4-Ce6-FA nanoparticles with good biocompatibility exerted marked anticancer effects via apoptosis, as confirmed by analyzing the translocation of the plasma membrane, nuclear fragmentation, activities of caspase-3/7 in prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cells. Ce6, used herein as a PS, is thus more useful for PDT because of its ability to produce a high singlet oxygen quantum yield, which is owed to deep penetration by virtue of its long-wavelength absorption band; however, further in vivo studies are required to verify its biological effects for clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Two Faces of Nanomaterials: Toxicity and Bioactivity)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Surface-Limited Electrodeposition of Continuous Platinum Networks on Highly Ordered Pyrolytic Graphite
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090721
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
Continuous thin platinum nanoplatelet networks and thin films were obtained on the flat surface of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) by high overpotential electrodeposition. By increasing the deposition time, the morphology of the Pt deposits can be progressively tuned from isolated nanoplatelets, interconnected
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Continuous thin platinum nanoplatelet networks and thin films were obtained on the flat surface of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) by high overpotential electrodeposition. By increasing the deposition time, the morphology of the Pt deposits can be progressively tuned from isolated nanoplatelets, interconnected nanostructures, and thin large flat islands. The deposition is surface-limited and the thickness of the deposits, equivalent to 5 to 12 Pt monolayers, is not time dependent. The presence of Pt (111) facets is confirmed by High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM) and evidence for the early formation of a platinum monolayer is provided by Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-rays Spectroscopy (STEM-EDX) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) analysis. The electroactivity towards the oxygen reduction reaction of the 2D deposits is also assessed, demonstrating their great potential in energy conversion devices where ultra-low loading of Pt via extended surfaces is a reliable strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Development of Nanostructured Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Electron Extraction Ability and Device Stability of Perovskite Solar Cells Using a Compatible PCBM/AZO Electron Transporting Bilayer
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090720
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
Due to the low temperature fabrication process and reduced hysteresis effect, inverted p-i-n structured perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with the PEDOT:PSS as the hole transporting layer and PCBM as the electron transporting layer have attracted considerable attention. However, the energy barrier at the
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Due to the low temperature fabrication process and reduced hysteresis effect, inverted p-i-n structured perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with the PEDOT:PSS as the hole transporting layer and PCBM as the electron transporting layer have attracted considerable attention. However, the energy barrier at the interface between the PCBM layer and the metal electrode, which is due to an energy level mismatch, limits the electron extraction ability. In this work, an inorganic aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) interlayer is inserted between the PCBM layer and the metal electrode so that electrons can be collected efficiently by the electrode. It is shown that with the help of the PCBM/AZO bilayer, the power conversion efficiency of PSCs is significantly improved, with negligible hysteresis and improved device stability. The UPS measurement shows that the AZO interlayer can effectively decrease the energy offset between PCBM and the metal electrode. The steady state photoluminescence, time-resolved photoluminescence, transient photocurrent, and transient photovoltage measurements show that the PSCs with the AZO interlayer have a longer radiative carrier recombination lifetime and more efficient charge extraction efficiency. Moreover, the introduction of the AZO interlayer could protect the underlying perovskite, and thus, greatly improve device stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Emerging Solar Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Symmetry-Induced Structuring of Ultrathin FeO and Fe3O4 Films on Pt(111) and Ru(0001)
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090719
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
Iron oxide films epitaxially grown on close-packed metal single crystal substrates exhibit nearly-perfect structural order, high catalytic activity (FeO) and room-temperature magnetism (Fe3O4). However, the morphology of the films, especially in the ultrathin regime, can be significantly influenced by
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Iron oxide films epitaxially grown on close-packed metal single crystal substrates exhibit nearly-perfect structural order, high catalytic activity (FeO) and room-temperature magnetism (Fe3O4). However, the morphology of the films, especially in the ultrathin regime, can be significantly influenced by the crystalline structure of the used support. This work reports an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) low energy electron/synchrotron light-based X-ray photoemission electron microscopy (LEEM/XPEEM) and electron diffraction (µLEED) study of the growth of FeO and Fe3O4 on two closed-packed metal single crystal surfaces: Pt(111) and Ru(0001). The results reveal the influence of the mutual orientation of adjacent substrate terraces on the morphology of iron oxide films epitaxially grown on top of them. On fcc Pt(111), which has the same mutual orientation of adjacent monoatomic terraces, FeO(111) grows with the same in-plane orientation on all substrate terraces. For Fe3O4(111), one or two orientations are observed depending on the growth conditions. On hcp Ru(0001), the adjacent terraces of which are ‘rotated’ by 180° with respect to each other, the in-plane orientation of initial FeO(111) and Fe3O4(111) crystallites is determined by the orientation of the substrate terrace on which they nucleated. The adaptation of three-fold symmetric iron oxides to three-fold symmetric substrate terraces leads to natural structuring of iron oxide films, i.e., the formation of patch-like magnetite layers on Pt(111) and stripe-like FeO and Fe3O4 structures on Ru(0001). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Development of Nanostructured Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical and Sorptivity Characteristics of Edge-Oxidized Graphene Oxide (EOGO)-Cement Composites: Dry- and Wet-Mix Design Methods
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090718
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
This paper aims to investigate the effects of edge-oxidized graphene oxide nanoflakes (EOGO) on the mechanical properties and sorptivity of cement composites. The EOGO used in this study was produced by a mechanochemical process that assists the production of EOGO in large quantities
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This paper aims to investigate the effects of edge-oxidized graphene oxide nanoflakes (EOGO) on the mechanical properties and sorptivity of cement composites. The EOGO used in this study was produced by a mechanochemical process that assists the production of EOGO in large quantities at significantly reduced costs, enabling its practical use for infrastructure construction. The scope of this work includes the use of EOGO as an additive in cement composites, including cement paste and mortar. This study explores two mixing methods: The dry-mix method and the wet-mix method. The dry-mix method uses EOGO as dry powder in cement composites whereas the wet-mix method uses a water-dispersed solution (using a sonication process). Varied percentages of EOGO, ranging from 0.01% to 1.0%, were used for both methods. To evaluate the concrete durability, the effect of EOGO addition on sorptivity of the cement composites was investigated by performing total porosity and water sorptivity tests. It was found that 0.05% of EOGO is the optimum proportion to exert the highest strength in compressive and flexural strength tests. In addition, the dry-mix method is comparable to the wet-mix method (with dispersion of EOGO), thus more practical for field engineering applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles from Waste Zn-C Battery via Thermal Route: Characterization and Properties
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090717
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
Disposable batteries are becoming the primary sources of powering day-to-day gadgets and consequently contributing to e-waste generation. The emerging e-waste worldwide is creating concern regarding environmental and health issues. Therefore, a sustainable recycling approach of spent batteries has become a critical focus. This
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Disposable batteries are becoming the primary sources of powering day-to-day gadgets and consequently contributing to e-waste generation. The emerging e-waste worldwide is creating concern regarding environmental and health issues. Therefore, a sustainable recycling approach of spent batteries has become a critical focus. This study reports the detail characterization and properties of ZnO nanoparticles recovered from spent Zn-C batteries via a facile thermal synthesis route. ZnO nanoparticles are used in many applications including energy storage, gas sensors, optoelectronics, etc. due to the exceptional physical and optical properties. A thermal treatment at 900 °C under an inert atmosphere of argon was applied to synthesize ZnO nanoparticles from a spent Zn-C battery using a horizontal quartz tube furnace. X-ray diffraction (XRD), selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results confirmed the formation of crystalline ZnO nanoparticles. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis confirmed that the size of synthesised ZnO particles were less than 50 nm and mainly composed of sphere shaped nanoparticles. Synthesized ZnO exhibited BET surface area of 9.2629 m2/g and showed absorption of light in the UV region. Excitation of ZnO by UV light showed photoluminescence in the visible range. This study will create an opportunity for potential applications of ZnO nanoparticles from spent batteries and will benefit the environment by reducing the volume of e-waste in landfills. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exfoliation of Hexagonal Boron Nitride (h-BN) in Liquide Phase by Ion Intercalation
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090716
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
A green approach to prepare exfoliated hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets (h-BNNS) from commercially pristine h-BN involving a two-step procedure was investigated. The first step involves the dispersion of pristine h-BN within an aqueous solution containing gelatin and potassium or zinc chloride using a
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A green approach to prepare exfoliated hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets (h-BNNS) from commercially pristine h-BN involving a two-step procedure was investigated. The first step involves the dispersion of pristine h-BN within an aqueous solution containing gelatin and potassium or zinc chloride using a sonication method. The second involves the removal of larger exfoliated h-BNNS through a centrifugation procedure. The exfoliation was caused not only by the sonication effect but also by intercalation of K+ and Zn2+ ions. Transmission electronic microscopy, X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy techniques show that the obtained h-BNNS generally display a thickness of about a few (2–3) layers with an exfoliation efficiency as high as 16.3 ± 0.4%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Boron Nitride Nanostructures)
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Open AccessArticle Wall Thickness of Industrial Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Is Not a Crucial Factor for Their Degradation by Sodium Hypochlorite
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090715
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
The propensity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for biodegradation is important for their safe use in medical and technological applications. Here, we compared the oxidative degradation of two samples of industrial-grade MWCNTs—we called them MWCNT-d and MWCNT-t—upon their treatment with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl).
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The propensity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for biodegradation is important for their safe use in medical and technological applications. Here, we compared the oxidative degradation of two samples of industrial-grade MWCNTs—we called them MWCNT-d and MWCNT-t—upon their treatment with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). The MWCNTs had a similar inner diameter but they differed about 2-fold in the outer diameter. Electron microscopy combined with morphometric analysis revealed the different degradation of the two types of MWCNTs after their incubation with NaOCl—the thicker MWCNT-d were damaged more significantly than the thinner MWCNT-t. The both types of MWCNTs degraded at the inner side, but only MWCNT-d lost a significant number of the outer graphitic layers. Raman spectroscopy demonstrated that both MWCNTs had a similar high defectiveness. Using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, we have shown that the more degradable MWCNT-d contained the same level of oxygen as MWCNT-t, but more metal impurities. The obtained results suggest that the biodegradability of MWCNTs depends not only on the wall thickness but also on the defects and impurities. Thus, the biodegradability can be regulated by the synthesis conditions or the post-synthesis modifications. Such degradation flexibility may be important for both medical and industrial applications. Full article
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