Special Issue "Advances in Functional Thin Films: Fabrication, Properties, and Applications"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412). This special issue belongs to the section "Surface Engineering for Energy Harvesting, Conversion, and Storage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Yu-Ching Huang
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Engineering, Ming Chi University of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Interests: organic photovoltaics; organic photodiodes; perovskite solar cells; transparent conductive films; synchrotron radiation; flexible electronics; indoor applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of thin film science and technology has been widely used in various fields, including energy, optoelectronics, environmental protection, and biomedicine. These applications require very diverse physical, chemical, optoelectronic, mechanical, abrasion, and corrosion resistance properties, which can be achieved by coating functional films on the surface of the substrate. To meet a new application requirement of functional thin film, it is necessary to fully grasp the intrinsic properties of the materials, supplemented by appropriate film fabrication technology. Therefore, the fabrication, properties, and applications of functional thin films are closely related.

This Special Issue on “Advances in Functional Thin Films: Fabrication, Properties, and Applications” will collect new original research and review papers, with special emphasis on the improved properties, innovative fabrication processes, and novel applications of functional thin films. Acceptable topics may include but not be limited to energy, flexible electronics, protective coating, biomedical materials, and other functional thin film applications. We sincerely invited researchers in this field to submit relevant manuscripts to this Special Issue of the journal Coatings.

Prof. Yu-Ching Huang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings 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

  • Thin film
  • Fabrication process
  • Application
  • Energy
  • Optoelectronics
  • Flexible
  • Biomedical materials
  • Protective coating
  • Physical property
  • Chemical property

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
A Facile Nitriding Approach for Improved Impact Wear of Martensitic Cold-Work Steel Using H2/N2 Mixture Gas in an AC Pulsed Atmospheric Plasma Jet
Coatings 2021, 11(9), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11091119 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 453
Abstract
In this study, we propose a rapid plasma-assisted nitriding process using H2/N2 mixture gas in an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) system to treat the surface of SKD11 cold-working steel in order to increase its surface hardness. The generated NH [...] Read more.
In this study, we propose a rapid plasma-assisted nitriding process using H2/N2 mixture gas in an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) system to treat the surface of SKD11 cold-working steel in order to increase its surface hardness. The generated NH radicals in the plasma region are used to implement an ion-bombardment for nitriding the tempered martensite structure of SKD11 within 18 min to form the functional nitride layer with an increased microhardness around 1095 HV0.3. Higher ratios of H/E and H3/E2 were obtained for the values of 4.514 × 10−2 and 2.244 × 10−2, referring to a higher deformation resistance as compared with the pristine sample. After multi-cycling impact tests, smaller and shallower impact craters with less surface oxidation on plasma-treated SKD11 were distinctly proven to have the higher impact wear resistance. Therefore, the atmospheric pressure plasma nitriding process can enable a rapid thermochemical nitriding process to form a protective layer with unique advantages that increase the deformation-resistance and impact-resistance, improving the lifetime of SKD11 tool steel as die materials. Full article
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Article
PVC Detection through a Hybrid SEIRA Substrate and Refractive Index Sensor Based on Metamaterial Perfect Absorbers
Coatings 2021, 11(7), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11070789 - 30 Jun 2021
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Simultaneous surface enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) with Fano resonance and refractive index (RI) sensing are proposed via a split-ring-resonator-based metamaterial perfect absorber (MPA) to detect polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a commonly used polymer but one that was recently prohibited in many areas such as [...] Read more.
Simultaneous surface enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) with Fano resonance and refractive index (RI) sensing are proposed via a split-ring-resonator-based metamaterial perfect absorber (MPA) to detect polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a commonly used polymer but one that was recently prohibited in many areas such as Europe. This bifunctional sensor could provide a label-free and qualitative PVC detection through SEIRA coupled to the vibration mode and a quantitative measurement through RI sensing. To design the MPA, the main operating frequency is targeted at 615 cm−1 for C-Cl bond of PVC. Transition from a reflectance dip to a peak, i.e., Fano resonance was observed at y polarization in both simulation and experiments, evidencing the existence of PVC. On the other hand, to test the RI sensing ability of the MPA, different RI (from 1 to 1.5) of analytes and different thicknesses (from 109 to 1050 nm) of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) were applied to the MPA in simulation and experiments, respectively. The simulated sensitivities are 4045 and 2361 nm/RIU for the first and third modes of the MPA, respectively, while the measured sensitivities based on PMMA are 3713 and 1694 nm/RIU. Overall, the detection limit of PVC could be down to 0.5% in experiments, which outweighs the current measurement limit of 10% through infrared absorption measurement. Full article
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Article
Effect of Thicknesses of Liquid Crystal Layers on Shift of Resonance Frequencies of Metamaterials
Coatings 2021, 11(5), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11050578 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 596
Abstract
A liquid crystal (LC) layer that is too thick exhibits a small terahertz birefringence due to the limited long-range force of the alignment layers that exert on it. An LC layer that is too thin has a small terahertz birefringence due to its [...] Read more.
A liquid crystal (LC) layer that is too thick exhibits a small terahertz birefringence due to the limited long-range force of the alignment layers that exert on it. An LC layer that is too thin has a small terahertz birefringence due to its invisibility to incident terahertz waves. Therefore, an LC layer may have a large terahertz birefringence at a specific thickness. It is well known that the birefringence of an LC layer dominates the shift of the resonance frequency of the metamaterial imbedded into the LC layer. As a result, this work studies the effect of the thicknesses of LC layers on the shift of the resonance frequencies of metamaterials. LC layers with various thicknesses ranging from 310 µm to 1487 µm are deposited on terahertz metamaterials, and each of the layers is aligned by two polyimide layers that are rubbed in a direction. The terahertz metamaterials have a maximum frequency shifting range of 21 GHz as 710 µm thick LC layers with mutually orthogonal rubbing directions are deposited on them. The maximum frequency shifting range arises from the competition between the long-range force of the polyimide layers and the interaction between the LC layers and their incident terahertz waves. Full article
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Article
Passively Tunable Terahertz Filters Using Liquid Crystal Cells Coated with Metamaterials
Coatings 2021, 11(4), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11040381 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
Liquid crystal (LC) cells that are coated with metamaterials are fabricated in this work. The LC directors in the cells are aligned by rubbed polyimide layers, and make angles θ of 0°, 45°, and 90° with respect to the gaps of the split-ring [...] Read more.
Liquid crystal (LC) cells that are coated with metamaterials are fabricated in this work. The LC directors in the cells are aligned by rubbed polyimide layers, and make angles θ of 0°, 45°, and 90° with respect to the gaps of the split-ring resonators (SRRs) of the metamaterials. Experimental results display that the resonance frequencies of the metamaterials in these cells increase with an increase in θ, and the cells have a maximum frequency shifting region of 18 GHz. Simulated results reveal that the increase in the resonance frequencies arises from the birefringence of the LC, and the LC has a birefringence of 0.15 in the terahertz region. The resonance frequencies of the metamaterials are shifted by the rubbing directions of the polyimide layers, so the LC cells coated with the metamaterials are passively tunable terahertz filters. The passively tunable terahertz filters exhibit promising applications on terahertz communication, terahertz sensing, and terahertz imaging. Full article
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Article
Reinforcement of Epoxy Resin by Additives of Amine-Functionalized Graphene Nanosheets
Coatings 2021, 11(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11010035 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 850
Abstract
In this study, graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets were modified with an amine functional group to obtain amine-functionalized graphene (AMG) nanosheets and then blended with the aniline curing agent of bisphenol-A (BPA) epoxy resin to crosslink BPA epoxy resin. The AMG-blended curing agent and [...] Read more.
In this study, graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets were modified with an amine functional group to obtain amine-functionalized graphene (AMG) nanosheets and then blended with the aniline curing agent of bisphenol-A (BPA) epoxy resin to crosslink BPA epoxy resin. The AMG-blended curing agent and BPA epoxy resin formed an intermolecular hydrogen bond that was stronger than the π–π stacking force between benzene rings of graphene nanosheets. Therefore, AMG nanosheets exhibited excellent dispersion in the aniline curing agent. The amine group of AMG-blended curing agents and the epoxy functional group of BPA epoxy resin exhibited strong chemical activity and underwent crosslinking and polymerization. AMG nanosheets were mixed with BPA epoxy resin to form a crosslinked structure through the epoxy ring-opening polymerization of the resin. The mechanical properties of the epoxy resin nanocomposites were significantly improved by the added 1 wt.% AMG nanosheets. The tensile strength was enhanced by 98.1% by adding 1 wt.% AMG in epoxy. Furthermore, the impact resistance of the epoxy resin was enhanced by 124.4% after adding 2.67 wt.% of AMG nanosheets. Compared with other reinforced fillers, AMG nanosheets are very light and can therefore be used as nanocomposite materials in coating applications, the automotive industry, aerospace sheet materials, wind power generation, and other fields. Full article
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