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Special Issue "Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Thin Films and Interfaces".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mikołaj Lewandowski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
NanoBioMedical Centre, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 85, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
Interests: growth; structure; electronic; magnetic and catalytic properties of nanostructures at surfaces

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to contribute your work to the Special Issue of Materials titled “Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films”.

Nanostructures at surfaces, such as supported nanoparticles, nanowires, molecular arrays, 2D materials, and thin solid films, exhibit unique physico-chemical properties, originating both from their low-dimensionality and the interaction with the substrate on which they grow. Recent advances in nanostructure fabrication, experimental atomic-scale characterization, and theoretical modeling, allow the determination of the structure–properties relationships in such systems and the studies of the underlying physical and chemical mechanisms. Hybrid nanostructures, such as nanoparticles supported on thin solid films or intercalated epitaxial graphene, allow us to combine the properties of different materials and fine-tune the mutual interactions through the well-defined interfaces formation. This results in a wide range of potential applications of supported nanostructures in various industrial fields, such as nanoelectronics/spintronics, data storage, heterogeneous catalysis, or gas/bio- sensing.

This Special Issue will feature articles devoted to the preparation and physico-chemical characterization of surface nanostructures, focusing on the determination of structure–properties relationships. The submission of both experimental and theoretical reports is cordially invited. We believe that “Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films” will become a valuable bibliographic resource for scientists working on experimental and theoretical aspects of nanostructures at surfaces.

Dr. Mikołaj Lewandowski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • nanostructures at surfaces
  • thin solid films
  • structure
  • physico-chemical properties
  • experiment
  • theory

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Structure and Oligonucleotide Binding Efficiency of Differently Prepared Click Chemistry-Type DNA Microarray Slides Based on 3-Azidopropyltrimethoxysilane
Materials 2021, 14(11), 2855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14112855 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 870
Abstract
The structural characterization of glass slides surface-modified with 3-azidopropyltrimethoxysilane and used for anchoring nucleic acids, resulting in the so-called DNA microarrays, is presented. Depending on the silanization conditions, the slides were found to show different oligonucleotide binding efficiency, thus, an attempt was made [...] Read more.
The structural characterization of glass slides surface-modified with 3-azidopropyltrimethoxysilane and used for anchoring nucleic acids, resulting in the so-called DNA microarrays, is presented. Depending on the silanization conditions, the slides were found to show different oligonucleotide binding efficiency, thus, an attempt was made to correlate this efficiency with the structural characteristics of the silane layers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray reflectometry (XRR) measurements provided information on the surface topography, chemical composition and thickness of the silane films, respectively. The surface for which the best oligonucleotides binding efficiency is observed, has been found to consist of a densely-packed silane layer, decorated with a high-number of additional clusters that are believed to host exposed azide groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films)
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Article
Strong Interfacial Perpendicular Magnetic Anisotropy in Exchange-Biased NiO/Co/Au and NiO/Co/NiO Layered Systems
Materials 2021, 14(5), 1237; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14051237 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
The ability to induce and control the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) of ferromagnetic layers has been widely investigated, especially those that offer additional functionalities (e.g., skyrmion stabilization, voltage-based magnetization switching, rapid propagation of domain walls). Out-of-plane magnetized ferromagnetic layers in direct contact with [...] Read more.
The ability to induce and control the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) of ferromagnetic layers has been widely investigated, especially those that offer additional functionalities (e.g., skyrmion stabilization, voltage-based magnetization switching, rapid propagation of domain walls). Out-of-plane magnetized ferromagnetic layers in direct contact with an oxide belong to this class. Nowadays, investigation of this type of system includes antiferromagnetic oxides (AFOs) because of their potential for new approaches to applied spintronics that exploit the exchange bias (EB) coupling between the ferromagnetic and the AFO layer. Here, we investigate PMA and EB effect in NiO/Co/Au and NiO/Co/NiO layered systems. We show that the coercive and EB fields increase significantly when the Co layer is coupled with two NiO layers, instead of one. Surrounding the Co layer only with NiO layers induces a strong PMA resulting in an out-of-plane magnetized system can be obtained without a heavy metal/ferromagnetic interface. The PMA arises from a significant surface contribution (0.74 mJ/m2) that can be enhanced up to 0.99 mJ/m2 by annealing at moderate temperatures (~450 K). Using field cooling processes for both systems, we demonstrate a wide-ranging control of the exchange bias field without perturbing other magnetic properties of importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films)
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Article
An Improved Procedure for the Quality Control of Sintered Carbide Tips for Mining Applications, Based on Quantitative Image Analysis of the Microstructure
Materials 2021, 14(5), 1236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14051236 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Conical picks are tools that treat surfaces used in mining. Due to a wide variety of such tools, they need to characterise in diversified geometrical and material parameters, as well as durability. For the mining sector, evaluation of the conical picks is performed [...] Read more.
Conical picks are tools that treat surfaces used in mining. Due to a wide variety of such tools, they need to characterise in diversified geometrical and material parameters, as well as durability. For the mining sector, evaluation of the conical picks is performed in order to verify their agreement with the manufacturer’s declaration, as well as with the requirements of the user. One of the whole research procedure elements is a qualitative and quantitative analysis of a pick tip made of sintered carbide (tungsten carbide–cobalt; WC-Co). It is currently carried out when the recipient is accepting such picks or when a complaint is made. In this case, it is important to propose such a research and control procedure that will make it possible to determine the quality of the applied material for pick tips in a straightforward, repeatable, and objective way. This article presents the results of investigations made on tips coming from four different types of conical picks. The tips’ hardness and density were measured, as well as WC grains which were characterised using two kinds of measurements (automated linear-intercept method and semi-automated planimetric methods). The measurements of the WC grains were conducted on microstructure images recorded using a light microscope. The performed investigations made it possible to compare tips and refer the results to those of other scientists’ studies. The final effect is a proposal of a specialised procedure examining picks, especially their tips, made of sintered carbides. This is important for the evaluation of the tips’ quality in light of the requirements of the relevant norms and the needs of the users from the mining and extractive sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films)
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Article
Optimal Hot-Dipped Tinning Process Routine for the Fabrication of Solderable Sn Coatings on Circuit Lead Frames
Materials 2020, 13(5), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13051191 - 06 Mar 2020
Viewed by 780
Abstract
Previous studies merely focus on the hot dipping properties of lead frame materials used in electronic industry. Yet, the environmentally friendly and cost-efficient traits of hot-dipped tinning process make it a possible promising surface modification technique compared with electroplating. As a result, the [...] Read more.
Previous studies merely focus on the hot dipping properties of lead frame materials used in electronic industry. Yet, the environmentally friendly and cost-efficient traits of hot-dipped tinning process make it a possible promising surface modification technique compared with electroplating. As a result, the optimal hot-dipped tinning process routine is proposed in this paper. The hot-dipped tinning process of four different types of copper foils (C11000, C19400, C19210, and C70250), pretreatment parameters, mechanical properties of Cu substrates, thickness of IMC (intermetallic compound) layers and coatings, and microstructure of coatings were investigated to determine the copper substrate suitable for hot-dipped tinning and the optimized tinning procedures. The results indicate that a proper increase in alloying elements (e.g., Cu-Fe-P series alloys) towards Cu substrate leads to a decrease in hot dipping performance. The proper process routine is determined as alkaline cleaning→water scrubbing→accelerant solvent dipping→drying→hot-dipped tinning→cooling. The appropriate dipping temperature range is 260 to 280 °C, which assists to maintain acceptable micro hardness (i.e., maintaining at least 95% of the original hardness). The optimal dipping time should be set as 6–10 s. The proposed hot-dipped tinning process routine may present a guideline for the fabrication of tin coating in electronic industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films)
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Communication
Size-Dependent Thermo- and Photoresponsive Plasmonic Properties of Liquid Crystalline Gold Nanoparticles
Materials 2020, 13(4), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040875 - 15 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1145
Abstract
Achieving remotely controlled, reversibly reconfigurable assemblies of plasmonic nanoparticles is a prerequisite for the development of future photonic technologies. Here, we obtained a series of gold-nanoparticle-based materials which exhibit long-range order, and which are controlled with light or thermal stimuli. The influence of [...] Read more.
Achieving remotely controlled, reversibly reconfigurable assemblies of plasmonic nanoparticles is a prerequisite for the development of future photonic technologies. Here, we obtained a series of gold-nanoparticle-based materials which exhibit long-range order, and which are controlled with light or thermal stimuli. The influence of the metallic core size and organic shell composition on the switchability is considered, with emphasis on achieving light-responsive behavior at room temperature and high yield production of nanoparticles. The latter translates to a wide size distribution of metallic cores but does not prevent their assembly into various, switchable 3D and 2D long-range ordered structures. These results provide clear guidelines as to the impact of size, size distribution, and organic shell composition on self-assembly, thus enhancing the smart design process of multi-responsive nanomaterials in a condensed state, hardly attainable by other self-assembly methods which usually require solvents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films)
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Article
The Interface and Mechanical Properties of a CVD Single Crystal Diamond Produced by Multilayered Nitrogen Doping Epitaxial Growth
Materials 2019, 12(15), 2492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12152492 - 06 Aug 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
In the present investigation, a nitrogen-doped multilayer homoepitaxial single crystal diamond is synthesized on a high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) Ib-type diamond substrate using the microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) method. When 0.15 sccm of nitrogen was added in the gas phase, the [...] Read more.
In the present investigation, a nitrogen-doped multilayer homoepitaxial single crystal diamond is synthesized on a high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) Ib-type diamond substrate using the microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) method. When 0.15 sccm of nitrogen was added in the gas phase, the growth rate of the doped layer was about 1.7 times that of the buffer layer, and large conical and pyramidal features are formed on the surface of the sample. Raman mapping and photoluminescence imaging of the polished cross sectional slice shows a broadband emission, with a characteristic zero phonon line (ZPL) at 575 nm in the doped layers, and large compressive stress was formed in the nitrogen-doped layers. X-ray topography shows that the defects at the interface can induce dislocation. The pyramid feature is formed at the defect, and more nitrogen-related defects are formed in the pyramid region. Thin nitrogen-doped multilayers were successfully prepared, and the thickness of the nitrogen-doped and buffer layers was about 650 nm each. The indentation measurements reveal that the thin nitrogen-doped multilayers are ultra-tough (at least ~22 MPa m1/2), compared to the Ib-type HPHT seed substrate (~8 MPa m1/2) and the unintentionally doped chemical vapor deposition (CVD) single crystal diamond (~14 MPa m1/2). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Surface Structures and Thin Solid Films)
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