Special Issue "Advanced Synchrotron Techniques for Soft and Nanomaterials"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Andrei V. Petukhov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
van ’t Hoff laboratory for physical & colloid chemistry, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, The Netherlands and Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Interests: colloids and nanoparticles; self-organisation; colloidal crystals; colloidal liquid crystals; chiral colloids; active matter and dissipative assembly; advanced synchrotron scattering techniques; microscopy at the nanoscale
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Materials in the 21st century have been revolutionised by the advent of nanomaterials and soft matter. These two concepts strongly overlap, although some subtle differences exist, for example not all nanomaterials are seen as soft, while practically all soft matter systems have a structure at the nanoscale. This nanostructuring provides unprecedent opportunities for the engineering of mechanical, optical, electronic and magnetic properties. Some authors prefer to identify their experimental systems as nanomaterials, and others prefer the soft matter concept instead. To welcome both groups, “Soft and Nanomaterials” are introduced in the title of this issue.

Further progress in the fields of nanomaterials and soft matter crucially depends on the availability of advanced experimental techniques that allow the characterisation of various aspects of the nanoscale structure and its relation to material properties. This Special Issue is devoted to recent developments in analytical tools using synchrotron radiation. Small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) is one of the indispensable tools at the nanoscale. Recent developments in this area towards ultra-small angles and microradian resolution allow us to broaden the range of available spatial scales. Faster detectors and higher-brightness sources have recently improved the time resolution of in-situ studies. Micro- and nano-sized beams can be applied to obtain local spatially-resolved data. The improved coherence of X-ray beams promotes the application and further development of coherent techniques such as X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) and coherent diffraction imaging (CDI). Grazing-incidence SAXS (GISAXS) and x-ray reflectivity (XRR) allow researchers to study surfaces including soft and liquid interfaces. Spectromicroscopy using X-rays close to the adsorption edge of a specific element has been shown to provide element-specific chemical information with nanometric resolution. The hard X-ray microscopy with a much larger penetration depth is shifting to the nanoscale. X-ray spectroscopy is slowly progressing to meet the challenges of nanomaterials, soft matter and biological materials. Much progress has recently been seen in the development of the sample environment. I believe that this issue will contribute to the discussion of recent developments of techniques similar to those mentioned above and of their recent applications for soft matter and nanomaterials.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to this Special Issue. Full papers, communications and reviews discussing recent developments and applications of Advanced Synchrotron Techniques for Soft and Nanomaterials are welcome.

Prof. Andrei V. Petukhov
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • soft matter
  • synchrotron radiation
  • small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS)
  • x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS)
  • coherent diffraction imaging (CDI)
  • GISAXS
  • x-ray reflectivity (XRR)
  • x-ray spectroscopies
  • x-ray spectromicroscopy
  • high-resolution hard x-ray microscopy

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
XANES Measurements for Studies of Adsorbed Protein Layers at Liquid Interfaces
Materials 2020, 13(20), 4635; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13204635 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 573
Abstract
X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra for protein layers adsorbed at liquid interfaces in a Langmuir trough have been recorded for the first time. We studied the parkin protein (so-called E3 ubiquitin ligase), which plays an important role in pathogenesis of Parkinson [...] Read more.
X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra for protein layers adsorbed at liquid interfaces in a Langmuir trough have been recorded for the first time. We studied the parkin protein (so-called E3 ubiquitin ligase), which plays an important role in pathogenesis of Parkinson disease. Parkin contains eight Zn binding sites, consisting of cysteine and histidine residues in a tetracoordinated geometry. Zn K-edge XANES spectra were collected in the following two series: under mild radiation condition of measurements (short exposition time) and with high X-ray radiation load. XANES fingerprint analysis was applied to obtain information on ligand environments around zinc ions. Two types of zinc coordination geometry were identified depending on X-ray radiation load. We found that, under mild conditions, local zinc environment in our parkin preparations was very similar to that identified in hemoglobin, treated with a solution of ZnCl2 salt. Under high X-ray radiation load, considerable changes in the zinc site structure were observed; local zinc environment appeared to be almost identical to that defined in Zn-containing enzyme alkaline phosphatase. The formation of a similar metal site in unrelated protein molecules, observed in our experiments, highlights the significance of metal binding templates as essential structural modules in protein macromolecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Synchrotron Techniques for Soft and Nanomaterials)
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Review

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Review
Synchrotron Scattering Methods for Nanomaterials and Soft Matter Research
Materials 2020, 13(3), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13030752 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1574
Abstract
This article aims to provide an overview of broad range of applications of synchrotron scattering methods in the investigation of nanoscale materials. These scattering techniques allow the elucidation of the structure and dynamics of nanomaterials from sub-nm to micron size scales and down [...] Read more.
This article aims to provide an overview of broad range of applications of synchrotron scattering methods in the investigation of nanoscale materials. These scattering techniques allow the elucidation of the structure and dynamics of nanomaterials from sub-nm to micron size scales and down to sub-millisecond time ranges both in bulk and at interfaces. A major advantage of scattering methods is that they provide the ensemble averaged information under in situ and operando conditions. As a result, they are complementary to various imaging techniques which reveal more local information. Scattering methods are particularly suitable for probing buried structures that are difficult to image. Although, many qualitative features can be directly extracted from scattering data, derivation of detailed structural and dynamical information requires quantitative modeling. The fourth-generation synchrotron sources open new possibilities for investigating these complex systems by exploiting the enhanced brightness and coherence properties of X-rays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Synchrotron Techniques for Soft and Nanomaterials)
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Review
Supercrystallography-Based Decoding of Structure and Driving Force of Nanocrystal Assembly
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3771; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223771 - 17 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2213
Abstract
Nanocrystal (NC) assembly appears as one promising method towards the controllable design and fabrication of advanced materials with desired property and functionality. The achievement of a “materials-by-design” requires not only a primary structural decoding of NC assembled supercrystal at a wide range of [...] Read more.
Nanocrystal (NC) assembly appears as one promising method towards the controllable design and fabrication of advanced materials with desired property and functionality. The achievement of a “materials-by-design” requires not only a primary structural decoding of NC assembled supercrystal at a wide range of length scales, but also an improved understanding of the interactions and changeable roles of various driving forces over the course of nucleation and growth of NC superlattice. The recent invention of a synchrotron-based X-ray supercrystallographic approach makes it feasible to uncover the structural details of NC-assembled supercrystal at unprecedented levels from atomic through nano to mesoscale. Such structural documentations can be used to trace how various driving forces interact in a competitive way and thus change relatively in strength to govern the formation of individual superlattices under certain circumstances. This short review makes use of four single supercrystals typically made up of spherical, truncate, cubic and octahedral NCs, respectively, and provides a comparable description and a reasonable analysis of the use of a synchrotron-based supercrystallographic approach to reveal various degrees of translational and orientational ordering of NCs within various superlattices. In the connection of observed structural aspects with controlled environments of NC assembly, we further address how various driving forces interact each other to develop relatively changeable roles upon variation of the NC shape to respond to the nucleation and growth of various superlattices. With the guidance of such gained insights, we provide additional examples to illustrate how realistic environments are designed into delicate control of NC assembly to achieve particular interactions between NCs towards harvesting superlattice with NC translational symmetry and atomically crystallographic orientation as desired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Synchrotron Techniques for Soft and Nanomaterials)
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Review
Angular X-ray Cross-Correlation Analysis (AXCCA): Basic Concepts and Recent Applications to Soft Matter and Nanomaterials
Materials 2019, 12(21), 3464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12213464 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1229
Abstract
Angular X-ray cross-correlation analysis (AXCCA) is a technique which allows quantitative measurement of the angular anisotropy of X-ray diffraction patterns and provides insights into the orientational order in the system under investigation. This method is based on the evaluation of the angular cross-correlation [...] Read more.
Angular X-ray cross-correlation analysis (AXCCA) is a technique which allows quantitative measurement of the angular anisotropy of X-ray diffraction patterns and provides insights into the orientational order in the system under investigation. This method is based on the evaluation of the angular cross-correlation function of the scattered intensity distribution on a two-dimensional (2D) detector and further averaging over many diffraction patterns for enhancement of the anisotropic signal. Over the last decade, AXCCA was successfully used to study the anisotropy in various soft matter systems, such as solutions of anisotropic particles, liquid crystals, colloidal crystals, superlattices composed by nanoparticles, etc. This review provides an introduction to the technique and gives a survey of the recent experimental work in which AXCCA in combination with micro- or nanofocused X-ray microscopy was used to study the orientational order in various soft matter systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Synchrotron Techniques for Soft and Nanomaterials)
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