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Special Issue "25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Magnus Willander
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Science and Technology (ITN), Linköping University Building Täppan, Room 6177, Campus Norrköping, Sweden
Interests: nanophysics; nanochemistry; nanodevices
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Peng Si
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 299 Campus Dr. W., Stanford, CA 94305-5126, USA
Interests: plasmonic nanoparticles; molecular imaging; biosensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, we invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles related to novel methods and applications of Nanochemistry. We are particularly interested in research topics including:

  • synthesis, assembly, characterization, dynamics, measurement, theory and simulation of organic, inorganic, polymer, and hybrid nanomaterials;
  • nanofabrication and nanodevices for electronic, photonic, magnetic, optoelectronic and electro-mechanical applications;
  • nanoscale materials and systems for biomedical, chemical, environmental and energy applications, including but not limited to diagnostics, imaging, biosensing, therapeutics, drug delivery, fluidics, catalysis, batteries, solar cells and energy harvesting devices;
  • synthesis and application of biomimetic or bio-inspired nanomaterials.

In recognition of our authors’ continued support, Molecules is pleased to announce that the “Molecules Best Paper Awards for Anniversary Special Issues” will be launched and granted to the best papers published in the this Anniversary Special Issue. See details at: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/molecules/awards

Prof. Dr. Magnus Willander
Dr. Peng Si
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

  • nanochemistry
  • nanomaterials
  • nanostructures
  • nanocrystals
  • nanoparticles
  • nanocomposites
  • synthesis
  • characterization
  • assembly
  • molecular nanoscience
  • nanomedicine
  • nanobiotechnology
  • nanocatalysis
  • nanodevices
  • nanofluidics
  • nanosensors
  • nano-optics
  • nano-optoelectronics
  • nanophotonics
  • nanomagnetics
  • nanochips
  • nanofabrication

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication and Performance of Self-Supported Flexible Cellulose Nanofibrils/Reduced Graphene Oxide Supercapacitor Electrode Materials
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2793; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122793 - 17 Jun 2020
Abstract
With the rapid development of portable and wearable electronic devices, self-supporting flexible supercapacitors have attracted much attention, and higher requirements have been put forward for the electrode of the device, that is, it is necessary to have good mechanical properties while satisfying excellent [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of portable and wearable electronic devices, self-supporting flexible supercapacitors have attracted much attention, and higher requirements have been put forward for the electrode of the device, that is, it is necessary to have good mechanical properties while satisfying excellent electrochemical performance. In this work, a facile method was invented to obtain excellent self-supported flexible electrode materials with high mechanical properties and outstanding electrochemical performance by combining cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO). We focused on the effect of the ratio of the addition of CNFs and the formation process of the film on the electrochemical and mechanical properties. The results show that the CNFs/RGO12 (where the ratio of CNFs to GO is 1:2) film displayed outstanding comprehensive properties; its tensile strength and conductivity were up to 83 MPa and 202.94 S/m, respectively, and its CA value was as high as 146 mF cm−2 under the current density of 5 mA cm−2. Furthermore, the initial retention rate of the specific capacitance was about 83.7% when recycled 2000 times; moreover, its capacitance did not change much after perpendicular bending 200 times. Therefore, the films prepared by this study have great potential in the field of flexible supercapacitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Enzyme Mimetic Activity of ZnO-Pd Nanosheets Synthesized via a Green Route
Molecules 2020, 25(11), 2585; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25112585 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
Recent developments in the area of nanotechnology have focused on the development of nanomaterials with catalytic activities. The enzyme mimics, nanozymes, work efficiently in extreme pH and temperature conditions, and exhibit resistance to protease digestion, in contrast to enzymes. We developed an environment-friendly, [...] Read more.
Recent developments in the area of nanotechnology have focused on the development of nanomaterials with catalytic activities. The enzyme mimics, nanozymes, work efficiently in extreme pH and temperature conditions, and exhibit resistance to protease digestion, in contrast to enzymes. We developed an environment-friendly, cost-effective, and facile biological method for the synthesis of ZnO-Pd nanosheets. This is the first biosynthesis of ZnO-Pd nanosheets. The synthesized nanosheets were characterized by UV–visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray. The d-spacing (inter-atomic spacing) of the palladium nanoparticles in the ZnO sheets was found to be 0.22 nm, which corresponds to the (111) plane. The XRD pattern revealed that the 2θ values of 21.8°, 33.3°, 47.7°, and 56.2° corresponded with the crystal planes of (100), (002), (112), and (201), respectively. The nanosheets were validated to possess peroxidase mimetic activity, which oxidized the 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) substrate in the presence of H2O2. After 20 min of incubation time, the colorless TMB substrate oxidized into a dark-blue-colored one and a strong peak was observed at 650 nm. The initial velocities of Pd-ZnO-catalyzed TMB oxidation by H2O2 were analyzed by Michaelis–Menten and Lineweaver–Burk plots, resulting in 64 × 10−6 M, 8.72 × 10−9 Msec−1, and 8.72 × 10−4 sec−1 of KM, Vmax, and kcat, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Chitosan Beads Incorporating Graphene Oxide/Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles for In Vivo Studies
Molecules 2020, 25(10), 2308; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102308 - 14 May 2020
Abstract
Scaffold development for cell regeneration has increased in recent years due to the high demand for more efficient and biocompatible materials. Nanomaterials have become a critical alternative for mechanical, thermal, and antimicrobial property reinforcement in several biopolymers. In this work, four different chitosan [...] Read more.
Scaffold development for cell regeneration has increased in recent years due to the high demand for more efficient and biocompatible materials. Nanomaterials have become a critical alternative for mechanical, thermal, and antimicrobial property reinforcement in several biopolymers. In this work, four different chitosan (CS) bead formulations crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GLA), including titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2), and graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets, were prepared with potential biomedical applications in mind. The characterization of by FTIR spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), demonstrated an efficient preparation of nanocomposites, with nanoparticles well-dispersed in the polymer matrix. In vivo, subdermal implantation of the beads in Wistar rat′s tissue for 90 days showed a proper and complete healing process without any allergenic response to any of the formulations. Masson′s trichrome staining of the histological implanted tissues demonstrated the presence of a group of macrophage/histiocyte compatible cells, which indicates a high degree of biocompatibility of the beads. The materials were very stable under body conditions as the morphometry studies showed, but with low resorption percentages. These high stability beads could be used as biocompatible, resistant materials for long-term applications. The results presented in this study show the enormous potential of these chitosan nanocomposites in cell regeneration and biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of High-Performance Bamboo–Plastic Composites Reinforced by Natural Halloysite Nanotubes
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2259; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092259 - 11 May 2020
Abstract
Bamboo-plastic composites (BPCs) as new biomass-plastic composites have recently attracted much attention. However, weak mechanical performance and high moisture absorption as well as low thermal stability greatly limit their industrial applications. In this context, different amounts of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) were used as [...] Read more.
Bamboo-plastic composites (BPCs) as new biomass-plastic composites have recently attracted much attention. However, weak mechanical performance and high moisture absorption as well as low thermal stability greatly limit their industrial applications. In this context, different amounts of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) were used as a natural reinforcing filler for BPCs. It was found that the thermal stability of BPCs increased with increasing HNT contents. The mechanical strength of BPCs was improved with the increase in HNT loading up to 4 wt% and then worsened, while the impact strengths were slightly reduced. Low HNT content (below 4 wt%) also improved the dynamic thermomechanical properties and reduced the water absorption of the BPCs. Morphological studies confirmed the improved interfacial compatibility of the BPC matrix with 4 wt% HNT loading, and high-concentration HNT loading (above 6 wt%) resulted in easy agglomeration. The results highlight that HNTs could be a feasible candidate as nanoreinforcements for the development of high-performance BPCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Nanostructured ZnO/Ag Film Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering Method for Fast Response of Ammonia Gas Detection
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1899; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081899 - 20 Apr 2020
Abstract
Possessing a large surface-to-volume ratio is significant to the sensitive gas detection of semiconductor nanostructures. Here, we propose a fast-response ammonia gas sensor based on porous nanostructured zinc oxide (ZnO) film, which is fabricated through physical vapor deposition and subsequent thermal annealing. In [...] Read more.
Possessing a large surface-to-volume ratio is significant to the sensitive gas detection of semiconductor nanostructures. Here, we propose a fast-response ammonia gas sensor based on porous nanostructured zinc oxide (ZnO) film, which is fabricated through physical vapor deposition and subsequent thermal annealing. In general, an extremely thin silver (Ag) layer (1, 3, 5 nm) and a 100 nm ZnO film are sequentially deposited on the SiO2/Si substrate by a magnetron sputtering method. The porous nanostructure of ZnO film is formed after thermal annealing contributed by the diffusion of Ag among ZnO crystal grains and the expansion of the ZnO film. Different thicknesses of the Ag layer help the formation of different sizes and quantities of hollows uniformly distributed in the ZnO film, which is demonstrated to hold superior gas sensing abilities than the compact ZnO film. The responses of the different porous ZnO films were also investigated in the ammonia concentration range of 10 to 300 ppm. Experimental results demonstrate that the ZnO/Ag(3 nm) sensor possesses a good electrical resistance variation of 85.74% after exposing the sample to 300 ppm ammonia gas for 310 s. Interestingly, a fast response of 61.18% in 60 s for 300 ppm ammonia gas has been achieved from the ZnO/Ag(5 nm) sensor, which costs only 6 s for the response increase to 10%. Therefore, this controllable, porous, nanostructured ZnO film maintaining a sensitive gas response, fabricated by the physical deposition approach, will be of great interest to the gas-sensing community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
The Large-Scale Preparation and Optical Properties of MoS2/WS2 Vertical Hetero-Junction
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1857; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081857 - 17 Apr 2020
Abstract
A variety of hetero-junctions can be constructed to form the basic structural units in the different optoelectronic devices, such as the photo-detectors, solar cells, sensors and light-emitting diodes. In our research, the large-area high-quality MoS2/WS2 vertical hetero-junction are prepared by [...] Read more.
A variety of hetero-junctions can be constructed to form the basic structural units in the different optoelectronic devices, such as the photo-detectors, solar cells, sensors and light-emitting diodes. In our research, the large-area high-quality MoS2/WS2 vertical hetero-junction are prepared by the two-step atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (APCVD) methods and the dry transfer method, and the corresponding optimal reaction conditions of MoS2/WS2 vertical hetero-junction are obtained. The morphology, composition and optical properties of MoS2/WS2 vertical hetero-junction are systematically characterized by the optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and the field emission scanning electron microscopy. Compared to the mechanical transfer method, the MoS2/WS2 vertical hetero-junction sample obtained by the APCVD and dry transfer methods have lower impurity content, cleaner interfaces and tighter interlayer coupling. Besides, the strong interlayer coupling and effective interlayer charge transfer of MoS2/WS2 vertical hetero-junction are also further studied. The photoluminescence intensity of MoS2/WS2 vertical hetero-junction is significantly reduced compared to the single MoS2 or WS2 material. In general, this research can help to achieve the large-scale preparation of various Van der Waals hetero-junctions, which can lay the foundation for the new application of optoelectronic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessCommunication
New Acidic Precursor and Acetone-Based Solvent for Fast Perovskite Processing via Proton-Exchange Reaction with Methylamine
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081856 - 17 Apr 2020
Abstract
A new solvent system for PbI2 based on HI solution in acetone with a low boiling point is proposed. High solubility of PbI2 is caused by the formation of iodoplumbate complexes, and reaches a concentration of 1.6 M. Upon its crystallization [...] Read more.
A new solvent system for PbI2 based on HI solution in acetone with a low boiling point is proposed. High solubility of PbI2 is caused by the formation of iodoplumbate complexes, and reaches a concentration of 1.6 M. Upon its crystallization metastable solvate phases PbI2∙HI∙n{(CH3)2CO} are formed. The latter allows for their easy deposition on substrates in a form of smooth and uniform thin films by spin-coating. Through a fast acid-base reaction with a gaseous amine, the films of the intermediate phase can be completely converted to single-phase perovskite films. The developed method allows one to form smooth perovskite films with high crystallinity with a thickness up to 1 μm. Due to easy and fast processing, the developed method can be promising for perovskite technology upscaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Quasi-Periodic Dendritic Metasurface for Integral Operation in Visible Light
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071664 - 04 Apr 2020
Abstract
A reflective metasurface model composed of silver dendritic units is designed in this study. The integral property of this metasurface, which consists of an upper layer of dendritic structures, a silica spacer, and a bottom silver substrate was demonstrated at visible wavelengths. The [...] Read more.
A reflective metasurface model composed of silver dendritic units is designed in this study. The integral property of this metasurface, which consists of an upper layer of dendritic structures, a silica spacer, and a bottom silver substrate was demonstrated at visible wavelengths. The simulation results revealed that the metasurface can perform integral operation in the yellow and red bands; this can be easily generalized to the infrared and communication bands by scaling the transverse dimensions of this metasurface. A dendritic metasurface sample responding to red light was prepared via the bottom-up electrochemical deposition method. The integral operation property of the sample was verified experimentally. This dendritic metasurface, which can perform integral operation in visible light, can be used for big data processing technology, real-time signal processing, and beam shaping, and provides a new method for miniaturized and integrated all-optical signal processing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Silica-Coated Oxyhydroxide Aluminum/Doped Polymer Nanocomposites: A Comparative Study and Its Application as a Sorbent
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1520; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071520 - 27 Mar 2020
Abstract
The present investigation is a comparison study of two nanocomposites: Nano-silica-coated oxyhydroxide aluminum (SiO2–AlOOH; SCB) and nano-silica-coated oxyhydroxide aluminum doped with polyaniline (SiO2–AlOOH–PANI; SBDP). The prepared nanocomposites were evaluated by monitoring the elimination of heavy metal Ni(II) ions from [...] Read more.
The present investigation is a comparison study of two nanocomposites: Nano-silica-coated oxyhydroxide aluminum (SiO2–AlOOH; SCB) and nano-silica-coated oxyhydroxide aluminum doped with polyaniline (SiO2–AlOOH–PANI; SBDP). The prepared nanocomposites were evaluated by monitoring the elimination of heavy metal Ni(II) ions from aquatic solutions. The synthesized nanocomposites were analyzed and described by applying scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) techniques, as well as Zeta potential distribution. In this study, two adsorbents were applied to investigate their adsorptive capacity to eliminate Ni(II) ions from aqueous solution. The obtained results revealed that SBDP nanocomposite has a higher negative zeta potential value (−47.2 mV) compared with SCB nanocomposite (−39.4 mV). The optimum adsorption was performed at pH 8, with approximately 94% adsorption for SCB and 97% adsorption for SBDP nanocomposites. The kinetics adsorption of Ni ions onto SCB and SBDP nanocomposites was studied by applying the pseudo first-order, pseudo second-order, and Mories–Weber models. The data revealed that the adsorption of Ni ions onto SCB and SBDP nanocomposites followed the pseudo second-order kinetic model. The equilibrium adsorption data were analyzed using three models: Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin–Radusekevisch–Kanager Isotherm. It was concluded that the Langmuir isotherm fits the experimental results well for the SCB and SBDP nanocomposites. Thermodynamic data revealed that the adsorption process using SCB nanocomposites is an endothermic and spontaneous reaction. Meanwhile, the Ni ion sorption on SBDP nanocomposites is exothermic and spontaneous reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Bioactivity and Biocompatibility of Bio-Inspired Ti-6Al-4V Alloy Surfaces Modified by Combined Laser Micro/Nano Structuring
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1494; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071494 - 25 Mar 2020
Abstract
The bioactivity and biocompatibility play key roles in the success of dental and orthopaedic implants. Although most commercial implant systems use various surface microstructures, the ideal multi-scale topographies capable of controlling osteointegration have not yielded conclusive results. Inspired by both the isotropic adhesion [...] Read more.
The bioactivity and biocompatibility play key roles in the success of dental and orthopaedic implants. Although most commercial implant systems use various surface microstructures, the ideal multi-scale topographies capable of controlling osteointegration have not yielded conclusive results. Inspired by both the isotropic adhesion of the skin structures in tree frog toe pads and the anisotropic adhesion of the corrugated ridges on the scales of Morpho butterfly wings, composite micro/nano-structures, including the array of micro-hexagons and oriented nano-ripples on titanium alloy implants, were respectively fabricated by microsecond laser direct writing and femtosecond laser-induced periodic surface structures, to improve cell adherence, alignment and proliferation on implants. The main differences in both the bioactivity in simulated body fluid and the biocompatibility in osteoblastic cell MC3T3 proliferation were measured and analyzed among Ti-6Al-4V samples with smooth surface, micro-hexagons and composite micro/nano-structures, respectively. Of note, bioinspired micro/nano-structures displayed the best bioactivity and biocompatibility after in vitro experiments, and meanwhile, the nano-ripples were able to induce cellular alignment within the micro-hexagons. The reasons for these differences were found in the topographical cues. An innovative functionalization strategy of controlling the osteointegration on titanium alloy implants is proposed using the composite micro/nano-structures, which is meaningful in various regenerative medicine applications and implant fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Nanomaterials for Wound Dressings: An Up-to-Date Overview
Molecules 2020, 25(11), 2699; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25112699 - 10 Jun 2020
Abstract
As wound healing continues to be a challenge for the medical field, wound management has become an essential factor for healthcare systems. Nanotechnology is a domain that could provide different new approaches concerning regenerative medicine. It is worth mentioning the importance of nanoparticles, [...] Read more.
As wound healing continues to be a challenge for the medical field, wound management has become an essential factor for healthcare systems. Nanotechnology is a domain that could provide different new approaches concerning regenerative medicine. It is worth mentioning the importance of nanoparticles, which, when embedded in biomaterials, can induce specific properties that make them of interest in applications as materials for wound dressings. In the last years, nano research has taken steps to develop molecular engineering strategies for different self-assembling biocompatible nanoparticles. It is well-known that nanomaterials can improve burn treatment and also the delayed wound healing process. In this review, the first-line of bioactive nanomaterials-based dressing categories frequently applied in clinical practice, including semi-permeable films, semipermeable foam dressings, hydrogel dressings, hydrocolloid dressings, alginate dressings, non-adherent contact layer dressings, and multilayer dressings will be discussed. Additionally, this review will highlight the lack of high-quality evidence and the necessity for future advanced trials because current wound healing therapies generally fail to provide an excellent clinical outcome, either structurally or functionally. The use of nanomaterials in wound management represents a unique tool that can be specifically designed to closely reflect the underlying physiological processes in tissue repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 25th Anniversary of Molecules—Recent Advances in Nanochemistry)
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