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Special Issue "Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Marinella Striccoli

CNR-IPCF Division of Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: colloidal nanocrystals; nanocomposite materials; quantum dots; surface functionalization; patterning; nanoparticle assembling; optical characterization
Guest Editor
Dr. Roberto Comparelli

National Research Council–Institute for Physical Chemical Processes (CNR-IPCF), Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: photocatalysis, visible light active photocatalysts, inorganic nanocrystals, hybrid nanocomposites, plasmonics nanoparticles, nanocrystal functionalization, solar energy conversion
Guest Editor
Dr. Annamaria Panniello

CNR-IPCF Division of Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanomaterials; nanocomposites; organic-inorganic hybrids; carbon nanoparticles; surface functionalization; spectroscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few years, significant efforts have been devoted to design, fabricate and exploit nanocomposite materials based on inorganic nanoparticles incorporated in a polymer matrix. The extraordinary interest in such materials relies on the large range of properties that can arise from the synergic combination of the features of nanoparticles and host polymer. Indeed, the original size dependent physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials (semicondunting, metals, oxides and magnetic nanoparticles), joint with the high processability, the defined chemistry and the morphology of polymers and block copolymers, finally turn out in innovative materials, with high technological impact in a variety of advanced application in photonic, optoelectronics, sensing, environmental, energy conversion, biological and biomedical fields.

The aim of the Special Issue is to focus on recent developments, advancements and future prospectives of such a fascinating and largely multidisciplinar field. Topics will include preparative approaches, functionalization strategies of nanoparticles and polymers, integration of nanocomposites in devices, additive manufacturing materials and processes and nanocomposite advanced application. Authors are welcomed to provide their contribution on the aforementioned aspects and on other subjects relevant for the theme. Review articles will be also welcome.

Dr. Marinella Striccoli
Dr. Roberto Comparelli
Dr. Annamaria Panniello
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 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

  • Inorganic nanoparticles
  • Nanocrystals
  • Polymers
  • Hybrid nanostructures
  • Nano-fillers
  • Matrix
  • Multiphases

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Vacuum Casting and Mechanical Characterization of Nanocomposites from Epoxy and Oxidized Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
Molecules 2019, 24(3), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24030510
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
Sample preparation is an important step when testing the mechanical properties of materials. Especially, when carbon nanotubes (CNT) are added to epoxy resin, the increase in viscosity complicates the casting of testing specimens. We present a vacuum casting approach for different geometries in [...] Read more.
Sample preparation is an important step when testing the mechanical properties of materials. Especially, when carbon nanotubes (CNT) are added to epoxy resin, the increase in viscosity complicates the casting of testing specimens. We present a vacuum casting approach for different geometries in order to produce specimens from functional nanocomposites that consist of epoxy matrix and oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The nanocomposites were characterized with various mechanical tests that showed improved fracture toughness, bending and tensile properties performance by addition of oxidized MWCNTs. Strengthening mechanisms were analyzed by SEM images of fracture surfaces and in-situ imaging by digital image correlation (DIC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles)
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Open AccessArticle Polydopamine-Based Surface Modification of ZnO Nanoparticles on Sericin/Polyvinyl Alcohol Composite Film for Antibacterial Application
Molecules 2019, 24(3), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24030503
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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Abstract
Silk sericin (SS) is a type of natural macromolecular protein with excellent hydrophilicity, biocompatibility and biodegradability, but also has very poor mechanical properties. To develop sericin-based wound dressings, we utilized polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to reinforce the mechanical property of sericin by blending PVA [...] Read more.
Silk sericin (SS) is a type of natural macromolecular protein with excellent hydrophilicity, biocompatibility and biodegradability, but also has very poor mechanical properties. To develop sericin-based wound dressings, we utilized polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to reinforce the mechanical property of sericin by blending PVA and sericin, then modified zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) on SS/PVA film with the assistance of polydopamine (PDA) to endow SS/PVA film with antibacterial activity. Scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy and X-ray powder diffraction demonstrated ZnO NPs were well grafted on PDA-SS/PVA film. Fourier transform infrared spectra suggested PDA coating and ZnONPs modification did not alter the structure of sericin and PVA. Water contact angle and swelling tests indicated the excellent hydrophilicity and swellability of ZnO NPs-PDA-SS/PVA composite film. Mass loss analysis showed ZnO NPs-PDA-SS/PVA film had excellent stability. The mechanical performance test suggested the improved tensile strength and elongation at break could meet the requirement of ZnO NPs-PDA-SS/PVA film in biomaterial applications. The antibacterial assay suggested the prepared ZnO NPs-PDA-SS/PVA composite film had a degree of antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The excellent hydrophilicity, swellability, stability, mechanical property and antibacterial activity greatly promote the possibility of ZnO NPs-PDA-SS/PVA composite film in antibacterial biomaterials application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of CaCO3 Nanoparticles on the Mechanical and Photo-Degradation Properties of LDPE
Molecules 2019, 24(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24010126
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 31 December 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
CaCO3 nanoparticles of around 60 nm were obtained by a co-precipitation method and used as filler to prepare low-density polyethylene (LDPE) composites by melt blending. The nanoparticles were also organically modified with oleic acid (O-CaCO3) in order to improve their [...] Read more.
CaCO3 nanoparticles of around 60 nm were obtained by a co-precipitation method and used as filler to prepare low-density polyethylene (LDPE) composites by melt blending. The nanoparticles were also organically modified with oleic acid (O-CaCO3) in order to improve their interaction with the LDPE matrix. By adding 3 and 5 wt% of nanofillers, the mechanical properties under tensile conditions of the polymer matrix improved around 29%. The pure LDPE sample and the nanocomposites with 5 wt% CaCO3 were photoaged by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation during 35 days and the carbonyl index (CI), degree of crystallinity (χc), and Young’s modulus were measured at different times. After photoaging, the LDPE/CaCO3 nanocomposites increased the percent crystallinity (χc), the CI, and Young’s modulus as compared to the pure polymer. Moreover, the viscosity of the photoaged nanocomposite was lower than that of photoaged pure LDPE, while scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis showed that after photoaging the nanocomposites presented cavities around the nanoparticles. These difference showed that the presence of CaCO3 nanoparticles accelerate the photo-degradation of the polymer matrix. Our results show that the addition of CaCO3 nanoparticles into an LDPE polymer matrix allows future developments of more sustainable polyethylene materials that could be applied as films in agriculture. These LDPE-CaCO3 nanocomposites open the opportunity to improve the low degradation of the LDPE without sacrificing the polymer’s behavior, allowing future development of novel eco-friendly polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel AgNPs/Sericin/Agar Film with Enhanced Mechanical Property and Antibacterial Capability
Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1821; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071821
Received: 17 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5004 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Silk sericin is a protein from a silkworm’s cocoon. It has good biocompatibility, hydrophilicity, bioactivity, and biodegradability. However, sericin could not be used in biomedical materials directly because of its frangible characteristic. To develop multifunctional sericin-based materials for biomedical purposes, we prepared a [...] Read more.
Silk sericin is a protein from a silkworm’s cocoon. It has good biocompatibility, hydrophilicity, bioactivity, and biodegradability. However, sericin could not be used in biomedical materials directly because of its frangible characteristic. To develop multifunctional sericin-based materials for biomedical purposes, we prepared a sericin/agar (SS/agar) composite film through the blending of sericin and agar and repetitive freeze-thawing. Then, we synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in situ on the surface of the composite film to endow it with antibacterial activity. Water contact angle, swelling and losing ratio, and mechanical properties analysis indicated that the composite film had excellent mechanical property, hydrophilicity, hygroscopicity, and stability. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis confirmed the successful modification of AgNPs on the composite film. X-ray powder diffraction showed the face-centered cubic structures of the AgNPs. This AgNPs modified composite film exhibited an excellent antibacterial capability against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Our study develops a novel AgNPs/sericin/agar composite film with enhanced mechanical performance and an antimicrobial property for potential biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles)
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