molecules-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Research on Nanostructured Materials"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Lucian Baia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Physics, Babeș-Bolyai University, M. Kogalniceanu 1, 400084 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Interests: photocatalysts; semiconductor oxides; noble metal nanoparticles; carbon-based nanomaterials; nanocomposites; structural and morphological investigations; surface analyses
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Klara Magyari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Interdisciplinary Research in Bio-Nano-Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania and Research Group of Environmental Chemistry, Department of Applied and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University of Szeged, Hungary
Interests: biomaterials; tissue engineering; bioactive glasses; biopolymers
Prof. Dr. Jin Won (Maria) Seo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
KU Leuven, Department of Materials Engineering, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Interests: carbon nanomaterials; oxide nanostructures; photocatalysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There has recently been a particular interest in performing research on various types of nanostructures with dimensions of tens of nanometers. In this respect, this Special Issue aims to cover recent progress and trends in both fundamental and applied research on various types of nanostructured materials. Contributions to this Special Issue can be in the form of full research articles, short communications, and reviews that focus on the understanding of the role and the influence of molecules used for obtaining nanostructured materials as well as the processes and phenomena that occur when homogeneous or heterogeneous nanostructured materials are involved. On the other hand, an important aspect of the performed research could be directed towards the rigorous assessment of the phenomena that appear during the materials’ synthesis. Furthermore, there is a special interest in publishing research that presents the applications of materials in various interesting areas such as bio-medicine, drug delivery, (photo)catalysis, sensors, supercapacitors, batteries, fire retardants, etc., by pointing out the role and influence of the molecules and compounds involved during the preparation routes on the improvements of the materials’ performances.

Submissions are welcome relating but not limited to the broad topics listed below:

- Electronic, photonic, and magnetic materials;

- Materials for energy and environmental;

- Advanced materials characterization and modelling;

- Nanomaterials and characterization;

- Biomaterials and soft materials;

- Structural and (multi)functional materials;

- Surfaces and interfaces in nano-structures and nano-architectures.

Prof. Dr. Lucian Baia
Dr. Klara Magyari
Prof. Jin Won (Maria) Seo
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

  • electronic materials
  • photonic materials
  • magnetic materials
  • sensors
  • advanced materials
  • nanomaterials
  • characterization
  • functional materials
  • modelling
  • surfaces and interfaces
  • material applications

Published Papers (12 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Carbon Nanotube Fibers Decorated with MnO2 for Wire-Shaped Supercapacitor
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113479 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Fibers made from CNTs (CNT fibers) have the potential to form high-strength, lightweight materials with superior electrical conductivity. CNT fibers have attracted great attention in relation to various applications, in particular as conductive electrodes in energy applications, such as capacitors, lithium-ion batteries, and [...] Read more.
Fibers made from CNTs (CNT fibers) have the potential to form high-strength, lightweight materials with superior electrical conductivity. CNT fibers have attracted great attention in relation to various applications, in particular as conductive electrodes in energy applications, such as capacitors, lithium-ion batteries, and solar cells. Among these, wire-shaped supercapacitors demonstrate various advantages for use in lightweight and wearable electronics. However, making electrodes with uniform structures and desirable electrochemical performances still remains a challenge. In this study, dry-spun CNT fibers from CNT carpets were homogeneously loaded with MnO2 nanoflakes through the treatment of KMnO4. These functionalized fibers were systematically characterized in terms of their morphology, surface and mechanical properties, and electrochemical performance. The resulting MnO2–CNT fiber electrode showed high specific capacitance (231.3 F/g) in a Na2SO4 electrolyte, 23 times higher than the specific capacitance of the bare CNT fibers. The symmetric wire-shaped supercapacitor composed of CNT–MnO2 fiber electrodes and a PVA/H3PO4 electrolyte possesses an energy density of 86 nWh/cm and good cycling performance. Combined with its light weight and high flexibility, this CNT-based wire-shaped supercapacitor shows promise for applications in flexible and wearable energy storage devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Integration of Mesoporous Bioactive Glass Nanoparticles and Curcumin into PHBV Microspheres as Biocompatible Composite for Drug Delivery Applications
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3177; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113177 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
Bioactive glasses (BGs) are being increasingly considered for biomedical applications. One convenient approach to utilize BGs in tissue engineering and drug delivery involves their combination with organic biomaterials in order to form composites with enhanced biocompatibility and biodegradability. In this work, mesoporous bioactive [...] Read more.
Bioactive glasses (BGs) are being increasingly considered for biomedical applications. One convenient approach to utilize BGs in tissue engineering and drug delivery involves their combination with organic biomaterials in order to form composites with enhanced biocompatibility and biodegradability. In this work, mesoporous bioactive glass nanoparticles (MBGN) have been merged with polyhydroxyalkanoate microspheres with the purpose to develop drug carriers. The composite carriers (microspheres) were loaded with curcumin as a model drug. The toxicity and delivery rate of composite microspheres were tested in vitro, reaching a curcumin loading efficiency of over 90% and an improving of biocompatibility of different concentrations of MBGN due to its administrations through the composite. The composite microspheres were tested in terms of controlled release, biocompatibility and bioactivity. Our results demonstrate that the composite microspheres can be potentially used in biomedicine due to their dual effects: bioactivity (due to the presence of MBGN) and curcumin release capability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
The Effect of the Reducing Sugars in the Synthesis of Visible-Light-Active Copper(I) Oxide Photocatalyst
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26041149 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
In the present work, shape tailored Cu2O microparticles were synthesized by changing the nature of the reducing agent and studied subsequently. d-(+)-glucose, d-(+)-fructose, d-(+)xylose, d-(+)-galactose, and d-(+)-arabinose were chosen as reducing agents due to their different [...] Read more.
In the present work, shape tailored Cu2O microparticles were synthesized by changing the nature of the reducing agent and studied subsequently. d-(+)-glucose, d-(+)-fructose, d-(+)xylose, d-(+)-galactose, and d-(+)-arabinose were chosen as reducing agents due to their different reducing abilities. The morpho-structural characteristics were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), while their photocatalytic activity was evaluated by methyl orange degradation under visible light (120 min). The results show that the number of carbon atoms in the sugars affect the morphology and particle size (from 250 nm to 1.2 µm), and differences in their degree of crystallinity and photocatalytic activity were also found. The highest activity was observed when glucose was used as the reducing agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Impact of Composites with Silicate-Based Glasses and Gold Nanoparticles on Skin Wound Regeneration
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030620 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 600
Abstract
The silver content of the skin regeneration ointments can influence its regeneration process but in the meantime, it can take the benefit of the antibacterial properties of silver by avoiding the bacterial infection of an open wound. In the current study, the skin [...] Read more.
The silver content of the skin regeneration ointments can influence its regeneration process but in the meantime, it can take the benefit of the antibacterial properties of silver by avoiding the bacterial infection of an open wound. In the current study, the skin healing and regeneration capacity of bioactive glass with spherical gold nanocages (BGAuIND) in the Vaseline ointments were evaluated in vivo comparing the bioactive glass (BG)-Vaseline and bioactive glass with spherical gold (BGAuSP)-Vaseline ointments. Spherical gold nanocages are stabilized with silver and as a consequence the BGAuIND exhibits great antibacterial activity. Histological examination of the cutaneous tissue performed on day 8 indicates a more advanced regeneration process in rats treated with BGAuSP-Vaseline. The histopathological examination also confirms the results obtained after 11 days post-intervention, when the skin is completely regenerated at rats treated with BGAuSP-Vaseline compared with the others groups where the healing was incomplete. This result is also confirmed by the macroscopic images of the evolution of wounds healing. As expected, the silver content influences the wound healing process but after two weeks, for all of the post-interventional trials from the groups of rats, the skin healing was completely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Promising Electrochemical Platform for Dopamine and Uric Acid Detection Based on a Polyaniline/Iron Oxide-Tin Oxide/Reduced Graphene Oxide Ternary Composite
Molecules 2020, 25(24), 5869; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25245869 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 532
Abstract
A ternary polyaniline/Fe2O3-SnO2/reduced graphene oxide (PFSG) nanocomposite was prepared using a simple two-step hydrothermal treatment. The composite was applied as a glassy carbon electrode modifier (GCE) to enhance dopamine (DA) and uric acid (UA) detection. The ternary [...] Read more.
A ternary polyaniline/Fe2O3-SnO2/reduced graphene oxide (PFSG) nanocomposite was prepared using a simple two-step hydrothermal treatment. The composite was applied as a glassy carbon electrode modifier (GCE) to enhance dopamine (DA) and uric acid (UA) detection. The ternary PFSG composite was compared with its binary precursor Fe2O3-SnO2/reduced graphene oxide (FSG). The influence of the modified GCE electrodes on their performance as a sensing platform was determined. GCE/PFSG showed better sensing parameters than GCE/FSG due to the introduction of polyaniline (PANI), increasing the electrocatalytic properties of the electrode towards the detected analytes. GCE/PFSG enabled the detection of low concentrations of DA (0.076 µM) and UA (1.6 µM). The peak potential separation between DA and UA was very good (180 mV). Moreover, the DA oxidation peak was unaffected even if the concentration of UA was ten times higher. The fabricated sensor showed excellent performance in the simultaneous detection with DA and UA limits of detection: LODDA = 0.15 µM and LODUA = 6.4 µM, and outstanding long-term stability towards DA and UA, holding 100% and 90% of their initial signals respectively, after one month of use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
New Insights into The Photoactivity of Shape-Tailored BiVO4 Semiconductors via Photocatalytic Degradation Reactions and Classical Reduction Processes
Molecules 2020, 25(20), 4842; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25204842 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
In the present study, additive-free, pH-driven, hydrothermal crystallization was used to obtain shape-tailored monoclinic BiVO4 photocatalysts. The as-prepared BiVO4 products were systematically characterized, uncovering their crystallographic, morphologic and optical properties, while their applicability was verified in the visible light-driven photodegradation of [...] Read more.
In the present study, additive-free, pH-driven, hydrothermal crystallization was used to obtain shape-tailored monoclinic BiVO4 photocatalysts. The as-prepared BiVO4 products were systematically characterized, uncovering their crystallographic, morphologic and optical properties, while their applicability was verified in the visible light-driven photodegradation of oxalic acid and rhodamine B. Monoclinic clinobisvanite was obtained in most cases, with their band gap values located between 2.1 and 2.4 eV. The morphology varied from large, aggregated crystals, individual microcrystals to hierarchical microstructures. It was found that the degradation efficiency values obtained in the case of oxalic acid were directly related to the presence of (040) crystallographic plane, while the degradation of rhodamine B was partially independent by the presence of this structural feature. The importance of (040) crystallographic plane was also demonstrated via the reduction of Cu2+ to Cu, by analyzing the Raman spectra of the Cu containing samples, the mean primary crystallite size of Cu and Cu content. Furthermore, the presence of (040) crystallographic plane was directly proportional with the hydrodynamic properties of the powders as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Surface Characterization and Optical Properties of Reinforced Dental Glass-Ceramics Related to Artificial Aging
Molecules 2020, 25(15), 3407; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25153407 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 688
Abstract
The development of various dental glass-ceramic materials and the evolution of novel processing technologies lead to an essential change in the clinical and technical workflow. The long-term success of a dental restoration treatment is defined by its durability, which is directly influenced by [...] Read more.
The development of various dental glass-ceramic materials and the evolution of novel processing technologies lead to an essential change in the clinical and technical workflow. The long-term success of a dental restoration treatment is defined by its durability, which is directly influenced by the oral environment. This study’s purpose was to evaluate the artificial aging behavior of nanostructured, respective microstructured ceramics related to surface topography, roughness, and optical properties. Six monolithic restoration materials were selected: milled lithium disilicate glass-ceramic (LDS-M) MT (medium translucency), hot-pressed lithium disilicate glass-ceramic (LDS-P) MT and HT (high translucency), milled zirconia-reinforced lithium silicate ceramic (ZLS-M) MT and hot-pressed zirconia-reinforced lithium silicate ceramic (ZLS-P) MT and HT, resulting n = 96 surfaces. All the samples were artificially aged by thermal cycling, and all investigations were made before and after thermal cycling. In terms of optical properties, differences recorded between ZLS and LDS ceramics are not significant. Thermal cycling increases the translucency of ZLS and LDS glass-ceramic materials significantly, with the most harmful effect on the pressed and polished samples. Micro- and nano roughness are significantly influenced by in vitro aging and a negative correlation was recorded. Glazed samples are characterized by significant rougher surfaces for all types of materials. On nanolevel, ZLS materials are significantly smoothed by thermal cycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Versatile Polypeptide-Functionalized Plasmonic Paper as Synergistic Biocompatible and Antimicrobial Nanoplatform
Molecules 2020, 25(14), 3182; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25143182 - 13 Jul 2020
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Nowadays, thanks to nanotechnological progress, which itself guides us more and more closely toward not only the efficient design of innovative nanomaterials or nanostructures, but to the improvement of their functionality, we benefit from an important asset in the battle against pathogenic illnesses. [...] Read more.
Nowadays, thanks to nanotechnological progress, which itself guides us more and more closely toward not only the efficient design of innovative nanomaterials or nanostructures, but to the improvement of their functionality, we benefit from an important asset in the battle against pathogenic illnesses. Herein, we report a versatile biocompatible plasmonic nanoplatform based on a Whatman paper incorporating positively-charged gold nanospherical particles via the immersion approach. The morphological characterization of the as-engineered-plasmonic paper was examined by SEM (scanning electron microscopy) and HRTEM (high-resolution transmission electron microscopy) investigations, while its surface chemical modification with a synthetic polypeptide, specifically RRWHRWWRR-NH2 (P2), was proved by monitoring the plasmonic response of loaded gold nanospheres and the emission signal of P2 via fluorescence spectroscopy. The as-functionalized plasmonic paper is non-cytotoxic towards BJ fibroblast human cells at bactericidal concentrations. Finally, the antimicrobial activity of the P2-functionalized plasmonic paper on both planktonic bacteria and biofilms was tested against two reference strains: Gram-positive Bacteria, i.e., Staphylococcus aureus and the Gram-negative Bacteria, i.e., Escherichia coli, determining microbial inhibition of up to 100% for planktonic bacteria. In line with the above presented nanoplatform’s proper design, followed by their functionalization with active antimicrobial peptides, new roads can be open for determining antibiotic-free treatments against different relevant pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Inhibition of Photoconversion Activity in Self-Assembled ZnO-Graphene Quantum Dots Aggregated by 4-Aminophenol Used as a Linker
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2802; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122802 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
The aggregation of zinc oxide nanoparticles leads to an increased absorbance in the ultraviolet-visible region by an induced light scattering effect. Herein, we demonstrate the inhibition of photoconversion activity in ZnO-graphene core-shell quantum dots (QD) (ZGQDs) agglomerated by 4-aminophenol (4-AP) used as a [...] Read more.
The aggregation of zinc oxide nanoparticles leads to an increased absorbance in the ultraviolet-visible region by an induced light scattering effect. Herein, we demonstrate the inhibition of photoconversion activity in ZnO-graphene core-shell quantum dots (QD) (ZGQDs) agglomerated by 4-aminophenol (4-AP) used as a linker. The ZnO-graphene quantum dots (QD) aggregates (ZGAs) were synthesized using a facile solvothermal process. The ZGAs revealed an increased absorbance in the wavelengths between 350 and 750 nm as compared with the ZGQDs. Against expectation, the calculated average photoluminescence lifetime of ZGAs was 7.37 ns, which was 4.65 ns longer than that of ZGQDs and was mainly due to the high contribution of a slow (τ2, τ3) component by trapped carriers in the functional groups of graphene shells and 4-AP. The photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells and photodetectors (PDs) were fabricated to investigate the influence of ZGAs on the photoconversion activity. The photocurrent density of PEC cells with ZGAs was obtained as 0.04 mA/cm2 at 0.6 V, which was approximately 3.25 times lower than that of the ZGQDs. The rate constant value of the photodegradation value of rhodamine B was also decreased by around 1.4 times. Furthermore, the photoresponsivity of the PDs with ZGAs (1.54 μA·mW−1) was about 2.5 times as low as that of the PDs with ZGQDs (3.85 μA·mW−1). Consequently, it suggests that the device performances could be degraded by the inhibition phenomenon of the photoconversion activity in the ZGAs due to an increase of trap sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Optical Properties of Composites Based on Graphene Oxide and Polystyrene
Molecules 2020, 25(10), 2419; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102419 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
In this work, new optical properties of composites based on polystyrene (PS) microspheres and graphene oxide (GO) are reported. The radical polymerization of styrene in the presence of benzoyl peroxide, pentane and GO induces the appearance of new ester groups in the PS [...] Read more.
In this work, new optical properties of composites based on polystyrene (PS) microspheres and graphene oxide (GO) are reported. The radical polymerization of styrene in the presence of benzoyl peroxide, pentane and GO induces the appearance of new ester groups in the PS macromolecular chains remarked through an increase in the absorbance of the infrared (IR) band at 1743 cm−1. The decrease in the GO concentration in the PS/GO composites mass from 5 wt.% to 0.5 wt.% induces a diminution in the intensities of the D and G Raman bands of GO simultaneous with a down-shift of the D band from 1351 to 1322 cm−1. These variations correlated with the covalent functionalization of the GO layers with PS. For the first time, the photoluminescent (PL) properties of PS/GO composites are reported. The PS microspheres are characterized by a PL band at 397 nm. Through increasing the GO sheets’ concentration in the PS/GO composite mass from 0.5 wt.% to 5 wt.%, a PS PL quenching process is reported. In addition, in the presence of ultraviolet A (UVA) light, a photo-degradation process of the PS/GO composite having the GO concentration equal to 5 wt.% is demonstrated by the PL studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Gold Nano-Island Platforms for Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensing: A Short Review
Molecules 2020, 25(20), 4661; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25204661 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
Nano-islands are entities (droplets or other shapes) that are formed by spontaneous dewetting (agglomeration, in the early literature) of thin and very thin metallic (especially gold) films on a substrate, done by post-deposition heating or by using other sources of energy. In addition [...] Read more.
Nano-islands are entities (droplets or other shapes) that are formed by spontaneous dewetting (agglomeration, in the early literature) of thin and very thin metallic (especially gold) films on a substrate, done by post-deposition heating or by using other sources of energy. In addition to thermally generated nano-islands, more recently, nanoparticle films have also been dewetted, in order to form nano-islands. The localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) band of gold nano-islands was found to be sensitive to changes in the surrounding environment, making it a suitable platform for sensing and biosensing applications. In this review, we revisit the development of the concept of nano-island(s), the thermodynamics of dewetting of thin metal films, and the effect of the substrate on the morphology and optical properties of nano-islands. A special emphasis is made on nanoparticle films and their applications to biosensing, with ample examples from the authors’ work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Designing Nanoparticles and Nanoalloys for Gas-Phase Catalysis with Controlled Surface Reactivity Using Colloidal Synthesis and Atomic Layer Deposition
Molecules 2020, 25(16), 3735; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163735 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Supported nanoparticles are commonly applied in heterogeneous catalysis. The catalytic performance of these solid catalysts is, for a given support, dependent on the nanoparticle size, shape, and composition, thus necessitating synthesis techniques that allow for preparing these materials with fine control over those [...] Read more.
Supported nanoparticles are commonly applied in heterogeneous catalysis. The catalytic performance of these solid catalysts is, for a given support, dependent on the nanoparticle size, shape, and composition, thus necessitating synthesis techniques that allow for preparing these materials with fine control over those properties. Such control can be exploited to deconvolute their effects on the catalyst’s performance, which is the basis for knowledge-driven catalyst design. In this regard, bottom-up synthesis procedures based on colloidal chemistry or atomic layer deposition (ALD) have proven successful in achieving the desired level of control for a variety of fundamental studies. This review aims to give an account of recent progress made in the two aforementioned synthesis techniques for the application of controlled catalytic materials in gas-phase catalysis. For each technique, the focus goes to mono- and bimetallic materials, as well as to recent efforts in enhancing their performance by embedding colloidal templates in porous oxide phases or by the deposition of oxide overlayers via ALD. As a recent extension to the latter, the concept of area-selective ALD for advanced atomic-scale catalyst design is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Nanostructured Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop