Special Issue "10th Anniversary of Nanomaterials—Recent Advances in Nanocomposite Thin Films and 2D Materials"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jordi Sort
Website
Guest Editor
Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA) and Departament de Física, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Interests: metallic alloys; composite materials; nanomaterials; biomaterials; thin films; nanoporous materials; surface treatments; mechanical performance; magnetism
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Gemma Rius

Guest Editor
Institut de Microelectrònica de Barcelona, IMB-CNM-CSIC, Campus UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Interests: graphene; silicon; nanostructured carbon; superconductors, transistors; NEMS; electron/ion beam patterning; atomic force microscopy; particle irradiation; nanofabrication; micro/nanoelectronics; quantum computing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Nanomaterials with a Special Issue in the Section “Nanocomposite Thin Films and 2D Materials” (ISSN 2079-4991; CODEN: NANOKO) in 2020.

On behalf of the Editors in Chief, Prof. Dr. Shirley Chiang, and members of the Editorial Office, and ourselves, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our authors and reviewers for their valuable contributions and for ensuring that Nanomaterials is a successful and respected journal in its field. To highlight this anniversary, we will be serving as Editors of a Special Issue that will cover various topics related to Nanocomposite Thin Films and 2D Materials, as listed below (keywords):

  • Nanocomposite Thin Films
  • 2D Allotropes
  • 2D Compounds
  • 2D Heterostructures
  • Functional Thin Films
  • Thin film and 2D materials properties
  • Modelling of Thin Films and 2D Materials
  • Synthesis and Production of Thin Films and 2D Materials
  • Applications of Thin Films and 2D Materials

We intend to keep the scope of this Special Issue broad and adequately reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of the original research covered by Nanomaterials

(https://www.mdpi.com/journal/nanomaterials).

On behalf of the Special Issue co-Editor and myself, we warmly invite the Nanomaterials community to submit their original work or an up-to-date review to this Special Issue, which will provide the readership with a comprehensive overview of many the topics covered by our discipline.

Guest Editors

Prof. Dr. Jordi Sort
Dr. Gemma Rius
Guest Editors

text

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. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2200 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.

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Ni-Pt Alloy Thin Films Prepared by Supercritical Fluid Chemical Deposition Technique
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010151 - 09 Jan 2021
Abstract
Ni-Pt alloy thin films have been successfully synthesized and characterized; the films were prepared by the supercritical fluid chemical deposition (SFCD) technique from Ni(hfac)2·3H2O and Pt(hfac)2 precursors by hydrogen reduction. The results indicated that the deposition rate [...] Read more.
Ni-Pt alloy thin films have been successfully synthesized and characterized; the films were prepared by the supercritical fluid chemical deposition (SFCD) technique from Ni(hfac)2·3H2O and Pt(hfac)2 precursors by hydrogen reduction. The results indicated that the deposition rate of the Ni-Pt alloy thin films decreased with increasing Ni content and gradually increased as the precursor concentration was increased. The film peaks determined by X-ray diffraction shifted to lower diffraction angles with decreasing Ni content. The deposited films were single-phase polycrystalline Ni-Pt solid solution and it exhibited smooth, continuous, and uniform distribution on the substrate for all elemental compositions as determined by scanning electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy analyses. In the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis, the intensity of the Pt 4f peaks of the films decreased as the Ni content increased, and vice versa for the Ni 2p peak intensities. Furthermore, based on the depth profiles determined by XPS, there was no evidence of atomic diffusion between Pt and Ni, which indicated alloy formation in the film. Therefore, Ni-Pt alloy films deposited by the SFCD technique can be used as a suitable model for catalytic reactions due to their high activity and good stability for various reactions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One-Pot Synthesis of W2C/WS2 Hybrid Nanostructures for Improved Hydrogen Evolution Reactions and Supercapacitors
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1597; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081597 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Tungsten sulfide (WS2) and tungsten carbide (W2C) are materialized as the auspicious candidates for various electrochemical applications, owing to their plentiful active edge sites and better conductivity. In this work, the integration of W2C and WS2 [...] Read more.
Tungsten sulfide (WS2) and tungsten carbide (W2C) are materialized as the auspicious candidates for various electrochemical applications, owing to their plentiful active edge sites and better conductivity. In this work, the integration of W2C and WS2 was performed by using a simple chemical reaction to form W2C/WS2 hybrid as a proficient electrode for hydrogen evolution and supercapacitors. For the first time, a W2C/WS2 hybrid was engaged as a supercapacitor electrode and explored an incredible specific capacitance of ~1018 F g−1 at 1 A g−1 with the outstanding robustness. Furthermore, the constructed symmetric supercapacitor using W2C/WS2 possessed an energy density of 45.5 Wh kg−1 at 0.5 kW kg−1 power density. For hydrogen evolution, the W2C/WS2 hybrid produced the low overpotentials of 133 and 105 mV at 10 mA cm−2 with the small Tafel slopes of 70 and 84 mV dec−1 in acidic and alkaline media, respectively, proving their outstanding interfaced electrocatalytic characteristics. The engineered W2C/WS2-based electrode offered the high-performance for electrochemical energy applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Li-C Nanocomposite for Easy and Safe Handling
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1483; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081483 - 29 Jul 2020
Abstract
Metallic lithium (Li) anode batteries have attracted considerable attention due to their high energy density value. However, metallic Li is highly reactive and flammable, which makes Li anode batteries difficult to develop. In this work, for the first time, we report the synthesis [...] Read more.
Metallic lithium (Li) anode batteries have attracted considerable attention due to their high energy density value. However, metallic Li is highly reactive and flammable, which makes Li anode batteries difficult to develop. In this work, for the first time, we report the synthesis of metallic Li-embedded carbon nanocomposites for easy and safe handling by a scalable ion beam-based method. We found that vertically standing conical Li-C nanocomposite (Li-C NC), sometimes with a nanofiber on top, can be grown on a graphite foil commonly used for the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. Metallic Li embedded inside the carbon matrix was found to be highly stable under ambient conditions, making transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characterization possible without any sophisticated inert gas-based sample fabrication apparatus. The developed ion beam-based fabrication technique was also extendable to the synthesis of stable Li-C NC films under ambient conditions. In fact, no significant loss of crystallinity or change in morphology of the Li-C film was observed when subjected to heating at 300 °C for 10 min. Thus, these ion-induced Li-C nanocomposites are concluded to be interesting as electrode materials for future Li-air batteries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Intelligent Identification of MoS2 Nanostructures with Hyperspectral Imaging by 3D-CNN
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061161 - 13 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Increasing attention has been paid to two-dimensional (2D) materials because of their superior performance and wafer-level synthesis methods. However, the large-area characterization, precision, intelligent automation, and high-efficiency detection of nanostructures for 2D materials have not yet reached an industrial level. Therefore, we use [...] Read more.
Increasing attention has been paid to two-dimensional (2D) materials because of their superior performance and wafer-level synthesis methods. However, the large-area characterization, precision, intelligent automation, and high-efficiency detection of nanostructures for 2D materials have not yet reached an industrial level. Therefore, we use big data analysis and deep learning methods to develop a set of visible-light hyperspectral imaging technologies successfully for the automatic identification of few-layers MoS2. For the classification algorithm, we propose deep neural network, one-dimensional (1D) convolutional neural network, and three-dimensional (3D) convolutional neural network (3D-CNN) models to explore the correlation between the accuracy of model recognition and the optical characteristics of few-layers MoS2. The experimental results show that the 3D-CNN has better generalization capability than other classification models, and this model is applicable to the feature input of the spatial and spectral domains. Such a difference consists in previous versions of the present study without specific substrate, and images of different dynamic ranges on a section of the sample may be administered via the automatic shutter aperture. Therefore, adjusting the imaging quality under the same color contrast conditions is unnecessary, and the process of the conventional image is not used to achieve the maximum field of view recognition range of ~1.92 mm2. The image resolution can reach ~100 nm and the detection time is 3 min per one image. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stearic Acid Coated MgO Nanoplate Arrays as Effective Hydrophobic Films for Improving Corrosion Resistance of Mg-Based Metallic Glasses
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050947 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
Mg-based metallic glasses (MGs) are widely studied due to their high elasticity and high strength originating from their amorphous nature. However, their further application in many potential fields is limited by poor corrosion resistance. In order to improve this property, an MgO nanoplate [...] Read more.
Mg-based metallic glasses (MGs) are widely studied due to their high elasticity and high strength originating from their amorphous nature. However, their further application in many potential fields is limited by poor corrosion resistance. In order to improve this property, an MgO nanoplate array layer is first constructed on the surface of Mg-based MGs by cyclic voltammetry (CV) treatments. In this situation, the corrosion resistance and hydrophilicity of the material are enhanced. Then, stearic acid (SA) can effectively adhere onto the surface of the MgO layer to form a superficial hydrophobic film with a water contact angle (WCA) of 131°. As a result, the SA coated MgO hydrophobic film improves the corrosion resistance of Mg-based MGs in 3.5 wt.% NaCl solution obviously. In addition, the effects of four technological parameters (solution concentration, sweep rate, cycle number, and reaction temperature) in the CV process on the morphology and size of nano-products are investigated in detail. The work proposes a new method for the creation of nanostructures on the surface of materials and provides a new idea to increase the corrosion resistance of MGs. The related method is expected to be applied in wider fields in future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Polyvinyl Alcohol-Few Layer Graphene Composite Films Prepared from Aqueous Colloids. Investigations of Mechanical, Conductive and Gas Barrier Properties
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050858 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Quasi all water soluble composites use graphene oxide (GO) or reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as graphene based additives despite the long and harsh conditions required for their preparation. Herein, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) films containing few layer graphene (FLG) are prepared by the co-mixing [...] Read more.
Quasi all water soluble composites use graphene oxide (GO) or reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as graphene based additives despite the long and harsh conditions required for their preparation. Herein, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) films containing few layer graphene (FLG) are prepared by the co-mixing of aqueous colloids and casting, where the FLG colloid is first obtained via an efficient, rapid, simple, and bio-compatible exfoliation method providing access to relatively large FLG flakes. The enhanced mechanical, electrical conductivity, and O2 barrier properties of the films are investigated and discussed together with the structure of the films. In four different series of the composites, the best Young’s modulus is measured for the films containing around 1% of FLG. The most significant enhancement is obtained for the series with the largest FLG sheets contrary to the elongation at break which is well improved for the series with the lowest FLG sheets. Relatively high one-side electrical conductivity and low percolation threshold are achieved when compared to GO/rGO composites (almost 10−3 S/cm for 3% of FLG and transport at 0.5% FLG), while the conductivity is affected by the formation of a macroscopic branched FLG network. The composites demonstrate a reduction of O2 transmission rate up to 60%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Supported Ultra-Thin Alumina Membranes with Graphene as Efficient Interference Enhanced Raman Scattering Platforms for Sensing
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050830 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The detection of Raman signals from diluted molecules or biomaterials in complex media is still a challenge. Besides the widely studied Raman enhancement by nanoparticle plasmons, interference mechanisms provide an interesting option. A novel approach for amplification platforms based on supported thin alumina [...] Read more.
The detection of Raman signals from diluted molecules or biomaterials in complex media is still a challenge. Besides the widely studied Raman enhancement by nanoparticle plasmons, interference mechanisms provide an interesting option. A novel approach for amplification platforms based on supported thin alumina membranes was designed and fabricated to optimize the interference processes. The dielectric layer is the extremely thin alumina membrane itself and, its metallic aluminum support, the reflecting medium. A CVD (chemical vapor deposition) single-layer graphene is transferred on the membrane to serve as substrate to deposit the analyte. Experimental results and simulations of the interference processes were employed to determine the relevant parameters of the structure to optimize the Raman enhancement factor (E.F.). Highly homogeneous E.F. over the platform surface are obtained, typically 370 ± (5%), for membranes with ~100 nm pore depth, ~18 nm pore diameter and the complete elimination of the Al2O3 bottom barrier layer. The combined surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and interference amplification is also demonstrated by depositing ultra-small silver nanoparticles. This new approach to amplify the Raman signal of analytes is easily obtained, low-cost and robust with useful enhancement factors (~400) and allows only interference or combined enhancement mechanisms, depending on the analyte requirements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Noble Metal-Free TiO2-Coated Carbon Nitride Layers for Enhanced Visible Light-Driven Photocatalysis
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040805 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
Composites of g-C3N4/TiO2 were one-step prepared using electron impact with dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma as the electron source. Due to the low operation temperature, TiO2 by the plasma method shows higher specific surface area and smaller [...] Read more.
Composites of g-C3N4/TiO2 were one-step prepared using electron impact with dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma as the electron source. Due to the low operation temperature, TiO2 by the plasma method shows higher specific surface area and smaller particle size than that prepared via conventional calcination. Most interestingly, electron impact produces more oxygen vacancy on TiO2, which facilitates the recombination and formation of heterostructure of g-C3N4/TiO2. The composites have higher light absorption capacity and lower charge recombination efficiency. g-C3N4/TiO2 by plasma can produce hydrogen at a rate of 219.9 μmol·g−1·h−1 and completely degrade Rhodamine B (20mg·L−1) in two hours. Its hydrogen production rates were 3 and 1.5 times higher than that by calcination and pure g-C3N4, respectively. Electron impact, ozone and oxygen radical also play key roles in plasma preparation. Plasma has unique advantages in metal oxides defect engineering and the preparation of heterostructured composites with prospective applications as photocatalysts for pollutant degradation and water splitting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Piezoelectric BiFeO3 Thin Films: Optimization of MOCVD Process on Si
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040630 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper presents a simple and optimized metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) protocol for the deposition of perovskite BiFeO3 films on silicon-based substrates, in order to move toward the next generation of lead-free hybrid energy harvesters. A bi-metal mixture that is [...] Read more.
This paper presents a simple and optimized metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) protocol for the deposition of perovskite BiFeO3 films on silicon-based substrates, in order to move toward the next generation of lead-free hybrid energy harvesters. A bi-metal mixture that is composed of Bi(phenyl)3, and Fe(tmhd)3 has been used as a precursor source. BiFeO3 films have been grown by MOCVD on IrO2/Si substrates, in which the conductive IrO2 functions as a bottom electrode and a buffer layer. BiFeO3 films have been analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) for structural characterization and by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis for the morphological and chemical characterizations, respectively. These studies have shown that the deposited films are polycrystalline, pure BiFeO3 phase highly homogenous in morphology and composition all over the entire substrate surface. Piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) and Piezoelectric Force Spectroscopy (PFS) checked the piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties of the film. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Recent Advances in the Mechanical Properties of Self-Standing Two-Dimensional MXene-Based Nanostructures: Deep Insights into the Supercapacitor
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(10), 1916; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10101916 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
MXenes have emerged as promising materials for various mechanical applications due to their outstanding physicochemical merits, multilayered structures, excellent strength, flexibility, and electrical conductivity. Despite the substantial progress achieved in the rational design of MXenes nanostructures, the tutorial reviews on the mechanical properties [...] Read more.
MXenes have emerged as promising materials for various mechanical applications due to their outstanding physicochemical merits, multilayered structures, excellent strength, flexibility, and electrical conductivity. Despite the substantial progress achieved in the rational design of MXenes nanostructures, the tutorial reviews on the mechanical properties of self-standing MXenes were not yet reported to our knowledge. Thus, it is essential to provide timely updates of the mechanical properties of MXenes, due to the explosion of publications in this filed. In pursuit of this aim, this review is dedicated to highlighting the recent advances in the rational design of self-standing MXene with unique mechanical properties for various applications. This includes elastic properties, ideal strengths, bending rigidity, adhesion, and sliding resistance theoretically as well as experimentally supported with various representative paradigms. Meanwhile, the mechanical properties of self-standing MXenes were compared with hybrid MXenes and various 2D materials. Then, the utilization of MXenes as supercapacitors for energy storage is also discussed. This review can provide a roadmap for the scientists to tailor the mechanical properties of MXene-based materials for the new generations of energy and sensor devices. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Advances of RRAM Devices: Resistive Switching Mechanisms, Materials and Bionic Synaptic Application
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1437; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081437 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices are receiving increasing extensive attention due to their enhanced properties such as fast operation speed, simple device structure, low power consumption, good scalability potential and so on, and are currently considered to be one of the next-generation [...] Read more.
Resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices are receiving increasing extensive attention due to their enhanced properties such as fast operation speed, simple device structure, low power consumption, good scalability potential and so on, and are currently considered to be one of the next-generation alternatives to traditional memory. In this review, an overview of RRAM devices is demonstrated in terms of thin film materials investigation on electrode and function layer, switching mechanisms and artificial intelligence applications. Compared with the well-developed application of inorganic thin film materials (oxides, solid electrolyte and two-dimensional (2D) materials) in RRAM devices, organic thin film materials (biological and polymer materials) application is considered to be the candidate with significant potential. The performance of RRAM devices is closely related to the investigation of switching mechanisms in this review, including thermal-chemical mechanism (TCM), valance change mechanism (VCM) and electrochemical metallization (ECM). Finally, the bionic synaptic application of RRAM devices is under intensive consideration, its main characteristics such as potentiation/depression response, short-/long-term plasticity (STP/LTP), transition from short-term memory to long-term memory (STM to LTM) and spike-time-dependent plasticity (STDP) reveal the great potential of RRAM devices in the field of neuromorphic application. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advancement of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Shielding of Two Dimensional (2D) MXene and Graphene Aerogel Composites
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040702 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
The two Dimensional (2D) materials such as MXene and graphene, are most promising materials, as they have attractive properties and attract numerous application areas like sensors, supper capacitors, displays, wearable devices, batteries, and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding. The proliferation of wireless communication and [...] Read more.
The two Dimensional (2D) materials such as MXene and graphene, are most promising materials, as they have attractive properties and attract numerous application areas like sensors, supper capacitors, displays, wearable devices, batteries, and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding. The proliferation of wireless communication and smart electronic systems urge the world to develop light weight, flexible, cost effective EMI shielding materials. The MXene and graphene mixed with polymers, nanoparticles, carbon nanomaterial, nanowires, and ions are used to create materials with different structural features under different fabrication techniques. The aerogel based hybrid composites of MXene and graphene are critically reviewed and correlate with structure, role of size, thickness, effect of processing technique, and interfacial interaction in shielding efficiency. Further, freeze drying, pyrolysis and hydrothermal treatment is a powerful tool to create excellent EMI shielding aerogels. We present here a review of MXene and graphene with various polymers and nanomaterials and their EMI shielding performances. This will help to develop a more suitable composite for modern electronic systems. Full article
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