Unconventional and Green Approaches for the Synthesis of Crystalline Inorganic Materials

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Inorganic Materials and Metal-Organic Frameworks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 4694

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Guest Editor
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) Istituto di Chimica della Materia Condensata e Tecnologie per l’Energia (ICMATE), Padova, Italy
Interests: inorganic nanomaterials; functional nanomaterials; heterogeneous catalysis; nanomedicine

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Guest Editor
1. CNR-IPCF, National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Physical and Chemical Processes-Bari Division, Via Orabona 4, I-70126 Bari, Italy
2. Department of Chemistry, “A. Moro” University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, I-70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: colloidal nanoparticles and nanocrystals; functional nanomaterials; photocatalysis; nanomedicine
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Recently, the extraordinary advances in the field of materials science have increasingly resulted in a large variety of new, original experimental approaches for the synthesis of inorganic crystals and nanomaterials. The potential of unconventional and sustainable preparative routes has been catching on, envisaging a great development of methods that are suited for a range of materials, with diverse, also size dependent properties, and that can be comprehensively characterized from fundamental point of view and investigated for their technological applications.

This Special Issue aims to collect examples of new and unconventional methods for the preparation of advanced inorganic materials, with special attention to sustainability, low environmental impact.

This Special Issue covers, without being limited to, the following topics: unconventional and green synthesis approaches for (photo)catalysis and energy conversion and storage, for biomedicine and health, inorganic materials synthesis optimization and scale up, innovative experimental characterization and computational approaches.

Dr. Marta M. Natile
Prof. Silvia Gross
Prof. M. Lucia Curri
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Colloids
  • Wet chemistry
  • Unconventional synthesis, Green synthesis, Sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 6319 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Role of Miniemulsion Nanodroplet Confinement on the Crystallization of MoO3: Morphology Control and Insight on Crystal Formation by In Situ Time-Resolved SAXS/WAXS
by Francesca Tajoli, Maria Vittoria Massagrande, Rafael Muñoz-Espí and Silvia Gross
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(6), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13061046 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1177
Abstract
Enclosed nanoscale volumes, i.e., confined spaces, represent a fascinating playground for the controlled synthesis of inorganic materials, albeit their role in determining the synthetic outcome is currently not fully understood. Herein, we address the synthesis of MoO3 nano- and microrods with hexagonal [...] Read more.
Enclosed nanoscale volumes, i.e., confined spaces, represent a fascinating playground for the controlled synthesis of inorganic materials, albeit their role in determining the synthetic outcome is currently not fully understood. Herein, we address the synthesis of MoO3 nano- and microrods with hexagonal section in inverse miniemulsion droplets and batch conditions, evaluating the effects of spatial confinement offered by miniemulsion droplets on their crystallization. Several synthetic parameters were systematically screened and their effect on the crystal structure of h-MoO3, as well as on its size, size distribution and morphology, were investigated. Moreover, a direct insight on the crystallization pathway of MoO3 in both synthetic conditions and as a function of synthetic parameters was provided by an in situ time-resolved SAXS/WAXS study, that confirmed the role of miniemulsion confined space in altering the stepwise process of the formation of h-MoO3. Full article
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12 pages, 3742 KiB  
Article
Halloysite Nanotubes as Bimodal Lewis/Brønsted Acid Heterogeneous Catalysts for the Synthesis of Heterocyclic Compounds
by Jiaying Yu, Javier Mateos and Mauro Carraro
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13030394 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Halloysite nanotubes can be used for the preparation of solid catalysts. Owing to their natural availability at low-cost as well as to their large and easy-to-functionalize surface, they can be conveniently activated with mineral acids or derivatized with acidic groups. Nevertheless, the use [...] Read more.
Halloysite nanotubes can be used for the preparation of solid catalysts. Owing to their natural availability at low-cost as well as to their large and easy-to-functionalize surface, they can be conveniently activated with mineral acids or derivatized with acidic groups. Nevertheless, the use of HNTs as catalysts in complex transformations is still limited. Herein, we report two strategies to utilize HNT-based materials as solid acidic catalysts for the Biginelli reaction. To this aim, two methods for increasing the number of acidic sites on the HNTs were explored: (i) the treatment with piranha solution (Pir-HNTs) and (ii) the functionalization with phenylboronic acid (in particular with benzene-1,4-diboronic acid: the sample is denoted as HNT-BOA). Interestingly, both strategies enhance the performance of the multicomponent reaction. Pir-HNTs and HNT-BOA show an increased reactivity (72% and 89% yield, respectively) in comparison with pristine HNTs (52%). Additionally, Pir-HNTs can be reused up to five times without significant performance loss. Moreover, the method also displays good reaction scope, as demonstrated by the preparation of 12 different 3,4-dihydropyrimidinones in up to 71% yield. Therefore, the described strategies are promising for enhancing the acidity of the HNTs as catalysts for the organic reaction. Full article
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16 pages, 6096 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Investigation of Aerosol-Assisted Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Deposited Hybrid TiO2 Containing Nanocomposite Coatings
by Chiara Lo Porto, Massimo Dell’Edera, Ilaria De Pasquale, Antonella Milella, Francesco Fracassi, Maria Lucia Curri, Roberto Comparelli and Fabio Palumbo
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(21), 3758; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12213758 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
We report on the aerosol-assisted atmospheric-pressure plasma deposition onto a stainless-steel woven mesh of a thin nanocomposite coating based on TiO2 nanoparticles hosted in a hybrid organic–inorganic matrix, starting from nanoparticles dispersed in a mixture of hexamethyldisiloxane and isopropyl alcohol. The stainless-steel [...] Read more.
We report on the aerosol-assisted atmospheric-pressure plasma deposition onto a stainless-steel woven mesh of a thin nanocomposite coating based on TiO2 nanoparticles hosted in a hybrid organic–inorganic matrix, starting from nanoparticles dispersed in a mixture of hexamethyldisiloxane and isopropyl alcohol. The stainless-steel mesh was selected as an effective support for the possible future technological application of the coating for photocatalytically assisted water depollution. The prepared coatings were thoroughly investigated from the chemical and morphological points of view and were demonstrated to be photocatalytically active in the degradation of an organic molecule, used as a pollutant model, in water upon UV light irradiation. In order to optimize the photocatalytic performance, different approaches were investigated for the coating’s realization, namely (i) the control of the deposition time and (ii) the application of a postdeposition O2 plasma treatment on the pristine coatings. Both strategies were found to be able to increase the photocatalytic activity, and, remarkably, their combination resulted in a further enhancement of the photoactivity. Indeed, the proposed combined approach allowed a three-fold increase in the kinetic constant of the degradation reaction of the model dye methylene blue with respect to the pristine coating. Interestingly, the chemical and morphological characterizations of all the prepared coatings were able to account for the enhancement of the photocatalytic performance. Indeed, the presence of the TiO2 nanoparticles on the outmost surface of the film confirmed the accessibility of the photocatalytic sites in the nanocomposite and reasonably explained the enhanced photocatalytic performance. In addition, the sustained photoactivity (>5 cycles of use) of the nanocomposites was demonstrated. Full article
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15 pages, 3098 KiB  
Article
Large-Scale MOCVD Deposition of Nanostructured TiO2 on Stainless Steel Woven: A Systematic Investigation of Photoactivity as a Function of Film Thickness
by Alessandro Galenda, Marta Maria Natile and Naida El Habra
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(6), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12060992 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
Heterogeneous photocatalysis is considered as one of the most appealing options for the treatment of organic pollutants in water. However, its definitive translation into industrial practice is still very limited because of both the complexity of large-scale production of catalysts and the problems [...] Read more.
Heterogeneous photocatalysis is considered as one of the most appealing options for the treatment of organic pollutants in water. However, its definitive translation into industrial practice is still very limited because of both the complexity of large-scale production of catalysts and the problems involved in handling the powder-based photocatalysts in the industrial plants. Here, we demonstrate that the MOCVD approach can be successfully used to prepare large-scale supported catalysts with a good photocatalytic activity towards dye degradation. The photocatalyst consisted of nanostructured TiO2 thin film deposited on a stainless steel mesh substrate. The film thickness, the morphological features, and the crystallographic properties of the different portions of the sample were correlated to the position in the reactor chamber and the reaction conditions. The photocatalytic activity was evaluated according to the international standard test ISO 10678:2010 based on methylene blue degradation. The photocatalytic activity is essentially constant (PMB over 40 µmol·m−2·h−1) throughout the film, except for the portion of sample placed at the very end of the reactor chamber, where the TiO2 film is too thin to react properly. It was assessed that a minimum film thickness of 250–300 nm is necessary to reach the maximum photocatalytic performance. Full article
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