Special Issue "Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Julio Ramire-Castellanos
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Sciences, University Complutense Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Motivated by the rise of functional materials, research in different types of materials such as nanoparticles (0D), threads (1D) or two-dimensional materials (2D) has been growing in recent years. The reduced dimensionality results in the appearance of new physical and chemical properties, such as superparamagnetism in nanoparticles or new luminescent properties, which are of great interest from the point of view of applications. These nanomaterials are increasingly essential constituents in electronic devices, lasers, Li-ion batteries or sensors.

Within the field of nanomaterials, the nanostructures of semiconductor metal oxides are especially relevant. Their applications are based on two structural characteristics: the presence of cations with different states of valence and a variable oxygen deficiency due to the existence of anionic vacancies. The control of these aspects allows modification of the chemical and physical properties of the material, facilitating its integration into devices. Among these oxides, α-Fe2O3 (hematite), Cr2O3, b-Ga2O3, MoO3 or the homologous series ZnkIn2Ok+3 are good examples.

 Moreover, it has been shown that the combination of such oxides with allotropic forms of carbon and their derivatives (graphene, graphite, graphene oxide, etc.), gives rise to a family of composite materials with very promising applications. Specifically, they favor photocatalytic activity, increase the efficiency of solar cells, and increase the cyclability and capacity of Li-ion batteries, with respect to electrode performances that only include isolated nanoparticles. For the proper advance in this area, it is necessary to use new techniques that allow the morphology, particle size, and properties of these nanostructures to be analyzed on a reduced scale. In addition, it is essential to develop new methods of synthesis, which permits you to obtain functional nanomaterials in a controlled and reproducible manner.

Therefore, I invite all researchers in this field to participate with their latest results as well as review articles in the upcoming Special Issue, in order to contribute to the development of knowledge and development of nanomaterials of the future.

Dr. Julio Ramire-Castellanos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • functional nanooxides
  • transparent semiconductors
  • chemical synthesis
  • structural characterization
  • transmission electron microscopy
  • diffraction of electrons
  • x-rays

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Nanodomain Structure in In-Zn-O Transparent Conductors
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010198 - 14 Jan 2021
Abstract
The optimization of novel transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) implies a better understanding of the role that the dopant plays on the optoelectronic properties of these materials. In this work, we perform a systematic study of the homologous series ZnkIn2O [...] Read more.
The optimization of novel transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) implies a better understanding of the role that the dopant plays on the optoelectronic properties of these materials. In this work, we perform a systematic study of the homologous series ZnkIn2Ok+3 (IZO) by characterizing the specific location of indium in the structure that leads to a nanodomain framework to release structural strain. Through a systematic study of different terms of the series, we have been able to observe the influence of the k value in the nano-structural features of this homologous series. The stabilization and visualization of the structural modulation as a function of k is discussed, even in the lowest term of the series (k = 3). The strain fields and atomic displacements in the wurtzite structure as a consequence of the introduction of In3+ are evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Studies of Electro-Deposited Yttrium Arsenic Selenide Nanofilms for Opto-Electronic Applications
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081557 - 08 Aug 2020
Abstract
Nanocomposite films grown by incorporating varying concentrations of Yttrium, a d-block rare-earth ion, into the binary chalcogenide Arsenic selenide host matrix is here presented. Films were grown via the wet-chemical electro-deposition technique and characterized for structural, optical, surface morphology, and photoluminescence (PL) properties. [...] Read more.
Nanocomposite films grown by incorporating varying concentrations of Yttrium, a d-block rare-earth ion, into the binary chalcogenide Arsenic selenide host matrix is here presented. Films were grown via the wet-chemical electro-deposition technique and characterized for structural, optical, surface morphology, and photoluminescence (PL) properties. The X-ray Diffraction (XRD) result of the host matrix (pristine film) showed films of monoclinic structure with an average grain size of 36.2 nm. The composite films, on the other hand, had both cubic YAs and tetragonal YSe structures with average size within 36.5–46.8 nm. The fairly homogeneous nano-sized films are shown by the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) micrographs while the two phases of the composite films present in the XRD patterns were confirmed by the Raman shifts due to the cleavage of the As-Se host matrix and formation of new structural units. The refractive index peaked at 2.63 within 350–600 nm. The bandgap energy lies in the range of 3.84–3.95 eV with a slight decrease with increasing Y addition; while the PL spectra depict emission bands across the Vis-NIR spectral regions. Theoretically, the density functional theory (DFT) simulations provided insight into the changes induced in the structure, bonding, and electronic properties. Besides reducing the bandgap of the As2Se3, the yttrium addition has induced a lone pair p-states of Se contributing nearby to Fermi energy level. The optical constants, and structural and electronic features of the films obtained present suitable features of film for IR applications as well as in optoelectronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Synthesis Temperature on the Size of ZnO Nanoparticles Derived from Pineapple Peel Extract and Antibacterial Activity of ZnO–Starch Nanocomposite Films
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061061 - 30 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
This research investigated the effect of synthesis temperature on the size and shape of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) synthesized using pineapple peel waste and antibacterial activity of ZnO NPs in starch films. Zinc oxide NPs synthesized at different temperatures were characterized by [...] Read more.
This research investigated the effect of synthesis temperature on the size and shape of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) synthesized using pineapple peel waste and antibacterial activity of ZnO NPs in starch films. Zinc oxide NPs synthesized at different temperatures were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Micrographs of ZnO NPs synthesized at 28 and 60 °C showed that synthesis temperature affected the sizes and shapes of ZnO NPs. The non-heated (28 °C) condition resulted in NPs with diameters in the range of 8–45 nm with a mixture of spherical and rod shapes, whereas the heated (60 °C) condition led to NPs with diameters in the range of 73–123 nm with flower rod shapes. The ZnO–starch nanocomposite films incorporated with 1, 3, and 5 wt.% ZnO NPs were prepared via a film casting method. The antibacterial activity of the films against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria was investigated using the disc diffusion method. The results showed an increase in the inhibition zone for Gram-positive bacteria, particularly Bacillus subtilis, when the concentration of ZnO NPs incorporated in the film was increased from 1 to 5 wt.%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Cerium Dioxide Nanoparticles as Smart Carriers for Self-Healing Coatings
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040791 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The utilization of self-healing cerium dioxide nanoparticles (CeO2), modified with organic corrosion inhibitors (dodecylamine (DDA) and n-methylthiourea (NMTU)), in epoxy coating is an efficient strategy for enhancing the protection of the epoxy coating and increasing its lifetime. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) [...] Read more.
The utilization of self-healing cerium dioxide nanoparticles (CeO2), modified with organic corrosion inhibitors (dodecylamine (DDA) and n-methylthiourea (NMTU)), in epoxy coating is an efficient strategy for enhancing the protection of the epoxy coating and increasing its lifetime. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analysis was used to confirm the loading and presence of inhibitors in the nanoparticles. Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) measurement studies revealed the amount of 25% and 29.75% w/w for NMTU and DDA in the nanoparticles, respectively. The pH sensitive and self-release behavior of modified CeO2 nanoparticles is confirmed through UV-vis spectroscopy and Zeta potential. It was observed, through scanning electron microscopy (SEM), that a protective layer had been formed on the defect site separating the steel surface from the external environment and healed the artificially created scratch. This protective film played a vital role in the corrosion inhibition of steel by preventing the aggressiveness of Cl in the solution. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements exhibited the exceptional corrosion inhibition efficiency, reaching 99.8% and 95.7% for the modified coating with DDA and NMTU, respectively, after five days of immersion time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
TiO2 Passivation Layer on ZnO Hollow Microspheres for Quantum Dots Sensitized Solar Cells with Improved Light Harvesting and Electron Collection
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040631 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Light harvesting and electron recombination are essential factors that influence photovoltaic performance of quantum dots sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). ZnO hollow microspheres (HMS) as architectures in QDSSCs are beneficial in improving light scattering, facilitating the enhancement of light harvesting efficiency. However, this advantage [...] Read more.
Light harvesting and electron recombination are essential factors that influence photovoltaic performance of quantum dots sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). ZnO hollow microspheres (HMS) as architectures in QDSSCs are beneficial in improving light scattering, facilitating the enhancement of light harvesting efficiency. However, this advantage is greatly weakened by defects located at the surface of ZnO HMS. Therefore, we prepared a composite hollow microsphere structure consisting of ZnO HMS coated by TiO2 layer that is obtained by immersing ZnO HMS architectures in TiCl4 aqueous solution. This TiO2-passivated ZnO HMS architecture is designed to yield good light harvesting, reduced charge recombination, and longer electron lifetime. As a result, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of QDSSC reaches to 3.16% with an optimal thickness of TiO2 passivation layer, which is much higher when compared to 1.54% for QDSSC based on bare ZnO HMS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials)
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