Special Issue "Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanoelectronics, Nanosensors and Devices".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Noel Rodriguez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dept. Electronics and Computer Technology, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Interests: flexible electronics; laser-induced graphene; graphene-oxide; supercapacitors; memristors; sensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Diego P. Morales
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Electronics and Computer Technology, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Interests: flexible electronics; laser-induced graphene; graphene-oxide; supercapacitors; memristors; sensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Almudena Rivadeneyra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electronics and Computer Technology, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Interests: sensors; electrical characterization; nanoelectronics; printed electronics, energy harvesting; energy conversion; flexible electronics; wearable electronics; biomedical sensor applications; RFID technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Functional nanomaterials are becoming the driving force for advanced research in many fields, including nanosized energy conversion, environmental sustainability, catalysts, electronic devices, pervasive sensors, biomedical engineering, and more. This genuine interest is undoubtedly nourished by their unique structure and properties paired with a massive potential for integration in industrial applications.

The scope of this Issue can be expanded from the synthesis and design of functional nanomaterials to their fabrication, properties, and application in the sensors field. This Special Issue is suited for both academic and industrial contributions focused on functional materials with electrical, thermal, magnetic, chemical, or electrochemical properties allowing the high-performance transduction of specific magnitudes or markers. Different synthesis procedures, characterization techniques, and applications for these functional nanomaterials will be covered, and novel insights can be proposed.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Synthesis of functional nanomaterials;
  • Techniques for the massive and industrialized fabrication of nanomaterials;
  • Integration of nanomaterials in sensors: novel structures, stacking of layers, flexible layers, etc.
  • Organic/inorganic functional nanocomposites;
  • Functionalization of nanomaterials for measuring target magnitudes;
  • Chemi-resistive and chemi-capacitive functional sensors;
  • Photocatalysis;
  • Energy storage/conversion nanomaterials for power-supplying sensor nodes;
  • Electronic devices including nanomaterial-based sensors;
  • Demonstrators of potential applications and prototypes of instruments (portable, wearable, or lab instruments) using functional-nanomaterials-based transducers;
  • Functional nanomaterials for health systems (clinical, ambulatory, etc.);
  • New characterization techniques for functional nanomaterials;
  • Theoretical studies and modelling.

It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to this Special Issue which provides an excellent opportunity for publishing your latest advances in the relevant research fields. Submissions of communications, full papers, and reviews are all welcomed. We look forward to your contributions and fruitful discussions.

Prof. Dr. Noel Rodriguez
Prof. Dr. Diego P. Morales
Dr. Almudena Rivadeneyra
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. 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.

Keywords

  • functional nanomaterials
  • sensors
  • electronic devices
  • energy devices
  • bioapplications
  • photocatalysis
  • thermoelectric effect
  • piezoresisitve effect
  • gas sensor
  • laser-reduced graphene oxide
  • laser-induced graphene
  • characterization
  • nanotechnology
  • surface modification
  • porous graphene

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Optical Microfiber All-Optical Phase Modulator for Fiber Optic Hydrophone
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(9), 2215; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11092215 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
In order to meet the needs of phase generated carrier (PGC) demodulation technology for interferometric fiber optic hydrophones, we proposed an optical microfiber all-optical phase modulator (OMAOPM) based on the photo-induced thermal phase shift effect, which can be used as a phase carrier [...] Read more.
In order to meet the needs of phase generated carrier (PGC) demodulation technology for interferometric fiber optic hydrophones, we proposed an optical microfiber all-optical phase modulator (OMAOPM) based on the photo-induced thermal phase shift effect, which can be used as a phase carrier generation component, so as to make the modulation efficiency and working bandwidth of this type of modulator satisfy the requirements of underwater acoustic signal demodulation applications. We analyzed the modulation principle of this modulator and optimized the structural parameters of the optical microfiber (OM) when the waist length and waist diameter of OM are 15 mm and 1.4 μm, respectively. The modulation amplitude of the modulator can reach 1 rad, which can meet the requirements of sensing applications. On this basis, the fiber optical hydrophone PGC-Atan demodulation system was constructed, and the simulated underwater acoustic signal test demodulation research was carried out. Experimental results showed that the system can demodulate underwater acoustic signals below 1 kHz. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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Article
Optimizing the Efficiency of a Cytocompatible Carbon-Dots-Based FRET Platform and Its Application as a Riboflavin Sensor in Beverages
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(8), 1981; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11081981 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 654
Abstract
In this work, the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between carbon dots (CDs) as energy donors and riboflavin (RF) as an energy acceptor was optimized and the main parameters that characterize the FRET process were determined. The results were successfully applied in the [...] Read more.
In this work, the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between carbon dots (CDs) as energy donors and riboflavin (RF) as an energy acceptor was optimized and the main parameters that characterize the FRET process were determined. The results were successfully applied in the development of an ultrasensitive ratiometric fluorescent sensor for the selective and sensitive determination of RF in different beverages. Water-soluble CDs with a high quantum yield (54%) were synthesized by a facile and direct microwave-assisted technique. The CDs were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Zeta potential, and UV-visible and molecular fluorescence spectroscopy. The study of the FRET process at two donor concentrations showed that the energy transfer efficiency decreases as the donor concentration increases, confirming its dependence on the acceptor:donor ratio in nanoparticle-based systems. The results show the importance of optimizing the FRET process conditions to improve the corresponding output signal. The variation in the ratiometric signal with the concentration of RF showed linearity in a concentration range of 0 to 11 µM with R2 = 0.9973 and a detection limit of 0.025 µM. The developed nanosensor showed good selectivity over other possible types of interference. The sensor was then applied for the determination of RF in beverage samples using the standard addition method with recoveries between 96% and 106%. Preliminary cytocompatibility tests carried out with breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) revealed the nanosensor to be cytocompatible in its working concentration regime, even after long incubation times with cells. Altogether, the developed RF determination method was found to be fast, low-cost, highly sensitive, and selective and can be extended to other samples of interest in the biological and food sectors. Moreover, thanks to its long-lasting cytocompatibility, the developed platform can also be envisaged for other applications of biological interest, such as intracellular sensing and staining for live cell microscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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Article
Encapsulation Capacity of β-Cyclodextrin Stabilized Silver Nanoparticles towards Creatinine Enhances the Colorimetric Sensing of Hydrogen Peroxide in Urine
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(8), 1897; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11081897 - 24 Jul 2021
Viewed by 620
Abstract
The β-cyclodextrin shell of synthesized silver nanoparticles (βCD-AgNPs) are found to enhance the detection of hydrogen peroxide in urine when compared to the Horse Radish Peroxidase assay kit. Nanoparticles are confirmed by the UV-Vis absorbance of their localized surface plasmonic resonance [...] Read more.
The β-cyclodextrin shell of synthesized silver nanoparticles (βCD-AgNPs) are found to enhance the detection of hydrogen peroxide in urine when compared to the Horse Radish Peroxidase assay kit. Nanoparticles are confirmed by the UV-Vis absorbance of their localized surface plasmonic resonance (LSPR) at 384 nm. The mean size of the βCD-AgNPs is 53 nm/diameter; XRD analysis shows a face-centered cubic structure. The crystalline structure of type 4H hexagonal nature of the AgNPs with 2.4 nm β-CD coating onto is confirmed using aberration corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). A silver atomic lattice at 2.50 Å and 2.41 Å corresponding to (100) and (101) Miller indices is confirmed using the HRTEM. The scope of βCD-AgNPs to detect hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in aqueous media and human urine is investigated. The test is optimized by examining the effect of volumes of nanoparticles, the pH of the medium, and the kinetic and temperature effect on H2O2 detection. The βCD-AgNPs test is used as a refined protocol, which demonstrated improved sensitivity towards H2O2 in urine compared to the values obtained by the Horse Radish Assay kit. Direct assessment of H2O2 by the βCD-AgNPs test presented always with a linear response in the nM, μM, and mM ranges with a limit of detection of 1.47 nM and a quantitation limit of 3.76 nM. While a linear response obtained from 1.3 to 37.3 nmoles of H2O2/mole creatinine with a slope of 0.0075 and regression coefficient of 0.9955 when the βCD-AgNPs is used as refined test of creatinine. Values ranging from 34.62 ± 0.23 nmoles of H2O2/mole of creatinine and 54.61 ± 1.04 nmoles of H2O2/mole of creatinine when the matrix is not diluted and between 32.16 ± 0.42 nmoles of H2O2/mole of creatinine and 49.66 ± 0.80 nmoles of H2O2/mole of creatinine when the matrix is twice diluted are found in freshly voided urine of seven apparent healthy men aged between 20 and 40 years old. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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Article
High Sensitivity Humidity Detection Based on Functional GO/MWCNTs Hybrid Nano-Materials Coated Titled Fiber Bragg Grating
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051134 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 740
Abstract
A high performance humidity sensor using tilted fiber Bragg grating (TFBG) and functional graphene oxide (GO)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) hybrid nano-materials was proposed. The humidity-sensitive material with three-dimensional (3D) structure was synthesized by the MWCNTs and GOs. Comparing with traditional two dimensional (2D) [...] Read more.
A high performance humidity sensor using tilted fiber Bragg grating (TFBG) and functional graphene oxide (GO)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) hybrid nano-materials was proposed. The humidity-sensitive material with three-dimensional (3D) structure was synthesized by the MWCNTs and GOs. Comparing with traditional two dimensional (2D) GOs film, water molecules could be absorbed effectively due to the larger ripples and more holes in GO/MWCNTs layers. The water molecule will fill the entire space in the 3D structure instead of air, which further enhances the absorption efficiency of the hybrid nanomaterial. TFBG as a compact and robust surrounding complex dielectric constant sensing platform was utilized. The mode coupling coefficient or the amplitude of TFBG cladding mode will vary sharply with the imaginary part of permittivity of the hybrid nanomaterial, realizing the high performance RH sensing. In the experiments, we successfully demonstrated that this 3D structural nanomaterial composed by the MWCNTs and GOs has significant advantages for expanding the range of humidity detection (range from 30% to 90%) and enhancing the detection sensitivity (0.377 dB/% RH is twice more than humidity sensor with 2D GO film). The TFBG-based RH sensor also exhibits good repeatability and stability. Our proposed humidity sensor has potential application in environmental and healthy monitoring fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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Article
Carbon Dots as Sensing Layer for Printed Humidity and Temperature Sensors
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122446 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
This work presents an innovative application of carbon dots (Cdots) nanoparticles as sensing layer for relative humidity detection. The developed sensor is based on interdigitated capacitive electrodes screen printed on a flexible transparent polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film. Cdots are deposited on top of [...] Read more.
This work presents an innovative application of carbon dots (Cdots) nanoparticles as sensing layer for relative humidity detection. The developed sensor is based on interdigitated capacitive electrodes screen printed on a flexible transparent polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film. Cdots are deposited on top of these electrodes. An exhaustive characterization of the nanoparticles has been conducted along with the fabrication of the sensor structure. The accompanied experiments give all the sensibility to the Cdots, showing its dependence with temperature and exciting frequency. To the best of our knowledge, this work paves the path to the use of these kind of nanoparticles in printed flexible capacitive sensors aimed to be employed in the continuously expanding Internet of Things ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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Article
Printed and Flexible Microheaters Based on Carbon Nanotubes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091879 - 19 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1444
Abstract
This work demonstrates a cost-effective manufacturing method of flexible and fully printed microheaters, using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as the heating element. Two different structures with different number of CNT layers have been characterized in detail. The benchmarking has been carried out in terms [...] Read more.
This work demonstrates a cost-effective manufacturing method of flexible and fully printed microheaters, using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as the heating element. Two different structures with different number of CNT layers have been characterized in detail. The benchmarking has been carried out in terms of maximum operating temperature, as well as nominal resistance and input power for different applied voltages. Their performances have been compared with previous reports for similar devices, fabricated with other technologies. The results have shown that the heaters presented can achieve high temperatures in a small area at lower voltages and lower input power. In particular, the fully printed heaters fabricated on a flexible substrate covering an area of 3.2 mm2 and operating at 9.5 V exhibit a maximum temperature point above 70 °C with a power consumption below 200 mW. Therefore, we have demonstrated that this technology paves the way for a cost-effective large-scale fabrication of flexible microheaters aimed to be integrated in flexible sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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Article
Flexible Screen Printed Aptasensor for Rapid Detection of Furaneol: A Comparison of CNTs and AgNPs Effect on Aptasensor Performance
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061167 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Furaneol is a widely used flavoring agent, which can be naturally found in different products, such as strawberries or thermally processed foods. This is why it is extremely important to detect furaneol in the food industry using ultra-sensitive, stable, and selective sensors. In [...] Read more.
Furaneol is a widely used flavoring agent, which can be naturally found in different products, such as strawberries or thermally processed foods. This is why it is extremely important to detect furaneol in the food industry using ultra-sensitive, stable, and selective sensors. In this context, electrochemical biosensors are particularly attractive as they provide a cheap and reliable alternative measurement device. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been extensively investigated as suitable materials to effectively increase the sensitivity of the biosensors. However, a comparison of the performance of biosensors employing CNTs and AgNPs is still missing. Herein, the effect of CNTs and AgNPs on the biosensor performance has been thoughtfully analyzed. Therefore, disposable flexible and screen printed electrochemical aptasensor modified with CNTs (CNT-ME), or AgNPs (AgNP-ME) have been developed. Under optimized conditions, CNT-MEs showed better performance compared to AgNP-ME, yielding a linear range of detection over a dynamic concentration range of 1 fM–35 μM and 2 pM–200 nM, respectively, as well as high selectivity towards furaneol. Finally, our aptasensor was tested in a real sample (strawberry) and validated with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), showing that it could find an application in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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Review

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Review
Electrochemical Sensors Based on Conducting Polymers for the Aqueous Detection of Biologically Relevant Molecules
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010252 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Electrochemical sensors appear as low-cost, rapid, easy to use, and in situ devices for determination of diverse analytes in a liquid solution. In that context, conducting polymers are much-explored sensor building materials because of their semiconductivity, structural versatility, multiple synthetic pathways, and stability [...] Read more.
Electrochemical sensors appear as low-cost, rapid, easy to use, and in situ devices for determination of diverse analytes in a liquid solution. In that context, conducting polymers are much-explored sensor building materials because of their semiconductivity, structural versatility, multiple synthetic pathways, and stability in environmental conditions. In this state-of-the-art review, synthetic processes, morphological characterization, and nanostructure formation are analyzed for relevant literature about electrochemical sensors based on conducting polymers for the determination of molecules that (i) have a fundamental role in the human body function regulation, and (ii) are considered as water emergent pollutants. Special focus is put on the different types of micro- and nanostructures generated for the polymer itself or the combination with different materials in a composite, and how the rough morphology of the conducting polymers based electrochemical sensors affect their limit of detection. Polypyrroles, polyanilines, and polythiophenes appear as the most recurrent conducting polymers for the construction of electrochemical sensors. These conducting polymers are usually built starting from bifunctional precursor monomers resulting in linear and branched polymer structures; however, opportunities for sensitivity enhancement in electrochemical sensors have been recently reported by using conjugated microporous polymers synthesized from multifunctional monomers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomaterials for Sensor Applications)
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