Special Issue "Probing Single Events at the Nanoscale"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Yuri Diaz Fernandez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX, United Kingdom
Interests: colloidal chemistry; self-assembled nanomaterials; correlative microscopy; bio-interface imaging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent developments on time and spatially resolved analytical techniques have opened new avenues for understanding the processes and properties of materials and living systems at the nanoscale with unprecedented levels of sensitivity and reliability. Non-linear optical methods have allowed for the flourishing of multi-photon fluorescence microscopes able to probe sub-micron events in complex biological systems. Correlative microscopy techniques, combining electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and nanoparticle bio-conjugates, have advanced further the forefront of research by enabling ultra-resolution imaging of subcellular processes down to single molecular interactions. Indirect plasmonic sensing has emerged as a reliable technique for probing processes at the single nanoparticle level, while consolidated analytical chemistry methods, such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), have also reached single-particle sensitivity and diversified into spatially resolved modes by incorporating laser ablation techniques. Other areas of research, focused on structural characterization of materials and molecules, have benefitted enormously from analytical methods based on high intense synchrotron radiation, cryo electron microscopy (cryo-TEM and cryo-SEM), and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The scientific community is facing a revolution centered on the need for reliable probing of single nano-events and correlating them with bulk observables of technological relevance. This Special Issue of Nanomaterials will cover the emerging field of “Probing Single Events at the Nanoscale”, providing a broad and inclusive forum at the interface between nanotechnology, analytical chemistry, structural biology, and engineering of microscopy tools. We welcome research articles, literature reviews, and perspective papers that could contribute to this exciting research field.

Dr. Yuri Diaz Fernandez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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.

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Keywords

  • single-molecule imaging
  • single-particle sensing
  • correlative microscopy
  • indirect plasmonic sensing
  • sp-ICPMS
  • STM
  • cryo-EM
  • synchrotron radiation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
In-Operando Diffraction and Spectroscopic Evaluation of Pure, Zr-, and Ce-Doped Vanadium Dioxide Thermochromic Films Derived via Glycolate Synthesis
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2537; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122537 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 631
Abstract
Pure and doped vanadia (VO2, V0.98Zr0.02O2, V0.98Ce0.02O2) samples were prepared by wet chemistry synthesis from vanadyl glycolate intermediate phase and tape casted into films. Combining in-operando grazing incidence synchrotron [...] Read more.
Pure and doped vanadia (VO2, V0.98Zr0.02O2, V0.98Ce0.02O2) samples were prepared by wet chemistry synthesis from vanadyl glycolate intermediate phase and tape casted into films. Combining in-operando grazing incidence synchrotron X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy, we studied the structural evolution of the films under isothermal conditions. The setup allowed assessment of the thermochromic functionality with continuous monitoring of the monoclinic to tetragonal transition in pure and doped vanadia phases, responsible for the transmission and reflection of light in the infrared part of the solar spectrum. The materials characterisation by X-ray diffraction beamline (MCX) goniometer demonstrated ideal performance, combining flexible geometry, high resolution, and the potential to accommodate the multi-channel equipment for in-operando characterisation. This method proved viable for evaluating the relevant structural and physical, and thereof functional properties of these systems. We revealed that dopants reduce the transition temperature by 5 °C on average. The synthetic route of the films was held responsible for the observed phase separation. The more favourable behaviour of cerium-doped sample was attributed to cerium alkoxide behaviour. In addition, structural, microstructural, thermal, and spectroscopic characterisation on powder samples was performed to gain more insight into the development of the phases that are responsible for thermochromic features in a broader range of doping ratios. The influence of the dopants on the extent of the thermochromic transition (transmission to reflection hysteresis) was also evaluated using (micro) structural, thermal and spectroscopic methods of powder samples. Characterisations showed that zirconium doping in 2, 4, and 6 mol% significantly influenced the phase composition and morphology of the precursor. Vanadium oxides other than VO2 can easily crystallise; however, a thermal treatment regime that allowed crystallisation of VO2 as a single phase was established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probing Single Events at the Nanoscale)
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Article
Using the Emission of Muonic X-rays as a Spectroscopic Tool for the Investigation of the Local Chemistry of Elements
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071260 - 28 Jun 2020
Viewed by 894
Abstract
There are several techniques providing quantitative elemental analysis, but very few capable of identifying both the concentration and chemical state of elements. This study presents a systematic investigation of the properties of the X-rays emitted after the atomic capture of negatively charged muons. [...] Read more.
There are several techniques providing quantitative elemental analysis, but very few capable of identifying both the concentration and chemical state of elements. This study presents a systematic investigation of the properties of the X-rays emitted after the atomic capture of negatively charged muons. The probability rates of the muonic transitions possess sensitivity to the electronic structure of materials, thus making the muonic X-ray Emission Spectroscopy complementary to the X-ray Absorption and Emission techniques for the study of the chemistry of elements, and able of unparalleled analysis in case of elements bearing low atomic numbers. This qualitative method is applied to the characterization of light elements-based, energy-relevant materials involved in the reaction of hydrogen desorption from the reactive hydride composite Ca(BH4)2-Mg2NiH4. The origin of the influence of the band-structure on the muonic atom is discussed and the observed effects are attributed to the contribution of the electronic structure to the screening and to the momentum distribution in the muon cascade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probing Single Events at the Nanoscale)
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Article
Chlortetracycline-Functionalized Silver Nanoparticles as a Colorimetric Probe for Aminoglycosides: Ultrasensitive Determination of Kanamycin and Streptomycin
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050997 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
Aminoglycosides (AMGs) have been extensively used to treat infectious diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria in livestock and humans. A selective and sensitive colorimetric probe for the determination of streptomycin and kanamycin was proposed based on chlortetracycline-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs–CTC) as the sensing element. [...] Read more.
Aminoglycosides (AMGs) have been extensively used to treat infectious diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria in livestock and humans. A selective and sensitive colorimetric probe for the determination of streptomycin and kanamycin was proposed based on chlortetracycline-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs–CTC) as the sensing element. Almost all of the tested aminoglycoside antibiotics can rapidly induce the aggregation of AgNPs, along with a color change from yellow to orange/red. The selective detection of aminoglycoside antibiotics, including tobramycin, streptomycin, amikacin, gentamicin, neomycin, and kanamycin, with other types of antibiotics, can be achieved by ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy. This developed colorimetric assay has ability to detect various AMGs using in-depth surface plasmon resonance (SPR) studies. With this determination of streptomycin and kanamycin was achieved at the picomolar level (pM) by using a UV–visible spectrophotometer. Under aqueous conditions, the linear range of the colorimetric sensor for streptomycin and kanamycin was 1000–1,1000 and 120–480 pM, respectively. The corresponding limit of detection was 2000 pM and 120 pM, respectively. Thus, the validated dual colorimetric and ratiometric method can find various analytical applications for the ultrasensitive and rapid detection of AMG antibiotics in water samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probing Single Events at the Nanoscale)
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