Special Issue "Advanced Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Sensing Applications"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Claudia Espro
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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; catalytic conversion of renewable biomass for the production of bulk chemicals; development of innovative catalytic materials for sensing applications
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Francesco Mauriello
Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento DICEAM, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Loc. Feo di Vito, I-89122 Reggio Calabria, Italy
Interests: synthesis and physicochemical characterization of nanostructured materials and their catalytic application for the reductive valorization of lignocellulosic biomass
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Emilia Paone

Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Via Santa Marta 3, 50139 Firenze, Italy
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis with particular emphasis on the synthesis and physicochemical characterization of nanostructured materials and their application for the reductive valorization of lignocellulosic biomasses and their relative derived model molecules
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since their discovery in the late 1980s, nanomaterials such as carbon fullerene, carbon nanotubes, and ordered mesoporous materials have opened the door to a revolution in the field of nanotechnology, making them one of the most studied materials due to their unique intrinsic optical, magnetic, electrical, and mechanical features. Nanomaterials, which can be distinguished into several classes on the bases of their dimensionality, including one-dimensional (nanotube, nanowire, nanorods), two-dimensional (nanosheets), and three-dimensional (nanoparticles) types, have, over the last few decades, attracted the attention of scientists in many fields of application, including as heterogeneous catalysts in many industries, such as chemical manufacturing, energy-related applications, and environmental remediation, as well as gas sensors, batteries, and optoelectronic devices, among other biomedical and agricultural applications. This Special Issue on Advanced Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy, Environmental, and Sensing Applications will attempt to cover the most recent advances in nanostructures, concerning, not only their synthesis and characterization but also their functional and smart properties to be applied in scaling factors, such as grain size, thin film thickness, and porosity in the context of a lattice defect model, nanoceramic thin films, nanoscale superlattices, and mesoporous materials. The articles presented in this Special Issue will cover various topics, ranging from different techniques for synthesis and morphological modification to the preparation of catalytic systems and their application in several areas of interest, such as in catalytic processes and energy, environmental, photochemical, and sensing applications. Therefore, this Special Issue welcomes contributions from all researchers working on nanomaterials, as well as on their characterization, properties, and applications.

The Special Issue will cover, but will not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Advanced synthesis;
  • Smart properties;
  • Characterizations;
  • Multifunctional materials;
  • Energy harvesting/storage devices;
  • Sensors;
  • Highly dispersed metal, metal oxide, or metal sulfide nanoparticles;
  • Heterogeneous catalysis supported by nanoparticle materials;
  • Photochemical properties and applications of nanomaterials;
  • Electrochemical and optical properties of nanomaterials.

It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Claudia Espro
Dr. Francesco Mauriello
Dr. Emilia Paone
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 2000 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

  • New synthesis
  • Novel materials
  • Supported nanomaterials
  • Highly dispersed species
  • New applications
  • Smart properties
  • Multifunctional nanomaterials

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Chemically Activated Pyrolytic Carbon Black Derived from Waste Tires as a Candidate for Nanomaterial Precursor
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112213 - 06 Nov 2020
Abstract
Pyrolysis is a feasible solution for environmental problems related to the inadequate disposal of waste tires, as it leads to the recovery of pyrolytic products such as carbon black, liquid fuels and gases. The characteristics of pyrolytic carbon black can be enhanced through [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis is a feasible solution for environmental problems related to the inadequate disposal of waste tires, as it leads to the recovery of pyrolytic products such as carbon black, liquid fuels and gases. The characteristics of pyrolytic carbon black can be enhanced through chemical activation in order to produce the required properties for its application. In the search to make the waste tire pyrolysis process profitable, new applications of the pyrolytic solid products have been explored, such as for the fabrication of energy-storage devices and precursor in the synthesis of nanomaterials. In this study, waste tires powder was chemically activated using acid (H2SO4) and/or alkali (KOH) to recover pyrolytic carbon black with different characteristics. H2SO4 removed surface impurities more thoroughly, improving the carbon black’s surface area, while KOH increased its oxygen content, which improved the carbon black’s stability in water suspension. Pyrolytic carbon black was fully characterized by elemental analysis, inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2 adsorption/desorption, scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and ζ potential measurement. In addition, the pyrolytic carbon black was used to explore its feasibility as a precursor for the synthesis of carbon dots; synthesized carbon dots were analyzed preliminarily by SEM and with a fluorescence microplate reader, revealing differences in their morphology and fluorescence intensity. The results presented in this study demonstrate the effect of the activating agent on pyrolytic carbon black from waste tires and provide evidence of the feasibility of using waste tires for the synthesis of nanomaterials such as carbon dots. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Photocatalytic Degradation of Tetracycline by ZnO/γ-Fe2O3 Paramagnetic Nanocomposite Material
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1458; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081458 - 25 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In recent years, the presence of numerous xenobiotic substances, such as antibiotics, has been detected in water environments. They can be considered as environmental contaminants, even if their effect on human health has yet to be totally understood. Several approaches have been studied [...] Read more.
In recent years, the presence of numerous xenobiotic substances, such as antibiotics, has been detected in water environments. They can be considered as environmental contaminants, even if their effect on human health has yet to be totally understood. Several approaches have been studied for the removal of these kinds of pollutants. Among these compounds, tetracycline (TC), a broad-spectrum antibiotic, is one of the most commonly found in water due to its widespread use. In the context of reducing the presence of TC in aqueous solution, in this contribution, a composite catalyst based on zinc oxide (ZnO) and iron oxide (γ-Fe2O3) was developed and its photocatalytic properties were investigated. The catalytic materials were synthesized by a microwave-assisted aqueous solution method and characterized by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Brunauer−Emmett−Teller (BET) analysis. The TC concentration was evaluated by spectrophotometer measurements at specific time intervals. The performed photocatalytic experiments clearly demonstrated that the ZnO/γ-Fe2O3 composite catalyst presents significant photocatalytic activity, indeed a TC degradation efficiency of 88.52% was registered after 150 min. The presence of iron oxide in the structure of the catalyst enhances both the surface area and the pore volume, facilitating the adsorption of the analyte on the surface of nanostructures, a fundamental phase to optimize a photodegradation process. Moreover, ZnO was found to play the key role in the photocatalytic process assisted by γ-Fe2O3 which enhanced the TC degradation efficiency by 20%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
First Proof-of-Principle of Inorganic Lead Halide Perovskites Deposition by Magnetron-Sputtering
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010060 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The present work reports the application of RF-magnetron sputtering technique to realize CsPbBr 3 70 nm thick films on glass substrate by means of a one-step procedure. The obtained films show highly uniform surface morphology and homogeneous thickness as evidenced by AFM and [...] Read more.
The present work reports the application of RF-magnetron sputtering technique to realize CsPbBr 3 70 nm thick films on glass substrate by means of a one-step procedure. The obtained films show highly uniform surface morphology and homogeneous thickness as evidenced by AFM and SEM investigations. XRD measurements demonstrate the presence of two phases: a dominant orthorhombic CsPbBr 3 and a subordinate CsPb 2 Br 5 . Finally, XPS data reveals surface bromine depletion respect to the stoichiometrical CsPbBr 3 composition, nevertheless photoluminescence spectroscopy results confirm the formation of a highly luminescent film. These preliminary results demonstrate that our approach could be of great relevance for easy fabrication of large area perovskite thin films. Future developments, based on this approach, may include the realization of multijunction solar cells and multicolor light emitting devices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Morphology-Dependent Functionality of Titanium Dioxide–Nickel Oxide Nanocomposite Semiconductors
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(12), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9121651 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
In this study, TiO2–NiO heterostructures were synthesized by combining hydrothermal and chemical bath deposition methods. The post-annealing temperature was varied to control the surface features of the TiO2–NiO heterostructures. TiO2–NiO heterostructures annealed at 350 °C comprised NiO-nanosheet-decorated [...] Read more.
In this study, TiO2–NiO heterostructures were synthesized by combining hydrothermal and chemical bath deposition methods. The post-annealing temperature was varied to control the surface features of the TiO2–NiO heterostructures. TiO2–NiO heterostructures annealed at 350 °C comprised NiO-nanosheet-decorated TiO2 nanostructures (NST), whereas those annealed at 500 °C comprised NiO-nanoparticle-decorated TiO2 nanostructures (NPT). The NPT exhibited higher photodegradation activity than the NST in terms of methylene blue (MB) degradation under irradiation. Structural analyses demonstrated that the NPT had a higher surface adsorption capability for MB dyes and superior light-harvesting ability; thus, they exhibited greater photodegradation ability toward MB dyes. In addition, the NST showed high gas-sensing responses compared with the NPT when exposed to acetone vapor. This result was attributable to the higher number of oxygen-deficient regions on the surfaces of the NST, which increased the amount of surface-chemisorbed oxygen species. This resulted in a relatively large resistance variation for the NST when exposed to acetone vapor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon Nanotube-Graphene Hybrid Electrodes with Enhanced Thermo-Electrochemical Cell Properties
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1450; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101450 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Carbon nanotube-Graphene (CNT-Gr) hybrids were prepared on stainless steel substrates by the electrophoretic deposition (EPD) to make the thermo-electrochemical cell (TEC) electrodes. The as-obtained TEC electrodes were investigated by the SEM, XRD, Raman spectroscopy, tensile, and surface resistance tests. These hybrid electrodes exhibited [...] Read more.
Carbon nanotube-Graphene (CNT-Gr) hybrids were prepared on stainless steel substrates by the electrophoretic deposition (EPD) to make the thermo-electrochemical cell (TEC) electrodes. The as-obtained TEC electrodes were investigated by the SEM, XRD, Raman spectroscopy, tensile, and surface resistance tests. These hybrid electrodes exhibited significant improved TEC performances compared to the pristine CNT electrode. In addition, these hybrid electrodes could be optimized by tuning the contents of the graphene in the hybrids, and the CNT-Gr-0.1 hybrid electrode showed the best TEC performance with the current density of 62.8 A·m−2 and the power density of 1.15 W·m−2, 30.4% higher than the CNT electrode. The enhanced TEC performance is attributed to improvements in the electrical and thermal conductivities, as well as the adhesion between the CNT-Gr hybrid and the substrate. Meanwhile, the relative conversion efficiency of the TECs can reach 1.35%. The investigation suggests that the growth of CNT-Gr hybrid electrodes by the EPD technique may offer a promising approach for practical applications of the carbon nanomaterial-based TEC electrodes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fluorescence Characteristics of Aqueous Synthesized Tin Oxide Quantum Dots for the Detection of Heavy Metal Ions in Contaminated Water
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091294 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Tin oxide quantum dots were synthesized in aqueous solution via a simple hydrolysis and oxidation process. The morphology observation showed that the quantum dots had an average grain size of 2.23 nm. The rutile phase SnO2 was confirmed by the structural and [...] Read more.
Tin oxide quantum dots were synthesized in aqueous solution via a simple hydrolysis and oxidation process. The morphology observation showed that the quantum dots had an average grain size of 2.23 nm. The rutile phase SnO2 was confirmed by the structural and compositional characterization. The fluorescence spectroscopy of quantum dots was used to detect the heavy metal ions of Cd2+, Fe3+, Ni2+ and Pb2+, which caused the quenching effect of photoluminescence. The quantum dots showed the response of 2.48 to 100 ppm Ni2+. The prepared SnO2 quantum dots exhibited prospective in the detection of heavy metal ions in contaminated water, including deionized water, deionized water with Fe3+, reclaimed water and sea water. The limit of detection was as low as 0.01 ppm for Ni2+ detection. The first principle calculation based on the density function theory demonstrated the dependence of fluorescence response on the adsorption energy of heavy metal ions as well as ion radius. The mechanism of fluorescence response was discussed based on the interaction between Sn vacancies and Ni2+ ions. A linear correlation of fluorescence emission intensity against Ni2+ concentration was obtained in the logarithmic coordinates. The density of active Sn vacancies was the crucial factor that determined fluorescence response of SnO2 QDs to heavy metal ions. Full article
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