Special Issue "Advances in Nanoparticles: Synthesis, Characterization, Theoretical Modelling, and Applications"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2018).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Luca Pasquini
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Guest Editor
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, Via Zamboni, 33, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Interests: Nanoparticles; Alloys; Grain Boundaries; Nanostructured Materials; Hydrogen Storage; Magnesium; Material Characterization; X-ray Diffraction; Microstructure
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent advances in the synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) and in atomic-scale characterization, coupled with insights from theoretical modelling, have opened up exciting possibilities to tailor knowledge-based NPs for many applications, such as catalysis, plasmonics, sensors, magnetism, and nanomedicine.

The number of scientific papers with "nanoparticle" as a keyword has increased almost linearly in the last ten years, from about 13,000 in 2006 to about 46,000 in 2016. This impressive worldwide interest stems from the striking scientific appeal of nanoparticles (NPs), which constitute a bridge between the atomic and bulk worlds, as well as from their actual or potential applications in fields as diverse as catalysis, optics, magnetism, drug delivery. The preparation of NPs is a crossroad of materials science where chemists, physicists, and engineers frequently meet, leading to a continuous improvement of existing techniques and to the invention of new methods.

This symposium, L: Advances in nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, theoretical modelling, and applications will be held 18–21 September, 2018, at the Warsaw University of Technology, Poland. It will bring together leading experts on advanced techniques for nanoparticle synthesis, in order to promote cross fertilization and to inspire progresses in the control of nanoparticle size, shape, composition and functionalization as well as in the fabrication of NPs with complex morphologies. Characterization techniques with high spatial resolution, spectroscopic capability and chemical sensitivity are an essential tool not only to investigate the output of the synthesis procedures but also to elucidate the structure-property relationships of the NPs. For this reason, this symposium will see the participation of leading experts in state-of-the-art characterization techniques for NPs structural/chemical analysis. This interdisciplinary forum will be completed by the attendance of renowned experts in theoretical modelling and simulation of NPs structure and properties, which is of paramount importance both for the understanding of the atomic and electronic structure and for the prediction of non-trivial behaviors and new phenomena. The symposium will pay particular attention to new directions in technological applications of NPs.

Prof. Dr. Luca Pasquini
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Nanoparticles, Quantum dots, Carbon nanostructures, Nanocomposites, Nanoalloys, Porous materials
  • Synthesis methods (physical and chemical)
  • Catalysis, Optical properties, Electronic properties, Magnetism, Nanomedicine, Imaging, Photocatalysis, Energy conversion and storage
  • High-resolution characterization, Electron microscopy, Spectroscopic and scattering techniques

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
One-Step Hydrothermal Synthesis of Yellow and Green Emitting Silicon Quantum Dots with Synergistic Effect
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030466 - 20 Mar 2019
Abstract
The concept of synergistic effects has been widely applied in many scientific fields such as in biomedical science and material chemistry, and has further attracted interest in the fields of both synthesis and application of nanomaterials. In this paper, we report the synthesis [...] Read more.
The concept of synergistic effects has been widely applied in many scientific fields such as in biomedical science and material chemistry, and has further attracted interest in the fields of both synthesis and application of nanomaterials. In this paper, we report the synthesis of long-wavelength emitting silicon quantum dots based on a one-step hydrothermal route with catechol (CC) and sodium citrate (Na-citrate) as a reducing agent pair, and N-[3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl]ethylenediamine (DAMO) as silicon source. By controlling the reaction time, yellow-emitting silicon quantum dots and green-emitting silicon quantum dots were synthesized with quantum yields (QYs) of 29.4% and 38.3% respectively. The as-prepared silicon quantum dots were characterized by fluorescence (PL) spectrum, UV–visible spectrum, high resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and Zeta potential. With the aid of these methods, this paper further discussed how the optical performance and surface characteristics of the prepared quantum dots (QDs) influence the fluorescence mechanism. Meanwhile, the cell toxicity of the silicon quantum dots was tested by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) bromide method, and its potential as a fluorescence ink explored. The silicon quantum dots exhibit a red-shift phenomenon in their fluorescence peak due to the participation of the carbonyl group during the synthesis. The high-efficiency and stable photoluminescence of the long-wavelength emitting silicon quantum dots prepared through a synergistic effect is of great value in their future application as novel optical materials in bioimaging, LED, and materials detection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effective La-Na Co-Doped TiO2 Nano-Particles for Dye Adsorption: Synthesis, Characterization and Study on Adsorption Kinetics
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030400 - 09 Mar 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The mesoporous La-Na co-doped TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) have been synthesized by non-aqueous, solvent-controlled, sol-gel route. The substitutional doping of large sized Na+1 and La+3 at Ti4+ is confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and further supported by Transmission Electron Microscopy [...] Read more.
The mesoporous La-Na co-doped TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) have been synthesized by non-aqueous, solvent-controlled, sol-gel route. The substitutional doping of large sized Na+1 and La+3 at Ti4+ is confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and further supported by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and X-ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy (XPS). The consequent increase in adsorbed hydroxyl groups at surface of La-Na co-doped TiO2 results in decrease in pHIEP, which makes nanoparticle surface more prone to cationic methylene blue (MB) dye adsorption. The MB dye removal was examined by different metal doping, pH, contact time, NPs dose, initial dye concentration and temperature. Maximum dye removal percentage was achieved at pH 7.0. The kinetic analysis suggests adsorption dynamics is best described by pseudo second-order kinetic model. Langmuir adsorption isotherm studies revealed endothermic monolayer adsorption of Methylene Blue dye. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One-Step Synthesis of Metal/Oxide Nanocomposites by Gas Phase Condensation
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9020219 - 06 Feb 2019
Abstract
Metallic nanoparticles (NPs), either supported on a porous oxide framework or finely dispersed within an oxide matrix, find applications in catalysis, plasmonics, nanomagnetism and energy conversion, among others. The development of synthetic routes that enable to control the morphology, chemical composition, crystal structure [...] Read more.
Metallic nanoparticles (NPs), either supported on a porous oxide framework or finely dispersed within an oxide matrix, find applications in catalysis, plasmonics, nanomagnetism and energy conversion, among others. The development of synthetic routes that enable to control the morphology, chemical composition, crystal structure and mutual interaction of metallic and oxide phases is necessary in order to tailor the properties of this class of nanomaterials. With this work, we aim at developing a novel method for the synthesis of metal/oxide nanocomposites based on the assembly of NPs formed by gas phase condensation of metal vapors in a He/O2 atmosphere. This new approach relies on the independent evaporation of two metallic precursors with strongly different oxidation enthalpies. Our goal is to show that the precursor with less negative enthalpy gives birth to metallic NPs, while the other to oxide NPs. The selected case study for this work is the synthesis of a Fe-Co/TiOx nanocomposite, a system of great interest for its catalytic and magnetic properties. By exploiting the new concept, we achieve the desired target, i.e., a nanoscale dispersion of metallic alloy NPs within titanium oxide NPs, the structure of which can be tailored into TiO1-δ or TiO2 by controlling the synthesis and processing atmosphere. The proposed synthesis technique is versatile and scalable for the production of many NPs-assembled metal/oxide nanocomposites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determining the Composite Structure of Au-Fe-Based Submicrometre Spherical Particles Fabricated by Pulsed-Laser Melting in Liquid
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9020198 - 03 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Submicrometre spherical particles made of Au and Fe can be fabricated by pulsed-laser melting in liquid (PLML) using a mixture of Au and iron oxide nanoparticles as the raw particles dispersed in ethanol, although the detailed formation mechanism has not yet been clarified. [...] Read more.
Submicrometre spherical particles made of Au and Fe can be fabricated by pulsed-laser melting in liquid (PLML) using a mixture of Au and iron oxide nanoparticles as the raw particles dispersed in ethanol, although the detailed formation mechanism has not yet been clarified. Using a 355 nm pulsed laser to avoid extreme temperature difference between two different raw particles during laser irradiation and an Fe2O3 raw nanoparticle colloidal solution as an iron source to promote the aggregation of Au and Fe2O3 nanoparticles, we performed intensive characterization of the products and clarified the formation mechanism of Au-Fe composite submicrometre spherical particles. Because of the above two measures (Fe2O3 raw nanoparticle and 355 nm pulsed laser), the products—whether the particles are phase-separated or homogeneous alloys—basically follow the phase diagram. In Fe-rich range, the phase-separated Au-core/Fe-shell particles were formed, because quenching induces an earlier solidification of the Fe-rich component as a result of cooling from the surrounding ethanol. If the particle size is small, the quenching rate becomes very rapid and particles were less phase-separated. For high Au contents exceeding 70% in weight, crystalline Au-rich alloys were formed without phase separation. Thus, this aggregation control is required to selectively form homogeneous or phase-separated larger submicrometre-sized particles by PLML. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Controllability Investigation of Magnetic Properties for FePt Alloy Nanocomposite Thin Films
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9010053 - 03 Jan 2019
Abstract
An appropriate writing field is very important for magnetic storage application of L10 FePt nanocomposite thin films. However, the applications of pure L10 FePt are limited due to its large coercivity. In this paper, the ratios of L10 and non-L1 [...] Read more.
An appropriate writing field is very important for magnetic storage application of L10 FePt nanocomposite thin films. However, the applications of pure L10 FePt are limited due to its large coercivity. In this paper, the ratios of L10 and non-L10 phase FePt alloy nanoparticles in FePt/MgO (100) nanocomposite thin films were successfully tuned by pulsed laser deposition method. By adjusting the pulsed laser energy density from 3 to 7 J/cm2, the ordering parameter initially increased, and then decreased. The highest ordering parameter of 0.9 was obtained at the pulsed laser energy density of 5 J/cm2. At this maximum value, the sample had the least amount of the soft magnetic phase of almost 0%, as analyzed by a magnetic susceptibility study. The saturation magnetization decreased with the increase in the content of soft magnetic phase. Therefore, the magnetic properties of FePt nanocomposite thin films can be controlled, which would be beneficial for the magnetic applications of these thin films. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Glycation in Regulating the Heat-Induced Nanoparticles of Egg White Protein
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110943 - 15 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Due to the poor thermal stability of egg white protein (EWP), important challenges remain regarding preparation of nanoparticles for EWP above the denaturation temperature at neutral conditions. In this study, nanoparticles were fabricated from conjugates of EWP and isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) after heating at [...] Read more.
Due to the poor thermal stability of egg white protein (EWP), important challenges remain regarding preparation of nanoparticles for EWP above the denaturation temperature at neutral conditions. In this study, nanoparticles were fabricated from conjugates of EWP and isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) after heating at 90 °C for 30 min. Meanwhile, the effects of protein concentration, temperature, pH, ionic strength and degree of glycation (DG) on the formation of nanoparticles from IMO-EWP were investigated. To further reveal the formation mechanism of the nanoparticles, structures, thermal denaturation properties and surface properties were compared between EWP and IMO-EWP conjugates. Furthermore, the emulsifying activity index (EAI) and the emulsifying stability index (ESI) of nanoparticles were determined. The results indicated that glycation enhanced thermal stability and net surface charge of EWP due to changes in the EWP structure. The thermal aggregation of EWP was inhibited significantly by glycation, and enhanced with a higher degree of glycation. Meanwhile, the nanoparticles (<200 nm in size) were obtained at pH 3.0, 7.0 and 9.0 in the presence of NaCl. The increased thermal stability and surface net negative charge after glycation contributed to the inhibition. The EAI and ESI of nanoparticles were increased nearly 3-fold and 2-fold respectively, as compared to unheated EWP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tailoring the Grain Size of Bi-Layer Graphene by Pulsed Laser Deposition
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110885 - 01 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Improving the thermoelectric efficiency of a material requires a suitable ratio between electrical and thermal conductivity. Nanostructured graphene provides a possible route to improving thermoelectric efficiency. Bi-layer graphene was successfully prepared using pulsed laser deposition in this study. The size of graphene grains [...] Read more.
Improving the thermoelectric efficiency of a material requires a suitable ratio between electrical and thermal conductivity. Nanostructured graphene provides a possible route to improving thermoelectric efficiency. Bi-layer graphene was successfully prepared using pulsed laser deposition in this study. The size of graphene grains was controlled by adjusting the number of pulses. Raman spectra indicated that the graphene was bi-layer. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images clearly show that graphene changes from nanostructured to continuous films when more pulses are used during fabrication. Those results indicate that the size of the grains can be controlled between 39 and 182 nm. A detailed analysis of X-ray photoelectron spectra reveals that the sp2 hybrid state is the main chemical state in carbon. The mobility is significantly affected by the grain size in graphene, and there exists a relatively stable region between 500 and 800 pulses. The observed phenomena originate from competition between decreasing resistance and increasing carrier concentration. These studies should be valuable for regulating grains sizes for thermoelectric applications of graphene. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Fast Photothermal Therapy Using Hot Spots of Gold Nanorods for Malignant Melanoma Cells
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110880 - 28 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
In this paper, the plasmon resonance effects of gold nanorods was used to achieve rapid photothermal therapy for malignant melanoma cells (A375 cells). After incubation with A375 cells for 24 h, gold nanorods were taken up by the cells and gold nanorod clusters [...] Read more.
In this paper, the plasmon resonance effects of gold nanorods was used to achieve rapid photothermal therapy for malignant melanoma cells (A375 cells). After incubation with A375 cells for 24 h, gold nanorods were taken up by the cells and gold nanorod clusters were formed naturally in the organelles of A375 cells. After analyzing the angle and space between the nanorods in clusters, a series of numerical simulations were performed and the results show that the plasmon resonance coupling between the gold nanorods can lead to a field enhancement of up to 60 times. Such high energy localization causes the temperature around the nanorods to rise rapidly and induce cell death. In this treatment, a laser as low as 9.3 mW was used to irradiate a single cell for 20 s and the cell died two h later. The cell death time can also be controlled by changing the power of laser which is focused on the cells. The advantage of this therapy is low laser treatment power, short treatment time, and small treatment range. As a result, the damage of the normal tissue by the photothermal effect can be greatly avoided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hierarchical Structure and Catalytic Activity of Flower-Like CeO2 Spheres Prepared Via a Hydrothermal Method
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(10), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100773 - 29 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Hierarchical CeO2 particles were synthesized by a hydrothermal method based on the reaction between CeCl3·7H2O and PVP at 270 °C. The flower-like CeO2 with an average diameter of about 1 μm is composed of compact nanosheets with [...] Read more.
Hierarchical CeO2 particles were synthesized by a hydrothermal method based on the reaction between CeCl3·7H2O and PVP at 270 °C. The flower-like CeO2 with an average diameter of about 1 μm is composed of compact nanosheets with thicknesses of about 15 nm and have a surface area of 36.8 m2/g, a large pore volume of 0.109 cm3/g, and a narrow pore size distribution (14.9 nm in diameter). The possible formation mechanism of the hierarchical CeO2 nanoparticles has been illustrated. The 3D hierarchical structured CeO2 exhibited a higher catalytic activity toward CO oxidation compared with commercial CeO2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
InPBi Quantum Dots for Super-Luminescence Diodes
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090705 - 10 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
InPBi thin film has shown ultra-broad room temperature photoluminescence, which is promising for applications in super-luminescent diodes (SLDs) but met problems with low light emission efficiency. In this paper, InPBi quantum dot (QD) is proposed to serve as the active material for future [...] Read more.
InPBi thin film has shown ultra-broad room temperature photoluminescence, which is promising for applications in super-luminescent diodes (SLDs) but met problems with low light emission efficiency. In this paper, InPBi quantum dot (QD) is proposed to serve as the active material for future InPBi SLDs. The quantum confinement for carriers and reduced spatial size of QD structure can improve light emission efficiently. We employ finite element method to simulate strain distribution inside QDs and use the result as input for calculating electronic properties. We systematically investigate different transitions involving carriers on the band edges and the deep levels as a function of Bi composition and InPBi QD geometry embedded in InAlAs lattice matched to InP. A flat QD shape with a moderate Bi content of a few percent over 3.2% would provide the optimal performance of SLDs with a bright and wide spectrum at a short center wavelength, promising for future optical coherence tomography applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Using Ligustrum Ovalifolium Fruits and Their Cytotoxic Effects
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(8), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8080627 - 18 Aug 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
The present study reports for the first time the efficacy of bioactive compounds from Ligustrum ovalifolium L. fruit extract as reducing and capping agents of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), developing a green, zero energetic, cost effective and simple synthesis method of AgNPs. The obtained [...] Read more.
The present study reports for the first time the efficacy of bioactive compounds from Ligustrum ovalifolium L. fruit extract as reducing and capping agents of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), developing a green, zero energetic, cost effective and simple synthesis method of AgNPs. The obtained nanoparticles were characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), confirming that nanoparticles were crystalline in nature, spherical in shape, with an average size of 7 nm. The FTIR spectroscopy analysis demonstrated that the AgNPs were capped and stabilized by bioactive molecules from the fruit extract. The cytotoxicity of the biosynthesized AgNPs was in vitro evaluated against ovarian carcinoma cells and there were found to be effective at low concentration levels. Full article
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