Special Issue "Application of Carbon-Based Nanostructures and Nanocomposites for Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Nanoscience and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 5529

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Silvia Scalese
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi (CNR-IMM), Catania, Italy
Interests: synthesis and characterization of carbon nanostructures; nanomaterials and nanocomposites for sensing, water purification, and water splitting applications; surface characterization; photocatalytic processes
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A better and more sustainable future requires the urgent tackling of numerous global challenges, in particular, those related to climate change, energy, environmental degradation, and good health/wellbeing. All of these themes fall within the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are part of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.

In recent years, nanotechnology has emerged as a versatile platform for developing new solutions to global sustainability issues. Nanomaterials and, in particular, carbon-based nanomaterials, possess peculiar physicochemical properties as well as large and active surface areas that allow their use as functional materials for the removal of contaminants from air and water, the production of renewable energy (clean water, clean air and clean energy), and for addressing health issues (from diagnostics to therapy).

This Special Issue is devoted to the synthesis, characterization, and applications of carbon-based nanomaterials and nanocomposites (e.g., C nanostructures/polymers, C nanostructures/metal oxides, etc.) with specific focus on the following fields:

  • Environment (pollution prevention, pollution removal, environmental remediation, water treatment, desalination, environmental sensing);
  • Energy (energy storage and conversion, water splitting);
  • Health and wellbeing (from diagnostics to therapy).

Full research papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Silvia Scalese
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 semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • carbon nanostructures
  • nanocomposites
  • synthesis and characterization
  • surface functionalization
  • environmental sensing
  • environmental remediation
  • water and air purification
  • materials for water splitting
  • energy storage and conversion
  • health applications

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Preparation and Characterization of Photoluminescent Graphene Quantum Dots from Watermelon Rind Waste for the Detection of Ferric Ions and Cellular Bio-Imaging Applications
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(4), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12040702 - 20 Feb 2022
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Abstract
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) were synthesized using watermelon rind waste as a photoluminescent (PL) agent for ferric ion (Fe3+) detection and in vitro cellular bio-imaging. A green and simple one-pot hydrothermal technique was employed to prepare the GQDs. Their crystalline [...] Read more.
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) were synthesized using watermelon rind waste as a photoluminescent (PL) agent for ferric ion (Fe3+) detection and in vitro cellular bio-imaging. A green and simple one-pot hydrothermal technique was employed to prepare the GQDs. Their crystalline structures corresponded to the lattice fringe of graphene, possessing amide, hydroxyl, and carboxyl functional groups. The GQDs exhibited a relatively high quantum yield of approximately 37%. Prominent blue emission under UV excitation and highly selective PL quenching for Fe3+ were observed. Furthermore, Fe3+ could be detected at concentrations as low as 0.28 μM (limit of detection), allowing for high sensitivity toward Fe3+ detection in tap and drinking water samples. In the bio-imaging experiment, the GQDs exhibited a low cytotoxicity for the HeLa cells, and they were clearly illuminated at an excitation wavelength of 405 nm. These results can serve as the basis for developing an environment-friendly, simple, and cost-effective approach of using food waste by converting them into photoluminescent nanomaterials for the detection of metal ions in field water samples and biological cellular studies. Full article
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Article
An Electrochemical Sensor Based on a Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Material and PEI Composites for Sensitive Detection of 4-Nitrophenol
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12010086 - 29 Dec 2021
Viewed by 310
Abstract
A glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was modified with nitrogen-doped carbon materials (NC) and polyethyleneimine (PEI) composites to design an electrochemical sensor for detecting 4-nitrophenol (4-NP). The NC materials were prepared by a simple and economical method through the condensation and carbonization of formamide. [...] Read more.
A glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was modified with nitrogen-doped carbon materials (NC) and polyethyleneimine (PEI) composites to design an electrochemical sensor for detecting 4-nitrophenol (4-NP). The NC materials were prepared by a simple and economical method through the condensation and carbonization of formamide. The NC materials were dispersed in a polyethyleneimine (PEI) solution easily. Due to the excellent properties of NC and PEI as well as their synergistic effect, the electrochemical reduction of the 4-NP on the surface of the NC–PEI composite modified electrode was effectively enhanced. Under the optimized conditions, at 0.06–10 μM and 10–100 μM concentration ranges, the NC–PEI/GCE sensor shows a linear response to 4-NP, and the detection limit is 0.01 μM (the signal-to-noise ratio is three). The reliability of the sensor for the detection of 4-NP in environmental water samples was successfully evaluated. In addition, the sensor has many advantages, including simple preparation, fast response, high sensitivity and good repeatability. It may be helpful for potential applications in detecting other targets. Full article
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Article
Fabrication of ZnO/CNTs for Application in CO2 Sensor at Room Temperature
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(11), 3087; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11113087 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
Thin films of ZnO and ZnO/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are prepared and used as CO2 gas sensors. The spray pyrolysis method was used to prepare both ZnO and ZnO/CNTs films, with CNTs first prepared using the chemical vapor deposition method (CVD). The chemical [...] Read more.
Thin films of ZnO and ZnO/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are prepared and used as CO2 gas sensors. The spray pyrolysis method was used to prepare both ZnO and ZnO/CNTs films, with CNTs first prepared using the chemical vapor deposition method (CVD). The chemical structure and optical analyses for all the prepared nanomaterials were performed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transformer infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and UV/Vis spectrophotometer devices, respectively. According to the XRD analysis, the crystal sizes of ZnO and ZnO/CNTs were approximately 50.4 and 65.2 nm, respectively. CNTs have average inner and outer diameters of about 3 and 13 nm respectively, according to the transmitted electron microscope (TEM), and a wall thickness of about 5 nm. The detection of CO2 is accomplished by passing varying rates of the gas from 30 to 150 sccm over the prepared thin-film electrodes. At 150 sccm, the sensitivities of ZnO and ZnO/CNTs sensors are 6.8% and 22.4%, respectively. The ZnO/CNTs sensor has a very stable sensitivity to CO2 gas for 21 days. Moreover, this sensor has a high selectivity to CO2 in comparison with other gases, in which the ZnO/CNTs sensor has a higher sensitivity to CO2 compared to H2 and C2H2. Full article
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Review

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Review
A Review of Carbon Dots Produced from Biomass Wastes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2316; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112316 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 50 | Viewed by 3527
Abstract
The fluorescent carbon dot is a novel type of carbon nanomaterial. In comparison with semiconductor quantum dots and fluorescence organic agents, it possesses significant advantages such as excellent photostability and biocompatibility, low cytotoxicity and easy surface functionalization, which endow it a wide application [...] Read more.
The fluorescent carbon dot is a novel type of carbon nanomaterial. In comparison with semiconductor quantum dots and fluorescence organic agents, it possesses significant advantages such as excellent photostability and biocompatibility, low cytotoxicity and easy surface functionalization, which endow it a wide application prospect in fields of bioimaging, chemical sensing, environmental monitoring, disease diagnosis and photocatalysis as well. Biomass waste is a good choice for the production of carbon dots owing to its abundance, wide availability, eco-friendly nature and a source of low cost renewable raw materials such as cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, carbohydrates and proteins, etc. This paper reviews the main sources of biomass waste, the feasibility and superiority of adopting biomass waste as a carbon source for the synthesis of carbon dots, the synthetic approaches of carbon dots from biomass waste and their applications. The advantages and deficiencies of carbon dots from biomass waste and the major influencing factors on their photoluminescence characteristics are summarized and discussed. The challenges and perspectives in the synthesis of carbon dots from biomass wastes are also briefly outlined. Full article
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