Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanocomposite Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 48511

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
National Institute of Materials Physics, 077125 Magurele, Romania
Interests: organic and hybrid photovoltaic structures; transparent conductive oxides; atomic force microscopy; organic crystal growth
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Institute of Materials Physics, 077125 Magurele, Romania
Interests: metal oxide nanostructures; polymer/semiconducting hybrid composites; nanostructured thin films; optoelectronic devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, nanocomposites have received more and more attention from both fundamental scientific research and technological applications perspectives, emerging as a fascinating class of advanced functional nanomaterials which can be used in various areas such as electronics, energy, environmental protection, healthcare, etc. Involving two or more organic and/or inorganic components, nanocomposites are characterized by enhanced properties owing to the synergistic effect resulting from the combined desirable attributes of their component materials. One of the hottest current research topics is the design and development of nanocomposites as thin films with tailored properties suitable for applications in different fields including (opto-) electronics, (photo-) catalysis, (bio-) sensing, photovoltaic cells, spintronic, (bio-) medicine, surfaces with special characteristics like biomimetic surfaces, smart patterned surfaces, surfaces with controlled wettability, and so on. Wet and dry preparation methods, laser and vapor deposition techniques, and lithographical approaches are key paths for fabricating/integrating these thin films based on nanocomposites into devices.

Consequently, taking into account the multidisciplinary aspect of the nanomaterials research area, this Special Issue invites the authors to contribute with research articles or reviews focused on synthesis, characterization, and/or applications of thin films based on nanocomposites. Potential topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Nanostructured thin films
  • Nanocomposites based on organic and/or inorganic materials
  • Conducting and insulating polymers; natural and synthetic biopolymers
  • Metal oxides, semiconductors, metals, dielectrics, carbon nanostructures
  • Synthesis by wet (solution processing) and dry (thermal oxidation, magnetron sputtering) methods
  • Preparation by laser and vapor deposition techniques
  • Lithography processing
  • Characterization
  • Applications
  • Devices

Dr. Marcela Socol
Dr. Nicoleta Preda
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • nanostructued thin films
  • hybrid nanocomposites
  • polymers
  • inorganic nanostructures
  • designing advanced functional nanomaterials by wet and dry methods, laser and vapor deposition techniques, lithography processing
  • characterization and applications of the functional nanomaterials
  • devices integrating thin films based on nanocomposites

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

3 pages, 194 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial for Special Issue: “Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites”
by Marcela Socol and Nicoleta Preda
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3301; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193301 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
Nanocomposites gained great attention from both fundamental scientific research and technological application perspectives emerging as a fascinating class of advanced functional materials, that can find applications in various areas such as electronics, energy, environmental protection, healthcare, etc [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

11 pages, 3915 KiB  
Article
Scintillation Response Enhancement in Nanocrystalline Lead Halide Perovskite Thin Films on Scintillating Wafers
by Kateřina Děcká, Jan Král, František Hájek, Petr Průša, Vladimir Babin, Eva Mihóková and Václav Čuba
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12010014 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5522
Abstract
Lead halide perovskite nanocrystals of the formula CsPbBr3 have recently been identified as potential time taggers in scintillating heterostructures for time-of-flight positron emission tomography (TOF-PET) imaging thanks to their ultrafast decay kinetics. This study investigates the potential of this material experimentally. We [...] Read more.
Lead halide perovskite nanocrystals of the formula CsPbBr3 have recently been identified as potential time taggers in scintillating heterostructures for time-of-flight positron emission tomography (TOF-PET) imaging thanks to their ultrafast decay kinetics. This study investigates the potential of this material experimentally. We fabricated CsPbBr3 thin films on scintillating GGAG:Ce (Gd2.985Ce0.015Ga2.7Al2.3O12) wafer as a model structure for the future sampling detector geometry. We focused this study on the radioluminescence (RL) response of this composite material. We compare the results of two spin-coating methods, namely the static and the dynamic process, for the thin film preparation. We demonstrated enhanced RL intensity of both CsPbBr3 and GGAG:Ce scintillating constituents of a composite material. This synergic effect arises in both the RL spectra and decays, including decays in the short time window (50 ns). Consequently, this study confirms the applicability of CsPbBr3 nanocrystals as efficient time taggers for ultrafast timing applications, such as TOF-PET. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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13 pages, 3137 KiB  
Article
High-Throughput Fabrication of Antibacterial Starch/PBAT/AgNPs@SiO2 Films for Food Packaging
by Shengxue Zhou, Xiaosong Zhai, Rui Zhang, Wentao Wang, Loong-Tak Lim and Hanxue Hou
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(11), 3062; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11113062 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2658
Abstract
In this current work, antimicrobial films based on starch, poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), and a commercially available AgNPs@SiO2 antibacterial composite particle product were produced by using a melt blending and blowing technique. The effects of AgNPs@SiO2 at various loadings (0, [...] Read more.
In this current work, antimicrobial films based on starch, poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), and a commercially available AgNPs@SiO2 antibacterial composite particle product were produced by using a melt blending and blowing technique. The effects of AgNPs@SiO2 at various loadings (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 wt%) on the physicochemical properties and antibacterial activities of starch/PBAT composite films were investigated. AgNPs@SiO2 particles were more compatible with starch than PBAT, resulting in preferential distribution of AgNPs@SiO2 in the starch phase. Infusion of starch/PBAT composite films with AgNPs@SiO2 marginally improved mechanical and water vapor barrier properties, while surface hydrophobicity increased as compared with films without AgNPs@SiO2. The composite films displayed superior antibacterial activities against both Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. The sample loaded with 1 wt% AgNPs@SiO2 (SPA-1) showed nearly 90% inhibition efficiency on the tested microorganisms. Furthermore, a preliminary study on peach and nectarine at 53% RH and 24 °C revealed that SPA-1 film inhibited microbial spoilage and extended the product shelf life as compared with SPA-0 and commercial LDPE packaging materials. The high-throughput production method and strong antibacterial activities of the starch/PBAT/AgNPs@SiO2 composite films make them promising as antimicrobial packaging materials for commercial application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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11 pages, 4357 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Iron Pyrite Thin Films and Photovoltaic Devices by Sulfurization in Electrodeposition Method
by Zheng Lu, Hu Zhou, Chao Ye, Shi Chen, Jinyan Ning, Mohammad Abdul Halim, Sardor Burkhanovich Donaev and Shenghao Wang
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(11), 2844; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11112844 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
Iron pyrite is a cheap, stable, non-toxic, and earth-abundant material that has great potential in the field of photovoltaics. Electrochemical deposition is a low-cost method, which is also suitable for large-scale preparation of iron pyrite solar cells. In this work, we prepared iron [...] Read more.
Iron pyrite is a cheap, stable, non-toxic, and earth-abundant material that has great potential in the field of photovoltaics. Electrochemical deposition is a low-cost method, which is also suitable for large-scale preparation of iron pyrite solar cells. In this work, we prepared iron pyrite films by electrochemical deposition with thiourea and explored the effect of sulfurization on the synthesis of high-quality iron pyrite films. Upon sulfurization, the amorphous precursor film becomes crystallized iron pyrite film. Optical and electrical characterization show that its band gap is 0.89 eV, and it is an n type semiconductor with a carrier concentration of 3.01 × 1019 cm−3. The corresponding photovoltaic device shows light response. This work suggests that sulfurization is essential in the electrochemical preparation for fabricating pure iron pyrite films, and therefore for low-cost and large-scale production of iron pyrite solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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11 pages, 4707 KiB  
Article
Structures, Electronic Properties and Carrier Transport Mechanisms of Si Nano-Crystalline Embedded in the Amorphous SiC Films with Various Si/C Ratios
by Dan Shan, Daoyuan Sun, Mingjun Tang, Ruihong Yang, Guangzhen Kang, Tao Tao and Yunqing Cao
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(10), 2678; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11102678 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1324
Abstract
Recent investigations of fundamental electronic properties (especially the carrier transport mechanisms) of Si nanocrystal embedded in the amorphous SiC films are highly desired in order to further develop their applications in nano-electronic and optoelectronic devices. Here, Boron-doped Si nanocrystals embedded in the amorphous [...] Read more.
Recent investigations of fundamental electronic properties (especially the carrier transport mechanisms) of Si nanocrystal embedded in the amorphous SiC films are highly desired in order to further develop their applications in nano-electronic and optoelectronic devices. Here, Boron-doped Si nanocrystals embedded in the amorphous SiC films were prepared by thermal annealing of Boron-doped amorphous Si-rich SiC films with various Si/C ratios. Carrier transport properties in combination with microstructural characteristics were investigated via temperature dependence Hall effect measurements. It should be pointed out that Hall mobilities, carrier concentrations as well as conductivities in films were increased with Si/C ratio, which could be reached to the maximum of 7.2 cm2/V∙s, 4.6 × 1019 cm−3 and 87.5 S∙cm−1, respectively. Notably, different kinds of carrier transport behaviors, such as Mott variable-range hopping, multiple phonon hopping, percolation hopping and thermally activation conduction that play an important role in the transport process, were identified within different temperature ranges (10 K~400 K) in the films of different Si/C ratio. The changes from Mott variable-range hopping process to thermally activation conduction process with temperature were observed and discussed in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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15 pages, 3359 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of ZnO and TiO2 Nanotubes via Flexible Electro-Spun Nanofibers for Photocatalytic Applications
by Monica Enculescu, Andreea Costas, Alexandru Evanghelidis and Ionut Enculescu
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051305 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2719
Abstract
Web-like architectures of ZnO and TiO2 nanotubes were fabricated based on a three-step process of templating polymer nanofibers produced by electrospinning (step 1). The electrospun polymer nanofibers were covered by radio-frequency magnetron sputtering with thin layers of semiconducting materials (step 2), with [...] Read more.
Web-like architectures of ZnO and TiO2 nanotubes were fabricated based on a three-step process of templating polymer nanofibers produced by electrospinning (step 1). The electrospun polymer nanofibers were covered by radio-frequency magnetron sputtering with thin layers of semiconducting materials (step 2), with FESEM observations proving uniform deposits over their entire surface. ZnO or TiO2 nanotubes were obtained by subsequent calcination (step 3). XRD measurements proved that the nanotubes were of a single crystalline phase (wurtzite for ZnO and anatase for TiO2) and that no other crystalline phases appeared. No other elements were present in the composition of the nanotubes, confirmed by EDX measurements. Reflectance spectra and Tauc plots of Kubelka–Munk functions revealed that the band gaps of the nanotubes were lower than those of the bulk materials (3.05 eV for ZnO and 3.16 eV for TiO2). Photocatalytic performances for the degradation of Rhodamine B showed a large degradation efficiency, even for small quantities of nanotubes (0.5 mg/10 mL dye solution): ~55% for ZnO, and ~95% for TiO2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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12 pages, 3704 KiB  
Article
Characterization of a Novel Nanocomposite Film Based on Functionalized Chitosan–Pt–Fe3O4 Hybrid Nanoparticles
by Sangeeta Kumari, Raj Pal Singh, Nayaku N. Chavan, Shivendra V. Sahi and Nilesh Sharma
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051275 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2001
Abstract
The development of organic—inorganic hybrids or nanocomposite films is increasingly becoming attractive in light of their emerging applications. This research focuses on the formation of a unique nanocomposite film with enhanced elasticity suitable for many biomedical applications. The physical property measurement system and [...] Read more.
The development of organic—inorganic hybrids or nanocomposite films is increasingly becoming attractive in light of their emerging applications. This research focuses on the formation of a unique nanocomposite film with enhanced elasticity suitable for many biomedical applications. The physical property measurement system and transmission electron microscopy were used to analyze Pt–Fe3O4 hybrid nanoparticles. These nanohybrids exhibited magnetic effects. They were further exploited to prepare the nanocomposite films in conjunction with a chitosan-g–glycolic acid organic fraction. The nanocomposite films were then examined using standard techniques: thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Tensile strength testing demonstrated a significantly greater elastic strength of these nanocomposite films than pure chitosan films. The water absorption behavior of the nanocomposites was evaluated by measuring swelling degree. These nanocomposites were observed to have substantially improved physical properties. Such novel nanocomposites can be extended to various biomedical applications, which include drug delivery and tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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14 pages, 4672 KiB  
Article
High-Performance Resistive Switching in Solution-Derived IGZO:N Memristors by Microwave-Assisted Nitridation
by Shin-Yi Min and Won-Ju Cho
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1081; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051081 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3429
Abstract
In this study, we implemented a high-performance two-terminal memristor device with a metal/insulator/metal (MIM) structure using a solution-derived In-Ga-Zn-Oxide (IGZO)-based nanocomposite as a resistive switching (RS) layer. In order to secure stable memristive switching characteristics, IGZO:N nanocomposites were synthesized through the microwave-assisted nitridation [...] Read more.
In this study, we implemented a high-performance two-terminal memristor device with a metal/insulator/metal (MIM) structure using a solution-derived In-Ga-Zn-Oxide (IGZO)-based nanocomposite as a resistive switching (RS) layer. In order to secure stable memristive switching characteristics, IGZO:N nanocomposites were synthesized through the microwave-assisted nitridation of solution-derived IGZO thin films, and the resulting improvement in synaptic characteristics was systematically evaluated. The microwave-assisted nitridation of solution-derived IGZO films was clearly demonstrated by chemical etching, optical absorption coefficient analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Two types of memristor devices were prepared using an IGZO or an IGZO:N nanocomposite film as an RS layer. As a result, the IGZO:N memristors showed excellent endurance and resistance distribution in the 103 repeated cycling tests, while the IGZO memristors showed poor characteristics. Furthermore, in terms of electrical synaptic operation, the IGZO:N memristors possessed a highly stable nonvolatile multi-level resistance controllability and yielded better electric pulse-induced conductance modulation in 5 × 102 stimulation pulses. These findings demonstrate that the microwave annealing process is an effective synthesis strategy for the incorporation of chemical species into the nanocomposite framework, and that the microwave-assisted nitridation improves the memristive switching characteristics in the oxide-based RS layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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10 pages, 4805 KiB  
Article
Effects of Electron Beam Irradiation on Mechanical and Thermal Shrinkage Properties of Boehmite/HDPE Nanocomposite Film
by Ju Hyuk Lee, Heon Yong Jeong, Sang Yoon Lee and Sung Oh Cho
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030777 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
Nanocomposites comprising high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and boehmite (BA) nanoparticles were prepared by melt blending and subsequently irradiated with electrons. Electron irradiation of HDPE causes crosslinking and, in the presence of BA, generates ketone functional groups. The functional groups can then form hydrogen bonds [...] Read more.
Nanocomposites comprising high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and boehmite (BA) nanoparticles were prepared by melt blending and subsequently irradiated with electrons. Electron irradiation of HDPE causes crosslinking and, in the presence of BA, generates ketone functional groups. The functional groups can then form hydrogen bonds with the hydroxyl groups on the surface of the BA. Additionally, if the BA is surface modified by vinyltrimethoxysilane (vBA), it can covalently bond with the HDPE by irradiation-induced radical grafting. The strong covalent bonds generated by electron beam irradiation allow the desirable properties of the nanofiller to be transferred to the rest of the nanocomposite. Since EB irradiation produces a great number of strong covalent bonds between vBA nanoparticles and HDPE, the modulus of elasticity, yield strength, and resistance to thermal shrinkage are enhanced by electron irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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15 pages, 4566 KiB  
Article
The Fabrication and Properties of a Bendable High-Temperature Resistance Conductive Pitch-Based Carbon/CNT Film Nanocomposite
by Zhe Che, Shaokai Wang, Yizhuo Gu, Wei Zhang, Cai Jiang and Min Li
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030758 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
This paper fabricates a carbon nanotube (CNT ) film-reinforced mesophase pitch-based carbon (CNTF/MPC) nanocomposite by using a hot-pressing carbonization method. During the carbonization, the stacked aromatic layers tended to rearrange into amorphous carbon, and subsequently generated crystalline carbon in the matrix. The continuous [...] Read more.
This paper fabricates a carbon nanotube (CNT ) film-reinforced mesophase pitch-based carbon (CNTF/MPC) nanocomposite by using a hot-pressing carbonization method. During the carbonization, the stacked aromatic layers tended to rearrange into amorphous carbon, and subsequently generated crystalline carbon in the matrix. The continuous entangled CNT networks were efficiently densified by the carbon matrix though optimized external pressure to obtain the high-performance nanocomposites. The CNTF/MPC@1300 displayed a stable electrical conductivity up to 841 S/cm at RT-150 °C. Its thermal conductivity in the thickness direction was 1.89 W/m∙K, an order of magnitude higher than that of CNT film. Moreover, CNTF/MPC@1300 showed a mass retention of 99.3% at 1000 °C. Its tensile strength was 2.6 times the CNT film and the tensile modulus was two orders of magnitude higher. Though the CNTF/MPC nanocomposites exhibited brittle tensile failure mode, they resisted cyclic bending without damage. The results demonstrate that the CNTF/MPC nanocomposite has potential application in multi-functional temperature resistance aerospace structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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8 pages, 1742 KiB  
Article
Study of the Correlation between the Amorphous Indium-Gallium-Zinc Oxide Film Quality and the Thin-Film Transistor Performance
by Shiben Hu, Kuankuan Lu, Honglong Ning, Rihui Yao, Yanfen Gong, Zhangxu Pan, Chan Guo, Jiantai Wang, Chao Pang, Zheng Gong and Junbiao Peng
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020522 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2567
Abstract
In this work, we performed a systematic study of the physical properties of amorphous Indium–Gallium–Zinc Oxide (a-IGZO) films prepared under various deposition pressures, O2/(Ar+O2) flow ratios, and annealing temperatures. X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and microwave photoconductivity decay (μ-PCD) [...] Read more.
In this work, we performed a systematic study of the physical properties of amorphous Indium–Gallium–Zinc Oxide (a-IGZO) films prepared under various deposition pressures, O2/(Ar+O2) flow ratios, and annealing temperatures. X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and microwave photoconductivity decay (μ-PCD) measurements were conducted to evaluate the quality of a-IGZO films. The results showed that the process conditions have a substantial impact on the film densities and defect states, which in turn affect the performance of the final thin-film transistors (TFT) device. By optimizing the IGZO film deposition conditions, high-performance TFT was able to be demonstrated, with a saturation mobility of 8.4 cm2/Vs, a threshold voltage of 0.9 V, and a subthreshold swing of 0.16 V/dec. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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16 pages, 5730 KiB  
Article
Organic Thin Films Based on DPP-DTT:C60 Blends Deposited by MAPLE
by Marcela Socol, Nicoleta Preda, Carmen Breazu, Andreea Costas, Gabriela Petre, Anca Stanculescu, Gianina Popescu-Pelin, Andreea Mihailescu and Gabriel Socol
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2366; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122366 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
The matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) technique was used for depositing thin films based on a recently developed conjugated polymer, poly[2,5-(2-octyldodecyl)-3,6-diketopyrrolopyrrole-alt-5,5-(2,5-di(thien-2-yl)thieno [3,2-b]thiophene)] (DPP-DTT) and fullerene C60 blends. The targets used in the MAPLE process were obtained by freezing chloroform solutions with different DPP-DTT:C60 [...] Read more.
The matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) technique was used for depositing thin films based on a recently developed conjugated polymer, poly[2,5-(2-octyldodecyl)-3,6-diketopyrrolopyrrole-alt-5,5-(2,5-di(thien-2-yl)thieno [3,2-b]thiophene)] (DPP-DTT) and fullerene C60 blends. The targets used in the MAPLE process were obtained by freezing chloroform solutions with different DPP-DTT:C60 weight ratios, with the MAPLE deposition being carried at a low laser fluence, varying the number of laser pulses. The structural, morphological, optical, and electrical properties of the DPP-DTT:C60 blend layers deposited by MAPLE were investigated in order to emphasize the influence of the DPP-DTT:C60 weight ratio and the number of laser pulses on these features. The preservation of the chemical structure of both DPP-DTT and C60 during the MAPLE deposition process is confirmed by the presence of their vibrational fingerprints in the FTIR spectra of the organic thin films. The UV-VIS and photoluminescence spectra of the obtained organic layers reveal the absorption bands attributed to DPP-DTT and the emission bands associated with C60, respectively. The morphology of the DPP-DTT:C60 blend films consists of aggregates and fibril-like structures. Regardless the DPP-DTT:C60 weight ratio and the number of laser pulses used during the MAPLE process, the current–voltage characteristics recorded, under illumination, of all structures developed on the MAPLE deposited layers evidenced a photovoltaic cell behavior. The results proved that the MAPLE emerges as a viable technique for depositing thin films based on conjugated polymers featured by a complex structure that can be further used to develop devices for applications in the solar cell area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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11 pages, 4575 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Core–Double Shell Nylon-ZnO/Polypyrrole Electrospun Nanofibers
by Mihaela Beregoi, Nicoleta Preda, Andreea Costas, Monica Enculescu, Raluca Florentina Negrea, Horia Iovu and Ionut Enculescu
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2241; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112241 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2383
Abstract
Core–double shell nylon-ZnO/polypyrrole electrospun nanofibers were fabricated by combining three straightforward methods (electrospinning, sol–gel synthesis and electrodeposition). The hybrid fibrous organic–inorganic nanocomposite was obtained starting from freestanding nylon 6/6 nanofibers obtained through electrospinning. Nylon meshes were functionalized with a very thin, continuous ZnO [...] Read more.
Core–double shell nylon-ZnO/polypyrrole electrospun nanofibers were fabricated by combining three straightforward methods (electrospinning, sol–gel synthesis and electrodeposition). The hybrid fibrous organic–inorganic nanocomposite was obtained starting from freestanding nylon 6/6 nanofibers obtained through electrospinning. Nylon meshes were functionalized with a very thin, continuous ZnO film by a sol–gel process and thermally treated in order to increase its crystallinity. Further, the ZnO coated networks were used as a working electrode for the electrochemical deposition of a very thin, homogenous polypyrrole layer. X-ray diffraction measurements were employed for characterizing the ZnO structures while spectroscopic techniques such as FTIR and Raman were employed for describing the polypyrrole layer. An elemental analysis was performed through X-ray microanalysis, confirming the expected double shell structure. A detailed micromorphological characterization through FESEM and TEM assays evidenced the deposition of both organic and inorganic layers. Highly transparent, flexible due to the presence of the polymer core and embedding a semiconducting heterojunction, such materials can be easily tailored and integrated in functional platforms with a wide range of applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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14 pages, 5696 KiB  
Article
Performant Composite Materials Based on Oxide Semiconductors and Metallic Nanoparticles Generated from Cloves and Mandarin Peel Extracts
by Irina Zgura, Monica Enculescu, Cosmin Istrate, Raluca Negrea, Mihaela Bacalum, Liviu Nedelcu and Marcela Elisabeta Barbinta-Patrascu
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(11), 2146; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10112146 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
In this work, the metal and semiconducting nanoparticles (AgNPs, ZnONPs and AgZnONPs) were phyto-synthesized using aqueous vegetal extracts from: Caryophyllus aromaticus L. (cloves) and Citrus reticulata L. (mandarin) peels. The morphological, structural, compositional, optical and biological properties (antibacterial activity, and cytotoxicity) of the [...] Read more.
In this work, the metal and semiconducting nanoparticles (AgNPs, ZnONPs and AgZnONPs) were phyto-synthesized using aqueous vegetal extracts from: Caryophyllus aromaticus L. (cloves) and Citrus reticulata L. (mandarin) peels. The morphological, structural, compositional, optical and biological properties (antibacterial activity, and cytotoxicity) of the prepared composites were investigated. The most effective sample proved to be AgZnONPs, derived from cloves, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 0.11 mg/mL and a minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) value of 2.68 mg/mL. All the other three composites inhibited bacterial growth at a concentration between 0.25 mg/mL and 0.37 mg/mL, with a bactericidal concentration between 3 mg/mL and 4 mg/mL. The obtained composites presented biocidal activity against Staphylococcus aureus, and biocompatibility (on human fibroblast BJ cells) and did not damage the human red blood cells. Additionally, an important result is that the presence of silver in composite materials improved the bactericidal action of these nanomaterials against the most common nosocomial pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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16 pages, 9828 KiB  
Article
Graphene Oxide Concentration Effect on the Optoelectronic Properties of ZnO/GO Nanocomposites
by Issam Boukhoubza, Mohammed Khenfouch, Mohamed Achehboune, Liviu Leontie, Aurelian Catalin Galca, Monica Enculescu, Aurelian Carlescu, Mohammed Guerboub, Bakang Moses Mothudi, Anouar Jorio and Izeddine Zorkani
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1532; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081532 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4780
Abstract
In this work, the effects of graphene oxide (GO) concentrations (1.5 wt.%, 2.5 wt.%, and 5 wt.%) on the structural, morphological, optical, and luminescence properties of zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO NRs)/GO nanocomposites, synthesized by a facile hydrothermal process, were investigated. X-ray diffraction (XRD) [...] Read more.
In this work, the effects of graphene oxide (GO) concentrations (1.5 wt.%, 2.5 wt.%, and 5 wt.%) on the structural, morphological, optical, and luminescence properties of zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO NRs)/GO nanocomposites, synthesized by a facile hydrothermal process, were investigated. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of NRs revealed the hexagonal wurtzite structure for all composites with an average coherence length of about 40–60 nm. A scanning electron microscopy (SEM) study confirmed the presence of transparent and wrinkled, dense GO nanosheets among flower-like ZnO nanorods, depending on the GO amounts used in preparation. Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) absorption spectroscopy, and photoluminescence (PL) measurements revealed the impact of GO concentration on the optical and luminescence properties of ZnO NRs/GO nanocomposites. The energy band gap of the ZnO nanorods was independent of GO concentration. Photoluminescence spectra of nanocomposites showed a significant decrease in the intensities in the visible light range and red shifted suggesting a charge transfer process. The nanocomposites’ chromaticity coordinates for CIE 1931 color space were estimated to be (0.33, 0.34), close to pure white ones. The obtained results highlight the possibility of using these nanocomposites to achieve good performance and suitability for optoelectronic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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7 pages, 6311 KiB  
Article
Solution-Based Deposition of Transparent Eu-Doped Titanium Oxide Thin Films for Potential Security Labeling and UV Screening
by Anara Molkenova, Laura Khamkhash, Ainur Zhussupbekova, Kuanysh Zhussupbekov, Sagyntay Sarsenov, Izumi Taniguchi, Igor V. Shvets and Timur Sh. Atabaev
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1132; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061132 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3203
Abstract
Transparent titanium oxide thin films attract enormous attention from the scientific community because of their prominent properties, such as low-cost, chemical stability, and optical transparency in the visible region. In this study, we developed an easy and scalable solution-based process for the deposition [...] Read more.
Transparent titanium oxide thin films attract enormous attention from the scientific community because of their prominent properties, such as low-cost, chemical stability, and optical transparency in the visible region. In this study, we developed an easy and scalable solution-based process for the deposition of transparent TiOx thin films on glass substrates. We showed that the proposed method is also suitable for the fabrication of metal-doped TiOx thin films. As proof-of-the-concept, europium Eu(III) ions were introduced into TiOx film. A photoluminescence (PL) study revealed that Eu-doped TiOx thin films showed strong red luminescence associated with 5D07Fj relaxation transitions in Eu (III). We found that prepared TiOx thin films significantly reduce the transmittance of destructive UV radiation; a feature that can be useful for the protection of photovoltaic devices. In addition, transparent and luminescent TiOx thin films can be utilized for potential security labeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

48 pages, 14162 KiB  
Review
Hybrid Nanocomposite Thin Films for Photovoltaic Applications: A Review
by Marcela Socol and Nicoleta Preda
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051117 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4347
Abstract
Continuing growth in global energy consumption and the growing concerns regarding climate change and environmental pollution are the strongest drivers of renewable energy deployment. Solar energy is the most abundant and cleanest renewable energy source available. Nowadays, photovoltaic technologies can be regarded as [...] Read more.
Continuing growth in global energy consumption and the growing concerns regarding climate change and environmental pollution are the strongest drivers of renewable energy deployment. Solar energy is the most abundant and cleanest renewable energy source available. Nowadays, photovoltaic technologies can be regarded as viable pathways to provide sustainable energy generation, the achievement attained in designing nanomaterials with tunable properties and the progress made in the production processes having a major impact in their development. Solar cells involving hybrid nanocomposite layers have, lately, received extensive research attention due to the possibility to combine the advantages derived from the properties of both components: flexibility and processability from the organic part and stability and optoelectronics features from the inorganic part. Thus, this review provides a synopsis on hybrid solar cells developed in the last decade which involve composite layers deposited by spin-coating, the most used deposition method, and matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation, a relatively new deposition technique. The overview is focused on the hybrid nanocomposite films that can use conducting polymers and metal phthalocyanines as p-type materials, fullerene derivatives and non-fullerene compounds as n-type materials, and semiconductor nanostructures based on metal oxide, chalcogenides, and silicon. A survey regarding the influence of various factors on the hybrid solar cell efficiency is given in order to identify new strategies for enhancing the device performance in the upcoming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films Based on Nanocomposites)
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