Special Issue "Mechanics, Electrical and Optical Properties of Nano-Thin Films"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Luca Valentini
Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile ed Ambientale, Università di Perugia, UdR INSTM, Strada di Pentima 4, 05100 Terni, Italy
Interests: graphene; carbon nanotube; polymer physics; functional nanocomposites
Prof. Dr. Nicola Pugno
Website
Guest Editor
Universita degli Studi di Trento, Department of Civil, Trento, Italy
Interests: nanomechanics; nanomaterials; bioinspired materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The integration demand of multifunctional properties in thin films is challenging, since some of them are mutually exclusive; for example, the mechanisms that operate during material deformation make stretchability and conductivity fundamentally difficult properties to combine. Thus, innovative solutions enabling the production of unexpected optical, mechanical and electrical functions are required. A broad range of optically and electrically anisotropic thin film devices can be produced by surface texturing, surface corrugations and mechanical stretching. In this Special Issue we would invite authors to contribute with their innovative contributions in terms of research papers, communications, letters and reviews on thin films based on nanomaterials that demonstrate electrical and optical tunability under mechanical stress, including self-organization of conductive nanostructures with the strain, and hybrid nanocomposite thin films with recoverable control of the electrical and optical properties by mechanical actuation. Potential methods include but are not limited to layer-by-layer assembly, buckled nanostructures, hybrid nanoarchitectures and controlled disposition of nanoparticles.

Prof. Dr. Luca Valentini
Prof. Dr. Nicola Pugno
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

  • nanomaterials
  • soft nanocomposites
  • electronic applications
  • optical properties
  • stretchable devices
  • nanostructured surfaces

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Combining Living Microorganisms with Regenerated Silk Provides Nanofibril-Based Thin Films with Heat-Responsive Wrinkled States for Smart Food Packaging
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(7), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8070518 - 11 Jul 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Regenerated silk (RS) is a protein-based “biopolymer” that enables the design of new materials; here, we called “bionic” the process of regenerated silk production by a fermentation-assisted method. Based on yeast’s fermentation, here we produced a living hybrid composite made of regenerated silk [...] Read more.
Regenerated silk (RS) is a protein-based “biopolymer” that enables the design of new materials; here, we called “bionic” the process of regenerated silk production by a fermentation-assisted method. Based on yeast’s fermentation, here we produced a living hybrid composite made of regenerated silk nanofibrils and a single-cell fungi, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast extract, by fermentation of such microorganisms at room temperature in a dissolution bath of silkworm silk fibers. The fermentation-based processing enhances the beta-sheet content of the RS, corresponding to a reduction in water permeability and CO2 diffusion through RS/yeast thin films enabling the fabrication of a mechanically robust film that enhances food storage durability. Finally, a transfer print method, which consists of transferring RS and RS/yeast film layers onto a self-adherent paraffin substrate, was used for the realization of heat-responsive wrinkles by exploiting the high thermal expansion of the paraffin substrate that regulates the applied strain, resulting in a switchable coating morphology from the wrinkle-free state to a wrinkled state if the food temperature overcomes a designed threshold. We envision that such efficient and smart coatings can be applied for the realization of smart packaging that, through such a temperature-sensing mechanism, can be used to control food storage conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanics, Electrical and Optical Properties of Nano-Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle
Using Polarized Spectroscopy to Investigate Order in Thin-Films of Ionic Self-Assembled Materials Based on Azo-Dyes
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8020109 - 15 Feb 2018
Abstract
Three series of ionic self-assembled materials based on anionic azo-dyes and cationic benzalkonium surfactants were synthesized and thin films were prepared by spin-casting. These thin films appear isotropic when investigated with polarized optical microscopy, although they are highly anisotropic. Here, three series of [...] Read more.
Three series of ionic self-assembled materials based on anionic azo-dyes and cationic benzalkonium surfactants were synthesized and thin films were prepared by spin-casting. These thin films appear isotropic when investigated with polarized optical microscopy, although they are highly anisotropic. Here, three series of homologous materials were studied to rationalize this observation. Investigating thin films of ordered molecular materials relies to a large extent on advanced experimental methods and large research infrastructure. A statement that in particular is true for thin films with nanoscopic order, where X-ray reflectometry, X-ray and neutron scattering, electron microscopy and atom force microscopy (AFM) has to be used to elucidate film morphology and the underlying molecular structure. Here, the thin films were investigated using AFM, optical microscopy and polarized absorption spectroscopy. It was shown that by using numerical method for treating the polarized absorption spectroscopy data, the molecular structure can be elucidated. Further, it was shown that polarized optical spectroscopy is a general tool that allows determination of the molecular order in thin films. Finally, it was found that full control of thermal history and rigorous control of the ionic self-assembly conditions are required to reproducibly make these materials of high nanoscopic order. Similarly, the conditions for spin-casting are shown to be determining for the overall thin film morphology, while molecular order is maintained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanics, Electrical and Optical Properties of Nano-Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle
Properties-Adjustable Alumina-Zirconia Nanolaminate Dielectric Fabricated by Spin-Coating
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(12), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7120419 - 29 Nov 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this paper, an alumina-zirconia (Al2O3-ZrO2) nanolaminate dielectric was fabricated by spin-coating and the performance was investigated. It was found that the properties of the dielectric can be adjusted by changing the content of Al2O [...] Read more.
In this paper, an alumina-zirconia (Al2O3-ZrO2) nanolaminate dielectric was fabricated by spin-coating and the performance was investigated. It was found that the properties of the dielectric can be adjusted by changing the content of Al2O3/ZrO2 in nanolaminates: when the content of Al2O3 was higher than 50%, the properties of nanolaminates, such as the optical energy gap, dielectric strength (Vds), capacitance density, and relative permittivity were relatively stable, while the change of these properties became larger when the content of Al2O3 was less than 50%. With the content of ZrO2 varying from 50% to 100%, the variation of these properties was up to 0.482 eV, 2.12 MV/cm, 135.35 nF/cm2, and 11.64, respectively. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the dielectric strength of nanolaminates were influenced significantly by the number (n) of bilayers. Every increment of one Al2O3-ZrO2 bilayer will enhance the dielectric strength by around 0.39 MV/cm (Vds ≈ 0.86 + 0.39n). This could be contributed to the amorphous alumina which interrupted the grain boundaries of zirconia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanics, Electrical and Optical Properties of Nano-Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Interaction between Dislocation Loop and Coherent Twin Boundary in BCC Ta Film during Nanoindentation
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(11), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7110375 - 06 Nov 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this work, the interaction between dislocation loop (DL) and coherent twin boundary (CTB) in a body-centered cubic (BCC) tantalum (Ta) film during nanoindentation was investigated with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The formation and propagation of <111> full DLs in the nanotwinned (nt) [...] Read more.
In this work, the interaction between dislocation loop (DL) and coherent twin boundary (CTB) in a body-centered cubic (BCC) tantalum (Ta) film during nanoindentation was investigated with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The formation and propagation of <111> full DLs in the nanotwinned (nt) Ta film during the indentation was observed, and it was found that CTB can strongly affect the stress distribution in the Ta film, and thus change the motion and type of dislocations. There are three kinds of mechanisms for the interaction between DL and CTB in a twinned BCC Ta film: (i) dislocation absorption, (ii) dislocation desorption, and (iii) direct slip transmission. The nucleation of twin boundary dislocations and the formation of the steps in CTB were also observed during the indentation. The mechanisms presented in this work can provide atomic images for understanding the plastic deformation of BCC metals with mirror-symmetry grain boundary structures, and provide available information for the evaluation and design of high-performance nt BCC metallic thin film coatings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanics, Electrical and Optical Properties of Nano-Thin Films)
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