Special Issue "Tuning the Physicochemical Properties of Nanostructured Materials through Advanced Preparation Methods"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 18329

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Special Issue Editors

Dr. John Vakros
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece
Interests: preparation; characterization and testing of supported catalysts; environmental friendly processes; advanced oxidation processes; biochar applications; acid-base behavior of nanoparticles; potentiometric mass titrations; metal support interactions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. George Avgouropoulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science, University of Patras, University Campus, GR-26504 Patras, Greece
Interests: synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, heterogeneous nanocatalysts, catalytic hydrogen technologies, environmental catalytic chemical processes, methanol fuel cells, Li- and Na-ion batteries
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last few decades, nanotechnology has gained huge interest due to its extensive application in various fields including catalysis, electronics, optics, energy, and environment. The design and controlled synthesis of advanced nanomaterials with unique properties make them highly attractive in these fields. 

Nanomaterials can be classified into one-, two-, and three-dimensional materials. The main characteristic of nanostructured materials is their surface reactivity due to their active surface functional groups. The control of the size, shape, and nature of nanoparticles is strongly influenced by the synthetic route applied during the preparation step (i.e. hydrothermal, solvothermal, combustion, sol-gel).

We kindly invite you to submit a high-quality contribution to this Special Issue of Nanomaterials, entitled, “Tuning the physicochemical properties of nanostructured materials through advanced preparation methods,” and to discuss the recent developments in nanomaterials with regard to the preparation method used. Review and original research articles are all welcome. Experimental as well as theoretical inquiries will be addressed.

Dr. John Vakros
Prof. George Avgouropoulos
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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

  • Nanostructured materials
  • Preparation method
  • Catalyst
  • Combustion
  • Hydrothermal
  • Sol-gel
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Synthesis parameters

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Tuning the Physicochemical Properties of Nanostructured Materials through Advanced Preparation Methods
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(6), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12060956 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Over the last few decades, nanotechnology has received a huge level of interest due to its extensive applications in various fields, including catalysis, electronics, optics, energy, and the environment [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Hybrid Biochar/Ceria Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Characterization and Activity Assessment for the Persulfate-Induced Degradation of Antibiotic Sulfamethoxazole
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12020194 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
Biochar from spent malt rootlets was employed as the template to synthesize hybrid biochar-ceria materials through a wet impregnation method. The materials were tested for the activation of persulfate (SPS) and subsequent degradation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX), a representative antibiotic, in various matrices. Different [...] Read more.
Biochar from spent malt rootlets was employed as the template to synthesize hybrid biochar-ceria materials through a wet impregnation method. The materials were tested for the activation of persulfate (SPS) and subsequent degradation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX), a representative antibiotic, in various matrices. Different calcination temperatures in the range 300–500 °C were employed and the resulting materials were characterized by means of N2 adsorption and potentiometric mass titration as well as TGA, XRD, SEM, FTIR, DRS, and Raman spectroscopy. Calcination temperature affects the biochar content and the physicochemical properties of the hybrid materials, which were tested for the degradation of 500 μg L−1 SMX with SPS (in the range 200–500 mg L−1) in various matrices including ultrapure water (UPW), bottled water, wastewater, and UPW spiked with bicarbonate, chloride, or humic acid. Materials calcined at 300–350 °C, with a surface area of ca. 120 m2 g−1, were the most active, yielding ca. 65% SMX degradation after 120 min of reaction in UPW; materials calcined at higher temperatures as well as bare biochar were less active. Degradation decreased with increasing matrix complexity due to the interactions amongst the surface, the contaminant, and the oxidant. Experiments in the presence of scavengers (i.e., methanol, t-butanol, and sodium azide) revealed that sulfate and hydroxyl radicals as well as singlet oxygen were the main oxidative species. Full article
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Article
New Insights on the Nickel State Deposited by Hydrazine Wet-Chemical Synthesis Route in the Ni/BCY15 Proton-Conducting SOFC Anode
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(12), 3224; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11123224 - 27 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Yttrium-doped barium cerate (BCY15) was used as an anode ceramic matrix for synthesis of the Ni-based cermet anode with application in proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells (pSOFC). The hydrazine wet-chemical synthesis was developed as an alternative low-cost energy-efficient route that promotes ‘in situ’ [...] Read more.
Yttrium-doped barium cerate (BCY15) was used as an anode ceramic matrix for synthesis of the Ni-based cermet anode with application in proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells (pSOFC). The hydrazine wet-chemical synthesis was developed as an alternative low-cost energy-efficient route that promotes ‘in situ’ introduction of metallic Ni particles in the BCY15 matrix. The focus of this study is a detailed comparative characterization of the nickel state in the Ni/BCY15 cermets obtained in two types of medium, aqueous and anhydrous ethylene glycol environment, performed by a combination of XRD, N2 physisorption, SEM, EPR, XPS, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Obtained results on the effect of the working medium show that ethylene glycol ensures active Ni cermet preparation with well-dispersed nanoscale metal Ni particles and provides a strong interaction between hydrazine-originating metallic Ni and cerium from the BCY15 matrix. The metallic Ni phase in the pSOFC anode is more stable during reoxidation compared to the Ni cermet prepared by the commercial mechanical mixing procedure. These factors contribute toward improvement of the anode’s electrochemical performance in pSOFC, enhanced stability, and a lower degradation rate during operation. Full article
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Article
PbS Quantum Dots Saturable Absorber for Dual-Wavelength Solitons Generation
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(10), 2561; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11102561 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
PbS quantum dots (QDs), a representative zero-dimensional material, have attracted great interest due to their unique optical, electronic, and chemical characteristics. Compared to one- and two-dimensional materials, PbS QDs possess strong absorption and an adjustable bandgap, which are particularly fascinating in near-infrared applications. [...] Read more.
PbS quantum dots (QDs), a representative zero-dimensional material, have attracted great interest due to their unique optical, electronic, and chemical characteristics. Compared to one- and two-dimensional materials, PbS QDs possess strong absorption and an adjustable bandgap, which are particularly fascinating in near-infrared applications. Here, fiber-based PbS QDs as a saturable absorber (SA) are studied for dual-wavelength ultrafast pulses generation for the first time to our knowledge. By introducing PbS QDs SA into an erbium-doped fiber laser, the laser can simultaneously generate dual-wavelength conventional solitons with central wavelengths of 1532 and 1559 nm and 3 dB bandwidths of 2.8 and 2.5 nm, respectively. The results show that PbS QDs as broadband SAs have potential application prospects for the generation of ultrafast lasers. Full article
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Article
Promoting the Selectivity of Pt/m-ZrO2 Ethanol Steam Reforming Catalysts with K and Rb Dopants
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(9), 2233; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11092233 - 29 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
The ethanol steam reforming reaction (ESR) was investigated on unpromoted and potassium- and rubidium-promoted monoclinic zirconia-supported platinum (Pt/m-ZrO2) catalysts. Evidence from in situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) characterization indicates that ethanol dissociates to ethoxy species, which undergo oxidative [...] Read more.
The ethanol steam reforming reaction (ESR) was investigated on unpromoted and potassium- and rubidium-promoted monoclinic zirconia-supported platinum (Pt/m-ZrO2) catalysts. Evidence from in situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) characterization indicates that ethanol dissociates to ethoxy species, which undergo oxidative dehydrogenation to acetate followed by acetate decomposition. The acetate decomposition pathway depends on catalyst composition. The decarboxylation pathway tends to produce higher overall hydrogen selectivity and is the most favored route at high alkali loading (2.55 wt.% K and higher or 4.25 wt.% Rb and higher). On the other hand, decarbonylation is a significant route for the undoped catalyst or when a low alkali loading (e.g., 0.85% K or 0.93% Rb) is used, thus lowering the overall H2 selectivity of the process. Results of in situ DRIFTS and the temperature-programmed reaction of ESR show that alkali doping promotes forward acetate decomposition while exposed metallic sites tend to facilitate decarbonylation. In previous work, 1.8 wt.% Na was found to hinder decarbonylation completely. Due to the fact that 1.8 wt.% Na is atomically equivalent to 3.1 wt.% K and 6.7 wt.% Rb, the results show that less K (2.55% K) or Rb (4.25% Rb) is needed to suppress decarbonylation; that is, more basic cations are more efficient promoters for improving the overall hydrogen selectivity of the ESR process. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Local Mechanical and Chemical Properties via AFM as a Tool for Understanding the Formation Mechanism of Pulsed UV Laser-Nanoinduced Patterns on Azo-Naphthalene-Based Polyimide Films
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030812 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
Aromatic polyimides containing side azo-naphthalene groups have been investigated regarding their capacity of generating surface relief gratings (SRGs) under pulsed UV laser irradiation through phase masks, using different fluencies and pulse numbers. The process of the material photo-fluidization and the supramolecular re-organization of [...] Read more.
Aromatic polyimides containing side azo-naphthalene groups have been investigated regarding their capacity of generating surface relief gratings (SRGs) under pulsed UV laser irradiation through phase masks, using different fluencies and pulse numbers. The process of the material photo-fluidization and the supramolecular re-organization of the surface were investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM). At first, an AFM nanoscale topographical analysis of the induced SRGs was performed in terms of morphology and tridimensional amplitude, spatial, hybrid, and functional parameters. Afterward, a nanomechanical characterization of SRGs using an advanced method, namely, AFM PinPoint mode, was performed, where the quantitative nanomechanical properties (i.e., modulus, adhesion, deformation) of the nanostructured azo-polyimide surfaces were acquired with a highly correlated topographic registration. This method proved to be very effective in understanding the formation mechanism of the surface modulations during pulsed UV laser irradiation. Additionally to AFM investigations, confocal Raman measurements and molecular simulations were performed to provide information about structured azo-polyimide chemical composition and macromolecular conformation induced by laser irradiation. Full article
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Article
Improved Water–Gas Shift Performance of Au/NiAl LDHs Nanostructured Catalysts via CeO2 Addition
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020366 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Supported gold on co-precipitated nanosized NiAl layered double hydroxides (LDHs) was studied as an effective catalyst for medium-temperature water–gas shift (WGS) reaction, an industrial catalytic process traditionally applied for the reduction in the amount of CO in the synthesis gas and production of [...] Read more.
Supported gold on co-precipitated nanosized NiAl layered double hydroxides (LDHs) was studied as an effective catalyst for medium-temperature water–gas shift (WGS) reaction, an industrial catalytic process traditionally applied for the reduction in the amount of CO in the synthesis gas and production of pure hydrogen. The motivation of the present study was to improve the performance of the Au/NiAl catalyst via modification by CeO2. An innovative approach for the direct deposition of ceria (1, 3 or 5 wt.%) on NiAl-LDH, based on the precipitation of Ce3+ ions with 1M NaOH, was developed. The proposed method allows us to obtain the CeO2 phase and to preserve the NiAl layered structure by avoiding the calcination treatment. The synthesis of Au-containing samples was performed through the deposition–precipitation method. The as-prepared and WGS-tested samples were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, N2-physisorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in order to clarify the effects of Au and CeO2 loading on the structure, phase composition, textural and electronic properties and activity of the catalysts. The reduction behavior of the studied samples was evaluated by temperature-programmed reduction. The WGS performance of Au/NiAl catalysts was significantly affected by the addition of CeO2. A favorable role of ceria was revealed by comparison of CO conversion degree at 220 °C reached by 3 wt.% CeO2-modified and ceria-free Au/NiAl samples (98.8 and 83.4%, respectively). It can be stated that tuning the properties of Au/NiAl LDH via CeO2 addition offers catalysts with possibilities for practical application owing to innovative synthesis and improved WGS performance. Full article
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Article
Effect of Embedment of MWCNTs for Enhancement of Physical and Mechanical Performance of Medium Density Fiberboard
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010029 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
In this research work effect of embedment of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the physical and mechanical properties of medium density fiberboard (MDF) have been investigated. The MWCNTs were embedded in urea formaldehyde resin (UF) at 0, 1.5%, 3% and 5% concentrations by [...] Read more.
In this research work effect of embedment of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the physical and mechanical properties of medium density fiberboard (MDF) have been investigated. The MWCNTs were embedded in urea formaldehyde resin (UF) at 0, 1.5%, 3% and 5% concentrations by weight for the manufacturing of nano-MDF. The addition of these nanoparticles enhanced thermal conductivity by 24.2% reduced curing time by 20% and controlled formaldehyde emission by 59.4%. The internal bonding (I.B), modulus elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), thickness swelling (Ts) and water absorption (WA) properties were improved significantly by 21.15%, 30.2%, 28.3%, 44.8% and 29% respectively as compared to controlled MDF. Full article
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Article
Fabrication of Nanoyttria by Method of Solution Combustion Synthesis
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050831 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
In the work the research on properties of an yttria nanopowder obtained by solution combustion synthesis (SCS) in terms of its application in ceramic technology is presented. In order to characterize the SCS reaction the decomposition of yttrium nitrate, glycine and their solution [...] Read more.
In the work the research on properties of an yttria nanopowder obtained by solution combustion synthesis (SCS) in terms of its application in ceramic technology is presented. In order to characterize the SCS reaction the decomposition of yttrium nitrate, glycine and their solution was investigated using differential thermal analysis coupled with FT-IR spectrometry of the gases emitted during the measurements. The product obtained in the SCS process was characterized in terms of its microstructure, particle size distribution and BET specific surface. Although the obtained powders showed nanoscaled structures, only after calcination at a temperature of 1100 °C nanosized particles were revealed. The calcined powder occurred in an agglomerated state (cumulants mean Zave = 1.3 µm). After milling particle size was successfully decreased to Zave = 0.28 µm. The deagglomerated powder was isostatically densified and tested for sintering ability. The obtained nanopowder showed very high sintering activity as the shrinkage onset was detected already at a temperature of about 1150 °C. Full article
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Review

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Review
How the Physicochemical Properties of Manufactured Nanomaterials Affect Their Performance in Dispersion and Their Applications in Biomedicine: A Review
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(3), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12030552 - 06 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1362
Abstract
The growth in novel synthesis methods and in the range of possible applications has led to the development of a large variety of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs), which can, in principle, come into close contact with humans and be dispersed in the environment. The [...] Read more.
The growth in novel synthesis methods and in the range of possible applications has led to the development of a large variety of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs), which can, in principle, come into close contact with humans and be dispersed in the environment. The nanomaterials interact with the surrounding environment, this being either the proteins and/or cells in a biological medium or the matrix constituent in a dispersion or composite, and an interface is formed whose properties depend on the physicochemical interactions and on colloidal forces. The development of predictive relationships between the characteristics of individual MNMs and their potential practical use critically depends on how the key parameters of MNMs, such as the size, shape, surface chemistry, surface charge, surface coating, etc., affect the behavior in a test medium. This relationship between the biophysicochemical properties of the MNMs and their practical use is defined as their functionality; understanding this relationship is very important for the safe use of these nanomaterials. In this mini review, we attempt to identify the key parameters of nanomaterials and establish a relationship between these and the main MNM functionalities, which would play an important role in the safe design of MNMs; thus, reducing the possible health and environmental risks early on in the innovation process, when the functionality of a nanomaterial and its toxicity/safety will be taken into account in an integrated way. This review aims to contribute to a decision tree strategy for the optimum design of safe nanomaterials, by going beyond the compromise between functionality and safety. Full article
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Review
One-, Two-, and Three-Dimensional Self-Assembly of Atomically Precise Metal Nanoclusters
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1105; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061105 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 5131
Abstract
Metal nanoclusters (NCs), which consist of several, to about one hundred, metal atoms, have attracted much attention as functional nanomaterials for use in nanotechnology. Because of their fine particle size, metal NCs exhibit physical/chemical properties and functions different from those of the corresponding [...] Read more.
Metal nanoclusters (NCs), which consist of several, to about one hundred, metal atoms, have attracted much attention as functional nanomaterials for use in nanotechnology. Because of their fine particle size, metal NCs exhibit physical/chemical properties and functions different from those of the corresponding bulk metal. In recent years, many techniques to precisely synthesize metal NCs have been developed. However, to apply these metal NCs in devices and as next-generation materials, it is necessary to assemble metal NCs to a size that is easy to handle. Recently, multiple techniques have been developed to form one-, two-, and three-dimensional connected structures (CSs) of metal NCs through self-assembly. Further progress of these techniques will promote the development of nanomaterials that take advantage of the characteristics of metal NCs. This review summarizes previous research on the CSs of metal NCs. We hope that this review will allow readers to obtain a general understanding of the formation and functions of CSs and that the obtained knowledge will help to establish clear design guidelines for fabricating new CSs with desired functions in the future. Full article
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