Special Issue "Growth, Characterization, and Modelling of Nanostructures for Applications in Sensing"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanoelectronics, Nanosensors and Devices".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Luca Seravalli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CNR-IMEM Institute, Parco delle Scienze 37a, I-43100 Parma, Italy
Interests: CVD growth; nanostructures; modelling; semiconductors
Dr. Matteo Bosi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CNR-IMEM Institute, Parco delle Scienze 37a, I-43100 Parma, Italy
Interests: CVD; growth; synthesis; nanostructures; semiconductors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials will cover the latest developments on nanostructures for applications in the field of sensing. Topics will include, but are not limited to, nanofibers, nanoparticles, nanopillars, nanoplatelets, nanoribbons, nanorods, nanowires, nanosheets, quantum dots and related structures based on various materials (semiconductors, metals, dielectrics) .

One of the most interesting applications of nanostructures is the sensing of specific molecules in gases or liquids, as their peculiar small size and high surface/volume ratio permit achieving a very high sensitivity, up to parts per billion, or even more. The modifications in electrical conductivity caused by the binding of charged species to the surface of the nanostructure allows for fast, efficient, and selective sensing. Surface modifications induced by specific functional groups allow for increasing the measurable interactions and enhancing the selectivity  towards specific analytes.

This Issue will cover a wide range of research fields in the field of nanostructures for sensing. Topics will include the following:

  • Synthesis and growth of nanostructures.
  • Characterization with specific focus on properties affecting sensing.
  • Modelling of physical and chemical processes for sensing.
  • Functionalization for specific applications.
  • Fabrication of sensors and devices.

Original reviews, communications, and scientific papers focusing on these topics are welcome.

Keywords

  • Nanostructures
  • Synthesis
  • Sensing
  • Characterization
  • Modelling

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Probing the Surface Chemistry of Nanoporous Gold via Electrochemical Characterization and Atom Probe Tomography
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(4), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11041002 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Surface chemistry information is crucial in understanding catalytic and sensing mechanisms. However, resolving the outermost monolayer composition of metallic nanoporous materials is challenging due to the high tortuosity of their morphology. In this study, we first elaborate on the capabilities and limitations of [...] Read more.
Surface chemistry information is crucial in understanding catalytic and sensing mechanisms. However, resolving the outermost monolayer composition of metallic nanoporous materials is challenging due to the high tortuosity of their morphology. In this study, we first elaborate on the capabilities and limitations of atom probe tomography (APT) in resolving interfaces. Subsequently, an electrochemical approach is designed to characterize the surface composition of nanoporous gold (NPG), developed from dealloying an inexpensive precursor (95 at. % Ag, 5 at. % Au), by the means of aqueous electrochemical measurements of the selective electrosorption of sulfide ions, which react strongly with Ag, but to a significantly lesser extent with Au. Accordingly, cyclic voltammetry was performed at various scan rates on NPG in alkaline aqueous solutions (0.2 M NaOH; pH 13) in the presence and absence of 1 mM Na2S. Calibrations via similar voltammetric measurements on pure polycrystalline Ag and Au surfaces allowed for a quantitative estimation for the Ag surface coverage of NPG. The sensitivity threshold for the detection of the adsorbate–Ag interaction was assessed to be approximately 2% Ag surface coverage. As curves measured on NPG only showed featureless capacitive currents, no faradaic charge density associated with sulfide electrosorption could be detected. This study opens a new avenue to gain further insight into the monolayer surface coverage of metallic nanoporous materials and assists in enhancement of the interpretation of APT reconstructions. Full article
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Article
Germanium Nanowires as Sensing Devices: Modelization of Electrical Properties
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020507 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 657
Abstract
In this paper, we model the electrical properties of germanium nanowires with a particular focus on physical mechanisms of electrical molecular sensing. We use the Tibercad software to solve the drift-diffusion equations in 3D and we validate the model against experimental data, considering [...] Read more.
In this paper, we model the electrical properties of germanium nanowires with a particular focus on physical mechanisms of electrical molecular sensing. We use the Tibercad software to solve the drift-diffusion equations in 3D and we validate the model against experimental data, considering a p-doped nanowire with surface traps. We simulate three different types of interactions: (1) Passivation of surface traps; (2) Additional surface charges; (3) Charge transfer from molecules to nanowires. By analyzing simulated I–V characteristics, we observe that: (i) the largest change in current occurs with negative charges on the surfaces; (ii) charge transfer provides relevant current changes only for very high values of additional doping; (iii) for certain values of additional n-doping ambipolar currents could be obtained. The results of these simulations highlight the complexity of the molecular sensing mechanism in nanowires, that depends not only on the NW parameters but also on the properties of the molecules. We expect that these findings will be valuable to extend the knowledge of molecular sensing by germanium nanowires, a fundamental step to develop novel sensors based on these nanostructures. Full article
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Article
Fluorescence Signal Enhancement in Antibody Microarrays Using Lightguiding Nanowires
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010227 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
Fluorescence-based detection assays play an essential role in the life sciences and medicine. To offer better detection sensitivity and lower limits of detection (LOD), there is a growing need for novel platforms with an improved readout capacity. In this context, substrates containing semiconductor [...] Read more.
Fluorescence-based detection assays play an essential role in the life sciences and medicine. To offer better detection sensitivity and lower limits of detection (LOD), there is a growing need for novel platforms with an improved readout capacity. In this context, substrates containing semiconductor nanowires may offer significant advantages, due to their proven light-emission enhancing, waveguiding properties, and increased surface area. To demonstrate and evaluate the potential of such nanowires in the context of diagnostic assays, we have in this work adopted a well-established single-chain fragment antibody-based assay, based on a protocol previously designed for biomarker detection using planar microarrays, to freestanding, SiO2-coated gallium phosphide nanowires. The assay was used for the detection of protein biomarkers in highly complex human serum at high dilution. The signal quality was quantified and compared with results obtained on conventional flat silicon and plastic substrates used in the established microarray applications. Our results show that using the nanowire-sensor platform in combination with conventional readout methods, improves the signal intensity, contrast, and signal-to-noise by more than one order of magnitude compared to flat surfaces. The results confirm the potential of lightguiding nanowires for signal enhancement and their capacity to improve the LOD of standard diagnostic assays. Full article
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