Frontiers of Materials Science


ISSN 2095-025X (Print)
ISSN 2095-0268 (Online)
CN 11-5985/TB
Postal Subscription Code 80-974
2018 Impact Factor: 1.701
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Synthesis and characterization of lanthanide-doped sodium holmium fluoride nanoparticles for potential application in photothermal therapy
Front. Mater. Sci.
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Upconversion nanoparticles (UC NPs) in combination with plasmonic materials have great potential for cancer photothermal therapy. Recently, sodium holmium fluoride (NaHoF4) is being investigated for luminescence and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent. Here, we present successful synthesis of excellent quality doped NaHoF4 NPs for possible UC luminescence application and coated for possible photothermal therapy application. Synthesized NaHoF4 nanocrystals were doped with Yb/Er and coated with gold, gold/silica, silver and polypyrrole (PPy). XRD, XPS and TEM were used to determine structure and morphology of the NPs. Strong UC photoluminescence (PL) emission spectra were obtained from the NPs when excited by near-infrared (NIR) light at 980 nm. Cell viability and toxicity of the NPs were characterized using pancreatic and ovarian cancer cells with results showing that gold/silica coating produced least toxicity followed by gold coating.

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Upconversion optical nanomaterials applied for photocatalysis and photovoltaics: Recent advances and perspectives
Front. Mater. Sci.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1258KB)

Upconversion (UC) lanthanide nanomaterials have attracted enormous attention in the last two decades thanks to their unique ability to convert low-energy infrared photons into high-energy photons. In this mini-review, we briefly discussed the recent achievements related to the direct utilization of UC optical nanomaterials for photocatalysis and photovoltaic applications. In particular, selected examples of UC-containing devices/nanocomposites with improved performance were covered. In addition, we outlined some challenges and future trends associated with the widespread usage of UC nanomaterials.

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Synthesis of poly(ethylene glycol)-SS-poly(ε-caprolactone)-SS-poly(ethylene glycol) triblock copolymers via end-group conjugation and self-assembly for reductively responsive drug delivery
Junbo LI, Junting JIANG, Biyu ZHOU, Chaohuang NIU, Wendi WANG, Wenlan WU
Front. Mater. Sci.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2728KB)

In this study, we describe a simple synthesis route to prepare triblock copolymers with disulfide-linkers, poly(ethylene glycol)-SS-poly(ε-caprolactone)-SS-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-SS-PCL-SS-PEG) for application in the reductively responsive release of doxorubicin (DOX). To synthesize PEG-SS-PCL-SS-PEG, two end-groups of PCL-diol were first modified with cystamine to introduce disulfide bonds and subsequently conjugated with PEG-NHS via carbodiimide chemistry. PEG-SS-PCL-SS-PEG fabricated into polymeric micelles with stable structure and different nanoscale sizes via adjusting the PCL chain length, showing obvious reductive responsiveness and fast drug release of encapsulated DOX in the presence of glutathione (GSH). Moreover, DOX-loaded PEG-SS-PCL-SS-PEG micelles exhibited higher therapeutic efficacy than reduction-insensitive PEG-b-PCL micelles in vitro. Thus, end-groups conjugation is a simple and straightforward strategy to introduce intelligent responsiveness in biocompatible block copolymers and improve their therapeutic efficacy.

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Preparation and thermal properties of layered porous carbon nanotube/epoxy resin composite films
Jun ZHAO, Hang ZHAN, Hai Tao CHEN, Jian Nong WANG
Front. Mater. Sci.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (758KB)

A floating-catalyst spray pyrolysis method was used to synthesize carbon nanotube (CNT) thin films. With the use of ammonium chloride as a pore-former and epoxy resin (EP) as an adhesive, CNT/EP composite films with a porous structure were prepared through the post-heat treatment. These films have excellent thermal insulation (0.029‒0.048 W·m−1·K−1) at the thickness direction as well as a good thermal conductivity (4060 W·m−1·K−1) in the film plane. This study provides a new film material for thermal control systems that demand a good thermal conductivity in the plane but outstanding thermal insulation at the thickness direction.

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SrTiO3/TiO2 heterostructure nanowires with enhanced electron‒hole separation for efficient photocatalytic activity
Liuxin YANG, Zhou CHEN, Jian ZHANG, Chang-An WANG
Front. Mater. Sci.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1436KB)

Heterostructure is an effective strategy to facilitate the charge carrier separation and promote the photocatalytic performance. In this paper, uniform SrTiO3 nanocubes were in-situ grown on TiO2 nanowires to construct heterojunctions. The composites were prepared by a facile alkaline hydrothermal method and an in-situ deposition method. The obtained SrTiO3/TiO2 exhibits much better photocatalytic activity than those of pure TiO2 nanowires and commercial TiO2 (P25) evaluated by photocatalytic water splitting and decomposition of Rhodamine B (RB). The hydrogen generation rate of SrTiO3/TiO2 nanowires could reach 111.26 mmol·g−1·h−1 at room temperature, much better than those of pure TiO2 nanowires (44.18 mmol·g−1·h−1) and P25 (35.77 mmol·g−1·h−1). The RB decomposition rate of SrTiO3/TiO2 is 7.2 times of P25 and 2.4 times of pure TiO2 nanowires. The photocatalytic activity increases initially and then decreases with the rising content of SrTiO3, suggesting an optimum SrTiO3/TiO2 ratio that can further enhance the catalytic activity. The improved photocatalytic activity of SrTiO3/TiO2 is principally attributed to the enhanced charge separation deriving from the SrTiO3/TiO2 heterojunction.

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Corrosion resistance of a silane/ceria modified MgAl-layered double hydroxide on AA5005 aluminum alloy
Wei WU, Fen ZHANG, Yu-Chao LI, Yong-Feng ZHOU, Qing-Song YAO, Liang SONG, Rong-Chang ZENG, Sie Chin TJONG, Dong-Chu CHEN
Front. Mater. Sci.
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The present work aimed at assessing the electrochemical behavior and the corrosion inhibition performance of MgAl-layered double hydroxide (LDH) coatings modified with methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) and cerium nitrate on AA5005 aluminum alloy. The chemical compositions and surface morphologies of the coatings were investigated by XRD, FT-IR and FE-SEM, while their corrosion resistance was evaluated by electrochemical and immersion tests. An optimum corrosion resistance of the composite coatings was obtained by adding 10−2 mol·L−1 cerium nitrate. An excess addition of cerium nitrate resulted in a loose structure and poor corrosion resistance of the coating. The corrosion mechanism of the composite coatings was proposed and discussed.

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An approach to prepare uniform graphene/aluminum composite powders by simple electrostatic interaction in water/alcohol solution
Wei SUN, Rui ZHAO, Tian WANG, Ke ZHAN, Zheng YANG, Bin ZHAO, Ya YAN
Front. Mater. Sci.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1429KB)

The homogenous dispersion of graphene in Al powders is a key challenge that limits the development of graphene-reinforced metal matrix composites with high performance. Here, uniform distribution of graphene oxide (GO) coated on flake Al powders were obtained by a simply stirring and ultrasonic treatment in the water/alcohol solution. The effect of water volume content on the formation of GO/Al composite powders was investigated. The results showed that GO adsorbed with synchronous reduction on the surface of Al powders, but when the water content was higher than 80% in the solution, Al powders were totally changed into Al(OH)3. With optimizing the water content of 60% in the solution, reduced GO was homogenously coated onto the surface of flake Al powders. The formation mechanism can be ascribed to the balance control between the liquid/solid interaction and the hydrolysis reaction.

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