In the past few decades, many novel non-metal doped ZnO materials have developed hasty interest due to their adaptable properties such as low recombination rate and high activity under the solar light exposure. In this article, we compiled recent research advances in non-metal (S, N, C) doped ZnO, emphasizing on the related mechanism of catalysis and the effect of non-metals on structural, morphological, optical and photocatalytic characteristics of ZnO. This review will enhance the knowledge about the advancement in ZnO and will help in synthesizing new ZnO-based materials with modified structural and photocatalytic properties.
Rare-earth coordination polymers (RECPs), as a family member of coordination polymers (CPs), have been prepared and studied widely. Thanks to their characteristic properties and functions, RECPs have already been used in various application fields ranging from catalysis to drug delivery. In recent years, CPs with tunable morphologies and sizes have drawn increasing interest and attractive attention. This review presents the recent research progress of RECP micro/nanomaterials, and emphasizes the preparation, properties and broad applications of these fascinating materials.
In the last decade, the surface plasmon resonance-enhanced solar water splitting (SWS) has been actively investigated for improved hydrogen production. In this mini-review, we briefly introduce the mechanisms for plasmon-enhanced SWS and then review some representative studies related to these mechanisms. In addition, we also briefly discuss how metal oxide geometry affects the SWS activity in combined metal--semiconductor nanostructures. Finally, we summarize the recent discoveries and proposed a future vision for plasmon-enhanced SWS with metal oxide nanostructures.
A 3D macroporous conductive polymer foam of thin 2D polypyrrole (PPy) nanosheets is developed by adopting a novel intercalation of guest (monomer Py) between the layers of the lamellar host (3D vanadium oxide foam) template-replication strategy. The 3D PPy foam of thin 2D nanosheets exhibits diverse functions including reversible compressibility, shape memory, absorption/adsorption and mechanically deformable supercapacitor characteristics. The as-prepared 3D PPy foam of thin nanosheets is highly light weight with a density of 12 mg·cm−3 which can bear the large compressive strain up to 80% whether in wet or dry states; and can absorb organic solutions or extract dye molecules fast and efficiently. In particular, the PPy nanosheet-based foam as a mechanically deformable electrode material for supercapacitors exhibits high specific capacitance of 70 F·g−1 at a fast charge–discharge rate of 50 mA·g−1, superior to that of any other typical pure PPy-based capacitor. We envision that the strategy presented here should be applicable to fabrication of a wide variety of organic polymer foams and hydrogels of low-dimensional nanostructures and even inorganic foams and hydrogels of low-dimensional nanostructures, and thus allow for exploration of their advanced physical and chemical properties.
Graphene is a fascinating material of recent origin whose first isolation was being made possible through micromechanical cleavage of a graphite crystal. Owing to its fascinating properties, graphene has garnered significant attention in the research community for multiple applications. A number of methods have been employed for the synthesis of single-layer and multi-layer graphene. The extraordinary properties of graphene such as its Hall effect at room temperature, high surface area, tunable bandgap, high charge mobility and excellent electrical, conducting and thermal properties allow for the development of sensors of various types and also opened the doors for its use in nanoelectronics, supercapacitors and batteries. Biological aspects of graphene have also been investigated with particular emphasis on its toxicity and drug delivery. In this review, many of the salient aspects of graphene, such as from synthesis to its applications, primarily focusing on sensor applications which are of current interest, are covered.
Porous polymer scaffolds designed by the cryogel method are attractive materials for a range of tissue engineering applications. However, the use of toxic cross-linker for retaining the pore structure limits their clinical applications. In this research, acrylates (HEA/PEGDA, HEMA/PEGDA and PEGDA) were used in the low-temperature soli d-state photopolymerization to produce porous scaffolds with good structural retention. The morphology, pore diameter, mineral deposition and water absorption of the scaffold were characterized by SEM and water absorption test respectively. Elemental analysis and cytotoxicity of the biomineralized scaffold were revealed by using XRD and MTT assay test. The PEGDA-derived scaffold showed good water absorption ability and a higher degree of porosity with larger pore size compared to others. XRD patterns and IR results confirmed the formation of hydroxyapatite crystals from an alternative socking process. The overall cell proliferation was excellent, where PEGDA-derived scaffold had the highest and the most uniform cell growth, while HEMA/PEGDA scaffold showed the least. These results suggest that the cell proliferation and adhesion are directly proportional to the pore size, the shape and the porosity of scaffolds.
Hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) is a rapid growing bioseparation technique, which separates biomolecules, such as therapeutic proteins and antibodys, based on the reversible hydrophobic interaction between immobilized hydrophobic ligands on chromatographic resin spheres and non-polar regions of solute molecule. In this review, the fundamental concepts of HIC and the factors that may affect purification efficiency of HIC is summarized, followed by the comparison of HIC with affinity chromatography and ion-exchange chromatography. Hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography (HIMC) combines the advantages of HIC and membrane process and has showed great potential in bioseparation. For better understanding of HIMC, this review presents an overview of two main concerns about HIMC, i.e. membrane materials and hydrophobic ligands. Specifically, cellulose fiber-based membrane substrate and environment-responsive ligands are emphasized.
Tissue engineering focuses on repairing tissue and restoring tissue functions by employing three elements: scaffolds, cells and biochemical signals. In tissue engineering, bioactive material scaffolds have been used to cure tissue and organ defects with stem cell-based therapies being one of the best documented approaches. In the review, different biomaterials which are used in several methods to fabricate tissue engineering scaffolds were explained and show good properties (biocompatibility, biodegradability, and mechanical properties etc.) for cell migration and infiltration. Stem cell homing is a recruitment process for inducing the migration of the systemically transplanted cells, or host cells, to defect sites. The mechanisms and modes of stem cell homing-based tissue engineering can be divided into two types depending on the source of the stem cells: endogenous and exogenous. Exogenous stem cell-based bioactive scaffolds have the challenge of long-term culturing in vitro and for endogenous stem cells the biochemical signal homing recruitment mechanism is not clear yet. Although the stem cell homing-based bioactive scaffolds are attractive candidates for tissue defect therapies, based on in vitrostudies and animal tests, there is still a long way before clinical application.
We review scale-bridging simulation studies for the exploration of atomic-to-meso scale processes that account for the unique structure and mechanic properties of apatite–protein composites. As the atomic structure and composition of such complex biocomposites only partially is known, the first part (i) of our modelling studies is dedicated to realistic crystal nucleation scenarios of inorganic–organic composites. Starting from the association of single ions, recent insights range from the mechanisms of motif formation, ripening reactions and the self-organization of nanocrystals, including their interplay with growth-controlling molecular moieties. On this basis, (ii) reliable building rules for unprejudiced scale-up models can be derived to model bulk materials. This is exemplified for (enamel-like) apatite–protein composites, encompassing up to 106 atom models to provide a realistic account of the 10 nm length scale, whilst model coarsening is used to reach µm length scales. On this basis, a series of deformation and fracture simulation studies were performed and helped to rationalize biocomposite hardness, plasticity, toughness, self-healing and fracture mechanisms. Complementing experimental work, these modelling studies provide particularly detailed insights into the relation of hierarchical composite structure and favorable mechanical properties.
Grain orientation evolutions and texture formation based on the Taylor principles offer important references to reveal crystallographic mechanisms of deformation behaviors. Strain equilibrium between grains is achieved in Taylor theory, however, stress equilibrium has not yet been reached perfectly even in many modifications of the theory though the textures predicted become very close to those of experimental observations. A reaction stress model is proposed, in which mechanical interactions between grains are considered in details and grain deformation is conducted by penetrating and non-penetrating slips. The new model offers both of the stress and strain equilibria and predicts the same textures indicated by Taylor theory. The rolling texture simulated comes very close to the experimental observations if the relaxation effect of the non-penetrating slips on the up-limits of reaction stresses is included. The reaction stress principles open theoretically a new field of vision to consider deformation behaviors of polycrystalline materials, whereas the Taylor principles become unnecessary both theoretically and practically. Detailed engineering conditions have to be included in simulations if the deformation textures of industrial products should be predicted.