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[en] Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a wide-bandgap semiconductor material with applications in a variety of fields such as electronics, optoelectronic and solar cells. However, much of these applications demand a reproducible, reliable and controllable synthesis method that takes special care of their functional properties. In this work ZnO and Cu-doped ZnO nanowires are obtained by an optimized hydrothermal method, following the promising results which ZnO nanostructures have shown in the past few years. The morphology of as-prepared and copper-doped ZnO nanostructures is investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. X-ray diffraction is used to study the impact of doping on the crystalline structure of the wires. Furthermore, the mechanical properties (nanoindentation) and the functional properties (absorption and photoluminescence measurements) of ZnO nanostructures are examined in order to assess their applicability in photovoltaics, piezoelectric and hybrids nanodevices. This work shows a strong correlation between growing conditions, morphology, doping and mechanical as well as optical properties of ZnO nanowires. (paper)
[en] Magnetite nanoparticles (NPs) decorated with silver (magnetite/Ag) are intensively investigated due to their application in the biomedical field. We demonstrate that the increase of silver content on the surface of nanoparticles improves the adsorptivity of antibiotic rifampicin as well as antibacterial properties. The use of ginger extract allowed to improve the silver nucleation on the magnetite surface that resulted in an increase of silver content. Physicochemical and functional characterization of magnetite/Ag NPs was performed. Our results show that 5%–10% of silver content in magnetite/Ag NPs is already sufficient for antimicrobial properties against Streptococcus salivarius and Staphylococcus aureus . The rifampicin molecules on the magnetite/Ag NPs surface made the spectrum of antimicrobial activity wider. Cytotoxicity evaluation of the magnetite/Ag/rifampicin NPs showed no harmful action towards normal human fibroblasts, whereas the effect on human embryonic kidney cell viability was time and dose dependent. (paper)
[en] Highlights: • Nanolaminate thin films of Al2O3/TiO2 with different bilayer density were prepared by ALD method. • A new multidimensional reconstruction method was implemented to analyze the nanomechanical response of the samples. • Mechanical response of the nanolaminates showed to be improved by layer thickness and follow the behavior of a nanocomposite coating. • The method implemented allows the reconstruction of 4D mechanical data at the nanoscale. A novel method of nanomechanical testing of multilayered Al2O3/TiO2 nanolaminates was implemented by the nanoindentation technique. The indentation data were reconstructed and filtered by a statistical analysis algorithm and presented as a function of the penetration depth of the indenter. Results show the increment of mechanical properties on the laminates as a function of the amorphous interfaces of the individual layers and the effective control of the wear rate of the structures for further applications. The results presented show both important insights on the mechanical behavior of nanolaminates and the further applicability of the reconstruction model for error reduction on mechanical testing of nanolaminate samples.
[en] Highlights: • Multilayer TiN/ZrN films were deposited using sequential vacuum-arc deposition of Ti and Zr targets in nitrogen atmosphere; • Several samples were annealed in air at the temperature 700 °C; • First-principles calculations of TiN(111), ZrN(111) structures and TiN(111)/ZrN(111) multilayer were carried out; • All deposited samples were highly polycrystalline with quite large 20–25 nm crystals; • The nanohardness and elastic modulus of non-annealed coatings reached 42 GPa and 348 GPa, respectively; • Deposited coatings demonstrate good wear and oxidation resistance; - Abstract: Nanoscale multilayered TiN/ZrN films were deposited using sequential vacuum-arc deposition of Ti and Zr targets in a nitrogen atmosphere. Studies of film's properties were carried out using various modern methods of analysis, such as XRD, STEM, HRTEM, SIMS combined with results of nanoindentation and tribological tests. To interpret the mechanical properties of the deposited multilayer films first-principles calculations of TiN(111), ZrN(111) structures and TiN(111)/ZrN(111) multilayer were carried out. To study the influence of thermal annealing, several samples were annealed in air at the temperature 700 °C. All deposited samples were highly polycrystalline with quite large 20–25 nm crystals. The crystalline planes were very ordinated and demonstrated an excellent coordinated growth. The nanohardness and elastic modulus of non-annealed coatings reached 42 GPa and 348 GPa, respectively. Annealing in air at the temperature 700 °C led to partial oxidation of the multilayered coatings, however hardness of the non-oxidized part of the coatings remained as high, as for initial coatings. All deposited coatings demonstrate good wear resistance.
[en] Highlights: • Superparamagnetic core-shell nanoparticles of Fe2O3@Silica were obtained. • Magnetic response was studied by DC, AC magnetometry and EPR spectroscopy. • Nanoparticles show magnetite structure with a well-defined Verwey transition. • Samples show no inter particle magnetic interactions or agglomeration. - Abstract: Superparamagnetic behavior in aqueously well dispersible magnetite core-shell Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles is presented. The magnetic properties of core-shell nanoparticles were measured with use of the DC, AC magnetometry and EPR spectroscopy. Particles where characterized by HR-TEM and Raman spectroscopy, showing a crystalline magnetic core of 11.5 ± 0.12 nm and an amorphous silica shell of 22 ± 1.5 nm in thickness. The DC, AC magnetic measurements confirmed the superparamagnetic nature of nanoparticles, additionally the EPR studies performed at much higher frequency than DC, AC magnetometry (9 GHz) have confirmed the paramagnetic nature of the nanoparticles. Our results show the excellent magnetic behavior of the particles with a clear magnetite structure, which are desirable properties for environmental remediation and biomedical applications.