Journal of Nanotechnology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2017 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Synthesis of LiMnPO4·Li3V2(PO4)3/C Nanocomposites for Lithium Ion Batteries Using Tributyl Phosphate as Phosphor Source Sun, 15 Jan 2017 11:02:57 +0000 The xLiMnPO4·yLi3V2(PO4)3/C (x/y = 1 : 0, 12 : 1, 8 : 1, 6 : 1, 4 : 1, 0 : 1) composite cathode materials are synthesized using tributyl phosphate as a novel organic phosphor source via a solid-state reaction process. All obtained xLiMnPO4·yLi3V2(PO4)3/C composites present similar particles morphology with an average size of ca. 100 nm and low extent agglomeration. The electrochemical performance of pristine LiMnPO4/C can be effectively improved by adding small amounts of Li3V2(PO4)3 additives. The 4LiMnPO4·Li3V2(PO4)3/C has a high discharge capacity of 143 mAh g−1 at 0.1 C and keeps its 94% at the end of 100 cycles. Yanming Wang, Bo Zhu, Xiaoyu Liu, and Fei Wang Copyright © 2017 Yanming Wang et al. All rights reserved. Sol-Gel Syntheses of Zinc Oxide and Hydrogenated Zinc Oxide (ZnO:H) Phases Thu, 05 Jan 2017 08:50:27 +0000 ZnO synthesized by chemical precipitation with varying starch concentrations (0.00, 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, and 0.20%) as stabilizing agent was used in making ZnO:H when placed in a glass tube under mild heat and hydrogen (H2) gas flow for 2 mins. Observations showed that the sample colour changed from white to light brown and finally to dark brown during the process particularly for the ZnO-starch samples. XRD data of ZnO (0.02%) and ZnO:H (0.02%) showed ZnO as the major phase with Zn(OH)2 impurity phase and a new ZnO:H peak at 2θ, 29.60° for ZnO and ZnO:H, respectively. The estimated particle sizes determined from XRD were 47 and 30 nm, respectively. The SEM of the 0.02% ZnO appeared more microporous and needle-like than those of 0.01%, while the EDX of both confirmed Zn and O as the main components. Different conductivities of 30.90 and 27.50 μS/cm were obtained for ZnO and ZnO:H samples in ethanol, respectively. Also, the UV-Vis absorption for both showed n-type and p-type material absorption bands at 310 cm−1, while the intensities of all the characteristic ZnO IR bands at 430–552 (ZnO vibrations) and 1500–1640 cm−1 (Zn-O stretching) increased for the corresponding ZnO:H samples. Joshua Lelesi Konne and Bright Obum Christopher Copyright © 2017 Joshua Lelesi Konne and Bright Obum Christopher. All rights reserved. Effect of Particle Size on the HDS Activity of Molybdenum Sulfide Tue, 27 Dec 2016 06:45:18 +0000 More than half of the total world oil reserves are heavy oil, extra heavy oil, and bitumen; however their catalytic conversion to more valuable products is challenging. The use of submicronic particles or nanoparticles of catalysts suspended in the feedstock may be a viable alternative to the conversion of heavy oils at refinery level or downhole (in situ upgrading). In the present work, molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) particles with varying diameters (10000–10 nm) were prepared using polyvinylpyrrolidone as capping agent. The prepared particles were characterized by DLS, TEM, XRD, and XPS and tested in the hydrodesulfurization (HDS) of a vacuum gas oil (VGO). A correlation between particle size and activity is presented. It was found that particles with diameters around 13 nm show double the HDS activity compared with the material with micrometric particle sizes (diameter ≈ 10,000 nm). Carola Contreras, Fernanda Isquierdo, Pedro Pereira-Almao, and Carlos E. Scott Copyright © 2016 Carola Contreras et al. All rights reserved. Biosynthesis of Iron Nanoparticles Using Tie Guanyin Tea Extract for Degradation of Bromothymol Blue Tue, 27 Dec 2016 06:35:54 +0000 Facile synthesis of zero-valent iron nanoparticles has been developed using Tie Guanyin tea extract as reducing and stabilizing agent. The characterization carried out by UV-Vis, SEM, TEM, XRD, and FTIR techniques has identified the successful synthesis of the zero-valent iron nanoparticles. It is evident from the TEM result that spherical zero-valent iron nanoparticles with average size of  nm have been obtained through biological method in this study. FTIR spectrum demonstrates that the polyphenols play an important role in the synthetic process. Diffraction peak at 2 of 44.9° and 49.1° in XRD spectrum explains the existence of the iron nanoparticles. Additionally, effect of concentration of iron nanoparticles and concentration of bromothymol blue on the kinetic rate constants during the degradation process was studied. Haiyan Xin, Xin Yang, Xiaoli Liu, Xueping Tang, Lianjin Weng, and Yuanyuan Han Copyright © 2016 Haiyan Xin et al. All rights reserved. Electrochemical Formation of Cerium Oxide/Layered Silicate Nanocomposite Films Sun, 25 Dec 2016 10:25:06 +0000 Cerium oxide/montmorillonite nanocomposite films were synthesized electrochemically from solutions containing 0.5 to 50% Na-montmorillonite. The nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Nanocomposite films synthesized from montmorillonite concentrations lower than 10% were continuous, uniform, and dense. X-ray diffraction confirmed that the nanocomposite films retain the face-centered cubic structure of cerium oxide while incorporating exfoliated platelets of the montmorillonite into the matrix. In addition, calculations from XRD data showed particle sizes ranging from 4.50 to 6.50 nm for the nanocomposite coatings. Raman and FTIR spectroscopy had peaks present for cerium oxide and the layered silicates in the coatings. Cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy confirmed the presence of montmorillonite throughout the cerium oxide matrix. Adele Qi Wang and Teresa Diane Golden Copyright © 2016 Adele Qi Wang and Teresa Diane Golden. All rights reserved. Flame Spray Synthesis and Ammonia Sensing Properties of Pure α-MoO3 Nanosheets Sun, 18 Dec 2016 07:39:43 +0000 This paper highlights the flame spray synthesis of α-MoO3 using ammonium molybdate as precursor. The as-synthesized particles obtained were found to be ammonium molybdenum oxide and belonged to the triclinic crystal system. The particles crystallized to α-MoO3 upon thermal treatment at 500°C. Sensors were prepared by drop coating the powders onto alumina substrates coated with platinum electrodes and sensing tests were conducted evaluating the detection of ammonia concentrations down to ppb level concentration in air. The flame synthesized α-MoO3 based sensors show high sensitivity towards ammonia and may potentially be used in breath ammonia gas diagnostics. Gagan Jodhani, Jiahao Huang, and Perena Gouma Copyright © 2016 Gagan Jodhani et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and Characterisation of ZnO/NiO Nanocomposite Particles for Solar Cell Applications Thu, 15 Dec 2016 13:27:26 +0000 The mixture of ZnO and NiO effect on solar cell has been investigated. ZnO and NiO particles were produced by hydrothermal method and the produced particles were annealed at 500°C for 1 hour. Crystal structure and morphological properties of particles were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). XRD measurements showed that ZnO particles have a hexagonal wurtzite structure and NiO particles have a cubic structure. SEM results show that both ZnO and NiO particles are the form of nanoparticles. Dye-sensitized solar cells were fabricated by N-719 (Ruthenium) dyes and mixing ZnO/NiO particles in different ratios, 100/0, 50/50, and 0/100. It was observed that the solar cells made with ZnO have the highest performance with the efficiency of 0.542%. In addition, it was observed that when amount of NiO ratio increases in the mixture of ZnO/NiO, the efficiencies of DSSCs were observed to decrease. S. Kerli and Ü. Alver Copyright © 2016 S. Kerli and Ü. Alver. All rights reserved. Electrochemical Oxidations of p-Doped Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:35:15 +0000 Two oxidation peaks at 0.99, 1.48 V versus Fc/Fc+ appear in the cyclic voltammograms of a series of defect-site functionalized SWNTs in methylene chloride solution in the presence of ferrocenes. These two peaks are demonstrated to be the electrochemical responses to the independent oxidation of v1 and v2 valence bands of -doped semiconducting SWNTs. Huaping Li and Lili Zhou Copyright © 2016 Huaping Li and Lili Zhou. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Characterization of Carbon Nanofibers Grown on Powdered Activated Carbon Thu, 15 Dec 2016 10:17:11 +0000 Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were synthesized through nickel ion (Ni2+) impregnation of powdered activated carbon (PAC). Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) using acetylene gas, in the presence of hydrogen gas, was employed for the synthesis process. Various percentages (1, 3, 5, and 7 wt. %) of Ni2+ catalysts were used in the impregnation of Ni2+ into PAC. Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analyzer (EDX), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), zeta potential, and Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller (BET) were utilized for the characterization of the novel composite, which possessed micro and nanodimensions. FESEM and TEM images revealed that the carbonaceous structure of the nanomaterials was fibrous instead of tubular with average width varying from 100 to 200 nanometers. The PAC surface area increased from 101 m2/g to 837 m2/g after the growth of CNF. TGA combustion temperature range was within 400°C and 570°C, while the average zeta potential of the nanocomposite materials was −24.9 mV, indicating its moderate dispersive nature in water. Yehya M. Ahmed, Abdullah Al-Mamun, Ahmad T. Jameel, Ma’an Fahmi R. AlKhatib, Mutiu K. Amosa, and Mohammed A. AlSaadi Copyright © 2016 Yehya M. Ahmed et al. All rights reserved. Sol-Gel Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles: Preparation and Structural Characterization Tue, 13 Dec 2016 09:53:25 +0000 Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticle was achieved in an alternative sol-gel route, as involved in 1 M acidic solution: HCl-tetrahydrofuran (HCl-THF), HNO3-tetrahydrofuran (HNO3-THF), and ClHNO2-tetrahydrofuran (ClHNO2-THF) solution. Resultant TiO2 nanoparticle was further investigated in a systematic analytical approach. Nanoscale TiO2 structure was observed at a moderate hydrolysis ratio (). Particle size range was much narrower in an aprotic HNO3-THF medium, as compared to a differential HCl-THF medium. Biphasic TiO2 structure was detected at a certain hydrolysis ratio (). Even so, relative anatase content was rather insignificant in an aprotic HCl-THF medium, as compared to a differential HNO3-THF medium. Tetragonal TiO2 structure was observed in the entire hydrolysis ratio (). Interstitial lattice defect was evident in an aprotic HNO3-THF medium but absent in a differential ClHNO2-THF medium. Oon Lee Kang, Azizan Ahmad, Usman Ali Rana, and Nur Hasyareeda Hassan Copyright © 2016 Oon Lee Kang et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis of Tungsten Oxide Nanorod, Its Application on Textile Material, and Study of Its Functional Properties Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:27:16 +0000 Nanomaterial and its application in textiles are emerging as vast and diverse field due to enhanced functionalized characteristics. This study emphasizes the fabrication of tungsten trioxide nanostructured rods and analyzes its electrostatic and ultraviolet resistance properties. These nanorods are synthesized by hydrothermal method. Through hydrothermal method rod like nanostructures were grown on polyester fabric as it withstands curing temperature easily. The growth mechanism of the film is investigated. Electrostatic analysis of treated polyester fabric was failed but the analysis of seeded solution revealed that it has tunable transmittance modulation under different voltages and repetitive cyclic between the clear and blue states. Ultraviolet resistance of 100% seeded polyester fabric was higher than untreated fabric with respect to increasing concentration of nanorods. Results show that although the seeded solution is perfect, the conductivity of tungsten trioxide cannot be achieved on textiles. Abdul Azeem, Munir Ashraf, Usman Munir, Zahid Sarwar, Sharjeel Abid, and Naeem Iqbal Copyright © 2016 Abdul Azeem et al. All rights reserved. Antimicrobial Properties of Chitosan-Alumina/f-MWCNT Nanocomposites Thu, 17 Nov 2016 08:08:19 +0000 Antimicrobial chitosan-alumina/functionalized-multiwalled carbon nanotube (f-MWCNT) nanocomposites were prepared by a simple phase inversion method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses showed the change in the internal morphology of the composites and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) confirmed the presence of alumina and f-MWCNTs in the chitosan polymer matrix. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed the appearance of new functional groups from both alumina and f-MWCNTs, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) revealed that the addition of alumina and f-MWCNTs improved the thermal stability of the chitosan polymer. The presence of alumina and f-MWCNTs in the polymer matrix was found to improve the thermal stability and reduced the solubility of chitosan polymer. The prepared chitosan-alumina/f-MWCNT nanocomposites showed inhibition of twelve strains of bacterial strains that were tested. Thus, the nanocomposites show a potential for use as a biocide in water treatment for the removal of bacteria at different environmental conditions. Monaheng Masheane, Lebea Nthunya, Soraya Malinga, Edward Nxumalo, Tobias Barnard, and Sabelo Mhlanga Copyright © 2016 Monaheng Masheane et al. All rights reserved. Nanocrystalline Axially Bridged Iron Phthalocyanine Polymeric Conductor: (-Thiocyanato)(phthalocyaninato)iron(III) Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:19:37 +0000 Skewered Iron(III) phthalocyanine conducting polymer can be constructed with the utilization of axial thiocyanato ligands ((-thiocyanato)(phthalocyaninato)iron(III)); () thereby creating additional avenues for electron transport through a linear SCN bridge, apart from the intermolecular orbital overlap between the Pc molecules. In this paper, we report on the conversion of bulk polymeric organic conductor into crystalline nanostructures through horizontal vapor phase growth process. The needle-like nanostructures are deemed to provide more ordered and, thus, more interactive interskewer polymer orientation, resulting in a twofold increase of its electrical conductivity per materials density unit. Eiza Shimizu, Gil Nonato Santos, and Derrick Ethelbhert Yu Copyright © 2016 Eiza Shimizu et al. All rights reserved. Release of siRNA from Liposomes Induced by Curcumin Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:57:24 +0000 Liposomes are a potential carrier of small interfering RNA (siRNA) for drug delivery systems (DDS). In this study, we searched for a molecule capable of controlling the release of siRNA from a certain type of liposomes and found that curcumin could induce the release of siRNA from the liposomes encapsulating siRNA within 30 min. However, the release of siRNA from the liposomes by curcumin showed a unique dose-response (i.e., bell-shaped curve) with a maximal induction at around 60 μg/ml of curcumin. Liposomal lipid compositions and temperatures influenced the efficiency in the release of siRNA induced by curcumin. About 10% of curcumin at a 60 μg/ml dose was incorporated into the liposomes within 30 min under our experimental conditions. Our results suggest a possibility that curcumin is useful in controlling the permeability of liposomes carrying large molecules like siRNA. Kazuyo Fujita, Yoshie Hiramatsu, Hideki Minematsu, Masaharu Somiya, Shun’ichi Kuroda, Masaharu Seno, and Shuji Hinuma Copyright © 2016 Kazuyo Fujita et al. All rights reserved. Photoluminescence Response in Carbon Films Deposited by Pulsed Laser Deposition onto GaAs Substrates at Low Vacuum Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:03:05 +0000 Carbon films were deposited onto GaAs substrates by pulsed laser deposition at low vacuum (10–15 mTorr) from a graphite target. Films were prepared at different number of pulses (1500 to 6000) with fixed fluence (32 J/cm2), target-to-substrate distance, and pulse frequency using a Q:Switched Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm operating at a frequency of 10 Hz and producing burst-mode pulses with total duration per shot of 49 ns. Films were characterized by optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. Deposited films were visually smooth and adherent but on the other hand evidence of splashing was observed in all the films. Thickness varied linearly with the number of pulses from 8 to 42 μm with maximum height differences around 700 nm. Hexagonal and orthorhombic carbon was found in all the films and there was no evidence of nitrogen or oxygen incorporation during ablation process. Broad photoluminescence bands were observed and, particularly, emission peaks at 475–480 nm, 540–550 nm, 590 nm, and 625 nm. Bands tend to shift to lower wavelength with film thickness, suggesting that luminescence comes from splashed nanostructures influenced by the semiconducting substrate. This particular substrate effect is vanished as thickness of the films increases. F. Caballero-Briones, G. Santana, T. Flores, and L. Ponce Copyright © 2016 F. Caballero-Briones et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Electrochemical Treatment on Electrical Conductivity of Conical Carbon Nanotubes Mon, 07 Nov 2016 14:25:59 +0000 Interaction of conical carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with hydrogen during electrochemical treatment and its effect on their electronic properties was studied. The temperature dependencies of electroconductivity of initial and electrochemically hydrogenated conical CNTs were investigated by using four-probe van der Pauw method. The studies revealed that the electrochemical hydrogen absorption leaded to a significant reduction in the electroconductivity of conical carbon nanotubes. We assume that these changes can be associated with a decrease in the concentration of charge carriers as a result of hydrogen localization on the carbon π-orbitals, the transition from sp2 to sp3 hybridization of conical CNTs band structure, and, therefore, a metal-semiconductor-insulator transition. S. M. Khantimerov, P. N. Togulev, E. F. Kukovitsky, N. M. Lyadov, and N. M. Suleimanov Copyright © 2016 S. M. Khantimerov et al. All rights reserved. Determining the Surfactant Consistent with Concrete in order to Achieve the Maximum Possible Dispersion of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes in Keeping the Plain Concrete Properties Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:43:47 +0000 A new surfactant combination compatible with concrete formulation is proposed to avoid unwanted air bubbles created during mixing process in the absence of a defoamer and to achieve the uniform and the maximum possible dispersion of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in water and subsequently in concrete. To achieve this goal, three steps have been defined: (1) concrete was made with different types and amount of surfactants containing a constant amount of MWCNTs (0.05 wt%) and the air bubbles were eliminated with a proper defoamer. (2) Finding a compatible surfactant with concrete compositions and eliminating unwanted air bubbles in the absence of a common defoamer are of fundamental importance to significantly increase concrete mechanical properties. In this step, the results showed that the polycarboxylate superplasticizer (SP-C) (as a compatible surfactant) dispersed MWCNTs worse than SDS/DTAB but unwanted air bubbles were removed, so the defoamer can be omitted in the mixing process. (3) To solve the problem, a new compatible surfactant composition was developed and different ratios of surfactants were tested and evaluated by means of performance criteria mentioned above. The results showed that the new surfactant composition (SDS and SP-C) can disperse MWCNTs around 24% more efficiently than the other surfactant compositions. Mostafa Adresi, Abolfazl Hassani, Soheila Javadian, and Jean-Marc Tulliani Copyright © 2016 Mostafa Adresi et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Physicochemical Aspects of Substratum Nanosurface on Bacterial Attachment for Bone Implant Applications Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:20:13 +0000 Biofilm formation on implant materials is responsible for periprosthetic infections. Bacterial attachment is important as the first stage in biofilm formation. It is meaningful to understand the influence of nanostructured surface on bacterial attachment. This review discusses the influence of physicochemical aspects of substratum nanosurface on bacterial attachment. Kun Mediaswanti Copyright © 2016 Kun Mediaswanti. All rights reserved. The Repulsive Casimir Force with Metallic Ellipsoid Structure Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:14:40 +0000 We propose a new structure, one plate with a hole above the ellipsoid and the other plate with a hole below the ellipsoid, to obtain a repulsive Casimir force. The force was obtained numerically by using the in-house FDTD method, based on Maxwell’s stress tensor and harmonic expansion. The code can be verified by calculating the force of a perfect-metal ellipsoid centered above a perfect-metal plate with a hole. Our numerical method can effectively simulate the Casimir force by reducing the total simulated time. The further numerical results of realistic dielectric material immersing in fluids or adding other plates above the ellipsoid are also presented. It is not surprising to find that the larger differences can be achieved by varying the parameters such as the center-center separation, medium immersed, and the dielectric material of the structure. Thus, it is possible to tune these parameters relatively in the realistic microelectromechanical systems to overcome stiction and friction problems. Yujuan Hu, Ruo Sun, Zhixiang Huang, and Xianliang Wu Copyright © 2016 Yujuan Hu et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Modeling of Temperature Distribution For Nanoparticles Produced Using Nd:YAG Lasers Wed, 05 Oct 2016 10:48:25 +0000 Nanosecond pulses of Nd:YAG laser were employed to produce silver and silicon nanoparticles by laser ablation process in liquid. Two Nd:YAG laser systems of 6 and 10 nanoseconds pulse duration with variable laser energy in the range 700–760 mJ were employed. Morphological investigation using AFM and TEM reveals the formation of silver and silicon nanoparticles with uniform size distribution. It is found that mean nanoparticles sizes of 50 and 70 nm for silver and silicon, respectively, are produced under similar laser parameters. Moreover, theoretical model was used to estimate the temperature distributions for both silver and silicon nanoparticles. It is also found that the maximum temperature of about 50 k K° and 70 k K° for silver and silicon nanoparticles, respectively, is generated when Nd:YAG of 10 ns is used to prepare nanoparticles. Zeta potential measurements reveal that silver nanoparticles are more stable than those of silicon prepared by similar conditions. Mu’ataz S. Hassan, Ziad A. Taha, and Bassam G. Rasheed Copyright © 2016 Mu’ataz S. Hassan et al. All rights reserved. Ecofriendly Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Garden Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:30:38 +0000 Bioreduction of silver ions following one pot process is described to achieve Rheum rhabarbarum (RR) based silver nanoparticles (SNPs) which is termed as “RR-SNPs.” The Ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy (UV–vis) confirms the characteristic surface plasmon resonance band for RR-SNPs in the range of 420–460 nm. The crystalline nature of SNPs was confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) peaks at 38.2°, 45.6°, 64.2°, and 76.8°. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) confirm the shape of synthesized SNPs. They are roughly spherical but uniformly distributed, and size varies from 60 to 80 nm. These biogenic SNPs show persistent zeta potential value of 34.8 mV even after 120 days and exhibit potent antibacterial activity in presence of Escherichia coli (CCM 4517) and Staphylococcus aureus (CCM 4516). In addition, cytotoxicity of RR-SNPs against in vitro human epithelial carcinoma (HeLa) cell line showed a dose-response activity. The lethal concentration (LC50) value was found to be 28.5 μg/mL for RR-SNPs in the presence of HeLa cells. These findings help us to evaluate their appropriate applications in the field of nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Palem Ramasubba Reddy, Shimoga D. Ganesh, Nabanita Saha, Oyunchimeg Zandraa, and Petr Sáha Copyright © 2016 Palem Ramasubba Reddy et al. All rights reserved. Impact of Surface Modification and Nanoparticle on Sisal Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Nanocomposites Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:38:48 +0000 The use of plant fibers, polymer, and nanoparticles for composite has gained global attention, especially in the packaging, automobile, aviation, building, and construction industries. Nanocomposites materials are currently in use as a replacement for traditional materials due to their superior properties, such as high strength-to-weight ratio, cost effectiveness, and environmental friendliness. Sisal fiber (SF) was treated with 5% NaOH for 2 hours at 70°C. A mixed blend of sisal fiber and recycled polypropylene (rPP) was produced at four different fiber loadings: 10, 20, 30, and 40 wt.%, while nanoclay was added at 1, 3, and 5 wt.%. Maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAPP) was used as the compatibilizer for all composites prepared except the untreated sisal fibers. The characterization results showed that the fiber treatment, addition of MAPP, and nanoclay improved the mechanical properties and thermal stability and reduced water absorption of the SF/rPP nanocomposites. The tensile strength, tensile modulus, and impact strength increased by 32.80, 37.62, and 5.48%, respectively, when compared to the untreated SF/rPP composites. Water absorption was reduced due to the treatment of fiber and the incorporation of MAPP and nanoclay. Idowu David Ibrahim, Tamba Jamiru, Emmanuel Rotimi Sadiku, Williams Kehinde Kupolati, and Stephen Chinenyeze Agwuncha Copyright © 2016 Idowu David Ibrahim et al. All rights reserved. Standardization of Alternative Methods for Nanogenotoxicity Testing in Drosophila melanogaster Using Iron Nanoparticles: A Promising Link to Nanodosimetry Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:18:01 +0000 The remarkable advancement of nanotechnology has triggered enormous production of metal nanoparticles and nanomaterials for diverse applications in clinical diagnostics and biomedical research. Nanotechnology has facilitated understanding and analysing nanotoxicology in a holistic approach. Iron nanoparticles have been of special interest in recent research owing to their dynamic, paramagnetic, and catalytic properties. Research studies (in vitro model) have demonstrated the lack of toxicity in nanoiron. The present study design involves in vivo toxicity assessment of nanoiron at specific concentrations of 0.1 mM, 1 mM, 5 mM, and 10 mM in Drosophila. DNA fragmentation assay in exposed and F1 population showed first-line toxicity to flies. Viability and reproductive ability were assessed at 24-hour and 48-hour intervals and thus indicated no statistical significance between the exposed and control groups. The wing spot assay has expressed transparent lack of toxicity in the studied concentrations of nanoiron. Protein profiling has demonstrated that the protein profiles have been intact in the larvae which confirm lack of toxicity of nanoiron. This leads to concluding that nanoiron at the defined concentrations is neither genotoxic nor mutagenic. Venkatachalam Deepa Parvathi, Kalyanaraman Rajagopal, and Ravindran Sumitha Copyright © 2016 Venkatachalam Deepa Parvathi et al. All rights reserved. Application of Response Surface Methodology for Optimization of Urea Grafted Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes in Enhancing Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Nitrogen Uptake by Paddy Plants Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:51:36 +0000 Efficient use of urea fertilizer (UF) as important nitrogen (N) source in the world’s rice production has been a concern. Carbon-based materials developed to improve UF performance still represent a great challenge to be formulated for plant nutrition. Advanced N nanocarrier is developed based on functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes (f-MWCNTs) grafted with UF to produce urea-multiwall carbon nanotubes (UF-MWCNTs) for enhancing the nitrogen uptake (NU) and use efficiency (NUE). The grafted N can be absorbed and utilized by rice efficiently to overcome the N loss from soil-plant systems. The individual and interaction effect between the specified factors of f-MWCNTs amount (0.10–0.60 wt%) and functionalization reflux time (12–24 hrs) with the corresponding responses (NUE, NU) were structured via the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) based on five-level CCD. The UF-MWCNTs with optimized 0.5 wt% f-MWCNTs treated at 21 hrs reflux time achieve tremendous NUE up to 96% and NU at 1180 mg/pot. Significant model terms ( value < 0.05) for NUE and NU responses were confirmed by the ANOVA. Homogeneous dispersion of UF-MWCNTs was observed via FESEM and TEM. The chemical changes were monitored by FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy. Hence, this UF-MWCNTs’ approach provides a promising strategy in enhancing plant nutrition for rice. Norazlina Mohamad Yatim, Azizah Shaaban, Mohd Fairuz Dimin, Faridah Yusof, and Jeefferie Abd Razak Copyright © 2016 Norazlina Mohamad Yatim et al. All rights reserved. A Simple Method of Preparation of High Silica Zeolite Y and Its Performance in the Catalytic Cracking of Cumene Sun, 07 Aug 2016 11:07:02 +0000 A series of high silicon zeolites Y were prepared through direct synthetic method by using silica sol as the silicon source and sodium aluminate as the aluminum source. The effects of alkalinity and crystallization time of the process of synthesis were investigated. To separately reveal the crystalline structure, element content, morphology, and surface areas, the as-synthesized zeolite Y was characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms (BET). The results show the as-synthesized zeolite Y with high relative crystallization and uniform morphology; the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio was about 4.54~6.46. For an application, the zeolite cracking activity was studied with cumene as the probe molecules. Zhanjun Liu, Chenxi Shi, Dan Wu, Shixuan He, and Bo Ren Copyright © 2016 Zhanjun Liu et al. All rights reserved. Performance Optimization of Spin-Torque Microwave Detectors with Material and Operational Parameters Thu, 28 Jul 2016 08:33:22 +0000 Sensitivity, bandwidth, and noise equivalent power (NEP) are important indicators of the performance of microwave detectors. The previous reports on spin-torque microwave detectors (STMDs) have proposed various approaches to increase the sensitivity. However, the effects of these methods on the other two indicators remain unclear. In this work, macrospin simulation is developed to evaluate how the performance can be optimized through changing the material (tilt angle of reference-layer magnetization) and operational parameters (the direction of magnetic field and working temperature). The study on the effect of magnetic field reveals that the driving force behind the performance tuning is the effective field and the equilibrium angle between the magnetization of the free layer and that of the reference layer. The material that offers the optimal tilt angle in reference-layer magnetization is determined. The sensitivity can be further increased by changing the direction of the applied magnetic field and the operation temperature. Although the optimized sensitivity is accompanied by a reduction in bandwidth or an increase in NEP, a balance among these performance indicators can be reached through optimal tuning of the corresponding influencing parameters. X. Li, Y. Zhou, and Philip W. T. Pong Copyright © 2016 X. Li et al. All rights reserved. Nanomaterials for Sensing Applications Mon, 25 Jul 2016 13:10:21 +0000 Wen Zeng, Hua Wang, and Zhenyu Li Copyright © 2016 Wen Zeng et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis of Graphene-Based Nanocomposite and Investigations of Its Thermal and Electrical Properties Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10:20:29 +0000 We describe the synthesis of acid functionalized graphene (GE) which is grafted to chitosan (CH) by first reacting the oxidized GE with thionyl chloride to form acyl-chlorinated GE. This product is subsequently dispersed in chitosan and covalently grafted to form GE-chitosan. GE-chitosan is further grafted onto polymetanitroaniline (PMNA) by free radical polymerization conditions to yield GE-CH-PMNA. We have characterized the structure of synthesized GE-CH-PMNA composites by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy, and conductivity measurements. XRD data suggest the strongly crystalline character of the prepared specimen. Our measurement shows that the dielectric constants of these nanocomposites are remarkably enhanced due to interfacial polarization effect. This study demonstrates that functionalized graphene sheets are ideal nanofillers for the development of new polymer composites with high dielectric constant values. Manoj Kumar Pati, Puspalata Pattojoshi, and Gouri Sankar Roy Copyright © 2016 Manoj Kumar Pati et al. All rights reserved. Nonenzymatic Glucose Biosensors Based on Silver Nanoparticles Deposited on TiO2 Nanotubes Sun, 19 Jun 2016 11:01:09 +0000 In the present research, a nonenzymatic glucose biosensor was fabricated by depositing Ag nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) using in situ chemical reduction method on TiO2 nanotubes which were synthesized by anodic oxidation process. The structure, morphology, and mechanical behaviors of electrode were examined by scanning electron microscopy and nanoindentation. It was found that Ag-NPs remained both inside and outside of TiO2 nanotubes whose length and diameter were about 1.2 μm and 120 nm. The composition was constructed as an electrode of nonenzymatic biosensor for glucose oxidation. The electrocatalytic properties of the prepared electrodes for glucose oxidation were investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CVs) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). Compared with bare TiO2 and Ag-fresh TiO2 nanotube, Ag-TiO2/(500°C) nanotube exhibited the best electrochemical properties from cyclic voltammetry (CVs) results. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) results showed that, at +0.03 V, the sensitivity of the electrode to glucose oxidation was with a linear range from 20 mM to 190 mM and detection limit of 24 μM (signal-to-voice ratio of 3). In addition the nonenzymatic glucose sensors exhibited excellent selectivity, stability, and repeatability. Zheng Li, Yong Zhang, Jiaye Ye, Meiqing Guo, Jing Chen, and Weiyi Chen Copyright © 2016 Zheng Li et al. All rights reserved. Intermolecular Force Field Parameters Optimization for Computer Simulations of CH4 in ZIF-8 Tue, 24 May 2016 06:48:00 +0000 The differential evolution (DE) algorithm is applied for obtaining the optimized intermolecular interaction parameters between CH4 and 2-methylimidazolate ([C4N2H5]−) using quantum binding energies of CH4-[C4N2H5]− complexes. The initial parameters and their upper/lower bounds are obtained from the general AMBER force field. The DE optimized and the AMBER parameters are then used in the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of CH4 molecules in the frameworks of ZIF-8. The results show that the DE parameters are better for representing the quantum interaction energies than the AMBER parameters. The dynamical and structural behaviors obtained from MD simulations with both sets of parameters are also of notable differences. Phannika Kanthima, Pikul Puphasuk, and Tawun Remsungnen Copyright © 2016 Phannika Kanthima et al. All rights reserved.