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  • Recent Advances in Two-dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides-Graphene Heterostructured Materials for Electrochemical Applications
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-03-17
    Tran Duy Thanh, Nguyen Dinh Chuong, Hoa Van Hien, Tolendra Kshetri, Le Huu Tuan, Nam Hoon Kim, Joong Hee Lee

    Recently, the research effort on two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides/graphene (2D-TMDs/Gr) hybrids has grown. These hybrids are emerging as a promising strategy for the preparation of advanced multifunctional materials with effectively upgraded properties, as well as performances. Due to their outstanding electrical, physical, and chemical properties, these materials have been extensively considered for various applications, both in academia, and industry. This review systematically assesses the important progress to date in the development of 2D-TMDs/Gr hybrids. The synthesis methods of 2D-TMDs/Gr hybrids for fabricating diverse types of nanostructured architectures are highlighted. In addition, the relationships between morphological and structural characteristics, and the physicochemical properties of 2D-TMDs/Gr hybrids, are recognized in detail. This review also discusses recent prospective applications of the 2D-TMDs/Gr hybrids in the areas of energy storage, energy conversion, energy harvesting technologies, and sensors. In summary, although there are still challenges for optimizing the synthesis process and performance of the 2D-TMDs/Gr hybrids, they offer unique candidates for a wide range of promising applications in the future.

  • Revisiting the electrical and optical transmission properties of co-doped ZnO thin films as n-type TCOs
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-03-17
    Arindam Mallick, Durga Basak

    A transparent conducting oxide (TCOs) thin film exhibits a very high electrical conductivity and high visible light transparency with considerable practical applications in solar cells and in transparent electronics. As a promising substitute to Sn-doped In2O3 (ITO), doped ZnO thin films are widely considered due to low-cost, non-toxicity and high durability against the H plasma compared with ITO. In this review, by 'co-doping', we mean cation-cation (two iso-valent or heterovalent cations) and cation-anion (one higher valence cation and one lower valence anion) double doping in ZnO film. This article commences with a generalized description of TCOs, ITO and single-doped ZnO followed by a discussion on co-doped ZnO. We systemically present the current progress in both co-doping studies with critically summarized results to gain an overview, especially regarding the electrical properties. The cation-cation co-doping results in a wide range of carrier concentrations and resistivity values due to the competitive Zn site substitution by two different cations simultaneously. Cation-anion co-doping leads to an expected change in the carrier concentration and resistivity values with a higher mobility in general due to fewer lattice defects. Finally, the article concludes with a brief discussion on problems and challenges to be addressed in the near future.

  • Kinetics of Interface Alloy Phase formation at nanometer length scale in Ultra-thin Films: X-ray and polarized neutron reflectometry
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-03-16
    Surendra Singh, Mitali Swain, Saibal Basu

    Multilayer thin films of various metal pairs present model systems for studying intermetallic alloy phase formation at interfaces of these heterostructures on annealing and help to understand the kinetics of phase formation. Formation and study of these phases at the interfaces is of deep interest with respect to application and for understanding microscopic kinetics in ultra-thin layers. Also intermetallic phases are known to have extraordinary functions and characteristics that are not observed in bulk metals and alloys. Many intermetallic alloys exhibit attractive combination of physical and mechanical properties, such as high melting point, low density, high strength, good oxidation and creep resistance. In the past two decades x-ray and neutron reflectometry have been established as important non-destructive tools for obtaining physical and magnetic properties in thin film multilayers with sub-nanometer spatial resolution. All the major neutron and synchrotron sources at present provide variants of these techniques, dedicated to studies related to layered structures. This article reviews very slow diffusion at the interfaces of heterostructures, discerning kinetics of intermetallic phase formation at the interfaces in thin films and multilayers on annealing at relatively lower temperatures, primarily using x-ray and neutron reflectivity techniques. It highlights the strength of X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and neutron reflectivity (NR) to measure very low diffusivity (typically ∼10-19 – 10-23 cm2/s) in thin films. We will specifically discuss interdiffusion and formation of binary intermetallic alloys on annealing of several Ni based multilayers, with special emphasis on Ni/Ti, Ni/Al and Ni/Ge multilayers to demonstrate the strength of these techniques. These are well known systems for technological application in the field of shape memory alloys, in aeronautical industries and as corrosion resistant low-resistance contact on semiconductor surface. Especially Ni/Al has been studied at length by many workers in the past for its technological importance. It is a model system for extending several concepts in phase formation kinetics from bulk to thin films. Important studies include effect of interface morphology on phase formation, identification of a kinetic length scale of diffusion and estimation of exact composition of alloy phase at interfaces on annealing the multilayers and self-diffusion in isotopic multilayers. These parameters are responsible in controlling various material composition and properties. We have devised a formalism that uses measurements of XRR and NR on a sample to identify the composition of the binary alloy phase at the interface. This proves to be extremely helpful to estimate composition of an ultra-thin alloy layer of few nanometer thicknesses. Often these alloy phases are either non-stoichiometric or too thin for detection by x-ray diffraction technique. The present review article also includes the effect of interdiffusion on interface magnetism of magnetic/non magnetic multilayers of technological interest, using polarized neutron reflectometry.

  • Radiation damage in nanostructured materials
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-03-15
    Xinghang Zhang, Khalid Hattar, Youxing Chen, Lin Shao, Jin Li, Cheng Sun, Kaiyuan Yu, Nan Li, Mitra L. Taheri, Haiyan Wang, Jian Wang, Michael Nastasi

    There is a significant demand for the discovery of advanced materials that can survive high temperature and high doses of irradiations for the next generation nuclear reactors. Materials subjected to high dose irradiation by energetic particles often experience severe damage in the form of drastic increase of defect density, and significant degradation of their mechanical and physical properties. Extensive studies on radiation effects in materials in the past few decades show that, although nearly no materials are immune to radiation damage, the approaches of deliberate introduction of certain types of defects in materials before radiation are effective in mitigating radiation damage. Nanostructured materials with abundant internal defects have been extensively investigated for various applications. However, their impact on the alleviation of radiation damage remains less well understood. In this review article, we summarize and analyze the current understandings on the influence of various types of internal defect sinks on reduction of radiation damage in primarily nanostructured metallic materials, and partially on some nanoceramic materials (nitrides and oxides). We also point out open questions and future directions that may significantly improve our fundamental understanding on radiation damage in nanomaterials. The field of radiation damage in nanostructured materials is an exciting and rapidly evolving new arena, enriched with challenges and opportunities. The integration of extensive research effort, resources and expertise in the field materials science, nuclear science and technology, advanced microscopy, physics, mechanics, chemistry, and modeling and simulations may eventually lead to the design of advanced nanomaterials with unprecedented radiation tolerance.

  • Anisotropic magnetic nanoparticles: A review of their properties, syntheses and potential applications
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-03-14
    Darja Lisjak, Alenka Mertelj

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are of great scientific interest because of the size effect associated with their magnetic properties and, even more so, because of their wide-ranging application potential in technology and biomedicine. In this review we focus on anisotropic MNPs that exhibit (i) elongated shapes and (ii) plate-like shapes. This is because the shape and magnetocrystalline structure induce direction-dependent magnetic properties. Different synthesis strategies enable a spatially defined particle growth or assembly into an elongated shape, while the synthesis of plate-like MNPs is limited to only a few examples, e.g., hexaferrites. The control of interparticle forces is necessary to exploit the specific behaviour of anisotropic MNPs and to fabricate multifunctional materials. The assembly and/or complexation of anisotropic MNPs with other functional entities are the basis for developing direction-dependent and magnetically sensitive properties (e.g., optical, electrical, mechanical, chemical). In the first part, the magnetic properties, relevant magnetic materials and syntheses of anisotropic (in particular, elongated and plate-like) MNPs are reviewed. In the second part, the interparticle interactions, with an emphasis on the development of new, complex materials with specific behaviours, are presented. The potential applications of these new, anisotropic, multi-functional materials with future perspectives are given in the final part.

  • Progress in Corrosion Science at Atomic and Nanometric Scales
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-03-07
    Vincent Maurice, Philippe Marcus

    Contemporary aspects of corrosion science are reviewed to show how insightful a surface science approach is to understand the mechanisms of corrosion initiation at the atomic and nanometric scales. The review covers experimental approaches using advanced surface analytical techniques applied to single-crystal surfaces of metal and alloys exposed to corrosive aqueous environments in well-controlled conditions and analysed in situ under electrochemical control and/or ex situ by scanning tunnelling microscopy/spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and x-ray diffraction. Complementary theoretical approaches based on atomistic modeling are also covered. The discussed aspects include the metal-water interfacial structure and the surface reconstruction induced by hydroxide adsorption and formation of 2D (hyd)oxide precursors, the structure alterations accompanying anodic dissolution processes of metals without or with 2D protective layers and selective dissolution (i.e. dealloying) of alloys, the atomic structure, orientation and surface hydroxylation of ultrathin passive films, the role of step edges at the exposed surface of oxide grains on the dissolution of passive films and the effect of grain boundaries in polycrystalline passive films acting as preferential sites of passivity breakdown, the differences in local electronic properties measured at passive films grain boundaries, and the structure of adlayers of organic inhibitor molecules.

  • Magnetostrictive polymer composites: recent advances in materials, structures and properties
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-02-24
    Rani Elhajjar, Chiu-Tau Law, Alessandro Pegoretti

    Magnetostrictive polymer composites (MPCs) are a class of materials having the ability to change dimensions, elastic and electromagnetic properties under the presence of a magnetic field. Their advantages over bulk magnetostrictive metals are high resistivity, extended frequency response, lightness, easy formability and improved mechanical properties. In this review, advances in MPCs and their applications since the year 2000 are presented. A wide range of reinforcements and morphologies used to generate magnetostrictive response in polymers are considered, ranging from carbonyl iron, nickel to rare-earth based metal alloys. A critical analysis of the various polymeric systems from stiff thermosets to soft elastomers is provided, focusing on how the material selection influences the magnetorheological and magnetoelectric properties. Multiscale approaches, such as continuum micromechanics based theories and multi-physics finite element approaches, for modeling the coupled magneto-elastic responses are also reviewed. Recognizing their unique electromagnetic properties, recent applications of MPCs in electric current and stress sensing, vibration damping, actuation, health monitoring and biomedical fields are presented. The review of the literature points to new directions for fundamental research, interface studies and modeling improvements that can help in advancing this emerging area of magnetostrictive polymer composites.

  • Transparent glass-ceramics functionalized by dispersed crystals
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-02-23
    Xiaofeng Liu, Jiajia Zhou, Shifeng Zhou, Yuanzheng Yue, Jianrong Qiu

    Transparent glass ceramics (TGCs) with minimized scattering loss offer the combined characteristics of both glasses and (transparent) ceramics. The functionalities of the dispered crystals make TGCs a new generation of tailorable optical materials with a wide range of applications from optics to photonics. Most of conventional glass ceramics (GCs), e.g., silicate glass ceramics, contain crystals involving both network formers and modifiers, and they are known for their superior mechanical/thermal performances. In this paper, we pay more attention to those TGCs containing crystalline phases composed of only network modifiers, including nanocrystals of noble metals, metal fluorides, oxides, chalcogenides, etc. We review recent advances in conventional fabrication methods as well as in emerging techniques for the production of TGCs, such as solid state reaction, sol–gel and laser–induced crystallization. We then discuss the applications of TGCs, particularly the TGCs functionalized by crystals that exhibit various optical functionalities, including photoluminescence, optical nonlinearity, plasmonic absorption, etc. Experimental advances in the use of TGCs for lasers, optical amplifiers and different spectral converters are highlighted. We also anticipate that TGCs will find new applications, and the investigations into TGCs will unravel the mechanism of crystal formation, and hence, lead to the discovery of novel TGC systems.

  • Transparent Heat Regulating (THR) Materials and Coatings for Energy Saving Window Applications: Impact of Materials Design, Micro-Structural, and Interface Quality on the THR Performance
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-02-17
    Goutam Kumar Dalapati, Ajay Kumar Kushwaha, Mohit Sharma, Vignesh Suresh, Santiranjan Shannigrahi, Siarhei Zhuk, Saeid Masudy-Panah

    This review highlights the development of energy saving transparent heat regulating (THR) materials and coating for energy saving window applications. Current state-of-the- art technologies including transparent heat reflecting mirror (THM), thermo-chromic (TC), transparent solar cells (TSC), and luminescent based materials have been discussed. The coating performance primarily depends on the selection of materials, surface and structural morphology, dielectric passivation growth process and architecture of the multi-layered structure. The micro-structural properties of thin metal/metal oxide layer, and its impact on the heat reflecting coating have been studied extensively. Growth of high quality continuous thin film with fewer defects is an essential part of the infrared reflecting and/or heat regulating coatings. Henceforth, in this review, detailed analysis of growth of continuous and thin metal layer influence of the seed layer (germanium and nickel) and doping on the growth mechanism of thin metal have been discussed. Surface morphology and electronic properties of metal layer/multi-layered coatings have been studied in detail for THR applications. A wide range of metal oxides and their physical properties have been considered for use as passivation layer in the THR coating structure. Among several THR structures, the architecture comprising of dielectric-metal-dielectric (DMD) stack is known to exhibit the best heat reflecting performances. While the metal component typically comprises of silver (Ag), copper (Cu), and nitride based materials, dielectrics are made from metal oxides such as BaSnO3, TiO2, SnO2, ZnO, HfO2, Cu2O, and ZrO2. Selection of passivation layer and tuning of micro-structural properties are very crucial to enhance the visible transmittance without sacrificing infrared reflectance. Optical properties of the dielectric layer can be controlled with growth mechanism and varying content of impurity dopant. Metal doped dielectrics play a key role to enhance the visible light transmission while maintaining infra-red reflection. Through in-situ materials engineering, crystal quality of the dielectric improves which has significant role on the THR performance. Furthermore, impact of rapid thermal annealing (RTA) technique to improve crystal quality of metal oxides without oxidizing the thin metal layer is also emphasized. In the subsequent sections, synthesis of thin films by using sputtering methods, thermal evaporation and e-beam evaporation methods using inexpensive materials for large scale deployment of coating have been discussed. Neutral coloured Cu-based THR smart windows is developed through tuning the structural property of TiO2. The simulated Cu-based THR window shows ≥10°C temperature reduction when compared to conventional glass based windows. Thermal stability of copper and silver based multilayer enhanced through ultra-thin metal and dielectric interface engineering. Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) are also an essential candidate for the wide band gap semiconductor based THR application. Recent progress in TCOs material has been briefly discussed in one of the section of the review. Hetero-epitaxy of metal oxides (ITO/ZnO) shows promising characteristics as heat insulating materials. Impact of growth process and surface morphology of the TCO have been studied to evaluate the performance of the TCO as heat insulating materials. In addition, advanced hybrid composite based heat reflector coatings for energy efficient building applications is also highlighted in the later section of the review. The industrial utilization and efficacy of heat reflector metal oxides, when incorporated into polymeric/pigments/fibers and heat reflecting durable paints as advanced hybrid composites coatings has been discussed. The progression of solution based metal nanowire (MNW) and optical properties for the heat regulating applications have been included. Dielectric/metal-NW/dielectric multilayer can be a potential candidate for the development of low cost THR film. The solution based THR methods has potential to be mass customized in economic ways and can be viable at industrial scale. Thermo-chromic materials are also considered as prospective candidate for the transparent coating applications. Recent development of VO2 bilayer, trilayer, micro-pattern and nano-plate films have been discusses to enhance the luminous transmittance and solar modulation ability. Transparent solar cells, based on the infra-red absorption through up-conversion nanoparticles are viable candidates for the development of environmental friendly heat regulating systems. Recent advancement of inorganic, polymer, perovskite, and luminescent based transparent solar cell (TSCs) with heat reflecting mirror have been evaluated for smart windows applications. For the deployment of large scale THR film, low cost materials, roll-to-roll (R2R) sputter and atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (APCVD) have been assessed for the industrial applicability. The progression of THR materials with thermo-chromics, self-cleaning and TSCs materials can enhance the overall performance of the smart/transparent coatings for thermal management and heat regulating functionalities.

  • Computational Microstructure Characterization and Reconstruction: Review of the State-of-the-art Techniques
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-02-09
    Ramin Bostanabad, Yichi Zhang, Xiaolin Li, Tucker Kearney, L. Catherine Brinson, Daniel W. Apley, Wing Kam Liu, Wei Chen

    Building sensible processing-structure-property (PSP) links to gain fundamental insights and understanding of materials behavior has been the focus of many works in computational materials science. Microstructure characterization and reconstruction (MCR), coupled with machine learning techniques and materials modeling and simulation, is an important component of discovering PSP relations and inverse material design in the era of high-throughput computational materials science. In this article, we provide a comprehensive review of representative approaches for MCR and elaborate on their algorithmic details, computational costs, and how they fit into the PSP mapping problems. Multiple categories of MCR methods relying on statistical functions (such as n-point correlation functions), physical descriptors, spectral density function, texture synthesis, and supervised/unsupervised learning are reviewed. As no MCR method is applicable to the analysis and (inverse) design of all material systems, our goal is to provide the scientific community with a close examination of the state-of-the-art techniques for MCR, as well as useful guidance on which MCR method to choose and how to systematically apply it to a problem at hand. We illustrate applications of MCR on materials modeling and building structure-property relations via two examples: One on learning the materials law of a class of composite microstructures, and the second on relating the permittivity and dielectric loss to a structural parameter in nanodielectrics.

  • Metal recovery by microbial electro-metallurgy
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-02-06
    Xochitl Dominguez-Benetton, Jeet Chandrakant Varia, Guillermo Pozo, Oskar Modin, Annemiek ter-Heijne, Jan Fransaer, Korneel Rabaey

    Raw metals are fundamental to the global economy as they are essential to maintain the quality of our life as well as industrial performance. A number of metal-bearing aqueous matrices are appealing as alternative supplies to conventional mining, like solid industrial and urban waste leachates, wastewaters and even some natural extreme environments (e.g. deep marine sediments, geothermal brines). Some of these sources are already managed for recovery, while others are not suitable either because they are too low in content of recoverable metals or they contain too many impurities that would interfere with classical recovery processes or would be cost-prohibitive. Microbial electro-metallurgy, which results from the interactions between microorganisms, metals and electrodes, in which the electron transfer chain associated with microbial respiration plays a key role, can contribute to overcome these challenges. This review provides the state of the art on this subject, and summarizes the general routes through which microbes can catalyse or support metal recovery, leading to nano- and macro-scale materials. Competing sorption and electrochemical technologies are briefly revisited. The relevant sources of metals are highlighted as well as the challenges and opportunities to turn microbial electro-metallurgy into a sustainable industrial technology in the near future. Finally, an outlook to pursue functional materials through microbial electrometallurgy is provided.

  • Review on superior strength and enhanced ductility of metallic nanomaterials
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-02-05
    I.A. Ovid'ko, R.Z. Valiev, Y.T. Zhu

    Nanostructured metallic materials having nanocrystalline and ultrafine-grained structures show exceptional mechanical properties, e.g. superior strength, that are very attractive for various applications. However, superstrong metallic nanomaterials typically have low ductility at ambient temperatures, which significantly limits their applications. Nevertheless, several examples of nanostructured metals and alloys with concurrent high strength and good ductility have been reported. Such strong and ductile materials are ideal for a broad range of structural applications in transportation, medicine, energy, etc. Strong and ductile metallic nanomaterials are also important for functional applications where these properties are critical for the lifetime of nanomaterial-based devices. This article presents an overview of experimental data and theoretical concepts addressing the unique combination of superior strength and enhanced ductility of metallic nanomaterials. We consider the basic approaches and methods for simultaneously optimizing their strength and ductility, employing principal deformation mechanisms, crystallographic texture, chemical composition as well as second-phase nano-precipitates, carbon nanotubes and graphene. Examples of achieving such superior properties in industrial materials are reviewed and discussed.

  • Analytical and numerical approaches to modelling of severe plastic deformation
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-02-03
    Alexei Vinogradov, Yuri Estrin

    Severe plastic deformation (SPD) has established itself as a potent means of producing bulk ultrafine grained and nanostructured materials. It has given rise to burgeoning research that has become an integral part of the present day materials science. This research has received a broad coverage in literature, and several recent publications (including reviews in Progress in Materials Science) provide a very good introduction to the history, the current status, and the potential applications of SPD technologies. There is one aspect of SPD-related research, though, which despite its enormous importance has not been covered by any substantive review, viz. the modelling and simulation work. Due to the complexity of SPD processing and the specificity of material behaviour at the extremely large strains involved, analytical and computational studies have been indispensable for process design, parameter optimisation, and the prediction of the microstructures and properties of the ultrafine grained materials produced. The pertinent literature is vast and often difficult to navigate. The present article addresses this aspect of SPD and provides a commented exposé of a modelling and numerical simulation toolkit that has been, or can potentially be, applied in the context of severe plastic deformation.

  • Recent Developments of Metallic Nanoparticle-Graphene Nanocatalysts
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-01-31
    Changlong Wang, Didier Astruc
  • Progress of in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction studies on the mechanical behavior of materials at small scales
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-01-31
    Thomas W. Cornelius, Olivier Thomas

    In recent years, the mechanical behavior of low-dimensional materials has been attracting lots of attention triggered both by the ongoing miniaturization and the extraordinary properties demonstrated for nanostructures. It is now well established that mechanical properties of small objects differ fundamentally from their bulk counterpart and in particular that “smaller is stronger” but many questions on the deformation mechanisms remain open. Most of the knowledge obtained on small- scale mechanics is based on ex-situ and in-situ characterizations using electron microscopy. However, these techniques suffer from the fact that imaging or scattering information is either limited to the surface or from a 2D projection of a thin foil of material. Within the last two decades tremendous progress was achieved at 3rd generation synchrotrons making it possible to focus hard X-ray beams down to the 100-nm scale. Modern synchrotron X-ray diffraction methods may thus provide structural information with good spatial resolution and fully 3D. In this review, we discuss the progress achieved on in-situ micro- and nano-mechanical tests coupled with different synchrotron X-ray diffraction techniques to monitor the elastic and plastic deformation, highlighting the advantages of these approaches, which offer at the same time versatile sample environments and extreme precision in displacement fields.

  • Thermomechanical processing of advanced high strength steels
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-01-31
    Jingwei Zhao, Zhengyi Jiang

    Advanced high strength steels (AHSSs) are regarded as the most promising materials for vehicles in the 21st century. AHSSs are complex and sophisticated materials, with microstructures being controlled by precise thermomechanical processing (TMP) technologies. TMP is an established and strategic method for improving the mechanical properties of AHSSs through control of microstructures and is among the most important industrial technologies for producing high quality AHSSs with the necessary mechanical properties. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of recent progress in TMP of AHSSs, with focus on the processing-microstructure-property relationships of the processed AHSSs. We first present an introduction to the background of the TMP of AHSSs. Then, the recent progress and the latest achievements in TMP of the first, second and third generations of AHSSs and Nano Hiten steels are reviewed in detail, and the mechanisms of the TMP-induced microstructural evolution and mechanical properties variation are addressed and discussed. The present review concludes with a summary on the TMP of AHSSs currently under development, and also offers an outlook of the future opportunities which will inspire more in-depth research and eventually advance practical applications of this innovative field.

  • Freeze Casting – A Review of Processing, Microstructure and Properties via the Open Data Repository, FreezeCasting.net
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-01-11
    Kristen L. Scotti, David C. Dunand

    Freeze-casting produces materials with complex, three-dimensional pore structures which may be tuned during the solidification process. The range of potential applications of freeze-cast materials is vast, and includes: structural materials, biomaterials, filtration membranes, pharmaceuticals, and foodstuffs. Fabrication of materials with application-specific microstructures is possible via freeze casting, however, the templating process is highly complex and the underlying principles are only partially understood. Here, we report the creation of a freeze-casting experimental data repository, which contains data extracted from ∼800 different freeze-casting papers (as of August 2017). These data pertain to variables that link processing conditions to microstructural characteristics, and finally, mechanical properties. The aim of this work is to facilitate broad dissemination of relevant data to freeze-casting researchers, promote better informed experimental design, and encourage modeling efforts that relate processing conditions to microstructure formation and material properties. An initial, systematic analysis of these data is provided and key processing-structure-property relationships posited in the freeze-casting literature are discussed and tested against the database. Tools for data visualization and exploration available through the web interface are also provided.

  • Towards high-efficiency sorptive capture of radionuclides in solution and gas
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2018-01-06
    Kowsalya Vellingiri, Ki-Hyun Kim, Anastasia Pournara, Akash Deep

    As globalization and rapid population growth have raised global energy needs, the demand for nuclear energy has increased drastically. To make use of such energy reliably, the efficient disposal of nuclear wastes has become a major challenge. With this in mind, numerous research efforts have been made to store, capture, and immobilize radioactive waste. To date, a variety of sorbent materials with different physical, chemical, and structural properties have been discovered and tested for the capture of soluble and gaseous forms of a variety of radionuclides. In addition, the pre-/post-synthetic modification of these sorbent materials has gained significant attention in attempts to enhance their overall stability, tunability, and capacity, while also preserving the main framework. In this review, we explored the performance of different materials for the sorption of uranium, cobalt, europium, iodine, cesium, strontium, technetium, krypton, xenon, and argon. To begin with, we classified sorbent materials into three categories by considering their structural improvements over time. We also pointed out the structural importance, reversibility, and renewability aspects of the proposed sorbents along with their basic sorption properties. Finally, we proposed some future aspects of these materials by carefully listing their features, applications, and present limitations.

  • Bespoke photonic devices using ultrafast laser driven ion migration in glasses
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-12-29
    T.T. Fernandez, M. Sakakura, S.M. Eaton, B. Sotillo, J. Siegel, J. Solis, Y. Shimotsuma, K. Miura

    This Review provides an exhaustive and detailed description of ion migration phenomena which occur inside transparent dielectric media due to the interaction with intense ultrashort pulses. The paper differentiates various processes underlying the ion migration influenced by simultaneous heat accumulation and diffusion. The femtosecond laser induced temperature distribution, the major driving force of ions in dielectrics, is described in detail. This discussion is based on three meticulous analysis methods including the thermal modification of transparent dielectrics at various ambient temperatures, numerical simulations and comparison with direct observation of the light-matter interaction and micro-Raman spectroscopy. The ion migration phenomena studied have been triggered in four different configurations: at low repetition and high repetition rates, and observations perpendicular and parallel to the laser irradiation direction. Inspired by this research, potential applications are highlighted including space-selective phase separation, a laser-based ion exchange fabrication method and optical micropipetting by tailoring the plasma profile.

  • Mechanical metamaterials associated with stiffness, rigidity and compressibility: a brief review
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-12-21
    Xianglong Yu, Ji Zhou, Haiyi Liang, Zhengyi Jiang, Lingling Wu
  • Properties and Chemical Modifications of Lignin: Towards Lignin-Based Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-12-12
    Patrícia Figueiredo, Kalle Lintinen, Jouni T. Hirvonen, Mauri A. Kostiainen, Hélder A. Santos

    Biorenewable polymers have emerged as an attractive alternative to conventional metallic and organic materials for a variety of different applications. This is mainly because of their biocompatibility, biodegradability and low cost of production. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most promising renewable carbon-containing source on Earth. Depending on the origin and species of the biomass, lignin consists of 20–35% of the lignocellulosic biomass. After it has been extracted, lignin can be modified through diverse chemical reactions. There are different categories of chemical modifications, such as lignin depolymerization or fragmentation, modification by synthesizing new chemically active sites, chemical modification of the hydroxyl groups, and the production of lignin graft copolymers. Lignin can be used for different industrial and biomedical applications, including biofuels, chemicals and polymers, and the development of nanomaterials for drug delivery but these uses depend on the source, chemical modifications and physicochemical properties. We provide an overview on the composition and properties, extraction methods and chemical modifications of lignin in this review. Furthermore, we describe different preparation methods for lignin-based nanomaterials with antioxidant UV-absorbing and antimicrobial properties that can be used as reinforcing agents in nanocomposites, in drug delivery and gene delivery vehicles for biomedical applications.

  • Chalcogenide Glass-Ceramics: Functional Design and Crystallization Mechanism
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Changgui Lin, Christian Rüssel, Shixun Dai

    Chalcogenide glasses are defined as a new category of non-crystalline solids on the basis of their characteristic covalent bonds and unique properties, such as broad infrared transmission window, low maximum phonon energy, high optical nonlinearity, semiconductivity, and photosensitivity. Inspired by the great successes that have been achieved in the development of oxide glass-ceramics, functionalized chalcogenide glass-ceramics have received intensive research attention. Moreover, the inherent properties of chalcogenide glasses have been explored and modified through controlled crystallization, to generate novel and unique features. This review aims to present a critical overview of the current state of the art in the controllable fabrication of functionalized chalcogenide glass-ceramics. The first section provides a brief introduction to chalcogenide glasses and glass-ceramics. The succeeding sections detail the fabrication strategies of chalcogenide glass-ceramics with various functions through different precipitated crystals and microstructures. This review provides a discussion of the mechanism that underlie the resultant properties of chalcogenide glass-ceramics. Furthermore, the crystallization mechanisms of chalcogenide glasses are discussed through the comparison of molecular-scale and nanoscale phase separation assisted crystallization mechanisms in oxide and oxyfluoride glasses. Finally, the remain section presents the key questions that remain unanswered, as well as provide perspectives on the future research trends.

  • Magnetocaloric effect: from materials research to refrigeration devices
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-11-08
    V. Franco, J.S. Blázquez, J.J. Ipus, J.Y. Law, L.M. Moreno-Ramírez, A. Conde

    The magnetocaloric effect and its most straightforward application, magnetic refrigeration, are topics of current interest due to the potential improvement of energy efficiency of cooling and temperature control systems, in combination with other environmental benefits associated to a technology that does not rely on the compression/expansion of harmful gases. This review presents the fundamentals of the effect, the techniques for its measurement with consideration of possible artifacts found in the characterization of the samples, a comprehensive and comparative analysis of different magnetocaloric materials, as well as possible routes to improve their performance. An overview of the different magnetocaloric prototypes found in literature as well as alternative applications of the magnetocaloric effect for fundamental studies of phase transitions are also included.

  • Towards Sustainable Ultrafast Molecular-Separation Membranes: from Conventional Polymers to Emerging Materials
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-10-31
    Xi Quan Cheng, Zhen Xing Wang, Xu Jiang, Tingxi Li, Cher Hon Lau, Zhanhu Guo, Jun Ma, Lu Shao

    Ultrafast molecular separation (UMS) membranes are highly selective towards active organic molecules such as antibiotics, amino acids and proteins that are 0.5-5 nm wide while lacking a phase transition and requiring a low energy input to achieve high speed separation. These advantages are the keys for deploying UMS membranes in a plethora of industries, including petrochemical, food, pharmaceutical, and water treatment industries, especially for dilute system separations. Most recently, advanced nanotechnology and cutting-edge nanomaterials have been combined with membrane separation technologies to generate tremendous potential for accelerating the development of UMS membranes. It is therefore critical to update the broader scientific community on the important advances in this exciting, interdisciplinary field. This review emphasizes the unique separation capabilities of UMS membranes, theories underpinning UMS membranes, traditional polymeric materials and nanomaterials emerging on the horizon for advanced UMS membrane fabrication and technical applications to address the existing knowledge gap. This work includes detailed discussions regarding existing challenges, as well as perspectives on this promising field.

  • The double-edge effect of second-phase particles on the recrystallization behaviour and associated mechanical properties of metallic materials
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-10-27
    Ke Huang, Knut Marthinsen, Qinglong Zhao, Roland E. Logé

    Most industrial alloys contain a matrix phase and dispersed second-phase particles. Several thermomechanical processing (TMP) steps are usually needed to produce a final product, during which recrystallization and its related phenomena may take place. Second-phase particles may retard or accelerate recrystallization, depending on their size and spatial distribution, the TMP conditions, among others. Besides their effect on recrystallization kinetics, the introduction of second-phase particles creates additional interfaces within the matrix, it also modifies the grain structure and crystallographic texture after recrystallization, which then either improves or deteriorates the associated mechanical properties of the investigated materials. The interactions between second-phase particles and recrystallization are further complicated when these particles are not stable. In addition to particle coarsening, they can also precipitate out or dissolve into the matrix before, simultaneously with or after recrystallization. This review article attempts to summarize the recent progresses on the complex interaction between second-phase particles and recrystallization and the science behind them. This double-edge effect of second-phase particles on recrystallization behaviour and mechanical properties of metallic materials is still far from being clear. A better understanding of this issue is of high academic and industrial interests, since it provides potential freedom for TMP design and microstructure control.

  • A Literature Review of Ti-6Al-4V Linear Friction Welding
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-10-25
    Anthony R. McAndrew, Paul A. Colegrove, Clement Bühr, Bertrand C.D. Flipo, Achilleas Vairis

    Linear friction welding (LFW) is a solid-state joining process that is an established technology for the fabrication of titanium alloy bladed disks (blisks) in aero-engines. Owing to the economic benefits, LFW has been identified as a technology capable of manufacturing Ti-6Al-4V aircraft structural components. However, LFW of Ti-6Al-4V has seen limited industrial implementation outside of blisk manufacture, which is partly due to the knowledge and benefits of the process being widely unknown. This article provides a review of the published works up-to-date on the subject to identify the “state-of-the-art”. First, the background, fundamentals, advantages and industrial applications of the process are described. This is followed by a description of the microstructure, mechanical properties, flash morphology, interface contaminant removal, residual stresses and energy usage of Ti-6Al-4V linear friction welds. A brief discussion on the machine tooling effects is also included. Next, the work on analytical and numerical modelling is discussed. Finally, the conclusions of the review are presented, which include practical implications for the manufacturing sector and recommendations for further research and development. The purpose of this article is to inform industry and academia of the benefits of LFW so that the process may be better exploited.

  • Phonons and Anomalous Thermal Expansion Behaviour in Crystalline Solids
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-10-16
    R. Mittal, M.K. Gupta, S.L. Chaplot

    Anomalous thermal expansion behaviour of several open frame-work compounds has been extensively investigated using the techniques of inelastic neutron scattering and lattice dynamics. These compounds involve increasing level of structural complexity and flexibility, which leads to increased values of thermal expansion coefficients approaching colossal values. In several compounds, neutron inelastic scattering experiments have produced quantitative estimates of the anharmonicity of phonons over a range of low energies, and thereby explained the observed thermal expansion quantitatively. The anharmonicity is found to be an order of magnitude larger than that in usual materials. Lattice dynamical calculations have correctly predicted the observed anharmonicity in the neutron experiments and revealed the overall nature of phonons involved. In compounds showing negative thermal expansion, the phonons responsible have rather low energies up to 10 meV. In most compounds, the anharmonic phonons span all over the Brillouin zone, while in some cases the specific phonons are limited to certain wave-vectors. The nature of specific phonons responsible for anomalous behavior is found to be different in all these compounds. These phonons generally involve transverse vibrations, librations and internal distortions of the polyhedral units. The paper reviews recent advances in the understanding of anomalous thermal expansion behaviour.

  • Conductive polymers: Creating their niche in thermoelectric domain
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-10-14
    Meetu Bharti, Ajay Singh, Soumen Samanta, D.K. Aswal
  • Advanced Catalysts for Sustainable Hydrogen Generation and Storage via Hydrogen Evolution and Carbon Dioxide/Nitrogen Reduction Reactions
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-10-13
    Kai-Hua Liu, Hai-Xia Zhong, Si-Jia Li, Yan-Xin Duan, Miao-Miao Shi, Xin-Bo Zhang, Jun-Min Yan, Qing Jiang

    Accompanied by continuous increasing energy crisis and CO2-induced global warming, constructing renewable energy system becomes one of the major scientific challenges. Thereinto, electrocatalysis plays a critical role in clean energy conversion, enabling a series of sustainable chemistries and processes for future technologies. Herein, we mainly discuss recent advances of heterogeneous electrocatalysts for hydrogen production and storage via several clean energy reactions such as hydrogen evolution, carbon dioxide and nitrogen reduction. Emphasis is given to the structure/composition–catalytic activity relationship and strategies of performance improvement. Certainly, several challenges and research directions toward these reactions are also discussed. The comprehensive review might provide guidance to design robust electrocatalysts that allow for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals.

  • Additive manufacturing of metallic components – process, structure and properties
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-10-07
    T. DebRoy, H.L. Wei, J.S. Zuback, T. Mukherjee, J.W. Elmer, J.O. Milewski, A.M. Beese, A. Wilson-Heid, A. De, W. Zhang

    Since its inception, significant progress has been made in understanding additive manufacturing (AM) processes and the structure and properties of the fabricated metallic components. Because the field is rapidly evolving, a periodic critical assessment of our understanding is useful and this paper seeks to address this need. It covers the emerging research on AM of metallic materials and provides a comprehensive overview of the physical processes and the underlying science of metallurgical structure and properties of the deposited parts. The uniqueness of this review includes substantive discussions on refractory alloys, precious metals and compositionally graded alloys, a succinct comparison of AM with welding and a critical examination of the printability of various engineering alloys based on experiments and theory. An assessment of the status of the field, the gaps in the scientific understanding and the research needs for the expansion of AM of metallic components are provided.

  • Kinetic Monte Carlo simulation for semiconductor processing: a review
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-09-20
    Ignacio Martin-Bragado, Ricardo Borges, Juan Pablo-Balbuena, Martin Jaraiz

    The Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) algorithm is a particularly apt technique to simulate the complex processing of semiconductor devices. In this review, some of the main processes used for semiconductor industries to manufacture transistor from semiconductor materials, namely implantation, annealing and epitaxial growth are reviewed. The evolution of defects created during such processing for the particular, and well known case, of silicon, is commented. Kinetic Monte Carlo modeling is introduced and contrasted briefly with a continuum approach. Particular models of different phenomena, using both object and lattice KMC, are shown: point defect migration, cluster formation, dopant activation and deactivation, damage accumulation, amorphization, recrystallization, solid phase and selective epitaxial regrowth, etc.In this work we describe the models, its implementation into KMC, and we show several comparisons with significant experimental data validating the KMC approach and showing its capabilities. How extra capabilities can be included by extending the models to current problems in the semiconductor industry is also commented, in particular the use of SiGe alloys and the introduction of stress dependencies.

  • Nitrogen-doped simple and complex oxides for photocatalysis: a review
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-09-15
    Wei Wang, Moses O. Tadé, Zongping Shao

    Semiconductor-based photocatalysis plays a vital role in counteracting worldwide environmental pollution and energy shortage. How to design a visible-light-active photocatalyst is critical for efficient solar energy utilization. Many oxides including TiO2 are only photoactive in ultraviolet light and doping is an important strategy to extend the photoactive zone. Anion doping is superior to cation doping, which generates more harmful electron-hole recombination centers. Nitrogen doping is more effective than carbon/sulfur doping to achieve high visible-light response. Since 2001, nitrogen-doped TiO2 photocatalysts have attracted increasing attention due to their strong oxidizing power and considerable visible light response. Considering the fixed atomic environment in simple oxides, complex oxides are more attractive as photocatalysts because of their more flexible physical and chemical properties. To date, no review focuses on the designation strategies for nitrogen-doped simple/complex oxides with high visible-light photoactivity. In this review, the recent progress involving nitrogen-doped simple/complex oxides for photocatalysis is comprehensively summarized. Emphasis is placed on the factors that determine photocatalytic activity and related strategies for the design of active nitrogen-doped oxides. The future challenges are also discussed. This review aims to provide a summary of recent progress in nitrogen-doped oxides for photocatalysis and some useful guidelines for the future development.

  • Additive Manufacturing of Biomaterials
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-08-26
    Susmita Bose, Dongxu Ke, Himanshu Sahasrabudhe, Amit Bandyopadhyay

    Biomaterials are used to engineer functional restoration of different tissues to improve human health and the quality of life. Biomaterials can be natural or synthetic. Additive manufacturing (AM) is a novel materials processing approach to create parts or prototypes layer-by-layer directly from a computer aided design (CAD) file. The combination of additive manufacturing and biomaterials is very promising, especially towards patient specific clinical applications. Challenges of AM technology along with related materials issues need to be realized to make this approach feasible for broader clinical needs. This approach is already making a significant gain towards numerous commercial biomedical devices. In this review, key additive manufacturing methods are first introduced followed by AM of different materials, and finally applications of AM in various treatment options. Realization of critical challenges and technical issues for different AM methods and biomaterial selections based on clinical needs are vital. Multidisciplinary research will be necessary to face those challenges and fully realize the potential of AM in the coming days.

  • Polymer capsules as micro-/nanoreactors for therapeutic applications: Current strategies to control membrane permeability
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-08-14
    A. Larrañaga, M. Lomora, J.R. Sarasua, C.G. Palivan, A. Pandit

    Polymer capsules, fabricated either with the aid of a sacrificial template or via the self-assembly of block copolymers into polymer vesicles (polymersomes), have attracted a great deal of attention for their potential use as micro-/nanoreactors and artificial organelles for therapeutic applications. Compared to other biomedical applications of polymer capsules, such as drug delivery vehicles, where the polymer shell undergoes irreversible disruption/rupture that allows the release of the payload, the polymer shell in polymer micro-/nanoreactors has to maintain mechanical integrity while allowing the selective diffusion of reagents/reaction products. In the present review, strategies that permit precise control of the permeability of the polymer shell while preserving its architecture are documented and critiqued. Together with these strategies, specific examples where these polymer capsules have been employed as micro-/nanoreactors as well as approaches to scale-up and optimize these systems along with future perspectives for therapeutic applications in several degenerative diseases are elucidated.

  • Graphene: A Versatile Platform for Nanotheranostics and Tissue Engineering
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-08-09
    Renu Geetha Bai, Neethu Ninan, Kasturi Muthoosamy, Sivakumar Manickam
  • Biotemplated Synthesis of Inorganic Materials: An Emerging Paradigm for Nanomaterial Synthesis Inspired by Nature
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-08-08
    Brad A. Krajina, Amy C. Proctor, Alia P. Schoen, Andrew J. Spakowitz, Sarah C. Heilshorn

    Biomineralization, the process by which biological systems direct the synthesis of inorganic structures from organic templates, is an exquisite example of nanomaterial self-assembly in nature. Its products include the shells of mollusks and the bones and teeth of vertebrates. By comparison, conventional inorganic synthesis techniques provide limited control over inorganic nanomaterial architecture. Inspired by biomineralization in nature, over the last two decades, the field of biotemplating has emerged as a new paradigm for inorganic nanomaterial assembly, wherein researchers seek to design novel nano-structures in which inorganic nanomaterial synthesis is directed from an underlying biomolecular template. Here, we review the motivation, mechanistic understanding, progress, and challenges for the field of biotemplating. We highlight the interdisciplinary nature of this field, and survey a broad range of examples of bio-templated engineering: ranging from strategies that exploit the inherent capabilities of proteins in nature, to genetically-engineered systems that unlock new capabilities for self-assembly with biomolecules. We illustrate that the use of biological materials as templates for inorganic self-assembly holds tremendous potential for nanomaterial engineering, with applications that range from electronics and energy to medicine.

  • Serration and Noise Behavior in Materials
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-08-04
    Yong Zhang, Jun Peng Liu, Shu Ying Chen, Xie Xie, Peter K. Liaw, Karin A. Dahmen, Jun Wei Qiao, Yan Li Wang

    Serrations and noise behaviors in plastically deforming solids are related to avalanches of deformation processes. In the stress-strain curves, the serrations characteristics are visible as stress drops or strain jumps. In fact, similar serration characteristics are ubiquitous in many structural and functional materials, such as amorphous materials [also metallic glasses, or bulk metallic glasses (BMGs)], high-entropy alloys (HEAs), superalloys, ordered intermetallics, shape-memory alloys (SMAs), electrochemical noise, carbon steels, twinning-induced plasticity steels (TWIP steels), phase-transformation-induced plasticity steels (TRIP steels), Al-Mg alloys, nano-materials, magnetic functional materials, and so on. Because of their unique and universal properties, many researchers have focused on this field to find out what causes the serration behaviors and what can be learned about the material from the serration characteristics. For example, the serration characteristics contain information about the mechanisms of plastic deformation and the structural evolution during deformation. However, due to many factors affecting the serration behavior and some uncertain or uncontrolled factors, it’s a difficult task to give a unified picture of a vast amount of serration data. This review article summarizes the results of previous studies in this rapidly-developing field, attempting to provide a new perspective in expounding the connection between macroscopic properties and micro-mechanisms. In this review paper, serration behavior of a wide range of materials will be discussed. One of the most important goals is to investigate the factors influencing serration characteristics and deformation mechanisms. Several statistical properties, such as distributions of stress drop sizes and waiting times, are reviewed and used to quantify the serration behavior. Moreover, models and theories on the serrated flow will be discussed that quantify the deformation mechanism in this field. Besides discussing serrations in stress-strain curves of many solid materials, this review paper will also cover other systerms with serrations and collective noise, such as crackling noise in the earth’s crust (earthquakes), volume fluctuations in a granular medium and jamming behavior in random-packing systems.

  • A Review of Surfactants as Corrosion Inhibitors and Associated Modeling
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-07-27
    Yakun Zhu, Michael L. Free, Richard Woollam, William Durnie

    Surfactants have been commonly used as corrosion inhibitors for the protection of metallic materials against corrosion. The amphiphilic nature of surfactant molecules creates an affinity for adsorption at interfaces such as metal/metal oxide-water interface. The adsorption of surfactant on metals and metal oxides creates a barrier that can inhibit corrosion. The properties of surfactant and the interaction of surfactant with metal or metal oxide and the surrounding solution environments determine the level of adsorption and corrosion inhibition. Understanding and modeling the behavior of surfactants in corrosive environments is critical to optimal utilization of surfactants as corrosion inhibitors. This review of surfactants as corrosion inhibitors is designed to provide systemic evaluation of various physical and chemical properties of surfactants, surfactant behaviors in corrosive environments, and their influence in corrosion inhibition, which can be used to improve the effectiveness with which surfactants are used as corrosion inhibitors in a variety of environments. Progress in the development of various predictive models, including semi-empirical models, mechanistic models, and multiphysics models, are reviewed for the evaluation and prediction of surfactant properties and surfactant corrosion inhibition efficiency. Applications of these models to experimental design and analysis, surfactant design and selection, and lifetime prediction are also discussed.

  • Physicomechanical properties of spark plasma sintered carbon nanotube-reinforced metal matrix nanocomposites
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-07-25
    Abolfazl Azarniya, Amir Azarniya, Saeed Sovizi, Hamid Reza Madaah Hosseini, Temel Varol, Akira Kawasaki, Seeram Ramakrishna

    The technological and industrial needs for development of fully dense nanocomposites have led to significant advances in spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique and its enhanced forms. This technique has opened up a new prospect over carbon nanotube (CNT)-metal matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs) with superior physical or mechanical characteristics. To date, a large number of authentic papers have been published over this ongoing field, but have not been comprehensively reviewed. The pertinent research works cover some significant aspects of CNT-MMNCs requiring a concise review on (i) the potential phase transformations of pure CNTs and microstructure evolution; (ii) the novel approaches for uniform dispersion of CNTs inside the metallic matrices including Cu, Al, Ag, Ni, Ti, Mg, and Fe; and (iii) recent improvements in mechanical, thermal, electrical, biological, and tribological properties of CNT-MMNCs. The present review paper strives to scrutinize the aforementioned topics and provide a broad overview of the unsolved challenges and suggested solutions for them.

  • Recent Advances in Germanium Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Optical Properties and Applications
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-07-22
    Darragh Carolan

    Germanium nanocrystals (Ge NCs) have recently attracted renewed scientific interest as environmentally friendlier alternatives to classical II-VI and IV-VI QDs containing toxic elements such as Hg, Cd and Pb. Importantly, Ge NCs are nontoxic, biocompatible, and electrochemically stable. An essential requirement is the ability to prepare Ge NCs with narrow size distributions and well characterized surface chemistry, as these define many of their photophysical properties. However, a thorough discussion on these criteria has not been achieved to date. Here, size, surface control, and mechanisms for light emission in Ge NCs are discussed and their exciting recent applications are highlighted. The beneficial properties of Ge NCs suggest that this material can improve the performance of numerous devices like solar cells, photodetectors, and lithium ion batteries.

  • Three-dimensional graphene-based macrostructures for sustainable energy applications and climate change mitigation
    Prog. Mater. Sci. (IF 31.14) Pub Date : 2017-07-13
    Shamik Chowdhury, Rajasekhar Balasubramanian

    The importance of three-dimensional (3D) graphene-based macrostructures (GBMs) is increasingly being recognized over the last five years for diverse clean energy-related applications and global climate change mitigation. With exceptionally large specific surface area and highly interconnected pore networks, 3D graphene scaffolds manifest extraordinary nanoscale effects that result in materials with unusual electrical, mechanical, and electrochemical properties. A global multidisciplinary research effort focusing on the development of innovative 3D GBMs with hierarchical microstructures and novel functionalities has therefore recently emerged. This review provides a comprehensive account of the key design principles in preparing high performance 3D GBMs and discusses their application as advanced electrode materials in a range of energy storage and conversion devices, including lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells, dye-sensitized solar cells, and photoelectrochemical water splitting devices. In addition, the review provides insights into newer and emerging sustainable energy applications of 3D GBMs, such as adsorbents for high-density hydrogen storage and selective capture of CO2 from flue gases, as well as catalysts for photoconversion of CO2 into clean fuels and value-added chemicals. The current state of knowledge is highlighted for each of the applications, followed by a discussion of our own perspectives on each topic. Finally, the future outlook on practical deployment of 3D GBMs is suggested as concluding remarks.

Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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