LMNT Research Highlights



Boron oxynitride two-colour fluorescent dots and their incorporation in a hybrid organic-inorganic film

Bottom-up synthesis of fluorescent boron-nitride based dots is a challenging task because an accurate design of the structure-properties relationship is, in general, difficult to achieve. Incorporation of the dots into a solid-state matrix is also another important target to develop light-emitting devices. Two-colour fluorescent boron oxynitride nanodots have been obtained by a bottom-up synthesis route and incorporated into a hybrid organic-inorganic film. A combination of different analytical techniques such as XPS, XRD, TEM, UV–Vis, TGA-DTA and fluorescence has been used to characterise the structure, composition and properties of the boron oxynitride dots. The presence of defects in the boron oxynitride structure is the source of the two-colour fluorescence. The BN dots thermal stability is limited to around 100 °C; higher temperatures induce condensation of the structure, which leads to a lower emission. Upon incorporation into a hybrid organic-inorganic film deposited by spin-coating, the boron oxynitride dots maintain their fluorescence and have shown to be highly compatible with the sol-gel chemistry. (J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2019, 560, 398).




Graphene Oxide/Iron Oxide Nanocomposites for Water Remediation

Graphene oxide/iron (III–VI) oxides nanocomposites have been produced with a fast and one-pot synthesis. K2FeO4 (Fe(VI)-based compound), obtained from a dry synthesis, has been used as a green oxidant of graphite to produce graphene oxide, avoiding the use of the toxic permanganates. Graphene oxide flakes with a low oxidation degree and decorated with iron oxide have been obtained in one-step reaction. The material has been characterized by several techniques to investigate the structure (SEM, TEM analysis), the composition (X-ray fluorescence, XPS, FTIR, UV–visible, fluorescence, and Raman spectroscopy) and the performance (HPLC). The combined use of ferrate and graphene oxide/iron oxide is an efficient, cheap, and green alternative for water remediation. Real water samples containing different types of emerging pollutants (organic dyes, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs) have been efficiently decontaminated obtaining an abatement of 99% in a few minutes. The nanocomposite is paramagnetic and can be easily removed from water with a magnet after depollution. The materials have shown one of the best decontamination performance reported in the scientific literature so far (ACS Appl. Nanomater. 2018, 1, 6724).




Design of Carbon Dots Photoluminescence through Organo-Functional Silane Grafting for Solid-State Emitting Devices

Advanced optical applications of fluorescent carbon dots (C-dots) require highly integrated host-guest solid-state materials with a careful design of C-dots-matrix interface to control the optical response. We have developed a new synthesis based on the grafting of an organo-functional silane (3-glycidyloxypropyltrimethoxysilane, GPTMS) on amino-functionalized C-dots, which enables the fabrication of highly fluorescent organosilica-based hybrid organic-inorganic films through sol-gel process. The GPTMS grafting onto C-dots has been achieved via an epoxy–amine reaction under controlled conditions. Besides providing an efficient strategy to embed C-dots into a hybrid solid-state material, the modification of C-dots surface by GPTMS allows tuning their photoluminescence properties and gives rise to an additional, intense emission around 490 nm. Photoluminescence spectra reveal an interaction between C-dots surface and the polymeric chains which are locally formed by GPTMS polymerization. The present method is a step forward to the development of a surface modification technology aimed at controlling C-dots host-guest systems at the nanoscale (Scientific Reports 2017, 7, 5469). OPEN ACCESS






BOOK: The Innovators Behind Leonardo by Plinio Innocenzi

This engaging book places Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific achievements within the wider context of the rapid development that occurred during the Renaissance. It demonstrates how his contributions were not in fact born of isolated genius, but rather part of a rich period of collective advancement in science and technology, which began at least 50 years prior to his birth. Readers will discover a very special moment in history, when creativity and imagination were changing the future—shaping our present. They will be amazed to discover how many technological inventions had already been conceived or even designed by the engineers and inventors who preceded Leonardo, such as Francesco di Giorgio and Taccola, the so-called Siena engineers. This engaging volume features a wealth of illustrations from a variety of original sources, such as manuscripts and codices, enabling the reader to see and judge for him or herself the influence that other Renaissance engineers and inventors had on Leonardo.





BOOK: Water Droplets to Nanotechnology: A Journey Through Self-Assembly

The ability of nanostructures to organize into complex arrangements leads to unique materials with valuable applications. Self-assembly is therefore a key concept for nanotechnology, but it can be quite a complex and difficult subject to approach. Water Droplets to Nanotechnology gives a simple and general overview of the different self-assembly processes which are at the basis of recent developments in nanotechnology. The book shows how simple phenomenon from everyday examples can become sophisticated tools for self-assembly and the fabrication of nanomaterials. By exploring the coffee stain and tears of wine phenomena, the first part looks at how the evaporation of a droplet of colloidal solution can be used in designing organized structures. This leads onto more complex systems such as templated porous materials, photonic crystals, colloidal nanocrystals and quasi-crystals through to bottom-up systems for designing hierarchal materials. By taking the reader on a journey from everyday life to the secrets of nanotechnology, the book is suitable for a nonspecialist audience interested in self-assembly as well as the wider perspectives and latest developments of nanoscience.





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Updated 29 January 2020

LMNT Laboratory of Materials Science and NanoTechnology  - Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sassari.
Via Vienna, 2 - 07100 Sassari (SS)

Tel. lab.: +39 079 998630 Fax: +39 079 228625. Contact: lucamalfatti@uniss.it