A new series of liquid crystals decorated gold nanoparticles is synthesized whose molecular architecture has azobenzenes moieties as the peripheral units connected to gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) via alkyl groups. The morphology and mesomorphic properties were investigated by field emission scanning electron microscope, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and polarizing optical microscopy. The thiolated ligand molecules (3a-c) showed enantiotropic smectic A phase, whereas gold nanoparticles (5a-c) exhibit nematic and smectic A phase with monotropic nature. HR-TEM measurement showed that the functionalized Au NPs are of the average size of 2nm and they are well dispersed without any aggregation. The trans-form of azo compounds showed a strong band in the UV region at ∼378nm for the π-π(∗) transition, and a weak band in the visible region at ∼472nm due to the n-π(∗) transition. These molecules exhibit attractive photoisomerization behaviour in which trans-cis transition takes about 15s whereas the cis-trans transition requires about 45min for compound 5c. The extent of reversible isomerization did not decay after 10 cycles, which proved that the photo-responsive properties of 5c were stable and repeatable. Therefore, these materials may be suitably exploited in the field of molecular switches and the optical storage devices.
Suppressing the Leidenfrost effect can significantly improve heat transfer from a heated substrate to a droplet above it. In this work, we demonstrate that by generating high frequency acoustic wave in the droplet, at sufficient vibration displacement amplitudes, the Leidenfrost effect can be suppressed due to the acoustic radiation pressure exerted on the liquid-vapor interface; strong capillary waves are observed at the liquid-vapor interface and subsequently leads to contact between the liquid and the heated substrate. Using this technique, with 10(5)Hz vibration frequency and 10(-6)m displacement amplitude of the acoustic transducer, a maximum of 45% reduction of the initial temperature (T0∼200-300°C) of the heated substrate can be achieved with a single droplet of volume 10(-5)l.
Thermal decomposition of co-precipitated Ni-Fe-HT materials led to the formation a mesoporous Ni-Fe-HT catalyst and we have demonstrated here its active role as solid and active catalyst for the Knoevenagel condensation reaction of various aldehydes with active methylene compounds (R-CH2-CN, where R=CN or CO2Et). High product yields are obtained at moderate temperature under solvent-free conditions and the catalyst can be easily separated from the reaction mixture, simply by filtration and reused several times without a significant loss of its activity. Since these mesoporous metal oxides derived from the NiFe hydrotalcites, their basicity mediated abstraction of the acidic protons from the active methylene compounds was responsible for their catalytic activity under solvent-free conditions.
DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (AgNC) are a class of subnanometer sized fluorophores with good photostability and brightness. It has been applied as a diagnostic tool mainly for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) detection. Integration of DNA oligomers to generate AgNCs is interesting as varying DNA sequences can result in different fluorescence spectra. This allows a simple fluorescence shifting effect to occur upon DNA hybridization with the hybridization efficiency being a pronominal factor for successful shifting. The ability to shift the fluorescence spectra as a result of hybridization overcomes the issue of background intensities in most fluorescent based assays. Here we describe an optimized method for the detection of single-stranded and double-stranded synthetic forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) target by hybridization with the DNA fluorescence shift sensor. The system forms a three-way junction by successful hybridization of AgNC, G-rich strand (G-rich) to the target DNA, which generated a shift in fluorescence spectra with a marked increase in fluorescence intensity. The DNA fluorescence shift sensor presents a rapid and specific alternative to conventional DNA detection.
In the present work, nanohybrid of an anticancer drug, doxorubicin (Dox) loaded gold-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs@Au) were prepared for a combination therapy of cancer by means of both hyperthermia and drug delivery. The Dox molecules were conjugated to SPIONs@Au nanoparticles with the help of cysteamine (Cyst) as a non-covalent space linker and the Dox loading efficiency was investigated to be as high as 0.32 mg/mg. Thus synthesized particles were characterized by HRTEM, UV-Vis, FT-IR, SQUID magnetic studies and further tested for heat and drug release at low frequency oscillatory magnetic fields. The hyperthermia studies investigated to be strongly influenced by the applied frequency and the solvents used. The Dox delivery studies indicated that the drug release efficacy is strongly improved by maintaining the acidic pH conditions and the oscillatory magnetic fields, i.e. an enhancement in the Dox release was observed from the oscillation of particles due to the applied frequency, and is not effected by heating of the solution. Finally, the in vitro cell viability and proliferation studies were conducted using two different immortalized cell lines containing a cancerous (MCF-7 breast cancer) and non-cancerous H9c2 cardiac cell type.
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were synthesized with variable microwave power in the range of 100-450 W, and the resulting enhancement of MSN crystal growth was evaluated for the adsorption and release of ibuprofen. X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed that the MSN prepared under the highest microwave power (MSN450) produced the most crystallized and prominent mesoporous structure. Enhancement of the crystal growth improved the hexagonal order and range of silica, which led to greater surface area, pore width and pore volume. MSN450 exhibited higher ibuprofen adsorption (98.3 mg/g), followed by MSN300(81.3 mg/g) and MSN100(74.1 mg/g), confirming that more crystallized MSN demonstrated higher adsorptivity toward ibuprofen. Significantly, MSN450 also contained more hydroxyl groups that provided more adsorption sites. In addition, MSN450 exhibited comparable ibuprofen adsorption with conventionally synthesized MSN, indicating the potential of microwave treatment in the synthesis of related porous materials. In vitro drug release was also investigated with simulated biological fluids and the kinetics was studied under different pH conditions. MSN450 showed the slowest release rate of ibuprofen, followed by MSN300 and MSN100. This was due to the wide pore diameter and longer range of silica order of the MSN450. Ibuprofen release from MSN450 at pH 5 and 7 was found to obey a zero-order kinetic model, while release at pH 2 followed the Kosmeyer-Peppas model.
Magnetophoresis of iron oxide magnetic nanoparticle (IOMNP) under low magnetic field gradient (<100 T/m) is significantly enhanced by particle shape anisotropy. This unique feature of magnetophoresis is influenced by the particle concentration and applied magnetic field gradient. By comparing the nanosphere and nanorod magnetophoresis at different concentration, we revealed the ability for these two species of particles to achieve the same separation rate by adjusting the field gradient. Under cooperative magnetophoresis, the nanorods would first go through self- and magnetic field induced aggregation followed by the alignment of the particle clusters formed with magnetic field. Time scale associated to these two processes is investigated to understand the kinetic behavior of nanorod separation under low field gradient. Surface functionalization of nanoparticles can be employed as an effective strategy to vary the temporal evolution of these two aggregation processes which subsequently influence the magnetophoretic separation time and rate.
Carbon nanotubes-mesostructured silica nanoparticles (CNT-MSN) composites were prepared by a simple one step method with various loading of CNT. Their surface properties were characterized by XRD, N2 physisorption, TEM and FTIR, while the adsorption performance of the CNT-MSN composites were evaluated on the adsorption of methylene blue (MB) while varying the pH, adsorbent dosage, initial MB concentration, and temperature. The CNTs were found to improve the physicochemical properties of the MSN and led to an enhanced adsorptivity for MB. N2 physisorption measurements revealed the development of a bimodal pore structure that increased the pore size, pore volume and surface area. Accordingly, 0.05 g L(-1) CNT-MSN was able to adsorb 524 mg g(-1) (qm) of 60 mg L(-1) MB at pH 8 and 303 K. The equilibrium data were evaluated using the Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, and Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm models, with the Langmuir model affording the best fit to the adsorption data. The adsorption kinetics were best described by the pseudo-first order model. These results indicate the potential of CNT-MSN composites as effective new adsorbents for dye adsorption.
Given the enormous importance of Au nanoparticles (NPs) deposition on Si substrates as the precursor for various applications, we present an alternative approach to deposit Au NPs on linker-free n- and p-type Si substrates. It is demonstrated that, all conditions being similar, there is a significant difference between densities of the deposited NPs on both substrates. The Zeta-potential and polarity of charges surrounding the hydroxylamine reduced seeded growth Au NPs, are determined by a Zetasizer. To investigate the surface properties of Si substrates, contact angle measurement is performed. Field-emission scanning electron microscope is then utilized to distinguish the NPs density on the substrates. Finally, Al/Si Schottky barrier diodes with embedded Au NPs are fabricated, and their structural and electrical characteristics are further evaluated using an energy-filtered transmission electron microscope and current-voltage measurements, respectively. The results reveal that the density of NPs is significantly higher on n-type Si substrate and consequently has more pronounced effects on the electrical characteristics of the diode. It is concluded that protonation of Si-OH group on Si surface in low pH is responsible for the immobilization of Au NPs, which eventually contributes to the lowering of barrier height and enhances the electrical characteristics.
Titania and ceria incorporated rice husk silica based catalyst was synthesized via sol-gel method using CTAB and glycerol as surface directing agents at room temperature and labeled as RHS-50Ti10Ce. The catalyst was used to study the adsorption and photodegradation of methylene blue (MB) under UV irradiation. The powder XRD pattern of RHS-50Ti10Ce was much broader (2θ=25-30°) than that of the parent RHS (2θ=22°). The catalyst exhibited type IV isotherm with H3 hysteresis loop, and the TEM images showed partially ordered pore arrangements. The TGA-DTG thermograms confirmed the complete removal of the templates after calcination at 500°C. RHS-50Ti10Ce exhibited excellent adsorption capability with more than 99% removal of MB from a 40 mg L(-1) solution in just 15 min. It also decolorized an 80 mg L(-1) MB solution under UV irradiation in 210 min, which was comparable with the commercialized pure anatase TiO2.
A novel samarium-doped spherical-like ZnO hierarchical nanostructure (Sm/ZnO) was synthesized via a facile and surfactant-free chemical solution route. The as-synthesized products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area analysis, field emission scanning electron microscopy together with an energy dispersion X-ray spectrum analysis, transmission electron microscopy, UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. The results revealed that Sm ion was successfully doped into ZnO. It was also observed that the Sm doping increased the visible light absorption ability of Sm/ZnO and a red shift for Sm/ZnO appeared when compared to pure ZnO. The photocatalytic studies revealed that the Sm/ZnO exhibited excellent photocatalytic degradation of 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) compared with the pure ZnO and commercial TiO2 under visible light irradiation. The photocatalytic enhancement of Sm/ZnO products was attributed to their high charge separation efficiency and ·OH generation ability as evidenced by the photoluminescence spectra. The photocatalytic investigation also showed that various parameters exerted their individual influence on the degradation rate of 2,4-DCP. By using a certain of radical scavengers, ·OH was determined to play a pivotal role for the 2,4-DCP degradation. Moreover, the Sm/ZnO could be easily separated and reused, indicating great potential for practical applications in environmental cleanup.
Mixed matrix hollow fibers composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polyetherimide (PEI) were fabricated. Pre-treatment of MWCNTs was carried out prior to the incorporation into the polymer matrix using a simple and feasible two stages approach that involved dry air oxidation and surfactant dispersion. The characterizations of the surface treated MWCNTs using TEM and Raman spectroscopy have evidenced the effectiveness of dry air oxidation in eliminating undesired amorphous carbon and metal catalyst while surfactant dispersion using Triton X100 has suppressed the agglomeration of MWCNTs. The resultant mixed matrix hollow fibers were applied for O(2)/N(2) pure gas separation. Interestingly, it was found that removal of disordered amorphous carbons and metal particles has allowed the hollow structures to be more accessible for the fast and smooth transport of gas molecules, hence resulted in noticeable improvement in the gas separation properties. The composite hollow fibers embedded with the surface modified MWCNTs showed increase in permeability as much as 60% while maintaining the selectivity of the O(2)/N(2) gas pair. This study highlights the necessity to establish an appropriate pre-treatment approach for MWCNTs in order to fully utilize the beneficial transport properties of this material in mixed matrix polymer nanocomposite for gas separation.
A novel microgels were polymerized using styrene (St), methyl methacrylate (MMA), acrylamide (AAm), and acrylic acid (AAc) monomers in the presence of N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) cross-linker. Pre-emulsified monomer was first prepared followed by polymerizing monomers using semi-batch emulsion polymerization. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and (1)H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) were used to determine the chemical structure and to indentify the related functional group. Grafting and cross-linking of poly(acrylamide-co-acrilic acid)-grafted-poly(styrene-co-methyl methacrylate) [poly(AAm-co-AAc)-g-poly(St-co-MMA)] microgels are approved by the disappearance of band at 1300 cm(-1), 1200 cm(-1) and 1163 cm(-1) of FTIR spectrum and the appearance of CH peaks at 5.5-5.7 ppm in (1)H NMR spectrum. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images indicated that poly(St-co-MMA) particle was lobed morphology coated by cross-linked poly(AAm-co-AAc) shell. Furthermore, SEM results revealed that poly(AAm-co-AAc)-g-poly(St-co-MMA) is composite particle that consist of "raspberry"-shape like structure core. Internal structures of the microgels showed homogeneous network of pores, an extensive interconnection among pores, thicker pore walls, and open network structures. Water absorbency test indicated that the sample with particle size 0.43 μm had lower equilibrium water content, % than the sample with particle size 7.39 μm.
The synergistic photocatalysis-adsorption processes by the immobilized TiO(2)/chitosan layer by layer system on a glass support (TiO(2)/CS/glass) were investigated for the decolourisation of Reactive Red 4 (RR4) dye solution. Effects of different reaction parameters such as TiO(2) loading, initial pH of the solution, visible light, dissolved oxygen and radical quenchers were studied. The decolourisation rate of RR4 by TiO(2)/CS/glass was more than 32 times faster than a single layer of TiO(2) but was highly dependent on the TiO(2) loading and the initial pH of the solution. A thin layer of TiO(2) and acidic conditions favoured the adsorption of RR4 at the TiO(2)/CS interface. The h(+)/OH() species that diffused from the TiO(2) layer into the TiO(2)/CS interface oxidised the chemisorbed RR4 anions at the interface, and the generated electrons were then transferred to the conduction band of TiO(2). Excess electrons in the conduction band of TiO(2) increased the number of superoxide ions produced and thus improved the photocatalytic decolourisation of RR4. Therefore, apart from the synergistic photocatalysis-adsorption processes, a charge transfer process was also found to be responsible for maintaining the efficiency, sustainability and reusability of the TiO(2)/CS/glass layer by layer system.
In this work, mesostructured silica nanoparticles (MSN(AP)) with high adsorptivity were prepared by a modification with 3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES) as a pore expander. The performance of the MSN(AP) was tested by the adsorption of MB in a batch system under varying pH (2-11), adsorbent dosage (0.1-0.5 g L(-1)), and initial MB concentration (5-60 mg L(-1)). The best conditions were achieved at pH 7 when using 0.1 g L(-1) MSN(AP) and 60 mg L(-1)MB to give a maximum monolayer adsorption capacity of 500.1 mg g(-1) at 303 K. The equilibrium data were evaluated using the Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, and Harkins-Jura isotherms and fit well to the Freundlich isotherm model. The adsorption kinetics was best described by the pseudo-second order model. The results indicate the potential for a new use of mesostructured materials as an effective adsorbent for MB.
Pseudo-first-order rate constants (k(obs)) for alkaline hydrolysis of N-(2'-methoxyphenyl)phthalimide (1) decrease nonlinearly with increasing total concentration of nonionic surfactant C(m)E(n) (i.e. [C(m)E(n)](T) where m and n represent the respective number of methyl/methylene units in the tail and polyoxyethylene units in the headgroup of a surfactant molecule and m/n=16/20, 12/23 and 18/20) at constant 2% v/v CH(3)CN and 1.0 mM NaOH. The k(obs)vs. [C(m)E(n)](T) data follow the pseudophase micellar (PM) model at ≤ 50 mM C(16)E(20), ≤ 1.4 mM C(12)E(23) and ≤ 2.0 mM C(18)E(20) where rate of hydrolysis of 1 in micellar pseudophase could not be detected. The values of k(obs) fail to follow the PM model at > ∼50 mM C(16)E(20), > ∼1.4 mM C(12)E(23) and > ∼2.0 mM C(18)E(20) which has been attributed to a micellar structural transition from spherical to rodlike which in turn increases C(m)E(n) micellar binding constant (K(S)) of 1 with increasing values of [C(m)E(n)](T). Rheological measurements show the presence of spherical micelles at ≤ 50 mM C(16)E(20), ≤ 1.4 mM C(12)E(23) and ≤ 3.0 mM C(18)E(20). The presence of rodlike micelles is evident from rheological measurements at > ∼50 mM C(16)E(20), > ∼1.4 mM C(12)E(23) and > ∼3.0 mM C(18)E(20).
This study investigated the gas separation and transport properties of asymmetric mixed matrix membranes (MMM) fabricated from polyetherimide (PEI); Ultem 1000 incorporated with raw and modified halloysite nanotubes (HNT) as filler. The modified HNTs; S-HNTs were prepared by treating HNTs with N-β-(aminoethyl)-γ-aminopropyltrimethoxy silane (AEAPTMS). FESEM, XRD, FTIR, TGA, DSC and pure gas permeation testing were used to characterise the S-HNTs and the fabricated MMMs. In the first part of the experiments, the effect of dope preparation factors such as: ultrasonic sonication period, filler wetting period and priming period were investigated. In the second part, the influence of silane concentration on the fabricated MMMs was studied. Results showed that, increasing the silane concentration, led to higher tendency in HNT agglomeration which resulted in poor separation properties but permeability enhancement. In the last part, the effect of S-HNTs loading was experienced. Our observations showed that the dispersion of nanoparticles decreased with an increase in the S-HNTs loading. Accordingly, 0.5% loading of silylated-HNT yielded the optimum MMMs in terms of permeability (27% increase) and selectivity (8% increase).
The effects of the concentration of inert organic salts, [MX], (MX=2-, 3- and 4-BrBzNa with BrBzNa=BrC(6)H(4)CO(2)Na) on the rate of piperidinolysis of ionized phenyl salicylate (PS(-)) have been rationalized in terms of pseudophase micellar (PM) coupled with an empirical equation. The appearance of induction concentration in the plots of k(obs) versus [MX] (where k(obs) is pseudo-first-order rate constants for the reaction of piperidine (Pip) with PS(-)) is attributed to the occurrence of two or more than two independent ion exchange processes between different counterions at the cationic micellar surface. The derived kinetic equation, in terms of PM model coupled with an empirical equation, gives empirical parameters F(X/S) and K(X/S) whose magnitudes lead to the calculation of usual ion exchange constant K(X)(Br) (=K(X)/K(Br) with K(X) and K(Br) representing cationic micellar binding constants of counterions X(-) and Br(-), respectively). The value of F(X/S) measures the fraction of S(-) (=PS(-)) ions transferred from the cationic micellar pseudophase to the aqueous phase by the optimum value of [MX] due to ion exchange X(-)/S(-). Similarly, the value of K(X/S) measures the ability of X(-) ions to expel S(-) ions from cationic micellar pseudophase to aqueous phase through ion exchange X(-)/S(-). This rather new technique gives the respective values of K(X)(Br) as 8.8±0.3, 71±6 and 62±5 for X(-)=2-, 3- and 4-BrBz(-). Rheological measurements reveal the shear thinning behavior of all the surfactant solutions at 15mM CTABr (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) indicating indirectly the presence of rodlike micelles. The plots of shear viscosity (η) at a constant shear rate (γ), i.e. η(γ), versus [MX] at 15 mM CTABr exhibit maxima for MX=3-BrBzNa and 4-BrBzNa while for MX=2-BrBzNa, the viscosity maximum appears to be missing. Such viscosity maxima are generally formed in surfactant solutions containing long stiff and flexible rodlike micelles with entangled and branched/multiconnected networks. Thus, 15 mM CTABr solutions at different [MX] contain long stiff and flexible rodlike micelles for MX=3- and 4-BrBzNa and short rodlike micelles for MX=2-BrBzNa.
Titanium dioxide (TiO(2)) with an enhanced photocatalytic activity was developed by doping it with calcium ions through a sol-gel method. The developed photocatalysts were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, N(2) physisorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and X-ray diffraction. Their surface morphologies were studied using surface scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The XPS analyses confirmed the presence of Ti, O, Ca, and C in the Ca-doped TiO(2) sample. The activities of the catalysts were evaluated by photocatalytic degradation of an azo dye, acid red 1 (AR1), using UV light irradiation. The results of the investigations revealed that the samples calcined at 300 °C for 3.6h in a cyclic (2 cycles) mode had the best performance. Lower percentage dopant, 0.3-1.0 wt.%, enhanced the photocatalytic activity of TiO(2), with the best at 0.5 wt.% Ca-TiO(2). The performance of 0.5 wt.% Ca-TiO(2) in the degradation of AR1 was far superior to that of a commercial anatase TiO(2) Sigma product CAS No. 1317-70-0. The effect of pH on the degradation of AR1 was studied, and the pH of the dye solution exerted a great influence on the degradation of the dye.
The nickel (Ni) nanocrystals (average diameter 9.7+/-2.3nm) were deposited onto composite graphite electrode from a plating solution of 5.0mM NiCl(2)6H(2)O and 1.0M NH(4)Cl using scan rate of 6500mVs(-1). The initial potential -1.5V and final potential -0.5V vs. Ag/AgCl with applied time 120s were used for the whole deposition process. The variations of applied overpotentials and deposition times have affected the characteristics of Ni nanocrystals. It was found that the structural formation of Ni nanocrystals obtained were almost pure hexagonal close-packed (hcp). This study has demonstrated that the tuning of the final size, morphology and structural formation of the Ni nanocrystal were affected by control of nucleation, growth and hydrogen evolution processes in fast scan voltammetry technique used.