Author Archive

Congratulations to the winners of the RSC prizes at symposium J of the 2023 Fall E-MRS

The 2023 Fall E-MRS was held in Warsaw, Poland from 18–21 September 2023. Nanoscale Horizons, Nanoscale, Nanoscale Advances, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Journal of Materials Chemistry B and Journal of Materials Chemistry C were delighted to support Symposium J: Exploring the potential of bidimensional materials for energy and optoelectronics with a presentation and a poster prize. Please join us in congratulating our winners!

Photo of Sara Domenici.

 

Nanoscale Horizons, Nanoscale and Nanoscale Advances Presentation Prize

Sara Domenici (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
Presentation Title: “Hybrid piezoresistive 2D MoS2/PEGDA/PANI covalent hydrogels for wearable strain sensors”

Sara Domenici is a PhD student at Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy) under the supervision of Prof. Teresa Gatti. She was born in Verona (Italy) in 1998. In 2020, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Padova (Italy). In 2022, she completed the Double Degree Programme between the University of Padova and the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen (Germany), where she spent 12 months, and obtained a Master’s Degree in Chemistry. Her PhD project is focused on Janus two-dimensional materials for energy conversion, but she also works on hydrogel sensors and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).

Photo of Masahiko Komatsu.

 

Journal of Materials Chemistry A, B and C Poster Prize

Masahiko Komatsu (Kochi University of Technology, Japan)
Presentation Title: “Fablication of MoS2 using mist chemical vapor deposition”

Masahiko Komatsu is a second year graduate student at Kochi University of Technology. His main research is the deposition of MoS2 using mist CVD.

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Nanoscale Horizons Emerging Investigator Series – Luciano Colazzo, Christoph Wolf and Yujeong Bae

Nanoscale Horizons Emerging Investigator Series

Congratulations to our latest Emerging Investigators Dr Luciano Colazzo, Dr Christoph Wolf and Dr Yujeong Bae (IBS Center for Quantum Nanoscience, South Korea)!

Since the launch of Nanoscale Horizons, the journal has had a clear vision to publish exceptionally high-quality work whilst acting as a resource to researchers working at all career levels. We continue to be impressed by the quality of the research published and at the same time are looking for new ways of recognising and promoting the outstanding authors behind articles published in the journal.

Last year we launched an Emerging Investigator Series to showcase the exceptional work published by early-career researchers in the journal. We will regularly select a recently published Communication article and publish an interview-style Editorial article featuring the corresponding author. We hope that the series will also benefit the nanoscience community by highlighting the exciting work being done by its early-career members.

We are excited to share our latest Emerging Investigators, Dr Luciano Colazzo, Dr Christoph Wolf and Dr Yujeong Bae (IBS Center for Quantum Nanoscience, South Korea)!

Photo of Luciano Colazzo.

 

Dr Luciano Colazzo is a researcher at the IBS Center for Quantum Nanoscience, engaged in the field of nanotechnology chemistry and quantum technologies. His research focuses on the on-surface synthesis of molecular qubit arrays, by enforcing a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses quantum mechanics, molecular chemistry, and surface sciences.

Photo of Christoph Wolf.

 

 

Dr Christoph Wolf is a group leader in the IBS Center for Quantum Nanoscience, South Korea. His team focuses on the theory of quantum-coherent nanoscience, a relatively new research field that aims to exploit quantum phenomena at the fundamental limit of matter. He is fascinated by the idea of building quantum machines atom by atom, which might enable us in the future to build quantum computers—and by all the challenges we meet along the way.

Photo of Yujeong Bae.

 

 

Dr Yujeong Bae is a group leader in the Center for Quantum Nanoscience (QNS), Institute for Basic Science and a research professor at the Department of Physics, Ewha Womans University in South Korea. Her research focuses on functionalizing atomic/molecular spins on surfaces for quantum engineering, including quantum information processing, quantum sensing, and quantum simulation.

Read our interview with Luciano, Christoph and Yujeong here

Congratulations to Dr Luciano Colazzo, Dr Christoph Wolf and Dr Yujeong Bae for their excellent work! You can read their featured Emerging Investigator article from Nanoscale Horizons below, which is free to access until the end of November 2023.

Template-directed 2D nanopatterning of S = 1/2 molecular spins
Kyungju Noh, Luciano Colazzo, Corina Urdaniz, Jaehyun Lee, Denis Krylov, Parul Devi, Andrin Doll, Andreas J. Heinrich, Christoph Wolf, Fabio Donati and Yujeong Bae
Nanoscale Horizons, 2023, DOI: 10.1039/D2NH00375A

We hope you enjoy reading our interview and featured article and are looking forward to sharing our future Emerging Investigators with you!

Do you publish innovative nanoscience and nanotechnology research? Submit your latest work to Nanoscale Horizons now. If you are eligible for the Emerging Investigators series, you could be considered to feature in one of our future interviews! Find out more about the eligibility criteria and the process in this editorial introducing the series.

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Nanoscale Horizons Emerging Investigator Series – Saptarshi Das

Nanoscale Horizons Emerging Investigator Series

Congratulations to our latest Emerging Investigator Dr Saptarshi Das (Pennsylvania State University, USA)!

Since the launch of Nanoscale Horizons, the journal has had a clear vision to publish exceptionally high-quality work whilst acting as a resource to researchers working at all career levels. We continue to be impressed by the quality of the research published and at the same time are looking for new ways of recognising and promoting the outstanding authors behind articles published in the journal.

Last year we launched an Emerging Investigator Series to showcase the exceptional work published by early-career researchers in the journal. We will regularly select a recently published Communication article and publish an interview-style Editorial article featuring the corresponding author. We hope that the series will also benefit the nanoscience community by highlighting the exciting work being done by its early-career members.

We are excited to share our latest Emerging Investigator, Dr Saptarshi Das (Pennsylvania State University, USA)!

Photo of Saptarshi Das.

 

Dr Saptarshi Das is an Associate Professor at Pennsylvania State University, USA. He earned his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 2013 and his BE in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering from Jadavpur University, India, in 2007.

Dr Das’s primary focus resides in pioneering materials research and innovation, with significant impact on neuromorphic computing, hardware security, and bio-inspired sensing devices. At the heart of the Das Research Group’s mission is the development of groundbreaking technologies inspired by nature, aiming to enhance energy efficiency and ensure a sustainable future for society.

Read our interview with Saptarshi here

Congratulations to Dr Saptarshi Das for his excellent work! You can read his featured Emerging Investigator article from Nanoscale Horizons below, which is free to access until the end of October 2023.

Hardware Trojans based on two-dimensional memtransistors
Akshay Wali, Harikrishnan Ravichandran and Saptarshi Das
Nanoscale Horizons, 2023, DOI: 10.1039/D2NH00568A

We hope you enjoy reading our interview and featured article and are looking forward to sharing our future Emerging Investigators with you!

Do you publish innovative nanoscience and nanotechnology research? Submit your latest work to Nanoscale Horizons now. If you are eligible for the Emerging Investigators series, you could be considered to feature in one of our future interviews! Find out more about the eligibility criteria and the process in this editorial introducing the series.

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Call For Papers: Memristors and Neuromorphic Systems

Call For Papers: Memristors and Neuromorphic Systems

Submit your latest work to Nanoscale Horizons and Materials Horizons now!

We are delighted to announce an open call for submissions to our Nanoscale Horizons and Materials Horizons cross-journal themed collection on Memristors and Neuromorphic Systems, guest edited by Professor Xiaodong Chen (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Professor Cheol Seong Hwang (Seoul National University, South Korea), Professor Francesca Santoro (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany) and Professor Yoeri Van de Burgt (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands).

Memristors and neuromorphic systems open call graphic. Includes photos of the guest editors Xiaodong Chen, Cheol Seong Hwang, Francesca Santoro and Yoeri Van de Burgt.

The research field dedicated to mimicking the brain is called neuromorphic engineering, and covers a wide range of disciplines, including electrical engineering, computing, materials science, chemistry, physics, and even psychology. Yet, conventional CMOS-based hardwares are based on the von-Neumann architecture which operates sequentially (instead of in parallel) shuffling data back and forth between processing and memory, and thus barely fulfil the low-energy requirements for neuromorphic engineering. Memristors, which can be synaptic, neural, or even a combination of both, offer a potential solution and as such have been the focus of enhanced research efforts. In addition to their low-energy cost requirements, new materials properties employed by memristors may lead to new algorithms or help solve conventionally challenging tasks, such as NP-hard problems.

This themed collection in Materials Horizons and Nanoscale Horizons aims to report the latest developments in memristive materials. Exploring their fabrication, characterization, circuit design, and performance for applications in the future of neuromorphics. Collaborative work between diverse fields is especially encouraged.

This call for papers is open for original research articles only. Please note that primary research is accepted in the form of Communications for both journals and require a ‘New Concepts statement’ to help ascertain the significance of the research. General guidance and examples can be found here.

Open for submissions until 30 November 2023

If you wish to contribute, please submit your manuscript directly to the submissions platform through the Nanoscale Horizons submission system or the Materials Horizons submission system. Please mention that this submission is a contribution to the Memristors and Neuromorphic Systems collection in the “Themed issues” section of the submission form and add a “Note to the Editor” that this is from the Open Call. The Editorial Office reserves the right to check suitability of submissions in relation to the scope of both the journal and the collection, and inclusion of accepted articles in the final themed issue is not guaranteed.

Please also note that all submissions will undergo the normal peer review processes including an initial assessment prior to peer review, and that peer review and acceptance are not guaranteed.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to submit some of your latest work to this themed collection. If you have any questions, please contact the Editorial Office.

With best wishes,

Professor Xiaodong Chen (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Professor Cheol Seong Hwang (Seoul National University, South Korea)
Professor Francesca Santoro (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany)
Professor Yoeri Van de Burgt (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)

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Congratulations to the winners of the RSC prizes at NaNaX 10

NaNaX10 took place in Klosterneuburg, Austria from 3–7 July 2023. Nanoscale Horizons, Nanoscale, Nanoscale Advances, ChemComm and Chemical Science were delighted to provide poster prizes for the excellent posters shared during the conference. Please join us in congratulating our winners!

Photo of Christine Fiedler.

 

Nanoscale Horizons Poster Prize

Christine Fiedler (Institute of Science and Technology (ISTA), Austria)
Poster Title: “Defects Matter: The role of different processing parameters on solution-processed thermoelectric materials”

Christine Fiedler is a PhD student at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Maria Ibáñez. She obtained her bachelor’s from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, Barbados, with First Class Honours in Chemistry with Biochemistry. Her academic journey continued at Johannes Kepler University in Austria, where she earned a master’s degree in Polymer Chemistry, with a focus on synthesis and engineering of Janus micro/nanomotors and nanoparticle synthesis. Currently, Christine’s research concentrates on processing of semiconductors via solution methods for thermoelectric applications.

Photo of Oleksandra Yeromina.

 

Nanoscale Poster Prize

Oleksandra Yeromina (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), France)
Poster Title: “Synthesis of III-V quantum dots using indium monohalides and aminopnictogen precursors”

Oleksandra Yeromina is a postdoctoral research fellow at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Grenoble, France in the group of Dr Peter Reiss in the field of semiconductor nanocrystals. She obtained her PhD in Organic and Material Chemistry from the University of Namur (Belgium) in collaboration with Cardiff University (Wales, UK) in 2022. Prior to this, she obtained her double MSc in Organic and Green Chemistry from Kharkiv National University (Ukraine) and Nice Sophia Antipolis University (France) in 2017. Currently, her research interests are focused on the development of more sustainable synthetic routes for emissive III-V quantum dots for the optoelectronic application in the near-infrared light region.

Photo of Dietger Van den Eynden.

 

Nanoscale Advances Poster Prize

Dietger Van den Eynden (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Poster Title: “Atomically precise group 4 oxo clusters as smallest conceivable nanocrystals”

Dietger Van den Eynden was born in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) in 1995. In 2019, he graduated with a Master in chemistry from Ghent University. During his master thesis, he studied nanocrystal-vitrimers under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Isabel Van Driessche and Prof. Dr. Filip Du Prez. He is currently pursuing a joint PhD between the University of Basel (CH) and Ghent University (BE) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Jonathan De Roo and Prof. Dr. Klaartje De Buysser. The subject of his PhD is atomically precise group 4 metal oxo clusters. He has developed novel zirconium and hafnium clusters as improved catalysts for esterification reactions. Additionally, he is studying the formation mechanism of these clusters and their use as inorganic monomers in recyclable polymers.

Photo of Ezat Kheradmand.

 

ChemComm Poster Prize

Ezat Kheradmand (Ghent University, Belgium)
Poster Title: “Ligand exchange quantification on colloidal InAs quantum dots”

Ezat Kheradmand is a PhD student in the Physics and Chemistry Department at Ghent University. She studied Materials Science during her Bachelor’s and Nanotechnology in the Nanomaterials Department at Tarbiat Modares University (M.Sc). Her current research interests are studying surface chemistry of III-V colloidal quantum dots as well as IR optoelectronic device fabrication, which is pursued under the supervision of Professor Zeger Hens.

Photo of Jack Howley.

 

Chemical Science Poster Prize

Jack Howley (University of Oxford, UK)
Poster Title: “Bench Stable Phosphorus Precursors to Indium Phosphide Quantum Dots”

Jack Howley is a PhD student at the University of Oxford, UK, under the joint supervision of Prof. Jose Goicoechea and Prof. Jason Davis. Jack obtained his MChem in 2019 from the University of Edinburgh, UK, under the supervision of Dr Michael Cowley. His doctoral research is supported by the Inorganic Chemistry for Future Manufacturing Centre for Doctoral Training (OxICFM CDT) and focusses on the development of novel air-stable phosphorus precursors to indium phosphide quantum dots. Prior to this he worked on earth-abundant catalysts for (de)hydroboration reactions, in addition to spending a year in industry within the mining solutions business unit at Solvay.

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Nanoparticle synthesis

Nanoparticle synthesis

A collection of recent articles from Nanoscale Horizons and Nanoscale

Nanoscale Horizons and Nanoscale are pleased to present a collection highlighting the latest research published in the journals on nanoparticle synthesis.

Read the collection

Check out this selection of articles from the collection, with many more available online.

Role of carboxylates in the phase determination of metal sulfide nanoparticles (Open Access)
Andrey A. Shults, Guanyu Lu, Joshua D. Caldwell and Janet E. Macdonald
Nanoscale Horiz., 2023, DOI: 10.1039/D3NH00227F

Oleic acid/oleylamine ligand pair: a versatile combination in the synthesis of colloidal nanoparticles
Stefanos Mourdikoudis, Melita Menelaou, Nadesh Fiuza-Maneiro, Guangchao Zheng, Shuangying Wei, Jorge Pérez-Juste, Lakshminarayana Polavarapu and Zdeněk Sofer
Nanoscale Horiz., 2022, DOI: 10.1039/D2NH00111J

Peptoid-directed assembly of CdSe nanoparticles
Madison Monahan, Bin Cai, Tengyue Jian, Shuai Zhang, Guomin Zhu, Chun-Long Chen, James J. De Yoreo and Brandi M. Cossairt
Nanoscale, 2021, DOI: 10.1039/D0NR07509D

Intelligent control of nanoparticle synthesis through machine learning
Honglin Lv and Xueye Chen
Nanoscale, 2022, DOI: 10.1039/D2NR00124A

We would be delighted if you would consider Nanoscale Horizons or Nanoscale for your next submission, which can be made using the link below.

Submit your research

Nanoscale Horizons and Nanoscale are high-impact international journals, publishing high-quality experimental and theoretical work across the breadth of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Our broad scope covers cross-community research that bridges the various disciplines involved with nanoscience and nanotechnology.

We hope you enjoy reading this collection and will consider Nanoscale Horizons and Nanoscale for your future submissions.

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Nanoscale Horizons Emerging Investigator Series – Ran Long

Nanoscale Horizons Emerging Investigator Series

Congratulations to our latest Emerging Investigator Dr Ran Long (University of Science and Technology of China, China)!

Since the launch of Nanoscale Horizons, the journal has had a clear vision to publish exceptionally high-quality work whilst acting as a resource to researchers working at all career levels. We continue to be impressed by the quality of the research published and at the same time are looking for new ways of recognising and promoting the outstanding authors behind articles published in the journal.

Last year we launched an Emerging Investigator Series to showcase the exceptional work published by early-career researchers in the journal. We will regularly select a recently published Communication article and publish an interview-style Editorial article featuring the corresponding author. We hope that the series will also benefit the nanoscience community by highlighting the exciting work being done by its early-career members.

We are excited to share our our latest Emerging Investigators, Dr Ran Long (University of Science and Technology of China, China)!

Dr Ran Long.

 

 

Dr Ran Long received her B.S. in Chemistry in 2009, and her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry under the tutelage of Professor Yujie Xiong in 2014, both from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). Her research interests focus on controlled synthesis and catalytic applications of metal nanocrystals.

Read our interview with Ran here

Congratulations to Dr Ran Long for her excellent work! You can read her featured Emerging Investigator article from Nanoscale Horizons below, which is free to access until the end of September 2023.

Cu and Si co-doping on TiO2 nanosheets to modulate reactive oxygen species for efficient photocatalytic methane conversion
Jun Ma, Jingxiang Low, Di Wu, Wanbing Gong, Hengjie Liu, Dong Liu, Ran Long and Yujie Xiong
Nanoscale Horizons, 2023, DOI: 10.1039/D2NH00457G

We hope you enjoy reading our interview and featured article and are looking forward to sharing our future Emerging Investigators with you!

Do you publish innovative nanoscience and nanotechnology research? Submit your latest work to Nanoscale Horizons now. If you are eligible for the Emerging Investigators series, you could be considered to feature in one of our future interviews! Find out more about the eligibility criteria and the process in this editorial introducing the series.

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Enhancing SERS activity with a pyroelectric-induced charge transfer effect

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is known to be driven by two mechanisms: electromagnetic enhancement (e.g., plasmon excitation) and chemical enhancement (e.g., charge transfer). Although numerous SERS substrates have been reported and commercialized, distinguishing between these two mechanisms and controlling their contributions in real time remains a significant challenge. The challenge arises from the difficulty of accurately estimating the contribution of charge transfer and the limited ability to adjust SERS enhancement once the substrate has been prepared.

Now, a team of Chinese researchers have developed pyroelectric-responsive SERS substrates by combining a pyroelectric material, Pb(Mg,Nb)O3-PbTiO3 (PMN-PT), with plasmonic silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs). Their strategy takes advantage of the pyroelectric effect, which converts temperature fluctuations into electricity, thus modifying the charge on the surface of the SERS substrates (Fig. 1). Heating the substrates (dT/dt > 0) generates a downward electric field on the substrate surface, whereas cooling them (dT/dt < 0) generates an upward electric field. In both cases, the SERS signals can be significantly amplified due to the piezoelectric-induced charge transfer between the LUMO level of the analyte molecule and the Fermi level of Ag. During the heating and cooling processes, the intensity of SERS signals undergoes temporal changes, which can be modulated by adjusting the heating and cooling rate. Such chemical enhancement can further amplify SERS signals by over 100 times, compared to recordings obtained under steady temperature conditions based solely on plasmon excitation.

Schematic depiction of the SERS substrate based on a pyroelectric material and silver nanoparticles.

Fig. 1 Schematic depiction of the SERS substrate based on PMN-PT and Ag NPs, illustrating the signal enhancement during heating (dT/dt > 0), steady temperature (dT/dt = 0), and cooling (dT/dt < 0). Reproduced from DOI: 10.1039/D3NH00053B with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The researchers conducted systematic experimental characterizations and theoretical calculations to understand the SERS performance of these substrates in a variable temperature environment. Different analytes were used to demonstrate the universal applicability of this method. Density functional theory calculations were performed for the Ag NP-molecular system to reveal the redistribution of charge density in response to an upward or downward electric field. In order to verify the role of chemical enhancement, the researchers used a thin layer of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) as a barrier layer to prevent charge transfer between the Ag NPs and the analytes (Fig. 2). Overall, although the electromagnetic enhancement was not optimized in this strategy, the researchers provided an in-depth understanding of the SERS mechanism and the role of charge transfer in chemical enhancement.

Schematic illustration of the SERS experiment setup for understanding the SERS enhancement mechanism.

Fig. 2 Schematic illustration of the SERS experiment setup for understanding the SERS enhancement mechanism of PMN-PT/Ag NPs by depositing a 5-nm Al2O3 layer to block the charge transfer between the Ag NPs and the analyte molecules. Reproduced from DOI: 10.1039/D3NH00053B with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Furthermore, the researchers successfully demonstrated a nanocavity structure with PMN-PT/Ag/Al2O3/Ag nanocubes (Ag NCs) (Fig. 3), which can be heated by simulated sunlight irradiation and achieve SERS enhancement, obviating the need for a temperature control platform. This development could have practical benefits for real-world applications.

The SERS measurement schematic diagram, temperature distribution images and SERS spectra before and after simulated sunlight irradiation.

Fig. 3 (a) The SERS measurement schematic diagram of PMN-PT/Ag/Al2O3/Ag NC substrate under simulated sunlight irradiation. (b) The temperature distribution images of PMN-PT/Ag/Al2O3/Ag NC after the simulated sunlight turned on and off. The SERS spectra of R6G (10–7 M) (c) and CV (10–7 M) (d) before and after simulated sunlight irradiation. Reproduced from DOI: 10.1039/D3NH00053B with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In summary, the novel combination of PMN-PT and Ag NPs allows for a straightforward observation of chemical SERS enhancement and its active tuning, both of which are traditionally challenging in this field. These findings will facilitate a deeper understanding of the SERS mechanism and the development of other SERS substrates to improve the detection sensitivity.

 

To find out more, please read:

Giant enhancement of the initial SERS activity for plasmonic nanostructures via pyroelectric PMN-PT
Mingrui Shao, Di Liu, Jinxuan Lu, Xiaofei Zhao, Jing Yu, Chao Zhang, Baoyuan Man, Hui Pan and Zhen Li
Nanoscale Horiz., 2023, 8, 948–957

 


About the blogger


Photo of Xiaolu Zhuo.

 

Xiaolu Zhuo is an Assistant Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and a member of the Nanoscale Horizons Community Board. Dr Zhuo’s research lab focuses on the synthesis of plasmonic and dielectric nanoparticles, their optical behaviors, and their applications.

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Electrifying H2O2 synthesis with g-C3N4-based single atom catalysts

Electrifying the synthesis of commodity chemicals can play a critical role in achieving carbon neutrality, as well as addressing global energy and environmental problems. Among the diverse range of chemicals, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has emerged as a promising green oxidant and liquid hydrogen carrier. However, H2O2 is currently produced by the anthraquinone autooxidation process under harsh conditions with huge energy consumption. Consequently, researchers have been actively exploring alternative approaches for the synthesis of H2O2 using renewable resources under milder conditions.

In this regard, extensive studies have focused on the green synthesis of H2O2 using renewable electricity and employing either electrocatalysts or photocatalysts directly powered by sunlight. Most conventional studies on electrochemical H2O2 production have been conducted under alkaline conditions, which are known to facilitate efficient H2O2 production. However, it is important to note that H2O2 becomes unstable at high pHs. Moreover, from an environmental standpoint, there is a strong desire to develop electrocatalysts that can operate at neutral pH.

In this context, a recent paper by Yang et al. reports very interesting results. The researchers prepared graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) nanosheets (CNNS) embedded with various transition metal single atoms (TM SAs) and discovered that TM SA-embedded CNNS show high electrocatalytic activity for H2O2 production at neutral pHs. Among the various TM SAs tested, Ni SAs on CNNS were particularly effective and showed the highest mass-specific activity of ∼503 mmol gcat1 h1 and H2O2 selectivity of ~98%. According to their mechanistic analysis, the introduction of TM SA promotes the formation of N-C=N sites, which are beneficial for H2O2 production via a two-electron oxygen reduction reaction (2e ORR), while suppressing the formation of C-C/C=C sites, which are beneficial for H2O production via a 4e ORR. This suggests the excellent function of g-C3N4 as a support for TM SAs in selectively producing H2O2.

Scheme showing H2O2 production from H2O and O2 on a modified graphitic carbon nitride sheet.

Fig. 1 Schematic of H2O2 production from H2O and O2 on a transition metal embedded graphitic carbon nitride sheet. Reproduced from DOI: 10.1039/D2NH00564F with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Notably, this paper is also intriguing from an academic perspective, as it demonstrates the efficient use of g-C3N4 as a support material for electrocatalysts, deviating from its traditional application as a photocatalyst in conventional studies. The findings offer new insights into the potential of g-C3N4 in catalytic systems and open avenues for further research in the field of sustainable chemical synthesis.

 

To find out more, please read:

Transition metal single atom-optimized g-C3N4 for the highly selective electrosynthesis of H2O2 under neutral electrolytes
Hongcen Yang, Fei Ma, Niandi Lu, Shuhao Tian, Guo Liu, Ying Wang, Zhixia Wang, Di Wang, Kun Tao, Hong Zhang and Shanglong Peng
Nanoscale Horiz., 2023, 8, 695–704

 


About the blogger


Photo of Jungki Ryu.

 

Jungki Ryu is a ​P​rofessor at ​Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and member of the Nanoscale Horizons Advisory Board. Prof. Ryu’s research focuses on developing innovative electrochemical and photoelectrochemical systems using nanomaterials​ for hydrogen production, CO2 conversion and biomass/waste utilization. You can follow Jungki on Twitter @jungki1981

 

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siRNA-loaded DNA nanostructures restore endothelial leakiness

Drug delivery and targeted treatment of diseases is one of the prominent focus areas of recent research. Development of new therapeutic approaches involving novel drug delivery materials (e.g., nanomaterials) requires validation that these materials do not affect the existing properties of the cellular environment. Now, researchers from the Third Military Medical University (China) and National University of Singapore (Singapore) have found that DNA-nanostructure-based drug delivery vehicles do not affect the cellular environment as previously thought, but in fact aid in restoring endothelial leakiness in vascular diseases.

For proper cellular function, endothelial barriers maintain vascular permeability by which essential nutrients and oxygen reaches the target tissues. Several diseases and inflammations cause endothelial leakiness, which in turn leads to disease progress and ineffective treatments. Now, researchers use cell and mouse models of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a lung disease, to demonstrate that DNA-based therapeutic carriers can effectively restore the endothelial barrier. They developed a triangular DNA structure and loaded small-interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules that target specific disease-associated genes. In this case, the researchers targeted the Atg101 gene that causes autophagy and in turn affects endothelial leakiness. They found that the siRNA-loaded DNA carriers were taken up by cells and reduced endothelial gaps to 0.3% compared to untreated cells that showed 10% endothelial gaps, thus providing a 30-fold improvement. This treatment was specific to the siRNA cargo loaded in the structure. When they used a random siRNA sequence loaded on to the DNA structures, there was no improvement in endothelial gaps. The group then tested the siRNA-loaded DNA structures in mice and found that the drug-loaded DNA structures provided protection against right ventricular and pulmonary artery dysfunction, a promising step forward to creating a treatment strategy for such diseases.

Fig. 1 (A) Design of DNA aptamer and Atg101 siRNA (siAtg101) conjugated DNA nanostructures. DNA aptamers are positioned either at the protruding points (DTA-V1) or the corners of the structure core (DTA-V2). (B) Aptamer-decorated DNA nanostructures bind to HPAECs and are subsequently internalized (C and D). The DNA nanostructures might be internalized through aptamer-mediated endocytosis. The embedded siRNA takes effect and restores endothelial integrity similar to the reversal of “NanoEL”. Reproduced from DOI: 10.1039/D2NH00348A with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This study provides new information on how nanomaterials interact with biological systems and affect cellular environment such as endothelial leakiness which is typically associated with tumor regions. As DNA structures could successfully delivery siRNA molecules to suppress endothelial leakiness related to a vascular disease, this study opens up the possibility of using DNA-based drug delivery carriers in therapeutics approaches beyond just cancer.

 

To find out more, please read:

Attenuating endothelial leakiness with self-assembled DNA nanostructures for pulmonary arterial hypertension
Qian Liu, Di Wu, Binfeng He, Xiaotong Ding, Yu Xu, Ying Wang, Mingzhou Zhang, Hang Qian, David Tai Leong and Guansong Wang
Nanoscale Horiz., 2023, 8, 270–278

 


About the blogger


Photo of Arun Richard Chandrasekaran.

 

Arun Richard Chandrasekaran is a Senior Research Scientist at The RNA Institute at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and member of the Nanoscale Horizons Community Board. Dr Chandrasekaran’s research lab focusses on using DNA as a material to build nanoscale structures, with applications in drug delivery, data storage and crystallography. You can follow Arun on Twitter @arunrichardc

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