Topic Review
Metallic Nanowires
The fundamental properties of a material can dramatically change when its dimensions are reduced nanometer scale. Metallic nanowires are one-dimensional nanostructures with diameters that are typically in a range of 10-200 nm, and lengths in a range of 5-100 µm. Metallic nanowires have many unique properties that are not seen in their bulk counterparts, such as good thermal and electrical conductivity, high aspect ratio, low sheet resistance, excellent optical transparency, etc. In the past two decades, research into metallic nanowires has encouraged breakthrough technologies in a variety of fields, including flexible transparent conductive films and electrodes, optoelectronic devices, molecular electronics, solar cells,  touch screens, biomedical science, chemical sensors, heat transfer enhancement, etc.
  • 2546
  • 29 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Anti-COVID-19 potential of Clove phytochemicals
The current COronaVIrus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection is enormously affecting the worldwide health and economy. In the wait for an effective global immunization, the development of a specific therapeutic protocol to treat COVID-19 patients is clearly necessary as a short-term solution of the problem. Drug repurposing and herbal medicine represent two of the most explored strategies for an anti-COVID-19 drug discovery. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum L.) is a well-known culinary spice that has been used for centuries in folk medicine in many disorders. Interestingly, traditional medicines have used clove since ancient times to treat respiratory ailments, whilst clove ingredients show antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Other interesting features are the clove antithrombotic, immunostimulatory, and antibacterial effects.
  • 2328
  • 13 May 2021
Topic Review
Prehistoric Paintings in Magura Cave
The paintings are made of bat guano applied over limestone, therefore two sets of laboratory specimens were considered: stone specimens and stone specimens covered with a layer of sterilized bat guano. The two investigated treatments were a commercial product based on ethyl silicate (“ES”) and a solution of diammonium hydrogen phosphate (“DAP”), aimed at forming calcium phosphates. The results of the study indicate that both treatments were able to increase mechanical properties of stone, the increase being higher for “DAP”. Both consolidants caused acceptable color changes, but the “ES” treatment significantly decreased stone wettability, water absorption and water vapor permeability, while the “DAP” treatment slightly affected those properties. In the stone+guano specimens, the presence of the guano layer affected the penetration of the consolidants, thus partly reducing their effectiveness. Compared to the stone samples, the guano layer experienced a more intense color change, alongside visible cracking. However, the adopted methodology to replicate the cave paintings was not completely successful, as the so-deposited guano layer was very prone to detachment when dry, unlike cave paintings. Future work will be dedicated to assess the consolidant performance onto samples that resemble even more closely the conditions of the cave paintings, by improving the methodology for the guano layer deposition and by contaminating specimens with soluble salts before consolidant application.
  • 2246
  • 02 Nov 2020
Topic Review
Perovskite Materials
In the development of hydrogen-based technology, a key challenge is the sustainable production of hydrogen in terms of energy consumption and environmental aspects. However, existing methods mainly rely on fossil fuels due to their cost efficiency, and as such, it is difficult to be completely independent of carbon-based technology. Electrochemical hydrogen production is essential, since it has shown the successful generation of hydrogen gas of high purity. Similarly, the photoelectrochemical (PEC) method is also appealing, as this method exhibits highly active and stable water splitting with the help of solar energy. We discuss the exceptional optical and electrical characteristics of perovskite materials which often dictate PEC performance. We further extend our discussion to the material limit of perovskite under a hydrogen production environment, i.e., that PEC reactions often degrade the contact between the electrode and the electrolyte.
  • 2122
  • 30 Jul 2021
Topic Review
Flavonoids—Classification and Natural Sources
       Flavonoids are small molecules, produced de novo by plants as secondary metabolites in response to diverse biotic and abiotic factors. These chemical compounds have a broad spectrum of established health-promoting effects. They are due to their antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties coupled with their capacity to modulate key cellular enzyme functions. Flavonoids are widely distributed chemical compounds in the plant kingdom. Plants are therefore an inexhaustible source of flavonoids.
  • 2090
  • 02 Nov 2020
Topic Review
Inelastic Neutron Scattering
Inelastic neutron scattering (INS) is a spectroscopy based on the energy analysis of neutrons after they have been scattered by a sample. A detected energy transfer can be related to a physical interaction of the corresponding atoms with their environment. An energy transfer of several meVs typically arises from vibrations of atoms. Thus, INS provides an amplitude-of-motion and neutron incoherent cross section weighted phonon density of states.  Given the much higher incoherent scattering cross section of hydrogen relative to that of all other elements, INS is particular sensitive to hydrogen based vibrations. The method is widely used in condensed matter physics and solid state chemistry, because the vibrational properties of matter define various physical properties such as the heat capacity. If used as a fingerprint method, INS can be used to characterize chemical bonds both in the bulk as well as on the surface.
  • 1997
  • 30 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Computational Chemistry Methods
The main objective of computational chemistry is to solve chemical problems by simulating chemical systems (molecular, biological, materials) in order to provide reliable, accurate and comprehensive information at an atomic level. To this end, there are two main methodological families: those based on quantum chemical methods and those based on molecular mechanics. The former are methods in which the electrons are explicitly accounted for, while in the latter their presence is hidden in the force field. 
  • 1974
  • 17 Jun 2021
Topic Review
Smart Textile Materials
In the last three decades, the development of new kinds of textiles, so-called smart and interactive textiles, has continued unabated. Smart textile materials and their applications are set to drastically boom as the demand for these textiles have been increasing with the emergence of new fibers, new fabrics, and innovative processing technologies. Moreover, people are eagerly demanding washable, flexible, lightweight, and robust e-textiles. These features depend on the properties of the starting material, the post-treatment, and the integration techniques. In this work, a comprehensive review has been conducted on the integration techniques of conductive materials in and onto a textile structure. The review showed that an e-textile can be developed by applying a conductive component on the surface of a textile substrate via plating, printing, coating, and other surface techniques, or by producing a textile substrate from metals and inherently conductive polymers via the creation of fibers and construction of yarns and fabrics with these. In addition, conductive filament fibers or yarns can be also integrated into conventional textile substrates during the fabrication like braiding, weaving, and knitting or as a post-fabrication of the textile fabric via embroidering. Additionally, layer-by-layer 3D printing of the entire smart textile components is possible, and the concept of 4D could play a significant role in advancing the status of smart textiles to a new level.
  • 1973
  • 29 Sep 2021
Topic Review
Ionic Liquid
Ionic Liquids (ILs) are organic salts that melt commonly below 100 °C, constituted entirely by charged species. The tunability and versatility of ILs have given rise to several applications at the academic and industrial levels. Here the following topics are highlighted: chemical structure; ILs classification according to the possibility of proton transfer, and the historical generations of ILs.
  • 1942
  • 01 Dec 2020
Topic Review
Non-Medical Applications of Chitosan Nanocomposite Coatings
Millions of tons of crustaceans are produced every year and consumed as protein-rich seafood but the shells and other non-edible parts constituting about half the body mass are wasted. The crustacean shells are a prominent source of polysaccharide (chitin) and protein. Chitosan, a de-acetylated form of chitin obtained from the crustacean waste are used for a variety of medical applications. In recent times, it has also found use in food and paint industries including marine antifouling coatings, due to its characteristic properties, like solubility in weak acids, film-forming ability, pH-sensitivity, antifouling properties, biodegradability, and biocompatibility. Chitosan composite coatings in food, paint and water treatment solutions have been developed. In food industries, chitosan-based composite films and coatings are applied for prolonging the post-harvest life of fruits and vegetables, while anti-corrosion and self-healing properties are mainly explored for antifouling applications in paints and metal ion chelation and antifouling properties are useful for water treatment.
  • 1834
  • 29 Oct 2020
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