Micrograph of the Month
Introducing Micrograph of the Month! To highlight our authors and their works, each month we'll feature an interesting and visually striking micrograph (or series of micrographs) taken from a recent publication.
This month’s images were again taken from two different papers in the latest issue of JSST and once again highlight the breadth of sol-gel science and technology, together with the areas in which our community is making an impact.
The first is taken from the work of Giménez, Ybarra and Soler-Illia entitled “Preparation of mesoporous silica thin films at low temperature: a comparison of mild structure consolidation and template extraction procedures” (JSST, 96, 287-296 (2020)). This paper investigates the effect of different template removal strategies for maintaining the structure of mesoporous thin films at temperatures less than 130 oC. Conditions such as the duration of thermal treatment, pH of extraction media, etc, were systematically explored. Such mesoporous thin films have many potential applications, including sensors, drug encapsulation and delivery and even “electronic tongues”.
The second series of micrographs is from the work of Uzunbayir, Kartal, Can Doluel, Yurddaskal and Erol entitled “Development of α-Fe2O3/TiO2 3D hierarchical nanostructured photocatalysts through electrochemical anodization and sol–gel methods” (JSST, 96, 441-451 (2020)). The micrographs illustrate TiO2 nanotubes obtained via an electrochemical anodization approach using varying anodization times. The increasing height of the nanotubes with increasing anodization time (from 15 mins to 45 mins) is clearly evident. The paper explores their activity for the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue.
This month’s images were again taken from two different papers in the latest issue of JSST and have been chosen to highlight the breadth of sol-gel science and technology, together with the areas in which our community is making an impact.
The first is taken from the work of from the work of Ahemad and Yu entitled “Investigating the Mechamism of Uniform Ag@SiO2 Core-Shell Nanostructures Synthesis by a One-Pot Sol-Gel Method” (JSST, https://doi-org. ezproxy.uws.edu.au/10.1007/s10971-020-05392-y) and investigates the effect of processing parameters on the nanoparticles obtained. Such core-shell nanoparticles have a wide variety of potential applications in such diverse fields as sensing, SERS substrates, biomedicine, etc. The top row of micrographs illustrate the range of different nanoparticles that can be obtained, while the bottom row provides an elemental analysis of an individual Ag@SiO2 nanoparticle.
The second series of micrographs is from the work of Bajpai, Mili, Hashmi, Srivastava, Tilwari, Mohapatra and Verma entitled “Synthesis and Characterization of Advanced Hybrid Titanium Compounds/F-MWCNTs Nanocomposites and their Antibacterial Activities” (JSST, 96(1), 153-165 (2020)). This paper investigates the antibacterial activity of hybrid systems in which titania-based materials are conformally impregnated on carbon nanotubes. The micrographs illustrate hybrids prepared from titania nanoparticles (left) and nanoflowers (right)
This month’s images were taken from two different papers in the Special Edition of JSST featuring work presented at the 20th International Sol-Gel Conference held in St Petersburg during August 2019, highlighting the rich diversity of the areas in which sol-gel science and technology is impacting.
The first is from the work of Drozdov, Prilepskii, Koltsova, Anastasova and Vinogradov entitled “Magnetic polyelectrolyte-based composites with dual anticoagulant and thrombolytic properties: towards optimal composition” (JSST, 95(3), 771-782 (2020)). The micrographs illustrate the structure and morphology of magnetite nanoparticles, together with their behaviour as a magnetic fluid, which are used to explore the concept of magnetic polyelectrolyte-based thrombolytics.
The second is from the work of Desponds, Banyasz, Montagnac, Andraud, Baldeck and Parola entitled “Microfabrication by two-photon lithography, and characterization, of SiO2/TiO2 based hybrid and ceramic microstructures” (JSST, 95(3), 733–745(2020)). In this work, the effect of precursor chemistry on the resolution achieved during 3D printing of sub-micron features in ceramic grids using a two-photon laser absorption process is investigated. The micrographs illustrate the effect of increasing the Ti:Si mole ratio in the precursor sol formulation from 0.4 to 1.
This month's images were taken from the work of Shijiao Zhao, Rui Xu, Jingtao Ma, Xuping Lin, Xing Cheng, Xingyu Zhao, Shaochang Hao, and Changsheng Deng entitled "Preparation and microstructure characterization of crack-free zirconium nitride microspheres by internal gelation combined with two-step nitridation" (JSST, 95(2), 398-407 (2020)). The internal gelation method was used to produce zirconia gel micropheres, where were then nitrided at 1500-1600 °C under reducing conditions. The optical micrograph in image (a) illustrates the size uniformity of the gold-colored microspheres obtained, while the SEM micrograph in image (b) illustrates their crack-free surface structure. Images (c) and (d) further illustrate the microstructure of the product, with the crystal faceting evident in (d).