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1.  Potentiometric Zinc Ion Sensor Based on Honeycomb-Like NiO Nanostructures 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(11):15424-15437.
In this study honeycomb-like NiO nanostructures were grown on nickel foam by a simple hydrothermal growth method. The NiO nanostructures were characterized by field emission electron microscopy (FESEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. The characterized NiO nanostructures were uniform, dense and polycrystalline in the crystal phase. In addition to this, the NiO nanostructures were used in the development of a zinc ion sensor electrode by functionalization with the highly selective zinc ion ionophore 12-crown-4. The developed zinc ion sensor electrode has shown a good linear potentiometric response for a wide range of zinc ion concentrations, ranging from 0.001 mM to 100 mM, with sensitivity of 36 mV/decade. The detection limit of the present zinc ion sensor was found to be 0.0005 mM and it also displays a fast response time of less than 10 s. The proposed zinc ion sensor electrode has also shown good reproducibility, repeatability, storage stability and selectivity. The zinc ion sensor based on the functionalized NiO nanostructures was also used as indicator electrode in potentiometric titrations and it has demonstrated an acceptable stoichiometric relationship for the determination of zinc ion in unknown samples. The NiO nanostructures-based zinc ion sensor has potential for analysing zinc ion in various industrial, clinical and other real samples.
doi:10.3390/s121115424
PMCID: PMC3522970  PMID: 23202217
honeycomb NiO nanostructures; potentiometric response; ion selective electrode; selectivity; selective ionophore
2.  Fluorescence Intensity- and Lifetime-Based Glucose Sensing Using Glucose/Galactose-Binding Protein 
We review progress in our laboratories toward developing in vivo glucose sensors for diabetes that are based on fluorescence labeling of glucose/galactose-binding protein. Measurement strategies have included both monitoring glucose-induced changes in fluorescence resonance energy transfer and labeling with the environmentally sensitive fluorophore, badan. Measuring fluorescence lifetime rather than intensity has particular potential advantages for in vivo sensing. A prototype fiber-optic-based glucose sensor using this technology is being tested.Fluorescence technique is one of the major solutions for achieving the continuous and noninvasive glucose sensor for diabetes. In this article, a highly sensitive nanostructured sensor is developed to detect extremely small amounts of aqueous glucose by applying fluorescence energy transfer (FRET). A one-pot method is applied to produce the dextran-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugating mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), which afterward interact with the tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC)-labeled concanavalin A (Con A) to form the FRET nanoparticles (FITC-dextran-Con A-TRITC@MSNs). The nanostructured glucose sensor is then formed via the self-assembly of the FRET nanoparticles on a transparent, flexible, and biocompatible substrate, e.g., poly(dimethylsiloxane). Our results indicate the diameter of the MSNs is 60 ± 5 nm. The difference in the images before and after adding 20 μl of glucose (0.10 mmol/liter) on the FRET sensor can be detected in less than 2 min by the laser confocal laser scanning microscope. The correlation between the ratio of fluorescence intensity, I(donor)/I(acceptor), of the FRET sensor and the concentration of aqueous glucose in the range of 0.04–4 mmol/liter has been investigated; a linear relationship is found. Furthermore, the durability of the nanostructured FRET sensor is evaluated for 5 days. In addition, the recorded images can be converted to digital images by obtaining the pixels from the resulting matrix using Matlab image processing functions. We have also studied the in vitro cytotoxicity of the device. The nanostructured FRET sensor may provide an alternative method to help patients manage the disease continuously.
PMCID: PMC3692217  PMID: 23439161
continuous glucose monitoring; diabetes; fluorescence; glucose/galactose binding protein; glucose sensor
3.  Is there a shift to “active nanostructures”? 
It has been suggested that an important transition in the long-run trajectory of nanotechnology development is a shift from passive to active nanostructures. Such a shift could present different or increased societal impacts and require new approaches for risk assessment. An active nanostructure “changes or evolves its state during its operation,” according to the National Science Foundation’s (2006) Active Nanostructures and Nanosystems grant solicitation. Active nanostructure examples include nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), nanomachines, self-healing materials, targeted drugs and chemicals, energy storage devices, and sensors. This article considers two questions: (a) Is there a “shift” to active nanostructures? (b) How can we characterize the prototypical areas into which active nanostructures may emerge? We build upon the NSF definition of active nanostructures to develop a research publication search strategy, with a particular intent to distinguish between passive and active nanotechnologies. We perform bibliometric analyses and describe the main publication trends from 1995 to 2008. We then describe the prototypes of research that emerge based on reading the abstracts and review papers encountered in our search. Preliminary results suggest that there is a sharp rise in active nanostructures publications in 2006, and this rise is maintained in 2007 and through to early 2008. We present a typology that can be used to describe the kind of active nanostructures that may be commercialized and regulated in the future.
doi:10.1007/s11051-009-9729-4
PMCID: PMC2988198  PMID: 21170117
Active nanostructures; Active nanotechnology; Bibliometrics; Trends; Prototypes; Science and technology trends
4.  One-Dimensional Oxide Nanostructures as Gas-Sensing Materials: Review and Issues 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(4):4083-4099.
In this article, we review gas sensor application of one-dimensional (1D) metal-oxide nanostructures with major emphases on the types of device structure and issues for realizing practical sensors. One of the most important steps in fabricating 1D-nanostructure devices is manipulation and making electrical contacts of the nanostructures. Gas sensors based on individual 1D nanostructure, which were usually fabricated using electron-beam lithography, have been a platform technology for fundamental research. Recently, gas sensors with practical applicability were proposed, which were fabricated with an array of 1D nanostructures using scalable micro-fabrication tools. In the second part of the paper, some critical issues are pointed out including long-term stability, gas selectivity, and room-temperature operation of 1D-nanostructure-based metal-oxide gas sensors.
doi:10.3390/s100404083
PMCID: PMC3274262  PMID: 22319343
1-dimensional nanostructures; gas sensors; long-term stability; gas selectivity; electronic-nose; room-temperature operation
5.  Facile Pyrolytic Synthesis of Silicon Nanowires 
Solid-state electronics  2010;54(10):1185-1191.
One-dimensional nanostructures such as silicon nanowires (SiNW) are attractive candidates for low power density electronic and optoelectronic devices including sensors. A new simple method for SiNW bulk synthesis[1, 2] is demonstrated in this work, which is inexpensive and uses low toxicity materials, thereby offering a safe, energy efficient and green approach. The method uses low flammability liquid phenylsilanes, offering a safer avenue for SiNW growth compared with using silane gas. A novel, duo-chamber glass vessel is used to create a low-pressure environment where SiNWs are grown through vapor-liquid-solid mechanism using gold nanoparticles as a catalyst. The catalyst decomposes silicon precursor vapors of diphenylsilane and triphenylsilane and precipitates single crystal SiNWs, which appear to grow parallel to the substrate surface. This opens up possibilities for synthesizing nano-junctions amongst wires which is important for the grid architecture of nanoelectronics proposed by Likharev[3]. Even bulk synthesis of SiNW is feasible using sacrificial substrates such as CaCO3 that can be dissolved post-synthesis. Furthermore, by dissolving appropriate dopants in liquid diphenylsilane, a controlled doping of the nanowires is realized without the use of toxic gases and expensive mass flow controllers. Upon boron doping, we observe a characteristic red shift in photoluminescence spectra. In summary, an inexpensive and versatile method for SiNW is presented that makes these exotic materials available to any lab at low cost.
doi:10.1016/j.sse.2010.05.011
PMCID: PMC2919782  PMID: 20711489
Silicon nanowires; dopants; photoluminescence; gold nanoparticles; HR-TEM
6.  Harnessing a Nanostructured Fluorescence Energy Transfer Sensor for Quick Detection of Extremely Small Amounts of Glucose 
Fluorescence technique is one of the major solutions for achieving the continuous and noninvasive glucose sensor for diabetes. In this article, a highly sensitive nanostructured sensor is developed to detect extremely small amounts of aqueous glucose by applying fluorescence energy transfer (FRET). A one-pot method is applied to produce the dextran-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugating mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), which afterward interact with the tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC)-labeled concanavalin A (Con A) to form the FRET nanoparticles (FITC-dextran-Con A-TRITC@MSNs). The nanostructured glucose sensor is then formed via the self-assembly of the FRET nanoparticles on a transparent, flexible, and biocompatible substrate, e.g., poly(dimethylsiloxane). Our results indicate the diameter of the MSNs is 60 ± 5 nm. The difference in the images before and after adding 20 μl of glucose (0.10 mmol/liter) on the FRET sensor can be detected in less than 2 min by the laser confocal laser scanning microscope. The correlation between the ratio of fluorescence intensity, I(donor)/I(acceptor), of the FRET sensor and the concentration of aqueous glucose in the range of 0.04–4 mmol/liter has been investigated; a linear relationship is found. Furthermore, the durability of the nanostructured FRET sensor is evaluated for 5 days. In addition, the recorded images can be converted to digital images by obtaining the pixels from the resulting matrix using Matlab image processing functions. We have also studied the in vitro cytotoxicity of the device. The nanostructured FRET sensor may provide an alternative method to help patients manage the disease continuously.
PMCID: PMC3692215  PMID: 23439159
fluorescence energy transfer sensor; glucose monitoring; image process; nanostructured materials
7.  Simulation of electron transport during electron-beam-induced deposition of nanostructures 
Summary
We present a numerical investigation of energy and charge distributions during electron-beam-induced growth of tungsten nanostructures on SiO2 substrates by using a Monte Carlo simulation of the electron transport. This study gives a quantitative insight into the deposition of energy and charge in the substrate and in the already existing metallic nanostructures in the presence of the electron beam. We analyze electron trajectories, inelastic mean free paths, and the distribution of backscattered electrons in different compositions and at different depths of the deposit. We find that, while in the early stages of the nanostructure growth a significant fraction of electron trajectories still interacts with the substrate, when the nanostructure becomes thicker the transport takes place almost exclusively in the nanostructure. In particular, a larger deposit density leads to enhanced electron backscattering. This work shows how mesoscopic radiation-transport techniques can contribute to a model that addresses the multi-scale nature of the electron-beam-induced deposition (EBID) process. Furthermore, similar simulations can help to understand the role that is played by backscattered electrons and emitted secondary electrons in the change of structural properties of nanostructured materials during post-growth electron-beam treatments.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.4.89
PMCID: PMC3869256  PMID: 24367747
electron backscattering; electron transport; (F)EBID; Monte Carlo simulation; PENELOPE
8.  A catalyst-free growth of aluminum-doped ZnO nanorods by thermal evaporation 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):256.
The growth of Al:ZnO nanorods on a silicon substrate using a low-temperature thermal evaporation method is reported. The samples were fabricated within a horizontal quartz tube under controlled supply of O2 gas where Zn and Al powders were previously mixed and heated at 700°C. This allows the reactant vapors to deposit onto the substrate placed vertically above the source materials. Both the undoped and doped samples were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and photoluminescence (PL) measurements. It was observed that randomly oriented nanowires were formed with varying nanostructures as the dopant concentrations were increased from 0.6 at.% to 11.3 at.% with the appearance of ‘pencil-like’ shape at 2.4 at.%, measuring between 260 to 350 nm and 720 nm in diameter and length, respectively. The HRTEM images revealed nanorods fringes of 0.46 nm wide, an equivalent to the lattice constant of ZnO and correspond to the (0001) fringes with regard to the growth direction. The as-prepared Al:ZnO samples exhibited a strong UV emission band located at approximately 389 nm (E g  = 3.19 eV) with multiple other low intensity peaks appeared at wavelengths greater than 400 nm contributed by oxygen vacancies. The results showed the importance of Al doping that played an important role on the morphology and optical properties of ZnO nanostructures. This may led to potential nanodevices in sensor and biological applications.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-256
PMCID: PMC4050990  PMID: 24948885
Al:ZnO nanowires; Thermal evaporation; Catalyst-free
9.  Ion-sensing properties of 1D vanadium pentoxide nanostructures 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):310.
The application of one-dimensional (1D) V2O5·nH2O nanostructures as pH sensing material was evaluated. 1D V2O5·nH2O nanostructures were obtained by a hydrothermal method with systematic control of morphology forming different nanostructures: nanoribbons, nanowires and nanorods. Deposited onto Au-covered substrates, 1D V2O5·nH2O nanostructures were employed as gate material in pH sensors based on separative extended gate FET as an alternative to provide FET isolation from the chemical environment. 1D V2O5·nH2O nanostructures showed pH sensitivity around the expected theoretical value. Due to high pH sensing properties, flexibility and low cost, further applications of 1D V2O5·nH2O nanostructures comprise enzyme FET-based biosensors using immobilized enzymes.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-310
PMCID: PMC3475107  PMID: 22709724
Vanadium pentoxide; Nanostructures; pH sensors; SEGFET; Hydrothermal synthesis
10.  Chemo-sensors development based on low-dimensional codoped Mn2O3-ZnO nanoparticles using flat-silver electrodes 
Background
Semiconductor doped nanostructure materials have attained considerable attention owing to their electronic, opto-electronic, para-magnetic, photo-catalysis, electro-chemical, mechanical behaviors and their potential applications in different research areas. Doped nanomaterials might be a promising owing to their high-specific surface-area, low-resistances, high-catalytic activity, attractive electro-chemical and optical properties. Nanomaterials are also scientifically significant transition metal-doped nanostructure materials owing to their extraordinary mechanical, optical, electrical, electronic, thermal, and magnetic characteristics. Recently, it has gained significant interest in manganese oxide doped-semiconductor materials in order to develop their physico-chemical behaviors and extend their efficient applications. It has not only investigated the basic of magnetism, but also has huge potential in scientific features such as magnetic materials, bio- & chemi-sensors, photo-catalysts, and absorbent nanomaterials.
Results
The chemical sensor also displays the higher-sensitivity, reproducibility, long-term stability, and enhanced electrochemical responses. The calibration plot is linear (r2 = 0.977) over the 0.1 nM to 50.0 μM 4-nitrophenol concentration ranges. The sensitivity and detection limit is ~4.6667 μA cm-2 μM-1 and ~0.83 ± 0.2 nM (at a Signal-to-Noise-Ratio, SNR of 3) respectively. To best of our knowledge, this is the first report for detection of 4-nitrophenol chemical with doped Mn2O3-ZnO NPs using easy and reliable I-V technique in short response time.
Conclusions
As for the doped nanostructures, NPs are introduced a route to a new generation of toxic chemo-sensors, but a premeditate effort has to be applied for doped Mn2O3-ZnO NPs to be taken comprehensively for large-scale applications, and to achieve higher-potential density with accessible to individual chemo-sensors. In this report, it is also discussed the prospective utilization of Mn2O3-ZnO NPs on the basis of carcinogenic chemical sensing, which could also be applied for the detection of hazardous chemicals in ecological, environmental, and health care fields.
doi:10.1186/1752-153X-7-60
PMCID: PMC3630067  PMID: 23537000
Doped Mn2O3-ZnO nanoparticles; Wet-chemical method; Powder X-ray diffraction; 4-nitrophenol; I-V technique; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; Sensitivity
11.  Nanostructures: a platform for brain repair and augmentation 
Nanoscale structures have been at the core of research efforts dealing with integration of nanotechnology into novel electronic devices for the last decade. Because the size of nanomaterials is of the same order of magnitude as biomolecules, these materials are valuable tools for nanoscale manipulation in a broad range of neurobiological systems. For instance, the unique electrical and optical properties of nanowires, nanotubes, and nanocables with vertical orientation, assembled in nanoscale arrays, have been used in many device applications such as sensors that hold the potential to augment brain functions. However, the challenge in creating nanowires/nanotubes or nanocables array-based sensors lies in making individual electrical connections fitting both the features of the brain and of the nanostructures. This review discusses two of the most important applications of nanostructures in neuroscience. First, the current approaches to create nanowires and nanocable structures are reviewed to critically evaluate their potential for developing unique nanostructure based sensors to improve recording and device performance to reduce noise and the detrimental effect of the interface on the tissue. Second, the implementation of nanomaterials in neurobiological and medical applications will be considered from the brain augmentation perspective. Novel applications for diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis, meningitis, stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and autism will be considered. Because the blood brain barrier (BBB) has a defensive mechanism in preventing nanomaterials arrival to the brain, various strategies to help them to pass through the BBB will be discussed. Finally, the implementation of nanomaterials in neurobiological applications is addressed from the brain repair/augmentation perspective. These nanostructures at the interface between nanotechnology and neuroscience will play a pivotal role not only in addressing the multitude of brain disorders but also to repair or augment brain functions.
doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00091
PMCID: PMC4064704  PMID: 24999319
nanotechnology; brain repair and augmentation; brain activity mapping; blood brain barrier; carbon nanotube; multi-electrode array; nano-imprint lithography; inter-laminar microcircuit
12.  Structure, morphology, and magnetic properties of Fe nanoparticles deposited onto single-crystalline surfaces 
Summary
Background: Magnetic nanostructures and nanoparticles often show novel magnetic phenomena not known from the respective bulk materials. In the past, several methods to prepare such structures have been developed – ranging from wet chemistry-based to physical-based methods such as self-organization or cluster growth. The preparation method has a significant influence on the resulting properties of the generated nanostructures. Taking chemical approaches, this influence may arise from the chemical environment, reaction kinetics and the preparation route. Taking physical approaches, the thermodynamics and the kinetics of the growth mode or – when depositing preformed clusters/nanoparticles on a surface – the landing kinetics and subsequent relaxation processes have a strong impact and thus need to be considered when attempting to control magnetic and structural properties of supported clusters or nanoparticles.
Results: In this contribution we focus on mass-filtered Fe nanoparticles in a size range from 4 nm to 10 nm that are generated in a cluster source and subsequently deposited onto two single crystalline substrates: fcc Ni(111)/W(110) and bcc W(110). We use a combined approach of X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD), reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to shed light on the complex and size-dependent relation between magnetic properties, crystallographic structure, orientation and morphology. In particular XMCD reveals that Fe particles on Ni(111)/W(110) have a significantly lower (higher) magnetic spin (orbital) moment compared to bulk iron. The reduced spin moments are attributed to the random particle orientation being confirmed by RHEED together with a competition of magnetic exchange energy at the interface and magnetic anisotropy energy in the particles. The RHEED data also show that the Fe particles on W(110) – despite of the large lattice mismatch between iron and tungsten – are not strained. Thus, strain is most likely not the origin of the enhanced orbital moments as supposed before. Moreover, RHEED uncovers the existence of a spontaneous process for epitaxial alignment of particles below a critical size of about 4 nm. STM basically confirms the shape conservation of the larger particles but shows first indications for an unexpected reshaping occurring at the onset of self-alignment.
Conclusion: The magnetic and structural properties of nanoparticles are strongly affected by the deposition kinetics even when soft landing conditions are provided. The orientation of the deposited particles and thus their interface with the substrate strongly depend on the particle size with consequences regarding particularly the magnetic behavior. Spontaneous and epitaxial self-alignment can occur below a certain critical size. This may enable the obtainment of samples with controlled, uniform interfaces and crystallographic orientations even in a random deposition process. However, such a reorientation process might be accompanied by a complex reshaping of the particles.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.6
PMCID: PMC3045938  PMID: 21977415
epitaxy; iron; magnetic nanoparticles; Ni(111); RHEED; spontaneous self-alignment; STM; W(110); XMCD
13.  Synthesis of Three Dimensional Nickel Cobalt Oxide Nanoneedles on Nickel Foam, Their Characterization and Glucose Sensing Application 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(3):5415-5425.
In the present work, NiCo2O4 nanostructures are fabricated in three dimensions (3D) on nickel foam by the hydrothermal method. The nanomaterial was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The nanostructures exhibit nanoneedle-like morphology grown in 3D with good crystalline quality. The nanomaterial is composed of nickel, cobalt and oxygen atoms. By using the favorable porosity of the nanomaterial and the substrate itself, a sensitive glucose sensor is proposed by immobilizing glucose oxidase. The presented glucose sensor has shown linear response over a wide range of glucose concentrations from 0.005 mM to 15 mM with a sensitivity of 91.34 mV/decade and a fast response time of less than 10 s. The NiCo2O4 nanostructures-based glucose sensor has shown excellent reproducibility, repeatability and stability. The sensor showed negligible response to the normal concentrations of common interferents with glucose sensing, including uric acid, dopamine and ascorbic acid. All these favorable advantages of the fabricated glucose sensor suggest that it may have high potential for the determination of glucose in biological samples, food and other related areas.
doi:10.3390/s140305415
PMCID: PMC4003998  PMID: 24647124
nickel cobalt oxide nanostructures; nickel foam; glucose sensor; potentiometric method
14.  Microstructures and Nanostructures for Environmental Carbon Nanotubes and Nanoparticulate Soots 
This paper examines the microstructures and nanostructures for natural (mined) chrysotile asbestos nanotubes (Mg3 Si2O5 (OH)4) in comparison with commercial multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), utilizing scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). Black carbon (BC) and a variety of specific soot particulate (aggregate) microstructures and nanostructures are also examined comparatively by SEM and TEM. A range of MWCNTs collected in the environment (both indoor and outdoor) are also examined and shown to be similar to some commercial MWCNTs but to exhibit a diversity of microstructures and nanostructures, including aggregation with other multiconcentric fullerenic nanoparticles. MWCNTs formed in the environment nucleate from special hemispherical graphene “caps” and there is evidence for preferential or energetically favorable chiralities, tube growth, and closing. The multiconcentric graphene tubes (∼5 to 50 nm diameter) differentiate themselves from multiconcentric fullerenic nanoparticles and especially turbostratic BC and carbonaceous soot nanospherules (∼8 to 80 nm diameter) because the latter are composed of curved graphene fragments intermixed or intercalated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) isomers of varying molecular weights and mass concentrations; depending upon combustion conditions and sources. The functionalizing of these nanostructures and photoxidation and related photothermal phenomena, as these may influence the cytotoxicities of these nanoparticulate aggregates, will also be discussed in the context of nanostructures and nanostructure phenomena, and implications for respiratory health.
PMCID: PMC3699991  PMID: 19151426
Chrysotile asbestos nanotubes; multiwall carbon nanotubes; carbonaceous soot nanoparticulates; SEM and TEM characterization; health effects
15.  Single Step In Situ Synthesis and Optical Properties of Polyaniline/ZnO Nanocomposites 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:904513.
Polyaniline/ZnO nanocomposites were prepared by in situ oxidative polymerization of aniline monomer in the presence of different weight percentages of ZnO nanostructures. The steric stabilizer added to prevent the agglomeration of nanostructures in the polymer matrix was found to affect the final properties of the nanocomposite. ZnO nanostructures of various morphologies and sizes were prepared in the absence and presence of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) surfactant under different reaction conditions like in the presence of microwave radiation (microwave oven), under pressure (autoclave), under vacuum (vacuum oven), and at room temperature (ambient condition). The conductivity of these synthesized nanocomposites was evaluated using two-probe method and the effect of concentration of ZnO nanostructures on conductivity was observed. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and UV-visible (UV-VIS) spectroscopy techniques were used to characterize nanocomposites. The optical energy band gap of the nanocomposites was calculated from absorption spectra and ranged between 1.5 and 3.21 eV. The reported values depicted the blue shift in nanocomposites as compared to the band gap energies of synthesized ZnO nanostructures. The present work focuses on the one-step synthesis and potential use of PANI/ZnO nanocomposite in molecular electronics as well as in optical devices.
doi:10.1155/2014/904513
PMCID: PMC3910262  PMID: 24523653
16.  Fabrication and NO2 gas sensing performance of TeO2-core/CuO-shell heterostructure nanorod sensors 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):638.
TeO2-nanostructured sensors are seldom reported compared to other metal oxide semiconductor materials such as ZnO, In2O3, TiO2, Ga2O3, etc. TeO2/CuO core-shell nanorods were fabricated by thermal evaporation of Te powder followed by sputter deposition of CuO. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction showed that each nanorod consisted of a single crystal TeO2 core and a polycrystalline CuO shell with a thickness of approximately 7 nm. The TeO2/CuO core-shell one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures exhibited a bamboo leaf-like morphology. The core-shell nanorods were 100 to 300 nm in diameter and up to 30 μm in length. The multiple networked TeO2/CuO core-shell nanorod sensor showed responses of 142% to 425% to 0.5- to 10-ppm NO2 at 150°C. These responses were stronger than or comparable to those of many other metal oxide nanostructures, suggesting that TeO2 is also a promising sensor material. The responses of the core-shell nanorods were 1.2 to 2.1 times higher than those of pristine TeO2 nanorods over the same NO2 concentration range. The underlying mechanism for the enhanced NO2 sensing properties of the core-shell nanorod sensor can be explained by the potential barrier-controlled carrier transport mechanism.
PACS
61.46. + w; 07.07.Df; 73.22.-f
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-638
PMCID: PMC4256961  PMID: 25489289
TeO2 nanorods; CuO shells; Gas sensors; Response; NO2
17.  Carbon Nanostructure-Based Field-Effect Transistors for Label-Free Chemical/Biological Sensors 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(5):5133-5159.
Over the past decade, electrical detection of chemical and biological species using novel nanostructure-based devices has attracted significant attention for chemical, genomics, biomedical diagnostics, and drug discovery applications. The use of nanostructured devices in chemical/biological sensors in place of conventional sensing technologies has advantages of high sensitivity, low decreased energy consumption and potentially highly miniaturized integration. Owing to their particular structure, excellent electrical properties and high chemical stability, carbon nanotube and graphene based electrical devices have been widely developed for high performance label-free chemical/biological sensors. Here, we review the latest developments of carbon nanostructure-based transistor sensors in ultrasensitive detection of chemical/biological entities, such as poisonous gases, nucleic acids, proteins and cells.
doi:10.3390/s100505133
PMCID: PMC3292167  PMID: 22399927
chemical and biological sensors; carbon nanotubes; grapheme
18.  Magnesium ion implantation on a micro/nanostructured titanium surface promotes its bioactivity and osteogenic differentiation function 
As one of the important ions associated with bone osseointegration, magnesium was incorporated into a micro/nanostructured titanium surface using a magnesium plasma immersion ion-implantation method. Hierarchical hybrid micro/nanostructured titanium surfaces followed by magnesium ion implantation for 30 minutes (Mg30) and hierarchical hybrid micro/nanostructured titanium surfaces followed by magnesium ion implantation for 60 minutes (Mg60) were used as test groups. The surface morphology, chemical properties, and amount of magnesium ions released were evaluated by field-emission scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, field-emission transmission electron microscopy, and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMMSCs) were used to evaluate cell responses, including proliferation, spreading, and osteogenic differentiation on the surface of the material or in their medium extraction. Greater increases in the spreading and proliferation ability of rBMMSCs were observed on the surfaces of magnesium-implanted micro/nanostructures compared with the control plates. Furthermore, the osteocalcin (OCN), osteopontin (OPN), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) genes were upregulated on both surfaces and in their medium extractions. The enhanced cell responses were correlated with increasing concentrations of magnesium ions, indicating that the osteoblastic differentiation of rBMMSCs was stimulated through the magnesium ion function. The magnesium ion-implanted micro/nanostructured titanium surfaces could enhance the proliferation, spreading, and osteogenic differentiation activity of rBMMSCs, suggesting they have potential application in improving bone-titanium integration.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S58357
PMCID: PMC4051717  PMID: 24940056
surface modification; micro/nanostructure; magnesium; ion implantation; osteogenic differentiation
19.  Peptide nucleic acids tagged with four lysine residues for amperometric genosensors 
Artificial DNA, PNA & XNA  2012;3(2):80-87.
A homothymine PNA decamer bearing four lysine residues has been synthesized as a probe for the development of amperometric sensors. On one hand, the four amino groups introduced make this derivative nine times more soluble than the corresponding homothymine PNA decamer and, on the other hand, allow the stable anchoring of this molecule on Au nanostructured surface through the terminal -NH2 moieties. In particular, XPS and electrochemical investigations performed with hexylamine, as a model molecule, indicate that the stable deposition of primary amine derivatives on such a nanostructured surface is possible and involves the free electron doublet on the nitrogen atom. This finding indicates that this PNA derivative is suitable to act as the probe molecule for the development of amperometric sensors.
 
Thanks to the molecular probe chosen and to the use of a nanostructured surface as the substrate for the sensor assembly, the device proposed makes possible the selective recognition of the target oligonucleotide sequence with very high sensitivity.
doi:10.4161/adna.20777
PMCID: PMC3429534  PMID: 22772036
DNA recognition; PNA; amperometric genosensors; nanostructured surfaces; amine deposition
20.  Enhancing Solar Cell Efficiencies through 1-D Nanostructures 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;4(1):1-10.
The current global energy problem can be attributed to insufficient fossil fuel supplies and excessive greenhouse gas emissions resulting from increasing fossil fuel consumption. The huge demand for clean energy potentially can be met by solar-to-electricity conversions. The large-scale use of solar energy is not occurring due to the high cost and inadequate efficiencies of existing solar cells. Nanostructured materials have offered new opportunities to design more efficient solar cells, particularly one-dimensional (1-D) nanomaterials for enhancing solar cell efficiencies. These 1-D nanostructures, including nanotubes, nanowires, and nanorods, offer significant opportunities to improve efficiencies of solar cells by facilitating photon absorption, electron transport, and electron collection; however, tremendous challenges must be conquered before the large-scale commercialization of such cells. This review specifically focuses on the use of 1-D nanostructures for enhancing solar cell efficiencies. Other nanostructured solar cells or solar cells based on bulk materials are not covered in this review. Major topics addressed include dye-sensitized solar cells, quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells, and p-n junction solar cells.
doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9200-y
PMCID: PMC2893966
Solar cells; Nanowires; Nanotubes; Nanorods; Quantum dots; Hybrid nanostructures
21.  Enhancing Solar Cell Efficiencies through 1-D Nanostructures 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;4(1):1-10.
The current global energy problem can be attributed to insufficient fossil fuel supplies and excessive greenhouse gas emissions resulting from increasing fossil fuel consumption. The huge demand for clean energy potentially can be met by solar-to-electricity conversions. The large-scale use of solar energy is not occurring due to the high cost and inadequate efficiencies of existing solar cells. Nanostructured materials have offered new opportunities to design more efficient solar cells, particularly one-dimensional (1-D) nanomaterials for enhancing solar cell efficiencies. These 1-D nanostructures, including nanotubes, nanowires, and nanorods, offer significant opportunities to improve efficiencies of solar cells by facilitating photon absorption, electron transport, and electron collection; however, tremendous challenges must be conquered before the large-scale commercialization of such cells. This review specifically focuses on the use of 1-D nanostructures for enhancing solar cell efficiencies. Other nanostructured solar cells or solar cells based on bulk materials are not covered in this review. Major topics addressed include dye-sensitized solar cells, quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells, and p-n junction solar cells.
doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9200-y
PMCID: PMC2893966
Solar cells; Nanowires; Nanotubes; Nanorods; Quantum dots; Hybrid nanostructures
22.  Core level binding energies of functionalized and defective graphene 
Summary
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a widely used tool for studying the chemical composition of materials and it is a standard technique in surface science and technology. XPS is particularly useful for characterizing nanostructures such as carbon nanomaterials due to their reduced dimensionality. In order to assign the measured binding energies to specific bonding environments, reference energy values need to be known. Experimental measurements of the core level signals of the elements present in novel materials such as graphene have often been compared to values measured for molecules, or calculated for finite clusters. Here we have calculated core level binding energies for variously functionalized or defected graphene by delta Kohn–Sham total energy differences in the real-space grid-based projector-augmented wave density functional theory code (GPAW). To accurately model extended systems, we applied periodic boundary conditions in large unit cells to avoid computational artifacts. In select cases, we compared the results to all-electron calculations using an ab initio molecular simulations (FHI-aims) code. We calculated the carbon and oxygen 1s core level binding energies for oxygen and hydrogen functionalities such as graphane-like hydrogenation, and epoxide, hydroxide and carboxylic functional groups. In all cases, we considered binding energy contributions arising from carbon atoms up to the third nearest neighbor from the functional group, and plotted C 1s line shapes by using experimentally realistic broadenings. Furthermore, we simulated the simplest atomic defects, namely single and double vacancies and the Stone–Thrower–Wales defect. Finally, we studied modifications of a reactive single vacancy with O and H functionalities, and compared the calculated values to data found in the literature.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.5.12
PMCID: PMC3943574  PMID: 24605278
core level; defects; density functional theory; graphene; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
23.  Structure and Sensor Properties of Thin Ordered Solid Films 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(10):7733-7752.
Miniaturized gas sensors and biosensors based on nanostructured sensing elements have attracted considerable interest because these nanostructured materials can be used to significantly improve sensor sensitivity and the response time. We report here on a generic, reversible sensing platform based on hybrid nanofilms. Thin ordered Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films built of fluorene derivatives were used as effective gas sensors for both oxidative and reductive analytes. A novel immobilization method based on thin LB films as a matrix has been developed for construction of sensing protein layers. Biomolecules can often be incorporated into and immobilized on Langmuir-Blodgett films using adsorption methods or by covalent immobilization of proteins. The sensor sensitisation was achieved by an amphiphilic N-alkyl-bis(thiophene)arylenes admixed into the film. The interlaced derivative was expected to facilitate the electron transfer, thereby enhancing the sensor sensitivity. The results suggest that this may be very promising approach for exploring the interactions between proteins and high throughput detection of phenol derivatives in wastewater.
doi:10.3390/s91007733
PMCID: PMC3292080  PMID: 22408477
Langmuir-Blodgett films; laccase; tyrosinase; diphenylamine and carbazole derivatives; biosensing effect; gas sensors; electroconductivity; AFM
24.  Single step process for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes and metal/alloy-filled multiwalled carbon nanotubes 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2007;2(2):75-80.
A single-step approach for the synthesis of multi-walled nanotubes (MWNT) filled with nanowires of Ni/ternary Zr based hydrogen storage alloy has been illustrated. We also demonstrate the generation of CO-free hydrogen by methane decomposition over alloy hydride catalyst. The present work also highlights the formation of single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) and MWNTs at varying process conditions. These carbon nanostructures have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high resolution TEM (HRTEM), Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and Raman spectroscopy. This new approach overcomes the existing multi-step process limitation, with possible impact on the development of future fuel cell, nano-battery and hydrogen sensor technologies.
doi:10.1007/s11671-006-9033-5
PMCID: PMC3245572
Carbon nanotubes; Nanowires; Encapsulation; Hydrogen production; Alloys; Chemical vapour deposition
25.  The H2 Sensor of Ralstonia eutropha Is a Member of the Subclass of Regulatory [NiFe] Hydrogenases 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(10):2716-2724.
Two energy-generating hydrogenases enable the aerobic hydrogen bacterium Ralstonia eutropha (formerly Alcaligenes eutrophus) to use molecular hydrogen as the sole energy source. The complex synthesis of the nickel-iron-containing enzymes has to be efficiently regulated in response to H2, which is available in low amounts in aerobic environments. H2 sensing in R. eutropha is achieved by a hydrogenase-like protein which controls the hydrogenase gene expression in concert with a two-component regulatory system. In this study we show that the H2 sensor of R. eutropha is a cytoplasmic protein. Although capable of H2 oxidation with redox dyes as electron acceptors, the protein did not support lithoautotrophic growth in the absence of the energy-generating hydrogenases. A specifically designed overexpression system for R. eutropha provided the basis for identifying the H2 sensor as a nickel-containing regulatory protein. The data support previous results which showed that the sensor has an active site similar to that of prototypic [NiFe] hydrogenases (A. J. Pierik, M. Schmelz, O. Lenz, B. Friedrich, and S. P. J. Albracht, FEBS Lett. 438:231–235, 1998). It is demonstrated that in addition to the enzymatic activity the regulatory function of the H2 sensor is nickel dependent. The results suggest that H2 sensing requires an active [NiFe] hydrogenase, leaving the question open whether only H2 binding or subsequent H2 oxidation and electron transfer processes are necessary for signaling. The regulatory role of the H2-sensing hydrogenase of R. eutropha, which has also been investigated in other hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria, is intimately correlated with a set of typical structural features. Thus, the family of H2 sensors represents a novel subclass of [NiFe] hydrogenases denoted as the “regulatory hydrogenases.”
PMCID: PMC101976  PMID: 10781538

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