Sol-Gel Chemistry and Nanomaterials Bootcamp




5-9 July 2021 Portoconte Ricerche, Alghero (Italy)

The Sol-Gel Chemistry and Nanomaterials Bootcamp will be held at the Laboratory of Materials Science and Nanotechnology (LMNT) of the University of Sassari, located at the Porto Conte Ricerche Science Park, from 5 to 9 July. The bootcamp includes theoretical lectures and laboratory activities.


Download the program (in Italian)




LMNT Research Highlights



Integrating sol-gel and carbon dots chemistry for the fabrication of fluorescent hybrid organic-inorganic films

Highly fluorescent blue and green-emitting carbon dots have been designed to be integrated into sol-gel processing of hybrid organic-inorganic materials through surface modification with an organosilane, 3-(aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES). The carbon dots have been synthesised using citric acid and urea as precursors; the intense fluorescence exhibited by the nanoparticles, among the highest reported in the scientific literature, has been stabilised against quenching by APTES. When the modification is carried out in an aqueous solution, it leads to the formation of silica around the C-dots and an increase of luminescence, but also to the formation of large clusters which do not allow the deposition of optically transparent films. On the contrary, when the C-dots are modified in ethanol, the APTES improves the stability in the precursor sol even if any passivating thin silica shell does not form. Hybrid films containing APTES-functionalized C-dots are transparent with no traces of C-dots aggregation and show an intense luminescence in the blue and green range. (Sci. Rep. 2020, 10, 4770).




Defect-assisted photoluminescence in hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets

The development of functional optoelectronic applications based on hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets (h-BNNs) relies on controlling the structural defects. The fluorescent emission, in particular, has been observed to depend on vacancies and substitutional defects. In the present work, few-layer h-BNNs have been obtained by sonication-assisted liquid-phase exfoliation of their bulk counterpart. The as-prepared samples exhibit a weak fluorescent emission in the visible range, centred around 400 nm. Tailored defects have been introduced by oxidation in air at different temperatures. A significant increase in the fluorescent emission of the oxidated h-BNNs has been observed with maximum emissive intensity for the samples treated at 300 C. A further increase in temperatures (>300 C) determines a quenching of the fluorescence. We investigated, by means of detailed microscopic and spectroscopic analysis, the relationship between the optical properties and defects of h-BNNs. The investigation of the optical properties as a function of treatment temperature highlights the critical role of hydroxyl groups created by the oxidation process. Only h-BN exfoliated in water allows introducing OH groups with consequent enhancement of fluorescence emission. Quantum chemical calculations support the experimental findings. (2D Mater 2020, 7, 045023).




Silica-graphene porous nanocomposites for environmental remediation: A critical review

With the increase of industrialization, there is an urgent need for developing technologies to detect and remove toxic pollutants from water bodies. The pollutants are often released to the environment due to the consumption of raw materials that are necessary for the production of technological goods (such as chemical and pharmaceutical compounds, metals, and alloys or foods). Amongst all the remediation techniques, adsorption is considered as one of the preferred techniques, due to its fast and efficient removal of contaminants. Novel materials, which are engineered for selective and responsive water remediation, have also recently revealed a strong potential in the detection of pollutants. Here, current trends of silica-graphene (SG) porous composites for the removal of oils, organic solvents, heavy metals, and dyes are reviewed in detail. Insights on the modifications of composites to enhance their sorption performance have been highlighted. In addition, the detection of pollutants using porous SG nanocomposites is also critically reviewed. Overall, SG composites reveal a strong potential as nanostructure materials with improved efficiency for environmental-based applications. (J. Environ. Manage. 2020).






BOOK: The Innovators Behind Leonardo by Plinio Innocenzi

This engaging book places Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific achievements within the wider context of the rapid development that occurred during the Renaissance. It demonstrates how his contributions were not in fact born of isolated genius, but rather part of a rich period of collective advancement in science and technology, which began at least 50 years prior to his birth. Readers will discover a very special moment in history, when creativity and imagination were changing the future—shaping our present. They will be amazed to discover how many technological inventions had already been conceived or even designed by the engineers and inventors who preceded Leonardo, such as Francesco di Giorgio and Taccola, the so-called Siena engineers. This engaging volume features a wealth of illustrations from a variety of original sources, such as manuscripts and codices, enabling the reader to see and judge for him or herself the influence that other Renaissance engineers and inventors had on Leonardo.





BOOK: Water Droplets to Nanotechnology: A Journey Through Self-Assembly

The ability of nanostructures to organize into complex arrangements leads to unique materials with valuable applications. Self-assembly is therefore a key concept for nanotechnology, but it can be quite a complex and difficult subject to approach. Water Droplets to Nanotechnology gives a simple and general overview of the different self-assembly processes which are at the basis of recent developments in nanotechnology. The book shows how simple phenomenon from everyday examples can become sophisticated tools for self-assembly and the fabrication of nanomaterials. By exploring the coffee stain and tears of wine phenomena, the first part looks at how the evaporation of a droplet of colloidal solution can be used in designing organized structures. This leads onto more complex systems such as templated porous materials, photonic crystals, colloidal nanocrystals and quasi-crystals through to bottom-up systems for designing hierarchal materials. By taking the reader on a journey from everyday life to the secrets of nanotechnology, the book is suitable for a nonspecialist audience interested in self-assembly as well as the wider perspectives and latest developments of nanoscience.





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Updated 24 June 2021

LMNT Laboratory of Materials Science and NanoTechnology  - Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sassari.
Via Vienna, 2 - 07100 Sassari (SS)

Tel. lab.: +39 079 998630 Fax: +39 079 228625. Contact: lucamalfatti@uniss.it