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About this book

This book focuses on the latest advances in the field of nanomaterials and their applications, and provides a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art of research in this rapidly developing field. The book comprises chapters exploring various aspects of nanomaterials. Given the depth and breadth of coverage, the book offers a valuable guide for researchers and students working in the area of nanomaterials.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Nanodiamonds: Synthesis and Applications

The present chapter is devoted to the synthesis and applications of nanodiamond. Nanodiamond or nanocrystalline diamond is actually an allotrope of carbon which has nanosized carbon crystallites having well-known diamond structure. Although it is present in nature since long, the realization of its artificial production occurred in the 1960s by the Russian scientists. Due to the policy of secret research, it was in dark until 1980s, when the first formal report of its synthesis was published. Since then, it has been remained in the focus of scientists and researchers worldwide. Several techniques for the synthesis of nanodiamond have been developed. This chapter presents all the major techniques used for the synthesis of nanodiamond particles as well as thin films. Due to its excellent mechanical and optical properties, high surface area, non-toxicity and tenability of its surface structure, nanodiamond has been widely used in various applications. This chapter reviews some interesting applications of nanodiamond, especially, the recent ones.
Mohd Bilal Khan, Zishan H. Khan

Chapter 2. Carbon Nanowalls: A Potential 2-Dimensional Material for Field Emission and Energy-Related Applications

Carbon, an abundant material in the earth crust, is also the most attracting, in particular, owing to variety of fascinating materials it forms. It can appear as a transparent crystal (such as diamond), but also as black amorphous soot. It is associated with a rich and diverse chemistry. Carbon materials, in general, can be classified into different dimensional categories such as three-dimensional (3-D), two-dimensional (2-D), one-dimensional (1-D), and zero-dimensional (0-D) depending on the relative sizes in different spatial directions. Fullerenes are 0-D whereas carbon nanotubes (CNTs), nanofibres, or nanorods are 1-D nanostructures. Graphite nanosheets or nanowalls are considered as 2-D structures. A great attention has been given to the 0-D and 1-D carbon nanostructures, but studies on the growth and the properties of 2-D carbon nanowalls (CNWs) are not so abundant as in the case of fullerene or CNTs. The CNWs are very promising class of 2-D nanomaterials since the CNWs are characterized by an open boundary structure. On the other hand, fullerene and CNTs are closed boundary structures. Each CNW is made of several graphene sheets stacked over each other. The CNWs have a large surface area, which makes them very attractive for various potential applications such as chemical and biosensors or energy storage devices. Moreover, the CNWs have sharp edges normal to the substrate which make them very useful for field emission applications. In this chapter, growth of CNWs by various methods is discussed with an emphasis on plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) method. This is followed by the morphological and structural characterization of the CNWs by different techniques. The formation mechanism of CNWs will be described. In addition, properties of CNWs in respect to their potential applications in field emission and energy related devices including lithium ion batteries, fuel cells and solar cells, is also reviewed in the light of their unique morphology and structure.
Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, Vikram Kumar, V. D. Vankar

Chapter 3. Role of Nanostructured Materials Toward Remediation of Heavy Metals/Metalloids

In recent scenarios, the development of nanotechnology with novel size, shape, and surface dependent properties has revealed incredible prospective for the treatment of environmental problems especially toxic heavy metals from contaminated water. As compared with traditional materials, a nanosized particle exhibits to a large extent efficiency and faster remediation rates in water treatment. Many kinds of nanomaterials such as carbon, nanometal/metal oxides, and polymer based have high selectivity and adsorption potential for the remediation of heavy metals/metalloids such as As5+, As3+, Pb2+, Cr3+, Cr6+, Hg2+, Co2+, Ni2+, Cd2+, and Cu2+ from contaminated water. This chapter gives a widespread analysis on the enduring research and progress activities in the field of remediation of toxic heavy metals/metalloids from contaminated water by using nanomaterials in order to achieve environmental detoxification, using adsorption process. We have also discussed the essential aspects of heavy metals problems on environment; their effects on human health through polluted water are reviewed.
Yana Bagbi, Arvind Pandey, Pratima R. Solanki

Chapter 4. Recent Trends in the Processing and Applications of Carbon Nanotubes and C-MEMS-Based Carbon Nanowires

In this chapter, we review the processing of carbon nanotubes from the first reported work to the present and cover a myriad of CNT applications. For CNT processing, the three most used techniques, i.e., arc discharge, laser ablation, and chemical vapor deposition for both multiwall and single-wall CNTs are detailed. We will learn that these fabrication techniques often need to be adapted to serve a specific application. We analyze processing techniques for CNT application in gas sensors, biosensors, optical sensors, supercapacitors, micro-/nanoelectronics, and in nanoelectromechanical systems. Since the poor adhesion between CNTs and substrates often limits their application, we also survey the work of researchers who developed surface modification techniques. Although CNT research is quite a mature field, it still faces major challenges, including making ohmic contacts, selecting for a precise tube diameter and a precise tube length as well as problems with nanotube positioning accuracy. This explains why the large-scale manufacture of CNT devices remains a daunting task. Due to these limitations in the use of CNTs in a manufacturing environment, we propose an alternative, i.e., C-MEMS or carbon-MEMS. A common C-MEMS fabrication process starts with photolithography of a high-carbon content photosensitive polymer precursor and it is followed by carbonization, also called pyrolysis, of the patterned polymer. Carbon nanowires (CNWs), fabricated by electrospinning of suspended polymer nanowires and photolithography of the contact pads for the suspended wires to attach too and the subsequent pyrolysis of this hybrid construct, have the potential of alleviating some of the aforementioned problems with CNTs. We review the C-MEMS fabrication process of CNWs in detail, compare their properties with CNTs, and discuss their various applications in this chapter.
Bidhan Pramanick, Merin Mary Meyn, Kavita Shrivastava, Sergio O. Martinez-Chapa, Marc J. Madou

Chapter 5. Metal Nanoparticles as Glucose Sensor

Diabetes, a metabolic disorder, has become a major health problem in the world. According to WHO report, the number of patients is projected to 300 million in 2025. Therefore, the need of glucose detection is extremely important to the patients suffering from diabetes. Glucose oxidase (GOx) has been extensively used to construct amperometric biosensors for glucose detection owing to its high selectivity and sensitivity to glucose. However, GOx-based biosensors suffer from a stability problem due to the fundamental feature of enzymes. Therefore, it requires a need for enzyme-free glucose sensors. During last two decades, considerable attention has been paid to develop enzyme-free electrodes. Precious metals, metal alloys, and metal nanoparticles are extensively studied for advancement of non-enzymatic glucose sensors. Therefore, the need of a cost-effective, sensitive, and reliable enzyme-free glucose sensor is in great demand. In recent years, noble metal nanoparticles have found immense interest by researchers due to their potential in label-free forms of biological and chemical sensors. The high capability of these sensors is due to the novel properties of noble metal nanostructured arrays, for instance, high surface to volume ratio, localized surface plasmon resonance, excellent conductivity and anomalous transmission, and reflection of light. The amperometric technique is most widely used tool in the sensing of glucose. On the other side, some LSPR sensors are also reported which showed good sensitive to the changes in refractive index occurring at a metal/dielectric interface. Some researchers also studied fiber-optic-based glucose sensor which was based on the attenuated total reflection phenomenon. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic sensors of silver, gold, and copper nanoparticles are discussed in details in the chapter. The fabrication of glucose sensors has also been discussed with keeping in view the interest of the researchers. The objective of this chapter is to cover the bare and modified/composites of metal nanoparticles as glucose sensor. The most recent as well as conventional fabrication methods are discussed in detail. The linearity range and limit of detection of the glucose sensors are described in detail to justify the fabrication process. The chapter will provide in-depth review of metal nanoparticles-based glucose sensors which would be beneficial to all researchers, scientists, engineers, and students who are in direct contact of developing and using glucose sensors. It is hoped that the chapter will bridge the common gap between the research literature and standard textbooks. The material in this chapter emphasizes on developments of sensitive, rapid, and cheap systems for identification of glucose. The fabrication techniques of metal nanoparticles as glucose sensor are also studied in connection with different methodologies like SPR, SERS, electrochemical, and paper based devices.
Akrema, Rahisuddin

Chapter 6. Application of Nanomaterials in Civil Engineering

The potential use of carbon nanotubes, SiO2, TiO2, Fe2O3, CuO, ZrO2, ZnO2, Al2O3, CaCO3, Cr2O3 and Ag nanoparticles in the civil engineering has been explored in this article. Most of the studies showed that addition of nanomaterials in appropriate quantity improved the strength and durability properties but decreased setting time as well as workability of cementitious composites. The other challenges include high cost, environmental and health risks associated with nanomaterials. That is why the comprehensive recommendations for the utilization of nanomaterials in day-to-day construction practice are still awaited. Also, a study to evaluate the corrosion behaviour of graphene and nano-TiO2-incorporated steel-reinforced cementitious composite has been undertaken. The nanoadmixed composite showed lower corrosion rate compared to uninhibited specimens at early ages. However, more results are required involving fairly longer period of time to establish graphene and nano-TiO2 as corrosion inhibitors.
Md Daniyal, Ameer Azam, Sabih Akhtar

Chapter 7. Design, Development and Application of Nanocoatings

Coatings can be defined as the application of one material on the other material usually known as substrate. They are mainly applied on the material to protect it from any degradation which occurs due to environmental conditions. They act as an interface between the substrate and the environment. Moreover, they are also used for decorative purposes. Nanocoatings are those coatings in which the size of a particle is in the range of 1–1000 nm at least in one dimension. Nanocoatings provide more wear resistance attributed to its higher toughness and hardness to the substrate as compared to other conventional coatings. They also provide antimicrobial, wrinkle resistance, stain resistance, hydrophobic and hydrophilic characteristics, UV protection and antistatic properties affecting the bulk properties of the substrate material. Nanocoatings can be manufactured by mainly two methods: vapour phase method and liquid phase method. Vapour phase method includes chemical vapour deposition, laser ablation, vapour condensation, plasma arc and flame synthesis processes. Liquid phase method includes sol–gel, precipitation, electrolysis, microemulsion and hydrothermal processes. Nanocoatings are used in aircraft (landing gears and engines), industrial rolls, hydraulic shafts, boiler tubes, turbines and pumps to prevent corrosion and erosion problems. They are also used on cars, pens, watches and cosmetics for decorative purposes. Nanocoatings are used on money bills so as to prevent forgery. This chapter discusses in detail about the nanocoatings. Efforts have also been made to summarize the various processing techniques for their fabrication. Effect of nanocoatings on structural, mechanical and corrosion behaviour is also discussed. It is expected that the present chapter will be useful in designing and developing nanocoatings for wide industrial applications.
Akash Singh, Siddhant Mittal, Deepa Mudgal, Pallav Gupta

Chapter 8. Electronic Behavior of Nanocrystalline Silicon Thin Film Transistor

Thin film transistor (TFT) plays an important role for the fabrication of highly functional active matrix backplanes for large area display applications such as organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) has recently achieved lot of interest over existing hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) due to its superior properties which makes it suitable channel material for the fabrication of TFTs. In present work, the physical insight into the nc-Si TFT device characteristics and device non idealities is reported which can provide important step for the production of high performance large area display devices.
Prachi Sharma, Navneet Gupta

Chapter 9. Molecular Electronics

Molecular electronics aim to create a functional electronic device using single or small assembly of molecules. It is believed that molecular electronics, not only will meet the increasing demand of more speed and more storage, but also provide a test bed to investigate mesoscopic transport phenomena and different properties at molecular level. Though there are several advantages in adopting single molecule as the active element in nanodevices, but contacting molecule with macroscopic contact in a circuit still remains a major challenge, as the conventional lithography-based contacting techniques cannot form metal contacts to a single molecule. Moreover, the absence of suitable imaging techniques at subnanometer level to look into single metal-molecule junction makes it even harder challenge. In last decade, several novel contacting techniques using nanolithography have been developed. However, the evidence that a molecule has been docked and contacted between two metal electrodes successfully can only be provided by measuring the current transport through the junctions. Out of the different mesoscopic devices in the length scale of 1–3 nm, it has been emphasized that molecular devices based on electrical break junction will be most suitable for electrical characterization with a prospect to use them in future circuits based on single molecule-based nanodevices. These investigations on the electrical transport through single or small assembly of molecules should be extremely useful for understanding quantum transport processes through the molecule, the device fabrication processes at nanoscale, and the roadmap for future nanoelectronics are essential for overcoming the “red brick wall” of Si-based microelectronics.
Subhasis Ghosh

Chapter 10. Organic Light-Emitting Diodes—A Review

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have become the integral part of almost all electrical and electronic systems and gadgets. LEDs of gallium arsenide (GaAs) emitting infrared light were patented by Gary Pitman and Bob Biard of Texas instruments way back in 1961. Since then, efforts have been made continuously in the direction of developing efficient LEDs in the visible and ultraviolet range also. The literature survey shows that during 1970–1979 there was a significant development in red, green, yellow, orange, and blue LEDs. Out of these, blue LED was very expensive and could not be commercialized until 1994. Although inorganic LEDs in the visible region are in use for the past 3–4 decades as replacement of incandescent bulbs, elements in seven segment displays, large RGB displays, calculator, watches, etc., but the main problems are that (i) the processing of basic inorganic semiconductor material is not environment-friendly due to requirement of high purity (ii) non-flexibility (iii) high cost of processing. Therefore, the researchers all over the world focused their research on developing systems and devices in such a way that not only environment is protected (green systems and green devices), but also requirements like flexibility, low-power consumption, and cost effectiveness be taken care of. Conducting polymer-based organic LEDs (OLEDs) and other devices is the alternative for futuristic devices. In fact the work started extensively after Alan G Mac Diarmid, Alan J. Heeger, and Hideki Shirkawa received noble prize in the year 2000 for their research on conducting polymer (polyacetylene). The present article deals with introduction and working of both inorganic and organic LEDs. The emphasis has been given on organic LEDs. Present state of art has been given in detail since its inception. Starting from a single layer OLED to present day multilayer layer OLEDs with different color-to-color tuning have been discussed in detail. The fabrication, relevant characterization techniques and analysis have also been discussed in detail. A systematic development in terms of improvement inefficiency, luminance, stability, and low-power consumption is given which has been possible due to (i) incorporation on some nanomaterials-like carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, graphene (ii) improving and optimizing the physical conditions of growth which include annealing temperature and its duration (iii) incorporation of electron transport layer (ETL), hole transport layer (HTL), electron blocking layer (EBL), hole blocking layer (HBL) in right sequence in the device structure (iv) improving the morphology of the spin-coated films by controlling spin speed and spin duration (v) concentration of conducting polymer in the organic solvent (vi) controlling thickness of the emissive layer, etc. Some light has also been thrown on future aspects and applications of OLEDs.
P. K. Bhatnagar

Chapter 11. Hematological Complications and Rouleaux Formation of Blood Components (Leukocytes and Platelet Cells) and Parameters

This chapter has the detailed and depth knowledge about the hematological complications and Rouleaux formation of blood components (leukocytes and platelet cells) and parameters. The purpose of this chapter is to determine the changes in three parameters, i.e., cells count, shape of cells, and size of cells, prior and after addition of three analytes, i.e., sugar, sodium chloride, and pure water, for ten varying concentrations, i.e., from 0 to 450 mM, admixed in 2 ml blood for sugar [C6H12O6], 3 ml blood for sodium chloride [NaCl] and 4 ml blood for pure water. We have also discussed the effects of sugar, salt, and distilled water in comparison with the preexisting literature. This chapter also contains information’s about sample preparation; methodology of bright and dark field microscopy under transmission mode used for each blood cells and parameters, 2-D images of each phantom of each analyte for its normal sample and admixed sample, tables and graphs to express the variation in parameters relative to each phantom, results of each phantom and detailed discussions about changes in blood parameters and components mentioned above for each analyte.
Hafeez Ullah, Munir Akhtar, Fayyaz Hussain

Chapter 12. Quantum Dot Sensitized Solar Cells (QDSSCs)

Quantum Dot Sensitized Solar Cells (QDSSCs) are currently a field of intense research across the globe as they provide a promising cost-effective alternative for efficient energy conversion. The wide acceptance of QDs is due to their exceptional optical properties, size-tunable electro- and photoluminescence, multiple exciton generation (MEG), and broad absorption spectra. However, the progress of QDSSCs is confronted with many challenges. The basic strategies of enhanced photovoltaic characteristics depend on factors like—suppressed charge carrier recombination at the interfaces, improved photon absorption, and construction of tandem structures. Exploiting further nanoscience and nanotechnology will be essential in overcoming these hurdles for achieving better functional quantum dot sensitized solar cells. The current research work focuses on how the prevalent challenges are being overcome in order to develop efficient functioning QDSSC.
Karan Surana, R. M. Mehra
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