Dendritic fibrous nanosilica (DFNS) attracted a great deal of attention in a large number of scientific disciplines such as catalysis, solar energy harvesting (photocatalysis, solar cells, etc.), energy storage, self-cleaning antireflective coatings, surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based ultra-sensitive sensors, CO2 capture, and biomedical applications (drug delivery, protein and gene delivery, bioimaging, photothermal ablation, Ayurvedic and radiotherapeutics drug delivery, etc.).
As discussed in this review, the unique fibrous morphology of the DFNS family of materials bestows them with several important properties that were brilliantly exploited for use in a range of applications. The fibers of DFNS were functionalized with a range of organic groups, ionic liquids, organometallic complexes, polymers, peptides, enzymes, DNA, genes, etc.
Dendritic fibrous nanosilica (DFNS), also known as KCC-1, has a unique fibrous morphology and a high surface area with improved accessibility to the internal surface, tunable pore size and volume, controllable particle size, which made it useful in the fields of energy, environment, and health.
Credit: Ayan Maity, Vivek Polshettiwar
They were also loaded with metal nanoparticles, bi-metallic nanoparticles, even with single atoms of metals, quantum dots, and metal oxides and hydroxides. They were also used as hard templates for the synthesis of high surface area carbon with fibrous morphology. DFNS-based zeolites were also synthesized with unique activities.
DFNS provided a means to load large amount of catalytic active sites with exceptionally high accessibility compared to conventional mesoporous silica materials. Additionally, due to the radially oriented pores (channels), the size of which increased from the center of the sphere to its outer surface, reactants were able to easily access active sites within the channels, increasing their interaction with catalytic sites. This led to a multifold increase in their catalytic activity.
DFNS was cleverly used to develop novel photocatalysts by coating with g-C3N4 and TiO2. The fibrous morphology of DFNS not only facilitated mass transfer and improved accessibility but also facilitated the formation of a uniform conformal coating and a high loading of semiconductors and guest molecules.
Notably, due to the fibrous structure of the material, the light harvesting properties of the catalyst were enhanced due multiple scattering effects and the reflection of a large amount of incident light. DFNS was also used to improve the performance of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). In addition to energy harvesting, DFNS-coated carbon spheres were also used for energy storage using supercapacitors.
Functionalized DFNS, such as DFNS-amines and DFNS-oxynitrides, were successfully used to develop efficient CO2 sorbents, which could contribute in tackling the potentially dangerous climate change issue. Functionalized DFNS was also used to remove pollutants such as toxic metal ions, phosphorus, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, etc. from water bodies, which is a serious environmental concern.
DFFNS was efficiently used to deliver various anti-cancer drugs, and even the delivery of the Ayurvedic drug curcumin, DNA, genes and antimicrobial enzymes was achieved. In addition, a number of auxiliary functions were integrated into DFNS, such as stimuli responsiveness (light to thermal), fluorescence, radioactivity, anti-reflectance, superhydrophobicity, etc. This allows for their application in photothermal ablation therapy, real-time bioimaging, self-cleaning coatings, etc.
The sensing and quantification of pollutants was achieved using DFNS-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR). It was also used for an ultrasensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA+) with a 2000-fold enhancement in detection sensitivity.
DFNS seems like All-in-one-Nanomaterial and have huge potential for future development. Although DFNS has been gifted with excellent textural, physical and chemical properties and shows exceptional results in various applications, the evolution of DFNS from fundamental research studies in the laboratory to being used in industry will depend on collaborations between academic researchers and industry.
Thus, remarkable advances in the synthesis and applications of DFNS were achieved, and DFNS seems to have demonstrated great potential as a superior alternative to conventional silica materials such as Stöber silica, MSN, MCM-41, and SBA-15, among others. The low cost, high activity and pronounced stability of numerous dendritic fibrous nanosilica-based materials support our argument that this class of material will find practical use for a range of applications, from catalysis, to gas capture, from energy harvesting and storage to drug delivery, from analytical chemistry to environmental remediation and more.
Prof. Vivek Polshettiwar | EurekAlert!
The stacked colour sensor
16.11.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Counterfeits and product piracy can be prevented by security features, such as printed 3-D microstructures
16.11.2017 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses