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Special Issue "Sol-Gel Chemistry. From Molecule to Functional Materials"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Ahmad Mehdi

Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, Montpellier, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: molecular chemistry; hybrid materials; sol-gel; surface modification; materials for health
Guest Editor
Dr. Sébastien Clément

Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, Montpellier, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: conjugated materials; hybrid materials; organic electronics; sensing; therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the main challenges in materials science is to find effective strategies to organize the matter in terms of properties: Chemical, physical, etc. In this respect, bottom up approaches based on the self-assembly of molecules at the nanometric scale to form larger structures need to be considered. In particular, the sol-gel process (called inorganic polymerization) has emerged as one of the most important routes for preparing organized materials. It is, thus, important for Molecules to dedicate a Special Issue to this process, since it is perfectly compatible with all kinds of chemistry. This Special Issue will contain contributions discussing all the aspects that are broadly indicated by the keywords. Reviews articles by experts in the field of sol-gel, organosilica, porous hybrid materials and self-assembly will be welcome.

Prof. Ahmad Mehdi
Dr. Sébastien Clément
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sol-gel
  • Functional oxide
  • Nanoparticles
  • Hybrid materials

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Author: Xue-Ran Deng
Affiliation: University of Electronic Science and Technology of China | UESTC · Department of Electronic Science and Technology
Tentative title: Fabrication of refractive index tunable coating with moisture-resistant function based on the homogeneous embedding structure

Author: Malgorzata Adamczyk,
Affiliation: Prodziekan ds. Dydaktycznych Kierunków Mechatronika i Inżynieria Materiałowa, Poland
Tentative title: Electric and magnetic properties of PFN ceramics

Author: Rafael Luque
Affiliation: Departamento de Quimica Organica,Universidad de Cordoba
Campus de Rabanales Edificio Marie Curie (C-3) Ctra Nnal IV, Km. 396E-14014 Cordoba (Spain)
Tentative title: Sol-gel synthesis of encapsulated lipases/laccases/peroxidases for the esterification of valeric acid: towards novel biofuels

Author: Andrea S. S. de Camar
Affiliation: Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Tentative title: Host-guest luminescent materials based on highly emissive species loaded into versatile sol-gel hosts

Author: Parola Stéphane
Affiliation: Laboratoire de Chimie UMR ENS-CNRS-UCBL 5182, University of Lyon (France)
Tentative title: Functional materials by entrapment of nanoparticles in composite xerogels or aerogels

Author: M. Clara Gonçalves1,2*, H Cristina Vasconcelos
1 Departamento de Engenharia Química, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
2 CQE, Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Universidade dos Açores, Ponta Delgada, Portugal.
Abstract: In addition to its traditional application in white pigments, nanocrystlline titania optoelectronic and photocatalytic properties grant new technological applications. Its wide band gap (~3.2 eV) enables its use in photochemical degradation of toxic chemicals, as a bactericide / anti-fungicide agent, in energy conversion in solar cells, or as an electrode material in lithium batteries. All the properties performance is, nevertheless, strongly dependent on crystallinity, particle size, and surface structure. Sol-gel method is one of the most widely used to synthesise TiO2 films and NPs. However, sol-gel products are mostly oxy-hydrated amorphous phases, being severe heat-treatments (T  400ºC) needed to promote crystallization, where the control over size and shape are difficult to achieve.
Photocatalytic performance of amorphous TiO2 thin films doped with N is studied. Films of TiO2-xNx compositions, with N concentrations up to x = 0,75 (25 at.%), are prepared by sol-gel processing followed by spin-coating onto Si(100) wafers, glass slides and CaF2 substrates. The identification and quantification of different Ti-O-Ti, N-Ti-O and Ti-N-Ti bondings is achieved by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) and Vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light scattering. Photoabsorption spectra of oxynitride thin films is observed in the energy range 3.9–10.8 eV (320–115 nm), changing the amorphous titania films paradigm in photocatalysis.
Amorphous titania nanoparticles are synthetized by a novel, eco-friendly, base-catalysed sol-gel methodology. Cotton and polyester textile matrixes are impregnated with amorphous titania nanoparticles, aiming bactericide hospital applications. Titania nanoparticles functionalization with amine groups and bioconjugation with chitosan polymer favour textile impregnation efficiency and bactericide performance. All synthesized nanoparticles (titania, titania functionalized and titania bioconjugated) and all impregnated textiles (cotton and polyester matrices) exhibit bactericide performance, being a promising tool in hospital infections combat, and changing the amorphous titania nanoparticle paradigm as bactericide.

Author: M. Clara Gonçalves
Affiliation: Departamento de Engenharia Química, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Abstract: Silica (SiO2) is one of the most abundant minerals in the earth crust (~75%), making it a favorite raw material ever since; furthermore, its presence in human body allows its use as a biomaterial, where its presence in dentistry, orthopedics, and dermatology become a commonplace. Recently sol-gel SiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) appear as new promising applications in a wide range of biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, namely as drug/target delivery, gene and imaging therapies or even theranosis, where they stand out for their high biocompatibility, hydrophilicity, enormous flexibility for surface modification with a high payload capacity, and prolonged blood circulation time. The sol-gel process is an extremely versatile bottom-up methodology, offering a wide range of chemical possibilities, namely full scale pH processing.
In situ NPs silica functionalization, by introducing organic functional groups during the sol-gel process (forming an ORganically MOdified SILica matrix, known as ORMOSIL), allows easy chemical conjugation/decoration of biomolecules at the ORMOSIL NPs surface and/or the load with either hydrophilic or hydrophobic drugs/dyes.
But sol-gel silica NPs found technological applications in wide range of fields beyond medicine and pharmacy. Areas such technical textiles, drinking and waste water treatment, catalysis, adsorption, chromatography, sensor technology, gas storage, optics and photonics, magnetism and electronics are familiar with silica chemistry. Actually, sol-gel hybrid silica matrices were taken further by the in situ co-polymerization of silanol groups and cellulose acetate polymers, aiming new hybrid cellulose acetate-silica ultrafiltration membranes for water treatment or artificial organs in near future.
This review surveys some of the emerging approaches in the field of sol-gel silica NPs aiming biomedical applications.

Author: Leda Maria Saragiotto Colpini
Title: Photocatalytic degradation of textile dye orange-122 via electrospray mass spectrometry
Abstract: This work attend with the study of the application potential of catalytic materials (Zn/TiO2) obtained by the sol gel method, in environmental decontamination processes through photodegradation reactions of textile dyes, monitored by electrospray mass spectrometry. The synthesis of the catalysts was performed according to a 2² factorial design with repetition at the central point, where the calcination temperatures and the zinc metallic load were varied. The catalysts were characterized by determination of the zero point of charge, specific surface area, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray and the photocatalytic tests were carried out in batch in the presence of sunlight.

Author: Clément GENET, Marie-Joëlle MENU, Marie GRESSIER, Florence ANSART
Affiliation: CIRIMAT, Université de Toulouse, CNRS INPT UPS, UMR 5085, 118 Route de Narbonne - 31062 Toulouse Cedex 09, France
Title: Innovative sol formulations to develop anticorrosion hybrid sol-gel coatings
Abstract: The aim is to improve the aluminium alloy corrosion resistance by Organic-Inorganic Hybrid (OIH) sol-gel coatings. Coatings are obtained from unusual formulations with precursors mixing: glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS), zirconium propoxide (TPOZ) and aluminium tri-sec-butoxide (ASB) before been compared to more classical sol formulations. In each case, a corrosion inhibitor is also incorporated to improve the anti-corrosion performances.
Coatings from sols based on GPTMS/TPOZ/ASB exhibit anti-corrosion properties even for a thickness lower than 4 µm. Furthermore, contact angle measurements showed hydrophobic properties of these coatings. To understand these phenomena, NMR analyses were performed and correlations have been established between microstructure and working properties.

Author: Pauline SAVIGNAC, Marie-Joëlle MENU, Marie GRESSIER, Bastien DENAT ,
Y. EL KHADIR, Stephan MANOV, Florence ANSART
Affiliation: 1 VM Building Solutions, « Les Mercuriales » Tour du Ponant, 40 rue Jean Jaurès, 93170 Bagnolet, France; 2 CIRIMAT, Université de Toulouse, CNRS INPT UPS, UMR 5085, 118 Route de Narbonne - 31062 Toulouse Cedex 09, France
Title: Improvement of adhesion properties and corrosion resistance of sol-gel coatings on zinc
Abstract: The main goal of this study was to improve both the corrosion resistance and the adhesion properties of preweathered zinc substrates by the deposit of a hybrid sol–gel layer. To reach this double objective, a choice between two formulations (TEOS-MAP or GPTMS-ASB) was firstly made from the results obtained by microstructural characterizations (after climatic chamber test, salt spray test, shock test and/or scratch test).
Several analyses were performed and the best formulation was obtained by adding a new precursor (UPS) in controlled conditions, detailed in this paper

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