About this Research Topic
The sol-gel method is an interesting and valuable low-temperature synthetic route. This method allows the controlling of the precursor stoichiometry and the porosity of the final materials. The disclosure of this route contributed to the development of several organic-inorganic hybrid (OIH) materials which range from fibers, coatings, thin films to monoliths. It is also possible to obtain materials with different porosities, e.g. from highly porous materials (aerogels) to nonporous and dense morphologies. Furthermore, due to the large number of precursors available, with tuned functional groups, a diversity of OIH gels could be easily achieved. The combination of organic and inorganic molecules, within the same domain, results in materials with synergic and unique properties. Another important advantage of this method is the ability to introduce complementary functions, by incorporating additional functions, such as UV, antifouling, antireflection, moisture resistance, corrosion inhibition, among others.
Nowadays, a large set of OIH sol-gel materials, with a wide variety of properties and high complexity, have generated the emergence of innovative industrial applications in different areas including optics, microelectronics, transportation, health, energy, construction, and environment among others. This Research Topic aims to cover recent, and novel research trends in the OIH sol-gel materials for application in the energy, optical and electronic fields.
The sol-gel process is a low-temperature synthetic route and is generally used as a chemical route to obtain multifunctional OIH materials. Nowadays, the development of OIH sol-gel materials is mostly focused on green, safe, smart and economic approaches. Ideally, these new OIH materials should be intelligent with the capacity to act according to a certain demand, nature or property (e.g. stimuli-responsive). The search for materials with the capacity to heal, adapt and behave according to each application and environment will mark the 21st-century achievements.
The aim of the present Research Theme is to cover recent, and novel research trends in the hybrid sol-gel materials field. Areas to be covered in this Research theme may include, but are not limited to:
- Sol-Gel materials for (photo-)catalysis and membranes.
- Sol-Gel materials for energy and environmental applications.
- Sol-gel coatings for absorbers and reflectors of Solar Thermal Energy.
- Hybrid sol-gel materials for optical sensing applications.
Keywords: Sol-gel, Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Materials, membranes, OIH, Porous Materials, Optical Coating
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