About this Research Topic
Many structures encountered on a daily basis are hybrid in nature: an inorganic and organic component are combined to create certain functionalities or properties: composite materials, coatings on metals, corrosion inhibitors, nano-structured photovoltaic devices, reinforcements in structural materials, …
The efficiency and durability of such materials is largely dependent on what is occurring on the interface / interphase between the organic and inorganic phase. In this zone, very specific hybrid molecular interactions take place that are susceptible to changes in the environment. As such, nano-controlled tuning of both organic and inorganic component is crucial to achieve the highest hybrid efficiency.
Also structurally, the properties of the organic part change at the interface, immobilizing the polymeric chains, influencing the diffusion properties and creating mechanical stresses. Hence, also this interphase determines the durability of the structure.
This edition focusses on mechanistic insights in molecular bonding and structural changes at hybrid interfaces, obtained by state-of-the-art techniques and methodologies that aim at retrieving this information in a non-destructive or well-controlled destructive manner. Indeed, sputtering and cross-sectional technologies often cause changes at the buried interfaces, masking the true phenomena occurring there. Research papers on well-controlled mechanistic studies, describing appropriate methodologies on interfacial information gathering, are welcomed.
Hybrid interfaces often change under the influence of the environment they reside in. Therefore, in situ measurements in the relevant technical conditions, analyzing the changes at the buried interface, are crucial. This issue also focuses on novel techniques to probe (with a high lateral resolution) the molecular hybrid chemistry in situ, e.g. in the presence of water, ions, gases.
We welcome both research papers as reviews. Following topics can be addressed:
• Focus on hybrid interfaces between metals and organic layers
o Tuning of organic functional groups for optimal adhesion
o Nano-tuning of morphological and chemical properties of the metal / metal oxide for enhanced adsorption
• Relation between fundamental study systems and real industrial coatings
o Insights in the complete chemistry of coatings and adhesives and the relation to hybrid interfacial bonding
• Methodologies to perform buried interface analysis
o Non-destructive for the interface by new methodologies; well-controlled cross-sectioning or sputtering
• In situ studies to characterize the dynamical chemical and structural behaviour of the interfaces/ interphases
o Influence of ions, gases, water in the molecular characteristics of the interface
Keywords: Hybrid interfaces, in situ, coatings, adhesives, metal oxides, molecular chemistry
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.