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Manuscript Submission Deadline 02 July 2022
Manuscript Extension Submission Deadline 01 August 2022

Porous and structurally stable ceramic structures are extremely desirable in a number of strategic applications (e.g. pressure-driven devices). In the last decade, nanofibrous ceramic structures have emerged as a viable option to overcome the limitations (e.g. closed porosity and low relative porosity ca. 50% ...

Porous and structurally stable ceramic structures are extremely desirable in a number of strategic applications (e.g. pressure-driven devices). In the last decade, nanofibrous ceramic structures have emerged as a viable option to overcome the limitations (e.g. closed porosity and low relative porosity ca. 50% vol.) associated with the state-of-art porous structures. Nanofibrous ceramic structures are composed of one-dimensional (1D) nanofibers arranged in a three-dimensional (3D) lightweight and extremely high porous network (ca. 85-95% of vol. porosity). These peculiar merits dramatically enhance the performances of structural and functional materials. Nanofibrous ceramic structures are typically fabricated via electrospinning, a simple, inexpensive, and easily up-scalable processing technique. 

Despite their numerous advantages, ceramic nanofibrous structures suffer from brittleness that often limits their applications. Numerous studies have addressed the topic and a number of strategies have been developed. Interestingly, many studies converge in indicating a relation between the structural stability of the nanofibers and the dimensions of their diameters and crystallites. Specifically, the larger the diameters and the smaller the crystallites, the more stable the nanofibers result. This is associated with a larger grain boundary that enables an efficient dispersion of the mechanical stress. In line with that, flexible titania mats have been obtained with grains at dimensions lower than 15 nm by optimizing the calcination temperature, the spinning condition, and the composition of the spinning solution. Another approach adopted relates to the use of a sacrificial polymer that exerts its function by sustaining the entire nanofibrous structure during the calcination process. Yet, in a different approach, fragile ceramic nanofibers are mixed with more mechanically stable micron fibers into a fibrous media.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the preparation and application of 3D highly porous nanofibrous ceramic structures/membranes. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
- Driven-pressure applications

- Water purification

- Photocatalytic and catalytic

- Chemical and electrochemical components (e.g. reactors, anodes/cathode)

- Biomedical scaffolds

Keywords: Structural Stability, 3D network, Nanofibers morphology, chemical composition


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