This review article attempts to provide a comprehensive review of the recent progress in the so-called resistive random access memories (RRAMs). First, a brief introduction is presented to describe the construction and development of RRAMs, their potential for broad applications in the fields of nonvolatile memory, unconventional computing and logic devices, and the focus of research concerning RRAMs over the past decade. Second, both inorganic and organic materials used in RRAMs are summarized, and their respective advantages and shortcomings are discussed. Third, the important switching mechanisms are discussed in depth and are classified into ion migration, charge trapping/de-trapping, thermochemical reaction, exclusive mechanisms in inorganics, and exclusive mechanisms in organics. Fourth, attention is given to the application of RRAMs for data storage, including their current performance, methods for performance enhancement, sneak-path issue and possible solutions, and demonstrations of 2-D and 3-D crossbar arrays. Fifth, prospective applications of RRAMs in unconventional computing, as well as logic devices and multi-functionalization of RRAMs, are comprehensively summarized and thoroughly discussed. The present review article ends with a short discussion concerning the challenges and future prospects of the RRAMs.
After decades of developing strategies to minimize the corrosion of metallic biomaterials, there is now an increasing interest to use corrodible metals in a number of medical device applications. The term “biodegradable metal” (BM) has been used worldwide to describe these new kinds of degradable metallic biomaterials for medical applications and there were many new findings reported over the last decade. In this paper, the definition of BM and its classification are given for the first time, along with the summary of the degradation mechanisms of BMs and its environmental influencing factors, which includes the degeneration of mechanical integrity and the metabolism of the degradation products. The recently-developed representative Mg-based BMs (pure Mg, Mg–Ca alloy, Mg–Zn alloy, etc ), Fe-based BMs (pure Fe, Fe–Mn-based alloys, etc ) and other BMs (pure W, pure Zn and its alloys, Ca-based and Sr-based bulk metallic glasses, etc ) were comprehensively reviewed with emphases on their microstructures, mechanical properties and degradation behaviors, and performances, pre-clinical and clinical trials. Moreover, current approaches to control their biodegradation rates to match the healing rates of the host tissues with various surface modification techniques and novel structural designs are summarized. Finally, this paper comprehensively discusses the directions of future development and the challenges of transitioning BMs from raw materials to semi-products to final medical devices. All in all, BM belongs to “bioactive” biomaterials and its future research and development direction should lean towards “third-generation biomedical materials” with “multifunctional capabilities” in a controllable manner to benefit the local tissue reconstruction.
Human tissue is structured mainly of self-assembled polymers (proteins) and ceramics (bone minerals), with metals present as trace elements with molecular scale functions. However, metals and their alloys have played a predominant role as structural biomaterials in reconstructive surgery, especially orthopedics, with more recent uses in non-osseous tissues, such as blood vessels. With the successful routine use of a large variety of metal implants clinically, issues associated with long-term maintenance of implant integrity have also emerged. This review focuses on metallic implant biomaterials, identifying and discussing critical issues in their clinical applications, including the systemic toxicity of released metal ions due to corrosion, fatigue failure of structural components due to repeated loading, and wearing of joint replacements due to movement. This is followed by detailed reviews on specific metallic biomaterials made from stainless steels, alloys of cobalt, titanium and magnesium, as well as shape memory alloys of nickel–titanium, silver, tantalum and zirconium. For each, the properties that affect biocompatibility and mechanical integrity (especially corrosion fatigue) are discussed in detail. Finally, the most critical challenges for metallic implant biomaterials are summarized, with emphasis on the most promising approaches and strategies.
Shear-banding is a ubiquitous plastic-deformation mode in materials. In metallic glasses, shear bands are particularly important as they play the decisive role in controlling plasticity and failure at room temperature. While there have been several reviews on the general mechanical properties of metallic glasses, a pressing need remains for an overview focused exclusively on shear bands, which have received tremendous attention in the past several years. This article attempts to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date review on the rapid progress achieved very recently on this subject. We describe the shear bands from the inside out, and treat key materials-science issues of general interest, including the initiation of shear localization starting from shear transformations, the temperature and velocity reached in the propagating or sliding band, the structural evolution inside the shear-band material, and the parameters that strongly influence shear-banding. Several new discoveries and concepts, such as stick-slip cold shear-banding and strength/plasticity enhancement at sub-micrometer sample sizes, will also be highlighted. The understanding built-up from these accounts will be used to explain the successful control of shear bands achieved so far in the laboratory. The review also identifies a number of key remaining questions to be answered, and presents an outlook for the field.
Increased use of reconstruction procedures in orthopedics, due to trauma, tumor, deformity, degeneration and an aging population, has caused a blossom, not only in surgical advancement, but also in the development of bone implants. Traditional synthetic porous scaffolds are made of metals, polymers, ceramics or even composite biomaterials, in which the design does not consider the native structure and properties of cells and natural tissues. Thus, these synthetic scaffolds often poorly integrate with the cells and surrounding host tissue, thereby resulting in unsatisfactory surgical outcomes due to poor corrosion and wear, mechanical mismatch, unamiable surface environment, and other unfavorable properties. Musculoskeletal tissue reconstruction is the ultimate objective in orthopedic surgery. This objective can be achieved by (i) prosthesis or fixation device implantation, and (ii) tissue engineered bone scaffolds. These devices focus on the design of implants, regardless of the choice of new biomaterials. Indeed, metallic materials, e.g. 316L stainless steel, titanium alloys and cobalt chromium alloys, are predominantly used in bone surgeries, especially in the load-bearing zone of prostheses. The engineered scaffolds take biodegradability, cell biology, biomolecules and material mechanical properties into account, in which these features are ideally suited for bone tissue repair and regeneration. Therefore, the design of the scaffold is extremely important to the success of clinical outcomes in musculoskeletal surgeries. The ideal scaffolds should mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) as much as possible, since the ECM found in natural tissues supports cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation, indicating that scaffolds should consist of appropriate biochemistry and nano/micro-scale surface topographies, in order to formulate favorable binding sites to actively regulate and control cell and tissue behavior, while interacting with host cells. In addition, scaffolds should also possess a similar macro structure to what is found in natural bone. This feature may provide space for the growth of cells and new tissues, as well as for the carriers of growth factors. Another important concern is the mechanical properties of scaffolds. It has been reported that the mechanical features can significantly influence the osteointegration between implants and surrounding tissues, as well as cell behaviors. Since natural bone exhibits super-elastic biomechanical properties with a Young's modulus value in the range of 1–27 GPa, the ideal scaffolds should mimic strength, stiffness and mechanical behavior, so as to avoid possible post-operation stress shielding effects, which induce bone resorption and consequent implant failure. In addition, the rate of degradation and the by-products of biodegradable materials are also critical in the role of bone regeneration. Indeed, the mechanical integrity of a scaffold will be significantly reduced if the degradation rate is rapid, thereby resulting in a pre-matured collapse of the scaffold before the tissue is regenerated. Another concern is that the by-products upon degradation may alter the tissue microenvironment and then challenge the biocompatibility of the scaffold and the subsequent tissue repair. Therefore, these two factors should be carefully considered when designing new biomaterials for tissue regeneration. To address the aforementioned questions, an overview of the design of ideal biomimetic porous scaffolds is presented in this paper. Hence, a number of original engineering processes and techniques, including the production of a hierarchical structure on both the macro- and nano-scales, the adjustment of biomechanical properties through structural alignment and chemical components, the control of the biodegradability of the scaffold and its by-products, the change of biomimetic surface properties by altering interfacial chemistry, and micro- and nano-topographies will be discussed. In general, the concepts and techniques mentioned above provide insights into designing superior biomimetic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.
Tactile sensors, most commonly referred as strain and pressure sensors, can collect mechanical property data of the human body and local environment, to provide valuable insights into the human health status or artificial intelligence systems. The introduction of a high level of wearability (bendability and stretchability) to tactile sensors can dramatically enhance their interfaces with the contact objects, providing chronically reliable functions. Therefore, the developed wearable tactile sensors are capable of conformably covering arbitrary curved surface over their stiff counterparts without incurring damage, emerging as a promising development direction toward the Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Fundamental parameters of the wearable tactile sensors such as sensitivity and stretchability have experienced unprecedented advancement, owing to the progress of device fabrication techniques and material structural engineering. Moreover, novel smart materials and mechanically durable sensor design concepts endow these sensors with multi-functionality integration ( , simultaneous force, temperature and humidity detection, simultaneous pressure and strain discrimination) and stirring properties ( , biocompatibility, biodegradability, self-healing, self-powering and visualization), further broadening the application scope of current wearable tactile sensors. Besides, it is desirable that a tactile sensor is compatible with a printing process that presents a new era of feasible wearable technology due to its large-area and high-throughput production capability. In addition to the development of sensors, packaging, and integration of the rest of the tactile device system (data memory, signal conversion, power supply, wireless transmission, feedback actuator, .) to build a wearable platform also emerge as major research frontiers in recent years. This review attempts to summarize the current state-of-the-art wearable tactile sensors concerning basic concepts, functional materials, sensing mechanism, promising applications, performance optimization strategies, multifunctional sensing, and system integration. Finally, the discussion will be presented regarding potential challenges, pathways, and opportunities.
The extensive development of electronic systems and telecommunications has lead to major concerns regarding electromagnetic pollution. Motivated by environmental questions and by a wide variety of applications, the quest for materials with high efficiency to mitigate electromagnetic interferences (EMI) pollution has become a mainstream field of research. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art research in the design and characterization of polymer/carbon based composites as EMI shielding materials. After a brief introduction, in Section 1, the electromagnetic theory will be briefly discussed in Section 2 setting the foundations of the strategies to be employed to design efficient EMI shielding materials. These materials will be classified in the next section by the type of carbon fillers, involving carbon black, carbon fiber, carbon nanotubes and graphene. The importance of the dispersion method into the polymer matrix (melt-blending, solution processing, etc.) on the final material properties will be discussed. The combination of carbon fillers with other constituents such as metallic nanoparticles or conductive polymers will be the topic of Section 4. The final section will address advanced complex architectures that are currently studied to improve the performances of EMI materials and, in some cases, to impart additional properties such as thermal management and mechanical resistance. In all these studies, we will discuss the efficiency of the composites/devices to absorb and/or reflect the EMI radiation.
The mechanical properties of and metallic glass matrix composites (MGMCs) have proven to be both scientifically unique and of potentially important for practical applications. However, the underlying deformation mechanisms remain to be studied. In this article, we review the development, fabrication, microstructures, and properties of MGMCs, including the room-temperature, cryogenic-temperature, and high-temperature mechanical properties upon quasi-static and dynamic loadings. In parallel, the deformation mechanisms are experimentally and theoretically explored. Moreover, the fatigue, corrosion, and wear behaviors of MGMCs are discussed. Finally, the potential applications and important unresolved issues are identified and discussed.
One-dimensional carbon nanotubes and two-dimensional graphene nanosheets with unique electrical, mechanical and thermal properties are attractive reinforcements for fabricating light weight, high strength and high performance metal-matrix composites. Rapid advances of nanotechnology in recent years enable the development of advanced metal matrix nanocomposites for structural engineering and functional device applications. This review focuses on the recent development in the synthesis, property characterization and application of aluminum, magnesium, and transition metal-based composites reinforced with carbon nanotubes and graphene nanosheets. These include processing strategies of carbonaceous nanomaterials and their composites, mechanical and tribological responses, corrosion, electrical and thermal properties as well as hydrogen storage and electrocatalytic behaviors. The effects of nanomaterial dispersion in the metal matrix and the formation of interfacial precipitates on these properties are also addressed. Particular attention is paid to the fundamentals and the structure–property relationships of such novel nanocomposites.
Over the past century, hydrogels have emerged as effective materials for an immense variety of applications. The unique network structure of hydrogels enables very high levels of hydrophilicity and biocompatibility, while at the same time exhibiting the soft physical properties associated with living tissue, making them ideal biomaterials. Stimulus-responsive hydrogels have been especially impactful, allowing for unprecedented levels of control over material properties in response to external cues. This enhanced control has enabled groundbreaking advances in healthcare, allowing for more effective treatment of a vast array of diseases and improved approaches for tissue engineering and wound healing. In this extensive review, we identify and discuss the multitude of response modalities that have been developed, including temperature, pH, chemical, light, electro, and shear-sensitive hydrogels. We discuss the theoretical analysis of hydrogel properties and the mechanisms used to create these responses, highlighting both the pioneering and most recent work in all of these fields. Finally, we review the many current and proposed applications of these hydrogels in medicine and industry.
Phosphor-converted white light-emitting diodes (pc-WLEDs) are emerging as an indispensable solid-state light source for the next generation lighting industry and display systems due to their unique properties including but not limited to energy savings, environment-friendliness, small volume, and long persistence. Until now, major challenges in pc-WLEDs have been to achieve high luminous efficacy, high chromatic stability, brilliant color-rending properties, and price competitiveness against fluorescent lamps, which rely critically on the phosphor properties. A comprehensive understanding of the nature and limitations of phosphors and the factors dominating the general trends in pc-WLEDs is of fundamental importance for advancing technological applications. This report aims to provide the most recent advances in the synthesis and application of phosphors for pc-WLEDs with emphasis specifically on: (a) principles to tune the excitation and emission spectra of phosphors: prediction according to crystal field theory, and structural chemistry characteristics (e.g. covalence of chemical bonds, electronegativity, and polarization effects of element); (b) pc-WLEDs with phosphors excited by blue-LED chips: phosphor characteristics, structure, and activated ions (i.e. Ce and Eu ), including YAG:Ce, other garnets, non-garnets, sulfides, and (oxy)nitrides; (c) pc-WLEDs with phosphors excited by near ultraviolet LED chips: single-phased white-emitting phosphors (e.g. Eu –Mn activated phosphors), red-green-blue phosphors, energy transfer, and mechanisms involved; and (d) new clues for designing novel high-performance phosphors for pc-WLEDs based on available LED chips. Emphasis shall also be placed on the relationships among crystal structure, luminescence properties, and device performances. In addition, applications, challenges and future advances of pc-WLEDs will be discussed.
Advanced electrical energy storage technology is a game changer for a clean, sustainable, and secure energy future because efficient utilization of newable energy hinges on cost-effect and efficient energy storage. Further, the viability of many emerging technologies depends on breakthroughs in energy storage technologies, including electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and smart grids. Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), a great success in the portable electronics sector, are believed also the most promising power sources for emerging technologies such as EVs and smart grids. To date, however, the existing LIBs (with LiCoO cathode and graphite anode) are still unable to meet the strict requirements for safety, cycling stability, and rate capability. The development of advanced anode materials, which can overcome the shortcomings of graphite anode (such as formation of dendritic lithium during charge and undesirable solid electrolyte interface), is of critical importance to enhancing the cycling stability and operational safety of LIBs. Lithium titanate (Li Ti O ) has recently attracted considerable attentions as a potential anode material of LIBs for high power applications due to several outstanding features, including a flat charge/discharge plateaus (around 1.55 V vs. Li/Li ) because of the two-phase lithium insertion/extraction mechanism and minimum chance for the formation of SEI and dendritic lithium, dramatically enhance the potential for high rate capability and safety. In addition, there is almost no volume change during the lithium insertion and extraction processes, ensuring a high cycling stability and long operational life. However, the electronic conductivity of Li Ti O is relatively low, resulting in large polarization lose, more so at higher cycling rates, and poor rate performance. Currently, considerable research efforts have been devoted to improving the performance of Li Ti O at fast charge/discharge rates, and some important progresses have been made. In this review, we first present a general overview of the structural features, thermodynamic properties, transport properties, and the electrochemical behavior of Li Ti O under typical battery operating conditions. We then provide a comprehensive review of the recent advancements made in characterization, modification, and applications of Li Ti O electrodes to LIBs, including nanostructuring, surface coating, morphological optimization, doping, and rational design of composite electrodes. Finally, we highlight the critical challenges facing us today and future perspectives for further development of Li Ti O -based electrodes. It is hoped that this review may provide some useful guidelines for rational design of better electrodes for advanced LIBs.
Brittle failure of components weakened by cracks or sharp and blunt V-notches is a topic of active and continuous research. It is attractive for all researchers who face the problem of fracture of materials under different loading conditions and deals with a large number of applications in different engineering fields, not only with the mechanical one. This topic is significant in all the cases where intrinsic defects of the material or geometrical discontinuities give rise to localized stress concentration which, in brittle materials, may generate a crack leading to catastrophic failure or to a shortening of the assessed structural life. Whereas cracks are viewed as unpleasant entities in most engineering materials, U- and V-notches of different acuities are sometimes deliberately introduced in design and manufacturing of structural components. Dealing with brittle failure of notched components and summarizing some recent experimental results reported in the literature, the main aim of the present contribution is to present a review of some local approaches applicable near stress raisers both sharp and blunt. The reviewed criteria allowed the present authors to develop a new approach based on the volume strain energy density (SED), which has been recently applied to assess the brittle failure of a large number of materials. The main features of the SED approach are outlined in the paper and its peculiarities and advantages accurately underlined. Some examples of applications are reported, as well. The present review is based on the authors’ experience over more than 15 years and the contents of their personal library. It is not a dispassionate literature survey.
The scaling of complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) transistors has led to the silicon dioxide layer used as a gate dielectric becoming so thin that the gate leakage current becomes too large. This led to the replacement of SiO by a physically thicker layer of a higher dielectric constant or ‘high-K’ oxide such as hafnium oxide. Intensive research was carried out to develop these oxides into high quality electronic materials. In addition, the incorporation of Ge in the CMOS transistor structure has been employed to enable higher carrier mobility and performance. This review covers both scientific and technological issues related to the high-K gate stack – the choice of oxides, their deposition, their structural and metallurgical behaviour, atomic diffusion, interface structure, their electronic structure, band offsets, electronic defects, charge trapping and conduction mechanisms, reliability, mobility degradation and oxygen scavenging to achieve the thinnest oxide thicknesses. The high K oxides were implemented in conjunction with a replacement of polycrystalline Si gate electrodes with metal gates. The strong metallurgical interactions between the gate electrodes and the HfO which resulted an unstable gate threshold voltage resulted in the use of the lower temperature ‘gate last’ process flow, in addition to the standard ‘gate first’ approach. Work function control by metal gate electrodes and by oxide dipole layers is discussed. The problems associated with high K oxides on Ge channels are also discussed.
New and improved materials for energy storage are urgently required to make more efficient use of our finite supply of fossil fuels, and to enable the effective use of renewable energy sources. Lithium ion batteries (LIB) are a key resource for mobile energy, and one of the most promising solutions for environment-friendly transportation such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Among the three key components (cathode, anode and electrolyte) of LIB, cathode material is usually the most expensive one with highest weight in the battery, which justifies the intense research focus on this electrode. In this review, we present an overview of the breakthroughs in the past decade in developing high energy high power cathode materials for lithium ion batteries. Materials from six structural groups (layered oxides, spinel oxides, olivine compounds, silicate compounds, tavorite compounds, and borate compounds) are covered. We focus on their electrochemical performances and the related fundamental crystal structures, solid-state physics and chemistry are covered. The effect of modifications on both chemistry and morphology are discussed as well.
This paper reviews the state of the art of anodized titanium dioxide nanotubes (TiO NTs), with an emphasis on the growth mechanism leading to their formation and the effect of heat treatment on their structure and properties. The discussion is primarily focused on TiO NTs grown in fluoride containing electrolytes, although the mechanism of formation of NTs in fluoride free solutions via Rapid Breakdown Anodization (RBA) is briefly covered. After an initial overview of progress made on the synthesis of anodized TiO NTs the review provides an analysis of the factors affecting the anodizing process (fluoride concentration, electrolyte type, applied potential and anodizing time). Details of the current-time transient, the chemistry of the process and the chemical composition of the anodic films are described which provide key information to unveil the nanotube growth mechanism. The main debate is whether NTs growth in fluoride containing solutions occurs via field-assisted plastic flow (i.e. a constant upward displacement of the oxide to form the NTs) combined with field-assisted ejection of the Ti ions (i.e. ions are ejected into the electrolyte without oxide formation) or via field-assisted dissolution (i.e. preferential dissolution at the pore base where the field is stronger) or whether both processes play a role. Whenever anodization takes place in organic solutions the experimental evidence supports the plastic flow model, whereas in aqueous media field-assisted (and chemical) dissolution occur. The mechanism of rib formation on the walls of the NTs is also reviewed, and it clearly emerges that the applied potential and water content in the electrolyte are key factors in determining whether the NTs are ribbed or smooth. There also appears to be a relationship between the presence of ribs and the evolution of oxygen bubbles at the anode. The impact of thermal treatment on the properties of the NTs is also described. A variety of crystalline structures are present in the NTs (i.e. anatase or rutile), depending on the heat treatment temperature and atmosphere and the resulting electrical properties can be varied from dielectric to semi-metallic. A heat treatment temperature limit ranging from 500 to 800 °C exists, depending on preparation history, above which sintering of nanoscale titania particles occurs leading to collapse of the NTs structure. Future work should aim at using annealing not just to influence the resulting crystalline phase, but also for generating defects to be exploited in specific applications (i.e. photocatalysis, water splitting and photovoltaics).
This article presents an overview of the developments in stainless steels made since the 1990s. Some of the new applications that involve the use of stainless steel are also introduced. A brief introduction to the various classes of stainless steels, their precipitate phases and the status quo of their production around the globe is given first. The advances in a variety of subject areas that have been made recently will then be presented. These recent advances include (1) new findings on the various precipitate phases (the new J phase, new orientation relationships, new phase diagram for the Fe–Cr system, etc.); (2) new suggestions for the prevention/mitigation of the different problems and new methods for their detection/measurement and (3) new techniques for surface/bulk property enhancement (such as laser shot peening, grain boundary engineering and grain refinement). Recent developments in topics like phase prediction, stacking fault energy, superplasticity, metadynamic recrystallisation and the calculation of mechanical properties are introduced, too. In the end of this article, several new applications that involve the use of stainless steels are presented. Some of these are the use of austenitic stainless steels for signature authentication (magnetic recording), the utilisation of the cryogenic magnetic transition of the sigma phase for hot spot detection (the Sigmaplugs), the new Pt-enhanced radiopaque stainless steel (PERSS) coronary stents and stainless steel stents that may be used for magnetic drug targeting. Besides recent developments in conventional stainless steels, those in the high-nitrogen, low-Ni (or Ni-free) varieties are also introduced. These recent developments include new methods for attaining very high nitrogen contents, new guidelines for alloy design, the merits/demerits associated with high nitrogen contents, etc.
The urgency for clean and secure energy has stimulated a global resurgence in searching for advanced electrical energy storage systems. For now and the foreseeable future, batteries remain the most promising electrical energy storage systems for many applications, from portable electronics to emerging technologies such as electric vehicles and smart grids, by potentially offering significantly improved performance, energy efficiencies, reliability, and energy security while also permitting a drastic reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. The energy and power storage characteristics of batteries critically impact the commercial viability of these emerging technologies. For example, the realization of electric vehicles hinges on the availability of batteries with significantly improved energy and power density, durability, and reduced cost. Further, the design, performance, portability, and innovation of many portable electronics are limited severely by the size, power, and cycle life of the existing batteries. Creation of nanostructured electrode materials represents one of the most attractive strategies to dramatically enhance battery performance, including capacity, rate capability, cycling life, and safety. This review aims at providing the reader with an understanding of the critical scientific challenges facing the development of advanced batteries, various unique attributes of nanostructures or nano-architectures applicable to lithium-ion and lithium-air batteries, the latest developments in novel synthesis and fabrication procedures, the unique capabilities of some powerful, characterization techniques vital to unraveling the mechanisms of charge and mass transport processes associated with battery performance, and the outlook for future-generation batteries that exploit nanoscale materials for significantly improved performance to meet the ever-increasing demands of emerging technologies.
Semiconducting zinc oxide nanowires (NWs) and nanobelts (NBs) are a unique group of quasi-one-dimensional nanomaterial. This review mainly focuses on the rational synthesis, structure analysis, novel properties and unique applications of zinc oxide NWs and NBs in nanotechnology. First, we will discuss rational design of synthetic strategies and the synthesis of NWs via vapor phase and chemical growth approaches. Secondly, the vapor–solid process for synthesis of oxide based nanostructures will be described in details. We will illustrate the polar surface dominated growth phenomena, such as the formation of nanosprings, nanorings and nanohelices of single-crystal zinc oxide. Third, we will describe the unique and novel electrical, optoelectronic, field emission, and mechanical properties of individual NWs and NBs. Finally, we will illustrate some novel devices and applications made using NWs as ultra-sensitive chemical and biological nanosensors, solar cell, light emitting diodes, nanogenerators, and nano-piezotronic devices. ZnO is ideal for nanogenerators for converting nano-scale mechanical energy into electricity owing to its coupled piezoelectric and semiconductive properties. The devices designed based on this coupled characteristic are the family of piezotronics, which is a new and unique group of electronic components that are controlled by external forces/pressure.
The objective of this review is to make the field of “flame retardants for polymer materials” more accessible to the materials science community, i.e. chemists, physicists and engineers. We present the fundamentals of polymer combustion theory, the main flame retardant properties and tests used to describe fire behavior, together with the nature and modes of action of the most representative flame retardants and the synergistic effects that can be achieved by combining them. We particularly focus on polymer nanocomposites, i.e. polymer matrices filled with specific, finely dispersed nanofillers, which will undoubtedly pave the way for future materials combining physicochemical and thermo-mechanical performances with enhanced flame retardant behavior.