Micrograph of the February from the Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

Each month, the ISGS Newsletter features an interesting and striking micrograph (or series of micrographs) chosen from a recent issue of the Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology or from unpublished sources such as PhD theses, etc (with full attribution given). If you know of any interesting images that might be suitable, please contact the ISGS Newsletter Editor for inclusion. The micrographs can be optical, SEM, TEM, AFM, etc, and a brief description of the samples should be provided.

The first is taken from the work of Zhan, Nie, Wu, Li, Ding, Ma and Chen entitled “Novel rare earth ions doped Bi2 WO6 /rGO hybrids assisted by ionic liquid with enhanced photocatalytic activity under natural sunlight”, (JSST, (2021), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971021-05494-1), which explores the effect of doping with various rare earth ions on the photocatalytic activity of Bi2 WO6 /graphene oxide hybrids prepared via sol-gel processing. The micrographs illustrate the intriguing morphology of the undoped Bi2 WO6 (a, b), Bi2 WO6 /graphene oxide hybrids (c, d) and Er-doped-Bi2 WO6 /GO hybrids (e, f).

The second series of micrographs is from the work of Dong, Qian, Li, Tang, Xiang, Chun, Lu, Han, Xia and Hu entitled “Fabrication of superhydrophobic PET filter material with fluorinated SiO2 nanoparticles via simple solgel process” (JSST, (2021), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-021-05483-4). This paper describes the preparation of superhydrophobic coatings deposited on polyethylene glycol terephthalate (PET) membranes used to filter flue gases arising from the sintering of iron and steel. The coatings were prepared via sol-gel processing using a mixture of TEOS and perfluorodecyltriethoxysilane (PDFTES). As illustrated in the SEM micrographs, the pore structure of the PET membrane (a, b) was essentially unchanged following deposition of either TEOS (c, d) or TEOS/ PDFTES (e, f) sol-gel layers, although the surface roughness was increased. The corresponding optical micrographs illustrate the significant increase in water contact angle achieved in the case of the TEOS/PDFTES coating (i, 163 o ) compared to that of the TEOS coating (h, 0 o ) and the uncoated PET membranes (g, 126 o ).