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Advanced Materials

Yongzhen Wu, Fengxian Xie, Han Chen, Xudong Yang, Huimin Su, Molang Cai, Zhongmin Zhou, Takeshi Noda, Liyuan Han
Solution-processed perovskite (PSC) solar cells have achieved extremely high power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) over 20%, but practical application of this photovoltaic technology requires further advancements on both long-term stability and large-area device demonstration. Here, an additive-engineering strategy is developed to realize a facile and convenient fabrication method of large-area uniform perovskite films composed of large crystal size and low density of defects. The high crystalline quality of the perovskite is found to simultaneously enhance the PCE and the durability of PSCs...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Barry McKenna, Rachel C Evans
Single-junction photovoltaic devices exhibit a bottleneck in their efficiency due to incomplete or inefficient harvesting of photons in the low- or high-energy regions of the solar spectrum. Spectral converters can be used to convert solar photons into energies that are more effectively captured by the photovoltaic device through a photoluminescence process. Here, recent advances in the fields of luminescent solar concentration, luminescent downshifting, and upconversion are discussed. The focus is specifically on the role that materials science has to play in overcoming barriers in the optical performance in all spectral converters and on their successful integration with both established (e...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Beom Jin Kim, Sol Han, Kyung-Bok Lee, Insung S Choi
Cell nanoencapsulation provides a chemical tool for the isolation and protection of living cells from harmful, and often lethal, external environments. Although several strategies are available to form nanometric films, most methods heavily rely on time-consuming multistep processes and are not biocompatible. Here, the interfacial supramolecular self-assembly and film formation of ferric ions (Fe(III) ) and tannic acid (TA) in biphasic systems is reported, where Fe(III) and TA come into contact each other and self-assemble across the interface of two immiscible phases...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Dirk-M Drotlef, Morteza Amjadi, Muhammad Yunusa, Metin Sitti
A facile approach is proposed for superior conformation and adhesion of wearable sensors to dry and wet skin. Bioinspired skin-adhesive films are composed of elastomeric microfibers decorated with conformal and mushroom-shaped vinylsiloxane tips. Strong skin adhesion is achieved by crosslinking the viscous vinylsiloxane tips directly on the skin surface. Furthermore, composite microfibrillar adhesive films possess a high adhesion strength of 18 kPa due to the excellent shape adaptation of the vinylsiloxane tips to the multiscale roughness of the skin...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Sara Azevedo, Ana M S Costa, Amanda Andersen, Insung S Choi, Henrik Birkedal, João F Mano
Inspired by the mussel byssus adhesiveness, a highly hydrated polymeric structure is designed to combine, for the first time, a set of interesting features for load-bearing purposes. These characteristics include: i) a compressive strength and stiffness in the MPa range, ii) toughness and the ability to recover it upon successive cyclic loading, iii) the ability to quickly self-heal upon rupture, iv) the possibility of administration through minimally invasive techniques, such as by injection, v) the swelling ratio being adjusted to space-filling applications, and vi) cytocompatibility...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Ying Yin, Yumin Zhang, Tangling Gao, Tai Yao, Xinghong Zhang, Jiecai Han, Xianjie Wang, Zhihua Zhang, Ping Xu, Peng Zhang, Xingzhong Cao, Bo Song, Song Jin
MoSe2 is a promising earth-abundant electrocatalyst for the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER), even though it has received much less attention among the layered dichalcogenide (MX2 ) materials than MoS2 so far. Here, a novel hydrothermal-synthesis strategy is presented to achieve simultaneous and synergistic modulation of crystal phase and disorder in partially crystallized 1T-MoSe2 nanosheets to dramatically enhance their HER catalytic activity. Careful structural characterization and defect characterization using positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy correlated with electrochemical measurements show that the formation of the 1T phase under a large excess of the NaBH4 reductant during synthesis can effectively improve the intrinsic activity and conductivity, and the disordered structure from a lower reaction temperature can provide abundant unsaturated defects as active sites...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Qunhong Weng, Dmitry G Kvashnin, Xi Wang, Ovidiu Cretu, Yijun Yang, Min Zhou, Chao Zhang, Dai-Ming Tang, Pavel B Sorokin, Yoshio Bando, Dmitri Golberg
Engineering of the optical, electronic, and magnetic properties of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanomaterials via oxygen doping and functionalization has been envisaged in theory. However, it is still unclear as to what extent these properties can be altered using such methodology because of the lack of significant experimental progress and systematic theoretical investigations. Therefore, here, comprehensive theoretical predictions verified by solid experimental confirmations are provided, which unambiguously answer this long-standing question...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Ronald McNeil, Paul J Paukstelis
A long-standing goal of DNA nanotechnology has been to assemble 3D crystals to be used as molecular scaffolds. The DNA 13-mer, BET66, self-assembles via Crick-Watson and noncanonical base pairs to form crystals. The crystals contain solvent channels that run through them in multiple directions, allowing them to accommodate tethered guest molecules. Here, the first example of biomacromolecular core-shell crystal growth is described, by showing that these crystals can be assembled with two or more discrete layers...
May 18, 2017: Advanced Materials
Ning Xu, Xiaozhen Hu, Weichao Xu, Xiuqiang Li, Lin Zhou, Shining Zhu, Jia Zhu
Solar steam generation is emerging as a promising technology, for its potential in harvesting solar energy for various applications such as desalination and sterilization. Recent studies have reported a variety of artificial structures that are designed and fabricated to improve energy conversion efficiencies by enhancing solar absorption, heat localization, water supply, and vapor transportation. Mushrooms, as a kind of living organism, are surprisingly found to be efficient solar steam-generation devices for the first time...
May 18, 2017: Advanced Materials
Gonzalo Pérez-Mitta, Waldemar A Marmisollé, Christina Trautmann, María Eugenia Toimil-Molares, Omar Azzaroni
The design of an all-plastic field-effect nanofluidic diode is proposed, which allows precise nanofluidic operations to be performed. The fabrication process involves the chemical synthesis of a conductive poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) layer over a previously fabricated solid-state nanopore. The conducting layer acts as gate electrode by changing its electrochemical state upon the application of different voltages, ultimately changing the surface charge of the nanopore. A PEDOT-based nanopore is able to discriminate the ionic species passing through it in a quantitative and qualitative manner, as PEDOT nanopores display three well-defined voltage-controlled transport regimes: cation-rectifying, non-rectifying, and anion rectifying regimes...
May 18, 2017: Advanced Materials
Minkyung Lee, Woobin Lee, Seungbeom Choi, Jeong-Wan Jo, Jaekyun Kim, Sung Kyu Park, Yong-Hoon Kim
The combination of a neuromorphic architecture and photonic computing may open up a new era for computational systems owing to the possibility of attaining high bandwidths and the low-computation-power requirements. Here, the demonstration of photonic neuromorphic devices based on amorphous oxide semiconductors (AOSs) that mimic major synaptic functions, such as short-term memory/long-term memory, spike-timing-dependent plasticity, and neural facilitation, is reported. The synaptic functions are successfully emulated using the inherent persistent photoconductivity (PPC) characteristic of AOSs...
May 17, 2017: Advanced Materials
Shiyu Cheng, Yu Jin, Nuoxin Wang, Feng Cao, Wei Zhang, Wei Bai, Wenfu Zheng, Xingyu Jiang
A self-adjusting, blood vessel-mimicking, multilayered tubular structure with two polymers, poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(dl-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), can keep the shape of the scaffold during biodegradation. The inner (PCL) layer of the tube can expand whereas the outer (PLGA) layers will shrink to maintain the stability of the shape and the inner space of the tubular shape both in vitro and in vivo over months. This approach can be generally useful for making scaffolds that require the maintenance of a defined shape, based on FDA-approved materials...
May 17, 2017: Advanced Materials
Bowen Yao, Haiyan Wang, Qinqin Zhou, Mingmao Wu, Miao Zhang, Chun Li, Gaoquan Shi
A poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) hydrogel is prepared by thermal treatment of a commercial PEDOT:PSS (PH1000) suspension in 0.1 mol L(-1) sulfuric acid followed by partially removing its PSS component with concentrated sulfuric acid. This hydrogel has a low solid content of 4% (by weight) and an extremely high conductivity of 880 S m(-1) . It can be fabricated into different shapes such as films, fibers, and columns with arbitrary sizes for practical applications. A highly conductive and mechanically strong porous fiber is prepared by drying PEDOT:PSS hydrogel fiber to fabricate a current-collector-free solid-state flexible supercapacitor...
May 17, 2017: Advanced Materials
Kun Xu, Hui Ding, Mengxing Zhang, Min Chen, Zikai Hao, Lidong Zhang, Changzheng Wu, Yi Xie
Electrochemical water splitting to produce hydrogen renders a promising pathway for renewable energy storage. Considering limited electrocatalysts have good oxygen-evolution reaction (OER) catalytic activity in acid solution while numerous economical materials show excellent OER catalytic performance in alkaline solution, developing new strategies that enhance the alkaline hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) catalytic activity of cost-effective catalysts is highly desirable for achieving highly efficient overall water splitting...
May 17, 2017: Advanced Materials
Guoying Bai, Zhiping Song, Hongya Geng, Dong Gao, Kai Liu, Shuwang Wu, Wei Rao, Liangqia Guo, Jianjun Wang
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs), a type of high-efficiency but expensive and often unstable biological antifreeze, have stimulated substantial interest in the search for synthetic mimics. However, only a few reported AFP mimics display thermal hysteresis, and general criteria for the design of AFP mimics remain unknown. Herein, oxidized quasi-carbon nitride quantum dots (OQCNs) are synthesized through an up-scalable bottom-up approach. They exhibit thermal-hysteresis activity, an ice-crystal shaping effect, and activity on ice-recrystallization inhibition...
May 17, 2017: Advanced Materials
Andreas Neff, Falk Niefind, Bernd Abel, Stefan C B Mannsfeld, Katrin R Siefermann
Photoemission electron microscopy in combination with polarized laser light is presented as a tool permitting direct imaging of polymer-chain orientation and local degree of order in semicrystalline samples of semiconducting polymers, a promising class of materials for future electronics. The key advantages of this imaging tool are its nondestructive and fast measurements, straightforward data analysis, the low complexity of sample preparation, and the possibility of performing measurements on a broad variety of technologically relevant substrates...
May 17, 2017: Advanced Materials
Na Zhang, Wai-Yip Lo, Anex Jose, Zhengxu Cai, Lianwei Li, Luping Yu
Single-molecular electronics is a potential solution to nanoscale electronic devices. While simple functional single-molecule devices such as diodes, switches, and wires are well studied, complex single-molecular systems with multiple functional units are rarely investigated. Here, a single-molecule AND logic gate is constructed from a proton-switchable edge-on gated pyridinoparacyclophane unit with a light-switchable diarylethene unit. The AND gate can be controlled orthogonally by light and protonation and produce desired electrical output at room temperature...
May 17, 2017: Advanced Materials
Dafeng Yan, Yunxiao Li, Jia Huo, Ru Chen, Liming Dai, Shuangyin Wang
Oxygen electrocatalysis, including the oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen-evolution reaction (OER), is a critical process for metal-air batteries. Therefore, the development of electrocatalysts for the OER and the ORR is of essential importance. Indeed, various advanced electrocatalysts have been designed for the ORR or the OER; however, the origin of the advanced activity of oxygen electrocatalysts is still somewhat controversial. The enhanced activity is usually attributed to the high surface areas, the unique facet structures, the enhanced conductivities, or even to unclear synergistic effects, but the importance of the defects, especially the intrinsic defects, is often neglected...
May 16, 2017: Advanced Materials
Diogo Castro Vaz, Edouard Lesne, Anke Sander, Hiroshi Naganuma, Eric Jacquet, Jacobo Santamaria, Agnès Barthélémy, Manuel Bibes
The quasi 2D electron system (q2DES) that forms at the interface between LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 has attracted much attention from the oxide electronics community. One of its hallmark features is the existence of a critical LaAlO3 thickness of 4 unit-cells (uc) for interfacial conductivity to emerge. In this paper, the chemical, electronic, and transport properties of LaAlO3 /SrTiO3 samples capped with different metals grown in a system combining pulsed laser deposition, sputtering, and in situ X-ray photoemission spectroscopy are investigated...
May 15, 2017: Advanced Materials
Dafeng Chu, Xinyue Dong, Qi Zhao, Jingkai Gu, Zhenjia Wang
Remodeling of tumor microenvironments enables enhanced delivery of nanoparticles (NPs). This study shows that direct priming of a tumor tissue using photosensitization rapidly activates neutrophil infiltration that mediates delivery of nanotherapeutics into the tumor. A drug delivery platform is comprised of NPs coated with anti-CD11b antibodies (Abs) that target activated neutrophils. Intravital microscopy demonstrates that the movement of anti-CD11b Abs-decorated NPs (NPs-CD11b) into the tumor is mediated by neutrophil infiltration induced by photosensitization (PS) because the systemic depletion of neutrophils completely abolishes the nanoparticle tumor deposition...
May 15, 2017: Advanced Materials
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