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Advanced Materials

Bin Li, Yaqing Liu, Changjin Wan, Zhiyuan Liu, Ming Wang, Dianpeng Qi, Jiancan Yu, Pingqiang Cai, Meng Xiao, Yi Zeng, Xiaodong Chen
Memristive synapses based on resistive switching are promising electronic devices that emulate the synaptic plasticity in neural systems. Short-term plasticity (STP), reflecting a temporal strengthening of the synaptic connection, allows artificial synapses to perform critical computational functions, such as fast response and information filtering. To mediate this fundamental property in memristive electronic devices, the regulation of the dynamic resistive change is necessary for an artificial synapse. Here, it is demonstrated that the orientation of mesopores in the dielectric silica layer can be used to modulate the STP of an artificial memristive synapse...
March 15, 2018: Advanced Materials
Teng-Sing Wei, Bok Yeop Ahn, Julia Grotto, Jennifer A Lewis
The growing demand for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) with higher capacity in customized geometries underscores the need for new battery materials, architectures, and assembly strategies. Here, the design, fabrication, and electrochemical performance of fully 3D printed LIBs composed of thick semisolid electrodes that exhibit high areal capacity are reported. Specifically, semisolid cathode and anode inks, as well as UV curable packaging and separator inks for direct writing of LIBs in arbitrary geometries are created...
March 15, 2018: Advanced Materials
Yongjie Wang, Kunyuan Lu, Lu Han, Zeke Liu, Guozheng Shi, Honghua Fang, Si Chen, Tian Wu, Fan Yang, Mengfan Gu, Sijie Zhou, Xufeng Ling, Xun Tang, Jiawei Zheng, Maria Antonietta Loi, Wanli Ma
Current efforts on lead sulfide quantum dot (PbS QD) solar cells are mostly paid to the device architecture engineering and postsynthetic surface modification, while very rare work regarding the optimization of PbS synthesis is reported. Here, PbS QDs are successfully synthesized using PbO and PbAc2  · 3H2 O as the lead sources. QD solar cells based on PbAc-PbS have demonstrated a high power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 10.82% (and independently certificated values of 10.62%), which is significantly higher than the PCE of 9...
March 15, 2018: Advanced Materials
Soo-Young Kang, Zhaoxia Ji, Ling-Fang Tseng, Sara A Turner, Dinara A Villanueva, Rhiannon Johnson, Ariana Albano, Robert Langer
Waterborne polyurethanes (WBPUs) have attracted increasing attention in a wide range of industrial applications because of their versatile properties as well as ecofriendly nature. Although extensive research has been carried out on WBPU synthesis, the roles of some of the key synthesis components remain unclear. In this study, through systematically controlling and fine tuning the precursor compositions and reaction conditions, over 300 WBPUs are synthesized. This research enables the roles of several key components that govern WBPU physicochemical properties and ultimately the potential WBPU applications to be identified...
March 15, 2018: Advanced Materials
Lu Han, Shunai Che
Triply periodic minimal surface structures and related geometries are widely identified in many natural systems, such as biological membranes and biophotonic structures in butterfly-wing scales. Inspired by their marvelous and highly symmetrical structures and optimized physical properties, these structures have sparked immense interest for creating novel materials by extracting the design from nature. Significant progress has been made to understand these biological structures and fabricate artificial materials by top-down and bottom-up approaches for numerous applications in chemistry and materials science...
March 15, 2018: Advanced Materials
Bingbo Zhang, Wei Yan, Yanjing Zhu, Weitao Yang, Wenjun Le, Bingdi Chen, Rongrong Zhu, Liming Cheng
Patients are increasingly being diagnosed with neuropathic diseases, but are rarely cured because of the loss of neurons in damaged tissues. This situation creates an urgent clinical need to develop alternative treatment strategies for effective repair and regeneration of injured or diseased tissues. Neural stem cells (NSCs), highly pluripotent cells with the ability of self-renewal and potential for multidirectional differentiation, provide a promising solution to meet this demand. However, some serious challenges remaining to be addressed are the regulation of implanted NSCs, tracking their fate, monitoring their interaction with and responsiveness to the tissue environment, and evaluating their treatment efficacy...
March 15, 2018: Advanced Materials
Congyu Wu, Yajing Shen, Mengwei Chen, Kun Wang, Yongyong Li, Yu Cheng
Remote control of cells and the regulation of cell events at the molecular level are of great interest in the biomedical field. In addition to chemical compounds and genes, mechanical forces play a pivotal role in regulating cell fate, which have prompted the rapid growth of mechanobiology. From a perspective of nanotechnology, magnetic nanomaterials (MNs) are an appealing option for mechanotransduction due to their capabilities in spatiotemporal manipulation of mechanical forces via the magnetic field. As a newly developed paradigm, magneto-mechanotransduction is harnessed to physically regulate cell fate for biomedical applications...
March 15, 2018: Advanced Materials
Jingjing Yang, Dian Gong, Guihua Li, Gaofeng Zeng, Qiyan Wang, Yelei Zhang, Guojuan Liu, Ping Wu, Evgeny Vovk, Zheng Peng, Xiaohong Zhou, Yong Yang, Zhi Liu, Yuhan Sun
The poor mechanical strength of graphene oxide (GO) membranes, caused by the weak interlamellar interactions, poses a critical challenge for any practical application. In addition, intrinsic but large-sized 2D channels of stacked GO membranes lead to low selectivity for small molecules. To address the mechanical strength and 2D channel size control, thiourea covalent-linked graphene oxide framework (TU-GOF) membranes on porous ceramics are developed through a facile hydrothermal self-assembly synthesis. With this strategy, thiourea-bridged GO laminates periodically through the dehydration condensation reactions via NH2 and/or SH with OCOH as well as the nucleophilic addition reactions of NH2 to COC, leading to narrowed and structurally well-defined 2D channels due to the small dimension of the covalent TU-link and the deoxygenated processes...
March 14, 2018: Advanced Materials
Liuqi Peng, Xuan Mei, Jun He, Jiekun Xu, Weiku Zhang, Ruizheng Liang, Min Wei, David G Evans, Xue Duan
2D nanomaterials have attracted considerable research interest in drug delivery systems, owing to their intriguing quantum size and surface effect. Herein, Gd3+ -doped monolayered-double-hydroxide (MLDH) nanosheets are prepared via a facile bottom-up synthesis method, with a precisely controlled composition and uniform morphology. MLDH nanosheets as drug carrier are demonstrated in coloading of doxorubicin and indocyanine green (DOX&ICG), with an ultrahigh drug loading content (LC) of 797.36% and an encapsulation efficiency (EE) of 99...
March 14, 2018: Advanced Materials
Congcong Liu, Xiaojun Yan, Fei Hu, Guohua Gao, Guangming Wu, Xiaowei Yang
With the rapid development of mobile electronics and electric vehicles, future electrochemical capacitors (ECs) need to store as much energy as possible in a rather limited space. As the core component of ECs, dense electrodes that have a high volumetric energy density and superior rate capability are the key to achieving improved energy storage. Here, the significance of and recent progress in the high volumetric performance of dense electrodes are presented. Furthermore, dense yet porous electrodes, as the critical precondition for realizing superior electrochemical capacitive energy, have become a scientific challenge and an attractive research focus...
March 14, 2018: Advanced Materials
Shu Fen Tan, Sanoj Raj, Geeta Bisht, Harshini V Annadata, Christian A Nijhuis, Petr Král, Utkur Mirsaidov
Self-assembly of solvated nanoparticles (NPs) is governed by numerous competing interactions. However, relatively little is known about the time-dependent mechanisms through which these interactions enable and guide the nanoparticle self-assembly process. Here, using in situ transmission electron microscopy imaging combined with atomistic modeling, it is shown that the forces governing the self-assembly of hydrophobic nanoparticles change with the nanoparticle shapes. By comparing how gold nanospheres, nanocubes, nanorods, and nanobipyramids assemble, it is shown that the strength of the hydrophobic interactions depends on the overlap of the hydrophobic regions of the interacting nanoparticle surfaces determined by the nanoparticle shapes...
March 14, 2018: Advanced Materials
Riku Takahashi, Tao Lin Sun, Yoshiyuki Saruwatari, Takayuki Kurokawa, Daniel R King, Jian Ping Gong
Reinforcing hydrogels with a rigid scaffold is a promising method to greatly expand the mechanical and physical properties of hydrogels. One of the challenges of creating hydrogel composites is the significant stress that occurs due to swelling mismatch between the water-swollen hydrogel matrix and the rigid skeleton in aqueous media. This stress can cause physical deformation (wrinkling, buckling, or fracture), preventing the fabrication of robust composites. Here, a simple yet versatile method is introduced to create "macroscale" hydrogel composites, by utilizing a rigid reinforcing phase that can relieve stress-induced deformation...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Wenjia Wu, Yifan Li, Jindun Liu, Jingtao Wang, Yakun He, Kenneth Davey, Shi-Zhang Qiao
Nanophase-separated membranes hold promise for fast molecule or ion transfer. However, development and practical application are significantly hindered by both the difficulty of chemical modification and nanophase instability. This can be addressed by organic-inorganic hybridization of functional fillers with a precise distribution in specific nanophase. Here, a molecular-level hybridization for nanophase-separated Nafion using 2-5 nm quantum dots (QDs) as a new smart filler is demonstrated. Two kinds of QDs are prepared and used: hydrophilic polymer-like QDs (PQDs) and hydrophobic graphene oxide QDs (GQDs)...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Lijian Zuo, Xueliang Shi, Sae Byeok Jo, Yun Liu, Fracis Lin, Alex K-Y Jen
Limited by the various inherent energy losses from multiple channels, organic solar cells show inferior device performance compared to traditional inorganic photovoltaic techniques, such as silicon and CuInGaSe. To alleviate these fundamental limitations, an integrated multiple strategy is implemented including molecular design, interfacial engineering, optical manipulation, and tandem device construction into one cell. Considering the close correlation among these loss channels, a sophisticated quantification of energy-loss reduction is tracked along with each strategy in a perspective to reach rational overall optimum...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Chunlei Zhu, Suphannee Pongkitwitoon, Jichuan Qiu, Stavros Thomopoulos, Younan Xia
A hierarchically structured scaffold is designed and fabricated for facilitating tendon-to-bone repair. The scaffold is composed of three regions with distinct functions: (i) an array of channels to guide the in-growth of cells and aligned deposition of collagen fibers, as well as integration of the scaffold with the tendon side, (ii) a region with a gradient in mineral composition to facilitate stress transfer between tendon and bone, and (iii) a mineralized inverse opal region to promote the integration of the scaffold with the underlying bone...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Tianzhao Bu, Tianxiao Xiao, Zhiwei Yang, Guoxu Liu, Xianpeng Fu, Jinhui Nie, Tong Guo, Yaokun Pang, Junqing Zhao, Fengben Xi, Chi Zhang, Zhong Lin Wang
Smart skin is expected to be stretchable and tactile for bionic robots as the medium with the ambient environment. Here, a stretchable triboelectric-photonic smart skin (STPS) is reported that enables multidimensional tactile and gesture sensing for a robotic hand. With a grating-structured metal film as the bioinspired skin stripe, the STPS exhibits a tunable aggregation-induced emission in a lateral tensile range of 0-160%. Moreover, the STPS can be used as a triboelectric nanogenerator for vertical pressure sensing with a maximum sensitivity of 34 mV Pa-1 ...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Xin Zhang, Jianyong Jiang, Zhonghui Shen, Zhenkang Dan, Ming Li, Yuanhua Lin, Ce-Wen Nan, Longqing Chen, Yang Shen
Manipulating microstructures of composites in three dimensions has been a long standing challenge. An approach is proposed and demonstrated to fabricate artificial nanocomposites by controlling the 3D distribution and orientation of oxide nanoparticles in a polymer matrix. In addition to possessing much enhanced mechanical properties, these nanocomposites can sustain extremely high voltages up to ≈10 kV, exhibiting high dielectric breakdown strength and low leakage current. These nanocomposites show great promise in resolving the paradox between dielectric constant and breakdown strength, leading to ultrahigh electrical energy density (over 2000% higher than that of the bench-mark polymer dielectrics) and discharge efficiency...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Wei Li, Zehua Liu, Flavia Fontana, Yaping Ding, Dongfei Liu, Jouni T Hirvonen, Hélder A Santos
In the past two decades, porous silicon (PSi) has attracted increasing attention for its potential biomedical applications. With its controllable geometry, tunable nanoporous structure, large pore volume/high specific surface area, and versatile surface chemistry, PSi shows significant advantages over conventional drug carriers. Here, an overview of recent progress in the use of PSi in drug delivery and cancer immunotherapy is presented. First, an overview of the fabrication of PSi with various geometric structures is provided, with particular focus on how the unique geometry of PSi facilitates its biomedical applications, especially for drug delivery...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Wanning Li, Long Ye, Sunsun Li, Huifeng Yao, Harald Ade, Jianhui Hou
Besides broadening of the absorption spectrum, modulating molecular energy levels, and other well-studied properties, a stronger intramolecular electron push-pull effect also affords other advantages in nonfullerene acceptors. A strong push-pull effect improves the dipole moment of the wings in IT-4F over IT-M and results in a lower miscibility than IT-M when blended with PBDB-TF. This feature leads to higher domain purity in the PBDB-TF:IT-4F blend and makes a contribution to the better photovoltaic performance...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
Matti S Toivonen, Olimpia D Onelli, Gianni Jacucci, Ville Lovikka, Orlando J Rojas, Olli Ikkala, Silvia Vignolini
The understanding of the interaction between light and complex, random structures is the key for designing and tailoring the optical appearance and performance of many materials that surround us, ranging from everyday consumer products, such as those for personal care, paints, and paper, to light diffusers used in the LED-lamps and solar cells. Here, it is demonstrated that the light transport in membranes of pure cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) can be controlled to achieve bright whiteness in structures only a few micrometers thick...
March 13, 2018: Advanced Materials
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