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Jun Young Cheong, Chanhoon Kim, Ji-Won Jung, Ki Ro Yoon, Su-Ho Cho, Doo-Young Youn, Hye-Yeon Jang, Il-Doo Kim
Safe and long cycle life electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries are significantly important to meet the increasing demands of rechargeable batteries. Niobium pentoxide (Nb2 O5 ) is one of the highly promising candidates for stable electrodes due to its safety and minimal volume expansion. Nevertheless, pulverization and low conductivity of Nb2 O5 have remained as inherent challenges for its practical use as viable electrodes. A highly facile method is proposed to improve the overall cycle retention of Nb2 O5 microparticles by ammonia (NH3 ) gas-driven nitridation...
March 21, 2017: Small
Congzhou Wang, Rong Hu, Jeremiah J Morrissey, Evan D Kharasch, Srikanth Singamaneni
Biorecognition is central to various biological processes and finds numerous applications in virtually all areas of chemistry, biology, and medicine. Artificial antibodies, produced by imprinting synthetic polymers, are designed to mimic the biological recognition capability of natural antibodies, while exhibiting superior thermal, chemical, and environmental stability compared to their natural counterparts. The binding affinity of the artificial antibodies to their antigens characterizes the biorecognition ability of these synthetic nanoconstructs and their ability to replace natural recognition elements...
March 21, 2017: Small
Zhi Chen, Taihong Wang, Ming Zhang, Guozhong Cao
Porous carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are obtained by removing MoO2 nanoparticles from MoO2 @C core@shell nanofibers which are synthesized by phase-segregation via a single-needle electrospinning method. The specific surface area of porous CNTs is 502.9 m(2) g(-1) , and many oxygen-containing functional groups (COH, CO) are present. As anodes for sodium-ion batteries, the porous CNT electrode displays excellent rate performance and cycling stability (110 mA h g(-1) after 1200 cycles at 5 A g(-1) ). Those high properties can be attributed to the porous structure and surface modification to steadily store Na(+) with high capacity...
March 20, 2017: Small
Jicheng Yu, Yuqi Zhang, Wujin Sun, Anna R Kahkoska, Jinqiang Wang, John B Buse, Zhen Gu
Hypoglycemia, the state of abnormally low blood glucose level, is an acute complication of insulin and sulfonylurea therapy in diabetes management. Frequent insulin dosing and boluses during daily diabetes care leads to an increased risk of dangerously low glucose levels, which can cause behavioral and cognitive disturbance, seizure, coma, and even death. This study reports an insulin-responsive glucagon delivery method based on a microneedle (MN)-array patch for the prevention of hypoglycemia. The controlled release of glucagon is achieved in response to elevated insulin concentration by taking advantage of the specific interaction between insulin aptamer and target insulin...
March 20, 2017: Small
Qinglang Ma, Hongfei Cheng, Yifu Yu, Ying Huang, Qipeng Lu, Shikui Han, Junze Chen, Rong Wang, Anthony G Fane, Hua Zhang
The deterioration of water resources due to oil pollution, arising from oil spills, industrial oily wastewater discharge, etc., urgently requires the development of novel functional materials for highly efficient water remediation. Recently, superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic materials have drawn significant attention due to their low oil adhesion and selective oil/water separation. However, it is still a challenge to prepare low-cost, environmentally friendly, and multifunctional materials with superhydrophilicity and underwater superoleophobicity, which can be stably used for oil/water separation under harsh working conditions...
March 17, 2017: Small
Xin Hu, Changyu Tang, Zhoukun He, Hong Shao, Keqin Xu, Jun Mei, Woon-Ming Lau
With the rapid development of stretchable electronics, functional textiles, and flexible sensors, water-proof protection materials are required to be built on various highly flexible substrates. However, maintaining the antiwetting of superhydrophobic surface under stretching is still a big challenge since the hierarchical structures at hybridized micro-nanoscales are easily damaged following large deformation of the substrates. This study reports a highly stretchable and mechanically stable superhydrophobic surface prepared by a facile spray coating of carbon black/polybutadiene elastomeric composite on a rubber substrate followed by thermal curing...
March 17, 2017: Small
Xuewen Wang, Zheng Liu, Ting Zhang
Wearable or attachable health monitoring smart systems are considered to be the next generation of personal portable devices for remote medicine practices. Smart flexible sensing electronics are components crucial in endowing health monitoring systems with the capability of real-time tracking of physiological signals. These signals are closely associated with body conditions, such as heart rate, wrist pulse, body temperature, blood/intraocular pressure and blood/sweat bio-information. Monitoring such physiological signals provides a convenient and non-invasive way for disease diagnoses and health assessments...
March 17, 2017: Small
Morgan M Stanton, Byung-Wook Park, Albert Miguel-López, Xing Ma, Metin Sitti, Samuel Sánchez
Bacteria biohybrids employ the motility and power of swimming bacteria to carry and maneuver microscale particles. They have the potential to perform microdrug and cargo delivery in vivo, but have been limited by poor design, reduced swimming capabilities, and impeded functionality. To address these challenge, motile Escherichia coli are captured inside electropolymerized microtubes, exhibiting the first report of a bacteria microswimmer that does not utilize a spherical particle chassis. Single bacterium becomes partially trapped within the tube and becomes a bioengine to push the microtube though biological media...
March 16, 2017: Small
Xiaoqiang Wu, Fuyi Chen, Nan Zhang, Adnan Qaseem, Roy L Johnston
Development of highly active and stable Pt-free oxygen reduction reaction catalysts from earth-abundant elements remains a grand challenge for highly demanded metal-air batteries. Ag-based alloys have many advantages over platinum group catalysts due to their low cost, high stability, and acceptable oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance in alkaline solutions. Nevertheless, compared to commercial Pt/C-20%, their catalytic activity still cannot meet the demand of commercialization. In this study, a kind of catalysts screening strategy on Agx Cu100-x nanoalloys is reported, containing the surface modification method, studies of activity enhancement mechanism, and applied research on zinc-air batteries...
March 15, 2017: Small
Yejin Kim, Hyung Soon Im, Kidong Park, Jundong Kim, Jae-Pyoung Ahn, Seung Jo Yoo, Jin-Gyu Kim, Jeunghee Park
Nanowires (NWs) have witnessed tremendous development over the past two decades owing to their varying potential applications. Semiconductor NWs often contain stacking faults due to the presence of coexisting phases, which frequently hampers their use. Herein, it is investigated how stacking faults affect the optical properties of bent ZnSe and CdSe NWs, which are synthesized using the vapor transport method. Polytypic zinc blende-wurtzite structures are produced for both these NWs by altering the growth conditions...
March 15, 2017: Small
Cheng Zhang, Yunchao Xie, Heng Deng, Travis Tumlin, Chi Zhang, Jheng-Wun Su, Ping Yu, Jian Lin
A continuing trend of miniaturized and flexible electronics/optoelectronic calls for novel device architectures made by compatible fabrication techniques. However, traditional layer-to-layer structures cannot satisfy such a need. Herein, a novel monolithic optoelectronic device fabricated by a mask-free laser direct writing method is demonstrated in which in situ laser induced graphene-like materials are employed as lateral electrodes for flexible ZnS/SnO2 ultraviolet photodetectors. Specifically, a ZnS/SnO2 thin film comprised of heterogeneous ZnS/SnO2 nanoparticles is first coated on polyimide (PI) sheets by a solution process...
March 15, 2017: Small
Abderrahim Rahim Boucherif, Abderraouf Boucherif, Gitanjali Kolhatkar, Andreas Ruediger, Richard Arès
The ultimate performance of a solid state device is limited by the restricted number of crystalline substrates that are available for epitaxial growth. As a result, only a small fraction of semiconductors are usable. This study describes a novel concept for a tunable compliant substrate for epitaxy, based on a graphene-porous silicon nanocomposite, which extends the range of available lattice constants for epitaxial semiconductor alloys. The presence of graphene and its effect on the strain of the porous layer lattice parameter are discussed in detail and new remarkable properties are demonstrated...
March 15, 2017: Small
Changhong Wang, Wei He, Yi Tong, Yishu Zhang, Kejie Huang, Li Song, Shuai Zhong, Rajasekaran Ganeshkumar, Rong Zhao
Memristive devices, having a huge potential as artificial synapses for low-power neural networks, have received tremendous attention recently. Despite great achievements in demonstration of plasticity and learning functions, little progress has been made in the repeatable analog resistance states of memristive devices, which is, however, crucial for achieving controllable synaptic behavior. The controllable behavior of synapse is highly desired in building neural networks as it helps reduce training epochs and diminish error probability...
March 15, 2017: Small
Fernando Martinez-Pedrero, Helena Massana-Cid, Pietro Tierno
The realization of micromotors able to dock and transport microscopic objects in a fluid medium has direct applications toward the delivery of drugs and chemicals in small channels and pores, and the realization of functional wireless microrobots in lab-on-a-chip technology. A simple and general method to tow microscopic particles in water by using remotely controllable light-activated hematite microdockers is demonstrated. These anisotropic ferromagnetic particles can be synthesized in bulk and present the remarkable ability to be activated by light while independently manipulated via external fields...
March 15, 2017: Small
Zhi Zhou Li, Feng Liang, Ming Peng Zhuo, Ying Li Shi, Xue Dong Wang, Liang Sheng Liao
Organic semiconductor micro-/nanocrystals with regular shapes have been demonstrated for many applications, such as organic field-effect transistors, organic waveguide devices, organic solid-state lasers, and therefore are inherently ideal building blocks for the key circuits in the next generation of miniaturized optoelectronics. In the study, blue-emissive organic molecules of 1,4-bis(2-methylstyryl)benzene (o-MSB) can assemble into rectangular microcrystals at a large scale via the room-temperature solution-exchange method...
March 10, 2017: Small
Chunsen Liu, Xiao Yan, Enze Zhang, Xiongfei Song, Qingqing Sun, Shijin Ding, Wenzhong Bao, Faxian Xiu, Peng Zhou, David Wei Zhang
The abundant electronic and optical properties of 2D materials that are just one-atom thick pave the way for many novel electronic applications. One important application is to explore the band-to-band tunneling in the heterojunction built by different 2D materials. Here, a gate-controlled WSe2 transistor is constructed by using different work function metals to form the drain (Pt) and source (Cr) electrodes. The device can be gate-modulated to exhibit three modes of operation, i.e., the tunneling mode with remarkable negative differential resistance, the transition mode with a second electron tunneling phenomenon for backward bias, and finally the conventional diode mode with rectifying characteristics...
March 10, 2017: Small
Cheng-Zong Yuan, Zhong-Ti Sun, Yi-Fan Jiang, Zheng-Kun Yang, Nan Jiang, Zhi-Wei Zhao, Umair Yaqub Qazi, Wen-Hua Zhang, An-Wu Xu
Efficient and durable oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts are highly required for the cost-effective generation of clean energy from water splitting. For the first time, an integrated OER electrode based on one-step direct growth of metallic iron-nickel sulfide nanosheets on FeNi alloy foils (denoted as FeNi3 S2 /FeNi) is reported, and the origin of the enhanced OER activity is uncovered in combination with theoretical and experimental studies. The obtained FeNi3 S2 /FeNi electrode exhibits highly catalytic activity and long-term stability toward OER in strong alkaline solution, with a low overpotential of 282 mV at 10 mA cm(-2) and a small Tafel slope of 54 mV dec(-1) ...
March 10, 2017: Small
Jingsheng Cai, Jianying Huang, Mingzheng Ge, James Iocozzia, Zhiqun Lin, Ke-Qin Zhang, Yuekun Lai
Inspired by mussel-adhesion phenomena in nature, polydopamine (PDA) coatings are a promising route to multifunctional platforms for decorating various materials. The typical self-polymerization process of dopamine is time-consuming and the coatings of PDA are not reusable. Herein, a reusable and time-saving strategy for the electrochemical polymerization of dopamine (EPD) is reported. The PDA layer is deposited on vertically aligned TiO2 nanotube arrays (NTAs). Owing to the abundant catechol and amine groups in the PDA layer, uniform Pt nanoparticles (NPs) are deposited onto the TiO2 NTAs and can effectively prevent the recombination of electron-hole pairs generated from photo-electrocatalysis and transfer the captured electrons to participate in the photo-electrocatalytic reaction process...
March 10, 2017: Small
Jie Xiong, Tianyu Lei, Junwei Chu, Chao Yang, Jiake Wei, Mujin Zhuo, Eun-Mi Choi, Bowan Tao, Wanli Zhang, Yongqiang Wang, Yanrong Li
Interface enhanced magnetism attracts much attention due to its potential use in exploring novel structure devices. Nevertheless, the magnetic behavior at interfaces has not been quantitatively determined. In this study, abnormal magnetic moment reduction is observed in La0.7 Sr0.3 MnO3 (LSMO)/BiFeO3 (BFO) superlattices, which is induced by ferromagnetic (FM)/antiferromagnetic (AFM) coupling in the interface. With reduced repetition of the superlattice's unit cell [(LSMO)n /(BFO)n ]60/n (n = 1, 2, 5, 10) on a SrTiO3 substrate, magnetic moment reduction from 25...
March 10, 2017: Small
Ken-Ichiro Kamei, Yasumasa Mashimo, Momoko Yoshioka, Yumie Tokunaga, Christopher Fockenberg, Shiho Terada, Yoshie Koyama, Minako Nakajima, Teiko Shibata-Seki, Li Liu, Toshihiro Akaike, Eiry Kobatake, Siew-Eng How, Motonari Uesugi, Yong Chen
Cellular microenvironments are generally sophisticated, but crucial for regulating the functions of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Despite tremendous effort in this field, the correlation between the environmental factors-especially the extracellular matrix and soluble cell factors-and the desired cellular functions remains largely unknown because of the lack of appropriate tools to recapitulate in vivo conditions and/or simultaneously evaluate the interplay of different environment factors. Here, a combinatorial platform is developed with integrated microfluidic channels and nanofibers, associated with a method of high-content single-cell analysis, to study the effects of environmental factors on stem cell phenotype...
March 8, 2017: Small
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