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Jingqi Tian, Houjuan Zhu, Jie Chen, Xinting Zheng, Hongwei Duan, Kanyi Pu, Peng Chen
Ultra-broadband light-absorbing materials are highly desired for effective solar-energy harvesting. Herein, novel cobalt phosphide double-shelled nanocages (CoP-NCs) are synthesized. Uniquely, these CoP-NCs are able to nonselectively absorb light spanning the full solar spectrum, benefiting from its electronic properties and hollow nanostructure. They promise a wide range of applications involving solar energy utilization. As proof-of-concept demonstrations, CoP-NCs are employed here as effective photothermal agents to ablate cancer cells by utilizing their ability of near-infrared heat conversion, and as photoactive material for self-powered photoelectrochemical sensing by taking advantage of their ability of photon-to-electricity conversion...
April 26, 2017: Small
Mohammad Rahman, Kenneth Davey, Shi-Zhang Qiao
Blueshift of optical absorption and corresponding widening of the bandgap is a fundamental problem with 2D carbon nitride nanosheets (CNNS). An additional problem is low quantum yields (<9%) due to higher loss of absorbed photons. These problems impose a significant restriction to photocatalytic performance of CNNS. Therefore, the synthesis of narrow bandgap CNNS with high quantum efficiency is of pressing research importance. This contribution reports melem-derived narrow bandgap CNNS with a record-low bandgap of 2...
April 25, 2017: Small
Sesha L A Paluri, John D Ryan, Nhi H Lam, Dhriti Nepal, Ioana E Sizemore
The clinical applications of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) remain limited due to the lack of well-established methodologies for studying their nanokinetics. Hereby, the primary goal is to adapt a suite of analytical-based methodologies for examining the in vitro absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of AgNPs. Vero 76 and HEK 293 cells are exposed to ≈10-nm spherical AgNPs(+) and AgNPs(-) at relevant concentrations (0-300 µg mL(-1) ) and times (4-48 h). Absorption: Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) demonstrates that the two AgNP formulations are not bioequivalent...
April 25, 2017: Small
Zhao-Xin Lao, Yan-Lei Hu, Deng Pan, Ren-Yan Wang, Chen-Chu Zhang, Jin-Cheng Ni, Bing Xu, Jia-Wen Li, Dong Wu, Jia-Ru Chu
Long microchannels with thin walls, small width, and nanoholes or irregular shaped microgaps, which are similar to capillaries or cancerous vessels, are urgently needed to simulate the physiological activities in human body. However, the fabrication of such channels remains challenging. Here, microchannels with designable holes are manufactured by combining laser printing with line-contact capillary-force assembly. Two microwalls are first printed by femtosecond laser direct-writing, and subsequently driven to collapse into a channel by the capillary force that arises in the evaporation of developer...
April 25, 2017: Small
Zhengping Zhang, Xinjin Gao, Meiling Dou, Jing Ji, Feng Wang
Exploring sustainable and high-performance electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is the crucial issue for the large-scale application of fuel cell technology. A new strategy is demonstrated to utilize the biomass resource for the synthesis of N-doped hierarchically porous carbon supported single-atomic Fe (SA-Fe/NHPC) electrocatalyst toward the ORR. Based on the confinement effect of porous carbon and high-coordination natural iron source, SA-Fe/NHPC, derived from the hemin-adsorbed bio-porphyra-carbon by rapid heat-treatment up to 800 °C, presents the atomic dispersion of Fe atoms in the N-doped porous carbon...
April 25, 2017: Small
Longjian Xue, Wei Xie, Leonie Driessen, Katrin F Domke, Yong Wang, Sebastian Schlücker, Stanislav N Gorb, Martin Steinhart
A preconcentrating surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensor for the analysis of liquid-soaked tissue, tiny liquid droplets and thin liquid films without the necessity to collect the analyte is reported. The SERS sensor is based on a block-copolymer membrane containing a spongy-continuous pore system. The sensor's upper side is an array of porous nanorods having tips functionalized with Au nanoparticles. Capillarity in combination with directional evaporation drives the analyte solution in contact with the flat yet nanoporous underside of the SERS sensor through the continuous nanopore system toward the nanorod tips where non-volatile components of the analyte solution precipitate at the Au nanoparticles...
April 25, 2017: Small
Ping Wen, Xiaoman Liu, Lei Wang, Mei Li, Yudong Huang, Xin Huang, Stephen Mann
Controlled membrane fusion of proteinosome-based protocells is achieved via a hydrogel-mediated process involving dynamic covalent binding, self-healing, and membrane reconfiguration at the contact interface. The rate of proteinosome fusion is dependent on dynamic Schiff base covalent interchange, and is accelerated in the presence of encapsulated glucose oxidase and glucose, or inhibited with cinnamyl aldehyde due to enzyme-mediated decreases in pH or competitive covalent binding, respectively. The coordinated fusion of the proteinosomes leads to the concomitant transportation and redistribution of entrapped payloads such as DNA and dextran...
April 25, 2017: Small
Ivan Prieto, Roksolana Kozak, Oliver Skibitzki, Marta D Rossell, Thomas Schroeder, Rolf Erni, Hans von Känel
The early growth stage of GaAs by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy on a novel kind of Si substrate is investigated. The substrate consists of nanotips (NTs) fabricated on a Si(001) wafer by means of lithography and reactive ion etching. 3D GaAs nanocrystals are found to nucleate with a probability of 90% on the (n0m), (-n0m), (0nm), and (0-nm) facets (n, m integers) of these NTs. Additionally, in terms of nucleation yield, an average of 2 GaAs nanocrystals in each of those facets is observed. By contrast, facets of type {±nnm} remain virtually free of any 3D nuclei...
April 24, 2017: Small
Li Yu, Jian Sun, Qian Wang, Yan Guan, Le Zhou, Jingxuan Zhang, Lanying Zhang, Huai Yang
Controllable assembly of molecular motors on solid surfaces is a fundamental issue for providing them to perform physical tasks. However, it can hardly be achieved by most previous methods due to their inherent limitations. Here, a general strategy is designed for the reprogrammable assembly of molecular motors on solid surfaces based on dynamic bonds. In this method, molecular motors with disulfide bonds can be remotely, reversibly, and precisely attached to solid surfaces with disulfide bonds, regardless of their chemical composition and microstructure...
April 24, 2017: Small
Yunjeong Heo, Youngkyu Hwang, Hoon Sun Jung, Sung-Hoon Choa, Heung Cho Ko
A secondary method for modulation of the sensitivity in silver nanowire (AgNW) resistive-type strain sensors without the need to change the material or coating process in the sensory layer is demonstrated. Instead of using a planar elastomer (polydimethylsiloxane is used in this study) substrate, diverse relief structures are introduced to induce nonuniform and complex strain within the elastic substrate and thereby different distributions of the crack density of the AgNWs upon stretching, which plays an important role in the modulation of the gauge factor (GF)...
April 20, 2017: Small
Jiaqi Lin, Roozbeh Dargazany, Alfredo Alexander-Katz
Lipid flip-flop and its associated transient pore formation are key thermodynamic properties of living cell membranes. However, there is a lack of understanding of whether ionic imbalance that exists ubiquitously across cell membranes affects lipid flip-flop and its associated functions. Potential of mean force calculations show that the free-energy barrier of lipid flip-flop on the extracellular leaflet reduces with the presence of ionic imbalance, whereas the barrier on the intracellular leaflet is generally not affected...
April 20, 2017: Small
Ying Wu, Yu Jiang, Jinan Shi, Lin Gu, Yan Yu
TiO2 as an anode for sodium-ion batteries (NIBs) has attracted much recent attention, but poor cyclability and rate performance remain problematic owing to the intrinsic electronic conductivity and the sluggish diffusivity of Na ions in the TiO2 matrix. Herein, a simple process is demonstrated to improve the sodium storage performance of TiO2 by fabricating a 1D, multichannel, porous binary-phase anatase-TiO2 -rutile-TiO2 composite with oxygen-deficient and high grain-boundary density (denoted as a-TiO2-x /r-TiO2-x ) via electrospinning and subsequent vacuum treatment...
April 18, 2017: Small
Shuxing Bai, Qi Shao, Yonggang Feng, Lingzheng Bu, Xiaoqing Huang
Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) hydrogenation is an effective strategy for CO2 utilization, while unsatisfied conversion efficiencies remain great challenges. It is reported herein that zigzag Pt-Co nanowires (NWs) with Pt-rich surfaces and abundant steps/edges can perform as highly active and stable CO2 hydrogenation catalysts. It is found that tuning the Pt/Co ratio of the Pt-Co NWs, solvents, and catalyst supports could well optimize the CO2 hydrogenation to methanol (CH3 OH) with the Pt4 Co NWs/C exhibiting the best performance, outperforming all the previous catalysts...
April 18, 2017: Small
Guo-Wang Xu, Ya-Pan Wu, Wen-Wen Dong, Jun Zhao, Xue-Qian Wu, Dong-Sheng Li, Qichun Zhang
Exploring novel multifunctional rare earth materials is very important because these materials have fundamental interests, such as new structural facts and connecting modes, as well as potential technological applications, including optics, magnetic properties, sorption, and catalytic behaviors. Especially, employing these nanomaterials for sensing or catalytic reactions is still very challenging. Herein, a new superstable, anionic terbium-metal-organic-framework, [H2 N(CH3 )2 ][Tb(cppa)2 (H2 O)2 ], (China Three Gorges University (CTGU-1), H2 cppa = 5-(4-carboxyphenyl)picolinic acid), is successfully prepared, which can be used as a turn-on, highly-sensitive fluorescent sensor to detect Eu(3+) and Dy(3+) , with a detection limitation of 5 × 10(-8) and 1 × 10(-4) m in dimethylformamide, respectively...
April 18, 2017: Small
Huiqi Xie, Min Chen, Limin Wu
A self-templated strategy is developed to fabricate hierarchical TiO2 /SnO2 hollow spheres coated with graphitized carbon (HTSO/GC-HSs) by combined sol-gel processes with hydrothermal treatment and calcination. The as-prepared mesoporous HTSO/GC-HSs present an approximate yolk-double-shell structure, with high specific area and small nanocrystals of TiO2 and SnO2 , and thus exhibit superior electrochemical reactivity and stability when used as anode materials for Li-ion batteries. A high reversible specific capacity of about 310 mAh g(-1) at a high current density of 5 A g(-1) can be achieved over 500 cycles indicating very good cycle stability and rate performance...
April 18, 2017: Small
Yu Li, Shibing Long, Qi Liu, Hangbing Lv, Ming Liu
Reversible chemical and structural changes induced by ionic motion and reaction in response to electrical stimuli leads to resistive switching effects in metal-insulator-metal structures. Filamentary switching based on the formation and rupture of nanoscale conductive filament has been applied in non-volatile memory and volatile selector devices with low power consumption and fast switching speeds. Before the mass production of resistive switching devices, great efforts are still required to enable stable and reliable switching performances...
April 18, 2017: Small
Feng Teng, Weixin Ouyang, Yanmei Li, Lingxia Zheng, Xiaosheng Fang
A novel type of high performance ultraviolet (UV) photodetector (PD) based on a ZnO film has been prepared by incorporating a BiOCl nanostructure into the film. The responsivity of the BiOCl/ZnO hybrid film PD in UV region can reach 182.87 mA W(-1) , which is about 2.72 and 6.87 times for that of TiO2 /ZnO hybrid film PD and pure ZnO film PD. The rise/decay time of BiOCl/ZnO hybrid film PD is 25.83/11.25 s, which is much shorter than that of TiO2 /ZnO hybrid film PD (51.94/26.05 s) and pure ZnO film PD (69...
April 18, 2017: Small
Huiliang Zhang, David R Glenn, Richard Schalek, Jeff W Lichtman, Ronald L Walsworth
Correlated electron microscopy and cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging using functionalized nanoparticles is a promising nanoscale probe of biological structure and function. Nanodiamonds (NDs) that contain CL-emitting color centers are particularly well suited for such applications. The intensity of CL emission from NDs is determined by a combination of factors, including particle size, density of color centers, efficiency of energy deposition by electrons passing through the particle, and conversion efficiency from deposited energy to CL emission...
April 18, 2017: Small
Lizhi Sheng, Tong Wei, Yuan Liang, Lili Jiang, Liangti Qu, Zhuangjun Fan
Graphene fiber based micro-supercapacitors (GF micro-SCs) have attracted great attention for their potential applications in portable and wearable electronics. However, due to strong π-π stacking of nanosheets for graphene fibers, the limited ion accessible surface area and slow ion diffusion rate leads to low specific capacitance and poor rate performance. Here, the authors report a strategy for the synthesis of a vertically oriented graphene nanoribbon fiber with highly exposed surface area through confined-hydrothermal treatment of interconnected graphene oxide nanoribbons and consequent laser irradiation process...
April 18, 2017: Small
Weiwei Chen, Jiongyue Hao, Wei Hu, Zhigang Zang, Xiaosheng Tang, Liang Fang, Tianchao Niu, Miao Zhou
All-inorganic perovskite CsPbX3 (X = Cl, Br, I) and related materials are promising candidates for potential solar cells, light emitting diodes, and photodetectors. Here, a novel architecture made of CsPbX3 /ZnS quantum dot heterodimers synthesized via a facile solution-phase process is reported. Microscopic measurements show that CsPbX3 /ZnS heterodimer has high crystalline quality with enhanced chemical stability, as also evidenced by systematic density functional theory based first-principles calculations...
April 13, 2017: Small
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