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Jiating Xu, Arif Gulzar, Yuhui Liu, Huiting Bi, Shili Gai, Bin Liu, Dan Yang, Fei He, Piaoping Yang
Near infrared (NIR) light triggered phototherapy including photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) affords superior outcome in cancer treatment. However, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by NIR-excited upconversion nanostructure is limited by the feeble upconverted light which cannot activate PDT agents efficiently. Here, an IR-808 dye sensitized upconversion nanoparticle (UCNP) with a chlorin e6 (Ce6)-functionalized silica layer is developed for PDT agent. The two booster effectors (dye-sensitization and core-shell enhancement) synergistically amplify the upconversion efficiency, therefore achieving superbright visible emission under low 808 nm light excitation...
July 24, 2017: Small
Moritz Tebbe, Elizabeth Galati, Gilbert C Walker, Eugenia Kumacheva
Future progress in nanoscience and nanotechnology necessitates further development of versatile, labor-, and cost-efficient surface patterning strategies. A new approach to nanopatterning is reported, which utilizes surface segregation of a smooth layer of an end-grafted homopolymer in a poor solvent. The variation in polymer grafting density yields a range of surface nanostructures, including randomly organized pinned spherical micelles, worm-like structures, networks, and porous films. The capability to use the polymer patterns for site-specific deposition of small molecules, polymers, or nanoparticles is shown...
July 24, 2017: Small
Shuixing Li, Wenqing Liu, Chang-Zhi Li, Minmin Shi, Hongzheng Chen
Fullerene-free OSCs employing n-type small molecules or polymers as the acceptors have recently experienced a rapid rise with efficiencies exceeding 12%. Owing to the good optoelectronic and morphological tunabilities, non-fullerene acceptors exhibit great potential for realizing high-performance and practical OSCs. In this Review, recent exciting progress made in developing highly efficient non-fullerene acceptors is summarized, mainly correlating factors like absorption, energy loss and morphology of new materials to their correspondent photovoltaic performance...
July 24, 2017: Small
Shuo Zhao, Renxi Jin, Yongbo Song, Hui Zhang, Stephen D House, Judith C Yang, Rongchao Jin
Hydrogen generation via electrocatalytic water splitting holds great promise for future energy revolution. It is desirable to design abundant and efficient catalysts and achieve mechanistic understanding of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Here, this paper reports a strategy for improving HER performance of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2 ) via introducing gold nanoclusters as a cocatalyst. Compared to plain MoS2 nanosheets, the Au25 (SR)18 /MoS2 nanocomposite exhibits enhanced HER activity with a small onset potential of -0...
July 24, 2017: Small
Koen Nickmans, Gerardus M Bögels, Carlos Sánchez-Somolinos, Jeffrey N Murphy, Philippe Leclère, Ilja K Voets, Albertus P H J Schenning
While self-assembled molecular building blocks could lead to many next-generation functional organic nanomaterials, control over the thin-film morphologies to yield monolithic sub-5 nm patterns with 3D orientational control at macroscopic length scales remains a grand challenge. A series of photoresponsive hybrid oligo(dimethylsiloxane) liquid crystals that form periodic cylindrical nanostructures with periodicities between 3.8 and 5.1 nm is studied. The liquid crystals can be aligned in-plane by exposure to actinic linearly polarized light and out-of-plane by exposure to actinic unpolarized light...
July 24, 2017: Small
Bryan E Barton, Michael J Behr, Jasson T Patton, Eric J Hukkanen, Brian G Landes, Weijun Wang, Nicholas Horstman, James E Rix, Denis Keane, Steven Weigand, Mark Spalding, Chris Derstine
Currently, carbon fibers (CFs) from the solution spinning, air oxidation, and carbonization of polyacrylonitrile impose a lower price limit of ≈$10 per lb, limiting the growth in industrial and automotive markets. Polyethylene is a promising precursor to enable a high-volume industrial grade CF as it is low cost, melt spinnable and has high carbon content. However, sulfonated polyethylene (SPE)-derived CFs have thus far fallen short of the 200 GPa tensile modulus threshold for industrial applicability. Here, a graphitization process is presented catalyzed by the addition of boron that produces carbon fiber with >400 GPa tensile modulus at 2400 °C...
July 24, 2017: Small
Xian Chen, Limin Jin, Tianying Sun, Wei Kong, Siu Fung Yu, Feng Wang
One major challenge in upconversion research is to develop new materials and structures to expand the emission spectrum. Herein, a heterogeneous core-shell-shell nanostructure of NaYbF4 :Gd/Tm@NaGdF4 @CaF2 :Ce is developed to realize efficient photon upconversion in Ce(3+) ions through a Gd-mediated energy migration process. The design takes advantage of CaF2 host that reduces the 4f-5d excitation frequency of Ce(3+) to match the emission line of Gd(3+) . Meanwhile, CaF2 is isostructural with NaGdF4 and can form a continuous crystalline lattice with the core layer...
July 19, 2017: Small
Jin Soo Kang, Hyelim Choi, Jin Kim, Hyeji Park, Jae-Yup Kim, Jung-Woo Choi, Seung-Ho Yu, Kyung Jae Lee, Yun Sik Kang, Sun Ha Park, Yong-Hun Cho, Jun-Ho Yum, David C Dunand, Heeman Choe, Yung-Eun Sung
Mesoscopic solar cells based on nanostructured oxide semiconductors are considered as a promising candidates to replace conventional photovoltaics employing costly materials. However, their overall performances are below the sufficient level required for practical usages. Herein, this study proposes an anodized Ti foam (ATF) with multidimensional and hierarchical architecture as a highly efficient photoelectrode for the generation of a large photocurrent. ATF photoelectrodes prepared by electrochemical anodization of freeze-cast Ti foams have three favorable characteristics: (i) large surface area for enhanced light harvesting, (ii) 1D semiconductor structure for facilitated charge collection, and (iii) 3D highly conductive metallic current collector that enables exclusion of transparent conducting oxide substrate...
July 19, 2017: Small
Xiongfei Song, Zhongxun Guo, Qiaochu Zhang, Peng Zhou, Wenzhong Bao, David Wei Zhang
The recent exploration of semiconducting two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) with atomic thickness has taken both the scientific and technological communities by storm. Extensively investigated TMD that are accessible by large-scale synthetic methods materials are remarkably stable, such as MoS2 and WSe2 . They allow superior gate control due to their 2D nature and favorable electronic transport properties, thus suggesting a bright future for digital and RF electronics. In this review, the latest developments in the controlled synthesis of large scale TMDs are firstly introduced by discussing various approaches...
July 19, 2017: Small
Mengdi Chen, Danja Fischli, Lukas Schertel, Geoffroy J Aubry, Benedikt Häusele, Sebastian Polarz, Georg Maret, Helmut Cölfen
One efficient method to obtain disordered colloidal packing is to reduce the stability of colloidal particles by adding electrolytes to the colloidal dispersions. But the correct amount of additional electrolytes must be found empirically. Here, the effect of CaCl2 on polystyrene colloidal dispersions is studied, and a link between the amount of CaCl2 and the corresponding glassy colloidal structure is quantitatively built. A threshold concentration of CaCl2 is found by dynamic light scattering. When exceeding this threshold, different nanoparticle oligomers are observed in the dispersions by analytical ultracentrifugation...
July 19, 2017: Small
Guanglin Xia, Qili Gao, Dalin Sun, Xuebin Yu
Fe2 O3 is regarded as a promising anode material for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) due to its high specific capacity. The large volume change during discharge and charge processes, however, induces significant cracking of the Fe2 O3 anodes, leading to rapid fading of the capacity. Herein, a novel peapod-like nanostructured material, consisting of Fe2 O3 nanoparticles homogeneously encapsulated in the hollow interior of N-doped porous carbon nanofibers, as a high-performance anode material is reported...
July 19, 2017: Small
Kaixv Ren, Pengfei Yin, Yuzhu Zhou, Xingzhong Cao, Cunku Dong, Lan Cui, Hui Liu, Xiwen Du
Surficial defects in semiconductor can induce high density of carriers and cause localized surface plasmon resonance which is prone to light harvesting and energy conversion, while internal defects may cause serious recombination of electrons and holes. Thus, it is significant to precisely control the distribution of defects, although there are few successful examples. Herein, an effective strategy to confine abundant defects within the surface layer of Cu1.94 S nanoflake arrays (NFAs) is reported, leaving a perfect internal structure...
July 19, 2017: Small
Montserrat López-Martínez, Juan Manuel Artés, Veronica Sarasso, Marco Carminati, Ismael Díez-Pérez, Fausto Sanz, Pau Gorostiza
Electron transfer in proteins is essential in crucial biological processes. Although the fundamental aspects of biological electron transfer are well characterized, currently there are no experimental tools to determine the atomic-scale electronic pathways in redox proteins, and thus to fully understand their outstanding efficiency and environmental adaptability. This knowledge is also required to design and optimize biomolecular electronic devices. In order to measure the local conductance of an electrode surface immersed in an electrolyte, this study builds upon the current-potential spectroscopic capacity of electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy, by adding an alternating current modulation technique...
July 19, 2017: Small
Ming Li, Shlomo Magdassi, Yanfeng Gao, Yi Long
Vanadium dioxide (VO2 ) is a widely studied inorganic phase change material, which has a reversible phase transition from semiconducting monoclinic to metallic rutile phase at a critical temperature of τc ≈ 68 °C. The abrupt decrease of infrared transmittance in the metallic phase makes VO2 a potential candidate for thermochromic energy efficient windows to cut down building energy consumption. However, there are three long-standing issues that hindered its application in energy efficient windows: high τc , low luminous transmittance (Tlum ), and undesirable solar modulation ability (ΔTsol )...
July 19, 2017: Small
Lin Mei, Jiantie Xu, Zengxi Wei, Huakun Liu, Yutao Li, Jianmin Ma, Shixue Dou
With the large-scale applications of electric vehicles in recent years, future batteries are required to be higher in power and possess higher energy densities, be more environmental friendly, and have longer cycling life, lower cost, and greater safety than current batteries. Therefore, to develop alternative electrode materials for advanced batteries is an important research direction. Recently, the Chevrel phase Mo6 T8 (T = S, Se) has attracted increasing attention as electrode candidate for advanced batteries, including monovalent (e...
July 18, 2017: Small
Tonguc O Tasci, Dante Disharoon, Rogier M Schoeman, Kuldeepsinh Rana, Paco S Herson, David W M Marr, Keith B Neeves
Thrombi that occlude blood vessels can be resolved with fibrinolytic agents that degrade fibrin, the polymer that forms between and around platelets to provide mechanical stability. Fibrinolysis rates however are often constrained by transport-limited delivery to and penetration of fibrinolytics into the thrombus. Here, these limitations are overcome with colloidal microwheel (µwheel) assemblies functionalized with the fibrinolytic tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) that assemble, rotate, translate, and eventually disassemble via applied magnetic fields...
July 18, 2017: Small
Meiwu Zhu, Qi Shao, Yecan Pi, Jun Guo, Bin Huang, Yong Qian, Xiaoqing Huang
Iridium (Ir) holds great promise for ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR), while its practical applications suffer from the limited shape-controlled synthesis due to its low-energy barrier for nucleation. To overcome this limitation, the preparation of a new class of ultrathin vein-like Ir-tin nanowires (IrSn NWs) with abundant oxidized Sn is reported. By tuning the ratio of Ir to Sn, the optimized Ir67 Sn33 /C exhibits the highest mass density of 95.6 mA mg(-1) Ir for EOR at low potential (0.04 V), which is 4...
July 18, 2017: Small
Zhenwei Yu, Frank F Yun, Yanqin Wang, Li Yao, Shixue Dou, Kesong Liu, Lei Jiang, Xiaolin Wang
With the impacts of climate change and impending crisis of clean drinking water, designing functional materials for water harvesting from fog with large water capacity has received much attention in recent years. Nature has evolved different strategies for surviving dry, arid, and xeric conditions. Nature is a school for human beings. In this contribution, inspired by the Stenocara beetle, superhydrophilic/superhydrophobic patterned surfaces are fabricated on the silica poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-coated superhydrophobic surfaces using a pulsed laser deposition approach with masks...
July 18, 2017: Small
You Jung Chung, Kayoung Kim, Byung Il Lee, Chan Beum Park
The self-assembly of amyloidogenic peptides into β-sheet-rich aggregates is a general feature of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, which signifies the need for the effective attenuation of amyloid aggregation toward alleviating amyloid-associated neurotoxicity. This study reports that photoluminescent carbon nanodots (CDs) can effectively suppress Alzheimer's β-amyloid (Aβ) self-assembly and function as a β-sheet breaker disintegrating preformed Aβ aggregates. This study synthesizes CDs using ammonium citrate through one-pot hydrothermal treatment and passivates their surface with branched polyethylenimine (bPEI)...
July 17, 2017: Small
Mónica P A Ferreira, Sanjeev Ranjan, Sini Kinnunen, Alexandra Correia, Virpi Talman, Ermei Mäkilä, Brianda Barrios-Lopez, Marianna Kemell, Vimalkumar Balasubramanian, Jarno Salonen, Jouni Hirvonen, Heikki Ruskoaho, Anu J Airaksinen, Hélder A Santos
Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. Severe myocardial ischemia results in a massive loss of myocytes and acute myocardial infarction, the endocardium being the most vulnerable region. At present, current therapeutic lines only ameliorate modestly the quality of life of these patients. Here, an engineered nanocarrier is reported for targeted drug delivery into the endocardial layer of the left ventricle for cardiac repair. Biodegradable porous silicon (PSi) nanoparticles are functionalized with atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), which is known to be expressed predominantly in the endocardium of the failing heart...
July 17, 2017: Small
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