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1.  Initial development and testing of a novel foam-based pressure sensor for wearable sensing 
This paper provides an overview of initial research conducted in the development of pressure-sensitive foam and its application in wearable sensing. The foam sensor is composed of polypyrrole-coated polyurethane foam, which exhibits a piezo-resistive reaction when exposed to electrical current. The use of this polymer-coated foam is attractive for wearable sensing due to the sensor's retention of desirable mechanical properties similar to those exhibited by textile structures.
The development of the foam sensor is described, as well as the development of a prototype sensing garment with sensors in several areas on the torso to measure breathing, shoulder movement, neck movement, and scapula pressure. Sensor properties were characterized, and data from pilot tests was examined visually.
The foam exhibits a positive linear conductance response to increased pressure. Torso tests show that it responds in a predictable and measurable manner to breathing, shoulder movement, neck movement, and scapula pressure.
The polypyrrole foam shows considerable promise as a sensor for medical, wearable, and ubiquitous computing applications. Further investigation of the foam's consistency of response, durability over time, and specificity of response is necessary.
PMCID: PMC554000  PMID: 15740623
2.  Fabrication and thermo-mechanical behavior of ultra-fine porous copper 
Journal of Materials Science  2014;50:634-643.
Porous materials with ligament sizes in the submicrometer to nanometer regime have a high potential for future applications such as catalysts, actuators, or radiation tolerant materials, which require properties like high strength-to-weight ratio, high surface-to-volume ratio, or large interface density as for radiation tolerance. The objective of this work was to manufacture ultra-fine porous copper, to determine the thermo-mechanical properties, and to elucidate the deformation behavior at room as well as elevated temperatures via nanoindentation. The experimental approach for manufacturing the foam structures used high pressure torsion, subsequent heat treatments, and selective dissolution. Nanoindentation at different temperatures was successfully conducted on the ultra-fine porous copper, showing a room temperature hardness of 220 MPa. During high temperature experiments, oxidation of the copper occurred due to the high surface area. A model, taking into account the mechanical properties of the copper oxides formed during the test, to describe the measured mechanical properties in dependence on the proceeding oxidation was developed. The strain rate sensitivity of the copper foam at room temperature was ∼0.03 and strongly correlated with the strain rate sensitivity of ultra-fine grained bulk copper. Although oxidation occurred near the surface, the rate-controlling process was still the deformation of the underlying copper. An increase in the strain rate sensitivity was observed, comparably to that of ultra-fine-grained copper, which can be linked to thermally activated processes at grain boundaries. Important insights into the effects of oxidation on the deformation behavior were obtained by assessing the activation volume. Oxidation of the ultra-fine porous copper foam, thereby hindering dislocations to exit to the surface, resulted in a pronounced reduction of the apparent activation volume from ~800 to ~50 b3, as also typical for ultra-fine grained materials.
PMCID: PMC4270432  PMID: 25540464
3.  Graphene-contact electrically driven microdisk lasers 
Nature Communications  2012;3:1123-.
Active nanophotonic devices are attractive due to their low-power consumption, ultrafast modulation speed and high-density integration. Although electrical operation is required for practical implementation of these devices, it is not straightforward to introduce a proper current path into such a wavelength-scale nanostructure without affecting the optical properties. For example, to demonstrate electrically driven nanolasers, complicated fabrication techniques have been used thus far. Here we report an electrically driven microdisk laser using a transparent graphene electrode. Current is injected efficiently through the graphene sheet covering the top surface of the microdisk cavity, and, for the first time, lasing operation was achieved with a low-threshold current of ~300 μA at room temperature. In addition, we measured significant electroluminescence from a graphene-contact subwavelength-scale single nanopillar structure. This work represents a new paradigm for the practical applications of integrated photonic systems, by conformally mounting graphene on the complex surfaces of non-planar three-dimensional nanostructures.
Microdisk lasers are useful for compact wavelength-scale photonic devices and circuits, but their operation by electrical injection can hamper their optical properties. Kim et al. show that a graphene-contact electrode provides efficient electrical injection while minimising optical losses.
PMCID: PMC3493654  PMID: 23047681
4.  Three-dimensional strutted graphene grown by substrate-free sugar blowing for high-power-density supercapacitors 
Nature Communications  2013;4:2905.
Three-dimensional graphene architectures in the macroworld can in principle maintain all the extraordinary nanoscale properties of individual graphene flakes. However, current 3D graphene products suffer from poor electrical conductivity, low surface area and insufficient mechanical strength/elasticity; the interconnected self-supported reproducible 3D graphenes remain unavailable. Here we report a sugar-blowing approach based on a polymeric predecessor to synthesize a 3D graphene bubble network. The bubble network consists of mono- or few-layered graphitic membranes that are tightly glued, rigidly fixed and spatially scaffolded by micrometre-scale graphitic struts. Such a topological configuration provides intimate structural interconnectivities, freeway for electron/phonon transports, huge accessible surface area, as well as robust mechanical properties. The graphene network thus overcomes the drawbacks of presently available 3D graphene products and opens up a wide horizon for diverse practical usages, for example, high-power high-energy electrochemical capacitors, as highlighted in this work.
Three-dimensional graphene offers an ideal sheet-to-sheet connectivity of assembled graphenes, but often suffers from poor electrochemical performance. Wang et al. present a sugar-blowing technique to prepare a 3D graphene, which overcomes such problems and shows potential in supercapacitor applications.
PMCID: PMC3905699  PMID: 24336225
5.  Graphene nanomesh 
Nature nanotechnology  2010;5(3):190-194.
Graphene has significant potential for application in electronics1-5, but cannot be used for effective field-effect transistors operating at room temperature because it is a semimetal with a zero bandgap6,7. Processing graphene sheets into nanoribbons with widths of less than 10nm can open up a bandgap that is large enough for room temperature transistor operation8-19, but nanoribbon devices often have low driving currents or transconductances18,19. Moreover, practical devices and circuits will require the production of dense arrays of ordered nanoribbons, which is of significant challenge20,21. Here we report the production of a new graphene nanostructure - which we call graphene nanomesh - that can open up a band gap in a large sheet of graphene to create a semiconducting thin film. The nanomeshes are prepared with block copolymer lithography and can have variable periodicities and neck widths down to 5 nm. Graphene nanomesh field-effect transistors can support currents nearly 100 times greater than individual graphene nanoribbon devices, and the on-off ratio - which is comparable with the values achieved in individual nanoribbon devices - can be tuned by varying the neck width. The block copolymer lithography approach used to make the nanomesh devices is intrinsically scalable and could allow for the rational design and fabrication of graphene-based devices and circuits with standard semiconductor processing.
PMCID: PMC2901100  PMID: 20154685
6.  Resonant tunnelling and negative differential conductance in graphene transistors 
Nature Communications  2013;4:1794-.
The chemical stability of graphene and other free-standing two-dimensional crystals means that they can be stacked in different combinations to produce a new class of functional materials, designed for specific device applications. Here we report resonant tunnelling of Dirac fermions through a boron nitride barrier, a few atomic layers thick, sandwiched between two graphene electrodes. The resonance occurs when the electronic spectra of the two electrodes are aligned. The resulting negative differential conductance in the device characteristics persists up to room temperature and is gate voltage-tuneable due to graphene’s unique Dirac-like spectrum. Although conventional resonant tunnelling devices comprising a quantum well sandwiched between two tunnel barriers are tens of nanometres thick, the tunnelling carriers in our devices cross only a few atomic layers, offering the prospect of ultra-fast transit times. This feature, combined with the multi-valued form of the device characteristics, has potential for applications in high-frequency and logic devices.
Multilayer stacks of graphene and related two-dimensional crystals can be tailored to create new classes of functional materials. Britnell et al. report resonant tunnelling of Dirac fermions and tunable negative differential conductance in a graphene-boron nitride-graphene transistor.
PMCID: PMC3644101  PMID: 23653206
7.  Prospects for graphene–nanoparticle-based hybrid sensors 
Graphene is a single-atom thick, two-dimensional sheet of carbon that is characterized by exceptional chemical, electrical, material, optical, and physical properties. As a result, graphene and related materials, such as graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide, have been brought to the forefront in the field of sensing. Recently, a number of reports have demonstrated that graphene–nanoparticle hybrid structures can act synergistically to offer a number of unique physicochemical properties that are desirable and advantageous for sensing applications. These graphene–nanoparticle hybrid structures are particularly interesting because not only do they display the individual properties of the nanoparticles and of graphene, but they can also exhibit additional synergistic properties thereby enhancing the achievable sensitivity and selectivity using a variety of sensing mechanisms. As such, in this perspective, we will discuss the progress that has been made in the development and application of graphene–nanoparticle hybrid sensors and their future prospects. In particular, we will focus on the preparation of graphene–nanoparticle hybrid structures as well as their application in electronic, electrochemical, and optical sensors.
PMCID: PMC4098788  PMID: 23828095
8.  Synthesis of Three Dimensional Nickel Cobalt Oxide Nanoneedles on Nickel Foam, Their Characterization and Glucose Sensing Application 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(3):5415-5425.
In the present work, NiCo2O4 nanostructures are fabricated in three dimensions (3D) on nickel foam by the hydrothermal method. The nanomaterial was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The nanostructures exhibit nanoneedle-like morphology grown in 3D with good crystalline quality. The nanomaterial is composed of nickel, cobalt and oxygen atoms. By using the favorable porosity of the nanomaterial and the substrate itself, a sensitive glucose sensor is proposed by immobilizing glucose oxidase. The presented glucose sensor has shown linear response over a wide range of glucose concentrations from 0.005 mM to 15 mM with a sensitivity of 91.34 mV/decade and a fast response time of less than 10 s. The NiCo2O4 nanostructures-based glucose sensor has shown excellent reproducibility, repeatability and stability. The sensor showed negligible response to the normal concentrations of common interferents with glucose sensing, including uric acid, dopamine and ascorbic acid. All these favorable advantages of the fabricated glucose sensor suggest that it may have high potential for the determination of glucose in biological samples, food and other related areas.
PMCID: PMC4003998  PMID: 24647124
nickel cobalt oxide nanostructures; nickel foam; glucose sensor; potentiometric method
9.  All-optical control of ultrafast photocurrents in unbiased graphene 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4007.
Graphene has recently become a unique playground for studying light-matter interaction effects in low-dimensional electronic systems. Being of strong fundamental importance, these effects also open a wide range of opportunities in photonics and optoelectronics. In particular, strong and broadband light absorption in graphene allows one to achieve high carrier densities essential for observation of nonlinear optical phenomena. Here, we make use of strong photon-drag effect to generate and optically manipulate ultrafast photocurrents in graphene at room temperature. In contrast to the recent reports on injection of photocurrents in graphene due to external or built-in electric field effects and by quantum interference, we force the massless charge carriers to move via direct transfer of linear momentum from photons of incident laser beam to excited electrons in unbiased sample. Direction and amplitude of the drag-current induced in graphene are determined by polarization, incidence angle and intensity of the obliquely incident laser beam. We also demonstrate that the irradiation of graphene with two laser beams of the same wavelength offers an opportunity to manipulate the photocurrents in time domain. The obtained all-optical control of the photocurrents opens new routes towards graphene based high-speed and broadband optoelectronic devices.
PMCID: PMC3915314  PMID: 24500084
10.  Development of solution-gated graphene transistor model for biosensors 
The distinctive properties of graphene, characterized by its high carrier mobility and biocompatibility, have stimulated extreme scientific interest as a promising nanomaterial for future nanoelectronic applications. In particular, graphene-based transistors have been developed rapidly and are considered as an option for DNA sensing applications. Recent findings in the field of DNA biosensors have led to a renewed interest in the identification of genetic risk factors associated with complex human diseases for diagnosis of cancers or hereditary diseases. In this paper, an analytical model of graphene-based solution gated field effect transistors (SGFET) is proposed to constitute an important step towards development of DNA biosensors with high sensitivity and selectivity. Inspired by this fact, a novel strategy for a DNA sensor model with capability of single-nucleotide polymorphism detection is proposed and extensively explained. First of all, graphene-based DNA sensor model is optimized using particle swarm optimization algorithm. Based on the sensing mechanism of DNA sensors, detective parameters (Ids and Vgmin) are suggested to facilitate the decision making process. Finally, the behaviour of graphene-based SGFET is predicted in the presence of single-nucleotide polymorphism with an accuracy of more than 98% which guarantees the reliability of the optimized model for any application of the graphene-based DNA sensor. It is expected to achieve the rapid, quick and economical detection of DNA hybridization which could speed up the realization of the next generation of the homecare sensor system.
PMCID: PMC3926859  PMID: 24517158
Graphene; DNA hybridization; Optimization; Solution-gated field effect transistor; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Particle swarm optimization
11.  Potentiometric Zinc Ion Sensor Based on Honeycomb-Like NiO Nanostructures 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(11):15424-15437.
In this study honeycomb-like NiO nanostructures were grown on nickel foam by a simple hydrothermal growth method. The NiO nanostructures were characterized by field emission electron microscopy (FESEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. The characterized NiO nanostructures were uniform, dense and polycrystalline in the crystal phase. In addition to this, the NiO nanostructures were used in the development of a zinc ion sensor electrode by functionalization with the highly selective zinc ion ionophore 12-crown-4. The developed zinc ion sensor electrode has shown a good linear potentiometric response for a wide range of zinc ion concentrations, ranging from 0.001 mM to 100 mM, with sensitivity of 36 mV/decade. The detection limit of the present zinc ion sensor was found to be 0.0005 mM and it also displays a fast response time of less than 10 s. The proposed zinc ion sensor electrode has also shown good reproducibility, repeatability, storage stability and selectivity. The zinc ion sensor based on the functionalized NiO nanostructures was also used as indicator electrode in potentiometric titrations and it has demonstrated an acceptable stoichiometric relationship for the determination of zinc ion in unknown samples. The NiO nanostructures-based zinc ion sensor has potential for analysing zinc ion in various industrial, clinical and other real samples.
PMCID: PMC3522970  PMID: 23202217
honeycomb NiO nanostructures; potentiometric response; ion selective electrode; selectivity; selective ionophore
12.  The Effect of Different Foam Concentrations on Sperm Motility in Japanese Quail 
A study was conducted to determine the effect of foam extract on sperm motility in the male Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Adult male quails (<12 weeks) of heavy body weight strain were housed in individual cages and divided into 5 groups according to the size of their cloacal glands. The data indicated that the size of the cloacal gland was positively correlated with the frequency of foam secretion and total foam production. One gram of freshly collected clean foam was mixed with 1.0 mL of normal saline and homogenized for 10 minutes. After centrifugation at 35 000 rpm, the supernatant was used as 100% foam extract. The extract was diluted to 1:40, 1:20, 1:10, and 1:4 with normal saline to produce 2.5, 5.0, 10, and 25% foam extracts, respectively. 5% foam extract enhanced sperm survival at room temperature (30°–35°C) for 2 to 3 hrs, whereas higher concentrations (10% and above) suppressed sperm motility. From this study, it may be concluded that foam secretion and quantity of foam are directly proportional to the size of the cloacal gland and that the foam enhances and prolongs sperm motility, in vitro at an optimum concentration of 5%.
PMCID: PMC2976508  PMID: 21076546
13.  Green chemistry approach for the synthesis of biocompatible graphene 
Graphene is a single-atom thick, two-dimensional sheet of hexagonally arranged carbon atoms isolated from its three-dimensional parent material, graphite. One of the most common methods for preparation of graphene is chemical exfoliation of graphite using powerful oxidizing agents. Generally, graphene is synthesized through deoxygenation of graphene oxide (GO) by using hydrazine, which is one of the most widespread and strongest reducing agents. Due to the high toxicity of hydrazine, it is not a promising reducing agent in large-scale production of graphene; therefore, this study focused on a green or sustainable synthesis of graphene and the biocompatibility of graphene in primary mouse embryonic fibroblast cells (PMEFs).
Here, we demonstrated a simple, rapid, and green chemistry approach for the synthesis of reduced GO (rGO) from GO using triethylamine (TEA) as a reducing agent and stabilizing agent. The obtained TEA reduced GO (TEA-rGO) was characterized by ultraviolet (UV)–visible absorption spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), particle size dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy (AFM).
The transition of graphene oxide to graphene was confirmed by UV–visible spectroscopy. XRD and SEM were used to investigate the crystallinity of graphene and the surface morphologies of prepared graphene respectively. The formation of defects further supports the functionalization of graphene as indicated in the Raman spectrum of TEA-rGO. Surface morphology and the thickness of the GO and TEA-rGO were analyzed using AFM. The presented results suggest that TEA-rGO shows significantly more biocompatibility with PMEFs cells than GO.
This is the first report about using TEA as a reducing as well as a stabilizing agent for the preparation of biocompatible graphene. The proposed safe and green method offers substitute routes for large-scale production of graphene for several biomedical applications.
PMCID: PMC3736970  PMID: 23940417
graphene oxide; graphene; triethylamine; ultraviolet; visible spectroscopy; Raman spectroscopy; atomic force microscopy
14.  Growth of carbon nanowalls at atmospheric pressure for one-step gas sensor fabrication 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):202.
Carbon nanowalls (CNWs), two-dimensional "graphitic" platelets that are typically oriented vertically on a substrate, can exhibit similar properties as graphene. Growth of CNWs reported to date was exclusively carried out at a low pressure. Here, we report on the synthesis of CNWs at atmosphere pressure using "direct current plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition" by taking advantage of the high electric field generated in a pin-plate dc glow discharge. CNWs were grown on silicon, stainless steel, and copper substrates without deliberate introduction of catalysts. The as-grown CNW material was mainly mono- and few-layer graphene having patches of O-containing functional groups. However, Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies confirmed that most of the oxygen groups could be removed by thermal annealing. A gas-sensing device based on such CNWs was fabricated on metal electrodes through direct growth. The sensor responded to relatively low concentrations of NO2 (g) and NH3 (g), thus suggesting high-quality CNWs that are useful for room temperature gas sensors.
PACS: Graphene (81.05.ue), Chemical vapor deposition (81.15.Gh), Gas sensors (07.07.Df), Atmospheric pressure (92.60.hv)
PMCID: PMC3211258  PMID: 21711721
15.  Simple room-temperature preparation of high-yield large-area graphene oxide 
Graphene has attracted much attention from researchers due to its interesting mechanical, electrochemical, and electronic properties. It has many potential applications such as polymer filler, sensor, energy conversion, and energy storage devices. Graphene-based nanocomposites are under an intense spotlight amongst researchers. A large amount of graphene is required for preparation of such samples. Lately, graphene-based materials have been the target for fundamental life science investigations. Despite graphene being a much sought-after raw material, the drawbacks in the preparation of graphene are that it is a challenge amongst researchers to produce this material in a scalable quantity and that there is a concern about its safety. Thus, a simple and efficient method for the preparation of graphene oxide (GO) is greatly desired to address these problems. In this work, one-pot chemical oxidation of graphite was carried out at room temperature for the preparation of large-area GO with ~100% conversion. This high-conversion preparation of large-area GO was achieved using a simplified Hummer’s method from large graphite flakes (an average flake size of 500 μm). It was found that a high degree of oxidation of graphite could be realized by stirring graphite in a mixture of acids and potassium permanganate, resulting in GO with large lateral dimension and area, which could reach up to 120 μm and ~8000 μm2, respectively. The simplified Hummer’s method provides a facile approach for the preparation of large-area GO.
PMCID: PMC3260037  PMID: 22267928
graphene oxide; simplified Hummer’s method; chemical oxidation
16.  One-Dimensional Oxide Nanostructures as Gas-Sensing Materials: Review and Issues 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(4):4083-4099.
In this article, we review gas sensor application of one-dimensional (1D) metal-oxide nanostructures with major emphases on the types of device structure and issues for realizing practical sensors. One of the most important steps in fabricating 1D-nanostructure devices is manipulation and making electrical contacts of the nanostructures. Gas sensors based on individual 1D nanostructure, which were usually fabricated using electron-beam lithography, have been a platform technology for fundamental research. Recently, gas sensors with practical applicability were proposed, which were fabricated with an array of 1D nanostructures using scalable micro-fabrication tools. In the second part of the paper, some critical issues are pointed out including long-term stability, gas selectivity, and room-temperature operation of 1D-nanostructure-based metal-oxide gas sensors.
PMCID: PMC3274262  PMID: 22319343
1-dimensional nanostructures; gas sensors; long-term stability; gas selectivity; electronic-nose; room-temperature operation
17.  Hydrous Ruthenium Oxide Nanoparticles Anchored to Graphene and Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Foam for Supercapacitors 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4452.
In real life applications, supercapacitors (SCs) often can only be used as part of a hybrid system together with other high energy storage devices due to their relatively lower energy density in comparison to other types of energy storage devices such as batteries and fuel cells. Increasing the energy density of SCs will have a huge impact on the development of future energy storage devices by broadening the area of application for SCs. Here, we report a simple and scalable way of preparing a three-dimensional (3D) sub-5 nm hydrous ruthenium oxide (RuO2) anchored graphene and CNT hybrid foam (RGM) architecture for high-performance supercapacitor electrodes. This RGM architecture demonstrates a novel graphene foam conformally covered with hybrid networks of RuO2 nanoparticles and anchored CNTs. SCs based on RGM show superior gravimetric and per-area capacitive performance (specific capacitance: 502.78 F g−1, areal capacitance: 1.11 F cm−2) which leads to an exceptionally high energy density of 39.28 Wh kg−1 and power density of 128.01 kW kg−1. The electrochemical stability, excellent capacitive performance, and the ease of preparation suggest this RGM system is promising for future energy storage applications.
PMCID: PMC3964521  PMID: 24663242
18.  Nonlinear vibration behavior of graphene resonators and their applications in sensitive mass detection 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):499.
Graphene has received significant attention due to its excellent mechanical properties, which has resulted in the emergence of graphene-based nano-electro-mechanical system such as nanoresonators. The nonlinear vibration of a graphene resonator and its application to mass sensing (based on nonlinear oscillation) have been poorly studied, although a graphene resonator is able to easily reach the nonlinear vibration. In this work, we have studied the nonlinear vibration of a graphene resonator driven by a geometric nonlinear effect due to an edge-clamped boundary condition using a continuum elastic model such as a plate model. We have shown that an in-plane tension can play a role in modulating the nonlinearity of a resonance for a graphene. It has been found that the detection sensitivity of a graphene resonator can be improved by using nonlinear vibration induced by an actuation force-driven geometric nonlinear effect. It is also shown that an in-plane tension can control the detection sensitivity of a graphene resonator that operates both harmonic and nonlinear oscillation regimes. Our study suggests the design principles of a graphene resonator as a mass sensor for developing a novel detection scheme using graphene-based nonlinear oscillators.
PMCID: PMC3462111  PMID: 22947221
Graphene resonator; Mass sensing; Nonlinear oscillation; NEMS
19.  Graphene as a sub-nanometer trans-electrode membrane 
Nature  2010;467(7312):190-193.
Isolated, atomically thin conducting membranes of graphite, called graphene, have recently been the subject of intense research with the hope that practical applications in fields ranging from electronics to energy science will emerge1. Here, we show that when immersed in ionic solution, a layer of graphene becomes a new electrochemical structure we call a trans-electrode. The trans-electrode's unique properties are the consequence of the atomic scale proximity of its two opposing liquid-solid interfaces together with graphene's well known in-plane conductivity. We show that several trans-electrode properties are revealed by ionic conductance measurements on a CVD grown graphene membrane that separates two aqueous ionic solutions. Although our membranes are only one to two atomic layers2,3 thick, we find they are remarkable ionic insulators with a very small stable conductance that depends on the ion species in solution. Electrical measurements on graphene membranes in which a single nanopore has been drilled show that the membrane's effective insulating thickness is less than one nanometer. This small effective thickness makes graphene an ideal substrate for very high-resolution, high throughput nanopore-based single molecule detectors. The sensitivity of graphene's in-plane electronic conductivity to its immediate surface environment, as influenced by trans-electrode potential, will offer new insights into atomic surface processes and sensor development opportunities.
PMCID: PMC2956266  PMID: 20720538
20.  Graphene/Si-nanowire heterostructure molecular sensors 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5384.
Wafer-scale graphene/Si-nanowire (Si-NW) array heterostructures for molecular sensing have been fabricated by vertically contacting single-layer graphene with high-density Si NWs. Graphene is grown in large scale by chemical vapour deposition and Si NWs are vertically aligned by metal-assisted chemical etching of Si wafer. Graphene plays a key role in preventing tips of vertical Si NWs from being bundled, thereby making Si NWs stand on Si wafer separately from each other under graphene, a critical structural feature for the uniform Schottky-type junction between Si NWs and graphene. The molecular sensors respond very sensitively to gas molecules by showing 37 and 1280% resistance changes within 3.5/0.15 and 12/0.15 s response/recovery times under O2 and H2 exposures in air, respectively, highest performances ever reported. These results together with the sensor responses in vacuum are discussed based on the surface-transfer doping mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4064328  PMID: 24947403
21.  Electrochemistry at Edge of Single Graphene Layer in a Nanopore 
ACS nano  2012;7(1):834-843.
We study the electrochemistry of single layer graphene edges using a nanopore-based structure consisting of stacked graphene and Al2O3 dielectric layers. Nanopores, with diameters ranging from 5 to 20 nm, are formed by an electron beam sculpting process on the stacked layers. This leads to unique edge structure which, along with the atomically thin nature of the embedded graphene electrode, demonstrates electrochemical current densities as high as 1.2 × 104 A/cm2. The graphene edge embedded structure offers a unique capability to study the electrochemical exchange at an individual graphene edge, isolated from the basal plane electrochemical activity. We also report ionic current modulation in the nanopore by biasing the embedded graphene terminal with respect to the electrodes in the fluid. The high electrochemical specific current density for a graphene nanopore-based device can have many applications in sensitive chemical and biological sensing, and energy storage devices.
PMCID: PMC3551991  PMID: 23249127
Nanopores; graphene; graphene electrochemistry; nano-bio sensors; stacked graphene
22.  Low Temperature Sensing Properties of a Nano Hybrid Material Based on ZnO Nanotetrapods and Titanyl Phthalocyanine 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(3):3445-3453.
ZnO nanotetrapods have recently been exploited for the realization of high-sensitivity gas sensors, but they are affected by the typical drawbacks of metal-oxides, i.e., poor selectivity and a relatively high working temperature. On the other hand, it has been also demonstrated that the combined use of nanostructured metal oxides and organic molecules can improve the gas sensing performance sensitivity or selectivity, even at lower temperatures. A gas sensor device, based on films of interconnected ZnO nanotetrapods properly functionalized by titanyl phthalocyanine (TiOPc), has been realized in order to combine the high surface to volume ratio and structural stability of the crystalline ZnO nanostructures with the enhanced sensitivity of the semiconducting TiOPc molecule, especially at low temperature. The electronic properties of the resulting nanohybrid material are different from those of each single component. The response of the hybrid nanostructure towards different gases has been compared with that of ZnO nanotetrapod without functionalization in order to highlight the peculiar properties of the hybrid interaction(s). The dynamic response in time has been studied for different gases and temperatures; in particular, an increase in the response to NO2 has been observed, even at room temperature. The formation of localized p-n heterojunctions and the possibility of exchanging charge carriers at the hybrid interface is shown to be crucial for the sensing mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3658755  PMID: 23486215
gas sensor; ZnO nanostructures; phthalocyanine; NO2; room temperature
23.  Pressure Ulcer Prevention 
Executive Summary
In April 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began an evidence-based review of the literature concerning pressure ulcers.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, to review these titles that are currently available within the Pressure Ulcers series.
Pressure ulcer prevention: an evidence based analysis
The cost-effectiveness of prevention strategies for pressure ulcers in long-term care homes in Ontario: projections of the Ontario Pressure Ulcer Model (field evaluation)
Management of chronic pressure ulcers: an evidence-based analysis (anticipated pubicstion date - mid-2009)
A pressure ulcer, also known as a pressure sore, decubitus ulcer, or bedsore, is defined as a localized injury to the skin/and or underlying tissue occurring most often over a bony prominence and caused by pressure, shear, or friction, alone or in combination. (1) Those at risk for developing pressure ulcers include the elderly and critically ill as well as persons with neurological impairments and those who suffer conditions associated with immobility. Pressure ulcers are graded or staged with a 4-point classification system denoting severity. Stage I represents the beginnings of a pressure ulcer and stage IV, the severest grade, consists of full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon, and or muscle. (1)
In a 2004 survey of Canadian health care settings, Woodbury and Houghton (2) estimated that the prevalence of pressure ulcers at a stage 1 or greater in Ontario ranged between 13.1% and 53% with nonacute health care settings having the highest prevalence rate (Table 1).
Executive Summary Table 1: Prevalence of Pressure Ulcers*
CI indicates confidence interval.
Nonacute care included sub-acute care, chronic care, complex continuing care, long-term care, and nursing home care.
Mixed health care includes a mixture of acute, nonacute, and/or community care health care delivery settings.
Pressure ulcers have a considerable economic impact on health care systems. In Australia, the cost of treating a single stage IV ulcer has been estimated to be greater than $61,000 (AUD) (approximately $54,000 CDN), (3) while in the United Kingdom the total cost of pressure ulcers has been estimated at £1.4–£2.1 billion annually or 4% of the National Health Service expenditure. (4)
Because of the high physical and economic burden of pressure ulcers, this review was undertaken to determine which interventions are effective at preventing the development of pressure ulcers in an at-risk population.
Review Strategy
The main objective of this systematic review is to determine the effectiveness of pressure ulcer preventive interventions including Risk Assessment, Distribution Devices, Nutritional Supplementation, Repositioning, and Incontinence Management.
A comprehensive literature search was completed for each of the above 5 preventive interventions. The electronic databases searched included MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. As well, the bibliographic references of selected studies were searched. All studies meeting explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria for each systematic review section were retained and the quality of the body of evidence was determined using the Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. (5) Where appropriate, a meta-analysis was undertaken to determine the overall estimate of effect of the preventive intervention under review.
Summary of Findings
Risk Assessment
There is very low quality evidence to support the hypothesis that allocating the type of pressure-relieving equipment according to the person’s level of pressure ulcer risk statistically decreases the incidence of pressure ulcer development. Similarly, there is very low quality evidence to support the hypothesis that incorporating a risk assessment into nursing practice increases the number of preventative measures used per person and that these interventions are initiated earlier in the care continuum.
Pressure Redistribution Devices
There is moderate quality evidence that the use of an alternative foam mattress produces a relative risk reduction (RRR) of 69% in the incidence of pressure ulcers compared with a standard hospital mattress. The evidence does not support the superiority of one particular type of alternative foam mattress.
There is very low quality evidence that the use of an alternating pressure mattress is associated with an RRR of 71% in the incidence of grade 1 or 2 pressure ulcers. Similarly, there is low quality evidence that the use of an alternating pressure mattress is associated with an RRR of 68% in the incidence of deteriorating skin changes.
There is moderate quality evidence that there is a statistically nonsignificant difference in the incidence of grade 2 pressure ulcers between persons using an alternating pressure mattress and those using an alternating pressure overlay.
There is moderate quality evidence that the use of an Australian sheepskin produces an RRR of 58% in the incidence of pressure ulcers grade 1 or greater. There is also evidence that sheepskins are uncomfortable to use. The Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel noted that, in general, sheepskins are not a useful preventive intervention because they bunch up in a patient’s bed and may contribute to wound infection if not properly cleaned, and this reduces their acceptability as a preventive intervention.
There is very low quality evidence that the use of a Micropulse System alternating pressure mattress used intra operatively and postoperatively produces an RRR of 79% in the incidence of pressure ulcers compared with a gel-pad used intraoperatively and a standard hospital mattress used postoperatively (standard care). It is unclear if this effect is due to the use of the alternating pressure mattress intraoperatively or postoperatively or if indeed it must be used in both patient care areas.
There is low quality evidence that the use of a vesico-elastic polymer pad (gel pad) on the operating table for surgeries of at least 90 minutes’ duration produces a statistically significant RRR of 47% in the incidence of pressure ulcers grade 1 or greater compared with a standard operating table foam mattress.
There is low quality evidence that the use of an air suspension bed in the intensive care unit (ICU) for stays of at least 3 days produces a statistically significant RRR of 76% in the incidence of pressure ulcers compared with a standard ICU bed.
There is very low quality evidence that the use of an alternating pressure mattress does not statistically reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers compared with an alternative foam mattress.
Nutritional Supplementation
There is very low quality evidence supporting an RRR of 15% in the incidence of pressure ulcers when nutritional supplementation is added to a standard hospital diet.
There is low quality evidence supporting the superiority of a 4-hourly turning schedule with a vesico-elastic polyurethane foam mattress compared with a 2-hourly or 3-hourly turning schedule and a standard foam mattress to reduce the incidence of grade 1 or 2 pressure ulcers.
Incontinence Management
There is very low quality evidence supporting the benefit of a structured skin care protocol to reduce the incidence of grade 1 or 2 pressure ulcers in persons with urinary and/or fecal incontinence.
There is low quality evidence supporting the benefit of a pH-balanced cleanser compared with soap and water to reduce the incidence of grade 1 or 2 pressure ulcers in persons with urinary and fecal incontinence.
There is moderate quality evidence that an alternative foam mattress is effective in preventing the development of pressure ulcers compared with a standard hospital foam mattress.
However, overall there remains a paucity of moderate or higher quality evidence in the literature to support many of the preventive interventions. Until better quality evidence is available, pressure ulcer preventive care must be guided by expert opinion for those interventions where low or very low quality evidence supports the effectiveness of such interventions.
Confidence interval
Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation
Intensive care unit
Medical Advisory Secretariat
National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel
Risk assessment scale
Randomized controlled trial
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
Relative risk
Relative risk reduction
PMCID: PMC3377566  PMID: 23074524
24.  A Novel Role of Three Dimensional Graphene Foam to Prevent Heater Failure during Boiling 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1960.
We report a novel boiling heat transfer (NBHT) in reduced graphene oxide (RGO) suspended in water (RGO colloid) near critical heat flux (CHF), which is traditionally the dangerous limitation of nucleate boiling heat transfer because of heater failure. When the heat flux reaches the maximum value (CHF) in RGO colloid pool boiling, the wall temperature increases gradually and slowly with an almost constant heat flux, contrary to the rapid wall temperature increase found during water pool boiling. The gained time by NBHT would provide the safer margin of the heat transfer and the amazing impact on the thermal system as the first report of graphene application. In addition, the CHF and boiling heat transfer performance also increase. This novel boiling phenomenon can effectively prevent heater failure because of the role played by the self-assembled three-dimensional foam-like graphene network (SFG).
PMCID: PMC3675455  PMID: 23743619
25.  Direct Growth of Vertically-oriented Graphene for Field-Effect Transistor Biosensor 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1696.
A sensitive and selective field-effect transistor (FET) biosensor is demonstrated using vertically-oriented graphene (VG) sheets labeled with gold nanoparticle (NP)-antibody conjugates. VG sheets are directly grown on the sensor electrode using a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) method and function as the sensing channel. The protein detection is accomplished through measuring changes in the electrical signal from the FET sensor upon the antibody-antigen binding. The novel biosensor with unique graphene morphology shows high sensitivity (down to ~2 ng/ml or 13 pM) and selectivity towards specific proteins. The PECVD growth of VG presents a one-step and reliable approach to prepare graphene-based electronic biosensors.
PMCID: PMC3631944  PMID: 23603871

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