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1.  The effects of porosity on optical properties of semiconductor chalcogenide films obtained by the chemical bath deposition 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):483.
This paper is dedicated to study the thin polycrystalline films of semiconductor chalcogenide materials (CdS, CdSe, and PbS) obtained by ammonia-free chemical bath deposition. The obtained material is of polycrystalline nature with crystallite of a size that, from a general point of view, should not result in any noticeable quantum confinement. Nevertheless, we were able to observe blueshift of the fundamental absorption edge and reduced refractive index in comparison with the corresponding bulk materials. Both effects are attributed to the material porosity which is a typical feature of chemical bath deposition technique. The blueshift is caused by quantum confinement in pores, whereas the refractive index variation is the evident result of the density reduction. Quantum mechanical description of the nanopores in semiconductor is given based on the application of even mirror boundary conditions for the solution of the Schrödinger equation; the results of calculations give a reasonable explanation of the experimental data.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-483
PMCID: PMC3475102  PMID: 22931255
polycrystalline films; chalcogenide materials; nanopores; quantum confinement in pores
2.  Enzyme-Polymers Conjugated to Quantum-Dots for Sensing Applications 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2011;11(10):9951-9972.
In the present research, the concept of developing a novel system based on polymer-enzyme macromolecules was tested by coupling carboxylic acid functionalized poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA-COOH) to glucose oxidase (GOx) followed by the bioconjugation with CdS quantum-dots (QD). The resulting organic-inorganic nanohybrids were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, Photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The spectroscopy results have clearly shown that the polymer-enzyme macromolecules (PVA-COOH/GOx) were synthesized by the proposed zero-length linker route. Moreover, they have performed as successful capping agents for the nucleation and constrained growth of CdS quantum-dots via aqueous colloidal chemistry. The TEM images associated with the optical absorption results have indicated the formation of CdS nanocrystals with estimated diameters of about 3.0 nm. The “blue-shift” in the visible absorption spectra and the PL values have provided strong evidence that the fluorescent CdS nanoparticles were produced in the quantum-size confinement regime. Finally, the hybrid system was biochemically assayed by injecting the glucose substrate and detecting the formation of peroxide with the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP). Thus, the polymer-enzyme-QD hybrid has behaved as a nanostructured sensor for glucose detecting.
doi:10.3390/s111009951
PMCID: PMC3231291  PMID: 22163736
hybrids; quantum dots; functionalized polymer; enzyme sensor; colloids; nanossensor
3.  Anisotropic Quantum Confinement Effect and Electric Control of Surface States in Dirac Semimetal Nanostructures 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:7898.
The recent discovery of Dirac semimetals represents a new achievement in our fundamental understanding of topological states of matter. Due to their topological surface states, high mobility, and exotic properties associated with bulk Dirac points, these new materials have attracted significant attention and are believed to hold great promise for fabricating novel topological devices. For nanoscale device applications, effects from finite size usually play an important role. In this report, we theoretically investigate the electronic properties of Dirac semimetal nanostructures. Quantum confinement generally opens a bulk band gap at the Dirac points. We find that confinement along different directions shows strong anisotropic effects. In particular, the gap due to confinement along vertical c-axis shows a periodic modulation, which is absent for confinement along horizontal directions. We demonstrate that the topological surface states could be controlled by lateral electrostatic gating. It is possible to generate Rashba-like spin splitting for the surface states and to shift them relative to the confinement-induced bulk gap. These results will not only facilitate our fundamental understanding of Dirac semimetal nanostructures, but also provide useful guidance for designing all-electrical topological spintronics devices.
doi:10.1038/srep07898
PMCID: PMC4298737  PMID: 25600392
4.  Theory of free electron vortices 
Ultramicroscopy  2011;111(9-10):1461-1468.
The recent creation of electron vortex beams and their first practical application motivates a better understanding of their properties. Here, we develop the theory of free electron vortices with quantized angular momentum, based on solutions of the Schrödinger equation for cylindrical boundary conditions. The principle of transformation of a plane wave into vortices with quantized angular momentum, their paraxial propagation through round magnetic lenses, and the effect of partial coherence are discussed.
Highlights
► Theory of vortex electrons. ► Proof that free electrons can carry quantized orbital momentum. ► Proof that electron vortices are stable and robust under spherical aberration. ► Demonstration of the strong influence of partial coherence.
doi:10.1016/j.ultramic.2011.07.004
PMCID: PMC3279051  PMID: 21930017
TEM; Coherence; Angular momentum; Vortex beams
5.  3-D Quantum Transport Solver Based on the Perfectly Matched Layer and Spectral Element Methods for the Simulation of Semiconductor Nanodevices 
Journal of computational physics  2007;227(1):455-471.
A 3-D quantum transport solver based on the spectral element method (SEM) and perfectly matched layer (PML) is introduced to solve the 3-D Schrödinger equation with a tensor effective mass. In this solver, the influence of the environment is replaced with the artificial PML open boundary extended beyond the contact regions of the device. These contact regions are treated as waveguides with known incident waves from waveguide mode solutions. As the transmitted wave function is treated as a total wave, there is no need to decompose it into waveguide modes, thus significantly simplifying the problem in comparison with conventional open boundary conditions. The spectral element method leads to an exponentially improving accuracy with the increase in the polynomial order and sampling points. The PML region can be designed such that less than −100 dB outgoing waves are reflected by this artificial material. The computational efficiency of the SEM solver is demonstrated by comparing the numerical and analytical results from waveguide and plane-wave examples, and its utility is illustrated by multiple-terminal devices and semiconductor nanotube devices.
doi:10.1016/j.jcp.2007.07.028
PMCID: PMC2083569  PMID: 18037971
Perfectly matched layer (PML); spectral element method (SEM); open boundary condition; quantum transport; nanodevice simulation; Schrödinger equation; tensor effective mass
6.  Motion of a Cylindrical Dielectric Boundary 
The interplay between geometry and electrostatics contributes significantly to hydrophobic interactions of biomolecules in an aqueous solution. With an implicit solvent, such a system can be described macroscopically by the dielectric boundary that separates the high-dielectric solvent from low-dielectric solutes. This work concerns the motion of a model cylindrical dielectric boundary as the steepest descent of a free-energy functional that consists of both the surface and electrostatic energies. The effective dielectric boundary force is defined and an explicit formula of the force is obtained. It is found that such a force always points from the solvent region to solute region. In the case that the interior of a cylinder is of a lower dielectric, the motion of the dielectric boundary is initially driven dominantly by the surface force but is then driven inward quickly to the cylindrical axis by both the surface and electrostatic forces. In the case that the interior of a cylinder is of a higher dielectric, the competition between the geometrical and electrostatic contributions leads to the existence of equilibrium boundaries that are circular cylinders. Linear stability analysis is presented to show that such an equilibrium is only stable for a perturbation with a wavenumber larger than a critical value. Numerical simulations are reported for both of the cases, confirming the analysis on the role of each component of the driving force. Implications of the mathematical findings to the understanding of charged molecular systems are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3718573  PMID: 23885130
Charged molecules; dielectric boundaries; surface energy; electrostatic energy; effective dielectric boundary force; linear stability
7.  Enhanced Ethanol Gas Sensing Properties of SnO2-Core/ZnO-Shell Nanostructures 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(8):14586-14600.
An inexpensive single-step carbon-assisted thermal evaporation method for the growth of SnO2-core/ZnO-shell nanostructures is described, and the ethanol sensing properties are presented. The structure and phases of the grown nanostructures are investigated by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. XRD analysis indicates that the core-shell nanostructures have good crystallinity. At a lower growth duration of 15 min, only SnO2 nanowires with a rectangular cross-section are observed, while the ZnO shell is observed when the growth time is increased to 30 min. Core-shell hierarchical nanostructures are present for a growth time exceeding 60 min. The growth mechanism for SnO2-core/ZnO-shell nanowires and hierarchical nanostructures are also discussed. The sensitivity of the synthesized SnO2-core/ZnO-shell nanostructures towards ethanol sensing is investigated. Results show that the SnO2-core/ZnO-shell nanostructures deposited at 90 min exhibit enhanced sensitivity to ethanol. The sensitivity of SnO2-core/ZnO-shell nanostructures towards 20 ppm ethanol gas at 400 °C is about ∼5-times that of SnO2 nanowires. This improvement in ethanol gas response is attributed to high active sensing sites and the synergistic effect of the encapsulation of SnO2 by ZnO nanostructures.
doi:10.3390/s140814586
PMCID: PMC4179074  PMID: 25116903
ethanol gas sensor; ZnO; SnO2; core-shell nanostructures; hierarchical nanostructures
8.  Silicon and Germanium Nanostructures for Photovoltaic Applications: Ab-Initio Results 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(10):1637-1649.
Actually, most of the electric energy is being produced by fossil fuels and great is the search for viable alternatives. The most appealing and promising technology is photovoltaics. It will become truly mainstream when its cost will be comparable to other energy sources. One way is to significantly enhance device efficiencies, for example by increasing the number of band gaps in multijunction solar cells or by favoring charge separation in the devices. This can be done by using cells based on nanostructured semiconductors. In this paper, we will present ab-initio results of the structural, electronic and optical properties of (1) silicon and germanium nanoparticles embedded in wide band gap materials and (2) mixed silicon-germanium nanowires. We show that theory can help in understanding the microscopic processes important for devices performances. In particular, we calculated for embedded Si and Ge nanoparticles the dependence of the absorption threshold on size and oxidation, the role of crystallinity and, in some cases, the recombination rates, and we demonstrated that in the case of mixed nanowires, those with a clear interface between Si and Ge show not only a reduced quantum confinement effect but display also a natural geometrical separation between electron and hole.
doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9688-9
PMCID: PMC2956023  PMID: 21076696
Silicon; Germanium; Nanocrystals; Nanowires; Nanophotonics; Photovoltaics
9.  Silicon and Germanium Nanostructures for Photovoltaic Applications: Ab-Initio Results 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(10):1637-1649.
Actually, most of the electric energy is being produced by fossil fuels and great is the search for viable alternatives. The most appealing and promising technology is photovoltaics. It will become truly mainstream when its cost will be comparable to other energy sources. One way is to significantly enhance device efficiencies, for example by increasing the number of band gaps in multijunction solar cells or by favoring charge separation in the devices. This can be done by using cells based on nanostructured semiconductors. In this paper, we will present ab-initio results of the structural, electronic and optical properties of (1) silicon and germanium nanoparticles embedded in wide band gap materials and (2) mixed silicon-germanium nanowires. We show that theory can help in understanding the microscopic processes important for devices performances. In particular, we calculated for embedded Si and Ge nanoparticles the dependence of the absorption threshold on size and oxidation, the role of crystallinity and, in some cases, the recombination rates, and we demonstrated that in the case of mixed nanowires, those with a clear interface between Si and Ge show not only a reduced quantum confinement effect but display also a natural geometrical separation between electron and hole.
doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9688-9
PMCID: PMC2956023  PMID: 21076696
Silicon; Germanium; Nanocrystals; Nanowires; Nanophotonics; Photovoltaics
10.  Research progress on electronic phase separation in low-dimensional perovskite manganite nanostructures 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):325.
Perovskite oxide manganites with a general formula of R1-x AxMnO3 (where R is a trivalent rare-earth element such as La, Pr, Sm, and A is a divalent alkaline-earth element such as Ca, Sr, and Ba) have received much attention due to their unusual electron-transport and magnetic properties, which are indispensable for applications in microelectronic, magnetic, and spintronic devices. Recent advances in the science and technology have resulted in the feature sizes of microelectronic devices based on perovskite manganite oxides down-scaling into nanoscale dimensions. At the nanoscale, low-dimensional perovskite manganite oxide nanostructures display novel physical properties that are different from their bulk and film counterparts. Recently, there is strong experimental evidence to indicate that the low-dimensional perovskite manganite oxide nanostructures are electronically inhomogeneous, consisting of different spatial regions with different electronic orders, a phenomenon that is named as electronic phase separation (EPS). As the geometry sizes of the low-dimensional manganite nanostructures are reduced to the characteristic EPS length scale (typically several tens of nanometers in manganites), the EPS is expected to be strongly modulated, leading to quite dramatic changes in functionality and more emergent phenomena. Therefore, reduced dimensionality opens a door to the new functionalities in perovskite manganite oxides and offers a way to gain new insight into the nature of EPS. During the past few years, much progress has been made in understanding the physical nature of the EPS in low-dimensional perovskite manganite nanostructures both from experimentalists and theorists, which have a profound impact on the oxide nanoelectronics. This nanoreview covers the research progresses of the EPS in low-dimensional perovskite manganite nanostructures such as nanoparticles, nanowires/nanotubes, and nanostructured films and/or patterns. The possible physical origins of the EPS are also discussed from the signatures of electronic inhomogeneities as well as some theoretical scenarios, to shed light on understanding this phenomenon. Finally, the perspectives to the future researches in this area are also outlined.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-325
PMCID: PMC4080779  PMID: 25024686
Perovskite manganites; Low-dimensional nanostructures; Electronic phase separation
11.  Molecular Self-Assembly into One-Dimensional Nanostructures 
Accounts of chemical research  2008;41(12):1674-1684.
CONSPECTUS
Self-assembly of small molecules into one-dimensional nanostructures offers many potential applications in electronically and biologically active materials. The recent advances discussed in this Account demonstrate how researchers can use the fundamental principles of supramolecular chemistry to craft the size, shape, and internal structure of nanoscale objects. In each system described here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to study the assembly morphology. Circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared, and optical spectroscopy provided additional information about the self-assembly behavior in solution at the molecular level.
Dendron rod–coil molecules self-assemble into flat or helical ribbons. They can incorporate electronically conductive groups and can be mineralized with inorganic semiconductors. To understand the relative importance of each segment in forming the supramolecular structure, we synthetically modified the dendron, rod, and coil portions. The self-assembly depended on the generation number of the dendron, the number of hydrogen-bonding functions, and the length of the rod and coil segments. We formed chiral helices using a dendron–rod–coil molecule prepared from an enantiomerically enriched coil.
Because helical nanostructures are important targets for use in biomaterials, nonlinear optics, and stereoselective catalysis, researchers would like to precisely control their shape and size. Tripeptide-containing peptide lipid molecules assemble into straight or twisted nanofibers in organic solvents. As seen by AFM, the sterics of bulky end groups can tune the helical pitch of these peptide lipid nanofibers in organic solvents. Furthermore, we demonstrated the potential for pitch control using trans-to-cis photoisomerization of a terminal azobenzene group. Other molecules called peptide amphiphiles (PAs) are known to assemble in water into cylindrical nanostructures that appear as nanofiber bundles. Surprisingly, TEM of a PA substituted by a nitrobenzyl group revealed assembly into quadruple helical fibers with a braided morphology. Upon photocleavage of this the nitrobenzyl group, the helices transform into single cylindrical nanofibers.
Finally, inspired by the tobacco mosaic virus, we used a dumbbell-shaped, oligo(phenylene ethynylene) template to control the length of a PA nanofiber self-assembly (<10 nm). AFM showed complete disappearance of long nanofibers in the presence of this rigid-rod template. Results from quick-freeze/deep-etch TEM and dynamic light scattering demonstrated the templating behavior in aqueous solution. This strategy could provide a general method to control size the length of non-spherical supramolecular nanostructures.
doi:10.1021/ar8000926
PMCID: PMC2645948  PMID: 18754628
12.  Various Quantum- and Nano-Structures by III–V Droplet Epitaxy on GaAs Substrates 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2009;5(2):308-314.
We report on various self-assembled In(Ga)As nanostructures by droplet epitaxy on GaAs substrates using molecular beam epitaxy. Depending on the growth condition and index of surfaces, various nanostructures can be fabricated: quantum dots (QDs), ring-like and holed-triangular nanostructures. At near room temperatures, by limiting surface diffusion of adatoms, the size of In droplets suitable for quantum confinement can be fabricated and thus InAs QDs are demonstrated on GaAs (100) surface. On the other hand, at relatively higher substrate temperatures, by enhancing the surface migrations of In adatoms, super lower density of InGaAs ring-shaped nanostructures can be fabricated on GaAs (100). Under an identical growth condition, holed-triangular InGaAs nanostructures can be fabricated on GaAs type-A surfaces, while ring-shaped nanostructures are formed on GaAs (100). The formation mechanism of various nanostructures can be understood in terms of intermixing, surface diffusion, and surface reconstruction.
doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9481-9
PMCID: PMC2893769  PMID: 20671787
Droplet epitaxy; Nanostructures; High-index GaAs; Atomic force microscope; Molecular beam epitaxy
13.  Various Quantum- and Nano-Structures by III–V Droplet Epitaxy on GaAs Substrates 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2009;5(2):308-314.
We report on various self-assembled In(Ga)As nanostructures by droplet epitaxy on GaAs substrates using molecular beam epitaxy. Depending on the growth condition and index of surfaces, various nanostructures can be fabricated: quantum dots (QDs), ring-like and holed-triangular nanostructures. At near room temperatures, by limiting surface diffusion of adatoms, the size of In droplets suitable for quantum confinement can be fabricated and thus InAs QDs are demonstrated on GaAs (100) surface. On the other hand, at relatively higher substrate temperatures, by enhancing the surface migrations of In adatoms, super lower density of InGaAs ring-shaped nanostructures can be fabricated on GaAs (100). Under an identical growth condition, holed-triangular InGaAs nanostructures can be fabricated on GaAs type-A surfaces, while ring-shaped nanostructures are formed on GaAs (100). The formation mechanism of various nanostructures can be understood in terms of intermixing, surface diffusion, and surface reconstruction.
doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9481-9
PMCID: PMC2893769  PMID: 20671787
Droplet epitaxy; Nanostructures; High-index GaAs; Atomic force microscope; Molecular beam epitaxy
14.  Ferromagnetism and semiconducting of boron nanowires 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):678.
More recently, motivated by extensively technical applications of carbon nanostructures, there is a growing interest in exploring novel non-carbon nanostructures. As the nearest neighbor of carbon in the periodic table, boron has exceptional properties of low volatility and high melting point and is stronger than steel, harder than corundum, and lighter than aluminum. Boron nanostructures thus are expected to have broad applications in various circumstances. In this contribution, we have performed a systematical study of the stability and electronic and magnetic properties of boron nanowires using the spin-polarized density functional calculations. Our calculations have revealed that there are six stable configurations of boron nanowires obtained by growing along different base vectors from the unit cell of the bulk α-rhombohedral boron (α-B) and β-rhombohedral boron (β-B). Well known, the boron bulk is usually metallic without magnetism. However, theoretical results about the magnetic and electronic properties showed that, whether for the α-B-based or the β-B-based nanowires, their magnetism is dependent on the growing direction. When the boron nanowires grow along the base vector [001], they exhibit ferromagnetism and have the magnetic moments of 1.98 and 2.62 μB, respectively, for the α-c [001] and β-c [001] directions. Electronically, when the boron nanowire grows along the α-c [001] direction, it shows semiconducting and has the direct bandgap of 0.19 eV. These results showed that boron nanowires possess the unique direction dependence of the magnetic and semiconducting behaviors, which are distinctly different from that of the bulk boron. Therefore, these theoretical findings would bring boron nanowires to have many promising applications that are novel for the boron bulk.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-678
PMCID: PMC3549899  PMID: 23244063
Boron nanowires; Ferromagnetism; Semiconducting
15.  Polarized photoreflectance and photoluminescence spectroscopy of InGaAs/GaAs quantum rods grown with As2 and As4 sources 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):609.
We report photoreflectance (PR) and photoluminescence (PL) investigations of the electronic and polarization properties of different aspect ratio (height/diameter) InGaAs quantum rods (QRs) embedded in InGaAs quantum wells (QWs). These nanostructures were grown by molecular beam epitaxy using As2or As4sources. The impact of the As source on the spectral and polarization features of the QR- and QW-related interband transitions was investigated and explained in terms of the carrier confinement effects caused by variation of composition contrast between the QR material and the surrounding well. Polarized PR and PL measurements reveal that the polarization has a preferential direction along the [11¯0] crystal axis with a large optical anisotropy of about 60% in the (001) plane for high aspect ratio (4.1:1) InGaAs QRs. As a result, in PL spectra, the transverse magnetic mode dominated (11¯0)-cleaved surfaces (TM[001]>TE[110]), whereas the transverse electric mode prevailed for (110)-cleaved surfaces (TM[001]
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-609
PMCID: PMC3541080  PMID: 23127157
InGaAs quantum rods; Optical transitions; Electronic structure; Photoreflectance; Photoluminescence; Optical anisotropy; 78.55.Cr; 78.67.Hc; 78.67.Qa
The density matrix theory, the ancestor of density functional theory, provides the immediate framework for Path Integral (PI) development, allowing the canonical density be extended for the many-electronic systems through the density functional closure relationship. Yet, the use of path integral formalism for electronic density prescription presents several advantages: assures the inner quantum mechanical description of the system by parameterized paths; averages the quantum fluctuations; behaves as the propagator for time-space evolution of quantum information; resembles Schrödinger equation; allows quantum statistical description of the system through partition function computing. In this framework, four levels of path integral formalism were presented: the Feynman quantum mechanical, the semiclassical, the Feynman-Kleinert effective classical, and the Fokker-Planck non-equilibrium ones. In each case the density matrix or/and the canonical density were rigorously defined and presented. The practical specializations for quantum free and harmonic motions, for statistical high and low temperature limits, the smearing justification for the Bohr’s quantum stability postulate with the paradigmatic Hydrogen atomic excursion, along the quantum chemical calculation of semiclassical electronegativity and hardness, of chemical action and Mulliken electronegativity, as well as by the Markovian generalizations of Becke-Edgecombe electronic focalization functions – all advocate for the reliability of assuming PI formalism of quantum mechanics as a versatile one, suited for analytically and/or computationally modeling of a variety of fundamental physical and chemical reactivity concepts characterizing the (density driving) many-electronic systems.
doi:10.3390/ijms10114816
PMCID: PMC2808013  PMID: 20087467
density matrix and functionals; Feynman integral; partition function; electronegativity; chemical action and hardness; Fokker-Planck equation; electronic localization
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;4(1):34-38.
It has been widely reported that twin boundaries strengthen nanowires regardless of their morphology—that is, the strength of nanowires goes up as twin spacing goes down. This article shows that twin boundaries do not always strengthen nanowires. Using classical molecular dynamics simulations, the authors show that whether twin boundaries strengthen nanowires depends on the necessary stress for dislocation nucleation, which in turn depends on surface morphologies. When nanowires are circular cylindrical, the necessary stress of dislocation nucleation is high and the presence of twin boundaries lowers this stress; twin boundaries soften nanowires. In contrast, when nanowires are square cylindrical, the necessary stress of dislocation nucleation is low, and a higher stress is required for dislocations to penetrate twin boundaries; they strengthen nanowires.
doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9198-1
PMCID: PMC2894070  PMID: 20596424
Nanowire; Twin; Strengthening; Dislocation; Simulation
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;4(1):34-38.
It has been widely reported that twin boundaries strengthen nanowires regardless of their morphology—that is, the strength of nanowires goes up as twin spacing goes down. This article shows that twin boundaries do not always strengthen nanowires. Using classical molecular dynamics simulations, the authors show that whether twin boundaries strengthen nanowires depends on the necessary stress for dislocation nucleation, which in turn depends on surface morphologies. When nanowires are circular cylindrical, the necessary stress of dislocation nucleation is high and the presence of twin boundaries lowers this stress; twin boundaries soften nanowires. In contrast, when nanowires are square cylindrical, the necessary stress of dislocation nucleation is low, and a higher stress is required for dislocations to penetrate twin boundaries; they strengthen nanowires.
doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9198-1
PMCID: PMC2894070  PMID: 20596424
Nanowire; Twin; Strengthening; Dislocation; Simulation
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:670412.
We investigate metal-enhanced fluorescence of peridinin-chlorophyll protein coupled to silver nanowires using optical microscopy combined with spectrally and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. In particular we study two different sample geometries: first, in which the light-harvesting complexes are deposited onto silver nanowires, and second, where solution of both nanostructures are mixed prior deposition on a substrate. The results indicate that for the peridinin-chlorophyll complexes placed in the vicinity of the silver nanowires we observe higher intensities of fluorescence emission as compared to the reference sample, where no nanowires are present. Enhancement factors estimated for the sample where the light-harvesting complexes are mixed together with the silver nanowires prior deposition on a substrate are generally larger in comparison to the other geometry of a hybrid nanostructure. While fluorescence spectra are identical both in terms of overall shape and maximum wavelength for peridinin-chlorophyll-protein complexes both isolated and coupled to metallic nanostructures, we conclude that interaction with plasmon excitations in the latter remains neutral to the functionality of the biological system. Fluorescence transients measured for the PCP complexes coupled to the silver nanowires indicate shortening of the fluorescence lifetime pointing towards modifications of radiative rate due to plasmonic interactions. Our results can be applied for developing ways to plasmonically control the light-harvesting capability of photosynthetic complexes.
doi:10.1155/2013/670412
PMCID: PMC3603220  PMID: 23533354
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):507.
In systems in atomic scale and nanoscale such as clusters or agglomerates constituted by particles from a few to less than 100 atoms, quantum confinement effects are very important. Their optical and electronic properties are often dependent on the size of the systems and the way in which the atoms in these clusters are bonded. Generally, these nanostructures display optical and electronic properties significantly different to those found in corresponding bulk materials. Silicon agglomerates embedded in silicon rich oxide (SRO) films have optical properties, which have been reported to be directly dependent on silicon nanocrystal size. Furthermore, the room temperature photoluminescence (PL) of SRO has repeatedly generated a huge interest due to its possible applications in optoelectronic devices. However, a plausible emission mechanism has not been widely accepted in the scientific community. In this work, we present a short review about the experimental results on silicon nanoclusters in SRO considering different techniques of growth. We focus mainly on their size, Raman spectra, and photoluminescence spectra. With this as background, we employed the density functional theory with a functional B3LYP and a basis set 6-31G* to calculate the optical and electronic properties of clusters of silicon (constituted by 15 to 20 silicon atoms). With the theoretical calculation of the structural and optical properties of silicon clusters, it is possible to evaluate the contribution of silicon agglomerates in the luminescent emission mechanism, experimentally found in thin SRO films.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-507
PMCID: PMC4177721  PMID: 25276105
Nano-agglomerates; Silicon clusters; Silicon rich oxide; Luminescence; HRTEM; DFT
Journal of Biological Physics  2005;31(3-4):375-402.
A non-adiabatic theory of Electron Transfer (ET), which improves the standard theory near the inversion point and becomes equivalent to it far from the inversion point, is presented. The complex amplitudes of the electronic wavefunctions at different sites are used as Kramers variables for describing the quantum tunneling of the electron in the deformable potential generated by its environment (nonadiabaticity) which is modeled as a harmonic classical thermal bath. After exact elimination of the bath, the effective electron dynamics is described by a discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation with norm preserving dissipative terms and a Langevin random force, with a frequency cut-off, due to the thermalized phonons.
This theory reveals the existence of a specially interesting marginal case when the linear and nonlinear coefficients of a two electronic states system are appropriately tuned for forming a Coherent Electron-Phonon Oscillator (CEPO). An electron injected on one of the electronic states of a CEPO generates large amplitude charge oscillations (even at zero temperature) associated with coherent phonon oscillations and electronic level oscillations. This fluctuating electronic level may resonate with a third site which captures the electron so that Ultrafast Electron Transfer (UFET) becomes possible. Numerical results are shown where two weakly interacting sites, a donor and a catalyst, form a CEPO that triggers an UFET to an acceptor. Without a catalytic site, a very large energy barrier prevents any direct ET. This UFET is shown to have many qualitative features similar to those observed in the primary charge separation in photosynthetic reaction centers. We suggest that more generally, CEPO could be a paradigm for understanding many selective chemical reactions involving electron transfer in biosystems.
doi:10.1007/s10867-005-1283-4
PMCID: PMC3456328  PMID: 23345905
electron transfer; ultrafast electron transfer; catalysis; photosynthetic reaction center; coherent oscillations; nonlinear phenomena
Applied Magnetic Resonance  2010;39(1-2):151-183.
It is shown that high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy are excellent tools for the investigation of the electronic properties of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). The great attractions of these techniques are that, in contrast to optical methods, they allow the identification of the dopants and provide information about the spatial distribution of the electronic wave function. This latter aspect is particularly attractive because it allows for a quantitative measurement of the effect of confinement on the shape and properties of the wave function. In this contribution EPR and ENDOR results are presented on doped ZnO QDs. Shallow donors (SDs), related to interstitial Li and Na and substitutional Al atoms, have been identified in this material by pulsed high-frequency EPR and ENDOR spectroscopy. The shallow character of the wave function of the donors is evidenced by the multitude of ENDOR transitions of the 67Zn nuclear spins and by the hyperfine interaction of the 7Li, 23Na and 27Al nuclear spins that are much smaller than for atomic lithium, sodium and aluminium. The EPR signal of an exchange-coupled pair consisting of a shallow donor and a deep Na-related acceptor has been identified in ZnO nanocrystals with radii smaller than 1.5 nm. From ENDOR experiments it is concluded that the deep Na-related acceptor is located at the interface of the ZnO core and the Zn(OH)2 capping layer, while the shallow donor is in the ZnO core. The spatial distribution of the electronic wave function of a shallow donor in ZnO semiconductor QDs has been determined in the regime of quantum confinement by using the nuclear spins as probes. Hyperfine interactions as monitored by ENDOR spectroscopy quantitatively reveal the transition from semiconductor to molecular properties upon reduction of the size of the nanoparticles. In addition, the effect of confinement on the g-factor of SDs in ZnO as well as in CdS QDs is observed. Finally, it is shown that an almost complete dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) of the 67Zn nuclear spins in the core of ZnO QDs and of the 1H nuclear spins in the Zn(OH)2 capping layer can be obtained. This DNP is achieved by saturating the EPR transition of SDs present in the QDs with resonant high-frequency microwaves at low temperatures. This nuclear polarization manifests itself as a hole and an antihole in the EPR absorption line of the SD in the QDs and a shift of the hole (antihole). The enhancement of the nuclear polarization opens the possibility to study semiconductor nanostructures with nuclear magnetic resonance techniques.
doi:10.1007/s00723-010-0151-y
PMCID: PMC2941054  PMID: 20936163
Nanoscale Research Letters  2009;4(8):820-827.
Crystalline Gaq3 1-D nanostructures and nanospheres could be fabricated by thermal evaporation under cold trap. The influences of the key process parameters on formation of the nanostructures were also investigated. It has been demonstrated that the morphology and dimension of the nanostructures were mainly controlled by working temperature and working pressure. One-dimensional nanostructures were fabricated at a lower working temperature, whereas nanospheres were formed at a higher working temperature. Larger nanospheres could be obtained when a higher working pressure was applied. The XRD, FTIR, and NMR analyses evidenced that the nanostructures mainly consisted of δ-phase Gaq3. Their DSC trace revealed two small exothermic peaks in addition to the melting endotherm. The one in lower temperature region was ascribed to a transition from δ to β phase, while another in higher temperature region could be identified as a transition from β to δ phase. All the crystalline nanostructures show similar PL spectra due to absence of quantum confinement effect. They also exhibited a spectral blue shift because of a looser interligand spacing and reduced orbital overlap in their δ-phase molecular structures.
doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9321-y
PMCID: PMC2893888  PMID: 20596439
Gaq3; 1-D nanostructures; Nanospheres; Thermal evaporation; Crystallization; Phase transition
Nanoscale Research Letters  2009;4(8):820-827.
Crystalline Gaq31-D nanostructures and nanospheres could be fabricated by thermal evaporation under cold trap. The influences of the key process parameters on formation of the nanostructures were also investigated. It has been demonstrated that the morphology and dimension of the nanostructures were mainly controlled by working temperature and working pressure. One-dimensional nanostructures were fabricated at a lower working temperature, whereas nanospheres were formed at a higher working temperature. Larger nanospheres could be obtained when a higher working pressure was applied. The XRD, FTIR, and NMR analyses evidenced that the nanostructures mainly consisted of δ-phase Gaq3. Their DSC trace revealed two small exothermic peaks in addition to the melting endotherm. The one in lower temperature region was ascribed to a transition from δ to β phase, while another in higher temperature region could be identified as a transition from β to δ phase. All the crystalline nanostructures show similar PL spectra due to absence of quantum confinement effect. They also exhibited a spectral blue shift because of a looser interligand spacing and reduced orbital overlap in their δ-phase molecular structures.
doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9321-y
PMCID: PMC2893888  PMID: 20596439
Gaq3; 1-D nanostructures; Nanospheres; Thermal evaporation; Crystallization; Phase transition
PLoS Biology  2014;12(9):e1001955.
Vertebrate embryonic cells recognize self from non-self, thus restricting repulsion at tissue boundaries, through a combination of multiple ephrins and Eph receptors, simply based on binding selectivity and asymmetric expression.
Ephrins and Eph receptors are involved in the establishment of vertebrate tissue boundaries. The complexity of the system is puzzling, however in many instances, tissues express multiple ephrins and Ephs on both sides of the boundary, a situation that should in principle cause repulsion between cells within each tissue. Although co-expression of ephrins and Eph receptors is widespread in embryonic tissues, neurons, and cancer cells, it is still unresolved how the respective signals are integrated into a coherent output. We present a simple explanation for the confinement of repulsion to the tissue interface: Using the dorsal ectoderm–mesoderm boundary of the Xenopus embryo as a model, we identify selective functional interactions between ephrin–Eph pairs that are expressed in partial complementary patterns. The combined repulsive signals add up to be strongest across the boundary, where they reach sufficient intensity to trigger cell detachments. The process can be largely explained using a simple model based exclusively on relative ephrin and Eph concentrations and binding affinities. We generalize these findings for the ventral ectoderm–mesoderm boundary and the notochord boundary, both of which appear to function on the same principles. These results provide a paradigm for how developmental systems may integrate multiple cues to generate discrete local outcomes.
Author Summary
How embryonic tissues separate from each other to shape the developing organism is a fundamental question in developmental biology. In vertebrates, this process relies on local repulsive reactions specifically generated at contacts between cells of different types. These reactions are triggered by typical repulsive cell surface cues, the ephrin ligands, and Eph receptors. However, the expression of multiple ephrins and the Eph receptors by each cell type represents a puzzle: Why is repulsion observed only at the tissue interface and not within the tissue itself? By studying three cases of separation in the early amphibian embryo, we uncover a surprisingly simple logic underlying this phenomenon, which can be explained by the selectivity of ligand–receptor interactions and by their asymmetric distribution. The system is set such that, despite generalized interactions throughout the tissues, it is only at contacts between different cell types that the overall repulsive output is sufficiently strong to overcome cell–cell adhesion. Our study may serve as paradigm for how systematic dissection of complex cellular systems can reduce them to simple laws and make them intelligible.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001955
PMCID: PMC4172438  PMID: 25247423

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