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1.  Interaction of graphene family materials with Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica 
Graphene family materials have unique properties, which make them valuable for a range of applications. The antibacterial properties of graphene have been reported; however, findings have been contradictory. This study reports on the antimicrobial proprieties of three different graphene materials (pristine graphene (pG), graphene oxide (GO), and reduced graphene oxide (rGO)) against the food-borne bacterial pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica. A high concentration (250 μg/mL) of all the analyzed graphenes completely inhibited the growth of both pathogens, despite their difference in bacterial cell wall structure. At a lower concentration (25 μg/mL), similar effects were only observed with GO, as growth inhibition decreased with pG and rGO at the lower concentration. Interaction of the nanoparticles with the pathogenic bacteria was found to differ depending on the form of graphene. Microscopic imaging demonstrated that bacteria were arranged at the edges of pG and rGO, while with GO, they adhered to the nanoparticle surface. GO was found to have the highest antibacterial activity.
PMCID: PMC4312314
Pristine graphene; Graphene oxide; Reduced graphene oxide; Listeria monocytogenes; Salmonella enterica; Bacteria growth
2.  Synthesis of gallium nitride nanostructures by nitridation of electrochemically deposited gallium oxide on silicon substrate 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):685.
Gallium nitride (GaN) nanostructures were successfully synthesized by the nitridation of the electrochemically deposited gallium oxide (Ga2O3) through the utilization of a so-called ammoniating process. Ga2O3 nanostructures were firstly deposited on Si substrate by a simple two-terminal electrochemical technique at a constant current density of 0.15 A/cm2 using a mixture of Ga2O3, HCl, NH4OH and H2O for 2 h. Then, the deposited Ga2O3 sample was ammoniated in a horizontal quartz tube single zone furnace at various ammoniating times and temperatures. The complete nitridation of Ga2O3 nanostructures at temperatures of 850°C and below was not observed even the ammoniating time was kept up to 45 min. After the ammoniating process at temperature of 900°C for 15 min, several prominent diffraction peaks correspond to hexagonal GaN (h-GaN) planes were detected, while no diffraction peak of Ga2O3 structure was detected, suggesting a complete transformation of Ga2O3 to GaN. Thus, temperature seems to be a key parameter in a nitridation process where the deoxidization rate of Ga2O3 to generate gaseous Ga2O increase with temperature. The growth mechanism for the transformation of Ga2O3 to GaN was proposed and discussed. It was found that a complete transformation can not be realized without a complete deoxidization of Ga2O3. A significant change of morphological structures takes place after a complete transformation of Ga2O3 to GaN where the original nanorod structures of Ga2O3 diminish, and a new nanowire-like GaN structures appear. These results show that the presented method seems to be promising in producing high-quality h-GaN nanostructures on Si.
PMCID: PMC4273690  PMID: 25593562
Electrochemical deposition; Gallium oxide; Gallium nitride; Nanostructure; Nitridation
3.  Characterization and density control of GaN nanodots on Si (111) by droplet epitaxy using plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):682.
In this report, self-organized GaN nanodots have been grown on Si (111) by droplet epitaxy method, and their density can be controlled from 1.1 × 1010 to 1.1 × 1011 cm-2 by various growth parameters, such as substrate temperatures for Ga droplet formation, the pre-nitridation treatment of Si substrate, the nitridation duration for GaN crystallization, and in situ annealing after GaN formation. Based on the characterization of in situ RHEED, we can observe the surface condition of Si and the formation of GaN nanodots on Si. The surface nitridaiton treatment at 600°C provides a-SiNx layer which makes higher density of GaN nanodots. Crystal GaN nanodots can be observed by the HRTEM. The surface composition of GaN nanodots can be analyzed by SPEM and μ-XPS with a synchrotron x-ray source. We can find GaN nanodots form by droplet epitaxy and then in situ annealing make higher-degree nitridation of GaN nanodots.
PMCID: PMC4275119  PMID: 25593560
Molecular beam epitaxy; Gallium nitride; Quantum dots; Scanning photoemission microscopy; Reflection high-energy electron diffraction; Droplet epitaxy; Reflection high-energy electron diffraction; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
4.  Retardation of nanoparticles growth by doping 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):683.
The process of doping of CdS nanoparticles with Mn during colloidal synthesis is analyzed by EPR and optical studies. Analysis of EPR results demonstrated that Mn2+ ions are successfully incorporated into the nanoparticles and occupy the crystal sites both in the bulk of a NP and near the surface of a NP. Optical absorption measurements revealed the retardation of absorption edge shift during the growth for Mn-doped CdS NPs as compared to the undoped CdS NPs. It was concluded that the presence of Mn in the solution leads to the inhibition of NPs growth.
PMCID: PMC4273699  PMID: 25593561
Doping; Colloidal nanoparticles; CdS; CdS:Mn; Polyvinyl alcohol; Radius size
5.  CZTSe solar cells prepared by electrodeposition of Cu/Sn/Zn stack layer followed by selenization at low Se pressure 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):678.
Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe) thin films are prepared by the electrodeposition of stack copper/tin/zinc (Cu/Sn/Zn) precursors, followed by selenization with a tin source at a substrate temperature of 530°C. Three selenization processes were performed herein to study the effects of the source of tin on the quality of CZTSe thin films that are formed at low Se pressure. Much elemental Sn is lost from CZTSe thin films during selenization without a source of tin. The loss of Sn from CZTSe thin films in selenization was suppressed herein using a tin source at 400°C (A2) or 530°C (A3). A copper-poor and zinc-rich CZTSe absorber layer with Cu/Sn, Zn/Sn, Cu/(Zn + Sn), and Zn/(Cu + Zn + Sn) with metallic element ratios of 1.86, 1.24, 0.83, and 0.3, respectively, was obtained in a selenization with a tin source at 530°C. The crystallized CZTSe thin film exhibited an increasingly (112)-preferred orientation at higher tin selenide (SnSe x ) partial pressure. The lack of any obvious Mo-Se phase-related diffraction peaks in the X-ray diffraction (XRD) diffraction patterns may have arisen from the low Se pressure in the selenization processes. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images reveal a compact surface morphology and a moderate grain size. CZTSe solar cells with an efficiency of 4.81% were produced by the low-cost fabrication process that is elucidated herein.
PMCID: PMC4275120  PMID: 25593559
Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe); Electrodeposition; Cu/Sn/Zn precursors; Selenization; Solar cells
6.  Doping concentration dependence of microstructure and magnetic behaviours in Co-doped TiO2 nanorods 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):673.
Co-doped titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanorods with different doping concentrations were fabricated by a molten salt method. It is found that the morphology of TiO2 changes from nanorods to nanoparticles with increasing doping concentration. The mechanism for the structure and phase evolution is investigated in detail. Undoped TiO2 nanorods show strong ferromagnetism at room temperature, whereas incorporating of Co deteriorates the ferromagnetic ordering. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electron spin resonance (ESR) results demonstrate that the ferromagnetism is associated with Ti vacancy.
PMCID: PMC4273698  PMID: 25593558
TiO2; Nanorods; Ferromagnetism; Ti vacancy
7.  The effect of dye-sensitized solar cell based on the composite layer by anodic TiO2 nanotubes 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):671.
TiO2 nanotube arrays are very attractive for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) owing to their superior charge percolation and slower charge recombination. Highly ordered, vertically aligned TiO2 nanotube arrays have been fabricated by a three-step anodization process. Although the use of a one-dimensional structure provides an enhanced photoelectrical performance, the smaller surface area reduces the adsorption of dye on the TiO2 surface. To overcome this problem, we investigated the effect of DSSCs constructed with a multilayer photoelectrode made of TiO2 nanoparticles and TiO2 nanotube arrays. We fabricated the novel multilayer photoelectrode via a layer-by-layer assembly process and thoroughly investigated the effect of various structures on the sample efficiency. The DSSC with a four-layer photoelectrode exhibited a maximum conversion efficiency of 7.22% because of effective electron transport and enhanced adsorption of dye on the TiO2 surface.
PMCID: PMC4273724  PMID: 25593557
DSSCs; Anodic oxidation; Photoelectrode; TiO2 nanotube array; Composite layer
8.  Angle-dependent photodegradation over ZnO nanowire arrays on flexible paper substrates 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):667.
In this study, we grew zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowire arrays on paper substrates using a two-step growth strategy. In the first step, we formed single-crystalline ZnO nanoparticles of uniform size distribution (ca. 4 nm) as seeds for the hydrothermal growth of the ZnO nanowire arrays. After spin-coating of these seeds onto paper, we grew ZnO nanowire arrays conformally on these substrates. The crystal structure of a ZnO nanowire revealed that the nanowires were single-crystalline and had grown along the c axis. Further visualization through annular bright field scanning transmission electron microscopy revealed that the hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires possessed Zn polarity. From photocatalytic activity measurements of the ZnO nanowire (NW) arrays on paper substrate, we extracted rate constants of 0.415, 0.244, 0.195, and 0.08 s-1 for the degradation of methylene blue at incident angles of 0°, 30°, 60°, and 75°, respectively; that is, the photocatalytic activity of these ZnO nanowire arrays was related to the cosine of the incident angle of the UV light. Accordingly, these materials have promising applications in the design of sterilization systems and light-harvesting devices.
PMCID: PMC4273692  PMID: 25593556
Photodegradation; ZnO nanowire arrays; Paper substrates; Angle-dependent
9.  Real-time deflection and friction force imaging by bimorph-based resonance-type high-speed scanning force microscopy in the contact mode 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):665.
We report herein an alternative high-speed scanning force microscopy method in the contact mode based on a resonance-type piezoelectric bimorph scanner. The experimental setup, the modified optical beam deflection scheme suitable for smaller cantilevers, and a high-speed control program for simultaneous data capture are described in detail. The feature of the method is that the deflection and friction force images of the sample surface can be obtained simultaneously in real time. Images of various samples (e.g., a test grating, a thin gold film, and fluorine-doped tin oxide-coated glass slides) are acquired successfully. The imaging rate is 25 frames per second, and the average scan speed reaches a value of approximately 2.5 cm/s. The method combines the advantages of both observing the dynamic processes of the sample surface and monitoring the frictional properties on the nanometer scale.
07.79.Lh; 07.79.Sp; 68.37.Ps
PMCID: PMC4273677  PMID: 25593555
Atomic force microscopy; High-speed atomic force microscopy; Friction force microscopy; Resonance-type bimorph scanner
10.  Facile and high-efficient immobilization of histidine-tagged multimeric protein G on magnetic nanoparticles 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):664.
This work reports the high-efficient and one-step immobilization of multimeric protein G on magnetic nanoparticles. The histidine-tagged (His-tag) recombinant multimeric protein G was overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21 by the repeated linking of protein G monomers with a flexible linker. High-efficient immobilization on magnetic nanoparticles was demonstrated by two different preparation methods through the amino-silane and chloro-silane functionalization on silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles. Three kinds of multimeric protein G such as His-tag monomer, dimer, and trimer were tested for immobilization efficiency. For these tests, bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay was employed to determine the amount of immobilized His-tag multimeric protein G. The result showed that the immobilization efficiency of the His-tag multimeric protein G of the monomer, dimer, and trimer was increased with the use of chloro-silane-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles in the range of 98% to 99%, rather than the use of amino-silane-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles in the range of 55% to 77%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC4277612  PMID: 25593554
Magnetic nanoparticle; Immobilization; Protein G; Histidine-tag; Efficiency
11.  Utilization of triangle nanosilver to prepare spherical nanosilver and quantitatively detect trace titanium by SERS 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):663.
The blue triangle nanosilver (BAgNP) sol was prepared by the two reducers of NaBH4 and H2O2. Using BAgNP as the precursor, a small spherical nanosilver (AgNP) sol in yellow was synthesized by addition of suitable amounts of X− (X = Cl, Br, and I). The oxidization process of BAgNP to AgNP was studied in detail by resonance Rayleigh scattering (RRS), surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), laser scattering, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) absorption, and microscope techniques. It has been observed that NaCl accelerated the oxidizing BAgNP to form AgNP, and an oxidizing mechanism and quasi-nanograting Raman-scattering enhanced mechanism were developed to explain the phenomena. Using the BAgNP sol as substrate and based on the catalysis of Ti(IV) on the BrO3− oxidizing safranine T (ST) molecular probe with a strong SERS peak at 1,535 cm−1, a new catalytic SERS quantitative method was developed for the determination of 1.0 to 100 ng/mL Ti, with a detection limit of 0.4 ng/mL.
PMCID: PMC4273675  PMID: 25593553
Blue triangle nanosilver; Spherical nanosilver; Safranine T; SERS quantitative; Ti
12.  Horizontal transfer of aligned Si nanowire arrays and their photoconductive performance 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):661.
An easy and low-cost method to transfer large-scale horizontally aligned Si nanowires onto a substrate is reported. Si nanowires prepared by metal-assisted chemical etching were assembled and anchored to fabricate multiwire photoconductive devices with standard Si technology. Scanning electron microscopy images showed highly aligned and successfully anchored Si nanowires. Current-voltage tests showed an approximately twofold change in conductivity between the devices in dark and under laser irradiation. Fully reversible light switching ON/OFF response was also achieved with an ION/IOFF ratio of 230. Dynamic response measurement showed a fast switching feature with response and recovery times of 10.96 and 19.26 ms, respectively.
PMCID: PMC4266530  PMID: 25520603
Si nanowires; Horizontal transfer; Photoconductive performance
13.  Effects of photo-assisted electrodeposited on CuInSe2 thin films 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):660.
Photo-assisted one-step electrodeposition has been applied to help in forming smooth and dense CuInSe2 films. The difference in surface morphology and crystalline quality between CuInSe2 films with various photo-assistance has been investigated. In the photo-assisted electrodeposition process, the many kinds of lamps providing maximum light intensity at about 380 to 620 nm were used as light source to be irradiated onto the surface of Mo-coated soda-lime glass substrates. The results suggested effects of photo-assistance including activating surface diffusion and growing high-crystalline quality films with reduced defects during electrodeposition.
PMCID: PMC4273694  PMID: 25593551
CIS; Solar cells; Electrodeposition; Photo-assisted
14.  Fabrication and investigation of the optoelectrical properties of MoS2/CdS heterojunction solar cells 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):662.
Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2)/cadmium sulfide (CdS) heterojunction solar cells were successfully synthesized via chemical bath deposition (CBD) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The as-grown CdS film on a fluorine tin oxide (FTO) substrate deposited by CBD is continuous and compact. The MoS2 film deposited by CVD is homogeneous and continuous, with a uniform color and a thickness of approximately 10 nm. The optical absorption range of the MoS2/CdS heterojunction covers the visible and near-infrared spectral regions of 350 to 800 nm, which is beneficial for the improvement of solar cell efficiency. Moreover, the MoS2/CdS solar cell exhibits good current-voltage (I-V) characteristics and pronounced photovoltaic behavior, with an open-circuit voltage of 0.66 V and a short-circuit current density of 0.227 × 10-6 A/cm2, comparable to the results obtained from other MoS2-based solar cells. This research is critical to investigate more efficient and stable solar cells based on graphene-like materials in the future.
PMCID: PMC4273683  PMID: 25593552
Molybdenum disulfide; CdS; Solar cells; CVD; CBD; I-V behaviors
15.  Silica-sol-based spin-coating barrier layer against phosphorous diffusion for crystalline silicon solar cells 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):659.
The phosphorus barrier layers at the doping procedure of silicon wafers were fabricated using a spin-coating method with a mixture of silica-sol and tetramethylammonium hydroxide, which can be formed at the rear surface prior to the front phosphorus spin-on-demand (SOD) diffusion and directly annealed simultaneously with the front phosphorus layer. The optimization of coating thickness was obtained by changing the applied spin-coating speed; from 2,000 to 8,000 rpm. The CZ-Si p-type silicon solar cells were fabricated with/without using the rear silica-sol layer after taking the sheet resistance measurements, SIMS analysis, and SEM measurements of the silica-sol material evaluations into consideration. For the fabrication of solar cells, a spin-coating phosphorus source was used to form the n+ emitter and was then diffused at 930°C for 35 min. The out-gas diffusion of phosphorus could be completely prevented by spin-coated silica-sol film placed on the rear side of the wafers coated prior to the diffusion process. A roughly 2% improvement in the conversion efficiency was observed when silica-sol was utilized during the phosphorus diffusion step. These results can suggest that the silica-sol material can be an attractive candidate for low-cost and easily applicable spin-coating barrier for any masking purpose involving phosphorus diffusion.
PMCID: PMC4266528  PMID: 25520602
CZ-Si; Spin-coating; Phosphorus barrier; Sol-gel; Silica nanoparticle
16.  Performance enhancement of ITO/oxide/semiconductor MOS-structure silicon solar cells with voltage biasing 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):658.
In this study, we demonstrate the photovoltaic performance enhancement of a p-n junction silicon solar cell using a transparent-antireflective ITO/oxide film deposited on the spacing of the front-side finger electrodes and with a DC voltage applied on the ITO-electrode. The depletion width of the p-n junction under the ITO-electrode was induced and extended while the absorbed volume and built-in electric field were also increased when the biasing voltage was increased. The photocurrent and conversion efficiency were increased because more photo-carriers are generated in a larger absorbed volume and because the carriers transported and collected more effectively due to higher biasing voltage effects. Compared to a reference solar cell (which was biased at 0 V), a conversion efficiency enhancement of 26.57% (from 12.42% to 15.72%) and short-circuit current density enhancement of 42.43% (from 29.51 to 42.03 mA/cm2) were obtained as the proposed MOS-structure solar cell biased at 2.5 V. In addition, the capacitance-volt (C-V) measurement was also used to examine the mechanism of photovoltaic performance enhancement due to the depletion width being enlarged by applying a DC voltage on an ITO-electrode.
PMCID: PMC4273678  PMID: 25593550
Conversion efficiency; ITO; Metal oxide semiconductor; Silicon solar cell; Voltage biasing
17.  Chemical and magnetic functionalization of graphene oxide as a route to enhance its biocompatibility 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):656.
The novel approach for deposition of iron oxide nanoparticles with narrow size distribution supported on different sized graphene oxide was reported. Two different samples with different size distributions of graphene oxide (0.5 to 7 μm and 1 to 3 μm) were selectively prepared, and the influence of the flake size distribution on the mitochondrial activity of L929 with WST1 assay in vitro study was also evaluated. Little reduction of mitochondrial activity of the GO-Fe3O4 samples with broader size distribution (0.5 to 7 μm) was observed. The pristine GO samples (0.5 to 7 μm) in the highest concentrations reduced the mitochondrial activity significantly. For GO-Fe3O4 samples with narrower size distribution, the best biocompatibility was noticed at concentration 12.5 μg/mL. The highest reduction of cell viability was noted at a dose 100 μg/mL for GO (1 to 3 μm). It is worth noting that the chemical functionalization of GO and Fe3O4 is a way to enhance the biocompatibility and makes the system independent of the size distribution of graphene oxide.
PMCID: PMC4273676  PMID: 25593549
Magnetic nanoparticles; Graphene oxide; Biocompatibility
18.  Temperature-induced reversible self-assembly of diphenylalanine peptide and the structural transition from organogel to crystalline nanowires 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):653.
Controlling the self-assembly of diphenylalanine peptide (FF) into various nanoarchitectures has received great amounts of attention in recent years. Here, we report the temperature-induced reversible self-assembly of diphenylalanine peptide to microtubes, nanowires, or organogel in different solvents. We also find that the organogel in isopropanol transforms into crystalline flakes or nanowires when the temperature increases. The reversible self-assembly in polar solvents may be mainly controlled by electronic and aromatic interactions between the FF molecules themselves, which is associated with the dissociation equilibrium and significantly influenced by temperature. We found that the organogel in the isopropanol solvent made a unique transition to crystalline structures, a process that is driven by temperature and may be kinetically controlled. During the heating-cooling process, FF preferentially self-assembles to metastable nanofibers and organogel. They further transform to thermodynamically stable crystal structures via molecular rearrangement after introducing an external energy, such as the increasing temperature used in this study. The strategy demonstrated in this study provides an efficient way to controllably fabricate smart, temperature-responsive peptide nanomaterials and enriches the understanding of the growth mechanism of diphenylalanine peptide nanostructures.
PMCID: PMC4266524  PMID: 25520600
Self-assembly; Diphenylalanine; Peptide; Nanowire; Organogel
19.  Periodic nano/micro-hole array silicon solar cell 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):654.
In this study, we applied a metal catalyst etching method to fabricate a nano/microhole array on a Si substrate for application in solar cells. In addition, the surface of an undesigned area was etched because of the attachment of metal nanoparticles that is dissociated in a solution. The nano/microhole array exhibited low specular reflectance (<1%) without antireflection coating because of its rough surface. The solar spectrum related total reflection was approximately 9%. A fabricated solar cell with a 40-μm hole spacing exhibited an efficiency of 9.02%. Comparing to the solar cell made by polished Si, the external quantum efficiency for solar cell with 30 s etching time was increased by 16.7%.
PMCID: PMC4266526  PMID: 25520601
Metal catalyst; Nano/microhole Si array; Reflectance; Efficiency
20.  Pulsed laser deposition of single-crystalline Cu7In3/CuIn0.8Ga0.2Se2 core/shell nanowires 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):650.
Single-crystalline Cu7In3/CuIn0.8Ga0.2Se2 (CI/CIGS) core/shell nanowires are fabricated by pulsed laser deposition with Ni nanoparticles as catalyst. The CI/CIGS core/shell nanowires are made up of single-crystalline CI cores surrounded by single-crystalline CIGS shells. The CI/CIGS nanowires are grown at a considerably low temperature (350°C ~ 450°C) by vapor-liquid-solid mode combined with vapor-solid mode. The distribution density of the nanowires increases with the increasing of the deposition duration, and the substrate temperature determines the lengths of the nanowires. The U-V absorption spectra of the CIGS thin films with and without the CI/CIGS core/shell nanowires demonstrate that the CI/CIGS nanowires can remarkably enhance the absorption of CIGS thin films in the spectrum range of 300 to 900 nm.
61.46. + w; 61.41.e; 81.15.Fg; 81.07.b
PMCID: PMC4266518  PMID: 25520597
Pulsed laser deposition; Nickel catalyst; CuIn0.8Ga0.2Se2; core/shell nanowires; Light absorption
21.  Size and surface modification of amorphous silica particles determine their effects on the activity of human CYP3A4 in vitro 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):651.
Because of their useful chemical and physical properties, nanomaterials are widely used around the world - for example, as additives in food and medicines - and such uses are expected to become more prevalent in the future. Therefore, collecting information about the effects of nanomaterials on metabolic enzymes is important. Here, we examined the effects of amorphous silica particles with various sizes and surface modifications on cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) activity by means of two different in vitro assays. Silica nanoparticles with diameters of 30 and 70 nm (nSP30 and nSP70, respectively) tended to inhibit CYP3A4 activity in human liver microsomes (HLMs), but the inhibitory activity of both types of nanoparticles was decreased by carboxyl modification. In contrast, amine-modified nSP70 activated CYP3A4 activity. In HepG2 cells, nSP30 inhibited CYP3A4 activity more strongly than the larger silica particles did. Taken together, these results suggest that the size and surface characteristics of the silica particles determined their effects on CYP3A4 activity and that it may be possible to develop silica particles that do not have undesirable effects on metabolic enzymes by altering their size and surface characteristics.
PMCID: PMC4266520  PMID: 25520598
Nanomaterials; Silica nanoparticles; Size; Surface modification; CYP3A4; Human liver microsomes
22.  Numerical simulations of the current-matching effect and operation mechanisms on the performance of InGaN/Si tandem cells 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):652.
Numerical simulations are conducted to study the current-matching effect and operation mechanisms in and to design the optimized device structure of InGaN/Si tandem cells. The characteristics of short circuit current density (Jsc), open circuit voltage (Voc), fill factor (FF), and conversion efficiency (η) of InGaN/Si tandem cells are determined by the current-matching effect. The similar trend of η to that of Jsc shows that Jsc is a dominant factor in determining the performance of InGaN/Si tandem cells. In addition, the combined effects of the Jsc, Voc, and FF lead to an optimized η in the medium-indium, xpn-InGaNInGaN‒to‒Si, InGaN/Si tandem cell. At xpn-InGaNInGaN‒to‒Si, the Jsc of the InGaN subcell is equal to that of the Si subcell such that an InGaN/Si tandem cell reaches the current matching condition to operate at the maximum power point. Similar to the Jsc and FF, the η for low- xpn-InGaNxpn-InGaNInGaN‒to‒Si InGaN/Si tandem cells are InGaN- and Si subcell-limited, respectively. Furthermore, the p- and n-layer thicknesses, indium content, and position of depletion region of InGaN subcell should be adjusted to reapportion the light between the two subcells and to achieve the maximum conversion efficiency. With appropriate thicknesses of p- and n-InGaN, In0.5–0.6Ga0.5–0.4 N/Si tandem cells can exhibit as high as approximately 34% to 36.5% conversion efficiency, demonstrating that a medium-indium InGaN/Si tandem cell results in a high-efficiency solar cell. Simulation results determine that the current-matching effect and operation mechanisms of InGaN/Si tandem cells can be utilized for efficiency enhancement through the optimized device structures.
PMCID: PMC4266522  PMID: 25520599
InGaN/Si tandem cell; III-V solar cell; Numerical simulation; Current-matching effect
23.  Dislocation luminescence in GaN single crystals under nanoindentation 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):649.
This work presents an experimental study on the dislocation luminescence in GaN by nanoindentation, cathodoluminescence, and Raman. The dislocation luminescence peaking at 3.12 eV exhibits a series of special properties in the cathodoluminescence measurements, and it completely disappears after annealing at 500°C. Raman spectroscopy shows evidence for existence of vacancies in the indented region. A comprehensive investigation encompassing cathodoluminescence, Raman, and annealing experiments allow the assignment of dislocation luminescence to conduction-band-acceptor transition involving Ga vacancies. The nanoscale plasticity of GaN can be better understood by considering the dislocation luminescence mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4275118  PMID: 25593548
GaN; Nanoindentation; Dislocation; Luminescence
24.  Synthesis and enhanced humidity detection response of nanoscale Au-particle-decorated ZnS spheres 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):647.
We successfully prepared Au-nanoparticle-decorated ZnS (ZnS-Au) spheres by sputtering Au ultrathin films on surfaces of hydrothermally synthesized ZnS spheres and subsequently postannealed the samples in a high-vacuum atmosphere. The Au nanoparticles were distributed on ZnS surfaces without substantial aggregation. The Au nanoparticle diameter range was 5 to 10 nm. Structural information showed that the surface of the annealed ZnS-Au spheres became more irregular and rough. A humidity sensor constructed using the Au-nanoparticle-decorated ZnS spheres demonstrated a substantially improved response to the cyclic change in humidity from 11% relative humidity (RH) to 33% to 95% RH at room temperature. The improved response was associated with the enhanced efficiency of water molecule adsorption onto the surfaces of the ZnS because of the surface modification of the ZnS spheres through noble-metal nanoparticle decoration.
PMCID: PMC4266514  PMID: 25520595
Structure; Nanoparticle; Surface modification; Sulfide
25.  Hydrothermal synthesis of 3D hollow porous Fe3O4 microspheres towards catalytic removal of organic pollutants 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):648.
Three-dimensional hollow porous superparamagnetic Fe3O4 microspheres were synthesized via a facile hydrothermal process. A series of characterizations done with X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy indicated that the production of Fe3O4 microspheres possessed good monodispersity, uniform size distribution, hollow and porous structural characters, and strong superparamagnetic behavior. The obtained Fe3O4 microspheres have a diameter of ca. 300 nm, which is composed of many interconnected nanoparticles with a size of ca. 20 nm. The saturation magnetization is 80.6 emu·g-1. The as-prepared products had promising applications as novel catalysts to remove organic pollutants (methylene blue) from wastewater in the presence of H2O2 and ultrasound irradiation.
PMCID: PMC4266516  PMID: 25520596
Hydrothermal synthesis; Fe3O4 microspheres; Porous; Enzyme mimetics; Organic pollutants

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