Zirconium (Zr) is an important alloying element to Mg-Zn-based alloy system. In this paper, we report the formation of the β-type precipitates on the nanoscale Zr-rich particles in a Mg-6Zn-0.5Cu-0.6Zr alloy during ageing at 180°C. Scanning transmission electron microscopy examinations revealed that the nanoscale Zr-rich α rods/laths are dominant in the Zr-rich core regions of the as-quenched sample after a solution treatment at 430°C. More significantly, these Zr-rich particles served as favourable sites for heterogeneous nucleation of the Zn-rich β-type phase during subsequent isothermal ageing at 180°C. This research provides a potential route to engineer precipitate microstructure for better strengthening effect in the Zr-containing Mg alloys.
Mg alloys; Zn-rich precipitates; nanoscale Zr-rich particles; heterogeneous nucleation; electron microscopy
A mesoscopic nitrogen-doped TiO2 sphere has been developed for a quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell [DSSC]. Compared with the undoped TiO2 sphere, the quasi-solid-state DSSC based on the nitrogen-doped TiO2 sphere shows more excellent photovoltaic performance. The photoelectrochemistry of electrodes based on nitrogen-doped and undoped TiO2 spheres was characterized with Mott-Schottky analysis, intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, which indicated that both the quasi-Fermi level and the charge transport of the photoelectrode were improved after being doped with nitrogen. As a result, a photoelectric conversion efficiency of 6.01% was obtained for the quasi-solid-state DSSC.
The band offsets of non-polar A-plane GaN/AlN and AlN/GaN heterojunctions are measured by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. A large forward-backward asymmetry is observed in the non-polar GaN/AlN and AlN/GaN heterojunctions. The valence-band offsets in the non-polar A-plane GaN/AlN and AlN/GaN heterojunctions are determined to be 1.33 ± 0.16 and 0.73 ± 0.16 eV, respectively. The large valence-band offset difference of 0.6 eV between the non-polar GaN/AlN and AlN/GaN heterojunctions is considered to be due to piezoelectric strain effect in the non-polar heterojunction overlayers.
GaN/AlN; Heterostructure; X-ray photoemission spectroscopy; Non-polar
We are presenting our recent research results about the Ni-NiO nanoparticles on poly-(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)-modified graphene sheet (Ni-NiO/PDDA-G) nanocomposites prepared by the hydrothermal method at 90°C for 24 h. The Ni-NiO nanoparticles on PDDA-modified graphene sheets are measured by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and selected area electron diffraction (SAED) pattern for exploring the structural evidence to apply in the electrochemical catalysts. The size of Ni-NiO nanoparticles is around 5 nm based on TEM observations. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show the Ni in the (012), (110), (110), (200), and (220) crystalline orientations, respectively. Moreover, the crystalline peaks of NiO are found in (111) and (220). The thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) result represents the loading content of the Ni metal which is about 34.82 wt%. The electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis/X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ESCA/XPS) reveals the Ni0 to NiII ratio in metal phase. The electrochemical studies with Ni-NiO/PDDA-G in 0.5 M aqueous H2SO4 were studied for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR).
Graphene; PDDA; Ni; NiO; ORR; Fuel cells
FeNi/V nanomultilayered films with different V layer thicknesses were synthesized by magnetron sputtering. By adjusting the thickness of the V layer, different interfacial compressive stress were imposed on FeNi layers and the effect of interfacial stress on martensitic transformation of the FeNi film was investigated. Without insertion of V layers, the FeNi film exhibits a face-centered cubic (fcc) structure. With the thickness of V inserted layers up to 1.5 nm, under the coherent growth structure in FeNi/V nanomultilayered films, FeNi layers bear interfacial compressive stress due to the larger lattice parameter relative to V, which induces the martensitic transformation of the FeNi film. As the V layer thickness increases to 2.0 nm, V layers cannot keep the coherent growth structure with FeNi layers, leading to the disappearance of interfacial compressive stress and termination of the martensitic transformation in the FeNi film. The interfacial compressive stress-induced martensitic transformation of the FeNi nanofilm is verified through experiment. The method of imposing and modulating the interfacial stress through the epitaxial growth structure in the nanomultilayered films should be noticed and utilized.
FeNi alloy; Multilayer thin films; Martensitic phase transformation; Interfacial stress; Epitaxial growth
To establish a satisfactory delivery system for the delivery of salinomycin (Sal), a novel, selective cancer stem cell inhibitor with prominent toxicity, gelatinase-responsive core-shell nanoparticles (NPs), were prepared by nanoprecipitation method (NR-NPs) and single emulsion method (SE-NPs). The gelatinase-responsive copolymer was prepared by carboxylation and double amination method. We studied the stability of NPs prepared by nanoprecipitation method with different proportions of F68 in aqueous phase to determine the best proportion used in our study. Then, the NPs were prepared by nanoprecipitation method with the best proportion of F68 and single emulsion method, and their physiochemical traits including morphology, particle size, zeta potential, drug loading content, stability, and in vitro release profiles were studied. The SE-NPs showed significant differences in particle size, drug loading content, stability, and in vitro release profiles compared to NR-NPs. The SE-NPs presented higher drug entrapment efficiency and superior stability than the NR-NPs. The drug release rate of SE-NPs was more sustainable than that of the NR-NPs, and in vivo experiment indicated that NPs could prominently reduce the toxicity of Sal. Our study demonstrates that the SE-NPs could be a satisfactory method for the preparation of gelatinase-responsive NPs for intelligent delivery of Sal.
Salinomycin; Nanoprecipitation method; Single emulsion method; Gelatinase; Drug delivery; Nanoparticles
This study aimed to compare the inhibitory effects of photosensitizers loaded in hollow silica nanoparticles and conventional photosensitizers on HepG2 human hepatoma cell proliferation and determine the underlying mechanisms. Photosensitizers (conventional Photosan-II or nanoscale Photosan-II) were administered to in vitro cultured HepG2 hepatoma cells and treated by photodynamic therapy (PDT) with various levels of light exposure. To assess photosensitizers' effects, cell viability was determined by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. In addition, apoptotic and necrotic cells were measured by flow cytometry and the expression of caspase-3 and caspase-9 evaluated by western blot. Finally, the in vivo effects of nanoscale and conventional photosensitizers on liver cancer were assessed in nude mice. Nanoscale Photosan-II significantly inhibited hepatoma cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner and this effect was more pronounced with high laser doses. Moreover, nanoscale photosensitizers performed better than the conventional ones under the same experimental conditions (p < 0.05). Flow cytometry data demonstrated that laser-induced cell death was markedly increased after treatment with nanoscale Photosan-II in comparison with free Photosan-II (p < 0.05). Activated caspase-3 and caspase-9 levels were significantly higher in cells treated with Photosan-II loaded in silica nanoparticles than free Photosan-II (p < 0.05). Accordingly, treatment with nanoscale photosensitizers resulted in improved outcomes (tumor volume) in a mouse model of liver cancer, in comparison with conventional photosensitizers. Hollow silica nanoparticles containing photosensitizer more efficiently inhibited hepatoma cells than photosensitizer alone, through induction of apoptosis, both in vivo and in vitro.
Nanoscale photosensitizer; Conventional photosensitizer; Photodynamic therapy; Hepatic carcinoma; Cell apoptosis
Spontaneous emission lifetime orientation distributions of a two-level quantum emitter in metallic nanorod structures are theoretically investigated by the rigorous electromagnetic Green function method. It was found that spontaneous emission lifetime strongly depended on the transition dipole orientation and the position of the emitter. The anisotropic factor defined as the ratio between the maximum and minimum values of the lifetimes along different dipole orientations can reach up to 103. It is much larger than those in dielectric structures which are only several times usually. Our results show that the localized plasmonic resonance effect provides a new degree of freedom to effectively control spontaneous emission by the dipole orientation of the quantum emitters.
Surface plasmons; Spontaneous emission; Lifetime distribution; Nanorod; 78.67.Qa; 73.20.Mf; 42.50.-p
We demonstrated an unambiguous quantum dot cascade laser based on InGaAs/GaAs/InAs/InAlAs heterostructure by making use of self-assembled quantum dots in the Stranski-Krastanow growth mode and two-step strain compensation active region design. The prototype generates stimulated emission at λ ~ 6.15 μm and a broad electroluminescence band with full width at half maximum over 3 μm. The characteristic temperature for the threshold current density within the temperature range of 82 to 162 K is up to 400 K. Moreover, our materials show the strong perpendicular mid-infrared response at about 1,900 cm-1. These results are very promising for extending the present laser concept to terahertz quantum cascade laser, which would lead to room temperature operation.
42.55.Px; 78.55.Cr; 78.67.Hc
Quantum dot; Quantum cascade laser; MBE; Mid-infrared
Nanopores have been proven as versatile single-molecule sensors for individual unlabeled biopolymer detection and characterization. In the present work, a relative large nanopore with a diameter of about 60 nm has been used to detect protein translocation driven by a series of applied voltages. Compared with previous studied small nanopores, a distinct profile of protein translocation through a larger nanopore has been characterized. First, a higher threshold voltage is required to drive proteins into the large nanopore. With the increase of voltages, the capture frequency of protein into the nanopore has been markedly enhanced. And the distribution of current blockage events is characterized as a function of biased voltages. Due to the large dimension of the nanopore, the adsorption and desorption phenomenon of proteins observed with a prolonged dwell time has been weakened in our work. Nevertheless, the protein can still be stretched into an unfolded state by increased electric forces at high voltages. In consideration of the high throughput of the large nanopore, a couple of proteins passing through the nanopore simultaneously occur at high voltage. As a new feature, the feasibility and specificity of a nanopore with distinct geometry have been demonstrated for sensing protein translocation, which broadly expand the application of nanopore devices.
Protein translocation; Solid state nanopore; Current blockage; Translocation time
A new strategy for in situ preparation of highly fluorescent CdTe quantum dots (QDs) with 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) and hyperbranched poly(amidoamine)s (HPAMAM) as co-stabilizers was proposed in this paper. MPA and HPAMAM were added in turn to coordinate Cd2+. After adding NaHTe and further microwave irradiation, fluorescent CdTe QDs stabilized by MPA and HPAMAM were obtained. Such a strategy avoids the aftertreatment of thiol-stabilized QDs in their bioapplication and provides an opportunity for direct biomedical use of QDs due to the existence of biocompatible HPAMAM. The resulting CdTe QDs combine the mechanical, biocompatibility properties of HPAMAM and the optical, electrical properties of CdTe QDs together.
Hyperbranched poly (amidoamine) s; Quantum dots; Nanocomposites; Photoluminescence
Bi-phase dispersible ZnO-Au hybrid nanoparticles were synthesized via one-pot non-aqueous nanoemulsion using the triblock copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(propylene glycol)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) as the surfactant. The characterization shows that the polymer-laced ZnO-Au nanoparticles are monosized and of high crystallinity and demonstrate excellent dispersibility and optical performance in both organic and aqueous medium, revealing the effects of quantum confinement and medium. The findings show two well-behaved absorption bands locating at approximately 360 nm from ZnO and between 520 and 550 nm from the surface plasmon resonance of the nanosized Au and multiple visible fingerprint photoluminescent emissions. Consequently, the wide optical absorbance and fluorescent activity in different solvents could be promising for biosensing, photocatalysis, photodegradation, and optoelectronic devices.
Nanoemulsion; ZnO-Au nanoparticles; Polymer; Optical properties; 78.67.Bf; 36.20.-r; 68.05.Gh
Nanostructured titanium nitride (TiN) films with varying porosity were prepared by the oblique angle deposition technique (OAD). The porosity of films increases as the deposition angle becomes larger. The film obtained at an incident angle of 85° exhibits the best catalytic activity and sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This could be attributed to its largest contact area with the electrolyte. An effective approach is thus proposed to fabricate TiN nanostructure as H2O2 sensor by OAD.
Titanium nitride; Nanostructure; Oblique angle deposition technique; Hydrogen peroxide; Sensor
A radial p-n junction solar cell based on vertically free-standing silicon nanowire (SiNW) array is realized using a novel low-temperature and shallow phosphorus doping technique. The SiNW arrays with excellent light trapping property were fabricated by metal-assisted chemical etching technique. The shallow phosphorus doping process was carried out in a hot wire chemical vapor disposition chamber with a low substrate temperature of 250°C and H2-diluted PH3 as the doping gas. Auger electron spectroscopy and Hall effect measurements prove the formation of a shallow p-n junction with P atom surface concentration of above 1020 cm−3 and a junction depth of less than 10 nm. A short circuit current density of 37.13 mA/cm2 is achieved for the radial p-n junction SiNW solar cell, which is enhanced by 7.75% compared with the axial p-n junction SiNW solar cell. The quantum efficiency spectra show that radial transport based on the shallow phosphorus doping of SiNW array improves the carrier collection property and then enhances the blue wavelength region response. The novel shallow doping technique provides great potential in the fabrication of high-efficiency SiNW solar cells.
In order to clarify the controversies of hardening mechanism for TiN/SiNx-based nanocomposite films, the microstructure and hardness for TiN/SiNx and TiAlN/SiNx nanocomposite films with different Si content were studied. With the increase of Si content, the crystallization degree for two series of films firstly increases and then decreases. The microstructural observations suggest that when SiNx interfacial phase reaches to a proper thickness, it can be crystallized between adjacent TiN or TiAlN nanocrystallites, which can coordinate misorientations between nanocrystallites and grow coherently with them, resulting in blocking of the dislocation motions and hardening of the film. The microstructure of TiN/SiNx-based nanocomposite film can be characterized as the nanocomposite structure with TiN-based nanocrystallites surrounded by crystallized SiNx interfacial phase, which can be denoted by nc-TiN/c-SiNx model ('c’ before SiNx means crystallized) and well explain the coexistence between nanocomposite structure and columnar growth structure within the TiN/SiNx-based film.
TiN/SiNx film; Nanocomposite; Hardening mechanism; Microstructure
ZnO nanoneedle arrays were grown vertically on a fluorine-doped tin oxide-coated glass by hydrothermal method at a relatively low temperature. A self-powered photoelectrochemical cell-type UV detector was fabricated using the ZnO nanoneedles as the active photoanode and H2O as the electrolyte. This solid-liquid heterojunction offers an enlarged ZnO/water contact area and a direct pathway for electron transport simultaneously. By connecting this UV photodetector to an ammeter, the intensity of UV light can be quantified using the output short-circuit photocurrent without a power source. High photosensitivity, excellent spectral selectivity, and fast photoresponse at zero bias are observed in this UV detector. The self-powered behavior can be well explained by the formation of a space charge layer near the interface of the solid-liquid heterojunction, which results in a built-in potential and makes the solid-liquid heterojunction work in photovoltaic mode.
ZnO nanoneedle arrays; Hydrothermal method; Ultraviolet photodetector; Solid-liquid heterojunction
Nanoscaled polymer composites were prepared from polysaccharide chitosan (CS) and Ca-deficient hydroxyapatite (CDHA). CS-CDHA nanocomposites were synthesized by in situ precipitation at pH 9, and the CS-CDHA carriers were then fabricated by ionic cross-linking methods using tripolyphosphate and chemical cross-linking methods by glutaraldehyde and genipin. Certain biomolecules such as vitamin B12, cytochrome c, and bovine serum albumin were loaded into the CS-CDHA carriers, and their release behaviors were investigated. Furthermore, these CS-CDHA carriers were examined by transmission electron microscopy, electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis, and X-ray diffraction. The release behavior of the biomolecules was controlled by the CS/CDHA ratios and cross-linked agents. By increasing the concentration of CS and the concentration of the cross-linking agents, cross-linking within carriers increases, and the release rate of the biomolecules is decreased. Moreover, the release rate of the biomolecules from the CS-CDHA carriers at pH 4 was higher than that at pH 10, displaying a pH-sensitive behavior. Therefore, these CS-CDHA hydrogel beads may be useful for intelligent drug release and accelerate bone reconstruction.
Chitosan; Ca-deficient hydroxyapatite (CDHA); Drug release; Nanohybrids
Transition metal ferrites such as CoFe2O4, possessing a large magnetostriction coefficient and high Curie temperature (Tc > 600 K), are excellent candidates for creating magnetic order at the nanoscale and provide a pathway to the fabrication of uniform particle-matrix films with optimized potential for magnetoelectric coupling. Here, a series of 0–3 type nanocomposite thin films composed of ferrimagnetic cobalt ferrite nanocrystals (8 to 18 nm) and a ferroelectric/piezoelectric polymer poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropene), P(VDF-HFP), were prepared by multiple spin coating and cast coating over a thickness range of 200 nm to 1.6 μm. We describe the synthesis and structural characterization of the nanocrystals and composite films by XRD, TEM, HRTEM, STEM, and SEM, as well as dielectric and magnetic properties, in order to identify evidence of cooperative interactions between the two phases. The CoFe2O4 polymer nanocomposite thin films exhibit composition-dependent effective permittivity, loss tangent, and specific saturation magnetization (Ms). An enhancement of the effective permittivity and saturation magnetization of the CoFe2O4-P(VDF-HFP) films was observed and directly compared with CoFe2O4-polyvinylpyrrolidone, a non-ferroelectric polymer-based nanocomposite prepared by the same method. The comparison provided evidence for the observation of a magnetoelectric effect in the case of CoFe2O4-P(VDF-HFP), attributed to a magnetostrictive/piezoelectric interaction. An enhancement of Ms up to +20.7% was observed at room temperature in the case of the 10 wt.% CoFe2O4-P(VDF-HFP) sample.
Thin film; Magnetoelectric nanocomposite; Magnetostrictive; P(VDF-HFP); CoFe2O4
Ferroelectric BaTiO3/SrTiO3 with optimized c-axis-oriented multilayered thin films were epitaxially fabricated on (001) MgO substrates. The microstructural studies indicate that the in-plane interface relationships between the films as well as the substrate are determined to be (001)SrTiO3//(001)BaTiO3//(001)MgO and SrTiO3//BaTiO3//MgO. The microwave (5 to 18 GHz) dielectric measurements reveal that the multilayered thin films have excellent dielectric properties with large dielectric constant, low dielectric loss, and high dielectric tunability, which suggests that the as-grown ferroelectric multilayered thin films can be developed for room-temperature tunable microwave elements and related device applications.
BaTiO3//SrTiO3; Multilayer; Ferroelectric thin films; Epitaxial behavior; Microwave dielectric properties
We report a systematic investigation of the temperature dependence of electrical resistance behaviours in tri- and four-layer graphene interconnects. Nonlinear current–voltage characteristics were observed at different temperatures, which are attributed to the heating effect. With the resistance curve derivative analysis method, our experimental results suggest that Coulomb interactions play an essential role in our devices. The room temperature measurements further indicate that the graphene layers exhibit the characteristics of semiconductors mainly due to the Coulomb scattering effects. By combining the Coulomb and short-range scattering theory, we derive an analytical model to explain the temperature dependence of the resistance, which agrees well with the experimental results.
Graphene; Graphene multilayer; Short-range scattering theory; Coulomb scattering effect
A simple additive-free approach is developed to synthesize uniform manganese monoxide (MnO) one-dimensional nanorods, in which only manganese acetate and ethanol were used as reactants. The as-synthesized MnO nanorods were characterized in detail by X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) including high-resolution TEM and selected-area electron diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectrum, and nitrogen adsorption isotherm measurements. The results indicate that the as-synthesized MnO nanorods present a mesoporous characteristic with large specific surface area (153 m2 g−1), indicating promising applications in catalysis, energy storage, and biomedical image. On the basis of experimental results, the formation mechanism of MnO one-dimensional nanorods in the absence of polymer additives was also discussed.
Manganese monoxide; Nanorods; Additive-free synthesis; Formation mechanism
The evolution of silica nanostructure morphology induced by local Si vapor source concentration gradient has been investigated by a smart design of experiments. Silica nanostructure or their assemblies with different morphologies are obtained on photoresist-derived three-dimensional carbon microelectrode array. At a temperature of 1,000°C, rope-, feather-, and octopus-like nanowire assemblies can be obtained along with the Si vapor source concentration gradient flow. While at 950°C, stringlike assemblies, bamboo-like nanostructures with large joints, and hollow structures with smaller sizes can be obtained along with the Si vapor source concentration gradient flow. Both vapor–liquid-solid and vapor-quasiliquid-solid growth mechanisms have been applied to explain the diverse morphologies involving branching, connecting, and batch growth behaviors. The present approach offers a potential method for precise design and controlled synthesis of nanostructures with different features.
Silica nanostructure; Morphology; Concentration gradient; Evolution; Micropattern; 62.23.St complex nanostructures; 61.46.Np structure of nanotubes; 85.40.Hp lithography; masks and pattern transfer
A microfiber is used as a laser-focusing unit to fabricate a groove structure on TiAlSiN surfaces. After one laser pulse etching, a groove with the minimum width of 265 nm is manufactured at the area. This technique of microfabricating the groove in microscale is studied. Based on the near-field intensity enhancement at the contact area between the fiber and the surface during the laser irradiation, simulation results are also presented, which agree well with the experimental results.
Micro-fiber; Laser; Micro-fabrication
In the past decades, ferroelectric materials have attracted wide attention due to their applications in nonvolatile memory devices (NVMDs) rendered by the electrically switchable spontaneous polarizations. Furthermore, the combination of ferroelectric and nanomaterials opens a new route to fabricating a nanoscale memory device with ultrahigh memory integration, which greatly eases the ever increasing scaling and economic challenges encountered in the traditional semiconductor industry. In this review, we summarize the recent development of the nonvolatile ferroelectric field effect transistor (FeFET) memory devices based on nanostructures. The operating principles of FeFET are introduced first, followed by the discussion of the real FeFET memory nanodevices based on oxide nanowires, nanoparticles, semiconductor nanotetrapods, carbon nanotubes, and graphene. Finally, we present the opportunities and challenges in nanomemory devices and our views on the future prospects of NVMDs.
It has been an open question whether Nd3+ ions are incorporated into the crystalline phase in oxyfluoride glass ceramics or not. Moreover, relative research has indicated that spectra characters display minor differences between before and after heat treatment in oxyfluoride glass compared to similar Er3+-, Yb3+-, Tm3+-, Eu3+-, etc.-doped materials. Here, we have studied the distribution of Nd3+ ions in oxyfluoride glass ceramics by X-ray diffraction quantitative analysis and found that almost none of the Nd3+ ions can be incorporated into the crystalline phase. In order to confirm the rationality of the process, the conventional mathematical calculation and energy-dispersive spectrometry line scanning are employed, which show good consistency. The distribution of Nd3+ ions in oxyfluoride glass ceramics reported here is significant for further optical investigations and applications of rare-earth doped oxyfluoride glass ceramics.
Nd; Glass ceramics; Nanocrystal; Distribution