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Today: 27 October 2020, Tuesday.

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#1

 

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Description The study concerning the physical and chemical properties of thiophene derivatives has received much attention because they are incorporated in natural products, medicines, functional materials, and photoresponsive dyes. The autopolymerization reaction is one of the synthesis methods of polythiophenes using halogenated thiophene derivatives. In this paper, we analyzed the products and reaction mechanism of the polymerization reaction of 2-bromo-3-methoxythiophene by investigating the gas, liquid, and solid states using UV-Vis, electron spin resonance (ESR), gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), elemental analysis, NMR, and FT-IR spectroscopy. Consequently, we found a side reaction of the autopolymerization reaction and estimated that the polymerization reaction mechanism occurred in multiple steps. When we employed the brominated alkoxythiophene as a monomer, hydrogen bromide gas was generated to act not only as a catalyst of the polymerization reaction but also as an acid to cleave the alkoxyl group. The results provide useful information for the design of monomers via autopolymerization. The mechanism of intense autopolymerization reaction of 2-bromo-3-methoxythiophenes spewing brownish gas was clarified from UV-Vis, ESR, GC/MS, elemental analysis, NMR, and FT-IR spectroscopy. The reaction contained the formation of the hydrogen bromide gas during the autopolymerization. The gas induced the cleavage of the methoxy group on the thiophene ring to form the methyl bromide gas as the side reaction. This work provides an important guide for the application of the autopolymerization of thiophene derivatives to design new polymer materials.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 27 October 2020

#2

 

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Description The self-organization of liquid-crystalline monomers and subsequent polymerization is a unique strategy for creating nanostructured polymer membranes with novel functions and innovative properties. In this study, we developed gyroid nanostructured soft polymer films based on this strategy. Two types of amphiphile zwitterion monomers were designed and synthesized: a single-type amphiphile zwitterion monomer (S-ZI) and a gemini-type monomer (G-ZI). These compounds show liquid-crystalline behavior in the presence of bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (HTf2N) and water. We attempted to find an appropriate mixing ratio of S-ZI and G-ZI that satisfied the following two criteria: suitability for the exhibition of bicontinuous cubic (Cubbi) phases and acquisition of self-standing properties and softness. The 25/75 wt% component ratio of S-ZI/G-ZI was found to meet these conditions. By carrying out a polymerization for the mixture in the above mixing ratio in the Cubbi phase, a polymer film with self-standing properties and resistance to bending was successfully obtained. This film showed a high ionic conductivity of 1.27 × 10−2 S cm−1 under a relative humidity of 90%. A gyroid nanostructured soft polymer film was developed by the co-organization of two types of amphiphile zwitterion monomers and a suitable acid into a bicontinuous cubic liquid-crystalline phase and subsequent in situ polymerization. The obtained polymer film showed a high ionic conductivity of 1.27 × 10–2 S cm–1 at a relative humidity of 90%.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 27 October 2020

#3

 

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Description Google aimed to include recycled materials in all of its Made By Google products by 2022 and it has reached that goal early as all its new Pixel and Nest products have included recycled material.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 27 October 2020

#4

 

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Description Eucalyptus grandis is a globally important tree crop. Greenhouse-grown tree seedlings often face water deficit after outplanting to the field, which can affect their survival and establishment severely. This can be alleviated by the application of superabsorbent hydrophilic polymers (SAPs). Growth promoting bacteria can also improve crop abiotic stress tolerance; however, their use in trees is limited, partly due to difficulties in the application and viability loss. In this work, we evaluated the improvement of drought tolerance of E. grandis seedlings by inoculating with two Pseudomonas strains (named M25 and N33), carried by an acrylic-hydrocellulosic SAP. We observed significant bacterial survival in the seedling rhizosphere 50 days after inoculation. Under gradual water deficit conditions, we observed a considerable increase in the water content and wall elasticity of M25-inoculated plants and a trend towards growth promotion with both bacteria. Under rapid water deficit conditions, which caused partial defoliation, both strains significantly enhanced the formation of new leaves, while inoculation with M25 reduced the transpiration rate. Co-inoculation with M25 and N33 substantially increased growth and photosynthetic capacity. We conclude that the selected bacteria can benefit E. grandis early growth and can be easily inoculated at transplant by using an acrylic-hydrocellulosic SAP.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 26 October 2020

#5

 

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Description Aluminum oxide ( $${ ext {AlO}}_x$$ )-based single-electron transistors (SETs) fabricated in ultra-high vacuum (UHV) chambers using in situ plasma oxidation show excellent stabilities over more than a week, enabling applications as tunnel barriers, capacitor dielectrics or gate insulators in close proximity to qubit devices. Historically, $${ ext {AlO}}_x$$ -based SETs exhibit time instabilities due to charge defect rearrangements and defects in $${ ext {AlO}}_x$$ often dominate the loss mechanisms in superconducting quantum computation. To characterize the charge offset stability of our $${ ext {AlO}}_x$$ -based devices, we fabricate SETs with sub-1 e charge sensitivity and utilize charge offset drift measurements (measuring voltage shifts in the SET control curve). The charge offset drift ( $$Delta {Q_0}$$ ) measured from the plasma oxidized $${ ext {AlO}}_x$$ SETs in this work is remarkably reduced (best $$Delta {Q_0}=0.13 , hbox {e} , pm , 0.01 , hbox {e}$$ over $$approx 7.6$$ days and no observation of $$Delta {Q_0}$$ exceeding $$1, hbox {e}$$ ), compared to the results of conventionally fabricated $${ ext {AlO}}_x$$ tunnel barriers in previous studies (best $$Delta {Q_0}=0.43 , hbox {e} , pm , 0.007 , hbox {e}$$ over $$approx 9$$ days and most $$Delta {Q_0}ge 1, hbox {e}$$ within one day). We attribute this improvement primarily to using plasma oxidation, which forms the tunnel barrier with fewer two-level system (TLS) defects, and secondarily to fabricating the devices entirely within a UHV system.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 26 October 2020

#6

 

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Description Single crystals and thin films of metal–organic frameworks can now be directly patterned by lithography down to the sub-50-nm scale, enabling straightforward integration in solid-state devices.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 26 October 2020

#7

 

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Description Non-fullerene acceptors have successfully overcome energy losses that were thought to be unavoidable in organic solar cells based on fullerene derivatives. However, it is now shown that they have limits too.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 26 October 2020

#8

 

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Description Electron microscopy touches on nearly every aspect of modern life, underpinning materials development for quantum computing, energy and medicine. We discuss the open, highly integrated and data-driven microscopy architecture needed to realize transformative discoveries in the coming decade.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 26 October 2020

#9

 

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Description TBD

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 25 October 2020

#10

 

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Description Based on molecular dynamic method, densities, mechanical behavior and mechanical performance of P(BAMO/ AMMO) (Polymer 1) and two novel modified P(BAMO/AMMO) (Polymer 2: containing amino group, Polymer 3: containing nitro group), and their effects on mechanical properties of four energetic materials are investigated, the main results are as follow: Polymer 2 (1.235 g/cm3, 240 ± 5 K) and Polymer 3: 1.281 g/cm3, 181 ± 3 K) possess higher densities and lower glass transition temperatures than Polymer 1 (1.229 g/cm3, 247 ± 4 K). The modification makes Polymer 1 difficult to expand, improves its mechanical properties, but has few effect on its diffusion coefficient at same temperature and state. In addition, three binders are compatible with TNT, HMX and CL-20, and may react with DNTF. All polymers particularly improve rigidity of four energetic materials, and enhance their ductility except Polymer 2 on TNT. The ability of Polymer 2 and Polymer 3 improving rigidity (except Polymer 3 on HMX) and ductility of TNT and HMX is inferior to that of Polymer 1, but it is contrary for CL-20 and DNTF (except Polymer 2 on rigidity of DNTF). Moreover, Polymer 2-based interfacial crystals exhibit higher rigidity than Polymer 3-based interfacial crystals.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 23 October 2020

#11

 

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Description Modulation of initial burst and long term release from electrospun fibrous mats can be achieved by sandwiching the drug loaded mats between hydrophobic layers of fibrous polycaprolactone (PCL). Ibuprofen (IBU) loaded PCL fibrous mats (12% PCL-IBU) were sandwiched between fibrous polycaprolactone layers during the process of electrospinning, by varying the polymer concentrations (10% (w/v), 12% (w/v)) and volume of coat (1 ml, 2 ml) in flanking layers. Consequently, 12% PCL-IBU (without sandwich layer) showed burst release of 66.43% on day 1 and cumulative release (%) of 86.08% at the end of 62 days. Whereas, sandwich groups, especially 12% PCLSW-1 & 2 (sandwich layers—1 ml and 2 ml of 12% PCL) showed controlled initial burst and cumulative (%) release compared to 12% PCL-IBU. Moreover, crystallinity (%) and hydrophobicity of the sandwich models imparted control on ibuprofen release from fibrous mats. Further, assay for cytotoxicity and scanning electron microscopic images of cell seeded mats after 5 days showed the mats were not cytotoxic. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopic analysis revealed weak interaction between ibuprofen and PCL in nanofibers which favors the release of ibuprofen. These data imply that concentration and volume of coat in flanking layer imparts tighter control on initial burst and long term release of ibuprofen.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 23 October 2020

#12

 

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Description TBD

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 23 October 2020

#13

 

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Description A University at Buffalo-led research team has reported a new 3D-printed molecular ferroelectric metamaterial. The advancement, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a step toward making these extraordinary lab-created materials more affordable and adaptable to count

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 22 October 2020

#14

 

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Description PNNL researchers devise a new method to analyze Hanford site plutonium microcrystals While studying legacy contaminated soil samples from the Plutonium Finishing Plant waste crib at the Hanford Site (Richland, WA), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers located and extracted tin

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 22 October 2020

#15

 

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Description Second harmonic generation and sum frequency generation (SHG and SFG) provide effective means to realize coherent light at desired frequencies when lasing is not easily achievable. They have found applications from sensing to quantum optics and are of particular interest for integrated photonics at communication wavelengths. Decreasing the footprints of nonlinear components while maintaining their high up-conversion efficiency remains a challenge in the miniaturization of integrated photonics. Here we explore lithographically defined AlGaInP nano(micro)structures/Al2O3/Ag as a versatile platform to achieve efficient SHG/SFG in both waveguide and resonant cavity configurations in both narrow- and broadband infrared (IR) wavelength regimes (1300–1600 nm). The effective excitation of highly confined hybrid plasmonic modes at fundamental wavelengths allows efficient SHG/SFG to be achieved in a waveguide of a cross-section of 113 nm × 250 nm, with a mode area on the deep subwavelength scale (λ2/135) at fundamental wavelengths. Remarkably, we demonstrate direct visualization of SHG/SFG phase-matching evolution in the waveguides. This together with mode analysis highlights the origin of the improved SHG/SFG efficiency. We also demonstrate strongly enhanced SFG with a broadband IR source by exploiting multiple coherent SFG processes on 1 µm diameter AlGaInP disks/Al2O3/Ag with a conversion efficiency of 14.8% MW−1 which is five times the SHG value using the narrowband IR source. In both configurations, the hybrid plasmonic structures exhibit >1000 enhancement in the nonlinear conversion efficiency compared to their photonic counterparts. Our results manifest the potential of developing such nanoscale hybrid plasmonic devices for state-of-the-art on-chip nonlinear optics applications. Plasmonic waveguides and microdisk cavities can provide an efficient means of nonlinear wavelength conversion of light in a chip-compatible platform. Zhe Li and coworkers from Ireland, China and Switzerland fabricated nano- and micro-scale waveguides and cavities from the compound semiconductor AlGaInP, which were then transferred to plasmonic substrates composed of SiO2/Si coated with thin layers of metal oxide (Al2O3) and silver (Ag). When pumped with near-infrared light in the 1300 to 1600 nm region, efficient second harmonic generation (SHG) and sum frequency generation (SFG) were observed with a conversion efficiency of up to 14.8% MW−1. Control experiments with the same structures on plain glass substrates indicate that the plasmonic versions offer >1000 times enhancement in the nonlinear conversion efficiency. The results suggest a promising future for integrated optics employing plasmonics.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 22 October 2020

#16

 

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Description The diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand bird pecks, animal stomps and even being rolled over by a Toyota Camry.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 21 October 2020

#17

 

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Description Moisture in materials can be a source of future outgassing and exacerbate unwanted changes in physical and chemical properties. Here, we investigate the effect of sample size and shape on the moisture transport phenomena through a combined experimental and modeling approach. Several different materials varying in size and shape were investigated over a wide range of relative humidities (0–90%) and temperatures ( $$30{-}70^{,circ } hbox {C}$$ ) using gravimetric type dynamic vapor sorption (DVS). A dynamic triple-mode sorption model, developed previously, was employed to describe the experimental results with good success; the model includes absorption, adsorption, pooling (clustering) of species, and molecular diffusion. Here we show that the full triple-mode sorption model is robust enough to predict the dynamic uptake and outgassing of 3-dimensional (3D) samples using parameters derived from quasi-1D samples. This successful demonstration on three different materials (filled polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), unfilled PDMS, and ceramic inorganic composite) illustrates that the model is robust at describing the scale-independent physics and chemistry of moisture sorption and diffusion materials. This work demonstrates that while sorption mechanisms manifest in testing of all sample sizes, some of these mechanisms were so subtle that they were overlooked in our initial modeling and assessment, illustrating the importance of multi-scale experiments in the development of robust predictive capabilities. Our study also outlines the challenges and viable solutions for global optimization of a multi-parameter model. The ability to quantify moisture sorption and diffusion, independent of scale, using 1D lab-scale experiments enables prediction of long-term bulk materials behavior in real applications.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 20 October 2020

#18

 

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Description In situ metabolic labelling and targeted modulation of dendritic cells has been achieved using a hydrogel system in combination with covalent capture of antigens and adjuvants, facilitating improved tumour-specific immune response.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 20 October 2020

#19

 

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Description In February 2019, we co-founded LatinXinBME to build a diverse and welcoming virtual community of Latinx researchers in biomedical engineering (BME). We leverage digital tools and community mentoring approaches to support our members and to build safe spaces in academia, with the aim to diversify the academic workforce in STEM.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 20 October 2020