Zinc oxide (ZnO), with its excellent luminescent properties and the ease of growth of its nanostructures, holds promise for the development of photonic devices. The recent advances in growth of ZnO nanorods are discussed. Results from both low temperature and high temperature growth approaches are presented. The techniques which are presented include metal-organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD), vapour phase epitaxy (VPE), pulse laser deposition (PLD), vapour-liquid-solid (VLS), aqueous chemical growth (ACG) and finally the electrodeposition technique as an example of a selective growth approach. Results from structural as well as optical properties of a variety of ZnO nanorods are shown and analysed using different techniques, including high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), photoluminescence (PL) and cathodoluminescence (CL), for both room temperature and for low temperature performance. These results indicate that the grown ZnO nanorods possess reproducible and interesting optical properties. Results on obtaining p-type doping in ZnO micro- and nanorods are also demonstrated using PLD. Three independent indications were found for p-type conducting, phosphorus-doped ZnO nanorods: first, acceptor-related CL peaks, second, opposite transfer characteristics of back-gate field effect transistors using undoped and phosphorus doped wire channels, and finally, rectifying I-V characteristics of ZnO: P nanowire/ZnO:Ga p-n junctions. Then light emitting diodes (LEDs) based on n-ZnO nanorods combined with different technologies (hybrid technologies) are suggested and the recent electrical, as well as electro-optical, characteristics of these LEDs are shown and discussed. The hybrid LEDs reviewed and discussed here are mainly presented for two groups: those based on n-ZnO nanorods and p-type crystalline substrates, and those based on n-ZnO nanorods and p-type amorphous substrates. Promising electroluminescence characteristics aimed at the development of white LEDs are demonstrated. Although some of the presented LEDs show visible emission for applied biases in excess of 10 V, optimized structures are expected to provide the same emission at much lower voltage. Finally, lasing from ZnO nanorods is briefly reviewed. An example of a recent whispering gallery mode (WGM) lasing from ZnO is demonstrated as a way to enhance the stimulated emission from small size structures.
Using memristive properties common for titanium dioxide thin film devices, we designed a simple write algorithm to tune device conductance at a specific bias point to 1% relative accuracy (which is roughly equivalent to seven-bit precision) within its dynamic range even in the presence of large variations in switching behavior. The high precision state is nonvolatile and the results are likely to be sustained for nanoscale memristive devices because of the inherent filamentary nature of the resistive switching. The proposed functionality of memristive devices is especially attractive for analog computing with low precision data. As one representative example we demonstrate hybrid circuitry consisting of an integrated circuit summing amplifier and two memristive devices to perform the analog multiply-and-add (dot-product) computation, which is a typical bottleneck operation in information processing.
This study was initiated to enhance our insight on the health and environmental impact of silver nanoparticles (Ag-np). Using starch and bovine serum albumin (BSA) as capping agents, silver nanoparticles were synthesized to study their deleterious effects and distribution pattern in zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio). Toxicological endpoints like mortality, hatching, pericardial edema and heart rate were recorded. A concentration-dependent increase in mortality and hatching delay was observed in Ag-np treated embryos. Additionally, nanoparticle treatments resulted in concentration-dependent toxicity, typified by phenotypes that had abnormal body axes, twisted notochord, slow blood flow, pericardial edema and cardiac arrhythmia. Ag+ ions and stabilizing agents showed no significant defects in developing embryos. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the embryos demonstrated that nanoparticles were distributed in the brain, heart, yolk and blood of embryos as evident from the electron-dispersive x-ray analysis (EDS). Furthermore, the acridine orange staining showed an increased apoptosis in Ag-np treated embryos. These results suggest that silver nanoparticles induce a dose-dependent toxicity in embryos, which hinders normal development.
We demonstrated high-performance gas sensors based on graphene oxide (GO) sheets partially reduced via low-temperature thermal treatments. Hydrophilic graphene oxide sheets uniformly suspended in water were first dispersed onto gold interdigitated electrodes. The partial reduction of the GO sheets was then achieved through low-temperature, multi-step annealing (100, 200, and 300 degrees C) or one-step heating (200 degrees C) of the device in argon flow at atmospheric pressure. The electrical conductance of GO was measured after each heating cycle to interpret the level of reduction. The thermally-reduced GO showed p-type semiconducting behavior in ambient conditions and was responsive to low-concentration NO2 and NH3 gases diluted in air at room temperature. The sensitivity can be attributed mainly to the electron transfer between the reduced GO and adsorbed gaseous molecules (NO2/NH3). Additionally, the contact between GO and the Au electrode is likely to contribute to the overall sensing response because of the adsorbates-induced Schottky barrier variation. A simplified model is used to explain the experimental observations.
Nanoparticles are widely used in various fields of science and technology as well as in everyday life. In particular, gold and silver nanoparticles display unique optical properties that render them extremely attractive for various applications. In this review, we focus on the use of noble metal nanoparticles as plasmonic nanosensors with extremely high sensitivity, even reaching single molecule detection. Sensors based on plasmon resonance shifts, as well as the use of surface-enhanced Raman scattering and surface-enhanced fluorescence, will be considered in this work.
Ultrafast and sensitive room temperature NH3 gas sensors based on chemically reduced graphene oxide (rGO) are demonstrated in this work. rGO, which was prepared via the reduction of graphene oxide by pyrrole, exhibited excellent responsive sensitivity and selectivity to ammonia (NH3) gas. The high sensing performance of these rGO sensors with resistance change as high as 2.4% and response time as fast as 1.4 s was realized when the concentration of NH3 gas was as low as 1 ppb. Furthermore, the rGO sensors could rapidly recover to their initial states with IR illumination. The devices also showed excellent repeatability and selectivity to NH3. These rGO sensors, with low cost, low power, and easy fabrication, as well as scalable properties, showed great potential for ultrasensitive detection of NH3 gas in a wide variety of fields.
The synthesis of nanocrystals is in the limelight in modern nanotechnology. Biosynthesis of nanoparticles by plant extracts is currently under exploitation. Not only could silver nanoparticles ranging from 55 to 80 nm in size be fabricated, but also triangular or spherical shaped gold nanoparticles could be easily modulated by reacting the novel sundried biomass of Cinnamomum camphora leaf with aqueous silver or gold precursors at ambient temperature. The marked difference of shape control between gold and silver nanoparticles was attributed to the comparative advantage of protective biomolecules and reductive biomolecules. The polyol components and the water-soluble heterocyclic components were mainly responsible for the reduction of silver ions or chloroaurate ions and the stabilization of the nanoparticles, respectively. The sundried leaf in this work was very suitable for simple synthesis of nanoparticles.
Although two-dimensional (2D) materials have attracted considerable research interest for use in the development of innovative wearable optoelectronic systems, the integrated optoelectronic performance of 2D materials photodetectors, including flexibility, transparency, broadband response and stability in air, remains quite low to date. Here, we demonstrate a flexible, transparent, high-stability and ultra-broadband photodetector made using large-area and highly-crystalline WSe2 films that were prepared by pulsed-laser deposition (PLD). Benefiting from the 2D physics of WSe2 films, this device exhibits excellent average transparency of 72% in the visible range and superior photoresponse characteristics, including an ultra-broadband detection spectral range from 370 to 1064 nm, reversible photoresponsivity approaching 0.92 AW(-1), external quantum efficiency of up to 180% and a relatively fast response time of 0.9 s. The fabricated photodetector also demonstrates outstanding mechanical flexibility and durability in air. Also, because of the wide compatibility of the PLD-grown WSe2 film, we can fabricate various photodetectors on multiple flexible or rigid substrates, and all these devices will exhibit distinctive switching behavior and superior responsivity. These indicate a possible new strategy for the design and integration of flexible, transparent and broadband photodetectors based on large-area WSe2 films, with great potential for practical applications in the wearable optoelectronic devices.
We report chemical doping (p-type) to reduce the sheet resistance of graphene films for the application of high-performance transparent conducting films. The graphene film synthesized by chemical vapor deposition was transferred to silicon oxide and quartz substrates using poly(methyl methacrylate). AuCl3 in nitromethane was used to dope the graphene films and the sheet resistance was reduced by up to 77% depending on the doping concentration. The p-type doping behavior was confirmed by characterizing the Raman G-band of the doped graphene film. Atomic force microscope and scanning electron microscope images reveal the deposition of Au particles on the film. The sizes of the Au particles are 10-100 nm. The effect of doping was also investigated by transferring the graphene films onto quartz and poly(ethylene terephthalate) substrates. The sheet resistance reached 150 Omega/sq at 87% transmittance, which is comparable to those of indium tin oxide conducting film. The doping effect was manifested only with 1-2 layer graphene but not with multi-layer graphene. This approach advances the numerous applications of graphene films as transparent conducting electrodes.
Nanotechnology is expected to open new avenues to fight and prevent disease using atomic scale tailoring of materials. Among the most promising nanomaterials with antibacterial properties are metallic nanoparticles, which exhibit increased chemical activity due to their large surface to volume ratios and crystallographic surface structure. The study of bactericidal nanomaterials is particularly timely considering the recent increase of new resistant strains of bacteria to the most potent antibiotics. This has promoted research in the well known activity of silver ions and silver-based compounds, including silver nanoparticles. The present work studies the effect of silver nanoparticles in the range of 1-100 nm on Gram-negative bacteria using high angle annular dark field (HAADF) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Our results indicate that the bactericidal properties of the nanoparticles are size dependent, since the only nanoparticles that present a direct interaction with the bacteria preferentially have a diameter of similar to 1-10 nm.
Although there are many methods of fabricating nanofibres, electrospinning is perhaps the most versatile process. Materials such as polymer, composites, ceramic and metal nanofibres have been fabricated using electrospinning directly or through post-spinning processes. However, what makes electrospinning different from other nanofibre fabrication processes is its ability to form various fibre assemblies. This will certainly enhance the performance of products made from nanofibres and allow application specific modifications. It is therefore vital for us to understand the various parameters and processes that allow us to fabricate the desired fibre assemblies. Fibre assemblies that can be fabricated include nonwoven fibre mesh, aligned fibre mesh, patterned fibre mesh, random three-dimensional structures and sub-micron spring and convoluted fibres. Nevertheless, more studies are required to understand and precisely control the actual mechanics in the formation of various electrospun fibrous assemblies.
We have performed a comparative study of ultrafast charge carrier dynamics in a range of III-V nanowires using optical pump-terahertz probe spectroscopy. This versatile technique allows measurement of important parameters for device applications, including carrier lifetimes, surface recombination velocities, carrier mobilities and donor doping levels. GaAs, InAs and InP nanowires of varying diameters were measured. For all samples, the electronic response was dominated by a pronounced surface plasmon mode. Of the three nanowire materials, InAs nanowires exhibited the highest electron mobilities of 6000 cm(2) V-1 s(-1), which highlights their potential for high mobility applications, such as field effect transistors. InP nanowires exhibited the longest carrier lifetimes and the lowest surface recombination velocity of 170 cm s(-1). This very low surface recombination velocity makes InP nanowires suitable for applications where carrier lifetime is crucial, such as in photovoltaics. In contrast, the carrier lifetimes in GaAs nanowires were extremely short, of the order of picoseconds, due to the high surface recombination velocity, which was measured as 5.4 X 10(5) cm s(-1). These findings will assist in the choice of nanowires for different applications, and identify the challenges in producing nanowires suitable for future electronic and optoelectronic devices.
In the present study, we report the preparation of silver nanoparticles in the range of 10 - 15 nm with increased stability and enhanced anti-bacterial potency. The morphology of the nanoparticles was characterized by transmission electron microscopy. The antibacterial effect of silver nanoparticles used in this study was found to be far more potent than that described in the earlier reports. This effect was dose dependent and was more pronounced against gram-negative bacteria than gram-positive organisms. Although bacterial cell lysis could be one of the reasons for the observed antibacterial property, nanoparticles also modulated the phosphotyrosine profile of putative bacterial peptides, which could thus affect bacterial signal transduction and inhibit the growth of the organisms.
Graphene has emerged as a material with a vast variety of applications. The electronic, optical and mechanical properties of graphene are strongly influenced by the number of layers present in a sample. As a result, the dimensional characterization of graphene films is crucial, especially with the continued development of new synthesis methods and applications. A number of techniques exist to determine the thickness of graphene films including optical contrast, Raman scattering and scanning probe microscopy techniques. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), in particular, is used extensively since it provides three-dimensional images that enable the measurement of the lateral dimensions of graphene films as well as the thickness, and by extension the number of layers present. However, in the literature AFM has proven to be inaccurate with a wide range of measured values for single layer graphene thickness reported (between 0.4 and 1.7 nm). This discrepancy has been attributed to tip-surface interactions, image feedback settings and surface chemistry. In this work, we use standard and carbon nanotube modified AFM probes and a relatively new AFM imaging mode known as PeakForce tapping mode to establish a protocol that will allow users to accurately determine the thickness of graphene films. In particular, the error in measuring the first layer is reduced from 0.1-1.3 nm to 0.1-0.3 nm. Furthermore, in the process we establish that the graphene-substrate adsorbate layer and imaging force, in particular the pressure the tip exerts on the surface, are crucial components in the accurate measurement of graphene using AFM. These findings can be applied to other 2D materials.
A one-step method was developed to fabricate conductive graphene/SnO2 (GS) nanocomposites in acidic solution. Graphite oxides were reduced by SnCl2 to graphene sheets in the presence of HCl and urea. The reducing process was accompanied by generation of SnO2 nanoparticles. The structure and composition of GS nanocomposites were confirmed by means of transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron and Raman spectroscopy. Moreover, the ultracapacitor characteristics of GS nanocomposites were studied by cyclic voltammograms (CVs) and electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The CVs of GS nanocomposites are nearly rectangular in shape and the specific capacitance degrades slightly as the voltage scan rate is increased. The EIS of GS nanocomposites presents a phase angle close to p/2 at low frequency, indicating a good capacitive behavior. In addition, the GS nanocomposites could be promisingly applied in many fields such as nanoelectronics, ultracapacitors, sensors, nanocomposites, batteries and gas storage.
We report on the synthesis of phase-pure TiO2 nanoparticles in anatase, rutile and brookite structures, using amorphous titania as a common starting material. Phase formation was achieved by hydrothermal treatment at elevated temperatures with the appropriate reactants. Anatase nanoparticles were obtained using acetic acid, while phase-pure rutile and brookite nanoparticles were obtained with hydrochloric acid at a different concentration. The nanomaterials were characterized using x-ray diffraction, UV-visible reflectance spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and transmission electron microscopy. We propose that anatase formation is dominated by surface energy effects, and that rutile and brookite formation follows a dissolution-precipitation mechanism, where chains of sixfold-coordinated titanium complexes arrange into different crystal structures depending on the reactant chemistry. The particle growth kinetics under hydrothermal conditions are determined by coarsening and aggregation-recrystallization processes, allowing control over the average nanoparticle size.
The remarkable mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have generated a lot of interest in recent years. While CNTs are found to have ultra-high stiffness and strength, an enormous scatter is also observed in available laboratory results. This randomness is partly due to the presence of nanoscale defects, heterogeneities etc, and this paper studies the effects of randomly distributed Stone-Wales (SW or 5-7-7-5) defects on the mechanical properties of single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) using the technique of atomistic simulation (AS). A Matern hard-core random field applied on a finite cylindrical surface is used to describe the spatial distribution of the Stone-Wales defects. We simulate a set of displacement controlled tensile loadings up to fracture of SWNTs with (6, 6) armchair and (10, 0) zigzag configurations and aspect ratio around six. A modified Morse potential is adopted to model the interatomic forces. We find that fracture invariably initiates from a defect if one is present; for a defect-free tube the crack initiates at quite random locations. The force-displacement curve typically behaves almost linearly up to about half way, although there is no obvious yield point. Three mechanical properties-stiffness, ultimate strength and ultimate strain-are calculated from the simulated force and displacement time histories. The randomness in mechanical behaviour resulting only from initial velocity distribution was found to be insignificant at room temperature. The mean values of stiffness, ultimate strength and ultimate strain of the tube decrease as the average number of defects increases, although the coefficients of variation do not show such a monotonic trend. The introduction of an additional defect has the most pronounced effect on the randomness in mechanical properties when the tube is originally defect free. We also find that, for a given mean number of defects in the tube, the zigzag configuration has less strength and less ultimate strain on average, but more uncertainty in its stiffness and ultimate strain, compared with the armchair tube.
We present measurements and theoretical modeling of the ionic conductance G of solid-state nanopores with 5-100 nm diameters, with and without DNA inserted into the pore. First, we show that it is essential to include access resistance to describe the conductance, in particular for larger pore diameters. We then present an exact solution for G of an hourglass-shaped pore, which agrees very well with our measurements without any adjustable parameters, and which is an improvement over the cylindrical approximation. Subsequently we discuss the conductance blockade Delta G due to the insertion of a DNA molecule into the pore, which we study experimentally as a function of pore diameter. We find that Delta G decreases with pore diameter, contrary to the predictions of earlier models that forecasted a constant Delta G. We compare three models for Delta G, all of which provide good agreement with our experimental data.
Graphene is an outstanding material with ultrahigh thermal conductivity. Its thermal transfer properties under various strains are studied by reverse nonequilibrium molecular dynamics. Based on the unique two-dimensional structure of graphene, the distinctive geometries of graphene sheets and graphene nanoribbons with large flexibility and their intriguing thermal properties are demonstrated under strains. For example, the corrugation under uniaxial compression and helical structure under light torsion, as well as tube-like structure under strong torsion, exhibit enormously different thermal conductivity. The important robustness of thermal conductivity is found in the corrugated and helical configurations of graphene nanoribbons. Nevertheless, thermal conductivity of graphene is very sensitive to tensile strain. The relationship among phonon frequency, strain and thermal conductivity are analyzed. A similar trend line of phonon frequency dependence of thermal conductivity is observed for armchair graphene nanoribbons and zigzag graphene nanoribbons. The unique thermal properties of graphene nanoribbons under strains suggest their great potentials for nanoscale thermal managements and thermoelectric applications.