Super-stretchable, skin-mountable, and ultra-soft strain sensors are presented by using carbon nanotube percolation network-silicone rubber nanocomposite thin films. The applicability of the strain sensors as epidermal electronic systems, in which mechanical compliance like human skin and high stretchability (epsilon > 100%) are required, has been explored. The sensitivity of the strain sensors can be tuned by the number density of the carbon nanotube percolation network. The strain sensors show excellent hysteresis performance at different strain levels and rates with high linearity and small drift. We found that the carbon nanotube-silicone rubber based strain sensors possess super-stretchability and high reliability for strains as large as 500%. The nanocomposite thin films exhibit high robustness and excellent resistance-strain dependency for over similar to 1380% mechanical strain. Finally, we performed skin motion detection by mounting the strain sensors on different parts of the body. The maximum induced strain by the bending of the finger, wrist, and elbow was measured to be similar to 42%, 45% and 63%, respectively.
We review recent theoretical work on thermoelectric energy harvesting in multi-terminal quantum-dot setups. We first discuss several examples of nanoscale heat engines based on Coulomb-coupled conductors. In particular, we focus on quantum dots in the Coulomb-blockade regime, chaotic cavities and resonant tunneling through quantum dots and wells. We then turn toward quantum-dot heat engines that are driven by bosonic degrees of freedom such as phonons, magnons and microwave photons. These systems provide interesting connections to spin caloritronics and circuit quantum electrodynamics.
We propose parametrizing the Stillinger-Weber potential for covalent materials starting from the valence force-field model. All geometrical parameters in the Stillinger-Weber potential are determined analytically according to the equilibrium condition for each individual potential term, while the energy parameters are derived from the valence force-field model. This parametrization approach transfers the accuracy of the valence force field model to the Stillinger-Weber potential. Furthermore, the resulting Stilliinger-Weber potential supports stable molecular dynamics simulations, as each potential term is at an energy-minimum state separately at the equilibrium configuration. We employ this procedure to parametrize Stillinger-Weber potentials for single-layer MoS2 and black phosphorous. The obtained Stillinger-Weber potentials predict an accurate phonon spectrum and mechanical behaviors. We also provide input scripts of these Stillinger-Weber potentials used by publicly available simulation packages including GULP and LAMMPS.
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.
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.
As an emerging class of new materials, two-dimensional (2D) non-graphene materials, including layered and non-layered, and their heterostructures are currently attracting increasing interest due to their promising applications in electronics, optoelectronics and clean energy. In contrast to traditional semiconductors, such as Si, Ge and III-V group materials, 2D materials show significant merits of ultrathin thickness, very high surface-to-volume ratio, and high compatibility with flexible devices. Owing to these unique properties, while scaling down to ultrathin thickness, devices based on these materials as well as artificially synthetic heterostructures exhibit novel and surprising functions and performances. In this review, we aim to provide a summary on the state-of-the-art research activities on 2D non-graphene materials. The scope of the review will cover the preparation of layered and non-layered 2D materials, construction of 2D vertical van der Waals and lateral ultrathin heterostructures, and especially focus on the applications in electronics, optoelectronics and clean energy. Moreover, the review is concluded with some perspectives on the future developments in this field.
High throughput screening of solvents and additives with potential applications in lithium batteries is reported. The initial test set is limited to carbonate and phosphate-based compounds and focused on their electrochemical properties. Solvent stability towards first and second reduction and oxidation is reported from density functional theory (DFT) calculations performed on isolated solvents surrounded by implicit solvent. The reorganization energy is estimated from the difference between vertical and adiabatic redox energies and found to be especially important for the accurate prediction of reduction stability. A majority of tested compounds had the second reduction potential higher than the first reduction potential indicating that the second reduction reaction might play an important role in the passivation layer formation. Similarly, the second oxidation potential was smaller for a significant subset of tested molecules than the first oxidation potential. A number of potential sources of errors introduced during screening of the electrolyte electrochemical properties were examined. The formation of lithium fluoride during reduction of semifluorinated solvents such as fluoroethylene carbonate and the H-transfer during oxidation of solvents were found to shift the electrochemical potential by 1.5-2 V and could shrink the electrochemical stability window by as much as 3.5 V when such reactions are included in the screening procedure. The initial oxidation reaction of ethylene carbonate and dimethyl carbonate at the surface of the completely de-lithiated LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 high voltage spinel cathode was examined using DFT. Depending on the molecular orientation at the cathode surface, a carbonate molecule either exhibited deprotonation or was found bound to the transition metal via its carbonyl oxygen.
Systematical computations on the density functional theory were performed to investigate the adsorption of three typical organic molecules, tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ), tetracyanoethylene (TCNE) and tetrathiafulvalene (TTF), on the surface of phosphorene monolayers and thicker layers. There exist considerable charge transfer and strong non-covalent interaction between these molecules and phosphorene. In particular, the band gap of phosphorene decreases dramatically due to the molecular modification and can be further tuned by applying an external electric field. Meanwhile, surface molecular modification has proven to be an effective way to enhance the light harvesting of phosphorene in different directions. Our results predict a flexible method toward modulating the electronic and optical properties of phosphorene and shed light on its experimental applications.
A high-performance flexible piezoelectric hybrid nanogenerator (HNG) based on lead-free perovskite zinc stannate (ZnSnO3) nanocubes and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite with multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as supplement filling material is demonstrated. Even without any electrical poling treatment, the HNG possesses an open-circuit voltage of 40 V and a short-circuit current of 0.4 mu A, respectively, under repeated human finger impact. It has been demonstrated that the output volume power density of 10.8 mu W cm(-3) from a HNG can drive several colour light emitting diodes (LEDs) and a charge capacitor that powers up a calculator, indicating an effective means of energy harvesting power source with high energy conversion efficiency (similar to 1.17%) for portable electronic devices.
In this study, graphene oxide (GO) nanoflakes (0.5 and 1 wt%) were incorporated into a gelatin-hydroxyapatite (GHA) matrix through a freeze drying technique and its effect to enhance mechanical strength and osteogenic differentiation was studied. The GHA matrix with GO demonstrated less brittleness in comparison to GHA scaffolds. There was no significant difference in mechanical strength between GOGHA(0.5) and GOGHA(1.0) scaffolds. When the scaffolds were immersed in phosphate buffered saline (to mimic physiologic condition) for 60 days, around 50-60% of GO was released in sustained and linear manner and the concentration was within the toxicity limit as reported earlier. Further, GOGHA(0.5) scaffolds were continued for cell culture experiments, wherein the scaffold induced osteogenic differentiation of human adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells without providing supplements like dexamethasone, L-ascorbic acid and beta glycerophosphate in the medium. The level of osteogenic differentiation of stem cells was comparable to those cultured on GHA scaffolds with osteogenic supplements. Thus biocompatible, biodegradable and porous GO reinforced gelatin-HA 3D scaffolds may serve as a suitable candidate in promoting bone regeneration in orthopaedics.
In this paper, a core-shell nanocomposite of clusters of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles coated with poly(dopamine) (SPION clusters@PDA) is fabricated as a magnetic field-directed theranostic agent that combines the capabilities of highly sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and photothermal cancer therapy. The highly concentrated SPION cluster core is suitable for sensitive MRI due to its superparamagnetic properties, and the poly (dopamine) coating layer can induce cancer cell death under near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation because of the photothermal conversion ability of PDA. MRI scanning reveals that the nanocomposite has relatively high r(2) and r(2)* relaxivities, and the r(2)* values are nearly threefold higher than the r2 values because of the clustering of the SPIONs in the nanocomposite core. Due to the rapid response to magnetic field gradients, enhanced cellular uptake of our nanocomposite mediated by an external magnetic field can be achieved, thus producing significantly enhanced local photothermal killing efficiency against cancer cells under NIR irritation.
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are very promising power supply systems for a variety of applications, such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, grid energy storage, and microelectronics. However, to realize these practical applications, many challenges need to be addressed in LIBs, such as power and energy density, cycling lifetime, safety, and cost. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is emerging as a powerful technique for solving these problems due to its exclusive advantages over other film deposition counterparts. In this review, we summarize the state-of-the-art progresses of employing ALD to design novel nanostructured electrode materials and solid-state electrolytes and to tailor electrode/electrolyte interface by surface coatings in order to prevent unfavorable side reactions and achieve optimal performance of the electrode. Insights into the future research and development of the ALD technique for LIB applications are also discussed. We expect that this review article will provide resourceful information to researchers in both fields of LIBs and ALD and also will stimulate more insightful studies of using ALD for the development of next-generation LIBs.
Thermally conductive and electrically insulating polymer/boron nitride (BN) nanocomposites are highly attractive for various applications in many thermal management fields. However, so far most of the preparation methods for polymer/BN nanocomposites have usually caused difficulties in the material post processing. Here, an in situ grafting approach is designed to fabricate thermally conductive, electrically insulating and post-melt processable polystyrene (PS)/BN nanosphere (BNNS) nanocomposites by initiating styrene (St) on the surface functionalized BNNSs via reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. The nanocomposites exhibit significantly enhanced thermal conductivity. For example, at a St/BN feeding ratio of 5:1, an enhancement ratio of 1375% is achieved in comparison with pure PS. Moreover, the dielectric properties of the nanocomposites show a desirable weak dependence on frequency, and the dielectric loss tangent of the nanocomposites remains at a very low level. More importantly, the nanocomposites can be subjected to multiple melt processing to form different shapes. Our method can become a universal approach to prepare thermally conductive, electrically insulating and melt-processable polymer nanocomposites with diverse monomers and nanofillers.
We prepared hierarchical Cu2O/CuO/Co3O4 core-shell nanowires (NWs) via a facile chemical deposition method followed by calcination for use as the electrode of supercapacitors. The Cu2O/CuO/Co3O4 electrode showed a specific capacitance of 318 F g(-1) at a current density of 0.5 A g-1. 80% of the original specific capacitance was retained after 3000 cycles at a current density of 5 A g(-1). An asymmetric supercapacitor cell using Cu2O/CuO/Co3O4 NWs as the positive electrode and activated graphene as the negative electrode exhibited a maximum energy density of 12 Wh kg(-1). The electrochemical properties of the electrode were strongly related to the hierarchical nanostructure, which not only provided rich active sites but also shortened ion transport pathways.
Few-layer black phosphorus (BP) has attracted much attention due to its high mobility and suitable band gap for potential applic5ations in optoelectronics and flexible devices. However, its instability under ambient conditions limits its practical applications. Our investigations indicate that by passivation of the mechanically exfoliated BP flakes with a SiO2 layer, the fabricated BP field-effect transistors (FETs) exhibit greatly enhanced environmental stability. Compared to the unpassivated BP devices, which show a fast drop of on/off current ratio by a factor of 10 after one week of ambient exposure, the SiO2-passivated BP devices display a high retained on/off current ratio of over 600 after one week of exposure, just a little lower than the initial value of 810. Our investigations provide an effective route to passivate the few-layer BPs for enhancement of their environmental stability.
Graphene (Gr) nanosheets with multilayer structures were dispersed in a nickel (Ni) plating solution by using a surfactant with a magnetic stirring method. Gr nanosheets were incorporated into a Ni matrix through a plating process to form Ni-Gr composites on a target substrate. Gr nanosheets were uniformly dispersed in the Ni matrix, and the oxygen radicals present in the Gr were reduced during the electro-deposition process. The incorporation of Gr in the Ni matrix increases both the inter-planar spacing and the degree of preferred orientation of crystalline Ni. With the addition of Gr content as low as 0.05 g L-1, the elastic modulus and hardness of the Ni-Gr composites reach 240 GPa and 4.6 GPa, respectively, which are about 1.7 and 1.2 times that of the pure Ni deposited under the same condition. The enhancement in mechanical properties of the composites is attributed to the preferred formation of the Ni crystalline phases in its (111) plane, the high interaction between Ni and Gr and the prevention of the dislocation sliding in the Ni matrix by the Gr. The results suggest that the method of using Gr directly instead of graphene oxide (GO) is efficient and scalable.
The growth of highly uniform arrays of GaN nanocolumns with diameters from 122 to 430 nm on Si (111) substrates was demonstrated. The employment of GaN film templates with flat surfaces (root mean square surface roughness of 0.84 nm), which were obtained using an AlN/ GaN superlattice (SL) buffer on Si, contributed to the high-quality selective-area growth of nanocolumns using a thin Ti mask of 5 nm thickness by rf-plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Although the GaN template included a large number of dislocations (dislocation density similar to 10(11) cm(-2)), the dislocation filtering effect of nanocolumns was enhanced with decreasing nanocolumn diameters (D). Systematic transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation enabled us to explain the dependence of the dislocation propagation behavior in nanocolumns on the nanocolumn diameter for the first time. Plan-view TEM analysis was performed for nanocolumns with D=120-324 nm by slicing the nanocolumns horizontally at a height of similar to 300 nm above their bottoms and dislocation propagation through the nanocolumns was analyzed by the cross-sectional TEM observation of nanocolumns with D similar to 200 nm. It was clarified that dislocations were effectively filtered in the bottom 300 nm region of the nanocolumns, the dislocation density of the nanocolumns decreased with decreasing D, and for narrow nanocolumns with D<200 nm, dislocation-free crystals were obtained in the upper part of the nanocolumns. The dramatic improvement in the emission properties of GaN nanocolumns observed with decreasing diameter is discussed in relation to the decreased dislocation density. The laser action of InGaN/GaN-based nanocolumn arrays with a nanocolumn diameter of 170 nm and a period of 200 nm on Si under optical excitation was obtained with an emission wavelength of 407 nm. We also fabricated red-emitting InGaN-based nanocolumn light-emitting diodes on Si that operated at a wavelength of 652 nm, demonstrating vertical conduction through the AlN/GaN SL buffer to the Si substrate.
The rapid transcendence of organic-inorganic metal halide perovskite solar cells to above the 20% efficiency mark has captivated the broad photovoltaic community. As the efficiency race continues unabated, it is essential that fundamental studies keep pace with these developments. Further gains in device efficiencies are expected to be increasingly arduous and harder to come by. The key to driving the perovskite solar cell efficiencies towards their Shockley-Queisser limit is through a clear understanding of the interfacial energetics and dynamics between perovskites and other functional materials in nanostructured-and heterojunction-type devices. In this review, we focus on the current progress in basic characterization studies to elucidate the interfacial energetics (energy-level alignment and band bending) and dynamical processes (from the ultrafast to the ultraslow) in organic-inorganic metal halide perovskite photovoltaics and light emitters. Major findings from these studies will be distilled. Open questions and scientific challenges will also be highlighted.
We examine the transfer of graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) with polymer scaffolds of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), poly(lactic acid) (PLA), poly(phthalaldehyde) (PPA), and poly(bisphenol A carbonate) (PC). We find that optimally reactive PC scaffolds provide the cleanest graphene transfers without any annealing, after extensive comparison with optical microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning tunneling microscopy. Comparatively, films transferred with PLA, PPA, PMMA/PC, and PMMA have a two-fold higher roughness and a five-fold higher chemical doping. Using PC scaffolds, we demonstrate the clean transfer of CVD multilayer graphene, fluorinated graphene, and hexagonal boron nitride. Our annealing free, PC transfers enable the use of atomically-clean nanomaterials in biomolecule encapsulation and flexible electronic applications.
We investigated the edge atomic structures and elastic properties of defect-free phosphorene nanoribbons (PNRs). Density functional tight binding simulations were used to optimize two main edge configurations: armchair (AC) and zigzag (ZZ). It was found that the energy relaxation of PNRs leads to the noticeable changes in edge atomic configurations. The effective width of the edge region, which includes all the atoms involved in the edge relaxation, was found to contain approximately three atomic rows near the edge for both AC and ZZ PNRs. We further extracted the edge stress and modulus for the ZZ and AC edges. Both the AC and ZZ edge stresses of PNRs are positive, indicating tensile stress at the edges. In addition, both the AC and ZZ edge moduli are positive. However, the edge elastic modulus and edge stress of ZZ PNRs are about three times larger than those of AC PNRs. Furthermore, we showed that the tensile edge stresses along ZZ and AC edges are able to cause distortion in freestanding phosphorene nanoribbons. Our results highlight the importance of accounting for edge stresses in the design and fabrication of PNRs.