The interfacial microcracks in the resin matrix composites are difficult to be detected and repaired. However, the self-healing concept provides opportunities to fabricate composites with unusual properties. In the present study, photothermal conversion Ag-Cu2S nanoparticles were immobilized onto poly(p-phenylene benzobisoxazole) (PBO) fibers via a polydopamine chemistry. Benefitting from the photothermal effects of Ag-Cu2S, the obtained PBO fibers (Ag-Cu2S-PBO) efficiently converted the light energy into heat under Xenon lamp irradiation. Then, single PBO fiber composites were prepared using thermoplastic polyurethane as the matrix. It was found that the interfacial damage caused by single fiber pull-out was simply self-healed by Xe light irradiation. This wonderful interfacial damage self-healing property was mainly attributed to the in situ heating generation via photothermal effects of Ag-Cu2S in the composite interface. This paper reports a novel strategy to construct advanced composites with light-triggered self-healing properties, which will provide inspiration for preparing high performance composite materials.
In this paper, a WSe2 film prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is transferred onto a tapered fiber, and a WSe2 saturable absorber (SA) is fabricated. In order to measure the third-order optical nonlinearity of the WSe2, the Z-scan technique is applied. The modulation depth of the WSe2 SA is measured as being 21.89%. Taking advantage of the remarkable nonlinear absorption characteristic of the WSe2 SA, a mode-locked erbium-doped fiber laser is demonstrated at 1557.4 nm with a bandwidth of 25.8 nm and signal to noise ratio of 96 dB. To the best of our knowledge, the pulse duration of 163.5 fs is confirmed to be the shortest compared with previous mode-locked fiber lasers based on transition-metal dichalcogenides SAs. These results indicate that WSe2 is a powerful competitor in the application of ultrashort pulse lasers.
As the search for efficient catalysts for CO2 photoreduction continues, nanostructured perovskite oxides have emerged as a class of high-performance photocatalytic materials. The perovskite oxide candidates for CO2 photoreduction are primarily nanostructured forms of titanates, niobates, tantalates and cobaltates. These materials form the focus of this review article because they are much sought-after due to their nontoxic nature, adequate chemical stability, and tunable crystal structures, bandgaps and surface energies. As compared to conventional semiconductors and nanomaterial catalysts, nanostructured perovskite oxides also exhibit an extended optical-absorption edge, longer charge carrier lifetimes, and favorable band-alignment with respect to reduction potential of activated CO2 and reduction products of the same. While CO2 reduction product yields of several hundred mu mol(-1) h(-1) are observed with many types of perovskite oxide nanomaterials in stand-alone forms, yield of such quantities are not common with semiconductor nanomaterials of other types. In this review, we present current state-of-the-art synthesis methods to form perovskite oxide nanomaterials, and procedures to engineer their bandgaps. This review also presents a comprehensive summary and discussion on crystal structures, defect distribution, morphologies and electronic properties of the perovskite oxides, and correlation of these properties to CO2 photoreduction performance. This review offers researchers key insights for developing advanced perovskite oxides in order to further improve the yields of CO2 reduction products.
As the search for efficient catalysts for CO photoreduction continues, nanostructured perovskite oxides have emerged as a class of high-performance photocatalytic materials. The perovskite oxide candidates for CO photoreduction are primarily nanostructured forms of titanates, niobates, tantalates and cobaltates. These materials form the focus of this review article because they are much sought-after due to their nontoxic nature, adequate chemical stability, and tunable crystal structures, bandgaps and surface energies. As compared to conventional semiconductors and nanomaterial catalysts, nanostructured perovskite oxides also exhibit an extended optical-absorption edge, longer charge carrier lifetimes, and favorable band-alignment with respect to reduction potential of activated CO and reduction products of the same. While CO reduction product yields of several hundred μmol h are observed with many types of perovskite oxide nanomaterials in stand-alone forms, yield of such quantities are not common with semiconductor nanomaterials of other types. In this review, we present current state-of-the-art synthesis methods to form perovskite oxide nanomaterials, and procedures to engineer their bandgaps. This review also presents a comprehensive summary and discussion on crystal structures, defect distribution, morphologies and electronic properties of the perovskite oxides, and correlation of these properties to CO photoreduction performance. This review offers researchers key insights for developing advanced perovskite oxides in order to further improve the yields of CO reduction products.
Two-dimensional materials have been widely used as optical modulator materials in mode-locked fiber lasers. In terms of the performance of the fiber laser, one with an ultrashort pulse and high stability has great commercial value. Herein, the MoSe grown by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method with high modulation depth, quality lattice structure and uniformity is successfully applied in a mode-locked erbium-doped fiber laser. The pulse duration and signal-to-noise ratio of the laser are 207 fs and 85 dB, respectively. The multifarious performance comparisons indicate that the CVD-based MoSe saturable absorber with the tapered fiber structure has unique advantages not only in the generation of ultrashort pulses, but also in the optimization of laser stability.
Two-dimensional materials have been widely used as optical modulator materials in mode-locked fiber lasers. In terms of the performance of the fiber laser, one with an ultrashort pulse and high stability has great commercial value. Herein, the MoSe2 grown by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method with high modulation depth, quality lattice structure and uniformity is successfully applied in a mode-locked erbium-doped fiber laser. The pulse duration and signal-to-noise ratio of the laser are 207 fs and 85 dB, respectively. The multifarious performance comparisons indicate that the CVD-based MoSe2 saturable absorber with the tapered fiber structure has unique advantages not only in the generation of ultrashort pulses, but also in the optimization of laser stability.
Nanosecond pulsed two-beam laser interference is used to generate two-dimensional temperature patterns on a magnetic thin film sample. We show that the original domain structure of a [Co/Pd] multilayer thin film changes drastically upon exceeding the Curie temperature by thermal demagnetization. At even higher temperatures the multilayer system is irreversibly changed. In this area no out-of-plane magnetization can be found before and after a subsequent acdemagnetization. These findings are supported by numerical simulations using the Landau-Lifshitz-Bloch formalism which shows the importance of defect sites and anisotropy changes to model the experiments. Thus, a one-dimensional temperature pattern can be transferred into a magnetic stripe pattern. In this way one can produce magnetic nanowire arrays with lateral dimensions of the order of 100 nm. Typical patterned areas are in the range of several square millimeters. Hence, the parallel direct laser interference patterning method of magnetic thin films is an attractive alternative to the conventional serial electron beam writing of magnetic nanostructures.
The key factors to consider when designing microwave absorber materials for eradication of electromagnetic (EM) pollution are absorption of incident EM waves and good impedance matching. By keeping these things in mind, flexible microwave absorber composite films can be fabricated by simple gel casting techniques using reduced graphene oxide (RGO) and strontium ferrite (SF) in a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) matrix. SF nanoparticles are synthesized by the well known sol-gel method. Subsequently, reduced graphene oxide (RGO) and SF nanocomposite (RGOSF) are prepared through a chemical reduction method using hydrazine. The structure, morphology, chemical composition, thermal stability and magnetic properties of the nanocomposite are characterized in detail by various techniques. The SF particles are found to be nearly 500 nm and decorated on RGO sheets as revealed by field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analysis. Fourier transform infrared and and Raman spectroscopy clearly show the presence of SF in the graphene sheet by the lower peak positions. Finally, ternary polymer composites of RGO/SF/PMMA are prepared by an in situ polymerization method. Magnetic and dielectric studies of the composite reveal that the presence of RGO/SF/PMMA lead to polarization effects contributing to dielectric loss. Also, RGO surrounding SF provides a conductive network in the polymer matrix which is in turn responsible for the magnetic loss in the composite. Thus, the permittivity as well as the permeability of the composite can be controlled by an appropriate combination of RGO and SF in PMMA. More than 99% absorption efficiency is achieved by a suitable combination of magneto-dielectric coupling in the X-band frequency range by incorporating 9 wt% of RGO and 1 wt% of SF in the polymer matrix.
FeCo-C core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) with diameters of 10-50 nm have been fabricated on a large scale by one-step metal-organic chemical vapor deposition using the mixture of cobalt acetylacetonate and iron acetylacetonate as the precursor. The Fe/Co molar ratio of the alloy nanocores and graphitization degree of C shells, and thus the magnetic and electric properties of the core-shell NPs, can be tuned by the deposition temperature ranging from 700 degrees C to 900 degrees C. Comparative tests reveal that a relatively high Fe/Co molar ratio and low graphitization degree benefit the microwave absorption (MA) performance of the core-shell NPs. The composite with 20 wt% core-shell NP obtained at 800 degrees C and 80 wt% paraffin exhibits an optimal reflection loss (RL) of -60.4 dB at 7.5 GHz with a thickness of 3.3 mm, and an effective absorption bandwidth (frequency range for RL <= 10 dB) of 9.2 GHz (8.8-18.0 GHz) under an absorber thickness of 2.5 mm. Our study provides a facile route for the fabrication of alloy-C core-shell nanostructures with high MA performance.
Searching for new van der Waals (vdW) heterostructure with novel electronic and optical properties is of great interest and importance for the next generation of devices. By using first-principles calculations, we show that the electronic and optical properties of the arsenene/C3N vdW heterostructure can be effectively modulated by applying vertical strain and external electric field. Our results suggest that this heterostructure has an intrinsic type-II band alignment with an indirect bandgap of 0.16 eV, facilitating the separation of photogenerated electron-hole pairs. The bandgap in the heterostructure can be tuned from 0-0.35 eV via the strain, experiencing an indirect-to-direct bandgap transition. Moreover, the bandgap of the heterostructure varies linearly with respect to a moderate external electric field, and the semiconductor-to-metal transition can be realized in the presence of a strong electric field. The calculated band alignment and the optical absorption reveal that the arsenene/C3N heterostructure could present excellent light-harvesting performance. Our designed vdW heterostructure is expected to have great potential applications in nanoelectronic devices and photovoltaics.
Multifunctional electronics are attracting great interest with the increasing demand and fast development of wearable electronic devices. Here, we describe an epidermal strain sensor based on an all-carbon conductive network made from multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) impregnated with poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) matrix through a vacuum filtration process. An ultrasonication treatment was performed to complete the penetration of PDMS resin in seconds. The entangled and overlapped MWCNT network largely enhances the electrical conductivity (1430 S m(-1)), uniformity (remaining stable on different layers), reliable sensing range (up to 80% strain), and cyclic stability of the strain sensor. The homogeneous dispersion of MWCNTs within the PDMS matrix leads to a strong interaction between the two phases and greatly improves the mechanical stability (ca. 160% strain at fracture). The flexible, reversible and ultrathin (< 100 mu m) film can be directly attached on human skin as epidermal strain sensors for high accuracy and real-time human motion detection.
Pressure sensors with high performance (e. g., a broad pressure sensing range, high sensitivities, rapid response/relaxation speeds, temperature-stable sensing), as well as a cost-effective and highly efficient fabrication method are highly desired for electronic skins. In this research, a high-performance pressure sensor based on microstructured carbon nanotube/polydimethylsiloxane arrays was fabricated using an ultra-violet/ozone (UV/O-3) microengineering technique. The UV/O-3 microengineering technique is controllable, costeffective, and highly efficient since it is conducted at room temperature in an ambient environment. The pressure sensor offers a broad pressure sensing range (7 Pa-50 kPa), a sensitivity of similar to -0.101 +/- 0.005 kPa(-1) ( 5000 cycles), which is attributed to the UV/O-3 engineered microstructures that amplify and transfer external applied forces and rapidly store/release the energy during the PDMS deformation. The sensors developed show the capability to detect external forces and monitor human health conditions, promising for the potential applications in electronic skin.
Nanowire assembly based on dielectrophoresis (DEP) could be a useful and efficient tool for fabricating nanowire-based devices. Although there have been extensive reports on the DEP nanowire assembly, the new approaches that make DEP more facile and affordable are still desirable. Herein, we present an approach using the reusable electrodes to assemble silver nanowires onto a removable, independent polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film. The PET film is placed on the reusable electrodes, and a sinusoidal AC voltage is applied to the electrodes to induce DEP force for nanowire assembly upon the flexible film. We explore the influences of voltage, frequency and film thickness on nanowire assembly and further realize the assembly of silver nanowire arrays. In addition, the induced electric field is rotated in two consecutive steps to assemble the rectangular mesh-like nanowire networks. This reusable and facile approach for DEP nanowire assembly could provide a low-cost, precise, rapid and convenient tool for applications in the fields of flexible electronics.
Copper-based surfaces appear as the most active catalysts for CO2 electroreduction to hydrocarbons, even though formation rates and efficiencies still need to be improved. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the continuous gas-phase CO2 electroreduction to hydrocarbons (i.e. ethylene and methane) at copper nanoparticulated-based surfaces, paying attention to particle size influence (ranging from 25-80 nm) on reaction productivity, selectivity, and Faraday efficiency (FE) for CO2 conversion. The effect of the current density and the presence of a microporous layer within the working electrode are then evaluated. Copper-based gas diffusion electrodes are prepared by airbrushing the catalytic ink onto carbon supports, which are then coupled to a cation exchange membrane (Nafion) in a membrane electrode assembly. The results show that the use of smaller copper nanoparticles (25 nm) leads to a higher ethylene production (1148 mu mol m(-2) s(-1)) with a remarkable high FE (92.8%), at the same time, diminishing the competitive hydrogen evolution reaction in terms of FE. This work demonstrates the importance of nanoparticle size on reaction selectivity, which may be of help to design enhanced electrocatalytic materials for CO2 valorization to hydrocarbons.
TNS/Cu(X) composite materials were firstly synthesized via simple overnight stirring of TNS in the methanolic solution of Cu complexes. The developed TNS/Cu(X) composites had a well-designed nanostructure, in which the TNS and Cu complexes were closely bounded with each other. The biphenylamine complexes fixed on the TNS surface in form of nanocapsules, which were confirmed by TEM and SEM, thus improving the surface area and subsequently charge separation. Innovatively merged photocatalysts of Cu complexes with TNS were successfully verified for photocatalytic mineralization of colored and colorless organic contaminants under the visible light degradation. As compared to original TNS, TNS/Cu(BA) showed prominent improvement in the catalytic actions. Kinetics i.e. t(1/2) (half-life times period), K-app, and R-2 (linear regression co-efficient) were also studied. The amended materials created charge separation, by means of electrons gathering at the higher CB, and holes gathering at the lower level valence band of the Cu complex, therefore improving mineralization efficiency of the electrons and holes. TNS/Cu(BA) degrade 99%-99.6% of methyl orange (MO) and rhodamine B (RhB) dyes at 120 min, and 160 min, respectively, and 68% of phenol and 53% of TCP were destroyed in 180 min. The resilient holes can directly destroy MO, RhB, phenol, and TCP.
There has been a considerable amount of research in the development of sustainable water treatment techniques capable of improving the quality of water. Unavailability of drinkable water is a crucial issue especially in regions where conventional drinking water treatment systems fail to eradicate aquatic pathogens, toxic metal ions and industrial waste. The research and development in this area have given rise to a new class of processes called advanced oxidation processes, particularly in the form of heterogeneous photocatalysis, which converts photon energy into chemical energy. Advances in nanotechnology have improved the ability to develop and specifically tailor the properties of photocatalytic materials used in this area. This paper discusses many of those photocatalytic nanomaterials, both metal-based and metal-free, which have been studied for water and waste water purification and treatment in recent years. It also discusses the design and performance of the recently studied photocatalytic reactors, along with the recent advancements in the visible-light photocatalysis. Additionally, the effects of the fundamental parameters such as temperature, pH, catalyst-loading and reaction time have also been reviewed. Moreover, different techniques that can increase the photocatalytic efficiency as well as recyclability have been systematically presented, followed by a discussion on the photocatalytic treatment of actual wastewater samples and the future challenges associated with it.
Whereas the integration of silver nanowires in functional devices has reached a fair level of maturity, the integration of copper nanowires still remains difficult, mainly due to the intrinsic instability of copper nanowires in ambient conditions. In this paper, copper nanowire based transparent electrodes with good performances (33 Omega sq(-1) associated with 88% transparency) were obtained, and their degradation in different conditions was monitored, in particular by electrical measurements, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectrometry and Auger electron spectroscopy. Several routes to stabilize the random networks of copper nanowires were evaluated. Encapsulation through laminated barrier film with optical clear adhesive and atmospheric pressure spatial atomic layer deposition were found to be efficient and were used for the fabrication of transparent film heaters.
A new method for the deposition of a pinhole-free compact layer of TiO2 is introduced for the development of efficient perovskite solar cells. Acidic treatment of titanium layer (ATTL), deposited by rotational magnetron sputtering, presents a compact pinhole-free TiO2 thin film. Deposition of a compact TiO2 thin film on fluorine-doped tin oxide layers by ATTL did not change the surface roughness. To compare the introduced method, perovskite solar cell devices were fabricated and studied using different methods for the deposition of the TiO2 compact layers, which were used as common compact layer deposition methods. The ATTL method proposed considerable photovoltaic enhancement of perovskite solar cell performance (at least 22% enhancement in this work) by reducing the pinholes and sheet resistance of the TiO2 thin film. The improvement in the open-circuit voltage and the fill factor of the prepared devices using the ATTL method strongly confirmed the nature of the deposited pinhole-free TiO2 thin film. This method is shown to be an appropriate route for the reliable large-scale deposition of TiO2 compact layers.
Holes with an average size of 2-5 nm have been created in graphene layers by heating of graphite oxide (GO) in concentrated sulfuric acid followed by annealing in an argon flow. The hot mineral acid acts simultaneously as a defunctionalizing and etching agent, removing a part of oxygen-containing groups and lattice carbon atoms from the layers. Annealing of the holey reduced GO at 800 degrees C-1000 degrees C causes a decrease of the content of residual oxygen and the interlayer spacing thus producing thin compact stacks from holey graphene layers. Electrochemical tests of the obtained materials in half-cells showed that the removal of oxygen and creation of basal holes lowers the capacity loss in the first cycle and facilitates intercalation-deintercalation of lithium ions. This was attributed to minimization of electrolyte decomposition reactions, easier desolvation of lithium ions near the hole boundaries and appearance of multiple entrances for the naked ions into graphene stacks.
In this article, we present a comprehensive review on recent research progress in design and fabrication of active tunable metamaterials and devices based on phase transition of VO2. Firstly, we introduce mechanisms of the metal-to-insulator phase transition (MIPT) in VO2 investigated by ultrafast THz spectroscopies. By analyzing the THz spectra, the evolutions of MIPT in VO2 induced by different external excitations are described. The superiorities of using VO2 as building blocks to construct highly tunable metamaterials are discussed. Subsequently, the recently demonstrated metamaterial devices based on VO2 are reviewed. These metamaterials devices are summarized and described in the categories of working frequency. In each working frequency range, representative metamaterials based on VO2 with different architectures and functionalities are reviewed and the contributions of the MIPT of VO2 are emphasized. Finally, we conclude the recent reports and provide a prospect on the strategies of developing future tunable metamaterials based on VO2.