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  • Fluorine-Boosted Kinetic and Selective Molecular Sieving of C6 Derivatives.

    Moosa, Basem; Alimi, Lukman Olawale; Lin, Weibin; Fakim, Aliyah; Bhatt, Prashant; Eddaoudi, Mohamed; Khashab, Niveen M. (Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), 2023-09-25) [Article]
    Porous molecular sorbents have excellent selectivity towards hydrocarbon separation with energy saving techniques. However, to realize commercialization, molecular sieving processes should be faster and more efficient compared to extended frameworks. In this work, we show that utilizing fluorine to improve the hydrophobic profile of leaning pillararenes affords a substantial kinetic selective adsorption of benzene over cyclohexane (20:1 for benzene). The crystal structure shows a porous macrocycle that acts as a perfect match for benzene in both the intrinsic and extrinsic cavities with strong interactions in the solid state. The fluorinated leaning pillararene surpasses all reported organic molecular sieves and is comparable to the extended metal organic frameworks that were previously employed for this separation such as UIO-66. Most importantly, this sieving system outperformed the well-known zeolitic imidazolate frameworks under low pressure, which opens the door to new generations of molecular sieves that can compete with extended frameworks for more sustainable hydrocarbon separation.
  • A Novel Organic Phosphonate Additive Induced Stable and Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells with Efficiency over 24% Enabled by Synergetic Crystallization Promotion and Defect Passivation.

    Cheng, Caidong; Yao, Yiguo; Li, Lei; Zhao, Qiangqiang; Zhang, Chenyang; Zhong, Xiuzun; Zhang, Qi; Gao, Yajun; Wang, Kai (Nano letters, 2023-09-25) [Article]
    Defect passivation is crucial to enhancing the performance of perovskite solar cells (PSCs). In this study, we successfully synthesized a novel organic compound named DPPO, which consists of a double phosphonate group. Subsequently, we incorporated DPPO into a perovskite solution. The presence of a P═O group interacting with undercoordinated Pb2+ yielded a perovskite film of superior crystallinity, greater crystal orientation, and smoother surface. Additionally, the addition of DPPO can passivate defect states and enhance upper layer energy level alignment, which will improve carrier extraction and prevent nonradiative recombination. Consequently, an impressive champion efficiency of 24.24% was achieved with a minimized hysteresis. Furthermore, the DPPO-modified PSCs exhibit enhanced durability when exposed to ambient conditions, maintaining 95% of the initial efficiency for 1920 h at an average relative humidity (RH) of 30%.
  • 3D Printed Triaxial Nozzles Fabricated by Stereolithography to Prevent Backflow in Soft Matter Biofabrication

    Albalawi, Hamed; Alhattab, Dana Majed; Konstantinidis, Aris P.; Shirazi, Khadija B.; Al-Tayeb, Yousef; Hauser, Charlotte (Accepted by Materials Science in Additive Manufacturing, 2023-09-24) [Article]
    Tissue engineering has been substantially impacted by 3D bioprinting due to its capacity to produce complicated structures with complex geometries that were challenging to recreate using conventional manufacturing methods. However, the nozzle design and fabrication remain a limitation within extrusion-based 3D bioprinting, restricting and compromising such technology's overall potential. The proposed nozzle design combines three Luer-Lok compatible inlets and an outlet within the printed body, eliminating manual assembly and enhancing fabrication consistency and quality. Furthermore, a finite element analysis of the fluid flow in the nozzle demonstrated the effectiveness of the nozzle to minimize backflow, compared to a traditional nozzle design. The tetrameric IIZK (Ac-Ile-IIe-Cha-Lys-NH2) and IIFK (Ac-Ile-IIe-Phe-Lys-NH2) peptide bioinks were used to 3D print a variety of 3D scaffolds of varying complexity, with good resolution and gel continuity. Hence, our work successfully demonstrates a novel design and fabrication and its potential, demonstrated ultimately via 3D bioprinting of cell-laden constructs and proving biocompatibility and cell viability post-assessed period. This study highlights the capability of the novel design, which aids the field of tissue engineering, allowing 3D extrusion-based bioprinting to be utilized to produce cell-incorporated constructions or scaffolds.
  • Characteristics of ammonia-hydrogen nonpremixed bluff-body-stabilized flames

    Alfazazi, Adamu; Elbaz, Ayman M.; Li, Jiajun; Abdelwahid, Suliman; Im, Hong G.; Dally, Bassam (Combustion and Flame, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-23) [Article]
    The combustion of ammonia (NH3) has received much attention over the last few years due to challenges associated with its low reactivity and the emission of nitric oxides. One way to improve the reactivity of NH3 is to blend it with (H2/N2) mixture as the product of its dissociation, before introducing it into energy systems. In this study, experimental measurements were carried out on nonpremixed bluff-body stabilized flames to better understand the flame and emission characteristics of NH3/H2/N2 flames. Four fuel mixtures at different NH3 and (H2/N2) ratios were investigated to represent different levels of ammonia cracking. Photography, planar laser-induced fluorescence of OH, thermocouples, and gas analysis techniques were used to understand flame features, reaction zone characteristics, NO, and NH3 concentration within the flame and at the exhaust. It was observed that a decrease in NH3 ratio in the mixtures resulted in longer and more stable flame with reduced thermal radiation as compared to NH3-rich fuel blends. For the highest NH3 blend studied, the flames exhibit extinction and re-ignition in the neck zone, as evidenced by OH-planar images and temperature profiles. As the H2/N2 ratio in the fuel mixture is increased, while keeping the Re constant, the momentum flux ratio (jet/co-flow) also increased resulting in a fuel-lean recirculation zone (RZ), and a shift in the maximum temperature and OH region from the outer shear layer to the inner layer next to the central jet. At levels of NH3 in the fuel mixture above 50% by volume, unburned ammonia slips through the flame and into the exhaust, and the subsequent reburn mechanism resulted in reduced NO emission. CFD simulations using Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and the flamelet–progress-variable submodel were conducted and compared with the experimental results. The CFD results helped to qualitatively describe and further explain what was observed in the experiment including the flame appearance, mixing field, and the reaction zone location in the tested flames.
  • Comparing Aerial-RIS- and Aerial-Base-Station-Aided Post-Disaster Cellular Networks

    Matracia, Maurilio; Kishk, Mustafa Abdelsalam; Alouini, Mohamed-Slim (IEEE Open Journal of Vehicular Technology, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023-09-22) [Article]
    Reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) technology and its integration into existing wireless networks have recently attracted much interest. While an important use case of said technology consists in mounting RISs onto unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to support the terrestrial infrastructure in post-disaster scenarios, the current literature lacks an analytical framework that captures the networks' topological aspects. Therefore, our study borrows stochastic geometry tools to estimate both the average and local coverage probability of a wireless network aided by an aerial RIS (ARIS); in particular, the surviving terrestrial base stations (TBSs) are modeled by means of an inhomogeneous Poisson point process, while the UAV is assumed to hover above the disaster epicenter. Our framework captures important aspects such as the TBSs' altitude, the fact that they may be in either line-of-sight or non-line-of-sight condition with a given node, and the Nakagami- m fading conditions of wireless links. By leveraging said aspects we accurately evaluate three possible scenarios, where TBSs are either: (i) not aided, (ii) aided by an ARIS, or (iii) aided by an aerial base station (ABS). Our selected numerical results reflect various situations, depending on parameters such as the environment's urbanization level, disaster radius, and the UAV's altitude.

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