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Principal symmetric meshes(ACM Transactions on Graphics, ACM, 2020-07) [Article]The isolines of principal symmetric surface parametrizations run symmetrically to the principal directions. We describe two discrete versions of these special nets/quad meshes which are dual to each other and show their usefulness for various applications in the context of fabrication and architectural design. Our discretization of a principal symmetric mesh comes naturally with a family of spheres, the so-called Meusnier and Mannheim spheres. In our representation of principal symmetric meshes, we have direct control over the radii of theses spheres and the intersection angles of the parameter lines. This facilitates tasks such as generating Weingarten surfaces including constant mean curvature surfaces and minimal surfaces. We illustrate the potential of Weingarten surfaces for paneling doubly curved freeform facades by significantly reducing the number of necessary molds. Moreover, we have direct access to curvature adaptive tool paths for cylindrical CNC milling with circular edges as well as flank milling with rotational cones. Furthermore, the construction of curved support structures from congruent circular strips is easily managed by constant sphere radii. The underlying families of spheres are in a natural way discrete curvature spheres in analogy to smooth Möbius and Laguerre geometry which further leads to a novel discrete curvature theory for principal symmetric meshes.
Asymmetric Membrane Capacitive Deionization using Anion-Exchange Membranes based on Quaternized Polymer Blends(ACS Applied Polymer Materials, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-06-01) [Article]Membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI) for water desalination is an innovative technique that could help to solve the global water scarcity problem. However, the development of the MCDI field is hindered by the limited choice of ion-exchange membranes. Desalination by MCDI removes the salt (solute) from the water (solvent); which can drastically reduce energy consumption compared to traditional desalination practices such as distillation. Herein, we outline the fabrication and characterization of quaternized anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) based on polymer blends of polyethylenimine (PEI) and polybenzimidazole (PBI) that provides an efficient membrane for MCDI. Flat sheet polymer membranes were prepared by solution casting, heat treatment and phase inversion, followed by modification to impart anion-exchange character. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier-Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were used to characterize the morphology and chemical composition of the membranes. The as-prepared membranes displayed high ion-exchange capacity (IEC), hydrophilicity, permselectivity and low area resistance. Due to the addition of PEI, the high density of quaternary ammonium groups increased the IEC and permselectivity of the membranes, while reducing the area resistance relative to pristine PBI AEMs. Our PEI/PBI membranes were successfully employed in asymmetric MCDI for brackish water desalination and exhibited an increase in both salt adsorption capacity (>3x) and charge efficiency (>2x) relative to membrane-free CDI. The use of quaternized polymer blend membranes could help to achieve the greater realization of industrial scale MCDI.
Bidirectional All-Optical Synapses Based on a 2D Bi 2 O 2 Se/Graphene Hybrid Structure for Multifunctional Optoelectronics(Advanced Functional Materials, Wiley, 2020-05-28) [Article]Neuromorphic computing has been extensively studied to mimic the brain functions of perception, learning, and memory because it may overcome the von Neumann bottleneck. Here, with the light-induced bidirectional photoresponse of the proposed Bi2O2Se/graphene hybrid structure, its potential use in next-generation neuromorphic hardware is examined with three distinct optoelectronic applications. First, a photodetector based on a Bi2O2Se/graphene hybrid structure presents positive and negative photoresponsibility of 88 and −110 A W−1 achieved by the excitation of visible wavelength and ultraviolet wavelength light at intensities of 1.2 and 0.3 mW cm−2, respectively. Second, this unique photoresponse contributes to the realization of all optically stimulated long-term potentiation or long-term depression to mimic synaptic short-term plasticity and long-term plasticity, which are attributed to the combined effect of photoconductivity, bolometric, and photoinduced desorption. Third, the devices are applied to perform digital logic functions, such as “AND” and “OR,” using full light modulation. The proposed Bi2O2Se/graphene-based optoelectronic device represents an innovative and efficient building block for the development of future multifunctional artificial neuromorphic systems.
Identification of volatile constituents released from IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco HeatSticks using a direct sampling method.(Tobacco control, BMJ, 2020-05-28) [Article]OBJECTIVES:To identify the chemicals released in I Quit Ordinary Smoking (IQOS) heat-not-burn tobacco aerosol and to assess their potential human health toxicity. METHODS:The heating temperature window of the IQOS heat-not-burn device was determined using a thermographic camera over a period of 100 s. Qualitative studies were performed using a novel real-time gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer set-up. Aerosols from six tobacco-flavoured IQOS HeatSticks (Amber, Blue, Bronze, Sienna, Turquoise and Yellow) were collected in a 1 mL loop via a manual syringe attached to the sample-out port of the valve. The gas transport line was heated to 200°C in order to prevent the condensation of volatile species. Compound identification was performed using the NIST11 mass spectrometry database library (US National Institute of Standards and Technology), where only chemicals with a match of 70% and above were listed as identifiable. RESULTS:The temperature profile of the IQOS device revealed a non-combustive process employed in generating the tobacco aerosol. Real-time qualitative analysis revealed 62 compounds encompassing a broad spectrum of chemicals such as carbonyls, furans and phthalates, which are highly toxic. DISCUSSION:Our findings complement the qualitative studies previously performed by Philip Morris International and others via indirect sampling methods. By analysing the aerosols in real time, we have identified a total of 62 compounds, from which only 10 were in common with previous studies. Several identified species such as diacetyl, 2,3-pentanedione, hydroxymethylfurfural and diethylhexyl phthalate are classified as highly toxic, with the latter considered carcinogenic.
Mg2+ Is a Missing Link in Plant Cell Ca2+ Signalling and Homeostasis—A Study on Vicia faba Guard Cells(International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI AG, 2020-05-27) [Article]<jats:p>Hyperpolarization-activated calcium channels (HACCs) are found in the plasma membrane and tonoplast of many plant cell types, where they have an important role in Ca2+-dependent signalling. The unusual gating properties of HACCs in plants, i.e., activation by membrane hyperpolarization rather than depolarization, dictates that HACCs are normally open in the physiological hyperpolarized resting membrane potential state (the so-called pump or P-state); thus, if not regulated, they would continuously leak Ca2+ into cells. HACCs are permeable to Ca2+, Ba2+, and Mg2+; activated by H2O2 and the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA); and their activity in guard cells is greatly reduced by increasing amounts of free cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]Cyt), and hence closes during [Ca2+]Cyt surges. Here, we demonstrate that the presence of the commonly used Mg-ATP inside the guard cell greatly reduces HACC activity, especially at voltages ≤ −200 mV, and that Mg2+ causes this block. Therefore, we firstly conclude that physiological cytosolic Mg2+ levels affect HACC gating and that channel opening requires either high negative voltages (≥ −200 mV) or displacement of Mg2+ away from the immediate vicinity of the channel. Secondly, based on structural comparisons with a Mg2+-sensitive animal inward-rectifying K+ channel, we propose that the likely candidate HACCs described here are cyclic nucleotide gated channels (CNGCs), many of which also contain a conserved diacidic Mg2+ binding motif within their pores. This conclusion is consistent with the electrophysiological data. Finally, we propose that Mg2+, much like in animal cells, is an important component in Ca2+ signalling and homeostasis in plants.</jats:p>