Recent Submissions

  • Carrier dynamics of InxGa1-xN/GaN multiple quantum wells grown on (−201) β-Ga2O3 for bright vertical light emitting diodes

    Mumthaz Muhammed, Mufasila; Xu, Jian; Wehbe, Nimer; Roqan, Iman S. (The Optical Society, 2018-05-30)
    High-quality InxGa1-xN/GaN multi-quantum well (MQW) structures (0.05≤x≤0.13), are successfully grown on transparent and conductive (−201)-oriented β-Ga2O3 substrate. Scanning-transmission electron microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) show well-defined high quality MQWs, while the In and Ga compositions in the wells and the barriers are estimated by SIMS. Temperature-dependant Photoluminescence (PL) confirms high optical quality with a strong bandedge emission and negligble yellow band. time-resolved PL measurements (via above/below-GaN bandgap excitations) explain carrier dynamics, showing that the radiative recombination is predominant. Our results demonstrate that (−201)-oriented β-Ga2O3 is a strong candidate as a substrate for III-nitride-based vertical- emitting devices.
  • Quantified Hole Concentration in AlGaN Nanowires for High-Performance Ultraviolet Emitters

    Zhao, Chao; Ebaid, Mohamed; Zhang, Huafan; Priante, Davide; Janjua, Bilal; Zhang, Daliang; Wei, Nini; Alhamoud, Abdullah; Shakfa, M. Khaled; Ng, Tien Khee; Ooi, Boon S. (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2018-05-29)
    P-type doping in wide bandgap and new classes of ultra-wide bandgap materials has long been a scientific and engineering problem. The challenges arise from the large activation energy of dopants and high densities of dislocations in materials. We report here, a significantly enhanced p-type conduction using high-quality AlGaN nanowires. For the first time, the hole concentration in Mg-doped AlGaN nanowires is quantified. The incorporation of Mg into AlGaN was verified by correlation with photoluminescence and Raman measurements. The open-circuit potential measurements further confirmed the p-type conductivity; while Mott-Schottky experiments measured a hole concentration of 1.3×1019 cm-3. These results from photoelectrochemical measurements allow us to design prototype ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) incorporating the AlGaN quantum-disks-in-nanowire and optimized p-type AlGaN contact layer for UV-transparency. The ~335-nm LEDs exhibited a low turn-on voltage of 5 V with a series resistance of 32 Ω, due to the efficient p-type doping of the AlGaN nanowires. The bias-dependent Raman measurements further revealed the negligible self-heating of devices. This study provides an attractive solution to evaluate electrical properties of AlGaN, which is applicable to other wide bandgap nanostructures. Our results are expected to open doors to new applications for wide and ultra-wide bandgap materials.
  • Insights into Brevibacillus borstelensis AK1 through Whole Genome Sequencing: A Thermophilic Bacterium Isolated from a Hot Spring in Saudi Arabia

    Khalil, Amjad B.; Neelamegam, Sivakumar; Arslan, Muhammad; Saleem, Hamna; Alqarawi, Sami (Hindawi Limited, 2018-05-24)
    Brevibacillus borstelensis AK1 is a thermophile which grows between the temperatures of 45°C and 70°C. The present study is an extended genome report of B. borstelensis AK1 along with the morphological characterization. The strain is isolated from a hot spring in Saudi Arabia (southeast of the city Gazan). It is observed that the strain AK1 is rod-shaped, motile, and strictly aerobic bacterium. The whole genome sequence resulted in 29 contigs with a total length of 5,155,092 bp. In total, 3,946 protein-coding genes and 139 RNA genes were identified. Comparison with the previously submitted strains of B. borstelensis strains illustrates that strain AK1 has a small genome size but high GC content. The strain possesses putative genes for degradation of a wide range of substrates including polyethylene (plastic) and long-chain hydrocarbons. These genomic features may be useful for future environmental/biotechnological applications.
  • Morphology control of anatase TiO2 for well-defined surface chemistry

    Jeantelot, Gabriel; Ould-Chikh, Samy; Sofack-Kreutzer, Julien; Abou-Hamad, Edy; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Lopatin, Sergei; Harb, Moussab; Cavallo, Luigi; Basset, Jean-Marie (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2018-05-16)
    A specific allotrope of titanium dioxide (anatase) was synthesized both with a standard thermodynamic morphology ({101}-anatase) and with a highly anisotropic morphology ({001}-anatase) dominated by the {001} facet (81%). The surface chemistry of both samples after dehydroxylation was studied by 1H NMR and FT-IR. The influence of surface fluorides on the surface chemistry was also studied by 1H NMR, FT-IR and DFT. Full attribution of the IR spectra of anatase with dominant {001} facets could be provided based on experimental data and further confirmed by DFT. Our results showed that chemisorbed H2O molecules are still present on anatase after dehydroxylation at 350 °C, and that the type of surface hydroxyls present on the {001} facet is dependent on the presence of fluorides. They also provided general insight into the nature of the surface species on both fluorinated and fluorine-free anatase. The use of vanadium oxychloride (VOCl3) allowed the determination of the accessibility of the various OH groups spectroscopically observed.
  • Artificial 3D hierarchical and isotropic porous polymeric materials

    Chisca, Stefan; Musteata, Valentina-Elena; Sougrat, Rachid; Behzad, Ali Reza; Nunes, Suzana Pereira (American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2018-05-11)
    Hierarchical porous materials that replicate complex living structures are attractive for a wide variety of applications, ranging from storage and catalysis to biological and artificial systems. However, the preparation of structures with a high level of complexity and long-range order at the mesoscale and microscale is challenging. We report a simple, nonextractive, and nonreactive method used to prepare three-dimensional porous materials that mimic biological systems such as marine skeletons and honeycombs. This method exploits the concurrent occurrence of the self-assembly of block copolymers in solution and macrophase separation by nucleation and growth. We obtained a long-range order of micrometer-sized compartments. These compartments are interconnected by ordered cylindrical nanochannels. The new approach is demonstrated using polystyrene-b-poly(t-butyl acrylate), which can be further explored for a broad range of applications, such as air purification filters for viruses and pollution particle removal or growth of bioinspired materials for bone regeneration.
  • Ti/TaN Bilayer for Efficient Injection and Reliable AlGaN Nanowires LEDs

    Priante, Davide; Janjua, Bilal; Prabaswara, Aditya; Subedi, Ram Chandra; Elafandy, Rami T.; Lopatin, Sergei; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Zhao, Chao; Ng, Tien Khee; Ooi, Boon S. (OSA, 2018-05-07)
    Reliable operation of UV AlGaN-based nanowires-LED at high injection current was realized by incorporating a Ti-pre-orienting/TaN-diffusion-barrier bilayer, thus enhancing external quantum efficiency, and resolving the existing device degradation issue in group-III-nanowires-on-silicon devices.
  • Thin porphyrin composite membranes with enhanced organic solvent transport

    Phuoc, Duong; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor; Nunes, Suzana Pereira (Elsevier BV, 2018-05-01)
    Extending the stability of polymeric membranes in organic solvents is important for applications in chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Thin-film composite membranes with enhanced solvent permeance are proposed, using porphyrin as a building block. Hybrid polyamide films are formed by interfacial polymerization of 5,10,15,20-(tetra-4-aminophenyl)porphyrin/m-phenylene diamine (MPD) mixtures with trimesoyl chloride. Porphyrin is a non-planar molecule, containing a heterocyclic tetrapyrrole unit. Its incorporation into a polyamide film leads to higher free volume than that of a standard polyamide film. Polyamide films derived from porphyrin and MPD amines with a fixed total amine concentration of 1wt% and various porphyrin/MPD ratios were fabricated and characterized. The porphyrin/MPD polyamide film was complexed with Cu(II), due to the binding capacity of porphyrin to metal ions. By coupling scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), Cu mapping was obtained, revealing the distribution of porphyrin in the interfacial polymerized layer. By using porphyrin as amine-functionalized monomer a membrane with thin selective skin and enhanced solvent transport is obtained, with good dye selectivity in the nanofiltration range. For instance, an ultra-fast hexane permeance, 40-fold increased, was confirmed when using 0.5/0.5 porphyrin/MPD mixtures, instead of only MPD as amine monomer. A rejection of 94.2% Brilliant Blue R (826g/mol) in methanol was measured.
  • A Fault-Tolerant HPC Scheduler Extension for Large and Operational Ensemble Data Assimilation:Application to the Red Sea

    Toye, Habib; Kortas, Samuel; Zhan, Peng; Hoteit, Ibrahim (Elsevier BV, 2018-04-26)
    A fully parallel ensemble data assimilation and forecasting system has been developed for the Red Sea based on the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) to simulate the Red Sea circulation and the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) ensemble assimilation software. An important limitation of operational ensemble assimilation systems is the risk of ensemble members’ collapse. This could happen in those situations when the filter update step imposes large corrections on one, or more, of the forecasted ensemble members that are not fully consistent with the model physics. Increasing the ensemble size is expected to improve the assimilation system performances, but obviously increases the risk of members’ collapse. Hardware failure or slow numerical convergence encountered for some members should also occur more frequently. In this context, the manual steering of the whole process appears as a real challenge and makes the implementation of the ensemble assimilation procedure uneasy and extremely time consuming.This paper presents our efforts to build an efficient and fault-tolerant MITgcm-DART ensemble assimilation system capable of operationally running thousands of members. Built on top of Decimate, a scheduler extension developed to ease the submission, monitoring and dynamic steering of workflow of dependent jobs in a fault-tolerant environment, we describe the assimilation system implementation and discuss in detail its coupling strategies. Within Decimate, only a few additional lines of Python is needed to define flexible convergence criteria and to implement any necessary actions to the forecast ensemble members, as for instance (i) restarting faulty job in case of job failure, (ii) changing the random seed in case of poor convergence or numerical instability, (iii) adjusting (reducing or increasing) the number of parallel forecasts on the fly, (iv) replacing members on the fly to enrich the ensemble with new members, etc.We demonstrate the efficiency of the system with numerical experiments assimilating real satellites sea surface height and temperature observations in the Red Sea.
  • Understanding of the structure activity relationship of PtPd bimetallic catalysts prepared by surface organometallic chemistry and ion exchange during the reaction of iso-butane with hydrogen

    Al-Shareef, Reem A.; Harb, Moussab; Saih, Youssef; Ould-Chikh, Samy; Roldan, Manuel A.; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Guyonnet, Elodie Bile; Candy, Jean-Pierre; Jan, Deng-Yang; Abdo, Suheil F.; Aguilar-Tapia, Antonio; Proux, Olivier; Hazemann, Jean-Louis; Basset, Jean-Marie (Elsevier BV, 2018-04-25)
    Well-defined silica supported bimetallic catalysts Pt100-x Pdx were prepared by Surface Organometallic Chemistry (SOMC) and Ionic-Exchange (IE) methods. For all investigated catalysts, iso-butane reaction with hydrogen under differential conditions led to the formation of methane and propane, n-butane, and traces of iso-butylene. The total reaction rate decreased with increasing the Pd loading for both catalysts series as a result of decreasing turnover rate of both isomerization and hydrogenolysis. In the case of Pt100-x Pdx(SOMC) catalysts, the experimental results in combination with DFT calculations suggested a selective coverage of Pt (1 0 0) surface by agglomerated Pd atoms like “islands”, assuming that each metal roughly keeps its intrinsic catalytic properties with relatively small electron transfer from Pt to Pd in the case of Pt-rich sample and from Pd to Pt in the case of Pd-rich sample. For the PtPd catalysts prepared by IE, the catalytic behavior could be explained by the formation of a surface alloy between Pt and Pd in the case of Pd-rich sample and by the segregation of a small amount of Pd on the surface in the case of Pt-rich sample, as demonstrated by TEM, EXAFS and DFT. The catalytic results were explained by a structure activity relationship based on the proposed mechanism of CH bond and CC bond activation and cleavage for iso-butane hydrogenolysis, isomerization, cracking and dehydrogenation.
  • Sonification of Animal Tracks as an Alternative Representation of Multi-Dimensional Data: A Northern Elephant Seal Example

    Duarte, Carlos M.; Riker, Paul W.; Srinivasan, Madhusudhanan; Robinson, Patrick W.; Gallo-Reynoso, Juan P.; Costa, Daniel P. (Frontiers Media SA, 2018-04-20)
    Understanding movement of marine megafauna across the ocean is largely based on approaches and models based on analysis of tracks of single animals. While this has led to major progress, the possibility of concerted group dynamics has not been sufficiently examined, possibly due to challenges in exploring massive amounts of data required to this end. Here we report a sonification experiment, where the collective movement of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) was explored by coding their group dynamics into sound. Specifically, we converted into sound data derived from a tagging program involving a total of 321 tagged animals tracked over a decade, between 20 February 2004 and 30 May 2014, consisting of an observation period of 90,063 h, composed of 1,027,839 individual positions. The data parameters used to provide the sound are position (longitude) and spread (degree of displacement taken for the active group). These data parameters are mapped to the sonic parameters of frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume), respectively. Examination of the resulting sound revealed features of motion that translate into specific patterns in space. The serial departure of elephant seals to initiate their trips into waves is clearly reflected in the addition of tonalities, with coherent swimming of the animals conforming a wave reflected in the modulated fluctuations in volume, suggesting coordinated fluctuations in dispersion of the wave. Smooth changes in volume, coordinated with pitch variability, indicate that the animals spread out as they move further away from the colony, with one or a few animals exploring an ocean area away from that explored by the core wave. The shift in volume and pitch also signals at group coordination in initiating the return home. Coordinated initiation of the return to the colony is also clearly revealed by the sonification, as reflected in an increase in volume and pitch of the notes denoting the movement of each animal in a migration wave. This sonification reveals clear patterns of covariation in movement data, which drivers and triggers, whether intrinsic or environmental, cannot be elucidated here but allow to formulate a number of non-trivial questions on the synchronized nature of group behavior of northern elephant seals foraging across the NE Pacific Ocean.
  • Current Controlled Magnetization Switching in Cylindrical Nanowires for High-Density 3D Memory Applications

    Mohammed, Hanan; Corte-León, Hector; Ivanov, Yurii P.; Lopatin, Sergei; Moreno, Julian A.; Chuvilin, Andrey; Salimath, Akshaykumar; Manchon, Aurelien; Kazakova, Olga; Kosel, Jürgen (arXiv, 2018-04-18)
    A next-generation memory device utilizing a three-dimensional nanowire system requires the reliable control of domain wall motion. In this letter, domain walls are studied in cylindrical nanowires consisting of alternating segments of cobalt and nickel. The material interfaces acting as domain wall pinning sites, are utilized in combination with current pulses, to control the position of the domain wall, which is monitored using magnetoresistance measurements. Magnetic force microscopy results further confirm the occurrence of current assisted domain wall depinning. Data bits are therefore shifted along the nanowire by sequentially pinning and depinning a domain wall between successive interfaces, a requirement necessary for race-track type memory devices. We demonstrate that the direction, amplitude and duration of the applied current pulses determine the propagation of the domain wall across pinning sites. These results demonstrate a multi-bit cylindrical nanowire device, utilizing current assisted data manipulation. The prospect of sequential pinning and depinning in these nanowires allows the bit density to increase by several Tbs, depending on the number of segments within these nanowires.
  • Predicting octane number using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and artificial neural networks

    Abdul Jameel, Abdul Gani; Oudenhoven, Vincent Van; Emwas, Abdul-Hamid M.; Sarathy, Mani (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-04-17)
    Machine learning algorithms are attracting significant interest for predicting complex chemical phenomenon. In this work, a model to predict research octane number (RON) and motor octane number (MON) of pure hydrocarbons, hydrocarbon-ethanol blends and gasoline-ethanol blends has been developed using artificial neural networks (ANN) and molecular parameters from 1H nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. RON and MON of 128 pure hydrocarbons, 123 hydrocarbon-ethanol blends of known composition and 30 FACE (fuels for advanced combustion engines) gasoline-ethanol blends were utilized as a dataset to develop the ANN model. The effect of weight % of seven functional groups including paraffinic CH3 groups, paraffinic CH2 groups, paraffinic CH groups, olefinic -CH=CH2 groups, naphthenic CH-CH2 groups, aromatic C-CH groups and ethanolic OH groups on RON and MON was studied. The effect of branching (i.e., methyl substitution), denoted by a parameter termed as branching index (BI), and molecular weight (MW) were included as inputs along with the seven functional groups to predict RON and MON. The topology of the developed ANN models for RON (9-540-314-1) and MON (9-340-603-1) have two hidden layers and a large number of nodes, and was validated against experimentally measured RON and MON of pure hydrocarbons, hydrocarbon-ethanol and gasoline-ethanol blends; a good correlation (R2=0.99) between the predicted and the experimental data was obtained. The average error of prediction for both RON and MON was found to be 1.2 which is close to the range of experimental uncertainty. This shows that the functional groups in a molecule or fuel can be used to predict its ON, and the complex relationship between them can be captured by tools like ANN.
  • Atomic Scale Modulation of Self-Rectifying Resistive Switching by Interfacial Defects

    Wu, Xing; Yu, Kaihao; Cha, Dong Kyu; Bosman, Michel; Raghavan, Nagarajan; Zhang, Xixiang; Li, Kun; Liu, Qi; Sun, Litao; Pey, Kinleong (Wiley, 2018-04-14)
    Higher memory density and faster computational performance of resistive switching cells require reliable array‐accessible architecture. However, selecting a designated cell within a crossbar array without interference from sneak path currents through neighboring cells is a general problem. Here, a highly doped n++ Si as the bottom electrode with Ni‐electrode/HfOx/SiO2 asymmetric self‐rectifying resistive switching device is fabricated. The interfacial defects in the HfOx/SiO2 junction and n++ Si substrate result in the reproducible rectifying behavior. In situ transmission electron microscopy is used to quantitatively study the properties of the morphology, chemistry, and dynamic nucleation–dissolution evolution of the chains of defects at the atomic scale. The spatial and temporal correlation between the concentration of oxygen vacancies and Ni‐rich conductive filament modifies the resistive switching effect. This study has important implications at the array‐level performance of high density resistive switching memories.
  • Phosphine Plasma Activation of α-Fe 2 O 3 for High Energy Asymmetric Supercapacitors

    Liang, Hanfeng; Xia, Chuan; Emwas, Abdul-Hamid M.; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Miao, Xiaohe; Alshareef, Husam N. (Elsevier BV, 2018-04-12)
    We report a phosphine (PH3) plasma activation strategy for significantly boosting the electrochemical performance of supercapacitor electrodes. Using Fe2O3 as a demonstration, we show that the plasma activation simultaneously improves the conductivity, creates atomic-scale vacancies (defects), as well as increases active surface area, and thus leading to a greatly enhanced performance with a high areal capacitance of 340 mF cm-2 at 1 mA cm-2, compared to 66 mF cm-2 of pristine Fe2O3. Moreover, the asymmetric supercapacitor devices based on plasma-activated Fe2O3 anodes and electrodeposited MnO2 cathodes can achieve a high stack energy density of 0.42 mWh cm-3 at a stack power density of 10.3 mW cm-3 along with good stability (88% capacitance retention after 9000 cycles at 10 mA cm-2). Our work provides a simple yet effective strategy to greatly enhance the electrochemical performance of Fe2O3 anodes and to further promote their application in asymmetric supercapacitors.
  • High Dehumidification Performance of Amorphous Cellulose Composite Membranes prepared from Trimethylsilyl Cellulose

    Puspasari, Tiara; Akhtar, Faheem Hassan; Ogieglo, Wojciech; Alharbi, Ohoud; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2018-04-11)
    Cellulose is widely regarded as an environmentally friendly, natural and low cost material which can significantly contribute the sustainable economic growth. In this study, cellulose composite membranes were prepared via regeneration of trimethylsilyl cellulose (TMSC), an easily synthesized cellulose derivative. The amorphous hydrophilic feature of the regenerated cellulose enabled fast permeation of water vapour. The pore-free cellulose layer thickness was adjustable by the initial TMSC concentration and acted as an efficient gas barrier. As a result, a 5,000 GPU water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) at the highest ideal selectivity of 1.1 x 106 was achieved by the membranes spin coated from a 7% (w/w) TMSC solution. The membranes maintained a 4,000 GPU WVTR with selectivity of 1.1 x 104 in the mixed-gas experiments, surpassing the performances of the previously reported composite membranes. This study provides a simple way to not only produce high performance membranes but also to advance cellulose as a low-cost and sustainable membrane material for dehumidification applications.
  • WhiB6 is required for the secretion-dependent regulation of ESX-1 substrates in pathogenic mycobacteria.

    Abdallah, Abdallah; Weerdenburg, Eveline; Guan, Qingtian; Ummels, Roy; Borggreve, S; Adroub, Sabir; Malas, Tareq; Naeem, Raeece; Zhang, Huoming; Otto, Thomas; Bitter, Wilbert; Pain, Arnab (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2018-04-09)
    The mycobacterial type VII secretion system ESX-1 is responsible for the secretion of a number of proteins that play important roles during host infection. The regulation of the expression of secreted proteins is often essential to establish successful infection. Using transcriptome sequencing, we found that the abrogation of ESX-1 function in Mycobacterium marinum leads to a pronounced increase in gene expression levels of the espA operon during the infection of macrophages, suggesting an important role in ESX-1-mediated virulence during the early phase of infection. In addition, the disruption of ESX-1-mediated protein secretion also leads to a specific down-regulation of the ESX-1 substrates, but not of the structural components of this system, during growth in culture medium. This effect is observed in both M. marinum and M. tuberculosis. We established that down-regulation of ESX-1 substrates is the result of a regulatory process that is influenced by the putative transcriptional regulator whib6, which is located adjacent to the esx-1 locus. In addition, the overexpression of the ESX-1-associated PE35/PPE68 protein pair resulted in a significantly increased secretion of the ESX-1 substrate EsxA, demonstrating a functional link between these proteins. Taken together, these data show that WhiB6 is required for the secretion-dependent regulation of ESX-1 substrates and that ESX-1 substrates are regulated independently from the structural components, both during infection and as a result of active secretion.
  • Delivery of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor by 3D Biocompatible Polymeric Scaffolds for Neural Tissue Engineering and Neuronal Regeneration

    Limongi, Tania; Rocchi, A.; Cesca, F.; Tan, H.; Miele, E.; Giugni, Andrea; Orlando, M.; Perrone Donnorso, M.; Perozziello, G.; Benfenati, Fabio; Di Fabrizio, Enzo M. (Springer Nature, 2018-04-04)
    Biopolymers are increasingly employed for neuroscience applications as scaffolds to drive and promote neural regrowth, thanks to their ability to mediate the upload and subsequent release of active molecules and drugs. Synthetic degradable polymers are characterized by different responses ranging from tunable distension or shrinkage to total dissolution, depending on the function they are designed for. In this paper we present a biocompatible microfabricated poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) scaffold for primary neuron growth and maturation that has been optimized for the in vitro controlled release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). We demonstrate that the designed morphology confers to these devices an enhanced drug delivery capability with respect to monolithic unstructured supports. After incubation with BDNF, micropillared PCL devices progressively release the neurotrophin over 21 days in vitro. Moreover, the bioactivity of released BDNF is confirmed using primary neuronal cultures, where it mediates a consistent activation of BDNF signaling cascades, increased synaptic density, and neuronal survival. These results provide the proof-of-principle on the fabrication process of micropatterned PCL devices, which represent a promising therapeutic option to enhance neuronal regeneration after lesion and for neural tissue engineering and prosthetics.
  • Carrier Transport and Recombination in Efficient “All-Small-Molecule” Solar Cells with the Nonfullerene Acceptor IDTBR

    Liang, Ru-Ze; Babics, Maxime; Savikhin, Victoria; Zhang, Weimin; Le Corre, Vincent M.; Lopatin, Sergei; Kan, Zhipeng; Firdaus, Yuliar; Liu, Shengjian; McCulloch, Iain; Toney, Michael F.; Beaujuge, Pierre (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018-04-03)
    Reaching device efficiencies that can rival those of polymer-fullerene Bulk Heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells (>10%) remains challenging with the
  • Impacts of doping on epitaxial germanium thin film quality and Si-Ge interdiffusion

    Zhou, Guangnan; Lee, Kwang Hong; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Zhang, Qiang; Zhang, Xixiang; Tan, Chuan Seng; Xia, Guangrui (The Optical Society, 2018-04-03)
    Ge-on-Si structures with three different dopants (P, As and B) and those without intentional doping were grown, annealed and characterized by several different material characterization methods. All samples have a smooth surface (roughness < 1.5 nm), and the Ge films are almost entirely relaxed. B doped Ge films have threading dislocations above 1 × 10 cm, while P and As doping can reduce the threading dislocation density to be less than 10 cm without annealing. The interdiffusion of Si and Ge of different films have been investigated experimentally and theoretically. A quantitative model of Si-Ge interdiffusion under extrinsic conditions across the full x range was established including the dislocationmediated diffusion. The Kirkendall effect has been observed. The results are of technical significance for the structure, doping, and process design of Ge-on-Si based devices, especially for photonic applications.
  • Ni–Sn-Supported ZrO2 Catalysts Modified by Indium for Selective CO2 Hydrogenation to Methanol

    Hengne, Amol Mahalingappa; Samal, Akshaya Kumar; Enakonda, Linga Reddy; Harb, Moussab; Gevers, Lieven; Anjum, Dalaver H.; Hedhili, Mohamed N.; Saih, Youssef; Huang, Kuo-Wei; Basset, Jean-Marie (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018-04-02)
    Ni and NiSn supported on zirconia (ZrO2) and on indium (In)-incorporated zirconia (InZrO2) catalysts were prepared by a wet chemical reduction route and tested for hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol in a fixed-bed isothermal flow reactor at 250 °C. The mono-metallic Ni (5%Ni/ZrO2) catalysts showed a very high selectivity for methane (99%) during CO2 hydrogenation. Introduction of Sn to this material with the following formulation 5Ni5Sn/ZrO2 (5% Ni-5% Sn/ZrO2) showed the rate of methanol formation to be 0.0417 μmol/(gcat·s) with 54% selectivity. Furthermore, the combination NiSn supported on InZrO2 (5Ni5Sn/10InZrO2) exhibited a rate of methanol formation 10 times higher than that on 5Ni/ZrO2 (0.1043 μmol/(gcat·s)) with 99% selectivity for methanol. All of these catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, CO2-temperature-programmed desorption, and density functional theory (DFT) studies. Addition of Sn to Ni catalysts resulted in the formation of a NiSn alloy. The NiSn alloy particle size was kept in the range of 10–15 nm, which was evidenced by HRTEM study. DFT analysis was carried out to identify the surface composition as well as the structural location of each element on the surface in three compositions investigated, namely, Ni28Sn27, Ni18Sn37, and Ni37Sn18 bimetallic nanoclusters, and results were in agreement with the STEM and electron energy-loss spectroscopy results. Also, the introduction of “Sn” and “In” helped improve the reducibility of Ni oxide and the basic strength of catalysts. Considerable details of the catalytic and structural properties of the Ni, NiSn, and NiSnIn catalyst systems were elucidated. These observations were decisive for achieving a highly efficient formation rate of methanol via CO2 by the H2 reduction process with high methanol selectivity.

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