Triangular Ag nanoprisms are a type of most-studied noble-metal nanostructures over the past decade owing to their special structural architecture and outstanding optical and catalytic properties for a wide range of applications. Nevertheless, in contrast to active research for the synthesis of phase-pure Ag nanoprisms, no asymmetric heterodimers containing Ag prisms have been developed so far, probably due to lack of suitable synthetic methods. Herein, we devise a simple ion-exchange method to synthesize Ag2S/Ag heterodimers at room temperature, through which Ag nanoprisms with controllable size and thickness can be fabricated. Formation chemistry and optical properties of the heterodimers have been investigated. These semiconductor/metal heterodimers have exhibited remarkable bactericidal activity to E. coli cells under visible light illumination.
The Red Sea Atlantis II brine pool is an extreme environment that displays multiple harsh conditions such as high temperature, high salinity and high concentrations of multiple, toxic heavy metals. The survival of microbes in such an environment by utilizing resistant enzymes makes them an excellent source of extremophilic enzymes. We constructed a fosmid metagenomic library using DNA isolated from the deepest and most secluded layer of this pool. We report the isolation and biochemical characterization of an unusual esterase: EstATII. EstATII is thermophilic (optimum temperature, 65 C), halotolerant (maintains its activity in up to 4.5â€...M NaCl) and maintains at least 60% of its activity in the presence of a wide spectrum of heavy metals. The combination of biochemical characteristics of the Red Sea Atlantis II brine pool esterase, i.e., halotolerance, thermophilicity and resistance to heavy metals, makes it a potentially useful biocatalyst.
Adachi, Michael M; Labelle, André J; Thon, Susanna M; Lan, Xinzheng; Hoogland, Sjoerd; Sargent, Edward H.(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2013-10-14)[Article]
Solution processed colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cells have great potential for large area low-cost photovoltaics. However, light utilization remains low mainly due to the tradeoff between small carrier transport lengths and longer infrared photon absorption lengths. Here, we demonstrate a bottom-illuminated periodic nanostructured CQD solar cell that enhances broadband absorption without compromising charge extraction efficiency of the device. We use finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations to study the nanostructure for implementation in a realistic device and then build proof-of-concept nanostructured solar cells, which exhibit a broadband absorption enhancement over the wavelength range of λ = 600 to 1,100 nm, leading to a 31% improvement in overall short-circuit current density compared to a planar device containing an approximately equal volume of active material. Remarkably, the improved current density is achieved using a light-absorber volume less than half that typically used in the best planar devices.
The carbonized PAF-1 derivatives formed by high-temperature KOH activation showed a unique bimodal microporous structure located at 0.6 nm and 1.2 nm and high surface area. These robust micropores were confirmed by nitrogen sorption experiment and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sorption experiments indicated that these novel porous carbon materials have significant gas sorption abilities in both low-pressure and high-pressure environments. Moreover the methane storage ability of K-PAF-1-750 is among the best at 35 bars, and its low-pressure gas adsorption abilities are also comparable to the best porous materials in the world. Combined with excellent physicochemical stability, these materials are very promising for industrial applications such as carbon dioxide capture and high-density clean energy storage.
Three-dimensional (3D) temperature mapping method with high spatial resolution and acquisition rate is of vital importance in evaluating thermal processes in micro-environment. We have synthesized a new temperature-sensitive functional material (Rhodamine B functionalized Polydimethylsiloxane). By performing optical sectioning of this material, we established an advanced method for visualizing the micro-scale 3D thermal distribution inside microfluidic chip with down to 10 ms temporal resolution and 2 ~ 6 °C temperature resolution depending the capture parameters. This method is successfully applied to monitor the local temperature variation throughout micro-droplet heat transfer process and further reveal exothermic nanoliter droplet reactions to be unique and milder than bench-top experiment.
Koleilat, Ghada I; Kramer, Illan J.; Wong, Chris T O; Thon, Susanna M; Labelle, André J; Hoogland, Sjoerd; Sargent, Edward H.(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2013-01-01)[Article]
Colloidal quantum dot photovoltaics combine low-cost solution processing with quantum size-effect tuning to match absorption to the solar spectrum. Rapid advances have led to certified solar power conversion efficiencies of over 7%. Nevertheless, these devices remain held back by a compromise in the choice of quantum dot film thickness, balancing on the one hand the need to maximize photon absorption, mandating a thicker film, and, on the other, the need for efficient carrier extraction, a consideration that limits film thickness. Here we report an architecture that breaks this compromise by folding the path of light propagating in the colloidal quantum dot solid. Using this method, we achieve a substantial increase in short-circuit current, ultimately leading to improved power conversion efficiency.
Marine organisms in intertidal zones are subjected to periodical fluctuations and wave activities. To understand how microbes in intertidal biofilms adapt to the stresses, the microbial metagenomes of biofilms from intertidal and subtidal zones were compared. The genes responsible for resistance to metal ion and oxidative stresses were enriched in both 6-day and 12-day intertidal biofilms, including genes associated with secondary metabolism, inorganic ion transport and metabolism, signal transduction and extracellular polymeric substance metabolism. In addition, these genes were more enriched in 12-day than 6-day intertidal biofilms. We hypothesize that a complex signaling network is used for stress tolerance and propose a model illustrating the relationships between these functions and environmental metal ion concentrations and oxidative stresses. These findings show that bacteria use diverse mechanisms to adapt to intertidal zones and indicate that the community structures of intertidal biofilms are modulated by metal ion and oxidative stresses.
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