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A self-recovering gel with integrated functions synthesized via self-initiated UV poly-merization is described, which offers an effective platform for a gel electrolyte to attain adjustable supercapacitor performances for energy storage devices.
A new cationic poly(phenylene vinylene) derivative (PPV-NMe3 (+) ) is synthesized, and it exhibits differential binding ability to microbial cell walls with different components. By varying the ion strengths of the buffer solution, single PPV-NMe3 (+) molecules can discriminate fungi, Gram-positive bacteria, and Gram-negative bacteria in a rapid and simple manner. Thus cationic conjugated polymers exhibit a high potential as a diagnostic material for the detection and discrimination of pathogens.
Photolithographic fabrication via a "silk sericin photoresist" is used to form precise protein microstructures directly and rapidly on a variety of substrates. High resolution and fidelity architectures in two and three dimensions with line widths down to 1 micron are formed. Photo-crosslinked protein structures provide structural iridescence and guide cell adhesion with precise spatial control.
A multifunctional nano-in-micro drug delivery platform is developed by conjugating the porous silicon nanoparticles with mucoadhesive polymers and subsequent encapsulation into a pH-responsive polymer using microfluidics. The multistage platform shows monodisperse size distribution, pH-responsive payload release, and the released nanoparticles are mucoadhesive. Moreover, this platform is capable of simultaneously loading and releasing multidrugs with distinct properties.
A unique form of adaptive electronics is demonstrated, which change their mechanical properties from rigid and planar to soft and compliant, in order to enable soft and conformal wrapping around 3D objects, including biological tissue. These devices feature excellent mechanical robustness and maintain initial electrical properties even after changing shape and stiffness.
Single-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene hybrid films with complementary properties are combined for use in high-performance transparent electrodes and field effect transistors (FETs). Based on the transfer characteristics for the hybrid film-based FETs, an improved Ion /Ioff and on-state current are achieved compared with pristine graphene. Notably, the hybrid film has a sheet resistance of 300 Ω/sq with 96.4% transparency.
The band structure of a phononic crystal can be controlled by tuning the mechanical stiffness of the links connecting its constituting elements. The first implementation of a phononic crystal with adaptive connectivity is obtained by using piezoelectric resonators as variable stiffness elements, and its wave-propagation properties are experimentally characterized.
La0.3 Sr0.7 FeO3-δ films undergo dramatic changes in electronic and optical properties due to reversible oxygen loss induced by low-temperature heating. This mechanism to control the functional properties may serve as a platform for new devices or sensors in which external stimuli are used to dynamically control the composition of complex oxide heterostructures.
Light-emitting devices that utilize thin films of metal nanoclusters as quantum emitters are presented. Implementing Ag as well as Au nanoclusters, the versatility of the approach is demonstrated, and it is shown that the electroluminescence measured from these devices is tunable by the choice of nanocluster. Ultimately, it is demonstrated that metal nanoclusters represent an additional option for future light-generating applications.
A facile and innovative method for the fabrication of highly fluorescent micro-patterns is presented, which operates on the principle of phototriggered phase transition and physical mass migration in the crystalline film of a cyanostilbene-type aggregation-induced enhanced emission (AIEE) molecule ((Z)-2,3-bis(3,4,5-tris(dodecyloxy)phenyl) acrylonitrile) with liquid-crystalline (LC) mesomorphic behavior.
Liquid-crystalline elastomers (LCEs) are great candidates for smart artificial materials. On page 2319, D. S. Wiersma, C. Parmeggiani, and co-workers use direct laser writing to fabricate 3D LCE structures with sub-micrometer resolution and maintaining the designed molecular orientation. This technique opens up the road towards 3D microphotonics in elastomers, and lays the basis for creating 3D, micrometer-size robotic structures, which can be controlled by light.
Active, paper-based, microfluidic chips driven by electrowetting are fabricated and demonstrated for reagent transport and mixing by K. Shin, O.-S. Kwon, and co-workers on page 2335. The key advantage in fabricating the paper-based microfluidic chips is that electrode patterns can be designed and printed on paper quickly, finely, and precisely without complicated wet-lab processes. The cover image showes that the inkjet-printed patterned electrodes can be employed to actuate liquid drops on paper, not only...
Active, paper-based, microfluidic chips driven by electrowetting are fabricated and demonstrated for reagent transport and mixing. Instead of using the passive capillary force on the pulp to actuate a flow of a liquid, a group of digital drops are transported along programmed trajectories above the electrodes printed on low-cost paper, which should allow point-of-care production and diagnostic activities in the future.
Giant electromagnetic field enhancement in specifically designed hot-spots plays a key role in chemical sensing via plasmon-assisted Raman spectroscopy. On page 2353, A. Toma and co-workers present novel 3D nanostar dimer structures that enable field confinement in highly localized regions, which are decoupled from the substrate surface by their elevated architecture. These nanostar dimers can be exploited for single/few molecules detection.
On Page 2359, X. Yang, G. Lu, and co-workers introduce a method to improve the thermoelectric properties of polymers, upon constructing an interpenetrating network of a thermoelectric polymer within an insulating polymer matrix. The local one-dimensional charge transport along the conductive network simultaneously leads to lower thermal conductivity and higher electrical conductivity without sacrificing the Seebeck coefficient. This work promotes a conjugated-/insulating-polymer blend towards its applicatio...
P. Vavassori and co-workers demonstrate on page 2384 that field-controlled displacement of magnetic domain walls in ferromagnetic nano-ring structures allows for capture and 2-dimensional remote manipulation of fluidborne magnetic nanoparticles over a chip surface.
By incorporating 3D microvascular networks containing a two-part reactive chemistry within a fiber-reinforced composite, continuous cycles of self-healing after interlaminar delamination are achieved. An interpenetrating vasculature shows improved in situ fluid mixing over segregated microchannels, resulting in full recovery (>100%) of mode-I fracture resistance.
The extracellular matrix is mimicked by a novel dendrimer-based hydrogel, which exhibits a highly interconnected porous network, enhanced mechanical stiffness, and a low swelling ratio. The hydrogel system supports the proliferation and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells without any cytotoxic effects. This dendrimer-based hydrogel may serve as a model for developing new advanced materials with applications in tissue engineering.
An intelligent microscale electrochemical device (iMED) for one-step, quantitative and multiplexed electrochemical detection of biomarkers for infectious diseases and tumors is developed. A "plug-in-cartridge" technology is introduced and adapted for use in screen-printed electrodes (SPEs) in electrochemical devices. Using this iMED, biomarkers for two types of tumors and one infectious disease are detected at sub-ng/mL levels in less than 30 min.
The field of solution-processed photovoltaic cells is currently in its second spring. The dye-sensitized solar cell is a widely studied and longstanding candidate for future energy generation. Recently, inorganic absorber-based devices have reached new record efficiencies, with the benefits of all-solid-state devices. In this rapidly changing environment, this review sheds light on recent developments in all-solid-state solar cells in terms of electrode architecture, alternative sensitizers, and hole-transp...
Anisotropic electronic conductivity is reported for isosymmetric phase boundaries in highly strained bismuth ferrite, which are the (fully epitaxial) connecting regions between two different structural variants of the same material. Strong correlations between nanoscale phase transition and local electronic conductivity are found. A high degree of control over their electronic properties can be attained through non-local electrical switching.
A versatile and surfactant-free method is developed to synthesize hollow Si materials using carbonates as templates without the use of hazardous hydrofluoric acid. The morphology of Si is controllable from hollow cubes, spheres, tubes, to flowers and other shapes. Such hollow Si materials as anodes of lithium-ion batteries show excellent cyclic performance, which is promising for practical applications.
Sn4+x P3 @ amorphous Sn-P composites are a promising cheap anode material for sodium-ion batteries with high capa-city (502 mA h g(-1) at a current density of 100 mA g(-1) ), long cycling stability (92.6% capacity retention up to 100 cycles), and high rate capability (165 mA h g(-1) at the 10C rate).