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    ABSTRACT: A progressive increase in the size of Pd ensembles on a mica-supported Au(111) single crystal surface can facilitate electron transfer of perchlorate ions at lower anodic potential in CV curves than pure Au(111) due to a strong ligand effect and Pd-Au neighbouring pairs at edge sites render a higher degree of electron transfer.
    Chemical Communications 12/2013; 50(10). DOI:10.1039/c3cc48038k
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    ABSTRACT: In this article we probe the nature of electronic interactions between the components of hybrid C60-carbon nanotube structures. Utilizing an aromatic mediator we selectively attach C60 molecules to carbon nanotube field-effect transistor devices. Structural characterization via atomic force and transmission electron microscopy confirm the selectivity of this attachment. Charge transfer from the carbon nanotube to the C60 molecules is evidenced by a blue shift of the Raman G(+) peak position and increased threshold voltage of the transistor transfer characteristics. We estimate this charge transfer to increase the device density of holes per unit length by up to 0.85 nm(-1) and demonstrate further optically enhanced charge transfer which increases the hole density by an additional 0.16 nm(-1).
    Nanoscale 11/2013; 6(1). DOI:10.1039/c3nr04314b
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    ABSTRACT: The feasibility of flash sintering a covalent ceramic, SiC, has been investigated for the first time. Flash sintering involves the application of an electrical potential difference across a powder compact during heating, which leads to sintering at low furnace temperatures in a few seconds and has only been demonstrated with ionic ceramics previously. Near-theoretical density was achieved using Al2O3 + Y2O3 sintering aids at a furnace temperature of only 1170 °C and in a time of 150 s. Specimen temperatures were significantly higher than the furnace temperature owing to Joule heating and consequently heat loss limited densification in the near surface region. It was not possible to reach high densities using “ABC” sintering aids (aluminium–boron–carbon) or pure SiC. The mechanisms involved and potential commercial advantages are briefly discussed.
    Journal of the European Ceramic Society 11/2013; 33(s 13–14):2811–2816. DOI:10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2013.04.023
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative degradation of ofloxacin (OFX) by sulfate free radicals (SO4 (-•)) in the UV/Oxone/Co(2+)oxidation process was investigated for the first time, with a special focus upon identifying the transformation products as well as understanding the reaction pathways. Thirteen main compounds were identified after the initial transformation of OFX; the detailed structural information of which were characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry and MS fragmentation analysis. The degradation pathways mainly encompassed ring openings at both the piperazinyl substituent and the quinolone moiety, indicating that the usage of SO4 (-•) aided the oxidative degradation of OFX to undergo more facile routes compared to those in previous reports by using OH(•)/h(+) as the oxidant, where the initial transformation attacks were mainly confined to the piperazine moiety. Moreover, in this study, smart control over the pH conditions of the oxidation system via different modes of Oxone dosage resulted in the selective degradation of the functional sites of OFX molecule, where it was shown that the SO4 (-•)-driven destruction of the quinolone moiety of OFX molecule favored the neutral pH conditions. This would be beneficial for the reduction of bacterial resistance against quinolones in the aqueous environment.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 11/2013; 21(4). DOI:10.1007/s11356-013-2220-x
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    ABSTRACT: Well-defined, uniform bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) microcolumns were synthesized through a refined hydrothermal route. During the fabrication process, a detailed orthogonal design on the synthetic conditions was performed, aiming to optimize the experimental parameters to produce BiVO4 materials (BiVO4 (Opt.)) with the most prominent visible-light-driven photocatalytic efficiency, where the catalytic activities of the synthesized materials were evaluated via the decolorization of methylene blue under visible light irradiation. The BiVO4 (Opt.) were then targetedly produced according to the determined optimal conditions and well characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet and visible diffuse-reflectance spectroscopy and photoluminescence spectroscopy. Compared with the commercial P25-TiO2 photocatalysts, the as-synthesized BiVO4 (Opt.) displayed superior visible-light-driven photocatalytic activities for the degradation of metronidazole-contained wastewater with the presence of H2O2. The degradation efficiency of metronidazole reached up to 70 % within 180 min, leading to a brief speculation on the possibly major steps of the visible-light-driven photocatalytic process. The current study provides a distinctive route to design novel shaped BiVO4 architectures with advanced photocatalytic capacities for the treatment of organic pollutants in the aqueous environment.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 10/2013; 21(4). DOI:10.1007/s11356-013-2224-6
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    ABSTRACT: Extended linear arm chair defects are intentionally fabricated in suspended monolayer graphene using controlled focused electron beam irradiation. The atomic structure is accurately determined using aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy with monochromation of the electron source to achieve ∼80 pm spatial resolution at an accelerating voltage of 80 kV. We show that the introduction of atomic vacancies in graphene disrupts the uniformity of C-C bond lengths immediately surrounding linear arm chair defects in graphene. The measured changes in C-C bond lengths are related to density functional theory (DFT) calculations of charge density variation and corresponding DFT calculated structural models. We show good correlation between the DFT predicted localized charge depletion and structural models with HRTEM measured bond elongation within the carbon tetragon structure of graphene. Further evidence of bond elongation within graphene defects is obtained from imaging a pair of 5-8-5 divacancies.
    ACS Nano 10/2013; 7(11). DOI:10.1021/nn403517m
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    ABSTRACT: NanoBuds exist in a variety of stable structures. Our studies show that engineering NanoBud geometries is indeed possible and we visualise the transformation of one Nanobud geometry to another using in situ aberration corrected imaging techniques. Such NanoBuds are precursors for generating nanotube junctions which could be used in composite and electronic applications.
    Chemical Communications 10/2013; 49(93). DOI:10.1039/c3cc46064a
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    ABSTRACT: The cellular and subcellular distributions of trace elements can provide important clues to understanding how the elements are transported and stored in plant cells, but mapping their distributions is a challenging task. The distributions of arsenic, iron, zinc, manganese and copper, as well as physiologically related macro-elements, were mapped in the node, internode and leaf sheath of rice (Oryza sativa) using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (S-XRF) and high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS). Although copper and silicon generally showed cell wall localization, arsenic, iron and zinc were strongly localized in the vacuoles of specific cell types. Arsenic was highly localized in the companion cell vacuoles of the phloem in all vascular bundles, showing a strong co-localization with sulfur, consistent with As(III)-thiol complexation. Within the node, zinc was localized in the vacuoles of the parenchyma cell bridge bordering the enlarged and diffuse vascular bundles, whereas iron and manganese were localized in the fundamental parenchyma cells, with iron being strongly co-localized with phosphorus in the vacuoles. The highly heterogeneous and contrasting distribution patterns of these elements imply different transport activities and/or storage capacities among different cell types. Sequestration of arsenic in companion cell vacuoles may explain the limited phloem mobility of arsenite.
    New Phytologist 09/2013; 201(1):104-115. DOI:10.1111/nph.12497
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    ABSTRACT: Techniques to reliably pick-and-place single nanoparticles into functional assemblies are required to incorporate exotic nanoparticles into standard electronic circuits. In this paper we explore the use of electric fields to drive and direct the assembly process, which has the advantage of being able to control the nano-assembly process at the single nanoparticle level. To achieve this, we design an electrostatic gating system, thus enabling a voltage-controllable nanoparticle picking technique. Simulating this system with the nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann equation, we can successfully characterize the parameters required for single particle placement, the key being single particle selectivity, in effect designing a system that can achieve this controllably. We then present the optimum design parameters required for successful single nanoparticle placement at ambient temperature, an important requirement for nanomanufacturing processes.
    Nanotechnology 09/2013; 24(40):405304. DOI:10.1088/0957-4484/24/40/405304
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    ABSTRACT: Ripples in graphene are an out-of-plane distortion that help stabilize suspended monolayer graphene. The introduction of disclinations and dislocations into the lattice of graphene is predicted to extensively ripple graphene to form "hillocks" to accommodate the strain in the system. Here, we confirm this theoretical prediction by intentionally introducing large numbers of dislocations into a predefined area of pristine monolayer graphene by scanning focused electron beam irradiation and imaging the rippled atomic lattice structure with aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. Hillocks are observed and analyzed using geometric phase analysis to determine heights of ∼0.5 nm. Time-dependent imaging shows the rippling is dynamic under the electron beam and can fluctuate between different structural configurations. This demonstrates a means of perturbing the structure of graphene in all three spatial dimensions with nanoscale precision.
    Nano Letters 09/2013; 13(10). DOI:10.1021/nl402902q
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