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    ABSTRACT: The power conversion efficiency of hybrid solid-state solar cells has more than doubled from 7 to 15% over the past year. This is largely as a result of the incorporation of organometallic trihalide perovskite absorbers into these devices. But, as promising as this development is, long-term operational stability is just as important as initial conversion efficiency when it comes to the development of practical solid-state solar cells. Here we identify a critical instability in mesoporous TiO2-sensitized solar cells arising from light-induced desorption of surface-adsorbed oxygen. We show that this instability does not arise in mesoporous TiO2-free mesosuperstructured solar cells. Moreover, our TiO2-free cells deliver stable photocurrent for over 1,000 h continuous exposure and operation under full spectrum simulated sunlight.
    Nature Communications 12/2013; 4:2885.
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of biomolecules in vivo are crucial to understand their function in a natural, biological context. One powerful approach involves fusing molecules of interest to fluorescent proteins to study their expression, localization, and action; however, the scope of such studies would be increased considerably by using organic fluorophores, which are smaller and more photostable than their fluorescent protein counterparts. Here, we describe a straightforward, versatile, and high-throughput method to internalize DNA fragments and proteins labeled with organic fluorophores into live Escherichia coli by employing electroporation. We studied the copy numbers, diffusion profiles, and structure of internalized molecules at the single-molecule level in vivo, and were able to extend single-molecule observation times by two orders of magnitude compared to green fluorescent protein, allowing continuous monitoring of molecular processes occurring from seconds to minutes. We also exploited the desirable properties of organic fluorophores to perform single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer measurements in the cytoplasm of live bacteria, both for DNA and proteins. Finally, we demonstrate internalization of labeled proteins and DNA into yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a model eukaryotic system. Our method should broaden the range of biological questions addressable in microbes by single-molecule fluorescence.
    Biophysical Journal 12/2013; 105(11):2439-50.
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    ABSTRACT: Ionizing chemical dopants are widely used in organic semiconductors to enhance the charge transport properties by increasing the number of mobile charge carriers. However, together with mobile charges, chemical doping produces anion-cation pairs in the organic matrix. In this work we use experimental and computational analysis to study the influence of these ionic species on the charge transport. We show that the anion-cation pairs introduced upon doping have a detrimental, doping-level dependent effect on charge mobility. For doping levels of 0.02-0.05% molar ratio with respect to the molecular organic semiconductor, the increase in conductivity from the extra mobile charges is partially cancelled by a reduction in charge mobility from traps introduced by the anion-cation pairs. As the doping concentration increases, anion-cation pairs start to overlap, resulting in a comparatively smoother potential landscape, which increases the charge mobility to values closer to the undoped semiconductor. This result has a significant, practical impact, as it shows the need to dope at or slightly above a threshold level, which depends on the specific host-dopant combination.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Organometal trihalide perovskite solar cells offer the promise of a low-cost easily manufacturable solar technology, compatible with large-scale low-temperature solution processing. Within 1 year of development, solar-to-electric power-conversion efficiencies have risen to over 15%, and further imminent improvements are expected. Here we show that this technology can be successfully made compatible with electron acceptor and donor materials generally used in organic photovoltaics. We demonstrate that a single thin film of the low-temperature solution-processed organometal trihalide perovskite absorber CH3NH3PbI3-xClx, sandwiched between organic contacts can exhibit devices with power-conversion efficiency of up to 10% on glass substrates and over 6% on flexible polymer substrates. This work represents an important step forward, as it removes most barriers to adoption of the perovskite technology by the organic photovoltaic community, and can thus utilize the extensive existing knowledge of hybrid interfaces for further device improvements and flexible processing platforms.
    Nature Communications 11/2013; 4:2761.
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    ABSTRACT: In eukaryotic cells, cargo is transported on self-organized networks of microtubule trackways by kinesin and dynein motor proteins. Synthetic microtubule networks have previously been assembled in vitro, and microtubules have been used as shuttles to carry cargoes on lithographically defined tracks consisting of surface-bound kinesin motors. Here, we show that molecular signals can be used to program both the architecture and the operation of a self-organized transport system that is based on kinesin and microtubules and spans three orders of magnitude in length scale. A single motor protein, dimeric kinesin-1, is conjugated to various DNA nanostructures to accomplish different tasks. Instructions encoded into the DNA sequences are used to direct the assembly of a polar array of microtubules and can be used to control the loading, active concentration and unloading of cargo on this track network, or to trigger the disassembly of the network.
    Nature Nanotechnology 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We describe and implement a method to restore the state of a single qubit, in principle perfectly, after it has partially collapsed. The method resembles the classical Hahn spin echo but works on a wider class of relaxation processes, in which the quantum state partially leaves the computational Hilbert space. It is not guaranteed to work every time, but successful outcomes are heralded. We demonstrate, using a single trapped ion, a better performance from this recovery method than can be obtained employing projection and postselection alone. The demonstration features a novel qubit implementation that permits both partial collapse and coherent manipulations with high fidelity.
    Physical Review Letters 11/2013; 111(18):180501.
  • Science 11/2013; 342(6158):568-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Here, we report orbital-free density-functional theory (OF DFT) molecular dynamics simulations of the dynamic ion structure factor of warm solid density aluminum at T=0.5 eV and T=5 eV. We validate the OF DFT method in the warm dense matter regime through comparison of the static and thermodynamic properties with the more complete Kohn-Sham DFT. This extension of OF DFT to dynamic properties indicates that previously used models based on classical molecular dynamics may be inadequate to capture fully the low frequency dynamics of the response function.
    Physical Review Letters 10/2013; 111(17):175002.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a scheme for controlling electron injection into the quasilinear wakefield driven by a guided drive pulse via ionization of a dopant species by a collinear injection laser pulse with a short Rayleigh range. The scheme is analyzed by particle-in-cell simulations which show controlled injection and acceleration of electrons to an energy of 370 MeV, a relative energy spread of 2%, and a normalized transverse emittance of 2.0 μm.
    Physical Review Letters 10/2013; 111(15):155004.
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    ABSTRACT: We present a scheme for linear optical quantum computing using time-bin-encoded qubits in a single spatial mode. We show methods for single-qubit operations and heralded controlled-phase (cphase) gates, providing a sufficient set of operations for universal quantum computing with the Knill-Laflamme-Milburn [Nature (London) 409, 46 (2001)] scheme. Our protocol is suited to currently available photonic devices and ideally allows arbitrary numbers of qubits to be encoded in the same spatial mode, demonstrating the potential for time-frequency modes to dramatically increase the quantum information capacity of fixed spatial resources. As a test of our scheme, we demonstrate the first entirely single spatial mode implementation of a two-qubit quantum gate and show its operation with an average fidelity of 0.84±0.07.
    Physical Review Letters 10/2013; 111(15):150501.
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