Jan 2016, Volume 10 Issue 1

Cover illustration

  • Three dimensional atom probe tomography (APT) unveils the precipitation behavior of manganese sulfide in Fe–3wt.%Si based alloy. The reconstructed volume highlights the main metallic elements distribution: Fe (pink), Mn (gray), S (red) and Si (green). A “tail” of S-rich cluster observed in the matrix serves as a transportation source of sulfur atoms for the growth of MnS precipitate. Wei GUO, Li MENG, and Hongcai WANG, et al., pal.hep.com.cn/foms/EN/10.1007/s11706-016-0325-0">66. [Detail] ...

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    Abhijeet OJHA,Manish THAKKER,Dinesh O. SHAH,Prachi THAREJA

    Superhydrophilic thin films of 21 nm sized non-spherical titania nanoparticles are fabricated from a colloidal suspension by fixed blade flow coating without UV illumination. At a blade angle of α = 36° and a gap of d= 300 μm, hierarchically structured films with increasing surface roughness along with microscopic voids are formed depending on the substrate velocity and the titania volume fraction. Increasing the roughness is shown to be concomitant to an increase in the hydrophilicity, eventually leading to superhydrophilicity or water contact angle less than 5°.

    Michael Tanner CAMERON,Jordan A. ROGERSON,Douglas A. BLOM,Albert D. DUKES III

    Controlling the morphology of semiconductor nanocrystals has typically relied on controlling the concentration and species of surface ligands utilized in synthesis. Specific shapes, such as branched structures are of particular interest as the light harvesting and charge separating layer in a photovoltaic device. In this work we quantify how changes in the reaction temperature affect the resulting morphology of the nanocrystals. The narrowness of the temperature range over which the morphological transition occurred provides guidance to the tolerances necessary in the synthesis of CdSe utilized in commercial devices on a large scale.

    Ruiping LIU,Feng REN,Jinlin YANG,Weiming SU,Zhiming SUN,Lei ZHANG,Chang-an WANG

    Hierarchically porous hybrid TiO2 hollow spheres were solvothermally synthesized successfully by using tetrabutyl titanate as titanium precursor and hydrated metal sulfates as soft templates. The as-prepared TiO2 spheres with hierarchically pore structures and high specific surface area and pore volume consisted of highly crystallized anatase TiO2 nanocrystals hybridized with a small amount of metal oxide from the hydrated sulfate. The proposed hydrated-sulfate assisted solvothermal (HAS) synthesis strategy was demonstrated to be widely applicable to various systems. Evaluation of the hybrid TiO2 hollow spheres for the photo-decomposition of methyl orange (MO) under visible-light irradiation revealed that they exhibited excellent photocatalytic activity and durability.

    Dongthanh NGUYEN,Wei WANG,Haibo LONG,Hongqiang RU

    Mesoporous titania (meso-TiO2) has received extensive attention owing to its versatile potential applications. This paper reports a low-temperature templating approach for the fabrication of meso-TiO2 using the peroxo titanic acid (PTA) sol as precursor and Pluronic P123 as nonionic template. The TGA, XRD, N2 sorption, FE-SEM and HRTEM were used to characterize the obtained samples. The results showed that meso-TiO2 with high surface area up to 163 m2·g--1 and large pore volume of 0.65 cm3·g--1 can be obtained. The mesopore sizes can be varied between 13 and 20 nm via this synthesis approach. The amount of P123 and the calcination conditions were found to have great influence on the mesoporous and crystalline structures of meso-TiO2. The photocatalytic activity testing clearly shows that the high surface area and bi-crystallinity phases of meso-TiO2 play important roles in enhancing photocatalytic properties of meso-TiO2 in photo-decomposing Rhodamine B in water.

    Xing-an JIANG,Xiang-ping JIANG,Chao CHEN,Na TU,Yun-jing CHEN,Ban-chao ZHANG

    Na0.5Bi4.5--xEuxTi4O15 (NBT--xEu3+) ceramics with x=0, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20, 0.25, 0.30 and 0.40 were prepared by conventional ceramics processing. NBT--0.25Eu3+ ceramics show the strongest red and orange emissions corresponding to the 5D07F2 (617 nm) and 5D07F1 (596 nm) transitions, respectively. The strongest excitation band around 465 nm matches well with the emission wavelength of commercial InGaN-based blue LED chip, indicating that Eu3+-doped NBT ceramics may be used as potential environmental friendly red-orange phosphor for W-LEDs application. As an inherent ferroelectric and piezoelectric material, the electrical properties of this potentially multifunctional electro-optical material have been also studied. The introduction of Eu3+ distinctly increased the Curie temperature (TC) of NBT--xEu3+ ceramics from 640°C to 711°C as x ranges from 0 to 0.40. For higher temperature applications, the electrical conductivity was also investigated. The conduction of charge carriers in high-temperature range originates from the conducting electrons from the ionization of oxygen vacancies. High TC and low tanδ makes Eu3+-doped NBT ceramic also suitable for high temperature piezoelectric sensor applications and electro-optical integration.

    Chao-Qing YANG,Ao-Ju LI,Wei GUO,Peng-Hua TIAN,Xiao-Long YU,Zhong-Xin LIU,Yang CAO,Zhong-Liang SUN

    In a route boiling water served as reaction medium, a stoichiometric amount of rare-earth compound and fluoride are put into this system to form α-NaYF4:Yb,Er nuclei. Then prepared sample is heated at elevated temperature to improve the fluorescence intensity, and next a NaGdF4 shell grows on the surface of NaYF4 nuclei. NaYF4:Yb,Er/NaGdF4 core--shell structured upconversion nanoparticles (CSUCNPs) have been successfully synthesized by above route. The use of boiling water decreases the cubic-to-hexagonal phase transition temperature of NaYF4:Yb,Er to 350°C and increases its upconversion (UC) luminescence intensity. A heterogeneous NaGdF4 epitaxially growing on the surface of Ln3+-doped NaYF4 not only improves UC luminescence, but also creates a paramagnetic shell, which can be used as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The solution of CSUCNPs shows bright green UC fluorescence under the excitation at 980 nm in a power density only about 50 mW·cm−2. A broad spectrum with a dominant resonance at g of about 2 is observed by the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrum of CSUCNPs. Above properties suggest that the obtained CSUCNPs could be potential candidates for dual-mode optical/magnetic bioapplications.

    Huan-Yan XU,Tian-Nuo SHI,Hang ZHAO,Li-Guo JIN,Feng-Chun WANG,Chun-Yan WANG,Shu-Yan QI

    Fe3O4/MWCNTs nanocomposites were prepared by chemical oxidation coprecipitation method and developed as highly efficient heterogeneous Fenton-like catalyst. XRD results revealed that Fe3O4 nanoparticles deposited onto MWCNTs surface remained the inverse spinel crystal structure of cubic Fe3O4 phase. The FTIR characteristic peaks of MWCNTs weakened or disappeared due to the anchor of Fe3O4 nanoparticles and Fe–O peak at 570 cm−1 was indicative of the formation of Fe3O4. TEM observation revealed that Fe3O4 nanoparticles were tightly anchored by MWCNTs. The Fenton-like catalytic activity of Fe3O4/MWCNTs nanocomposites for the discoloration of methyl orange (MO) was much higher than that of Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The process optimization of this heterogeneous Fenton-like system was implemented by response surface methodology (RSM). The optimum conditions for MO discoloration were determined to be of 12.3 mmol/L H2O2 concentration, 2.9 g/L catalyst dosage, solution pH 2.7 and 39.3 min reaction time, with the maximum predicted value for MO discoloration ratio of 101.85%. The corresponding experimental value under the identical conditions was obtained as 99.86%, which was very close to the predicted one with the absolute deviation of 1.99%.

    Minh Thi TRAN,Thi Huyen Trang NGUYEN,Quoc Trung VU,Minh Vuong NGUYEN

    The research results of poly(1-naphthylamine)/Fe3O4 (PNA/Fe3O4) nanocomposites synthesized by a chemical method for As(III) wastewater treatment are presented in this paper. XRD patterns and TEM images showed that the Fe3O4 grain size varied from 13 to 20 nm. The results of Raman spectral analysis showed that PNA participated in part of the PNA/Fe3O4 composite samples. The grain size of PNA/Fe3O4 composite samples is about 25--30 nm measured by SEM. The results of vibrating sample magnetometer measurements at room temperature showed that the saturation magnetic moment of PNA/Fe3O4 samples decreased from 63.13 to 43.43 emu/g, while the PNA concentration increased from 5% to 15%. The nitrogen adsorption--desorption isotherm of samples at 77 K at a relative pressure P/P0 of about 1 was studied in order to investigate the surface and porous structure of nanoparticles by the BET method. Although the saturation magnetic moments of samples decreased with the polymer concentration increase, the arsenic adsorption capacity of the PNA/Fe3O4 sample with the PNA concentration of 5% is better than that of Fe3O4 in a solution with pH= 7. In the solution with pH>14, the arsenic adsorption of magnetic nanoparticles is insignificant.

    Wei GUO,Li MENG,Hongcai WANG,Guochun YAN,Weimin MAO

    Manganese sulfide is often referred to as one of important inhibitors in grain-oriented electrical steels, which is of great importance to yield strong Goss texture. However, the early stage of nucleation for such inhibitors and their evolution during the processing has not been well understood. In present work we selected a Fe--3.12wt.%Si--0.11wt.%Mn--0.021wt.%S model system and used FE-SEM and atom probe tomography (APT) to investigate the precipitation behavior of MnS inhibitors at near atomic scale. It was found that the Si--S enriched clusters with sizes of 5--15 nm were formed close to the MnS particles. The density of inhibitors decreased after large pseudo-plane-strain compression because of the effect of dislocation motion, and then slightly increased again when sample was aged at 200°C for 48 h. The dislocations and grain boundaries can act as fast diffusion paths and assist the reemergence of Si--S enriched clusters.

    Rui GAO,Wen-jun GE,Shu MIAO,Tao ZHANG,Xian-ping WANG,Qian-feng FANG

    The grain morphology, nano-oxide particles and mechanical properties of oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS)-316L austenitic steel synthesized by electron beam selective melting (EBSM) technique with different post-working processes, were explored in this study. The ODS-316L austenitic steel with superfine nano-sized oxide particles of 30–40 nm exhibits good tensile strength (412 MPa) and large total elongation (about 51%) due to the pinning effect of uniform distributed oxide particles on dislocations. After hot rolling, the specimen exhibits a higher tensile strength of 482 MPa, but the elongation decreases to 31.8% owing to the introduction of high-density dislocations. The subsequent heat treatment eliminates the grain defects induced by hot rolling and increases the randomly orientated grains, which further improves the strength and ductility of EBSM ODS-316L steel.

    Cheng-Bing CHU,Hong ZENG,Ding-Xia SHEN,Hui WANG,Ji-Fang WANG,Fu-Zhai CUI

    This study is to establish a rabbit model for human prosthetic joint infection and biofilm formation. Thirty-two healthy adult rabbits were randomly divided into four groups and implanted with stainless steel screws and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) washers in the non-articular surface of the femoral lateral condyle of the right hind knees. The rabbit knee joints were inoculated with 1 mL saline containing 0, 102, 103, 104 CFU of Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) isolated from the patient with total knee arthroplasty (TKA) infection, respectively. On the 14th postoperative day, the UHMWPE washers from the optimal 103 CFU group were further examined. The SEM examination showed a typical biofilm construction that circular S. epidermidis were embedded in a mucous-like matrix. In addition, the LCSM examination showed that the biofilm consisted of the polysaccharide stained bright green fluorescence and S. epidermidis radiating red fluorescence. Thus, we successfully create a rabbit model for prosthetic joint infection and biofilm formation, which should be valuable for biofilm studies.

    Jianchao ZHAN,Yosry MORSI,Hany EI-HAMSHARY,Salem S. AL-DEYAB,Xiumei MO

    The gelatin–glutaraldehyde (gelatin–GA) nanofibers were electrospun in order to overcome the defects of ex-situ crosslinking process such as complex process, destruction of fiber morphology and decrease of porosity. The morphological structure, porosity, thermal property, moisture absorption and moisture retention performance, hydrolytic resistance, mechanical property and biocompatibility of nanofiber scaffolds were tested and characterized. The gelatin–GA nanofiber has nice uniform diameter and more than 80% porosity. The hydrolytic resistance and mechanical property of the gelatin–GA nanofiber scaffolds are greatly improved compared with that of gelatin nanofibers. The contact angle, moisture absorption, hydrolysis resistance, thermal resistance and mechanical property of gelatin–GA nanofiber scaffolds could be adjustable by varying the gelatin solution concentration and GA content. The gelatin–GA nanofibers had excellent properties, which are expected to be an ideal scaffold for biomedical and tissue engineering applications.