A 3D macroporous conductive polymer foam of thin 2D polypyrrole (PPy) nanosheets is developed by adopting a novel intercalation of guest (monomer Py) between the layers of the lamellar host (3D vanadium oxide foam) template-replication strategy. The 3D PPy foam of thin 2D nanosheets exhibits diverse functions including reversible compressibility, shape memory, absorption/adsorption and mechanically deformable supercapacitor characteristics. The as-prepared 3D PPy foam of thin nanosheets is highly light weight with a density of 12 mg·cm−3 which can bear the large compressive strain up to 80% whether in wet or dry states; and can absorb organic solutions or extract dye molecules fast and efficiently. In particular, the PPy nanosheet-based foam as a mechanically deformable electrode material for supercapacitors exhibits high specific capacitance of 70 F·g−1 at a fast charge–discharge rate of 50 mA·g−1, superior to that of any other typical pure PPy-based capacitor. We envision that the strategy presented here should be applicable to fabrication of a wide variety of organic polymer foams and hydrogels of low-dimensional nanostructures and even inorganic foams and hydrogels of low-dimensional nanostructures, and thus allow for exploration of their advanced physical and chemical properties.
We fabricated pH and light dual-responsive adsorption materials which could induce the transition of surface wettability between hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity by using ATRP. The structure and morphology of adsorption materials were confirmed by ATR-FTIR, XPS, TGA and SEM. It showed that the modified cellulose (CE)-based foam was hydrophobic, which can adsorb a range of oils and organic solvents in water under pH= 7.0 or visible light irradiation (λ>500 nm). Meanwhile, the wettability of robust CE-based foam can convert hydrophobicity into hydrophilicity and underwater oleophobicity under pH= 3.0 or UV irradiation (λ = 365 nm), giving rise to release oils and organic solvents. Most important of all, the adsorption and desorption processes of the modified CE-based foam could be switched by external stimuli. Furthermore, the modified CE-based foam was not damaged and still retained original performance after reversible cycle repeated for many times with variation of surface wettability. In short, it indicates that CE-based foam materials with switchable surface wettability are new responsive absorbent materials and have owned potential application in the treatment of oil recovery.
Bulk poly(m-phenylene isophthalamide) (PMIA) can achieve flexibility upon dissolution by a LiCl/dimethylacetamide co-solvent, but remains hydrophobic despite the occasional emergence of cis amide groups providing a weak negative charge. In this study, based on the significant surface differences between PMIA membranes processed by nanofiber electrospinning and casting, a series of chemical analyses, in-situ Au nanoparticle depositions, and dye-adsorption experiments revealed that more cis-configuration amide groups appeared on the surface of the electrospun PMIA membrane than on that of the cast membrane. Based on this surface difference, a strategy was proposed to improve the dyeing properties of PMIA by reversibly changing the cis/trans configurations of electrospun and cast membranes. The reversible chain–segment switch mechanism is a novel method for tuning the macroscale properties of polymer materials based on inherent molecular characteristics.
Squaraine (SQ) dyes have been considered as efficient photoactive materials for organic solar cells. In this work, we purposely controlled the molecular aggregation of an SQ dye, 2,4-bis[4-(N,N-dibutylamino)-2-dihydroxyphenyl] SQ (DBSQ-(OH)2) in the DBSQ(OH)2:[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blend film by using the thermal annealing method, to study the influence of the molecular aggregation on film properties as well as the photovoltaic performance of DBSQ(OH)2:PCBM-based bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells. Our results demonstrate that thermal annealing may change the aggregation behavior of DBSQ(OH)2 in the DBSQ(OH)2:PCBM film, and thus significantly influence the surface morphology, optical and electrical properties of the blend film, as well as the photovoltaic performance of DBSQ(OH)2:PCBM BHJ cells.
The sandwich structured silicon thin film anodes with lithium phosphorus oxynitride (LiPON) coating are synthesized via the radio frequency magnetron sputtering method, whereas the thicknesses of both layers are in the nanometer range, i.e. between 50 and 200 nm. In this sandwich structure, the separator simultaneously functions as a flexible substrate, while the LiPON layer is regarded as a protective layer. This sandwich structure combines the advantages of flexible substrate, which can help silicon release the compressive stress, and the LiPON coating, which can provide a stable artificial solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) film on the electrode. As a result, the silicon anodes are protected well, and the cells exhibit high reversible capacity, excellent cycling stability and good rate capability. All the results demonstrate that this sandwich structure can be a promising option for high performance Si thin film lithium ion batteries.
Proton exchange membranes based on fluorinated poly(ether sulfone)s with disulfonated naphthyl pendants (sSPFES) have been successfully prepared by post functionalization through polymeric SNAr reaction. Copolymer structure was confirmed by H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, the physico-chemical properties of the sSPFES membranes were evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis, gel permeation chromatography, electro-chemical impedance spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, Fenton, water-swelling and fuel cell test. The pendant grafting degree was controlled by varying the feeding amount of the disulfonaphthols, resulting in the ion exchange capacity about 1.28–1.73 mmol/g. The obtained sSPFES membranes were thermal stable, mechanical ductile, and exhibited dimensional change less than 17%, water uptake below 70%, and proton conductivity as high as 0.17–0.28 S/cm at 90°C in water. In a single H2/O2 fuel cell test at 80°C, the sSPFES-B-3.2 membrane (1.61 mmol/g) showed the maximum power output of 593–658 mW/cm2 at 60%–80% relative humidity, indicating their rather promising potential for fuel cell applications.
Highly dispersed negative carboxyl groups can be formed on carbon black (CB) surface modified with strong nitric acid. Therefore positive cations can be uniformly absorbed by carboxyl groups and precipitated within a confinement space on modified CB surface to prepare highly dispersed nanomaterials. In this paper, the formation and dispersion status of surface negative carboxyl groups, adsorption status of Ce3+, surface confinement nucleation, crystallization and calcination process were studied by EDS, SEM, and laser particle size analysis. The results show that the carboxyl groups formed on modified CB surface are highly dispersed, and Ce3+ cations can be uniformly anchored by carboxyl groups. Therefore, highly dispersed Ce3+ can react with OH− within a confinement surface region to form positive nano-Ce(OH)4 nuclei which also can be adsorbed by electrostatic attraction. After independent growth of Ce(OH)4 without agglomeration, highly dispersed CeO2 nanoparticles without agglomeration can be prepared together with the help of effectively isolates by CO2 released in the combustion of CB.
Uniform and monodisperse ZnSn(OH)6 perfect octahedrons have been synthesized by a facile coprecipitation reaction process. The particle size of the as-prepared ZnSn(OH)6 octahedral structure can be readily controlled by adjusting the reaction temperature (T), the side length of ZnSn(OH)6 octahedrons tailored from 3 µm (40°C) to 4 µm (60°C) and 5 µm (80°C). The ethanol sensing properties of the ZnSn(OH)6 octahedrons were carefully investigated. The gas sensing experimental data show that the sensor based on ZnSn(OH)6 (40°C) show good selectivity, fast response/recovery time and the highest response (Ra/Rg = 23.8) to 200 ppm ethanol at relatively low optimum operating temperature (200°C) among sensors based on ZnSn(OH)6 (60°C) and ZnSn(OH)6 (80°C), which might result from different specific surface areas. The study demonstrated that perfect octahedral ZnSn(OH)6 with controlled crystalline size and desirable sensing performance can be synthesized with a simple fabrication procedure, and the octahedral ZnSn(OH)6 could be a highly promising material for high-performance sensors.
Biodegradable Mg alloys have generated great interest for biomedical applications. Accurate predictions of in vivo degradation of Mg alloys through cost-effective in vitro evaluations require the latter to be conducted in an environment close to that of physiological scenarios. However, the roles of glucose and buffering agents in regulating the in vitro degradation performance of Mg alloys has not been elucidated. Herein, degradation behavior of AZ31 alloy is investigated by hydrogen evolution measurements, pH monitoring and electrochemical tests. Results indicate that glucose plays a content-dependent role in degradation of AZ31 alloy in buffer-free saline solution. The presence of a low concentration of glucose, i.e. 1.0 g/L, decreases the corrosion rate of Mg alloy AZ31, whereas the presence of 2.0 and 3.0 g/L glucose accelerates the corrosion rate during long term immersion in saline solution. In terms of Tris-buffered saline solution, the addition of glucose increases pH value and promotes pitting corrosion or general corrosion of AZ31 alloy. This study provides a novel perspective to understand the bio-corrosion of Mg alloys in buffering agents and glucose containing solutions.
The magnesium aluminum and zinc aluminum layered double hydroxides intercalated with NO3− (MgAl-NO3-LDH and ZnAl-NO3-LDH) were prepared by the co-precipitation method, and the magnesium aluminum and the zinc aluminum layered double hydroxides intercalated with VOx− (MgAl-VOx-LDH and ZnAl-VOx-LDH) were prepared by the anion-exchange method. Morphologies, microstructures and chemical compositions of LDHs were investigated by SEM, EDS, XRD, FTIR, Raman and TG analyses. The immersion tests were carried to determine the corrosion inhibition properties of MgAl-VOx-LDH and ZnAl-VOx-LDH on AZ31 Mg alloys. The results showed that ZnAl-VOx-LDH possesses the best anion-exchange and inhibition abilities. The influence of treatment parameters on microstructures of LDHs were discussed. Additionally, an inhibition mechanism for ZnAl-VOx-LDH on the AZ31 magnesium alloy was proposed and discussed.