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Metamaterial electromagnetic energy harvester with near unity efficiency

We present the design of a metamaterial medium for electromagnetic energy harvesting based on the full absorption concept. A metamaterial slab was designed comprising 13 × 13 electrically small cells, each loaded with an 82 Ω resistor which mimics the input impedance of a rectification circuitry. Unlike earlier designs of metamaterial absorbers, here the power absorption is mostly dissipated across a resistive load instead of the dielectric substrate. This implies that effective electromagnetic energy harvesting can be achieved. The power is channeled through a via connected to each cell. For a design optimized at 3 GHz, simulation and experimental results show power absorption efficiency of 97% and 93%, respectively.

Control of coherence among the spins of a single electron and the three nearest neighbor 13C nuclei of a nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond

Individual nuclear spins in diamond can be optically detected through hyperfine couplings with the electron spin of a single nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center; such nuclear spins have outstandingly long coherence times. Among the hyperfine couplings in the NV center, the nearest neighbor 13C nuclear spins have the largest coupling strength. Nearest neighbor 13C nuclear spins have the potential to perform fastest gate operations, providing highest fidelity in quantum computing. Herein, we report on the control of coherences in the NV center where all three nearest neighbor carbons are of the 13C isotope. Coherence among the three and four qubits are generated and analyzed at room temperature.

Modulatable magnetically mediated thermoacoustic imaging with magnetic nanoparticles

Modulatable magnetically mediated thermoacoustic imaging with magnetic nanoparticles is reported here. Under a pulsed radio frequency magnetic field, magnetic nanoparticles absorb energy strongly from the field and then emanate ultrasound signal thermoelastically. The energy absorption and, consequently, generated thermoacoustic signal strength depend sensitively on the magnetization state of magnetic nanoparticles, which can therefore be modulated effectively by a “bias” magnetic field. The magnetic modulation is demonstrated with a static magnet and modulated phantom imaging results are presented. This method offers an alternative modality for mapping magnetic nanoparticles and its unique modulation capability is demonstrated to be useful for contrast enhancement.

Study of lysozyme mobility and binding free energy during adsorption on a graphene surface

Understanding protein adsorption is a key to the development of biosensors and anti-biofouling materials. Hydration essentially controls the adsorption process on hydrophobic surfaces, but its effect is complicated by various factors. Here, we present an ideal model system to isolate hydration effects—lysozyme adsorption on a flat hydrophobic graphene surface. Our all-atom molecular dynamics and molecular-mechanics/Poisson-Boltzmann surface area computation study reveal that lysozyme on graphene displays much larger diffusivity than in bulk water. Protein's hydration free energy within the first hydration shell is dominated by the protein-water electrostatic interactions and acts as an energy barrier for protein adsorption. On the other hand, the surface tension, especially that from the hydrophobic graphene, can effectively weaken the barrier to promote adsorption.

Transparent conductor-embedding nanolens for Si solar cells

We present a large-scale applicable nanolens-embedding solar cell. An electrically conductive and optically transparent indium-tin-oxide (ITO) thin film was coated on a Si substrate. After then, periodically patterned ITO nanodome-arrays were formed on the ITO film by using a nano-imprint method. This structure is effective to reduce the incident light reflection for broad wavelengths and also efficient to drive the incident photons into a light-absorbing Si substrate. There exist two electric fields. One is by a p/n junction and the other is by the light absorption into Si. We designed nanolens structures to overlap two electric fields and demonstrate highly improved solar cell performances of current and voltage values from a planar structure.

Amorphorized tantalum-nickel binary films for metal gate applications

Amorphous metal gates have the potential to eliminate the work function variation due to grain orientation for poly-crystalline metal gate materials, which is a leading contributor to threshold voltage variation for small transistors. Structural and electrical properties of TaNi alloys using co-sputtering with different compositions and multilayer structures with different thicknesses are investigated in this work. It is found that TaNi films are amorphous for a wide range of compositions as deposited, and the films stay amorphous after annealing at 400 °C in RTA for 1 min and up to at least 700 °C depending on the composition. The amorphous films eventually crystallize into Ni, Ta, and TaNi3 phases at high enough temperature. For multilayer Ta/Ni structures, samples with individual layer thickness of 0.12 nm and 1.2 nm are amorphous as deposited due to intermixing during deposition, and stay amorphous until annealed at 500 °C. The resistivity of the films as-deposited are around 200 μΩ·cm. The work function of the alloy is fixed at close to the Ta work function of 4.6 eV for a wide range of compositions. This is attributed to the segregation of Ta at the metal-oxide interface, which is confirmed by XPS depth profile. Overall, the excellent thermal stability and low resistivity makes this alloy system a promising candidate for eliminating work function variation for gate last applications, as compared to crystalline Ta or TiN gates.

Vertical organic transistors withstanding high voltage bias

Vertical organic transistors withstanding high voltage bias were realized with an insulating silicon monoxide layer obliquely deposited on both the surface of the base electrode and sidewalls of the vertically oriented cylindrical nanopores. No noticeable insulating layer can be observed on the emitter electrode at the bottom of the cylindrical nanopores. The leakage current between the electrodes was suppressed and an operating voltage as high as 15 V was obtained. An on/off current ratio of 103–104 and an output current density of 5–10 mA/cm2 were achieved.

Charge ordering, ferroelectric, and magnetic domains in LuFe2O4 observed by scanning probe microscopy

LuFe2O4 is a multiferroic system which exhibits charge order, ferroelectricity, and ferrimagnetism simultaneously below ∼230 K. The ferroelectric/charge order domains of LuFe2O4 are imaged with both piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and electrostatic force microscopy (EFM), while the magnetic domains are characterized by magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Comparison of PFM and EFM results suggests that the proposed ferroelectricity in LuFe2O4 is not of usual displacive type but of electronic origin. Simultaneous characterization of ferroelectric/charge order and magnetic domains by EFM and MFM, respectively, on the same surface of LuFe2O4 reveals that both domains have irregular patterns of similar shape, but the length scales are quite different. The domain size is approximately 100 nm for the ferroelectric domains, while the magnetic domain size is much larger and gets as large as 1 μm. We also demonstrate that the origin of the formation of irregular domains in LuFe2O4 is not extrinsic but intrinsic.

Magnetic domain wall induced ferroelectricity in double perovskites

Recently, a magnetically induced ferroelectricity occurring at magnetic domain wall of double perovskite Lu2CoMnO6 has been reported experimentally. However, there exists a conflict whether the electric polarization is along b or c direction. Here, by first-principles calculations, we show that the magnetic domain wall (with ↑↑↓↓ spin configuration) can lead to the ferroelectric displacements of R3+, Ni 2+, Mn4+, and O2− ions in double perovskites R2NiMnO6 (R = rare earth ion) via exchange striction. The resulted electric polarization is along b direction with the P21 symmetry. We further reveal the origin of the ferroelectric displacements as that: (1) on a structural point of view, such displacements make the two out-of-plane Ni-O-Mn bond angles as well as Ni-Mn distance unequal, and (2) on an energy point of view, such displacements weaken the out-of-plane Ni-Mn super-exchange interaction obviously. Finally, our calculations show that such a kind of ferroelectric order is general in ferromagnetic double perovskites.

Route to n-type doping in SnS

SnS is intrinsically a p-type semiconductor, and much effort has been made to attain n-type conduction. In this letter, we performed density functional theory calculations to seek an effective doping route for n-type SnS. It was found that aliovalent doping of SnS by Sb or Bi is not effective due to their high formation enthalpies; while the isovalent Pb-substitution of the Sn sites largely reduces formation enthalpies of Sn and Pb interstitials, which explain the recently demonstrated n-type conduction in the Sn1− x Pb x S films fabricated under low H2S pressures.

The role of shear in the transition from continuous shear thickening to discontinuous shear thickening

Dense non-Brownian suspension has rich rheology and is hard to understand, especially for distinguishing continuous shear thickening (CST) from discontinuous shear thickening (DST). By studying the shear stress dependent rheology of a well-known DST suspension of cornstarch in water, we find that the transition from CST to DST could occur not only by increasing the volume fraction ϕ but also by increasing the shear stress σ. For the recovery process of jammed suspension, we observe that the shear activates the time-dependent nature of particle rearrangement. DST can then be interpreted as the consequence of shear-induced jamming. Based on the test data, we plot the schematic phase diagram in the ϕ-σ plane and find out that ϕ and σ perform almost the same effect on flow-state transition.

Nonlinear delayed symmetry breaking in a solid excited by hard x-ray free electron laser pulses

We have studied the ultrafast changes of electronic states in bulk ZnO upon intense hard x-ray excitation from a free electron laser. By monitoring the transient anisotropy induced in an optical probe beam, we observe a delayed breaking of the initial c-plane symmetry of the crystal that lasts for several picoseconds. Interaction with the intense x-ray pulses modifies the electronic state filling in a manner inconsistent with a simple increase in electronic temperature. These results may indicate a way to use intense ultrashort x-ray pulses to investigate high-energy carrier dynamics and to control certain properties of solid-state materials.

Carbon quantum dots coated BiVO4 inverse opals for enhanced photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation

Carbon quantum dots (CQDs) coated BiVO4 inverse opal (io-BiVO4) structure that shows dramatic improvement of photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation has been fabricated using electrodeposition with a template. The io-BiVO4 maximizes photon trapping through slow light effect, while maintaining adequate surface area for effective redox reactions. CQDs are then incorporated to the io-BiVO4 to further improve the photoconversion efficiency. Due to the strong visible light absorption property of CQDs and enhanced separation of the photoexcited electrons, the CQDs coated io-BiVO4 exhibit a maximum photo-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 0.35%, which is 6 times higher than that of the pure BiVO4 thin films. This work is a good example of designing composite photoelectrode by combining quantum dots and photonic crystal.

Using atomic layer deposited tungsten to increase thermal conductivity of a packed bed

This study investigated the effective thermal conductivity (keff ) of packed-beds that contained porous particles with nanoscale tungsten (W) films of different thicknesses formed by atomic layer deposition (ALD). A continuous film on the particles is vital towards increasing keff of the packed beds. For example, the keff of an alumina packed bed was increased by three times after an ∼8-nm continuous W film with 20 cycles of W ALD, whereas keff was decreased on a polymer packed bed with discontinuous, evenly dispersed W-islands due to nanoparticle scattering of phonons. For catalysts, understanding the thermal properties of these packed beds is essential for developing thermally conductive supports as alternatives to structured supports.

A tunable microwave slot antenna based on graphene

The paper presents the experimental and modeling results of a microwave slot antenna in a coplanar configuration based on graphene. The antennas are fabricated on a 4 in. high-resistivity Si wafer, with a ∼300 nm SiO2 layer grown through thermal oxidation. A CVD grown graphene layer is transferred on the SiO2. The paper shows that the reflection parameter of the antenna can be tuned by a DC voltage. 2D radiation patterns at various frequencies in the X band (8–12 GHz) are then presented using as antenna backside a microwave absorbent and a metalized surface. Although the radiation efficiency is lower than a metallic antenna, the graphene antenna is a wideband antenna while the metal antennas with the same geometry and working at the same frequencies are narrowband.

Significant mobility enhancement in extremely thin highly doped ZnO films

Highly Ga-doped ZnO (GZO) films of thicknesses d = 5, 25, 50, and 300 nm, grown on 160-nm ZnO buffer layers by molecular beam epitaxy, had 294-K Hall-effect mobilities μH of 64.1, 43.4, 37.0, and 34.2 cm2/V-s, respectively. This extremely unusual ordering of μH vs d is explained by the existence of a very high-mobility Debye tail in the ZnO, arising from the large Fermi-level mismatch between the GZO and the ZnO. Scattering theory in conjunction with Poisson analysis predicts a Debye-tail mobility of 206 cm2/V-s at the interface (z = d), falling to 58 cm2/V-s at z = d + 2 nm. Excellent fits to μH vs d and sheet concentration ns vs d are obtained with no adjustable parameters.

Effects of interlayer growth condition on the transport properties of heterostructures with InGaN channel grown on sapphire by metal organic chemical vapor deposition

The effects of AlN interlayer growth condition on the properties of InAlN/InGaN heterostructures are investigated in detail. Since the properties of InGaN channel are different from the traditional GaN channel, two-step AlN interlayer is proposed, which is proven to be more suitable for the InGaN channel heterostructures than the interlayers grown at constant temperature. Test results show that two-step AlN interlayer can not only significantly improve the interface morphology between the InGaN channel and barrier layers but also make an effective protection of the high-quality InGaN channel. The electron mobility of the InAlN/InGaN heterostructure with two-step AlN interlayer achieves 890 cm2/V s with a high two-dimensional-electron-gas density of 1.78 × 1013 cm−2. The gratifying results indicate that the InGaN channel heterostructure with two-step interlayer is a promising candidate for microwave power devices.

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