Open AccessArticle
Ferroelectric Relaxor Quantum Crystals
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 180; doi:10.3390/cryst8040180 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A discussion is given of ferroelectrics (FEs) that have their Curie temperatures Tc very near absolute zero. These have differences in their dynamics in comparison with higher-temperature systems, since domain wall motion occurs via quantum mechanical tunneling and not by thermally activated
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A discussion is given of ferroelectrics (FEs) that have their Curie temperatures Tc very near absolute zero. These have differences in their dynamics in comparison with higher-temperature systems, since domain wall motion occurs via quantum mechanical tunneling and not by thermally activated diffusion. Emphasis in the present paper is on FEs that have relaxor characteristics. In such systems, the temperature at which the isothermal electric susceptibility ε(T,f) peaks is a strong function of frequency, and it decreases with decreasing frequency. This is due to glassy viscosity and is symbolic of non-equilibrium dynamics, usually described by a Vogel-Fulcher equation. It permits an extra dimension with which to examine the transitions. The second half of this paper reviews domain wall instabilities and asks about their presence in QCP ferroelectrics, which has not yet been reported and may be unobservable due to the absence of thermal diffusion of walls near T = 0; in this respect, we note that diffusion does exist in ferroelectric relaxors, even at T = 0, by virtue of their glassy, viscous dynamics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Size Control of Cobalt-Doped ZnO Nanoparticles Obtained in Microwave Solvothermal Synthesis
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 179; doi:10.3390/cryst8040179 -
Abstract
This article presents the method of size control of cobalt-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles (Zn1−xCoxO NPs) obtained by means of the microwave solvothermal synthesis. Zinc acetate dihydrate and cobalt(II) acetate tetrahydrate dissolved in ethylene glycol were used as the precursor.
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This article presents the method of size control of cobalt-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles (Zn1−xCoxO NPs) obtained by means of the microwave solvothermal synthesis. Zinc acetate dihydrate and cobalt(II) acetate tetrahydrate dissolved in ethylene glycol were used as the precursor. It has been proved by the example of Zn0.9Co0.1O NPs (x = 10 mol %) that by controlling the water quantity in the precursor it is possible to precisely control the size of the obtained Zn1−xCoxO NPs. The following properties of the obtained Zn0.9Co0.1O NPs were tested: skeleton density (helium pycnometry), specific surface area (BET), dopant content (ICP-OES), morphology (SEM), phase purity (XRD), lattice parameter (Rietveld method), average crystallite size (FW1/5/4/5M method and Scherrer’s formula), crystallite size distribution (FW1/5/4/5M method), and average particle size (from TEM and SSA). An increase in the water content in the precursor between 1.5% and 5% resulted in the increase in Zn0.9Co0.1O NPs size between 28 nm and 53 nm. The X-ray diffraction revealed the presence of only one hexagonal phase of ZnO in all samples. Scanning electron microscope images indicated an impact of the increase in water content in the precursor on the change of size and shape of the obtained Zn0.9Co0.1O NPs. The developed method of NPs size control in the microwave solvothermal synthesis was used for the first time for controlling the size of Zn1−xCoxO NPs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Sub-Monolayer Contaminants at the Regrowth Interface in GaN Nanowires Grown by Selective-Area Molecular Beam Epitaxy
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 178; doi:10.3390/cryst8040178 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
While GaN nanowires (NWs) offer an attractive architecture for a variety of nanoscale optical, electronic, and mechanical devices, defects such as crystal polarity inversion domains (IDs) can limit device performance. Moreover, the formation of such defects during NW growth is not fully understood.
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While GaN nanowires (NWs) offer an attractive architecture for a variety of nanoscale optical, electronic, and mechanical devices, defects such as crystal polarity inversion domains (IDs) can limit device performance. Moreover, the formation of such defects during NW growth is not fully understood. In this study, we use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT) to investigate the effects of sub-monolayer contamination at the regrowth interface in GaN NWs grown by selective-area molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). TEM energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and APT independently identified Al and O contamination localized at the regrowth interface in two of the three growth runs examined. The Al and O concentrations were each estimated to be on the order of 11% of an ideal c-plane monolayer in the most severely contaminated case. The amount of contamination correlated with the number of crystal polarity inversion domain defects (IDs) across the growth runs. A growth run in which the pre-regrowth HF vapor etch step was replaced by HCl immersion showed the smallest quantity of O and no measurable Al. In addition, many of the NWs examined from the HCl-treated growth run turned out to be free of IDs. These results suggest that sub-monolayer contamination introduced during processing contributes to defect formation in MBE-grown GaN NWs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Leaky Modes in Photonic Crystal Fibers Using the Surface Integral Equation Method
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 177; doi:10.3390/cryst8040177 -
Abstract
A fully vectorial algorithm based on the surface integral equation method for the modelling of leaky modes in photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) by solely solving the complex propagation constants of characteristic equations is presented. It can be used for calculations of the complex
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A fully vectorial algorithm based on the surface integral equation method for the modelling of leaky modes in photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) by solely solving the complex propagation constants of characteristic equations is presented. It can be used for calculations of the complex effective index and confinement losses of photonic crystal fibers. As complex root examination is the key technique in the solution, the new algorithm which possesses this technique can be used to solve the leaky modes of photonic crystal fibers. The leaky modes of solid-core PCFs with a hexagonal lattice of circular air-holes are reported and discussed. The simulation results indicate how the confinement loss by the imaginary part of the effective index changes with air-hole size, the number of rings of air-holes, and wavelength. Confinement loss reductions can be realized by increasing the air-hole size and the number of air-holes. The results show that the confinement loss rises with wavelength, implying that the light leaks more easily for longer wavelengths; meanwhile, the losses are decreased significantly as the air-hole size d/Λ is increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Solvent-Induced Unsymmetric Salamo-Like Trinuclear NiII Complexes: Syntheses, Crystal Structures, Fluorescent and Magnetic Properties
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 176; doi:10.3390/cryst8040176 -
Abstract
Solvent-induced trinuclear NiII complexes, [{Ni(L)(MeOH)}2(OAc)2Ni]·2MeOH (1), [{Ni(L)(EtOH)}2(OAc)2Ni]·2H2O (2), [{Ni(L)(n-PrOH)}2(OAc)2Ni]·2H2O (3) and [{Ni(L)(i-PrOH)}2(OAc)2Ni]
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Solvent-induced trinuclear NiII complexes, [{Ni(L)(MeOH)}2(OAc)2Ni]·2MeOH (1), [{Ni(L)(EtOH)}2(OAc)2Ni]·2H2O (2), [{Ni(L)(n-PrOH)}2(OAc)2Ni]·2H2O (3) and [{Ni(L)(i-PrOH)}2(OAc)2Ni] (4), have been prepared with an unsymmetric Salamo-like ligand H2L, and characterized via X-ray crystallography, FT-IR, UV-Vis and fluorescence spectra. In complexes 1, 2, 3 and 4, there are two ligand (L)2− moieties, two acetato ligands, two coordinated methanol, ethanol, n-propanol or i-propanol molecules, respectively, as well as other crystallizing solvent molecules. Two acetato ligands coordinated to the three NiII ions via usual Ni-O-C-O-Ni bridges, and four µ-phenoxo oxygen atoms coming from two [NiL(solvent)] units coordinate to the central NiII ions. Although different solvents are induced in the complexes, all the NiII ions are six-coordinated and adopt geometries of distorted octahedron. Magnetic measurements were performed on complex 2, an intramolecular antiferromagnetic interaction was observed between NiII ions and a simulation of the experimental data gives J = −2.96 cm−1 and g = 2.30. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Probabilistic Estimate of |Foa| from FEL Data
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 175; doi:10.3390/cryst8040175 -
Abstract
The method of the joint probability distribution function was applied in order to estimate the normal structure factor amplitudes of the anomalous scatterer substructure in a FEL experiment. The two-wavelength case was examined. In this, the prior knowledge of the moduli |F
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The method of the joint probability distribution function was applied in order to estimate the normal structure factor amplitudes of the anomalous scatterer substructure in a FEL experiment. The two-wavelength case was examined. In this, the prior knowledge of the moduli |F1+|,|F1|,|F2+|,|F2| was used to predict the value of |F0a| , which is the structure factor amplitude arising from the normal scattering of the heavy atom anomalous scatterers. The mathematical treatment provides a solid theoretical basis for the RIP (Radiation-damage Induced Phasing) method, which was originally proposed in order to take the radiation damage induced by synchrotron radiation sources into account. This was further adapted to exploit FEL data, where the crystal damage is usually more massive. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Hetero-Trinuclear CoII2-DyIII Complex with a Octadentate Bis(Salamo)-Like Ligand: Synthesis, Crystal Structure and Luminescence Properties
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 174; doi:10.3390/cryst8040174 -
Abstract
A hetero-trinuclear CoII2-DyIII complex, [Co2L(DMF)2Dy(NO3)3]·C2H5O2 was synthesized via the reaction of a multi-naphthol-based bis(Salamo)-like tetraoxime H4L with Co(OAc)2·4H2O and Dy(NO
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A hetero-trinuclear CoII2-DyIII complex, [Co2L(DMF)2Dy(NO3)3]·C2H5O2 was synthesized via the reaction of a multi-naphthol-based bis(Salamo)-like tetraoxime H4L with Co(OAc)2·4H2O and Dy(NO3)3·6H2O, and fully characterized via elemental analyses, X-ray crystallography, FT-IR and UV-Vis spectra. In addition, luminescence properties of H4L and its CoII2-DyIII complex have also been investigated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structures and Fluorescent and Magnetic Behaviors of Newly Synthesized NiII and CuII Coordination Compounds
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 173; doi:10.3390/cryst8040173 -
Abstract
Newly designed three trinuclear coordination compounds [Ni3(L1)2(OAc)2(CH3OH)2] (1), [Ni3(L1)2(OAc)2(CH3CH2CH2OH)2]·2CH3CH2CH
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Newly designed three trinuclear coordination compounds [Ni3(L1)2(OAc)2(CH3OH)2] (1), [Ni3(L1)2(OAc)2(CH3CH2CH2OH)2]·2CH3CH2CH2OH (2) and [Ni3(L1)2(OAc)2(DMF)2]·1.71DMF (3) and one mononuclear coordination compound [Cu(L2)2] (4) have been synthesized by H2L1 and nickel(II) and copper(II) acetate hydrates in different solvents. Single-crystal X-ray structure determinations revealed that the coordination compounds 13 have analogous molecular structures. The coordination compounds 1, 2, and 3 were affected by the coordinated methanol, n-propanol, and N,N-dimethylformamide molecules, respectively, and the various coordinated solvent molecules give rise to the formation of the representive solvent-induced NiII coordination compounds. All the NiII atoms are six-coordinated with geometries of slightly distorted octahedron. Obviously, in the coordination compound 4, the expected salamo-like mono- or tri-nuclear CuII coordination compound has not been obtained, but a new CuII coordination compound [Cu(L2)2] has been gained. The Cu1 atom is four-coordinated and possesses a geometry of slightly distorted planar quadrilateral. Furthermore, the fluorescence properties of coordination compounds 14 and magnetic behavior of coordination compound 1 were investigated. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Crystal Structure of the Catalytic Domain of MCR-1 (cMCR-1) in Complex with d-Xylose
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 172; doi:10.3390/cryst8040172 -
Abstract
The polymyxin colistin is known as a “last resort” antibacterial drug toward pandrug-resistant enterobacteria. The recently discovered plasmid-encoded mcr-1 gene spreads rapidly across pathogenic strains and confers resistance to colistin, which has emerged as a global threat. The mcr-1 gene encodes a phosphoethanolamine
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The polymyxin colistin is known as a “last resort” antibacterial drug toward pandrug-resistant enterobacteria. The recently discovered plasmid-encoded mcr-1 gene spreads rapidly across pathogenic strains and confers resistance to colistin, which has emerged as a global threat. The mcr-1 gene encodes a phosphoethanolamine transferase (MCR-1) that catalyzes the transference of phosphoethanolamine to lipid A moiety of lipopolysaccharide, resulting in resistance to colistin. Development of effective MCR-1 inhibitors is crucial for combating MCR-1-mediated colistin resistance. In this study, MCR-1 catalytic domain (namely cMCR-1) was expressed and co-crystallized together with d-xylose. X-ray crystallographic study at a resolution of 1.8 Å found that cMCR-1-d-xylose co-crystals fell under space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 51.6 Å, b = 73.1 Å, c = 82.2 Å, α = 90°, β = 90°, γ = 90°. The asymmetric unit contained a single cMCR-1 molecule complexed with d-xylose and had a solvent content of 29.13%. The structural model of cMCR-1-d-xylose complex showed that a d-xylose molecule bound in the putative lipid A-binding pocket of cMCR-1, which might provide a clue for MCR-1 inhibitor development. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Optoelectronics Based Dynamic Advancement of Graphene: Characteristics and Applications
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 171; doi:10.3390/cryst8040171 -
Abstract
Graphene has impressive features that make it an exceptional material for sophisticated applications in next generation electronics and opto-electronics devices. This peremptory material has attracted researchers’ attention in various fields of recent advancement since its discovery in 2004. Its applied fields are increasing
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Graphene has impressive features that make it an exceptional material for sophisticated applications in next generation electronics and opto-electronics devices. This peremptory material has attracted researchers’ attention in various fields of recent advancement since its discovery in 2004. Its applied fields are increasing day by day. This two-dimensional material (2D) is using mellifluously for the development in different types of devices in the field of optics, photonics, light emitting diode (LED), medical diagnosis, sensing, and so on. In this review, the relevant optical properties and the applications areas with available results in various fields are discussed. Again, the optical conductivity of strained graphene is reviewed in a wavelength related regime that depends on strain modulus and position with field arrangements. Graphene shows a saturation and reverse saturation process due to the increase of light intensity. In addition, strong absorption is observed from the visible to mid-infrared (MIR) wavelength range. Moreover, the application areas of graphene including optics, photonics, plasmonics, mode-locked laser, optical modulator, etc., and the comparison of various results obtained from different sources are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quasi-Equilibrium, Multifoil Platelets of Copper- and Titanium-Substituted Bismuth Vanadate, Bi2V0.9(Cu0.1−xTix)O5.5−δ, by Molten Salt Synthesis
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 170; doi:10.3390/cryst8040170 -
Abstract
10% copper-substituted (BiCUVOX/Bi2V0.9Cu0.1O5.5−δ) and 5% copper/titanium double-substituted bismuth vanadate (BiCUTIVOX/Bi2V0.9(Cu0.05Ti0.05)O5.5−δ) platelets were formed by molten salt synthesis (MSS) using a eutectic KCl/NaCl salt mixture. The
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10% copper-substituted (BiCUVOX/Bi2V0.9Cu0.1O5.5−δ) and 5% copper/titanium double-substituted bismuth vanadate (BiCUTIVOX/Bi2V0.9(Cu0.05Ti0.05)O5.5−δ) platelets were formed by molten salt synthesis (MSS) using a eutectic KCl/NaCl salt mixture. The product was phase-pure within the limits of X-ray diffraction. The size and form of the platelets could be controlled by changing the heating temperature and time. The crystallite growth rate at a synthesis temperature of 650 °C and the activation energy for grain growth were determined for BICUTIVOX, which experienced inhibited growth compared to BICUVOX. Quasi-equilibrium, multifoil shapes consisting of lobes around the perimeter of the platelets were observed and explained in the context of relative two-dimensional nucleation and edge growth rates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Crystal Structure, Spectroscopic Investigations, and Physical Properties of the Ternary Intermetallic REPt2Al3 (RE = Y, Dy–Tm) and RE2Pt3Al4 Representatives (RE = Tm, Lu)
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 169; doi:10.3390/cryst8040169 -
Abstract
The REPt2Al3 compounds of the late rare-earth metals (RE = Y, Dy–Tm) were found to crystallize isostructural. Single-crystal X-ray investigations of YPt2Al3 revealed an orthorhombic unit cell (a = 1080.73(6), b = 1871.96(9), c
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The REPt2Al3 compounds of the late rare-earth metals (RE = Y, Dy–Tm) were found to crystallize isostructural. Single-crystal X-ray investigations of YPt2Al3 revealed an orthorhombic unit cell (a = 1080.73(6), b = 1871.96(9), c = 413.04(2) pm, wR2 = 0.0780, 942 F2 values, 46 variables) with space group Cmmm (oC48; q2pji2hedb). A comparison with the Pearson database indicated that YPt2Al3 forms a new structure type, in which the Pt and Al atoms form a [Pt2Al3]δ polyanion and the Y atoms reside in the cavities within the framework. Via a group-subgroup scheme, the relationship between the PrNi2Al3-type structure and the new YPt2Al3-type structure was illustrated. The compounds with RE = Dy–Tm were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction experiments. While YPt2Al3 is a Pauli-paramagnet, the other REPt2Al3 (RE = Dy–Tm) compounds exhibit paramagnetic behavior, which is in line with the rare-earth atoms being in the trivalent oxidation state. DyPt2Al3 and TmPt2Al3 exhibit ferromagnetic ordering at TC = 10.8(1) and 4.7(1) K and HoPt2Al3 antiferromagnetic ordering at TN = 5.5(1) K, respectively. Attempts to synthesize the isostructural lutetium compound resulted in the formation of Lu2Pt3Al4 (Ce2Ir3Sb4-type, Pnma, a = 1343.4(2), b = 416.41(8), c = 1141.1(2) pm), which could also be realized with thulium. The structure was refined from single-crystal data (wR2 = 0.0940, 1605 F2 values, 56 variables). Again, a polyanion with bonding Pt–Al interactions was found, and the two distinct Lu atoms were residing in the cavities of the [Pt3Al4]δ framework. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements were conducted to examine the electron transfer from the rare-earth atoms onto the polyanionic framework. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Epitaxial Crystallization of Precisely Methyl-Substituted Polyethylene Induced by Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 168; doi:10.3390/cryst8040168 -
Abstract
How large of a substituent/branch a polyethylene possesses that can still be induced by nanofillers to form ordered chain structures is interesting, but uncertain. To solve this problem, precisely methyl-substituted polyethylene (PE21M) was chosen as a model to prepare its one-dimensional and two-dimensional
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How large of a substituent/branch a polyethylene possesses that can still be induced by nanofillers to form ordered chain structures is interesting, but uncertain. To solve this problem, precisely methyl-substituted polyethylene (PE21M) was chosen as a model to prepare its one-dimensional and two-dimensional nanocomposites with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene via solution crystallization. It is shown that kebab-like and rod-like nanofiller-induced crystals were separately observed on the surfaces of CNTs and graphene and the density of rod-like crystals is significantly less than kebab-like ones. The results of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) reveal that CNTs and graphene cannot induce polymers with the substituent volume greater than, or equal to, 2 Å (methyl) to form ordered lattice structure, but CNTs exhibit the better nucleation effect, providing us with guidance to manipulate the physical performance of polymer composites on the basis of the size of the substituent and the type of nanofiller. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Hydroxyl Groups on Friction of Graphene at Atomic Scale
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 167; doi:10.3390/cryst8040167 -
Abstract
Hydroxyl groups play an important role in friction of graphene oxides. In this paper, the influence of hydroxyl groups on friction of graphene is investigated by molecular dynamics simulation. The results show that the friction does not always go up with the rising
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Hydroxyl groups play an important role in friction of graphene oxides. In this paper, the influence of hydroxyl groups on friction of graphene is investigated by molecular dynamics simulation. The results show that the friction does not always go up with the rising of hydroxyl groups ratio, and reaches the maximum when the hydroxyl groups ratio between interfaces is about 10%. The reason is that hydrogen bonds tend to form in interlayers when the hydroxyl groups ratio is high. The formed hydrogen bonds between interfaces are closely related to the friction. However, the analysis of the component of van der Waals, Coulomb’s forces and hydrogen bonds interaction between interfaces indicates that van der Waals forces are dominant in friction, which can be attributed to the influence of interface distance on friction. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Low-Frequency Dynamics of Strongly Correlated Electrons in (BEDT-TTF)2X Studied by Fluctuation Spectroscopy
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 166; doi:10.3390/cryst8040166 -
Abstract
Fluctuation spectroscopy measurements of quasi-two-dimensional organic charge-transfer salts (BEDT-TTF)2X are reviewed. In the past decade, the method has served as a new approach for studying the low-frequency dynamics of strongly correlated charge carriers in these materials. We review some basic aspects
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Fluctuation spectroscopy measurements of quasi-two-dimensional organic charge-transfer salts (BEDT-TTF)2X are reviewed. In the past decade, the method has served as a new approach for studying the low-frequency dynamics of strongly correlated charge carriers in these materials. We review some basic aspects of electronic fluctuations in solids, and give an overview of selected problems where the analysis of 1/f-type fluctuations and the corresponding slow dynamics provide a better understanding of the underlying physics. These examples are related to (1) an inhomogeneous current distribution due to phase separation and/or a percolative transition; (2) slow dynamics due to a glassy freezing either of structural degrees of freedom coupling to the electronic properties or (3) of the electrons themselves, e.g., when residing on a highly-frustrated crystal lattice, where slow and heterogeneous dynamics are key experimental properties for the vitrification process of a supercooled charge-liquid. Another example is (4), the near divergence and critical slowing down of charge carrier fluctuations at the finite-temperature critical endpoint of the Mott metal-insulator transition. Here also indications for a glassy freezing and temporal and spatial correlated dynamics are found. Mapping out the region of ergodicity breaking and understanding the influence of disorder on the temporal and spatial correlated fluctuations will be an important realm of future studies, as well as the fluctuation properties deep in the Mott or charge-ordered insulating states providing a connection to relaxor or ordered ferroelectric states studied by dielectric spectroscopy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Crystal Structures, Optical Properties and Theoretical Calculations of Two Metal Chalcogenides Ba2AlSbS5 and Ba2GaBiSe5
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 165; doi:10.3390/cryst8040165 -
Abstract
Two quaternary metal chalcogenides, Ba2AlSbS5 and Ba2GaBiSe5, were successfully synthesized by solid-state reaction in sealed silica tubes. Both of them crystallize in the same orthorhombic space group Pnma, but they appear with obviously different construction
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Two quaternary metal chalcogenides, Ba2AlSbS5 and Ba2GaBiSe5, were successfully synthesized by solid-state reaction in sealed silica tubes. Both of them crystallize in the same orthorhombic space group Pnma, but they appear with obviously different construction features. For example, Ba2AlSbS5 exhibits [SbS3]3− units and zero-dimensional (0D) [AlSbS5]4− clusters, which is different from those ([BiSe6]3− units and 1D [GaBiSe5]4− chains) of Ba2GaBiSe5. We also systematically investigated the entire series of Ba2MIIIMIII’Q5 (MIII = Al, Ga, In; MIII’ = As, Sb, Bi; Q = S, Se, Te) compounds, and the results showed that the interconnection of MIIIQ4 and MIII’Qn (n = 3, 5, 6) units can form three different structural types, including 0D [MIIIMIII’Q5] clusters, single [MIII’Q3] chains and isolated [MIIIQ4] units, or [MIIIQ3]n and [MIII’Q3]n double chains, which may be induced by the flexible coordination and on-link modes of MIII’ atoms. Spectral investigation shows that their bandgaps are about 2.57 eV for Ba2AlSbS5 and 2.14 eV for Ba2GaBiSe5. Theoretical calculation was also used to analyze their structure-property relationships, and the results indicate that the title compounds exhibit larger birefringences (Δn > 0.10), thus having potential as the IR birefringent materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Solid Phases Precipitating in Artificial Urine in the Absence and Presence of Bacteria Proteus mirabilis—A Contribution to the Understanding of Infectious Urinary Stone Formation
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 164; doi:10.3390/cryst8040164 -
Abstract
Magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate, called struvite, is the dominant component of infectious urinary stones. In addition to struvite, infectious urinary stones include solid phases with poor crystallinity as well as amorphous matter. This article is devoted to the analysis of these solid phases,
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Magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate, called struvite, is the dominant component of infectious urinary stones. In addition to struvite, infectious urinary stones include solid phases with poor crystallinity as well as amorphous matter. This article is devoted to the analysis of these solid phases, because they have not been characterized well until now. The solid phases tested were obtained from artificial urine in the absence and presence of Proteus mirabilis. The solid phases were characterized by different techniques (X-ray Diffraction, Energy Dispersive X-ray, Scanning Electron Microscopy, as well as Raman and Infrared Spectroscopies). According to the results these phases are carbonate apatite (CA), hydroxylapatite (HAP), amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) and/or amorphous carbonated calcium phosphate (ACCP). Carbonate apatite and hydroxylapatite may occur in non-stoichiometric forms, i.e., various anions can be substituted for CO32−, OH, and PO43− groups in them. The non-stoichiometry of carbonate apatite and hydroxylapatite also implies a deficiency of calcium ions, i.e., calcium ions may be partially replaced by other cations. Experimental techniques and chemical speciation analysis demonstrate that the presence of magnesium influences the formation of CA and HAP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pseudo-Bifurcated Chalcogen Bond in Crystal Engineering
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 163; doi:10.3390/cryst8040163 -
Abstract
The concept of pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond has been proposed for the first time in this paper. It was found that the anticooperative effects between two chalcogen bonds of the pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond are not very large as compared to those of the true
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The concept of pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond has been proposed for the first time in this paper. It was found that the anticooperative effects between two chalcogen bonds of the pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond are not very large as compared to those of the true bifurcated noncovalent bond. According to the nature of pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond, we designed some strong pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond synthons. The binding energy of the strongest pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond attains about 27 kcal/mol. These strong pseudo-bifurcated chalcogen bond synthons have great potential as building blocks in crystal engineering. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tuning of Luminescent and Magnetic Properties via Metal Doping of Zn-BTC Systems
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 162; doi:10.3390/cryst8040162 -
Abstract
In order to assess how metal doping affects the luminescence and magnetic properties of anionic Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), seven single-metal doped MOFs {M-Zn-BTC}{Me2NH2+} (M = Co, Cu, Ni, Mn, Ca, Mg, Cd) and three dual-metal doped MOFs {Zn-M
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In order to assess how metal doping affects the luminescence and magnetic properties of anionic Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), seven single-metal doped MOFs {M-Zn-BTC}{Me2NH2+} (M = Co, Cu, Ni, Mn, Ca, Mg, Cd) and three dual-metal doped MOFs {Zn-M1-M2-BTC}{Me2NH2+} (M1 = Co, Cu; M2 = Ni, Co) were synthesized. Trace amounts of different metals were doped via addition of another metal salt during the synthetic process. All compounds retained the same crystal structure as that of the parent {Zn-BTC}{Me2NH2+} MOF, which was supported by single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction studies. Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) of these compounds also revealed that all MOFs had similar stability up to ~450 °C. Solid state photoluminescent studies indicated that {Zn-Mn-BTC}{Me2NH2+}, {Zn-Cd-BTC}{Me2NH2+}, and {Zn-Ca-BTC}{Me2NH2+} had a significant red shifting effect compared to the original {Zn-BTC}{Me2NH2+} MOF. Applications of this doping method to other MOF systems can provide an efficient way to tune the luminescence of such systems, and to obtain a desired wavelength for several applications such as sensors and white light LED materials. Because Zn, Co, Cu, Ni, Mg have magnetic properties, the effect of the doping metal atom on the magnetism of the {Zn-BTC}{Me2NH2+} networks was also studied. To characterize the magnetic behavior of the synthesized MOFs, we conducted low-temperature (10 K) saturation remanence experiments in a 3 Tesla applied field, with the principal goal of identifying the domain state of the synthesized materials (Zn, Zn-Co, Zn-Cu-Co, Zn-Cu-Ni, Zn-Mg, Zn-Mn, Zn-Ni-Co, Zn-Ni). During room/low temperature saturation magnetization experiments, Zn, Zn-Co, Zn-Cu-Co, and Zn-Cu-Ni systems yielded data indicative of superparamagnetic behavior, yet during zero field and field cooled experiments Zn-Co showed a slight paramagnetic effect, Zn showed no temperature dependence on warming and Zn-Cu-Co and Zn-Cu-Ni demonstrated only a slight temperature dependence on warming. These behaviors are consistent with ferromagnetic ordering. Zero field and field cooled experiments indicate that Zn-Mg and Zn-Ni have a ferromagnetic ordering and Zn-Mn and Zn-Ni-Co show paramagnetic ordering behavior. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High-Density Hydrogen Storage in a 2D-Matrix from Graphene Nanoblisters: A Prospective Nanomaterial for Environmentally Friendly Technologies
Crystals 2018, 8(4), 161; doi:10.3390/cryst8040161 -
Abstract
In this paper, the atomic structure and mechanical stability of a new structural graphene modification—a 2D matrix of nanoscale cells in the form of a few-layer graphene substrate and nanoblister of a graphene monolayer—were studied for the first time. It is shown that
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In this paper, the atomic structure and mechanical stability of a new structural graphene modification—a 2D matrix of nanoscale cells in the form of a few-layer graphene substrate and nanoblister of a graphene monolayer—were studied for the first time. It is shown that such matrices are mechanically stable and are promising for environmentally friendly technologies. The calculated local atomic stress fields demonstrate that the atomic framework is not destroyed, even in the presence of defects in the atomic network of graphene nanoblister (Stone-Wales defect, double vacancies defect, ad-dimmer defect, and their combination). However, it was established that the presence of one or more SW defects leads to the appearance of critical stresses. These critical stresses can induce local bond breaking in the atomic network with an increase in temperature or external pressure. It was found that graphene nanoblister can store molecular hydrogen with a maximum density of 6.6 wt % for 1158 m2/g at 77 K under normal pressure. Full article
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