Open AccessArticle
Collagen-Fibrinogen Lyophilised Scaffolds for Soft Tissue Regeneration
Materials 2017, 10(6), 568; doi:10.3390/ma10060568 -
Abstract
A significant body of research has considered collagen as a scaffold material for soft tissue regeneration. The main structural component of extra-cellular matrix (ECM), collagen’s advantages over synthetic polymers are numerous. However, for applications where higher stiffness and stability are required, significant cross-linking
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A significant body of research has considered collagen as a scaffold material for soft tissue regeneration. The main structural component of extra-cellular matrix (ECM), collagen’s advantages over synthetic polymers are numerous. However, for applications where higher stiffness and stability are required, significant cross-linking may affect bioactivity. A carbodiimide (EDC) cross-linking route consumes carboxylate groups that are key to collagen’s essential cell recognition motifs (GxOGER). Fibrinogen was considered as a promising additive as it plays a key role in the process of wound repair and contains RGD integrin binding sites which bind to a variety of cells, growth factors and cytokines. Fibrinogen’s binding sites however, also contain the same carboxylate groups as collagen. We have successfully produced highly interconnected, porous collagen-fibrinogen scaffolds using a lyophilisation technique and micro-computed tomography demonstrated minimal influence of either fibrinogen content or cross-linking concentration on the scaffold structure. The specific biological effect of fibrinogen additions into cross-linked collagen are considered by using films as a model for the struts of bulk scaffolds. By considering various additions of fibrinogen to the collagen film with increasing degrees of cross-linking, this study demonstrates a significant biological advantage with fibrinogen addition across the cross-linking concentrations typically applied to collagen-based scaffolds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement in Char Strength with an Open Cage Silsesquioxane Flame Retardant
Materials 2017, 10(6), 567; doi:10.3390/ma10060567 -
Abstract
Different characterization techniques were used to study the hydrolysis and condensation reaction kinetics of 3-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (MAPTMS) to obtain open cage silsesquioxane oligomers. The formation of hydrogen bonds, which condition the chemical structures of the resulting products, was identified. Improved thermal and fire resistant
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Different characterization techniques were used to study the hydrolysis and condensation reaction kinetics of 3-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (MAPTMS) to obtain open cage silsesquioxane oligomers. The formation of hydrogen bonds, which condition the chemical structures of the resulting products, was identified. Improved thermal and fire resistant behavior of unsaturated polyester (UP) composites prepared with aluminium trihydroxide (ATH) and the synthesized oligomer were registered. Opened silsesquioxane structures also showed an improvement in the mechanical properties of the char formed after firing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Markedly Enhanced Surface Hydroxyl Groups of TiO2 Nanoparticles with Superior Water-Dispersibility for Photocatalysis
Materials 2017, 10(5), 566; doi:10.3390/ma10050566 -
Abstract
The benefits of increasing the number of surface hydroxyls on TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) are known for environmental and energy applications; however, the roles of the hydroxyl groups have not been characterized and distinguished. Herein, TiO2 NPs with abundant surface hydroxyl groups
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The benefits of increasing the number of surface hydroxyls on TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) are known for environmental and energy applications; however, the roles of the hydroxyl groups have not been characterized and distinguished. Herein, TiO2 NPs with abundant surface hydroxyl groups were prepared using commercial titanium dioxide (ST-01) powder pretreated with alkaline hydrogen peroxide. Through this simple treatment, the pure anatase phase was retained with an average crystallite size of 5 nm and the surface hydroxyl group density was enhanced to 12.0 OH/nm2, estimated by thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Especially, this treatment increased the amounts of terminal hydroxyls five- to six-fold, which could raise the isoelectric point and the positive charges on the TiO2 surface in water. The photocatalytic efficiency of the obtained TiO2 NPs was investigated by the photodegradation of sulforhodamine B under visible light irradiation as a function of TiO2 content, pH of solution, and initial dye concentration. The high surface hydroxyl group density of TiO2 NPs can not only enhance water-dispersibility but also promote dye sensitization by generating more hydroxyl radicals. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: A Novel Silicon Allotrope in the Monoclinic Phase. Materials 2017, 10, 441
Materials 2017, 10(5), 561; doi:10.3390/ma10050561 -
Abstract The authors would like to make the following correction to their paper[1]. In this paper,we wrongly listed the coordinates of the new silicon allotrope [...]
Full article
Open AccessArticle
AC Electroluminescent Processes in Pr3+-Activated (Ba0.4Ca0.6)TiO3 Diphase Polycrystals
Materials 2017, 10(5), 565; doi:10.3390/ma10050565 -
Abstract
We investigated the properties of alternating current (AC)-driven electroluminescence from (Ba0.4Ca0.6)TiO3:Pr3+ diphase polycrystal-based device. The results of crystal phases and micrographs, and the symmetrical dual emissions in one AC cycle, indicate the spontaneous formation of a
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We investigated the properties of alternating current (AC)-driven electroluminescence from (Ba0.4Ca0.6)TiO3:Pr3+ diphase polycrystal-based device. The results of crystal phases and micrographs, and the symmetrical dual emissions in one AC cycle, indicate the spontaneous formation of a dielectric/phosphor/dielectric sandwich microstructure in (Ba0.4Ca0.6)TiO3:Pr3+. The electroluminescent device emits a red light of 617 nm, which is attributed to the 1D2-3H4 transition of Pr3+ in the phosphor phase. At a fixed AC frequency, the intensity of electroluminescence exhibits a steep enhancement when applying an increased driving electric field that is beyond a threshold. In a fixed driving electric field, the intensity of electroluminescence shows a rapid rise at low frequencies, but reaches saturation at high frequencies. Based on a double-injection model, we discussed systematically the electroluminescent processes in a whole cycle of AC electric field, which matched well with the experimental data. Our investigation is expected to expand our understanding of such a diphase electroluminescent device, thereby promoting their applications in lighting and displays. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Unusual Enhancement of Doxorubicin Activity on Co-Delivery with Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS)
Materials 2017, 10(5), 559; doi:10.3390/ma10050559 -
Abstract
Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS), bearing eight 3-chloroammoniumpropyl substituents, was studied as a potential nanocarrier in co-delivery systems with doxorubicin (DOX). The toxicity of doxorubicin and POSS:DOX complexes at four different molar ratios (1:1; 1:2, 1:4, 1:8) towards microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1), breast cancer
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Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS), bearing eight 3-chloroammoniumpropyl substituents, was studied as a potential nanocarrier in co-delivery systems with doxorubicin (DOX). The toxicity of doxorubicin and POSS:DOX complexes at four different molar ratios (1:1; 1:2, 1:4, 1:8) towards microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1), breast cancer cells (MCF-7), and human cervical cancer endothelial cells (HeLa) was determined. The rate of penetration of the components into the cells, their cellular localization and the hydrodynamic diameter of the complexes was also determined. A cytotoxicity profile of POSS:DOX complexes indicated that the POSS:DOX system at the molar ratio of 1:8 was more effective than free DOX. Confocal images showed that DOX co-delivery with POSS allowed for more effective penetration of doxorubicin through the cell membrane. Taking all the results into account, it can be claimed that the polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (T8-POSS) is a promising, complex nanocarrier for doxorubicin delivery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Modification of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes via Hemoglobin-Derived Iron and Nitrogen-Rich Carbon Nanolayers for the Electrocatalysis of Oxygen Reduction
Materials 2017, 10(5), 564; doi:10.3390/ma10050564 -
Abstract
The great challenge of boosting the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of non-noble-metal electrocatalysts is how to achieve effective exposure and full utilization of nitrogen-rich active sites. To realize the goals of high utilization of active sites and fast electron transport, here we
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The great challenge of boosting the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of non-noble-metal electrocatalysts is how to achieve effective exposure and full utilization of nitrogen-rich active sites. To realize the goals of high utilization of active sites and fast electron transport, here we report a new strategy for synthesis of an iron and nitrogen co-doped carbon nanolayers-wrapped multi-walled carbon nanotubes as ORR electrocatalyst (N-C@CNT-Fe) via using partially carbonized hemoglobin as a single-source precursor. The onset and half-wave potentials for ORR of N-C@CNT-Fe are only 45 and 54 mV lower than those on a commercial Pt/C (20 wt.% Pt) catalyst, respectively. Besides, this catalyst prepared in this work has been confirmed to follow a four-electron reaction mechanism in ORR process, and also displays ultra-high electrochemical cycling stability in both acidic and alkaline electrolytes. The enhancement of ORR activity can be not only attributed to full exposure and utilization of active site structures, but also can be resulted from the improvement of electrical conductivity owing to the introduction of CNT support. The analysis of X-ray photoelectric spectroscopy shows that both Fe–N and graphitic-N species may be the ORR active site structures of the prepared catalyst. Our study can provide a valuable idea for effective improvement of the electrocatalytic activity of non-noble-metal ORR catalysts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Low-Frequency Vibration and Modification on Solidification and Mechanical Properties of Al-Si Casting Alloy
Materials 2017, 10(5), 560; doi:10.3390/ma10050560 -
Abstract
One of the major aims of the modern materials foundry industry is the achievement of advanced mechanical properties of metals, especially of light non-ferrous alloys such as aluminum. Usually an alloying process is applied to obtain the required properties of aluminum alloys. However,
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One of the major aims of the modern materials foundry industry is the achievement of advanced mechanical properties of metals, especially of light non-ferrous alloys such as aluminum. Usually an alloying process is applied to obtain the required properties of aluminum alloys. However, the presented work describes an alternative approach through the application of vibration treatment, modification by ultrafine powder and a combination of these two methods. Microstructural studies followed by image analysis revealed the refinement of α-Al grains with an increase in the Si network area around them. As evidence, the improvement of the mechanical properties of Al casting alloy was detected. It was found that the alloys subjected to the vibration treatment displayed an increase in tensile and yield strengths by 20% and 10%, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Hydrogen Exposure on Mechanical and Tribological Behavior of CrxN Coatings Deposited at Different Pressures on IN718
Materials 2017, 10(5), 563; doi:10.3390/ma10050563 -
Abstract
In the current study, the properties of the CrxN coatings deposited on the Inconel 718 superalloy using direct current reactive magnetron sputtering are investigated. The influence of working pressure on the microstructure, mechanical, and tribological properties of the CrxN
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In the current study, the properties of the CrxN coatings deposited on the Inconel 718 superalloy using direct current reactive magnetron sputtering are investigated. The influence of working pressure on the microstructure, mechanical, and tribological properties of the CrxN coatings before and after high-temperature hydrogen exposure is studied. The cross-sectional scanning electron micrographs indicate the columnar structure of the coatings, which changes from dense and compact columns to large columns with increasing working pressure. The Cr/N ratio increases from 1.4 to 1.9 with increasing working pressure from 300 to 900 mPa, respectively. X-ray diffraction analysis reveals a change from mixed hcp-Cr2N and fcc-CrN structure to approximately stoichiometric Cr2N phase. After gas-phase hydrogenation, the coating deposited at 300 mPa exhibits the lowest hydrogen absorption at 600 °C of all investigated coatings. The results indicate that the dense mixed cubic and hexagonal structure is preferential for hydrogen permeation resistance due to the presence of cubic phase with higher packing density in comparison to the hexagonal structure. After hydrogenation, no changes in phase composition were observed; however, a small amount of hydrogen is accumulated in the coatings. An increase of coating hardness and elastic modulus was observed after hydrogen exposure. Tribological tests reveal that hydrogenation leads to a decrease of the friction coefficient up to 20%–30%. The best value of 0.25 was reached for hydrogen exposed CrxN coating deposited at 300 mPa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling of Fluidised Geomaterials: The Case of the Aberfan and the Gypsum Tailings Impoundment Flowslides
Materials 2017, 10(5), 562; doi:10.3390/ma10050562 -
Abstract
The choice of a pure cohesive or a pure frictional viscoplastic model to represent the rheological behaviour of a flowslide is of paramount importance in order to obtain accurate results for real cases. The principal goal of the present work is to clarify
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The choice of a pure cohesive or a pure frictional viscoplastic model to represent the rheological behaviour of a flowslide is of paramount importance in order to obtain accurate results for real cases. The principal goal of the present work is to clarify the influence of the type of viscous model—pure cohesive versus pure frictional—with the numerical reproduction of two different real flowslides that occurred in 1966: the Aberfan flowslide and the Gypsum tailings impoundment flowslide. In the present work, a depth-integrated model based on the v-pw Biot–Zienkiewicz formulation, enhanced with a diffusion-like equation to account for the pore pressure evolution within the soil mass, is applied to both 1966 cases. For the Aberfan flowslide, a frictional viscous model based on Perzyna viscoplasticity is considered, while a pure cohesive viscous model (Bingham model) is considered for the case of the Gypsum flowslide. The numerical approach followed is the SPH method, which has been enriched by adding a 1D finite difference grid to each SPH node in order to improve the description of the pore water evolution in the propagating mixture. The results obtained by the performed simulations are in agreement with the documentation obtained through the UK National Archive (Aberfan flowslide) and the International Commission of large Dams (Gypsum flowslide). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Situ Production of Copper Oxide Nanoparticles in a Binary Molten Salt for Concentrated Solar Power Plant Applications
Materials 2017, 10(5), 537; doi:10.3390/ma10050537 -
Abstract
Seeding nanoparticles in molten salts has been shown recently as a promising way to improve their thermo-physical properties. The prospect of such technology is of interest to both academic and industrial sectors in order to enhance the specific heat capacity of molten salt.
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Seeding nanoparticles in molten salts has been shown recently as a promising way to improve their thermo-physical properties. The prospect of such technology is of interest to both academic and industrial sectors in order to enhance the specific heat capacity of molten salt. The latter is used in concentrated solar power plants as both heat transfer fluid and sensible storage. This work explores the feasibility of producing and dispersing nanoparticles with a novel one pot synthesis method. Using such a method, CuO nanoparticles were produced in situ via the decomposition of copper sulphate pentahydrate in a KNO3-NaNO3 binary salt. Analyses of the results suggested preferential disposition of atoms around produced nanoparticles in the molten salt. Thermal characterization of the produced nano-salt suspension indicated the dependence of the specific heat enhancement on particle morphology and distribution within the salts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Facile Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles with Alginate and Its Catalytic Activity for Reduction of 4-Nitrophenol and H2O2 Detection
Materials 2017, 10(5), 557; doi:10.3390/ma10050557 -
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesized using a facile solvothermal method with alginate sodium as both reductant and stabilizer. Formation of AuNPs was confirmed by UV-vis spectroscopic analysis. The synthesized AuNPs showed a localized surface plasmon resonance at approximately 520–560 nm. The AuNPs were
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Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesized using a facile solvothermal method with alginate sodium as both reductant and stabilizer. Formation of AuNPs was confirmed by UV-vis spectroscopic analysis. The synthesized AuNPs showed a localized surface plasmon resonance at approximately 520–560 nm. The AuNPs were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and dynamic light scattering. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the AuNPs were mostly nanometer-sized spherical particles. Powder X-ray diffraction analysis proved the formation of face-centered cubic structure of Au. Catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol was monitored via spectrophotometry using AuNPs as catalyst, and further a non-enzymatic sensor was fabricated. The results demonstrated that AuNPs presented excellent catalytic activity and provided a sensitive response to H2O2 detection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Feasibility of Structural Health Monitoring Using the Fundamental Shear Horizontal Guided Wave in a Thin Aluminum Plate
Materials 2017, 10(5), 551; doi:10.3390/ma10050551 -
Abstract
Structural health monitoring (SHM) is emerging as an essential tool for constant monitoring of safety-critical engineering components. Ultrasonic guided waves stand out because of their ability to propagate over long distances and because they can offer good estimates of location, severity, and type
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Structural health monitoring (SHM) is emerging as an essential tool for constant monitoring of safety-critical engineering components. Ultrasonic guided waves stand out because of their ability to propagate over long distances and because they can offer good estimates of location, severity, and type of damage. The unique properties of the fundamental shear horizontal guided wave (SH0) mode have recently generated great interest among the SHM community. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the feasibility of omnidirectional SH0 SHM in a thin aluminum plate using a three-transducer sparse array. Descriptions of the transducer, the finite element model, and the imaging algorithm are presented. The image localization maps show a good agreement between the simulations and experimental results. The SH0 SHM method proposed in this paper is shown to have a high resolution and to be able to locate defects within 5% of the true location. The short input signal as well the non-dispersive nature of SH0 leads to high resolution in the reconstructed images. The defect diameter estimated using the full width at half maximum was 10 mm or twice the size of the true diameter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experiment and Artificial Neural Network Prediction of Thermal Conductivity and Viscosity for Alumina-Water Nanofluids
Materials 2017, 10(5), 552; doi:10.3390/ma10050552 -
Abstract
To effectively predict the thermal conductivity and viscosity of alumina (Al2O3)-water nanofluids, an artificial neural network (ANN) approach was investigated in the present study. Firstly, using a two-step method, four Al2O3-water nanofluids were prepared respectively
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To effectively predict the thermal conductivity and viscosity of alumina (Al2O3)-water nanofluids, an artificial neural network (ANN) approach was investigated in the present study. Firstly, using a two-step method, four Al2O3-water nanofluids were prepared respectively by dispersing different volume fractions (1.31%, 2.72%, 4.25%, and 5.92%) of nanoparticles with the average diameter of 30 nm. On this basis, the thermal conductivity and viscosity of the above nanofluids were analyzed experimentally under various temperatures ranging from 296 to 313 K. Then a radial basis function (RBF) neural network was constructed to predict the thermal conductivity and viscosity of Al2O3-water nanofluids as a function of nanoparticle volume fraction and temperature. The experimental results showed that both nanoparticle volume fraction and temperature could enhance the thermal conductivity of Al2O3-water nanofluids. However, the viscosity only depended strongly on Al2O3 nanoparticle volume fraction and was increased slightly by changing temperature. In addition, the comparative analysis revealed that the RBF neural network had an excellent ability to predict the thermal conductivity and viscosity of Al2O3-water nanofluids with the mean absolute percent errors of 0.5177% and 0.5618%, respectively. This demonstrated that the ANN provided an effective way to predict the thermophysical properties of nanofluids with limited experimental data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hardening Effect Analysis by Modular Upper Bound and Finite Element Methods in Indentation of Aluminum, Steel, Titanium and Superalloys
Materials 2017, 10(5), 556; doi:10.3390/ma10050556 -
Abstract
The application of incremental processes in the manufacturing industry is having a great development in recent years. The first stage of an Incremental Forming Process can be defined as an indentation. Because of this, the indentation process is starting to be widely studied,
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The application of incremental processes in the manufacturing industry is having a great development in recent years. The first stage of an Incremental Forming Process can be defined as an indentation. Because of this, the indentation process is starting to be widely studied, not only as a hardening test but also as a forming process. Thus, in this work, an analysis of the indentation process under the new Modular Upper Bound perspective has been performed. The modular implementation has several advantages, including the possibility of the introduction of different parameters to extend the study, such as the friction effect, the temperature or the hardening effect studied in this paper. The main objective of the present work is to analyze the three hardening models developed depending on the material characteristics. In order to support the validation of the hardening models, finite element analyses of diverse materials under an indentation are carried out. Results obtained from the Modular Upper Bound are in concordance with the results obtained from the numerical analyses. In addition, the numerical and analytical methods are in concordance with the results previously obtained in the experimental indentation of annealed aluminum A92030. Due to the introduction of the hardening factor, the new modular distribution is a suitable option for the analysis of indentation process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structure and Thermoelectric Properties of Bi2−xSbxTe3 Nanowires Grown in Flexible Nanoporous Polycarbonate Templates
Materials 2017, 10(5), 553; doi:10.3390/ma10050553 -
Abstract
We report the room-temperature growth of vertically aligned ternary Bi2−xSbxTe3 nanowires of diameter ~200 nm and length ~12 µm, within flexible track-etched nanoporous polycarbonate (PC) templates via a one-step electrodeposition process. Bi2−xSbxTe
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We report the room-temperature growth of vertically aligned ternary Bi2−xSbxTe3 nanowires of diameter ~200 nm and length ~12 µm, within flexible track-etched nanoporous polycarbonate (PC) templates via a one-step electrodeposition process. Bi2−xSbxTe3 nanowires with compositions spanning the entire range from pure Bi2Te3 (x = 0) to pure Sb2Te3 (x = 2) were systematically grown within the nanoporous channels of PC templates from a tartaric–nitric acid based electrolyte, at the end of which highly crystalline nanowires of uniform composition were obtained. Compositional analysis showed that the Sb concentration could be tuned by simply varying the electrolyte composition without any need for further annealing of the samples. Thermoelectric properties of the Bi2−xSbxTe3 nanowires were measured using a standardized bespoke setup while they were still embedded within the flexible PC templates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Morphology of the SDS Film on the Surface of Borosilicate Glass
Materials 2017, 10(5), 555; doi:10.3390/ma10050555 -
Abstract
Surfactant films on solid surfaces have attracted much attention because of their scientific interest and applications, such as surface treatment agent, or for micro- or nano-scale templates for microfluidic devices. In this study, anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solutions with various charged
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Surfactant films on solid surfaces have attracted much attention because of their scientific interest and applications, such as surface treatment agent, or for micro- or nano-scale templates for microfluidic devices. In this study, anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solutions with various charged inorganic salts was spread on a glass substrate and dried to form an SDS thin film. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to observe the micro-structure of the SDS thin film. The effects of inorganic salts on the morphology of the SDS film were observed and discussed. The results of experiments demonstrated that pure SDS film formed patterns of long, parallel, highly-ordered stripes. The existence of the inorganic salt disturbed the structure of the SDS film due to the interaction between the cationic ion and the anionic head groups of SDS. The divalent ion has greater electrostatic interaction with anionic head groups than that of the monovalent ion, and causes a gross change in the morphology of the SDS film. The height of the SDS bilayer measured was consistent with the theoretical value, and the addition of the large-sized monovalent ion would lead to lowering the height of the adsorbed structures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of CuZnAl Particles on Properties and Microstructure of Sn-58Bi Solder
Materials 2017, 10(5), 558; doi:10.3390/ma10050558 -
Abstract
With the purpose of improving the properties of the Sn-58Bi lead-free solder, micro-CuZnAl particles ranging from 0 to 0.4 wt % were added into the low temperature eutectic Sn-58Bi lead-free solder. After the experimental testing of micro-CuZnAl particles on the properties and microstructure
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With the purpose of improving the properties of the Sn-58Bi lead-free solder, micro-CuZnAl particles ranging from 0 to 0.4 wt % were added into the low temperature eutectic Sn-58Bi lead-free solder. After the experimental testing of micro-CuZnAl particles on the properties and microstructure of the Sn-58Bi solders, it was found that the wettability of the Sn-58Bi solders was obviously improved with addition of CuZnAl particles. When the addition of CuZnAl particles was 0.2 wt %, the wettability of the Sn-58Bi solder performed best. At the same time, excessive addition of CuZnAl particles led to poor wettability. However, the results showed that CuZnAl particles changed the melting point of the Sn-58Bi solder slightly. The microstructure of the Sn-58Bi solder was refined by adding CuZnAl particles. When the content of CuZnAl addition was between 0.1 and 0.2 wt %, the refinement was great. In addition, the interfacial IMC layer between new composite solder and Cu substrate was thinner than that between the Sn-58Bi solder and Cu substrate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Switching VO2 Single Crystals and Related Phenomena: Sliding Domains and Crack Formation
Materials 2017, 10(5), 554; doi:10.3390/ma10050554 -
Abstract
VO2 is the prototype material for insulator–metal transition (IMT). Its transition at TIMT = 340 K is fast and consists of a large resistance jump (up to approximately five orders of magnitude), a large change in its optical properties in the
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VO2 is the prototype material for insulator–metal transition (IMT). Its transition at TIMT = 340 K is fast and consists of a large resistance jump (up to approximately five orders of magnitude), a large change in its optical properties in the visible range, and symmetry change from monoclinic to tetragonal (expansion by 1% along the tetragonal c-axis and 0.5% contraction in the perpendicular direction). It is a candidate for potential applications such as smart windows, fast optoelectronic switches, and field-effect transistors. The change in optical properties at the IMT allows distinguishing between the insulating and the metallic phases in the mixed state. Static or dynamic domain patterns in the mixed-state of self-heated single crystals during electric-field induced switching are in strong contrast with the percolative nature of the mixed state in switching VO2 films. The most impressive effect—so far unique to VO2—is the sliding of narrow semiconducting domains within a metallic background in the positive sense of the electric current. Here we show images from videos obtained using optical microscopy for sliding domains along VO2 needles and confirm a relation suggested in the past for their velocity. We also show images for the disturbing damage induced by the structural changes in switching VO2 crystals obtained for only a few current–voltage cycles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Antifungal Activity of Functionalized Chitin Nanocrystals in Poly (Lactid Acid) Films
Materials 2017, 10(5), 546; doi:10.3390/ma10050546 -
Abstract
As, in the market, poly (lactic acid) (PLA) is the most used polymer as an alternative to conventional plastics, and as functionalized chitin nanocrystals (CHNC) can provide structural and bioactive properties, their combination sounds promising in the preparation of functional nanocomposite films for
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As, in the market, poly (lactic acid) (PLA) is the most used polymer as an alternative to conventional plastics, and as functionalized chitin nanocrystals (CHNC) can provide structural and bioactive properties, their combination sounds promising in the preparation of functional nanocomposite films for sustainable packaging. Chitin nanocrystals were successfully modified via acylation using anhydride acetic and dodecanoyl chloride acid to improve their compatibility with the matrix, PLA. The nanocomposite films were prepared by extrusion/compression approach using different concentrations of both sets of functionalized CHNC. This investigation brings forward that both sets of modified CHNC act as functional agents, i.e., they slightly improved the hydrophobic character of the PLA nanocomposite films, and, very importantly, they also enhanced their antifungal activity. Nonetheless, the nanocomposite films prepared with the CHNC modified with dodecanoyl chloride acid presented the best properties. Full article
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