Open AccessArticle
Mineral-Based Coating of Plasma-Treated Carbon Fibre Rovings for Carbon Concrete Composites with Enhanced Mechanical Performance
Materials 2017, 10(4), 360; doi:10.3390/ma10040360 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Surfaces of carbon fibre roving were modified by means of a low temperature plasma treatment to improve their bonding with mineral fines; the latter serving as an inorganic fibre coating for the improved mechanical performance of carbon reinforcement in concrete matrices. Variation of
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Surfaces of carbon fibre roving were modified by means of a low temperature plasma treatment to improve their bonding with mineral fines; the latter serving as an inorganic fibre coating for the improved mechanical performance of carbon reinforcement in concrete matrices. Variation of the plasma conditions, such as gas composition and treatment time, was accomplished to establish polar groups on the carbon fibres prior to contact with the suspension of mineral particles in water. Subsequently, the rovings were implemented in a fine concrete matrix and their pull-out performance was assessed. Every plasma treatment resulted in increased pull-out forces in comparison to the reference samples without plasma treatment, indicating a better bonding between the mineral coating material and the carbon fibres. Significant differences were found, depending on gas composition and treatment time. Microscopic investigations showed that the samples with the highest pull-out force exhibited carbon fibre surfaces with the largest areas of hydration products grown on them. Additionally, the coating material ingresses into the multifilament roving in these specimens, leading to better force transfer between individual carbon filaments and between the entire roving and surrounding matrix, thus explaining the superior mechanical performance of the specimens containing appropriately plasma-treated carbon roving. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Deformation Modes and Anisotropy of Anti-Perovskite Ti3AN (A = Al, In and Tl) from First-Principle Calculations
Materials 2017, 10(4), 362; doi:10.3390/ma10040362 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Deformation modes were studied for Ti3AN (A = Al, In and Tl) by applying strain to the materials using first-principle calculations. The states of the bonds changed during the deformation process, and the Ti-N bonds remained structurally stable under deformation. The
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Deformation modes were studied for Ti3AN (A = Al, In and Tl) by applying strain to the materials using first-principle calculations. The states of the bonds changed during the deformation process, and the Ti-N bonds remained structurally stable under deformation. The elastic anisotropy, electronic structures, hardness, and minimum thermal conductivity of anti-perovskite Ti3AN were investigated using the pseudo potential plane-wave method based on density functional theory. We found that the anisotropy of Ti3InN was significantly larger than that of Ti3AlN and Ti3TlN. All three compounds were mechanically stable. The band structures of the three compounds revealed that they were conductors. The minimum thermal conductivities at high temperature in the propagation directions of [100], [110], and [111] were calculated by the acoustic wave velocity, which indicated that the thermal conductivity was also anisotropic. It is indicated that Ti3InN is a good thermal barrier material. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Crystallinity and Sub-Band Gap Absorption of Femtosecond-Laser Hyperdoped Silicon Formed in Different N-Containing Gas Mixtures
Materials 2017, 10(4), 351; doi:10.3390/ma10040351 -
Abstract
Femtosecond (fs)-laser hyperdoped silicon has aroused great interest for applications in infrared photodetectors due to its special properties. Crystallinity and optical absorption influenced by co-hyperdoped nitrogen in surface microstructured silicon, prepared by fs-laser irradiation in gas mixture of SF6/NF3 and
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Femtosecond (fs)-laser hyperdoped silicon has aroused great interest for applications in infrared photodetectors due to its special properties. Crystallinity and optical absorption influenced by co-hyperdoped nitrogen in surface microstructured silicon, prepared by fs-laser irradiation in gas mixture of SF6/NF3 and SF6/N2 were investigated. In both gas mixtures, nitrogen and sulfur were incorporated at average concentrations above 1019 atoms/cm3 in the 20–400 nm surface layer. Different crystallinity and optical absorption properties were observed for samples microstructured in the two gas mixtures. For samples prepared in SF6/N2, crystallinity and light absorption properties were similar to samples formed in SF6. Significant differences were observed amongst samples formed in SF6/NF3, which possess higher crystallinity and strong sub-band gap absorption. The differing crystallinity and light absorption rates between the two types of nitrogen co-hyperdoped silicon were attributed to different nitrogen configurations in the doped layer. This was induced by fs-laser irradiating silicon in the two N-containing gas mixtures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Haemocompatibility of Modified Nanodiamonds
Materials 2017, 10(4), 352; doi:10.3390/ma10040352 -
Abstract
This study reports the interactions of modified nanodiamond particles in vitro with human blood. Modifications performed on the nanodiamond particles include oxygenation with a chemical method and hydrogenation upon chemical vapor deposition (CVD) plasma treatment. Such nanodiamonds were later incubated in whole human
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This study reports the interactions of modified nanodiamond particles in vitro with human blood. Modifications performed on the nanodiamond particles include oxygenation with a chemical method and hydrogenation upon chemical vapor deposition (CVD) plasma treatment. Such nanodiamonds were later incubated in whole human blood for different time intervals, ranging from 5 min to 5 h. The morphology of red blood cells was assessed along with spectral measurements and determination of haemolysis. The results showed that no more than 3% of cells were affected by the nanodiamonds. Specific modifications of the nanodiamonds give us the possibility to obtain nanoparticles which are biocompatible with human blood. They can form a basis for the development of nanoscale biomarkers and parts of sensing systems and devices useful in biomedical environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Switching Characteristics and High-Temperature Dielectric Relaxation Behaviours of Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)0.91Ti0.09O3 Single Crystal
Materials 2017, 10(4), 349; doi:10.3390/ma10040349 -
Abstract
This work evaluated the resistance switching characteristics in the (100)-oriented Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)0.91Ti0.09O3 (PZNT) single crystal. The current hysteresis can be closely related to the ferroelectric polarization and we provided a possible explanation using a model
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This work evaluated the resistance switching characteristics in the (100)-oriented Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)0.91Ti0.09O3 (PZNT) single crystal. The current hysteresis can be closely related to the ferroelectric polarization and we provided a possible explanation using a model about oxygen vacancies to analyze the mechanism of switching. The obvious frequency dispersion of the relative permittivity signified the relaxer-type behavior of the sample. The value of the relaxation parameter γ = 1.48 was estimated from the linear fit of the modified Curie-Weiss law, indicating the relaxer nature. High-temperature dielectric relaxation behaviors were revealed in the temperature region of 400–650 °C. In addition, under the measuring frequency of 10 kHz, εr was tunable by changing the electric field and the largest tunability of εr reached 14.78%. At room temperature, the high pyroelectric coefficient and detectivity figure of merit were reported. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Graphene Oxide: A Perfect Material for Spatial Light Modulation Based on Plasma Channels
Materials 2017, 10(4), 354; doi:10.3390/ma10040354 -
Abstract
The graphene oxide (GO) is successfully prepared from a purified natural graphite through a pressurized oxidation method. We experimentally demonstrate that GO as an optical media can be used for spatial light modulation based on plasma channels induced by femtosecond pulses. The modulated
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The graphene oxide (GO) is successfully prepared from a purified natural graphite through a pressurized oxidation method. We experimentally demonstrate that GO as an optical media can be used for spatial light modulation based on plasma channels induced by femtosecond pulses. The modulated beam exhibits good propagation properties in free space. It is easy to realize the spatial modulation on the probe beam at a high concentration of GO dispersion solutions, high power and smaller pulse width of the pump beam. We also find that the spatial modulation on the probe beam can be conveniently adjusted through the power and pulse width of pump lasers, dispersion solution concentration. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
The Fabrication of Porous Si with Interconnected Micro-Sized Dendrites and Tunable Morphology through the Dealloying of a Laser Remelted Al–Si Alloy
Materials 2017, 10(4), 357; doi:10.3390/ma10040357 -
Abstract
Coral-like porous Si was fabricated through the dealloying of a laser remelted as-cast AlSi12 alloy(Al-12 wt % Si). The porous Si was composed of interconnected micro-sized Si dendrites and micro/nanopores, and compared to flaky Si, which is fabricated by direct dealloying of the
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Coral-like porous Si was fabricated through the dealloying of a laser remelted as-cast AlSi12 alloy(Al-12 wt % Si). The porous Si was composed of interconnected micro-sized Si dendrites and micro/nanopores, and compared to flaky Si, which is fabricated by direct dealloying of the as-cast AlSi12 alloy. The structure of the porous Si was attributed to the dendritic solidification microstructure formed during the laser remelting process. The micropore size of the porous Si decreased from 4.2 μm to 1.6 µm with the increase in laser scanning velocity, indicating that the morphology of porous Si could be easily altered by simply controlling the laser remelting parameters. The coral-like porous Si provided enough space, making it promising for high-performance Si-based composite anode materials in lithium-ion batteries. The proposed hybrid method provides a straightforward way of tuning the porous structure in the dealloyed material. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Corrosion Prediction with Parallel Finite Element Modeling for Coupled Hygro-Chemo Transport into Concrete under Chloride-Rich Environment
Materials 2017, 10(4), 350; doi:10.3390/ma10040350 -
Abstract
The prediction of the chloride-induced corrosion is very important because of the durable life of concrete structure. To simulate more realistic durability performance of concrete structures, complex scientific methods and more accurate material models are needed. In order to predict the robust results
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The prediction of the chloride-induced corrosion is very important because of the durable life of concrete structure. To simulate more realistic durability performance of concrete structures, complex scientific methods and more accurate material models are needed. In order to predict the robust results of corrosion initiation time and to describe the thin layer from concrete surface to reinforcement, a large number of fine meshes are also used. The purpose of this study is to suggest more realistic physical model regarding coupled hygro-chemo transport and to implement the model with parallel finite element algorithm. Furthermore, microclimate model with environmental humidity and seasonal temperature is adopted. As a result, the prediction model of chloride diffusion under unsaturated condition was developed with parallel algorithms and was applied to the existing bridge to validate the model with multi-boundary condition. As the number of processors increased, the computational time decreased until the number of processors became optimized. Then, the computational time increased because the communication time between the processors increased. The framework of present model can be extended to simulate the multi-species de-icing salts ingress into non-saturated concrete structures in future work. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Ice as a Green-Structure-Directing Agent in the Synthesis of Macroporous MWCNTs and Chondroitin Sulphate Composites
Materials 2017, 10(4), 355; doi:10.3390/ma10040355 -
Abstract
The incorporation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into chondroitin sulphate-based scaffolds and the effect on the structural, mechanical, conductive, and thermal properties of the resulting scaffolds is investigated. Three-dimensional hierarchical materials are prepared upon the application of the ice segregation-induced self-assembly (ISISA) process.
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The incorporation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into chondroitin sulphate-based scaffolds and the effect on the structural, mechanical, conductive, and thermal properties of the resulting scaffolds is investigated. Three-dimensional hierarchical materials are prepared upon the application of the ice segregation-induced self-assembly (ISISA) process. The use of ice as structure-directing agents avoids chemicals typically used for this purpose (e.g., surfactants, block copolymers, etc.), hence, emphasising the green features of this soft-templating approach. We determine the critical parameters that control the morphology of the scaffolds formed upon ice-templating (i.e., MWCNTs type, freezing conditions, polymer and MWCNT concentration). MWCNTs are surface functionalized by acidic treatment. MWCNT functionalization is characterized by Raman, Fourier transfer infrared (FTIR) and X-ray Photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopies. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis and porosity studies reveal that MWCNT content modifies the morphology of the macroporous structure, which decreases by increasing MWCNT concentration. Differences in scaffold morphology should be translated into their conductivity and mechanical properties. As a general trend, the Young’s modulus and the electrical conductivity of the scaffolds increase with the MWCNT content. Preliminary biocompatibility tests with human osteoblast-like cells also reveal the capability of these structures to support cell growth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Silk: Optical Properties over 12.6 Octaves THz-IR-Visible-UV Range
Materials 2017, 10(4), 356; doi:10.3390/ma10040356 -
Abstract
Domestic (Bombyx mori) and wild (Antheraea pernyi) silk fibers were characterised over a wide spectral range from THz 8 cm1 (λ= 1.25 mm, f= 0.24 THz) to deep-UV 50×103 cm
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Domestic (Bombyx mori) and wild (Antheraea pernyi) silk fibers were characterised over a wide spectral range from THz 8 cm1 (λ= 1.25 mm, f= 0.24 THz) to deep-UV 50×103 cm1 (λ= 200 nm, f= 1500 THz) wavelengths or over a 12.6 octave frequency range. Spectral features at β-sheet, α-coil and amorphous fibroin were analysed at different spectral ranges. Single fiber cross sections at mid-IR were used to determine spatial distribution of different silk constituents and revealed an α-coil rich core and more broadly spread β-sheets in natural silk fibers obtained from wild Antheraea pernyi moths. Low energy T-ray bands at 243 and 229 cm1 were observed in crystalline fibers of domestic and wild silk fibers, respectively, and showed no spectral shift down to 78 K temperature. A distinct 20±4 cm1 band was observed in the crystalline Antheraea pernyi silk fibers. Systematic analysis and assignment of the observed spectral bands is presented. Water solubility and biodegradability of silk, required for bio-medical and sensor applications, are directly inferred from specific spectral bands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RGDC Peptide-Induced Biomimetic Calcium Phosphate Coating Formed on AZ31 Magnesium Alloy
Materials 2017, 10(4), 358; doi:10.3390/ma10040358 -
Abstract
Magnesium alloys as biodegradable metal implants have received a lot of interest in biomedical applications. However, magnesium alloys have extremely high corrosion rates a in physiological environment, which have limited their application in the orthopedic field. In this study, calcium phosphate compounds (Ca–P)
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Magnesium alloys as biodegradable metal implants have received a lot of interest in biomedical applications. However, magnesium alloys have extremely high corrosion rates a in physiological environment, which have limited their application in the orthopedic field. In this study, calcium phosphate compounds (Ca–P) coating was prepared by arginine–glycine–aspartic acid–cysteine (RGDC) peptide-induced mineralization in 1.5 simulated body fluid (SBF) to improve the corrosion resistance and biocompatibility of the AZ31 magnesium alloys. The adhesion of Ca–P coating to the AZ31 substrates was evaluated by a scratch test. Corrosion resistance and cytocompatibility of the Ca–P coating were investigated. The results showed that the RGDC could effectively promote the nucleation and crystallization of the Ca–P coating and the Ca–P coating had poor adhesion to the AZ31 substrates. The corrosion resistance and biocompatibility of the biomimetic Ca–P coating Mg alloys were greatly improved compared with that of the uncoated sample. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between the Mechanism of Zinc Oxide Crystallization and Its Antimicrobial Properties for the Surface Modification of Surgical Meshes
Materials 2017, 10(4), 353; doi:10.3390/ma10040353 -
Abstract
Surgical meshes were modified with zinc oxide (ZnO) using a chemical bath deposition method (CBD) at 50 °C, 70 °C, or 90 °C, in order to biologically activate them. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mass changes, and X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that at low
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Surgical meshes were modified with zinc oxide (ZnO) using a chemical bath deposition method (CBD) at 50 °C, 70 °C, or 90 °C, in order to biologically activate them. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mass changes, and X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that at low temperatures Zn(OH)2 was formed, and that this was converted into ZnO with a temperature increase. The antimicrobial activity without light stimulation of the ZnO modified Mersilene™ meshes was related to the species of microorganism, the incubation time, and the conditions of the experiment. Generally, cocci (S. aureus, S. epidermidis) and yeast (C. albicans) were more sensitive than Gram-negative rods (E. coli). The differences in sensitivity of the studied microorganisms to ZnO were discussed. The most active sample was that obtained at 90 °C. The mechanism of antimicrobial action of ZnO was determined by various techniques, such as zeta potential analysis, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, SEM studies, and measurements of Zn(II) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration. Our results confirmed that the generation of free radicals was crucial, which occurs on the surface of crystalline ZnO. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Assessment of Subsurface Residual Stress Analysis in SLM Ti-6Al-4V
Materials 2017, 10(4), 348; doi:10.3390/ma10040348 -
Abstract
Ti-6Al-4V bridges were additively fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM) under different scanning speed conditions, to compare the effect of process energy density on the residual stress state. Subsurface lattice strain characterization was conducted by means of synchrotron diffraction in energy dispersive mode.
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Ti-6Al-4V bridges were additively fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM) under different scanning speed conditions, to compare the effect of process energy density on the residual stress state. Subsurface lattice strain characterization was conducted by means of synchrotron diffraction in energy dispersive mode. High tensile strain gradients were found at the frontal surface for samples in an as-built condition. The geometry of the samples promotes increasing strains towards the pillar of the bridges. We observed that the higher the laser energy density during fabrication, the lower the lattice strains. A relief of lattice strains takes place after heat treatment. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Damage Evolution in Complex-Phase and Dual-Phase Steels during Edge Stretching
Materials 2017, 10(4), 346; doi:10.3390/ma10040346 -
Abstract
The role of microstructural damage in controlling the edge stretchability of Complex-Phase (CP) and Dual-Phase (DP) steels was evaluated using hole tension experiments. The experiments considered a tensile specimen with a hole at the center of specimen that is either sheared (sheared edge
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The role of microstructural damage in controlling the edge stretchability of Complex-Phase (CP) and Dual-Phase (DP) steels was evaluated using hole tension experiments. The experiments considered a tensile specimen with a hole at the center of specimen that is either sheared (sheared edge condition) or drilled and then reamed (reamed edge condition). The damage mechanism and accumulation in the CP and DP steels were systematically characterized by interrupting the hole tension tests at different strain levels using scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis and optical microscopy. Martensite cracking and decohesion of ferrite-martensite interfaces are the dominant nucleation mechanisms in the DP780. The primary source of void nucleation in the CP800 is nucleation at TiN particles, with secondary void formation at martensite/bainite interfaces near the failure strain. The rate of damage evolution is considerably higher for the sheared edge in contrast with the reamed edge since the shearing process alters the microstructure in the shear affected zone (SAZ) by introducing work-hardening and initial damage behind the sheared edge. The CP microstructures were shown to be less prone to shear-induced damage than the DP materials resulting in much higher sheared edge formability. Microstructural damage in the CP and DP steels was characterized to understand the interaction between microstructure, damage evolution and edge formability during edge stretching. An analytical model for void evolution and coalescence was developed and applied to predict the damage rate in these rather diverse microstructures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nurse’s A-Phase Material Enhance Adhesion, Growth and Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow-Derived Stromal Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Materials 2017, 10(4), 347; doi:10.3390/ma10040347 -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bioactivity and cell response of a well-characterized Nurse’s A-phase (7CaO·P2O5·2SiO2) ceramic and its effect compared to a control (tissue culture polystyrene-TCPS) on the adhesion, viability, proliferation, and osteogenic
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bioactivity and cell response of a well-characterized Nurse’s A-phase (7CaO·P2O5·2SiO2) ceramic and its effect compared to a control (tissue culture polystyrene-TCPS) on the adhesion, viability, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of ahMSCs in vitro. Cell proliferation (Alamar Blue Assay), Alizarin Red-S (AR-s) staining, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, osteocalcin (OCN), and collagen I (Col I) were evaluated. Also, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) images were acquired in order to visualise the cells and the topography of the material. The proliferation of cells growing in a direct contact with the material was slower at early stages of the study because of the new environmental conditions. However, the entire surface was colonized after 28 days of culture in growth medium (GM). Osteoblastic differentiation markers were significantly enhanced in cells growing on Nurse’s A phase ceramic and cultured with osteogenic medium (OM), probably due to the role of silica to stimulate the differentiation of ahMSCs. Moreover, calcium nodules were formed under the influence of ceramic material. Therefore, it is predicted that Nurse’s A-phase ceramic would present high biocompatibility and osteoinductive properties and would be a good candidate to be used as a biomaterial for bone tissue engineering. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chitosan and β-Cyclodextrin-epichlorohydrin Polymer Composite Film as a Plant Healthcare Material for Carbendazim-Controlled Release to Protect Rape against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary
Materials 2017, 10(4), 343; doi:10.3390/ma10040343 -
Abstract
The influence of β-cyclodextrin-epichlorohydrin (β-CD-EP) polymers on the improvement of the solubility and antifungal activity of carbendazim has been investigated. Meanwhile, the potential of the chitosan and β-CD-EP composite film used as a plant healthcare material for carbendazim-controlled release to protect rape against
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The influence of β-cyclodextrin-epichlorohydrin (β-CD-EP) polymers on the improvement of the solubility and antifungal activity of carbendazim has been investigated. Meanwhile, the potential of the chitosan and β-CD-EP composite film used as a plant healthcare material for carbendazim-controlled release to protect rape against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary has been evaluated. β-CD-EP-1 and 2 (β-CD content, 750 mg/g and 440 mg/g, respectively) were found to significantly improve the solubility of the guest molecule carbendazim (17.9 and 18.5 times, respectively) and the 1:1 stoichiometry of the host-guest was confirmed by the Job’s plot. A slight synergism was observed for the β-CD-EP/carbendazim complex against S. sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary, indicating an enhancement to the bioavailability of carbendazim. The in vitro release studies revealed that β-CD-EP polymers could efficiently modulate carbendazim release behaviors, such as the release retard and rate. The in vivo efficacy experiments demonstrated that the β-CD-EP/carbendazim and chitosan composite film could significantly prolong the effective duration of carbendazim at a concentration of 100 μg/mL compared with spraying carbendazim at 500 μg/mL. Thereby, a highly useful and strategic concept in plant disease control by a plant healthcare material—the chitosan and polymeric β-CD-EP composite film—is provided, which could also serve as a concept for related plant diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of Biocompatible Potassium Sodium Niobate Piezoelectric Ceramic as an Electroactive Implant
Materials 2017, 10(4), 345; doi:10.3390/ma10040345 -
Abstract
The discovery of piezoelectricity in natural bone has attracted extensive research in emulating biological electricity for various tissue regeneration. Here, we carried out experiments to build biocompatible potassium sodium niobate (KNN) ceramics. Then, influence substrate surface charges on bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein
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The discovery of piezoelectricity in natural bone has attracted extensive research in emulating biological electricity for various tissue regeneration. Here, we carried out experiments to build biocompatible potassium sodium niobate (KNN) ceramics. Then, influence substrate surface charges on bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein adsorption and cell proliferation on KNN ceramics surfaces was investigated. KNN ceramics with piezoelectric constant of ~93 pC/N and relative density of ~93% were fabricated. The adsorption of protein on the positive surfaces (Ps) and negative surfaces (Ns) of KNN ceramics with piezoelectric constant of ~93 pC/N showed greater protein adsorption capacity than that on non-polarized surfaces (NPs). Biocompatibility of KNN ceramics was verified through cell culturing and live/dead cell staining of MC3T3. The cells experiment showed enhanced cell growth on the positive surfaces (Ps) and negative surfaces (Ns) compared to non-polarized surfaces (NPs). These results revealed that KNN ceramics had great potential to be used to understand the effect of surface potential on cells processes and would benefit future research in designing piezoelectric materials for tissue regeneration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
LiV3O8/Polytriphenylamine Composites with Enhanced Electrochemical Performances as Cathode Materials for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries
Materials 2017, 10(4), 344; doi:10.3390/ma10040344 -
Abstract
LiV3O8/polytriphenylamine composites are synthesized by a chemical oxidative polymerization process and applied as cathode materials for rechargeable lithium batteries (RLB). The structure, morphology, and electrochemical performances of the composites are characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron
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LiV3O8/polytriphenylamine composites are synthesized by a chemical oxidative polymerization process and applied as cathode materials for rechargeable lithium batteries (RLB). The structure, morphology, and electrochemical performances of the composites are characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, galvanostatic discharge/charge tests, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. It was found that the polytriphenylamine particles were composited with LiV3O8 nanorods which acted as a protective barrier against the side reaction of LiV3O8, as well as a conductive network to reduce the reaction resistance among the LiV3O8 particles. Among the LiV3O8/polytriphenylamine composites, the 17 wt % LVO/PTPAn composite showed the largest d100 spacing. The electrochemical results showed that the 17 wt % LVO/PTPAn composite maintained a discharge capacity of 271 mAh·g−1 at a current density of 60 mA·g−1, as well as maintaining 236 mAh·g−1 at 240 mA·g−1 after 50 cycles, while the bare LiV3O8 sample retained only 169 and 148 mAh·g−1, respectively. Electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) results implied that the 17 wt % LVO/PTPAn composite demonstrated a decreased charge transfer resistance and increased Li+ ion diffusion ability, therefore manifesting better rate capability and cycling performance compared to the bare LiV3O8 sample. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Photoluminescence Study of the Changes Induced in the Zinc White Pigment by Formation of Zinc Complexes
Materials 2017, 10(4), 340; doi:10.3390/ma10040340 -
Abstract
It is known that oil paintings containing zinc white are subject to rapid degradation. This is caused by the interaction between the active groups of binder and the metal ions of the pigment, which gives rise to the formation of new zinc complexes
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It is known that oil paintings containing zinc white are subject to rapid degradation. This is caused by the interaction between the active groups of binder and the metal ions of the pigment, which gives rise to the formation of new zinc complexes (metal soaps). Ongoing studies on zinc white paints have been limited to the chemical mechanisms that lead to the formation of zinc complexes. On the contrary, little is known of the photo-physical changes induced in the zinc oxide crystal structure following this interaction. Time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy has been applied to follow modifications in the luminescent zinc white pigment when mixed with binder. Significant changes in trap state photoluminescence emissions have been detected: the enhancement of a blue emission combined with a change of the decay kinetic of the well-known green emission. Complementary data from molecular analysis of paints using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirms the formation of zinc carboxylates and corroborates the mechanism for zinc complexes formation. We support the hypothesis that zinc ions migrate into binder creating novel vacancies, affecting the photoluminescence intensity and lifetime properties of zinc oxide. Here, we further demonstrate the advantages of a time-resolved photoluminescence approach for studying defects in semiconductor pigments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Tartaric Acid in Chemical, Mechanical and Self-Healing Behaviors of a Calcium-Aluminate Cement Blend with Fly Ash F under Steam and Alkali Carbonate Environments at 270 °C
Materials 2017, 10(4), 342; doi:10.3390/ma10040342 -
Abstract
Tartaric acid (TA) changes short-term mechanical behavior and phase composition of sodium-metasilicate activated calcium-aluminate cement blend with fly ash, type F, when used as a set control additive to allow sufficient pumping time for underground well placement. The present work focuses on TA
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Tartaric acid (TA) changes short-term mechanical behavior and phase composition of sodium-metasilicate activated calcium-aluminate cement blend with fly ash, type F, when used as a set control additive to allow sufficient pumping time for underground well placement. The present work focuses on TA effect on self-healing properties of the blend under steam or alkali carbonate environments at 270 °C applicable to geothermal wells. Compressive strength recoveries and cracks sealing were examined to evaluate self-healing of the cement after repeated crush tests followed by two consecutive healing periods of 10 and 5 days at 270 °C. Optical and scanning electron microscopes, X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform infrared and EDX measurements along with thermal gravimetric analyses were used to identify phases participating in the healing processes. Samples with 1% mass fraction of TA by weight of blend demonstrated improved strength recoveries and crack plugging properties, especially in alkali carbonate environment. This effect was attributed to silicon-rich (C,N)-A-S-H amorphous phase predominant in TA-modified samples, high-temperature stable zeolite phases along with the formation of tobermorite-type crystals in the presence of tartaric acid. Full article
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