Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Combinatorial Materials Design Approach to Investigate Adhesion Layer Chemistry for Optimal Interfacial Adhesion Strength
Crystals 2021, 11(4), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11040357 - 30 Mar 2021
Abstract
A combinatorial material adhesion study was used to optimize the composition of an adhesion promoting layer for a nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) coating on silicon. Three different adhesion promoting metals, namely W, Cr, and Ta, were selected to fabricate arrays of co-sputtered binary alloy [...] Read more.
A combinatorial material adhesion study was used to optimize the composition of an adhesion promoting layer for a nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) coating on silicon. Three different adhesion promoting metals, namely W, Cr, and Ta, were selected to fabricate arrays of co-sputtered binary alloy films, with patches of seven different, distinct alloy compositions for each combination, and single element reference films on a single Si wafer (three wafers in total; W–Cr, Cr–Ta, Ta–W). Scratch testing was used to determine the critical failure load and practical work of adhesion for the NCD coatings as a function of adhesion layer chemistry. All tested samples eventually exhibit delamination of the NCD coating, with buckles radiating perpendicularly away from the scratch track. Application of any of the presented adhesion layers yields an increase of the critical failure load for delamination as compared to NCD on Si. While the influence of adhesion layers on the maximum buckle length is less pronounced, shorter buckles are obtained with pure W and Cr–Ta alloy layers. As a general rule, the addition of an adhesion layer showed a 75% improvement in the measured adhesion energies of the NCD films compared to the NCD coating without an adhesion layer, with specific alloys and compositions showing up to 125% increase in calculated practical work of adhesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanoindentation in Materials)
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Article
Light Extraction Enhancement Techniques for Inorganic Scintillators
Crystals 2021, 11(4), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11040362 - 30 Mar 2021
Abstract
Scintillators play a key role in the detection chain of several applications which rely on the use of ionizing radiation, and it is often mandatory to extract and detect the generated scintillation light as efficiently as possible. Typical inorganic scintillators do however feature [...] Read more.
Scintillators play a key role in the detection chain of several applications which rely on the use of ionizing radiation, and it is often mandatory to extract and detect the generated scintillation light as efficiently as possible. Typical inorganic scintillators do however feature a high index of refraction, which impacts light extraction efficiency in a negative way. Furthermore, several applications such as preclinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) rely on pixelated scintillators with small pitch. In this case, applying reflectors on the crystal pixel surface, as done conventionally, can have a dramatic impact of the packing fraction and thus the overall system sensitivity. This paper presents a study on light extraction techniques, as well as combinations thereof, for two of the most used inorganic scintillators (LYSO and BGO). Novel approaches, employing Distributed Bragg Reflectors (DBRs), metal coatings, and a modified Photonic Crystal (PhC) structure, are described in detail and compared with commonly used techniques. The nanostructure of the PhC is surrounded by a hybrid organic/inorganic silica sol-gel buffer layer which ensures robustness while maintaining its performance unchanged. We observed in particular a maximum light gain of about 41% on light extraction and 21% on energy resolution for BGO, a scintillator which has gained interest in the recent past due to its prompt Cherenkov component and lower cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scintillator & Phosphor Materials)
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Article
Weak Interactions in Cocrystals of Isoniazid with Glycolic and Mandelic Acids
Crystals 2021, 11(4), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11040328 - 25 Mar 2021
Abstract
This work deals with the preparation of pyridine-3-carbohydrazide (isoniazid, inh) cocrystals with two α-hydroxycarboxylic acids. The interaction of glycolic acid (H2ga) or d,l-mandelic acid (H2ma) resulted in the formation of cocrystals or salts of composition (inh)·(H2ga) ( [...] Read more.
This work deals with the preparation of pyridine-3-carbohydrazide (isoniazid, inh) cocrystals with two α-hydroxycarboxylic acids. The interaction of glycolic acid (H2ga) or d,l-mandelic acid (H2ma) resulted in the formation of cocrystals or salts of composition (inh)·(H2ga) (1) and [Hinh]+[Hma]·(H2ma) (2) when reacted with isoniazid. An N′-(propan-2-ylidene)isonicotinic hydrazide hemihydrate, (pinh)·1/2(H2O) (3), was also prepared by condensation of isoniazid with acetone in the presence of glycolic acid. These prepared compounds were well characterized by elemental analysis, and spectroscopic methods, and their three-dimensional molecular structure was determined by single crystal X-ray crystallography. Hydrogen bonds involving the carboxylic acid occur consistently with the pyridine ring N atom of the isoniazid and its derivatives. The remaining hydrogen-bonding sites on the isoniazid backbone vary based on the steric influences of the derivative group. These are contrasted in each of the molecular systems. Finally, Hirshfeld surface analysis and Density-functional theory (DFT) calculations (including NCIplot and QTAIM analyses) have been performed to further characterize and rationalize the non-covalent interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue σ- and π-Hole Interactions (Volume II))
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Article
1,4-Dibromo-2,5-bis(phenylalkoxy)benzene Derivatives: C–Br...π(arene) Versus C–H...Br and Br...Br Interactions in the Solid State
Crystals 2021, 11(4), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11040325 - 25 Mar 2021
Abstract
We have prepared and characterized 1,4-dibromo-2,5-bis(2-phenylethoxy)benzene (1) and 1,4-dibromo-2,5-bis(3-phenylpropoxy)benzene (2). Their single-crystal structures confirm that, at the molecular level, they are similar with the phenylalkoxy chains in extended conformations. However, there are significant differences in packing interactions. The packing [...] Read more.
We have prepared and characterized 1,4-dibromo-2,5-bis(2-phenylethoxy)benzene (1) and 1,4-dibromo-2,5-bis(3-phenylpropoxy)benzene (2). Their single-crystal structures confirm that, at the molecular level, they are similar with the phenylalkoxy chains in extended conformations. However, there are significant differences in packing interactions. The packing in 1 is dominated by C–Br...π(arene) interactions, with each Br located over one C–C bond of the central arene ring of an adjacent molecule. In contrast, the packing of molecules of 2 involves a combination of C–H...Br hydrogen bonds, Br...Br interactions, and arene–arene π-stacking. The single-crystal structures of both orthorhombic and triclinic polymorphs of 1 have been determined and the packing interactions are shown to be essentially identical. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research in Halogen Bonding)
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Article
Electro-Optic Control of Lithium Niobate Bulk Whispering Gallery Resonators: Analysis of the Distribution of Externally Applied Electric Fields
Crystals 2021, 11(3), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11030298 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Whispering gallery resonators made out of lithium niobate allow for optical parametric oscillation and frequency comb generation employing the outstanding second-order nonlinear-optical properties of this material. An important knob to tune and control these processes is, e.g., the linear electro-optic effect, the Pockels [...] Read more.
Whispering gallery resonators made out of lithium niobate allow for optical parametric oscillation and frequency comb generation employing the outstanding second-order nonlinear-optical properties of this material. An important knob to tune and control these processes is, e.g., the linear electro-optic effect, the Pockels effect via externally applied electric fields. Due to the shape of the resonators a precise prediction of the electric field strength that affects the optical mode is non-trivial. Here, we study the average strength of the electric field in z-direction in the region of the optical mode for different configurations and geometries of lithium niobate whispering gallery resonators with the help of the finite element method. We find that in some configurations almost 100% is present in the cavity compared to the ideal case of a cylindrical resonator. Even in the case of a few-mode resonator with a very thin rim we find a strength of 90%. Our results give useful design considerations for future arrangements that may benefit from the strong electro-optic effect in bulk whispering gallery resonators made out of lithium niobate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Lithium Niobate: From Bulk to Nanocrystals)
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Article
Affinity and Structural Analysis of the U1A RNA Recognition Motif with Engineered Methionines to Improve Experimental Phasing
Crystals 2021, 11(3), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11030273 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
RNA plays a central role in all organisms and can fold into complex structures to orchestrate function. Visualization of such structures often requires crystallization, which can be a bottleneck in the structure-determination process. To promote crystallization, an RNA-recognition motif (RRM) of the U1A [...] Read more.
RNA plays a central role in all organisms and can fold into complex structures to orchestrate function. Visualization of such structures often requires crystallization, which can be a bottleneck in the structure-determination process. To promote crystallization, an RNA-recognition motif (RRM) of the U1A spliceosomal protein has been co-opted as a crystallization module. Specifically, the U1-snRNA hairpin II (hpII) single-stranded loop recognized by U1A can be transplanted into an RNA target to promote crystal contacts and to attain phase information via molecular replacement or anomalous diffraction methods using selenomethionine. Herein, we produced the F37M/F77M mutant of U1A to augment the phasing capability of this powerful crystallization module. Selenomethionine-substituted U1A(F37M/F77M) retains high affinity for hpII (KD of 59.7 ± 11.4 nM). The 2.20 Å resolution crystal structure reveals that the mutated sidechains make new S-π interactions in the hydrophobic core and are useful for single-wavelength anomalous diffraction. Crystals were also attained of U1A(F37M/F77M) in complex with a bacterial preQ1-II riboswitch. The F34M/F37M/F77M mutant was introduced similarly into a lab-evolved U1A variant (TBP6.9) that recognizes the internal bulged loop of HIV-1 TAR RNA. We envision that this short RNA sequence can be placed into non-essential duplex regions to promote crystallization and phasing of target RNAs. We show that selenomethionine-substituted TBP6.9(F34M/F37M/F77M) binds a TAR variant wherein the apical loop was replaced with a GNRA tetraloop (KD of 69.8 ± 2.9 nM), laying the groundwork for use of TBP6.9(F34M/F37M/F77M) as a crystallization module. These new tools are available to the research community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleic Acid Crystallography)
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Article
Boundary Conditions for Simulations of Fluid Flow and Temperature Field during Ammonothermal Crystal Growth—A Machine-Learning Assisted Study of Autoclave Wall Temperature Distribution
Crystals 2021, 11(3), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11030254 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Thermal boundary conditions for numerical simulations of ammonothermal GaN crystal growth are investigated. A global heat transfer model that includes the furnace and its surroundings is presented, in which fluid flow and thermal field are treated as conjugate in order to fully account [...] Read more.
Thermal boundary conditions for numerical simulations of ammonothermal GaN crystal growth are investigated. A global heat transfer model that includes the furnace and its surroundings is presented, in which fluid flow and thermal field are treated as conjugate in order to fully account for convective heat transfer. The effects of laminar and turbulent flow are analyzed, as well as those of typically simultaneously present solids inside the autoclave (nutrient, baffle, and multiple seeds). This model uses heater powers as a boundary condition. Machine learning is applied to efficiently determine the power boundary conditions needed to obtain set temperatures at specified locations. Typical thermal losses are analyzed regarding their effects on the temperature distribution inside the autoclave and within the autoclave walls. This is of relevance because autoclave wall temperatures are a convenient choice for setting boundary conditions for simulations of reduced domain size. Based on the determined outer wall temperature distribution, a simplified model containing only the autoclave is also presented. The results are compared to those observed using heater-long fixed temperatures as boundary condition. Significant deviations are found especially in the upper zone of the autoclave due to the important role of heat losses through the autoclave head. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence for Crystal Growth and Characterization)
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Article
Helimagnetism in MnBi2Se4 Driven by Spin-Frustrating Interactions Between Antiferromagnetic Chains
Crystals 2021, 11(3), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11030242 - 27 Feb 2021
Abstract
We report the magnetic properties and magnetic structure determination for a linear-chain antiferromagnet, MnBi2Se4. The crystal structure of this material contains chains of edge-sharing MnSe6 octahedra separated by Bi atoms. The magnetic behavior is dominated by intrachain antiferromagnetic [...] Read more.
We report the magnetic properties and magnetic structure determination for a linear-chain antiferromagnet, MnBi2Se4. The crystal structure of this material contains chains of edge-sharing MnSe6 octahedra separated by Bi atoms. The magnetic behavior is dominated by intrachain antiferromagnetic (AFM) interactions, as demonstrated by the negative Weiss constant of −74 K obtained by the Curie–Weiss fit of the paramagnetic susceptibility measured along the easy-axis magnetization direction. The relative shift of adjacent chains by one-half of the chain period causes spin frustration due to interchain AFM coupling, which leads to AFM ordering at TN = 15 K. Neutron diffraction studies reveal that the AFM ordered state exhibits an incommensurate helimagnetic structure with the propagation vector k = (0, 0.356, 0). The Mn moments are arranged perpendicular to the chain propagation direction (the crystallographic b axis), and the turn angle around the helix is 128°. The magnetic properties of MnBi2Se4 are discussed in comparison to other linear-chain antiferromagnets based on ternary mixed-metal halides and chalcogenides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermetallic)
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Article
Modeling of the Resonant X-ray Response of a Chiral Cubic Phase
Crystals 2021, 11(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11020214 - 21 Feb 2021
Abstract
The structure of a continuous-grid chiral cubic phase made of achiral constituent molecules is a hot topic in the field of thermotropic liquid crystals. Several structural models have been proposed so far. Resonant X-ray scattering (RXS), which gives information on the molecular orientation [...] Read more.
The structure of a continuous-grid chiral cubic phase made of achiral constituent molecules is a hot topic in the field of thermotropic liquid crystals. Several structural models have been proposed so far. Resonant X-ray scattering (RXS), which gives information on the molecular orientation in the unit cell, could be applied to select the most appropriate model. We modeled the RXS response for the recently proposed chiral cubic phase structure with an all-hexagon chiral continuous grid. A tensor form factor of a unit cell is constructed, which enables calculation of intensities of peaks for all Miller indices. We find that all the symmetry allowed peaks are resonantly enhanced, and their intensity is much stronger than the intensity of the symmetry forbidden (resonant) peaks. In particular, we predict that a strong resonant enhancement of the symmetry allowed peaks (011) and (002), not observed in a nonresonant scattering, could be observed by RXS at the carbon absorption edge. By RXS at the sulfur absorption edge, one might observe a resonant peak (113) and resonantly enhanced peak (233), and resonant enhancement of all the peaks that are observed in a nonresonant scattering, which probably hide the rest of the predicted resonant peaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Celebration of Noel A. Clark’s 80th Birthday)
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Article
Extending Libraries of Extremely Localized Molecular Orbitals to Metal Organic Frameworks: A Preliminary Investigation
Crystals 2021, 11(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11020207 - 20 Feb 2021
Abstract
Libraries of extremely localized molecular orbitals (ELMOs) have been recently assembled to reconstruct approximate wavefunctions of very large biological systems, such as polypeptides and proteins. In this paper, we investigate for the first time the possibility of using ELMO transferability to also quickly [...] Read more.
Libraries of extremely localized molecular orbitals (ELMOs) have been recently assembled to reconstruct approximate wavefunctions of very large biological systems, such as polypeptides and proteins. In this paper, we investigate for the first time the possibility of using ELMO transferability to also quickly obtain wavefunctions, electron densities, and electrostatic potentials of three-dimensional coordination polymers such as metal organic frameworks (MOFs). To accomplish this task, we propose a protocol that, in addition to exploiting the usual exportability of extremely localized molecular orbitals, also takes advantage of the novel QM/ELMO (quantum mechanics/extremely localized molecular orbital) approach to properly describe the secondary building units of MOFs. As a benchmark test, our technique has been applied to the well-known metal organic framework HKUST-1 ({Cu3(BTC)2}n, with BTC=1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylate) to quickly calculate electrostatic potential maps in the small and large cavities inside the network. On the basis of the obtained results, we envisage further improvements and applications of this strategy, which can be also seen as a starting point to perform less computationally expensive quantum mechanical calculations on metal organic frameworks with the goal of investigating transformation phenomena such as chemisorption. Full article
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Article
Enlarging the Eyebox of Maxwellian Displays with a Customized Liquid Crystal Dammann Grating
Crystals 2021, 11(2), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11020195 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Maxwellian view offers a promising approach to overcome the vergence-accommodation conflict in near-eye displays, however, its pinhole-like imaging naturally limits the eyebox size. Here, a liquid crystal polymer-based Dammann grating with evenly distributed energy among different diffraction orders is developed to enlarge [...] Read more.
The Maxwellian view offers a promising approach to overcome the vergence-accommodation conflict in near-eye displays, however, its pinhole-like imaging naturally limits the eyebox size. Here, a liquid crystal polymer-based Dammann grating with evenly distributed energy among different diffraction orders is developed to enlarge the eyebox of Maxwellian view displays via pupil replication. In the experiment, a 3-by-3 Dammann grating is designed and fabricated, which exhibits good efficiency and high brightness uniformity. We further construct a proof-of-concept Maxwellian view display breadboard by inserting the Dammann grating into the optical system. The prototype successfully demonstrates the enlarged eyebox and full-color operation. Our work provides a promising route of eyebox expansion in Maxwellian view displays while maintaining full-color operation, simple system configuration, compactness, and lightweight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Patterned-Liquid-Crystal for Novel Displays)
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Article
Heteroleptic [Cu(P^P)(N^N)][PF6] Complexes: Effects of Isomer Switching from 2,2′-biquinoline to 1,1′-biisoquinoline
Crystals 2021, 11(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11020185 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The preparation and characterization of [Cu(POP)(biq)][PF6] and [Cu(xantphos)(biq)][PF6] are reported (biq = 1,1′-biisoquinoline, POP = bis(2-(diphenylphosphanyl)phenyl)ether, and xantphos = (9,9-dimethyl-9H-xanthene-4,5-diyl)bis(diphenylphosphane). The single crystal structure of [Cu(POP)(biq)][PF6] 0.5Et2O was determined and compared to that [...] Read more.
The preparation and characterization of [Cu(POP)(biq)][PF6] and [Cu(xantphos)(biq)][PF6] are reported (biq = 1,1′-biisoquinoline, POP = bis(2-(diphenylphosphanyl)phenyl)ether, and xantphos = (9,9-dimethyl-9H-xanthene-4,5-diyl)bis(diphenylphosphane). The single crystal structure of [Cu(POP)(biq)][PF6] 0.5Et2O was determined and compared to that in three salts of [Cu(POP)(bq)]+ in which bq = 2,2′-biquinoline. The P–C–P angle is 114.456(19)o in [Cu(POP)(biq)]+ compared to a range of 118.29(3)–119.60(3)o [Cu(POP)(bq)]+. There is a change from an intra-POP PPh2-phenyl/(C6H4)2O-arene π-stacking in [Cu(POP)(biq)]+ to a π-stacking contact between the POP and bq ligands in [Cu(POP)(bq)]+. In solution and at ambient temperatures, the [Cu(POP)(biq)][PF6]+ and [Cu(xantphos)(biq)]+ cations undergo several concurrent dynamic processes, as evidenced in their multinuclear NMR spectra. The photophysical and electrochemical behaviors of the heteroleptic copper (I) complexes were investigated, and the effects of changing from bq to biq are described. Short Cu···O distances within the [Cu(POP)(biq)]+ and [Cu(xantphos)(biq)]+ cations may contribute to their very low photoluminescent quantum yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembled Complexes: “Love at First Sight”)
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Article
Weak Interactions in the Structures of Newly Synthesized (–)-Cytisine Amino Acid Derivatives
Crystals 2021, 11(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11020146 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Eight new (–)-(N-[(AA)-(N-phtaloyl)]cytisines (where AA is amino acid: glycine, β-alanine, D,L-valine, L-valine, L-isoleucine, L-leucine, D-leucine and D,L-phenyloalanine), were synthesized and fully spectroscopically characterized (NMR, FTIR and MS). For two [...] Read more.
Eight new (–)-(N-[(AA)-(N-phtaloyl)]cytisines (where AA is amino acid: glycine, β-alanine, D,L-valine, L-valine, L-isoleucine, L-leucine, D-leucine and D,L-phenyloalanine), were synthesized and fully spectroscopically characterized (NMR, FTIR and MS). For two of these compounds, N-[glycine-(N-phtaloyl)]cytisine and N-[L-isoleucine-(N-phtaloyl)]cytisine, X-ray crystal structures were obtained and used as the basis for an in-depth analysis of intermolecular interactions and packing energies. The structural geometrical data (weak hydrogen bonds, π···π interactions, etc.) were compared with the energies of interactions and the topological characteristics (electron density, Laplacian at the appropriate critical point) based on the atoms-in-molecules theory. The results suggest that there is no straightforward connection between the geometry of point-to-point interactions and the molecule-to-molecule energies. Additionally, the usefulness of the transfer of multipolar parameters in estimating of critical points’ characteristics have been confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Bonds in Crystals)
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Communication
Role of Halogen Substituents on Halogen Bonding in 4,5-DiBromohexahydro-3a,6-Epoxyisoindol-1(4H)-ones
Crystals 2021, 11(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11020112 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
A series of 4,5-dibromo-2-(4-substituted phenyl)hexahydro-3a,6-epoxyisoindol-1(4H)-ones were synthesized by reaction of the corresponding 2-(4-substituted phenyl)-2,3,7,7a-tetrahydro-3a,6-epoxyisoindol-1(6H)-ones with [(Me2NCOMe)2H]Br3 in dry chloroform under reflux for 3−5 h. In contrast to the 4-F and 4-Cl substituents, one of [...] Read more.
A series of 4,5-dibromo-2-(4-substituted phenyl)hexahydro-3a,6-epoxyisoindol-1(4H)-ones were synthesized by reaction of the corresponding 2-(4-substituted phenyl)-2,3,7,7a-tetrahydro-3a,6-epoxyisoindol-1(6H)-ones with [(Me2NCOMe)2H]Br3 in dry chloroform under reflux for 3−5 h. In contrast to the 4-F and 4-Cl substituents, one of the bromine atoms of the isoindole moiety behaves as a halogen bond donor in the formation of intermolecular halogen bonding in the 4-H, 4-Br and 4-I analogues. Not only intermolecular hydrogen bonds, but also Ha⋯Ha and Ha⋯π types of halogen bonds in the 4-H, 4-Br, and 4-I compounds, contribute to the formation of supramolecular architectures leading to 2D or 3D structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research in Halogen Bonding)
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Article
H-Bonds, π-Stacking and (Water)O-H/π Interactions in (µ4-EDTA)Bis(Imidazole) Dicopper(II) Dihydrate
Crystals 2021, 11(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11010048 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
We synthesized and studied the polymeric compound {[Cu24-EDTA)(Him)2] 2H2O}n (1). The single-crystal structure is reported along with an in depth characterization of its thermal stability (TGA), spectral properties (FT-IR, Vis-UV and RSE), [...] Read more.
We synthesized and studied the polymeric compound {[Cu24-EDTA)(Him)2] 2H2O}n (1). The single-crystal structure is reported along with an in depth characterization of its thermal stability (TGA), spectral properties (FT-IR, Vis-UV and RSE), and magnetic behavior. The crystal consists of infinite 2D-networks built by centrosymmetric dinuclear motifs, constructed by means of a bridging anti,syn-carboxylate group from each asymmetric unit. Each layer guides Him ligands toward their external faces. They are connected by intermolecular (Him)N-H···O(carboxylate) bonds and antiparallel π–π stacking between symmetry related pairs of Him ligands, and then pillared in a 3D-network with parallel channels, where disordered water molecules are guested. About half of the labile water is lost from these channels over a wide temperature range (r.t. to 210 °C) before the other one, most strongly retained by the cooperating action of (water)O1-H(1A)···O(carboxylate) and (water) O1-H(1B)···π(Him) interactions. The latter is lost when organic ligands start to burn. ESR spectra and magnetic measurements indicated that symmetry related Cu(II) centers connected by the bridging carboxylate groups behave magnetically not equivalently, enabling an exchange interaction larger than their individual Zeeman energies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue σ- and π-Hole Interactions (Volume II))
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Article
Effect of Laser Beam Profile on Rotating Lattice Single Crystal Growth in Sb2S3 Model Glass
Crystals 2021, 11(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11010036 - 31 Dec 2020
Abstract
Laser heating of chalcogenide glasses has successfully produced rotating lattice single crystals through a solid-solid transformation. To better understand the nature of complex, orientation-dependent lattice rotation, we designed heat profiles of the continuous wave laser by beam shaping, fabricated larger Sb2S [...] Read more.
Laser heating of chalcogenide glasses has successfully produced rotating lattice single crystals through a solid-solid transformation. To better understand the nature of complex, orientation-dependent lattice rotation, we designed heat profiles of the continuous wave laser by beam shaping, fabricated larger Sb2S3 crystal dots in Sb2S3 glass, and investigated the lattice rotation where the crystal could grow in all radial directions under a circular thermal gradient. The results show that the rate of lattice rotation is highly anisotropic and depends on crystallographic direction. The nature of this rotation is the same in crystals of different orientation relative to the surface. The growth directions that align with the slip planes show the highest rate of rotation and the rotation rate gradually decreases away from this direction. Additionally, the presence of multiple growth directions results in a complicated rotation system. We suggest that the growth front influences the density of dislocations introduced during growth under confinement and thus affects the lattice rotation rate in these crystals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser-Induced Crystallization)
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Article
High-Pressure Spectroscopy Study of Zn(IO3)2 Using Far-Infrared Synchrotron Radiation
Crystals 2021, 11(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11010034 - 30 Dec 2020
Abstract
We report the first high-pressure spectroscopy study on Zn(IO3)2 using synchrotron far-infrared radiation. Spectroscopy was conducted up to pressures of 17 GPa at room temperature. Twenty-five phonons were identified below 600 cm−1 for the initial monoclinic low-pressure polymorph of [...] Read more.
We report the first high-pressure spectroscopy study on Zn(IO3)2 using synchrotron far-infrared radiation. Spectroscopy was conducted up to pressures of 17 GPa at room temperature. Twenty-five phonons were identified below 600 cm−1 for the initial monoclinic low-pressure polymorph of Zn(IO3)2. The pressure response of the modes with wavenumbers above 150 cm−1 has been characterized, with modes exhibiting non-linear responses and frequency discontinuities that have been proposed to be related to the existence of phase transitions. Analysis of the high-pressure spectra acquired on compression indicates that Zn(IO3)2 undergoes subtle phase transitions around 3 and 8 GPa, followed by a more drastic transition around 13 GPa. Full article
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Article
Intramolecular Hydrogen Bond Energy and Its Decomposition—O–H∙∙∙O Interactions
Crystals 2021, 11(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11010005 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The method to calculate the energy of intramolecular hydrogen bond is proposed and tested for a sample of malonaldehyde and its fluorine derivatives; the corresponding calculations were performed at the ωB97XD/aug-cc-pVTZ level. This method based on relationships found for related intermolecular hydrogen bonds [...] Read more.
The method to calculate the energy of intramolecular hydrogen bond is proposed and tested for a sample of malonaldehyde and its fluorine derivatives; the corresponding calculations were performed at the ωB97XD/aug-cc-pVTZ level. This method based on relationships found for related intermolecular hydrogen bonds is compared with other approaches which may be applied to estimate the intramolecular hydrogen bond energy. Particularly, methods based on the comparison of the system that contains the intramolecular hydrogen bond compared with corresponding conformations where such interaction does not occur are discussed. The function-based energy decomposition analysis, FB-EDA, of the intramolecular hydrogen bonds is also proposed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Bonds in Crystals)
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Article
Dynamics of Quasiperiodic Beams
Crystals 2020, 10(12), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10121144 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Quasiperiodic metastrucures are characterized by edge localized modes of topological nature, which can be of significant technological interest. We here investigate such topological modes for stiffened and sandwich beams, which can be employed as structural members with inherent vibration localization capabilities. Quasiperiodicity is [...] Read more.
Quasiperiodic metastrucures are characterized by edge localized modes of topological nature, which can be of significant technological interest. We here investigate such topological modes for stiffened and sandwich beams, which can be employed as structural members with inherent vibration localization capabilities. Quasiperiodicity is achieved by altering the geometric properties and material properties of the beams. Specifically, in the stiffened beams, the geometric location of stiffeners is modulated to quasiperiodic patterns, while, in the sandwich beams, the core’s material properties are varied in a step-wise manner to generate such patterns. The families of periodic and quasiperiodic beams for both stiffened and sandwich-type are obtained by varying a projection parameter that governs the location of the center of the stiffener or the alternating core, respectively. The dynamics of stiffened quasiperiodic beams is investigated through 3-D finite element simulations, which leads to the observation of the fractal nature of the bulk spectrum and the illustration of topological edge modes that populate bulk spectral bandgaps. The frequency spectrum is further elucidated by employing polarization factors that distinguish multiple contributing modes. The frequency response of the finite stiffened cantilever beams confirms the presence of modes in the non-trivial bandgaps and further demonstrates that those modes are localized at the free edge. A similar analysis is conducted for the analysis of sandwich composite beams, for which computations rely on a dynamic stiffness matrix approach. This work motivates the use of quasiperiodic beams in the design of stiffened and sandwich structures as structural members in applications where vibration isolation is combined with load-carrying functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Phononic Crystals)
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Article
Shock Damage Analysis in Serial Femtosecond Crystallography Data Collected at MHz X-ray Free-Electron Lasers
Crystals 2020, 10(12), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10121145 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) data were recorded at the European X-ray free-electron laser facility (EuXFEL) with protein microcrystals delivered via a microscopic liquid jet. An XFEL beam striking such a jet may launch supersonic shock waves up the jet, compromising the oncoming sample. [...] Read more.
Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) data were recorded at the European X-ray free-electron laser facility (EuXFEL) with protein microcrystals delivered via a microscopic liquid jet. An XFEL beam striking such a jet may launch supersonic shock waves up the jet, compromising the oncoming sample. To investigate this efficiently, we employed a novel XFEL pulse pattern to nominally expose the sample to between zero and four shock waves before being probed. Analyzing hit rate, indexing rate, and resolution for diffraction data recorded at MHz pulse rates, we found no evidence of damage. Notably, however, this conclusion could only be drawn after careful identification and assimilation of numerous interrelated experimental factors, which we describe in detail. Failure to do so would have led to an erroneous conclusion. Femtosecond photography of the sample-carrying jet revealed critically different jet behavior from that of all homogeneous liquid jets studied to date in this manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Approach of Serial Crystallography)
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Article
Sildenafil–Resorcinol Cocrystal: XRPD Structure and DFT Calculations
Crystals 2020, 10(12), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10121126 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Herein, the X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) crystal structure of a new Sildenafil cocrystal is reported, where resorcinol has been used as the coformer. The crystal structure has been solved by means of direct space methods used in combination with density functional theory (DFT) [...] Read more.
Herein, the X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) crystal structure of a new Sildenafil cocrystal is reported, where resorcinol has been used as the coformer. The crystal structure has been solved by means of direct space methods used in combination with density functional theory (DFT) calculations. In the structure, the Sildenafil and resorcinol molecules form cooperative hydrogen bond (HB) and π-stacking interactions that have been analyzed using DFT calculations, the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) surface, and noncovalent interaction plot (NCI plot). The formation of O–H⋯N H-bonds between resorcinol and Sildenafil increases the dipole moment and enhances the antiparallel π-stacking interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue σ- and π-Hole Interactions (Volume II))
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Communication
Impact of the Co/Ni-Ratio on Microstructure, Thermophysical Properties and Creep Performance of Multi-Component γ′-Strengthened Superalloys
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10111058 - 21 Nov 2020
Abstract
The Ni content is a crucial factor for the development of γ′-strengthened Co-based superalloys and some studies have systematically addressed its influence on various properties in model superalloys. In this paper, we report for the first time the influence of the Co/Ni ratio [...] Read more.
The Ni content is a crucial factor for the development of γ′-strengthened Co-based superalloys and some studies have systematically addressed its influence on various properties in model superalloys. In this paper, we report for the first time the influence of the Co/Ni ratio in the more advanced nine-component superalloy ERBOCo-1: exchanging Co and Ni in this Co/Ni-based superalloy while keeping the other alloying elements constants has a big influence on a variety of material properties. The elemental segregation after casting is slightly more pronounced in the alloy with higher Ni-content. Microstructural characterization of this alloy termed ERBOCo-1X after heat-treatment reveals that the precipitates are cuboidal in the Co- and spherical in the Ni-rich alloy, indicating a decrease in the γ/γ′ lattice misfit. Analyzing the elemental partitioning behavior by atom probe tomography suggests that the partitioning behavior of W is responsible for that. Furthermore, it is found that even though Ni exhibits the highest overall concentration, the γ matrix phase is still Co-based, because Ni is strongly enriched in the γ′ precipitates. Creep tests at 900 °C reveal that even though the microstructure looks less favorable, the creep resistance of the Ni-rich alloy is slightly superior to the Co-rich variant. Full article
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Article
Parity-Time Symmetry and Exceptional Points for Flexural-Gravity Waves in Buoyant Thin-Plates
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10111039 - 16 Nov 2020
Abstract
We derive and apply a transfer matrix method (M-matrix) coupling liquid surface waves and flexural-gravity waves in buoyant thin elastic plates. We analyze the scattering matrix (S-matrix) formalism for such waves propagating within a Fabry-Perot like system, which are [...] Read more.
We derive and apply a transfer matrix method (M-matrix) coupling liquid surface waves and flexural-gravity waves in buoyant thin elastic plates. We analyze the scattering matrix (S-matrix) formalism for such waves propagating within a Fabry-Perot like system, which are solutions of a sixth order partial differential equation (PDE) supplied with adequate boundary conditions. We develop a parity-time (PT)-symmetry theory and its applications to thin elastic floating plates. The sixth order PDE governing the propagation of these waves leads to six by six M and S matrices, and results in specific physical properties of the PT-symmetric elastic plate systems. We show the effect of geometry and gain/loss on the asymmetric propagation of flexural-gravity waves, as well as a Fano-like line-shape of the reflection signature. Importantly, we show the possibility of obtaining coherent perfect absorber-laser (CPAL) using simple thin structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Phononic Crystals)
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Article
Photosensitive Bent-Core Compounds with Azo-Group Attached to the Central Ring
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10111030 - 11 Nov 2020
Abstract
We prepared and studied bent-core liquid crystalline (LC) compounds based on 1,3-disubstituted benzene in a central part and azo-linkage attached directly to this bent core. We designed three structures and checked their mesogenic properties, as well as photosensitivity. We found that two studied [...] Read more.
We prepared and studied bent-core liquid crystalline (LC) compounds based on 1,3-disubstituted benzene in a central part and azo-linkage attached directly to this bent core. We designed three structures and checked their mesogenic properties, as well as photosensitivity. We found that two studied compounds revealed columnar LC mesophases, which we transformed to the isotropic phase under the illumination of UV light. We concluded that only one type of structural motif was not mesogenic. For LC compounds, we established phases and phase transition temperatures based on differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements and observations in a polarizing microscope. To confirm phase identification, X-ray studies were performed and structural parameters describing the columnar phases supplied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosensitive Liquid Crystals)
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Article
The Na2−nHn[Zr(Si2O7)]∙mH2O Minerals and Related Compounds (n = 0–0.5; m = 0.1): Structure Refinement, Framework Topology, and Possible Na+-Ion Migration Paths
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10111016 - 09 Nov 2020
Abstract
The Na2−nHn[Zr(Si2O7)]∙mH2O family of minerals and related compounds (n = 0–0.5; m = 0.1) consist of keldyshite, Na3H[Zr2(Si2O7)2], and parakeldyshite, Na2 [...] Read more.
The Na2−nHn[Zr(Si2O7)]∙mH2O family of minerals and related compounds (n = 0–0.5; m = 0.1) consist of keldyshite, Na3H[Zr2(Si2O7)2], and parakeldyshite, Na2[Zr(Si2O7)], and synthetic Na2[Zr(Si2O7)]∙H2O. The crystal structures of these materials are based upon microporous heteropolyhedral frameworks formed by linkage of Si2O7 groups and ZrO6 octahedra with internal channels occupied by Na+ cations and H2O molecules. The members of the family have been studied by the combination of theoretical (geometrical–topological analysis, Voronoi migration map calculation, structural complexity calculation), and empirical methods (single-crystal X-ray diffraction, microprobe analysis, and Raman spectroscopy for parakeldyshite). It was found that keldyshite and parakeldyshite have the same fsh topology, while Na2ZrSi2O7∙H2O is different and has the xat topology. The microporous heteropolyhedral frameworks in these materials have a 2-D system of channels suitable for the Na+-ion migration. The crystal structure of keldyshite can be derived from that of parakeldyshite by the Na+ + O2− ↔ OH + □ substitution mechanism, widespread in the postcrystallization processes in hyperagpaitic rocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystal Chemistry and Properties of Minerals)
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Article
A New Modification of Rb[Al(NH2)4] and Condensation in Solid State
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10111018 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A new modification of Rb[Al(NH2)4] in space group C2/c, which differs from the known structural modification in the way the [Al(NH2)4]-tetrahedra are arranged in the surrounding area of the rubidium [...] Read more.
A new modification of Rb[Al(NH2)4] in space group C2/c, which differs from the known structural modification in the way the [Al(NH2)4]-tetrahedra are arranged in the surrounding area of the rubidium cation, was obtained from ammonothermal synthesis at 673 K and 680 bar. The crystal structure was determined by Rietveld refinements and further investigated by infrared and Raman spectroscopy. Thermal gravimetric investigations indicate two decomposition steps up to 450 °C, which can be assigned to ammonia leaving the material while the sample liquefies. During the third and final step, volatile rubidium amide is released, leaving nano-scaled cubic AlN behind. Investigating differently aged samples implies decomposition and condensation of amidoaluminate ions already at ambient temperature, which is supported by refinements of single crystal X-ray diffraction data, revealing lower nitrogen amounts than expected. The observed single crystal also exhibits a significantly smaller volume than the reported structures, further supporting the decomposition–condensation mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Inorganic Crystalline Materials)
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Article
Identification of Local Structure in 2-D and 3-D Atomic Systems through Crystallographic Analysis
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10111008 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the present work, we revise and extend the Characteristic Crystallographic Element (CCE) norm, an algorithm used to simultaneously detect radial and orientational similarity of computer-generated structures with respect to specific reference crystals and local symmetries. Based on the identification of point group [...] Read more.
In the present work, we revise and extend the Characteristic Crystallographic Element (CCE) norm, an algorithm used to simultaneously detect radial and orientational similarity of computer-generated structures with respect to specific reference crystals and local symmetries. Based on the identification of point group symmetry elements, the CCE descriptor is able to gauge local structure with high precision and finely distinguish between competing morphologies. As test cases we use computer-generated monomeric and polymer systems of spherical particles interacting with the hard-sphere and square-well attractive potentials. We demonstrate that the CCE norm is able to detect and differentiate, between others, among: hexagonal close packed (HCP), face centered cubic (FCC), hexagonal (HEX) and body centered cubic (BCC) crystals as well as non-crystallographic fivefold (FIV) local symmetry in bulk 3-D systems; triangular (TRI), square (SQU) and honeycomb (HON) crystals, as well as pentagonal (PEN) local symmetry in thin films of one-layer thickness (2-D systems). The descriptor is general and can be applied to identify the symmetry elements of any point group for arbitrary atomic or particulate system in two or three dimensions, in the bulk or under confinement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Macromolecular Crystals)
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Article
Direct Observation of Molecular Orbitals Using Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10110998 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The physical properties of molecular crystals are governed by the frontier orbitals of molecules. A molecular orbital, which is formed by superposing the atomic orbitals of constituent elements, has complicated degrees of freedom in the crystal because of the influence of electron correlation [...] Read more.
The physical properties of molecular crystals are governed by the frontier orbitals of molecules. A molecular orbital, which is formed by superposing the atomic orbitals of constituent elements, has complicated degrees of freedom in the crystal because of the influence of electron correlation and crystal field. Therefore, in general, it is difficult to experimentally observe the whole picture of a frontier orbital. Here, we introduce a new method called “core differential Fourier synthesis” (CDFS) using synchrotron X-ray diffraction to observe the valence electron density in materials. By observing the valence electrons occupied in molecular orbitals, the orbital state can be directly determined in a real space. In this study, we applied the CDFS method to molecular materials such as diamond, C60 fullerene, (MV)I2, and (TMTTF)2X. Our results not only demonstrate the typical orbital states in some materials, but also provide a new method for studying intramolecular degrees of freedom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Conductors)
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Article
5-Fluorocytosine/Isocytosine Monohydrate. The First Example of Isomorphic and Isostructural Co-Crystal of Pyrimidine Nucleobases
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10110999 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
To date, despite the crucial role played by cytosine, uracil, and thymine in the DNA/RNA replication process, no examples showing isomorphic and isostructural behavior among binary co-crystals of natural or modified pyrimidine nucleobases have been so far reported in the literature. In view [...] Read more.
To date, despite the crucial role played by cytosine, uracil, and thymine in the DNA/RNA replication process, no examples showing isomorphic and isostructural behavior among binary co-crystals of natural or modified pyrimidine nucleobases have been so far reported in the literature. In view of the relevance of biochemical and pharmaceutical compounds such as pyrimidine nucleobases and their 5-fluoroderivatives, co-crystals of the molecular complex formed by 5-fluorocytosine and isocytosine monohydrate, C4H4FN3O·C4H5N3O·H2O, have been synthesized by a reaction between 5-fluorocytosine and isocytosine. They represent the first example of isomorphic and isostructural binary co-crystals of pyrimidine nucleobases, as X-ray diffraction analysis shows structural similarities in the solid-state organization of molecules with that of the (1:1) 5-fluorocytosine/5-fluoroisocytosine monohydrate molecular complex, which differs solely in the H/F substitution at the C5 position of isocytosine. Molecules of 5-fluorocytosine and isocytosine are present in the crystal as 1H and 3H-ketoamino tautomers, respectively. They form almost coplanar WC base pairs through nucleobase-to-nucleobase DAA/ADD hydrogen bonding interactions, demonstrating that complementary binding enables the crystallization of specific tautomers. Additional peripheral hydrogen bonds involving all available H atom donor and acceptor sites of the water molecule give a three-dimensional polymeric structure. In the absence of H⋯F hydrogen-bonding interactions, the robustness of the supramolecular architectures based on three-point recognition synthons is responsible for the existence of isostructurality between the two molecular complexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Synthesis, and Structures of Modified RNA/DNA Bases)
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Article
Preparation of Cellulose Nanocrystal-Reinforced Physical Hydrogels for Actuator Application
Crystals 2020, 10(11), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10110969 - 26 Oct 2020
Abstract
In the present investigation, we prepared cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)-reinforced polyvinyl alcohol-cellulose (PVA-Cell) physical hydrogels using a simple blending method for actuator application. The prepared hydrogels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and the surface and cross-section were studied by scanning [...] Read more.
In the present investigation, we prepared cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)-reinforced polyvinyl alcohol-cellulose (PVA-Cell) physical hydrogels using a simple blending method for actuator application. The prepared hydrogels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and the surface and cross-section were studied by scanning electron microscopy. CNCs were well dispersed in the PVA-Cell hydrogel. In the preparation process, surface hydroxyl groups of the CNC and PVA-Cell matrix hydroxyl groups were interacted to produce uniform dispersion of CNCs in the hydrogels. Swelling behavior and compression studies revealed that the increase of the CNCs reinforced the crosslinking. The actuation test of the prepared hydrogels showed that the displacement linearly increased with the voltage, and the immense output displacement was observed at low CNC concentration. The prepared hydrogels are applicable for soft robot actuators and active lens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Composite Hydrogels)
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Article
Formation Process of Columnar Grown (101)-Oriented Silicalite-1 Membrane and Its Separation Property for Xylene Isomer
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100949 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Silicalite-1 membrane was prepared on an outer surface of a tubular α-alumina support by a secondary growth method. Changes of defect amount and crystallinity during secondary growth were carefully observed. The defect-less well-crystallized silicalite-1 membrane was obtained after 7-days crystallization at 373 K. [...] Read more.
Silicalite-1 membrane was prepared on an outer surface of a tubular α-alumina support by a secondary growth method. Changes of defect amount and crystallinity during secondary growth were carefully observed. The defect-less well-crystallized silicalite-1 membrane was obtained after 7-days crystallization at 373 K. The silicalite-1 membrane became (h0l)-orientation with increasing membrane thickness, possibly because the orientation was attributable to “evolutionally selection”. The (h0l)-oriented silicalite-1 membrane showed high p-xylene separation performance for a xylene isomer mixture (o-/m-/p-xylene = 0.4/0.4/0.4 kPa). The p-xylene permeance through the membrane was 6.52 × 10−8 mol m−2 s−1 Pa−1 with separation factors αp/o, αp/m of more than 100 at 373 K. As a result of microscopic analysis, it was suggested that a very thin part in the vicinity of surface played as effective separation layer and could contribute to high permeation performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zeolites)
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Article
Structural Variations in Manganese Halide Chain Compounds Mediated by Methylimidazolium Isomers
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100930 - 13 Oct 2020
Abstract
The structures of two new hybrid organic–inorganic manganese halide compounds [1MiH]MnCl3(H2O) and [4MiH]MnCl3(H2O) ([1MiH] = 1-methylimidazolium, [4MiH] = 4-methylimidazolium) have been determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Both are composed of one dimensional [MnCl3 [...] Read more.
The structures of two new hybrid organic–inorganic manganese halide compounds [1MiH]MnCl3(H2O) and [4MiH]MnCl3(H2O) ([1MiH] = 1-methylimidazolium, [4MiH] = 4-methylimidazolium) have been determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Both are composed of one dimensional [MnCl3(H2O)]n edge-sharing octahedral chains. The structures are compared to the previously reported isomeric analogue [2MiH]MnCl3(H2O) ([2MiH] = 2-methylimidazolium), and three closely related compounds. The variations in packing of the inorganic chains are shown to be influenced by hydrogen bonding abilities of the imidazolium or related moieties. Both new compounds show intense red luminescence at ambient temperature under UV irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coordination Polymers: Structure, Bonding and Applications)
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Article
Influence of Alumina Air-Abrasion on Flexural and Shear Bond Strengths of CAD/CAM Composite
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100927 - 12 Oct 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to clarify the influence of alumina air-abrasion on flexural and bond strengths of CAD/CAM composites. The flexural strength (FS) of two brands of commercial CAD/CAM composites was investigated by the three-point bending test using two specimen designs: [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the influence of alumina air-abrasion on flexural and bond strengths of CAD/CAM composites. The flexural strength (FS) of two brands of commercial CAD/CAM composites was investigated by the three-point bending test using two specimen designs: the single-bar according to the ISO standard and the bonded-double-bar fabricated by bonding two bars with a resin cement. The bond strength between the composites and the resin cement was measured by a conventional shear bond strength (SBS) test. The FS of single-bar specimens was significantly decreased by the air-abrasion. For the FS of the bonded-double-bar specimen, on the other hand, there was no significant difference between the specimens with/without air-abrasion. The SBS for the composites was significantly increased by air-abrasion. The results suggest that alumina air-abrasion improves the SBS of the composites while weakening its FS. Contrarily, the FS of the air-abraded composite did not decrease when the composites were bonded with the resin cement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resin Ceramics Composite)
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Article
Effect of Process Conditions on Particle Size and Shape in Continuous Antisolvent Crystallisation of Lovastatin
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100925 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Lovastatin crystals often exhibit an undesirable needle-like morphology. Several studies have shown how a needle-like morphology can be modified in antisolvent crystallisation with the use of additives, but there is much less experimental work demonstrating crystal shape modification without the use of additives. [...] Read more.
Lovastatin crystals often exhibit an undesirable needle-like morphology. Several studies have shown how a needle-like morphology can be modified in antisolvent crystallisation with the use of additives, but there is much less experimental work demonstrating crystal shape modification without the use of additives. In this study, a series of unseeded continuous antisolvent crystallisation experiments were conducted with the process conditions of supersaturation, total flow rate, and ultrasound level being varied to determine their effects on crystal size and shape. This experimental work involved identifying acetone/water as the most suitable solvent/antisolvent system, assessing lovastatin nucleation behaviour by means of induction time measurements, and then designing and implementing the continuous antisolvent crystallisation experiments. It was found that in order to produce the smallest and least needle-like particles, the maximum total flow rate and supersaturation had to be combined with the application of ultrasound. These results should aid development of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes where the ability to control particle size and shape would allow for optimisation of crystal isolation and more efficient downstream processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystallization Processes: Food and Pharmaceutical Crystals)
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Article
Crystallization of ApoA1 and ApoE4 Nanolipoprotein Particles and Initial XFEL-Based Structural Studies
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100886 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs), also called “nanodiscs”, are discoidal particles with a patch of lipid bilayer corralled by apolipoproteins. NLPs have long been of interest due to both their utility as membrane-model systems into which membrane proteins can be inserted and solubilized and their [...] Read more.
Nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs), also called “nanodiscs”, are discoidal particles with a patch of lipid bilayer corralled by apolipoproteins. NLPs have long been of interest due to both their utility as membrane-model systems into which membrane proteins can be inserted and solubilized and their physiological role in lipid and cholesterol transport via high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) maturation, which are important for human health. Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) at X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) is a powerful approach for structural biology of membrane proteins, which are traditionally difficult to crystallize as large single crystals capable of producing high-quality diffraction suitable for structure determination. To facilitate understanding of the specific role of two apolipoprotein/lipid complexes, ApoA1 and ApoE4, in lipid binding and HDL/LDL particle maturation dynamics, and to develop new SFX methods involving NLP membrane protein encapsulation, we have prepared and crystallized homogeneous populations of ApoA1 and ApoE4 NLPs. Crystallization of empty NLPs yields semi-ordered objects that appear crystalline and give highly anisotropic and diffuse X-ray diffraction, similar to fiber diffraction. Several unit cell parameters were approximately determined for both NLPs from these measurements. Thus, low-background, sample conservative methods of delivery are critical. Here we implemented a fixed target sample delivery scheme utilizing the Roadrunner fast-scanning system and ultra-thin polymer/graphene support films, providing a low-volume, low-background approach to membrane protein SFX. This study represents initial steps in obtaining structural information for ApoA1 and ApoE4 NLPs and developing this system as a supporting scaffold for future structural studies of membrane proteins crystalized in a native lipid environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macromolecular Serial Crystallography (Volume II))
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Article
Electric Transport of Nodal Line Semimetals in Single-Component Molecular Conductors
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100862 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
We examine an effect of acoustic phonon scattering on the electric conductivity of a single-component molecular conductor [Pd(dddt)2] (dddt = 5,6-dihydro-1,4-dithiin-2,3-dithiolate) with a half-filled band by applying the previous calculation in a two-dimensional model with Dirac cone [Phys. Rev. B. 98, 161205 (2018)], wherethe electric transport by the impurity scattering exhibits a noticeable interplay of the Dirac cone and the phonon scattering, resulting in maximum of the conductivity with increasing temperature. The conductor shows a nodal line semimetal, where the band crossing of HOMO (Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital) and LUMO (Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital) provides a loop of Dirac points located close to the Fermi energy followed by the density of states (DOS) similar to that of a two-dimensional Dirac cone. Using a tight-binding (TB) model [arXiv:2008.09277], which was obtained using the crystal structure observed from a recent X ray diffraction experiment under pressure, it is shown that the obtained conductivity explains reasonably the anomalous behavior in [Pd(dddt)2] exhibiting temperature-independent resistivity at finite temperatures. This paper demonstrates a crucial role of the acoustic phonon scattering at finite temperatures in the electric conductivity of Dirac electrons. The present theoretical results of conductivity are compared with those of the experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Conductors)
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Article
Shear Induced TiO2 Nano Structure Using Brush-Coating for Liquid Crystal Alignment
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100860 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
We have developed a very useful and cost-effective liquid crystal (LC) alignment layer of brush-coated TiO2 that is solution-processable for twisted nematic (TN) LC cells. TiO2 was prepared via the sol-gel method. The TiO2 solution was brush-coated on the substrate, [...] Read more.
We have developed a very useful and cost-effective liquid crystal (LC) alignment layer of brush-coated TiO2 that is solution-processable for twisted nematic (TN) LC cells. TiO2 was prepared via the sol-gel method. The TiO2 solution was brush-coated on the substrate, followed by an annealing process. During the brush-coating process, a retracting force is generated on the deposited TiO solutions along the coating direction. The annealing process hardens the TiO2 and generates shearing stress arising from the retracting force along the brush-coating direction. The shearing stress created highly oriented nano/microstructure and uniformly aligned LCs with a stable pretilt angle of 0.6°. TN mode LC cells based on brush-coated TiO2 exhibited a performance of 12.5 ms of response and a threshold voltage of 1.8 V. Our brush-coated TiO2 incorporates two steps of the film deposition and alignment process into one step. Full article
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Article
Anatomical Variation of Human Bone Bioapatite Crystallography
Crystals 2020, 10(10), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10100859 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This systematic investigation of bioapatite, the mineral component of human bone, aims to characterize its crystallographic state, including lattice parameters and average crystallite size, and correlate these values with respect to anatomical position (bone function), physicality, and bone chemical composition. In sample sets [...] Read more.
This systematic investigation of bioapatite, the mineral component of human bone, aims to characterize its crystallographic state, including lattice parameters and average crystallite size, and correlate these values with respect to anatomical position (bone function), physicality, and bone chemical composition. In sample sets of buried bone from three different human adult skeletons, anatomical variation of crystallographic parameters and correlation to chemical composition were indeed observed. In general, the observed bioapatite a unit-cell edge-length among all analyzed human bones in this study was larger by 0.1–0.2% compared to that of stoichiometric hydroxylapatite (HAp), and substantially larger than that of fluorapatite (FAp). Across all analyzed samples, the a (=b) lattice parameter (unit cell edge-length) varies more than does the c lattice parameter. Average crystallite size (average coherent diffracting domain size) in the c-direction was equal to approximately 25 nm, ranging among the analyzed 18 bone samples from about 20–32 nm, and varying more than crystallite size in the a,b-direction (~8–10 nm). Neither lattice parameters nor average bioapatite crystallite sizes appeared to be correlated with bone mechanical function. The relative chemical composition of the bone material, however, was shown to correlate with the a (=b) lattice parameter. To our knowledge, this research provides, for the first time, the systematic study of the crystallographic parameters of human bone bioapatite in the context of anatomical position, physical constitution, and bone chemical composition using X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biominerals: Formation, Function, Properties)
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Article
Depth Profile Analysis of Deep Level Defects in 4H-SiC Introduced by Radiation
Crystals 2020, 10(9), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10090845 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Deep level defects created by implantation of light-helium and medium heavy carbon ions in the single ion regime and neutron irradiation in n-type 4H-SiC are characterized by the DLTS technique. Two deep levels with energies 0.4 eV (EH1) and 0.7 eV (EH3) below [...] Read more.
Deep level defects created by implantation of light-helium and medium heavy carbon ions in the single ion regime and neutron irradiation in n-type 4H-SiC are characterized by the DLTS technique. Two deep levels with energies 0.4 eV (EH1) and 0.7 eV (EH3) below the conduction band minimum are created in either ion implanted and neutron irradiated material beside carbon vacancies (Z1/2). In our study, we analyze components of EH1 and EH3 deep levels based on their concentration depth profiles, in addition to (−3/=) and (=/−) transition levels of silicon vacancy. A higher EH3 deep level concentration compared to the EH1 deep level concentration and a slight shift of the EH3 concentration depth profile to larger depths indicate that an additional deep level contributes to the DLTS signal of the EH3 deep level, most probably the defect complex involving interstitials. We report on the introduction of metastable M-center by light/medium heavy ion implantation and neutron irradiation, previously reported in cases of proton and electron irradiation. Contribution of M-center to the EH1 concentration profile is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystalline Materials for Radiation Detection: A New Perspectives)
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Article
Large Angle Forward Diffraction by Chiral Liquid Crystal Gratings with Inclined Helical Axis
Crystals 2020, 10(9), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10090807 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
A layer of chiral liquid crystal (CLC) with a photonic bandgap in the visible range has excellent reflective properties. Recently, two director configurations have been proposed in the literature for CLC between two substrates with periodic photo-alignment: one with the director parallel to [...] Read more.
A layer of chiral liquid crystal (CLC) with a photonic bandgap in the visible range has excellent reflective properties. Recently, two director configurations have been proposed in the literature for CLC between two substrates with periodic photo-alignment: one with the director parallel to the substrates and one with the director in the bulk parallel to the tilted plane. The transmission experiments under large angles of incidence (AOI) presented in this work prove that, in the bulk, the director does not remain parallel with the substrates. Because of the inclined helical axis, the full reflection band can be observed at a smaller AOI than in planar CLC. For sufficiently large AOI, the reflection of diffracted light is prohibited by total internal reflection and efficient diffraction occurs in the forward direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nematic Liquid Crystals)
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Article
Microplates for Crystal Growth and in situ Data Collection at a Synchrotron Beamline
Crystals 2020, 10(9), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10090798 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
An efficient data collection method is important for microcrystals, because microcrystals are sensitive to radiation damage. Moreover, microcrystals are difficult to harvest and locate owing to refraction effects from the surface of the liquid drop or optically invisible, owing to their small size. [...] Read more.
An efficient data collection method is important for microcrystals, because microcrystals are sensitive to radiation damage. Moreover, microcrystals are difficult to harvest and locate owing to refraction effects from the surface of the liquid drop or optically invisible, owing to their small size. Collecting X-ray diffraction data directly from the crystallization devices to completely eliminate the crystal harvesting step is of particular interest. To address these needs, novel microplates combining crystal growth and data collection have been designed for efficient in situ data collection and fully tested at Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) crystallography beamlines. The design of the novel microplates fully adapts the advantage of in situ technology. Thin Kapton membranes were selected to seal the microplate for crystal growth, the crystallization plates can support hanging drop and setting drop vapor diffusion crystallization experiments. Then, the microplate was fixed on a magnetic base and mounted on the goniometer head for in situ data collection. Automatic grid scanning was applied for crystal location with a Blu-Ice data collection system and then in situ data collection was performed. The microcrystals of lysozyme were selected as the testing samples for diffraction data collection using the novel microplates. The results show that this method can achieve comparable data quality to that of the traditional method using the nylon loop. In addition, our method can efficiently and diversely perform data acquisition experiments, and be especially suitable for solving structures of multiple crystals at room temperature or cryogenic temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Crystallization)
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Article
Optimal Control of SiC Crystal Growth in the RF-TSSG System Using Reinforcement Learning
Crystals 2020, 10(9), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10090791 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
We have developed a reinforcement learning (RL) model to control the melt flow in the radio frequency (RF) top-seeded solution growth (TSSG) process for growing more uniform SiC crystals with a higher growth rate. In the study, the electromagnetic field (EM) strength is [...] Read more.
We have developed a reinforcement learning (RL) model to control the melt flow in the radio frequency (RF) top-seeded solution growth (TSSG) process for growing more uniform SiC crystals with a higher growth rate. In the study, the electromagnetic field (EM) strength is controlled by the RL model to weaken the influence of Marangoni convection. The RL model is trained through a two-dimensional (2D) numerical simulation of the TSSG process. As a result, the growth rate under the control of the RL model is improved significantly. The optimized RF-coil parameters based on the control strategy for the 2D melt flow are used in a three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulation for model validation, which predicts a higher and more uniform growth rate. It is shown that the present RL model can significantly reduce the development cost and offers a useful means of finding the optimal RF-coil parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystal Growth from Liquid Phase)
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Article
Efficient Broadband Truncated-Pyramid-Based Metamaterial Absorber in the Visible and Near-Infrared Regions
Crystals 2020, 10(9), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10090784 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
We present a design of an ultra-broadband metamaterial absorber in the visible and near- infrared regions. The unit cell structure consists of a single layer of metallic truncated-pyramid resonator-dielectric-metal configuration, which results in a high absorption over a broad wavelength range. The absorber [...] Read more.
We present a design of an ultra-broadband metamaterial absorber in the visible and near- infrared regions. The unit cell structure consists of a single layer of metallic truncated-pyramid resonator-dielectric-metal configuration, which results in a high absorption over a broad wavelength range. The absorber exhibits 98% absorption at normal incidence spanning a wideband range of 417–1091 nm, with >99% absorption within 822–1054 nm. The broadband absorption stability maintains 95% at large incident angles up to 40° for the transverse electric (TE)-mode and 20° for the transverse magnetic (TM)-mode. Furthermore, the polarization-insensitive broadband absorption is presented in this paper by analyzing absorption performance with various polarization angles. The proposed absorber can be applied for applications such as solar cells, infrared detection, and communication systems thanks to the convenient and compatible bandwidth for electronic THz sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Nanostructures)
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Article
Parameter Estimation of the Stochastic Primary Nucleation Kinetics by Stochastic Integrals Using Focused-Beam Reflectance Measurements
Crystals 2020, 10(5), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10050380 - 07 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The kinetic parameters of stochastic primary nucleation were estimated for the batch-cooling crystallization of L-arginine. It is difficult for process analytical tools to detect the first nucleus. In this study, the latent period for the total number of crystals to be increased to [...] Read more.
The kinetic parameters of stochastic primary nucleation were estimated for the batch-cooling crystallization of L-arginine. It is difficult for process analytical tools to detect the first nucleus. In this study, the latent period for the total number of crystals to be increased to a predetermined threshold was repeatedly measured with focused-beam reflectance measurements. Consequently, the latent periods were different in each measurement due to the stochastic behavior of both primary and secondary nucleation. Therefore, at first, the distribution of the latent periods was estimated by a Monte Carlo simulation for some combinations of the kinetic parameters of primary nucleation. In the simulation, stochastic integrals of the population and mass balance equations were solved. Then, the parameters of the distribution of latent periods were estimated and correlated with the kinetic parameters of primary nucleation. The resulting correlation was represented by a mapping. Finally, the parameters of the actual distribution were input into the inverse mapping, and the kinetic parameters were estimated as the outputs. The estimated kinetic parameters were validated using statistical techniques, which implied that the observed distribution function of the latent periods for the thresholds used in the estimation coincided reasonably with the simulated one based on the estimated parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystal Nucleation and Growth Kinetics)
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Article
LED as Transmitter and Receiver of Light: A Simple Tool to Demonstration Photoelectric Effect
Crystals 2019, 9(10), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9100531 - 15 Oct 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
The experimental observations of the photoelectric effect show the properties of quantum mechanics of the electromagnetic field. For this reason, this important effect is commonly used as an introductory topic for the study of quantum physics. The “classical” demonstration of the photoelectric effect [...] Read more.
The experimental observations of the photoelectric effect show the properties of quantum mechanics of the electromagnetic field. For this reason, this important effect is commonly used as an introductory topic for the study of quantum physics. The “classical” demonstration of the photoelectric effect is very incisive; unfortunately, the experimental apparatus is not cheap and easy to realize. The typical use of LEDs is as light emitters, but they can be used even as photosensors and, in this case, they are sensitive to wavelengths equal to or shorter than the predominant wavelength it emits. Furthermore, a LED used as detector is sensitive to wavelengths equal to or shorter than the predominant wavelength it emits. This ability of LEDs offers the possibility of developing a simple tool able to demonstrate the photoelectric effect. This paper describes the realization of an economic, simple, easy and safe system to use for the experimental demonstration of the photoelectric effect, based on the LED to LED structure. The paper has educational purposes, oriented towards laboratory teaching activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs))
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Article
Bifurcated Triel Bonds—Hydrides and Halides of 1,2-Bis(Dichloroboryl)Benzene and 1,8-Bis(Dichloroboryl)Naphthalene
Crystals 2019, 9(10), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9100503 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ calculations were performed on hydrides, fluorides, and chlorides of 1,8-bis(dichloroboryl)naphthalene and 1,2-bis(dichloroboryl)benzene. The theoretical analysis of BHB, BFB, and BClB arrangements occurring in these complexes and classified as bifurcated triel bonds was partly based on decomposition of [...] Read more.
MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ calculations were performed on hydrides, fluorides, and chlorides of 1,8-bis(dichloroboryl)naphthalene and 1,2-bis(dichloroboryl)benzene. The theoretical analysis of BHB, BFB, and BClB arrangements occurring in these complexes and classified as bifurcated triel bonds was partly based on decomposition of the energy of interaction. The latter was carried out for structures optimized using the DFT method. The complexes analyzed were characterized by a partly covalent character of the links to the hydride and halide anions; these anions strongly influenced the geometry of the complexes. The boron centers’ links for the neutral 1,8-bis(dichloroboryl)naphthalene and 1,2-bis(dichloroboryl)benzene molecules were characterized by approximately trigonal and planar configurations, while for anionic complexes, tetrahedral configurations were observed. The crystal structures of compounds related to species calculated here were found in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). Full article
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Article
Critical Review of Scintillating Crystals for Neutron Detection
Crystals 2019, 9(9), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9090480 - 13 Sep 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
There exists an ongoing need to develop and improve methods of detecting radioactive materials. As each radioactive isotope leaves a unique mark in a form of the particles it emits, new materials capable of detecting and measuring these particles are constantly sought. Neutrons [...] Read more.
There exists an ongoing need to develop and improve methods of detecting radioactive materials. As each radioactive isotope leaves a unique mark in a form of the particles it emits, new materials capable of detecting and measuring these particles are constantly sought. Neutrons and their detectors play a significant role in areas such as nuclear power generation, nuclear decommissioning and decontamination, border security, nuclear proliferation and nuclear medicine. Owing to the complexity of their detection, as well as scarcity of 3He, which has historically been the preferred choice for neutron detection in many application fields, new sensitive materials are sought. Organic and inorganic scintillating crystals have been recognised as particularly good alternatives, and as such systems that utilise them are increasingly common. As they allow investigation of the neutron energy spectra, greater information about the radioactive source can be inferred. Therefore, in this article, an extensive review of scintillating crystals used for neutron detection is presented. By describing the history of scintillating crystals and discussing changes that occurred in their use and development of methods for radiation detection, the authors present a comprehensive overview of the current situation. Supported by a practical example, possible future directions of the research area are also presented. Full article
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Article
Direct Growth of Flower-Shaped ZnO Nanostructures on FTO Substrate for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Crystals 2019, 9(8), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9080405 - 04 Aug 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
The proposed work reports that ZnO nanoflowers were grown on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrates via a solution process at low temperature. The high purity and well-crystalline behavior of ZnO nanoflowers were established by X-ray diffraction. The morphological characteristics of ZnO nanoflowers were [...] Read more.
The proposed work reports that ZnO nanoflowers were grown on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrates via a solution process at low temperature. The high purity and well-crystalline behavior of ZnO nanoflowers were established by X-ray diffraction. The morphological characteristics of ZnO nanoflowers were clearly revealed that the grown flower structures were in high density with 3D floral structure comprising of small rods assembled as petals. Using UV absorption and Raman spectroscopy, the optical and structural properties of the ZnO nanoflowers were studied. The photoelectrochemical properties of the ZnO nanoflowers were studied by utilizing as a photoanode for the manufacture of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The fabricated DSSC with ZnO nanoflowers photoanode attained reasonable overall conversion efficiency of ~1.40% and a short-circuit current density (JSC) of ~4.22 mA cm−2 with an open circuit voltage (VOC) of 0.615 V and a fill factor (FF) of ~0.54. ZnO nanostructures have given rise to possible utilization as an inexpensive and efficient photoanode materials for DSSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Oxide Nanomaterials and Based Devices)
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Article
Optical Transport Properties of Graphene Surface Plasmon Polaritons in Mid-Infrared Band
Crystals 2019, 9(7), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9070354 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
The excellent transmission characteristics of graphene surface plasmon polaritons in mid-infrared band were analyzed and verified effectively through theoretical derivation and soft simulation in this paper. Meanwhile, a sandwich waveguide structure of dielectric–graphene–substrate–dielectric based on graphene surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) was presented. Simulation [...] Read more.
The excellent transmission characteristics of graphene surface plasmon polaritons in mid-infrared band were analyzed and verified effectively through theoretical derivation and soft simulation in this paper. Meanwhile, a sandwich waveguide structure of dielectric–graphene–substrate–dielectric based on graphene surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) was presented. Simulation results indicate that graphene SPPs show unique properties in the mid-infrared region including ultra-compact mode confinement and dynamic tunability, which allow these SPPs to overcome the defects of metal SPPs and traditional silicon-based optoelectronic devices. Thus, they can be used to manufacture subwavelength devices. The work in this paper lays a theoretical foundation for the application of graphene SPPs in the mid-infrared region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene Mechanics)
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Article
The Fabrication of Calcium Alginate Beads as a Green Sorbent for Selective Recovery of Cu(Ⅱ) from Metal Mixtures
Crystals 2019, 9(5), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9050255 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Calcium alginate (CA) beads as a green sorbent were easily fabricated in this study using sodium alginate crosslinking with CaCl2, and the crosslinking pathway was the exchange between the sodium ion of α-L-guluronic acid and Ca(II). The experimental study was conducted [...] Read more.
Calcium alginate (CA) beads as a green sorbent were easily fabricated in this study using sodium alginate crosslinking with CaCl2, and the crosslinking pathway was the exchange between the sodium ion of α-L-guluronic acid and Ca(II). The experimental study was conducted on Cu(II), Cd(II), Ni(II) and Zn(II) as the model heavy metals and the concentration was determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The characterization and sorption behavior of the CA beads were analyzed in detail via using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The adsorption experiments demonstrated that the CA beads exhibited a high removal efficiency for the selective adsorption of Cu(II) from the tetra metallic mixture solution and an excellent adsorption capacity of the heavy metals separately. According to the isotherm studies, the maximum uptake of Cu(II) could reach 107.53 mg/g, which was significantly higher than the other three heavy metal ions in the tetra metallic mixture solution. Additionally, after five cycles of adsorption and desorption, the uptake rate of Cu(II) on CA beads was maintained at 92%. According to the properties mentioned above, this material was assumed to be applied to reduce heavy metal pollution or recover valuable metals from waste water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Layered Double Hydroxides)
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