Vertical Graphenes Grown on a Flexible Graphite Paper as an All-Carbon Current Collector towards Stable Li Deposition

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 Journal profile

The open access journal Research, published in association with CAST, publishes innovative, wide-ranging research in life sciences, physical sciences, engineering and applied science.

 Editorial Board

Research's Editorial Board includes international experts in fields ranging from life sciences to physical sciences. Tianhong Cui of University of Minnesota and Wei Huang of Northwestern Polytechnical University, China serve as the Editors-in-Chief of the journal.

 Abstracting and Indexing

Research is indexed in various databases, including: Web of Science-Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)PubMed Central (PMC), and Scopus

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Research Article

Boosting Lattice Oxygen Oxidation of Perovskite to Efficiently Catalyze Oxygen Evolution Reaction by FeOOH Decoration

In the process of oxygen evolution reaction (OER) on perovskite, it is of great significance to accelerate the hindered lattice oxygen oxidation process to promote the slow kinetics of water oxidation. In this paper, a facile surface modification strategy of nanometer-scale iron oxyhydroxide (FeOOH) clusters depositing on the surface of LaNiO3 (LNO) perovskite is reported, and it can obviously promote hydroxyl adsorption and weaken Ni-O bond of LNO. The above relevant evidences are well demonstrated by the experimental results and DFT calculations. The excellent hydroxyl adsorption ability of FeOOH-LaNiO3 (Fe-LNO) can obviously optimize OH- filling barriers to promote lattice oxygen-participated OER (LOER), and the weakened Ni-O bond of LNO perovskite can obviously reduce the reaction barrier of the lattice oxygen participation mechanism (LOM). Based on the above synergistic catalysis effect, the Fe-LNO catalyst exhibits a maximum factor of 5 catalytic activity increases for OER relative to the pristine perovskite and demonstrates the fast reaction kinetics (low Tafel slope of 42 mV dec-1) and superior intrinsic activity (TOFs of ~40 O2 S-1 at 1.60 V vs. RHE).

Review Article

Requirement and Development of Hydrogel Micromotors towards Biomedical Applications

With controllable size, biocompatibility, porosity, injectability, responsivity, diffusion time, reaction, separation, permeation, and release of molecular species, hydrogel microparticles achieve multiple advantages over bulk hydrogels for specific biomedical procedures. Moreover, so far studies mostly concentrate on local responses of hydrogels to chemical and/or external stimuli, which significantly limit the scope of their applications. Tetherless micromotors are autonomous microdevices capable of converting local chemical energy or the energy of external fields into motive forces for self-propelled or externally powered/controlled motion. If hydrogels can be integrated with micromotors, their applicability can be significantly extended and can lead to fully controllable responsive chemomechanical biomicromachines. However, to achieve these challenging goals, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and motive mechanisms of hydrogel micromotors need to be simultaneously integrated. This review summarizes recent achievements in the field of micromotors and hydrogels and proposes next steps required for the development of hydrogel micromotors, which become increasingly important for in vivo and in vitro bioapplications.

Research Article

Light-Triggered Catalytic Performance Enhancement Using Magnetic Nanomotor Ensembles

Micro/nanomachines have attracted extensive attention in the biomedical and environmental fields for realizing functionalities at small scales. However, they have been rarely investigated as active nanocatalysts. Heterogeneous nanocatalysts have exceptional reusability and recyclability, and integration with magnetic materials enables their recovery with minimum loss. Herein, we propose a model active nanocatalyst using magnetic nanomotor ensembles (MNEs) that can degrade contaminants in an aqueous solution with high catalytic performance. MNEs composed of a magnetite core coated with gold nanoparticles as the nanocatalyst can rotate under the action of a programmable external field and carry out rapid reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP). The hydrogen bubbles generated in the catalytic reaction provide random perturbations for the MNEs to travel in the reaction solution, resulting in uniform processing. The reduction can be further boosted by irradiation with near-infrared (NIR) light. Magnetic field induces the rotation of the MNEs and provides microstirring in the catalysis. Light enhances the catalytic activity via the photothermal effect. These MNEs are also capable of moving to the targeted region through the application of a programmable magnetic field and then process the contaminant in the targeted region. We expect that such magnetic MNEs may help better in applying active heterogeneous nanocatalysts with magnetic field and light-enhanced performance in industrial applications due to their advantages of low material cost and short reaction time.

Research Article

Selective Adsorption and Electrocatalysis of Polysulfides through Hexatomic Nickel Clusters Embedded in N-Doped Graphene toward High-Performance Li-S Batteries

The shuttle effect hinders the practical application of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries due to the poor affinity between a substrate and Li polysulfides (LiPSs) and the sluggish transition of soluble LiPSs to insoluble Li2S or elemental S. Here, we report that Ni hexatomic clusters embedded in a nitrogen-doped three-dimensional (3D) graphene framework (Ni-N/G) possess stronger interaction with soluble polysulfides than that with insoluble polysulfides. The synthetic electrocatalyst deployed in the sulfur cathode plays a multifunctional role: (i) selectively adsorbing the polysulfides dissolved in the electrolyte, (ii) expediting the sluggish liquid-solid phase transformations at the active sites as electrocatalysts, and (iii) accelerating the kinetics of the electrochemical reaction of multielectron sulfur, thereby inhibiting the dissolution of LiPSs. The constructed S@Ni-N/G cathode delivers an areal capacity of 9.43 mAh cm-2 at 0.1 C at S loading of 6.8 mg cm-2, and it exhibits a gravimetric capacity of 1104 mAh g-1 with a capacity fading rate of 0.045% per cycle over 50 cycles at 0.2 C at S loading of 2.0 mg cm-2. This work opens a rational approach to achieve the selective adsorption and expediting of polysulfide transition for the performance enhancement of Li-S batteries.

Research Article

A Versatile Surface Bioengineering Strategy Based on Mussel-Inspired and Bioclickable Peptide Mimic

In this work, we present a versatile surface engineering strategy by the combination of mussel adhesive peptide mimicking and bioorthogonal click chemistry. The main idea reflected in this work derived from a novel mussel-inspired peptide mimic with a bioclickable azide group (i.e., DOPA4-azide). Similar to the adhesion mechanism of the mussel foot protein (i.e., covalent/noncovalent comediated surface adhesion), the bioinspired and bioclickable peptide mimic DOPA4-azide enables stable binding on a broad range of materials, such as metallic, inorganic, and organic polymer substrates. In addition to the material universality, the azide residues of DOPA4-azide are also capable of a specific conjugation of dibenzylcyclooctyne- (DBCO-) modified bioactive ligands through bioorthogonal click reaction in a second step. To demonstrate the applicability of this strategy for diversified biofunctionalization, we bioorthogonally conjugated several typical bioactive molecules with DBCO functionalization on different substrates to fabricate functional surfaces which fulfil essential requirements of biomedically used implants. For instance, antibiofouling, antibacterial, and antithrombogenic properties could be easily applied to the relevant biomaterial surfaces, by grafting antifouling polymer, antibacterial peptide, and NO-generating catalyst, respectively. Overall, the novel surface bioengineering strategy has shown broad applicability for both the types of substrate materials and the expected biofunctionalities. Conceivably, the “clean” molecular modification of bioorthogonal chemistry and the universality of mussel-inspired surface adhesion may synergically provide a versatile surface bioengineering strategy for a wide range of biomedical materials.

Research Article

Leukocyte Membrane-Coated Liquid Metal Nanoswimmers for Actively Targeted Delivery and Synergistic Chemophotothermal Therapy

We report a leukocyte membrane-coated gallium nanoswimmer (LMGNS) capable of ultrasound-propelled motion, antibiofouling, and cancer cell recognition and targeting. The LMGNS consists of a needle-shaped gallium core encapsulating an anticancer drug and a natural leukocyte membrane shell. Under the propulsion of an ultrasound field, LMGNSs could autonomously move in biological media with a speed up to 108.7 μm s−1. The velocity and motion direction of the LMGNSs can be modulated by regulating the frequency and voltage of the applied ultrasound field. Owing to the leukocyte membrane coating, LMGNSs can not only avoid biofouling during the motion in blood but also possess cancer cell recognition capability. These LMGNSs could actively seek, penetrate, and internalize into the cancer cells and achieve enhanced anticancer efficiency by combined photothermal and chemical therapy. Such biofunctionalized liquid metal nanoswimmer presents a new type of multifunctional platform for biomedical applications.