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The open access journal Research, published in association with CAST, publishes innovative, wide-ranging research in life sciences, physical sciences, engineering and applied science.
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.
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Large-Scale Synthesis of the Stable Co-Free Layered Oxide Cathode by the Synergetic Contribution of Multielement Chemical Substitution for Practical Sodium-Ion Battery
The O3-type layered oxide cathodes for sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) are considered as one of the most promising systems to fully meet the requirement for future practical application. However, fatal issues in several respects such as poor air stability, irreversible complex multiphase evolution, inferior cycling lifespan, and poor industrial feasibility are restricting their commercialization development. Here, a stable Co-free O3-type NaNi0.4Cu0.05Mg0.05Mn0.4Ti0.1O2 cathode material with large-scale production could solve these problems for practical SIBs. Owing to the synergetic contribution of the multielement chemical substitution strategy, this novel cathode not only shows excellent air stability and thermal stability as well as a simple phase-transition process but also delivers outstanding battery performance in half-cell and full-cell systems. Meanwhile, various advanced characterization techniques are utilized to accurately decipher the crystalline formation process, atomic arrangement, structural evolution, and inherent effect mechanisms. Surprisingly, apart from restraining the unfavorable multiphase transformation and enhancing air stability, the accurate multielement chemical substitution engineering also shows a pinning effect to alleviate the lattice strains for the high structural reversibility and enlarges the interlayer spacing reasonably to enhance Na+ diffusion, resulting in excellent comprehensive performance. Overall, this study explores the fundamental scientific understandings of multielement chemical substitution strategy and opens up a new field for increasing the practicality to commercialization.
Electronic Skin from High-Throughput Fabrication of Intrinsically Stretchable Lead Zirconate Titanate Elastomer
Electronic skin made of thin, soft, stretchable devices that can mimic the human skin and reconstruct the tactile sensation and perception offers great opportunities for prosthesis sensing, robotics controlling, and human-machine interfaces. Advanced materials and mechanics engineering of thin film devices has proven to be an efficient route to enable and enhance flexibility and stretchability of various electronic skins; however, the density of devices is still low owing to the limitation in existing fabrication techniques. Here, we report a high-throughput one-step process to fabricate large tactile sensing arrays with a sensor density of 25 sensors/cm2 for electronic skin, where the sensors are based on intrinsically stretchable piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) elastomer. The PZT elastomer sensor arrays with great uniformity and passive-driven manner enable high-resolution tactile sensing, simplify the data acquisition process, and lower the manufacturing cost. The high-throughput fabrication process provides a general platform for integrating intrinsically stretchable materials into large area, high device density soft electronics for the next-generation electronic skin.
Recent Progress of Biomarker Detection Sensors
Early cancer diagnosis and treatment are crucial research fields of human health. One method that has proven efficient is biomarker detection which can provide real-time and accurate biological information for early diagnosis. This review presents several biomarker sensors based on electrochemistry, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), nanowires, other nanostructures, and, most recently, metamaterials which have also shown their mechanisms and prospects in application in recent years. Compared with previous reviews, electrochemistry-based biomarker sensors have been classified into three strategies according to their optimizing methods in this review. This makes it more convenient for researchers to find a specific fabrication method to improve the performance of their sensors. Besides that, as microfabrication technologies have improved and novel materials are explored, some novel biomarker sensors—such as nanowire-based and metamaterial-based biomarker sensors—have also been investigated and summarized in this review, which can exhibit ultrahigh resolution, sensitivity, and limit of detection (LoD) in a more complex detection environment. The purpose of this review is to understand the present by reviewing the past. Researchers can break through bottlenecks of existing biomarker sensors by reviewing previous works and finally meet the various complex detection needs for the early diagnosis of human cancer.
All-in-One Deposition to Synergistically Manipulate Perovskite Growth for High-Performance Solar Cell
Nonradiative recombination losses originating from crystallographic distortions and issues occurring upon interface formation are detrimental for the photovoltaic performance of perovskite solar cells. Herein, we incorporated a series of carbamide molecules (urea, biuret, or triuret) consisting of both Lewis base (–NH2) and Lewis acid (–C=O) groups into the perovskite precursor to simultaneously eliminate the bulk and interface defects. Depending on the different coordination ability with perovskite component, the incorporated molecules can either modify crystallization dynamics allowing for large crystal growth at low temperature (60°C), associate with antisite or undercoordinated ions for defect passivation, or accumulate at the surface as an energy cascade layer to enhance charge transfer, respectively. Synergistic benefits of the above functions can be obtained by rationally optimizing additive combinations in an all-in-one deposition method. As a result, a champion efficiency of 21.6% with prolonged operational stability was achieved in an inverted MAPbI3 perovskite solar cell by combining biuret and triuret additives. The simplified all-in-one fabrication procedure, adaptable to different types of perovskites in terms of pure MAPbI3, mixed perovskite, and all-inorganic perovskite, provides a cost-efficient and reproducible way to obtain high-performance inverted perovskite solar cells.
Photothermally Responsive Conjugated Polymeric Singlet Oxygen Carrier for Phase Change-Controlled and Sustainable Phototherapy for Hypoxic Tumor
Hypoxia significantly compromises the therapeutic performance of photodynamic therapy (PDT) owing to the oxygen level which plays a key role in the production of singlet oxygen (1O2). Herein, the photothermally responsive phase change materials (PCM) are used to encapsulate 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene-functionalized platinum(II)-acetylide conjugated polymer (CP1) with intense near-infrared (NIR) absorption to prepare new 1O2 nanocarriers (CP1-NCs). The 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene moieties in CP1-NCs can trap the 1O2 produced from CP1 under irradiation and form a stable endoperoxide. Then, the endoperoxide undergoes cycloreversion to controllably release 1O2 via the NIR light-triggered photothermal effect of CP1 and controllable phase change of PCM, which can be used for oxygen-independent PDT for hypoxic tumor. Furthermore, the in vivo luminescence imaging-guided synergistic PDT and photothermal therapy showed better efficiency in tumor ablation. The smart design shows the potent promise of CP1-NCs in PCM-controlled and sustainable phototherapy under tumor hypoxic microenvironment, providing new insights for constructing oxygen-independent precise cancer phototherapeutic platform.
Electrodes with Electrodeposited Water-excluding Polymer Coating Enable High-Voltage Aqueous Supercapacitors
Aqueous supercapacitors are powerful energy sources, but they are limited by energy density that is much lower than lithium-ion batteries. Since raising the voltage beyond the thermodynamic potential for water splitting (1.23 V) can boost the energy density, there has been much effort on water-stabilizing salvation additives such as Li2SO4 that can provide an aqueous electrolyte capable of withstanding ~1.8 V. Guided by the first-principles calculations that reveal water can promote hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions, here, we pursue a new strategy of covering the electrode with a dense electroplated polymerized polyacrylic acid, which is an electron insulator but a proton conductor and proton reservoir. The combined effect of salvation and coating expands the electrochemical window throughout pH 3 to pH 10 to 2.4 V for both fast and slow proton-mediated redox reactions. This allows activated carbon to quadruple the energy density, a kilogram of nitrogen-doped graphene to provide 127 Watt-hour, and both to have improved endurance because of suppression of water-mediated corrosion. Therefore, aqueous supercapacitors can now achieve energy densities quite comparable to that of a lithium-ion battery, but at 100 times the charging/discharging speed and cycle durability.