Interfaces often dictate heat flow in micro- and nanostructured systems. However, despite the growing importance of thermal management in micro- and nanoscale devices, a unified understanding of the atomic-scale structural features contributing to interfacial heat transport does not exist. Herein, we experimentally demonstrate a link between interfacial bonding character and thermal conductance at the atomic level. Our experimental system consists of a gold film transfer-printed to a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with systematically varied termination chemistries. Using a combination of ultrafast pump-probe techniques (time-domain thermoreflectance, TDTR, and picosecond acoustics) and laser spallation experiments, we independently measure and correlate changes in bonding strength and heat flow at the gold-SAM interface. For example, we experimentally demonstrate that varying the density of covalent bonds within this single bonding layer modulates both interfacial stiffness and interfacial thermal conductance. We believe that this experimental system will enable future quantification of other interfacial phenomena and will be a critical tool to stimulate and validate new theories describing the mechanisms of interfacial heat transport. Ultimately, these findings will impact applications, including thermoelectric energy harvesting, microelectronics cooling, and spatial targeting for hyperthermal therapeutics.
Artificial photosynthesis and the production of solar fuels could be a key element in a future renewable energy economy providing a solution to the energy storage problem in solar energy conversion. We describe a hybrid strategy for solar water splitting based on a dye sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cell. It uses a derivatized, core-shell nanostructured photoanode with the core a high surface area conductive metal oxide film--indium tin oxide or antimony tin oxide--coated with a thin outer shell of TiO 2 formed by atomic layer deposition. A "chromophore-catalyst assembly" 1, [(PO 3 H 2 ) 2 bpy) 2 Ru(4-Mebpy-4-bimpy)Rub(tpy)(OH 2 )] 4+ , which combines both light absorber and water oxidation catalyst in a single molecule, was attached to the TiO 2 shell. Visible photolysis of the resulting core-shell assembly structure with a Pt cathode resulted in water splitting into hydrogen and oxygen with an absorbed photon conversion efficiency of 4.4% at peak photocurrent.P hotosynthesis uses the energy of the sun with water as the reducing agent to drive the reduction of carbon dioxide to carbohydrates with oxygen as a coproduct through a remarkably complex process. At photosystem II, a subsystem imbedded in the thylakoid membrane where O 2 is produced, light absorption, energy migration, electron transfer, proton transfer, and catalysis are all used in multiple stepwise chemical reactions which are carefully orchestrated at the molecular level (1, 2).Photosynthesis solves the problem of energy storage by biomass production but with low solar efficiencies, typically <1%. In artificial photosynthesis with solar fuels production, the goal is similar but the targets are either hydrogen production from water splitting, Eq. 1, or reduction of carbon dioxide to a carbon-based fuel, Eq. 2 (3, 4). Different strategies for solar fuels have evolved (5, 6). In one, direct bandgap excitation of semiconductors creates electron-hole pairs which are then used to drive separate halfreactions for water oxidation (2H 2 O → O 2 + 4H + + 4e − ) and water/proton reduction (2H + + 2e − → H 2 ) (7-9).Here, we report a hybrid strategy for solar water splitting, the dye sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cell (DSPEC). It combines the electron transport properties of semiconductor nanocrystalline thin films with molecular-level reactions (10). In this approach, a chromophore-catalyst molecular assembly acts as both light absorber and catalyst. It is bound to the surface of a "core-shell," nanostructured, transparent conducting oxide film. The core structure consists of a nanoparticle film of either tin-doped indium oxide (nanoITO), or antimony-doped tin oxide (nanoATO), deposited on a fluoride-doped tin oxide (FTO) glass substrate. The shell consists of a conformal TiO 2 nanolayer applied by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The resulting "photoanode," where water oxidation occurs, is connected to a Pt cathode for proton reduction to complete the water splitting cell. A diagram for the photoanode in the DSPEC device is shown in Fig. 1. It illustrates...
A review of vapor phase infiltration (VPI), a unique gas-phase process for transforming polymers into organic–inorganic hybrid materials.
Selective thermal emission in a useful range of energies from a material operating at high temperatures is required for effective solar thermophotovoltaic energy conversion. Three-dimensional metallic photonic crystals can exhibit spectral emissivity that is modified compared with the emissivity of unstructured metals, resulting in an emission spectrum useful for solar thermophotovoltaics. However, retention of the three-dimensional mesostructure at high temperatures remains a significant challenge. Here we utilize self-assembled templates to fabricate high-quality tungsten photonic crystals that demonstrate unprecedented thermal stability up to at least 1,400°C and modified thermal emission at solar thermophotovoltaic operating temperatures. We also obtain comparable thermal and optical results using a photonic crystal comprising a previously unstudied material, hafnium diboride, suggesting that refractory metallic ceramic materials are viable candidates for photonic crystal-based solar thermophotovoltaic devices and should be more extensively studied.
Enhancing the surface binding stability of chromophores, catalysts, and chromophore-catalyst assemblies attached to metal oxide surfaces is an important element in furthering the development of dye sensitized solar cells, photoelectrosynthesis cells, and interfacial molecular catalysis. Phosphonate-derivatized catalysts and molecular assemblies provide a basis for sustained water oxidation on these surfaces in acidic solution but are unstable toward hydrolysis and loss from surfaces as the pH is increased. Here, we report enhanced surface binding stability of a phosphonate-derivatized water oxidation catalyst over a wide pH range (1-12) by atomic layer deposition of an overlayer of TiO 2 . Increased stability of surface binding, and the reactivity of the bound catalyst, provides a hybrid approach to heterogeneous catalysis combining the advantages of systematic modifications possible by chemical synthesis with heterogeneous reactivity. For the surface-stabilized catalyst, greatly enhanced rates of water oxidation are observed upon addition of buffer bases −H 2 PO − 4 /HPO 2− 4 , B(OH) 3 /B(OH) 2 O − , HPO 2− 4 /PO 3− 4 − and with a pathway identified in which O-atom transfer to OH − occurs with a rate constant increase of 10 6 compared to water oxidation in acid.electrocatalysis | surface stabilization H eterogeneous catalysis plays an important role in industrial chemical processing, fuel reforming, and energy-producing reactions. Examples include the Haber-Bosch process, steam reforming, Ziegler-Natta polymerization, and hydrocarbon cracking (1-8). Research in heterogeneous catalysis continues to flourish (9-15) but iterative design and modification are restricted by limitations in materials preparation and experimental access to surface mechanisms. By contrast, synthetic modification of molecular catalysts is possible by readily available routes; a variety of experimental techniques is available for monitoring rates and mechanism in solution for the investigation of homogeneous catalysis (16-23). Transferring this knowledge and the reactivity of homogeneous molecular catalysts to a surface could open the door to heterogeneous applications in fuel cells, dye sensitized photoelectrochemical cells, and multiphase industrial reactions.Procedures are available for immobilization of organometallic and coordination complexes on the surfaces of solid supports. Common strategies include surface derivatization of metal oxides by carboxylate, phosphonate, and siloxane bindings (24-27), carbongrafted electrodes (28-30), and electropolymerization (31-33). These approaches provide a useful bridge to the interface and a way to translate mechanistic understanding and ease of synthetic modification of solution catalysts to heterogeneous applications with a promise of higher reactivity under milder conditions. A significant barrier to this approach arises from the limited stability of surface binding. Surface-bound carboxylates are typically unstable to hydrolysis in water, whereas phosphonates are unstable in neutral or basic...
Conductive oxide thin films: Model systems for understanding and controlling surface plasmon resonance Attenuated-total-reflection predictions to surface-plasmon resonance in a layered structure J. Appl. Phys. 98, 053708 (2005); 10.1063/1.1991977 High resolution surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy Rev. Sci. Instrum. 70, 4656 (1999); 10.1063/1.1150128Detection of surface-plasmon evanescent fields using a metallic probe tip covered with fluorescence Rev.
Rapid room-temperature synthesis of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is highly desired for industrial implementation and commercialization. Here we find that a (Zn,Cu) hydroxy double salt (HDS) intermediate formed in situ from ZnO particles or thin films enables rapid growth (<1 min) of HKUST-1 (Cu3(BTC)2) at room temperature. The space-time-yield reaches >3 × 10(4) kg·m(-3)·d(-1), at least 1 order of magnitude greater than any prior report. The high anion exchange rate of (Zn,Cu) hydroxy nitrate HDS drives the ultrafast MOF formation. Similarly, we obtained Cu-BDC, ZIF-8, and IRMOF-3 structures from HDSs, demonstrating synthetic generality. Using ZnO thin films deposited via atomic layer deposition, MOF patterns are obtained on pre-patterned surfaces, and dense HKUST-1 coatings are grown onto various form factors, including polymer spheres, silicon wafers, and fibers. Breakthrough tests show that the MOF-functionalized fibers have high adsorption capacity for toxic gases. This rapid synthesis route is also promising for new MOF-based composite materials and applications.
Phenylboronic acids (PBAs) are being considered for glucose sensing and controlled insulin release, because of their affinity for diol-containing molecules. The interaction of immobilized PBAs in a hydrogel matrix with glucose can lead to volumetric changes that have been used to monitor glucose concentration and release insulin. Although the interaction of PBAs with diol-containing molecules has been intensively studied, the response of PBA-modified hydrogels as a function of the specific PBA chemistry is not well understood. To understand the interaction of immobilized PBAs with glucose in hydrogel systems under physiological conditions, the glucose-dependent volumetric changes of a series of hydrogel sensors functionalized with different classes of PBAs were investigated. The volume change induced by PBA-glucose interactions is converted to the diffracted wavelength shift by a crystalline colloidal array embedded in the hydrogel matrix. The PBAs studied contain varying structural parameters such as the position of the boronic acid on the phenyl ring, different substituents on PBAs and different linkers to the hydrogel backbone. The volumetric change of the PBA modified hydrogels is found to be highly dependent on the chemical structure of the immobilized PBAs. The PBAs that appear to provide linear volumetric responses to glucose are found to also have slow response kinetics and significant hysteresis, while PBAs that show nonlinear responses have fast response kinetics and small hysteresis. Electron-withdrawing substituents, which reduce the pK a of PBAs, either increase or decrease the magnitude of response, depending on the exact chemical structure. The response rate is increased by PBAs with electronwithdrawing substituents. Addition of a methylene bridge between the PBA and hydrogel backbone leads to a significant decrease in the response magnitude. PBAs with specific desirable features can be selected from the pool of available PBAs and other PBA derivatives with desired properties can be designed according to the findings reported here.
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