In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (15)

Articles by Laxmikant Saraf in JoVE

 JoVE Biology

Characterization of Calcification Events Using Live Optical and Electron Microscopy Techniques in a Marine Tubeworm

1Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University, 2Department of Marine Biodiversity Research (BioDive), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 3Advanced Material Research Laboratory (AMRL), Clemson University, 4Swire Institute of Marine Sciences and School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

JoVE 55164

Other articles by Laxmikant Saraf on PubMed

Self-assembled TiO2-graphene Hybrid Nanostructures for Enhanced Li-ion Insertion

ACS Nano. Apr, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19323486

We used anionic sulfate surfactants to assist the stabilization of graphene in aqueous solutions and facilitate the self-assembly of in situ grown nanocrystalline TiO2, rutile and anatase, with graphene. These nanostructured TiO2-graphene hybrid materials were used for investigation of Li-ion insertion properties. The hybrid materials showed significantly enhanced Li-ion insertion/extraction in TiO2. The specific capacity was more than doubled at high charge rates, as compared with the pure TiO2 phase. The improved capacity at high charge-discharge rate may be attributed to increased electrode conductivity in the presence of a percolated graphene network embedded into the metal oxide electrodes.

Near-field Localization in Plasmonic Superfocusing: a Nanoemitter on a Tip

Nano Letters. Feb, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20067296

Focusing light to subwavelength dimensions has been a long-standing desire in optics but has remained challenging, even with new strategies based on near-field effects, polaritons, and metamaterials. The adiabatic propagation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) on a conical taper as proposed theoretically has recently emerged as particularly promising to obtain a nanoconfined light source at the tip. Employing grating-coupling of SPPs onto gold tips, we demonstrate plasmonic nanofocusing into a localized excitation of approximately 20 nm in size and investigate its near- and far-field behavior. For cone angles of approximately 10-20 degrees , the breakdown of the adiabatic propagation conditions is found to be localized at or near the apex region with approximately 10 nm radius. Despite an asymmetric side-on SPP excitation, the apex far-field emission with axial polarization characteristics representing a radially symmetric SPP mode in the nanofocus confirms that the conical tip acts as an effective mode filter with only the fundamental radially symmetric TM mode (m = 0) propagating to the apex. We demonstrate the use of these tips as a source for nearly background-free scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM).

Ternary Self-assembly of Ordered Metal Oxide-graphene Nanocomposites for Electrochemical Energy Storage

ACS Nano. Mar, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20184383

Surfactant or polymer directed self-assembly has been widely investigated to prepare nanostructured metal oxides, semiconductors, and polymers, but this approach is mostly limited to two-phase materials, organic/inorganic hybrids, and nanoparticle or polymer-based nanocomposites. Self-assembled nanostructures from more complex, multiscale, and multiphase building blocks have been investigated with limited success. Here, we demonstrate a ternary self-assembly approach using graphene as fundamental building blocks to construct ordered metal oxide-graphene nanocomposites. A new class of layered nanocomposites is formed containing stable, ordered alternating layers of nanocrystalline metal oxides with graphene or graphene stacks. Alternatively, the graphene or graphene stacks can be incorporated into liquid-crystal-templated nanoporous structures to form high surface area, conductive networks. The self-assembly method can also be used to fabricate free-standing, flexible metal oxide-graphene nanocomposite films and electrodes. We have investigated the Li-ion insertion properties of the self-assembled electrodes for energy storage and show that the SnO2-graphene nanocomposite films can achieve near theoretical specific energy density without significant charge/discharge degradation.

Determination of Electric-field, Magnetic-field, and Electric-current Distributions of Infrared Optical Antennas: a Near-field Optical Vector Network Analyzer

Physical Review Letters. Oct, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 21231012

In addition to the electric field E(r), the associated magnetic field H(r) and current density J(r) characterize any electromagnetic device, providing insight into antenna coupling and mutual impedance. We demonstrate the optical analogue of the radio frequency vector network analyzer implemented in interferometric homodyne scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy for obtaining E(r), H(r), and J(r). The approach is generally applicable and demonstrated for the case of a linear coupled-dipole antenna in the midinfrared spectral region. The determination of the underlying 3D vector electric near-field distribution E(r) with nanometer spatial resolution and full phase and amplitude information is enabled by the design of probe tips with selectivity with respect to E(∥) and E(⊥) fabricated by focused ion-beam milling and nano-chemical-vapor-deposition methods.

Reversible Sodium Ion Insertion in Single Crystalline Manganese Oxide Nanowires with Long Cycle Life

Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21638349

Hierarchically Porous Graphene As a Lithium-air Battery Electrode

Nano Letters. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21985448

The lithium-air battery is one of the most promising technologies among various electrochemical energy storage systems. We demonstrate that a novel air electrode consisting of an unusual hierarchical arrangement of functionalized graphene sheets (with no catalyst) delivers an exceptionally high capacity of 15000 mAh/g in lithium-O(2) batteries which is the highest value ever reported in this field. This excellent performance is attributed to the unique bimodal porous structure of the electrode which consists of microporous channels facilitating rapid O(2) diffusion while the highly connected nanoscale pores provide a high density of reactive sites for Li-O(2) reactions. Further, we show that the defects and functional groups on graphene favor the formation of isolated nanosized Li(2)O(2) particles and help prevent air blocking in the air electrode. The hierarchically ordered porous structure in bulk graphene enables its practical applications by promoting accessibility to most graphene sheets in this structure.

A Soft Approach to Encapsulate Sulfur: Polyaniline Nanotubes for Lithium-sulfur Batteries with Long Cycle Life

Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22278978

A novel vulcanized polyaniline nanotube/sulfur composite was prepared successfully via an in situ vulcanization process by heating a mixture of polyaniline nanotube and sulfur at 280 °C. The electrode could retain a discharge capacity of 837 mAh g(-1) after 100 cycles at a 0.1 C rate and manifested 76% capacity retention up to 500 cycles at a 1 C rate.

Manganese Doping of Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: Tailoring Surface Reactivity for a Regenerable Heavy Metal Sorbent

Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22329500

A method for tuning the analyte affinity of magnetic, inorganic nanostructured sorbents for heavy metal contaminants is described. The manganese-doped iron oxide nanoparticle sorbents have a remarkably high affinity compared to the precursor material. Sorbent affinity can be tuned toward an analyte of interest simply by adjustment of the dopant quantity. The results show that following the Mn doping process there is a large increase in affinity and capacity for heavy metals (i.e., Co, Ni, Zn, As, Ag, Cd, Hg, and Tl). Capacity measurements were carried out for the removal of cadmium from river water and showed significantly higher loading than the relevant commercial sorbents tested for comparison. The reduction in Cd concentration from 100 ppb spiked river water to 1 ppb (less than the EPA drinking water limit of 5 ppb for Cd) was achieved following treatment with the Mn-doped iron oxide nanoparticles. The Mn-doped iron oxide nanoparticles were able to load ~1 ppm of Cd followed by complete stripping and recovery of the Cd with a mild acid wash. The Cd loading and stripping is shown to be consistent through multiple cycles with no loss of sorbent performance.

Dependence of the Electron Beam Energy and Types of Surface to Determine EBSD Indexing Reliability in Yttria-stabilized Zirconia

Microscopy and Microanalysis : the Official Journal of Microscopy Society of America, Microbeam Analysis Society, Microscopical Society of Canada. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22336075

Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is a powerful technique for surface microstructure analysis. EBSD analysis of cubic yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is demonstrated. The statistics related to EBSD indexing reliability shows that the probability of accurate grain orientation detection increased significantly when the electron beam energy was increased from 10 to 30 kV. As a result of better sampling with increased interaction volume, a disparity between local and average grain misorientation angle also exhibited the dependence of the electron beam energy to determine the accuracy of grain orientation. To study EBSD indexing reliability as a function of surface roughness and overlayer formation, rapid EBSD measurement tests were performed on (a) YSZ surfaces ion-polished at ion beam energies of 65 nA at 30 kV and 1 nA at 30 kV and (b) carbon-coated versus uncoated YSZ surfaces. The EBSD results at both 10 and 30 kV electron beam energies indicate that EBSD indexing reliability is negatively affected by higher ion beam milling current and amorphous overlayer formation.

Selective Metal Cation Capture by Soft Anionic Metal-organic Frameworks Via Drastic Single-crystal-to-single-crystal Transformations

Journal of the American Chemical Society. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22632161

Flexible anionic metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are transformed into neutral heterobimetallic systems via single-crystal-to-single-crystal processes invoked by cation insertion. These transformations are directed by cooperative bond breakage and formation, resulting in expansion or contraction of the 3D framework by up to 33% due to the flexible nature of the organic linker. These MOFs displays highly selective uptake of divalent transition-metal cations (e.g., Co(2+) and Ni(2+)) over alkali-metal cations (Li(+) and Na(+)).

Sodium Ion Insertion in Hollow Carbon Nanowires for Battery Applications

Nano Letters. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22686335

Hollow carbon nanowires (HCNWs) were prepared through pyrolyzation of a hollow polyaniline nanowire precursor. The HCNWs used as anode material for Na-ion batteries deliver a high reversible capacity of 251 mAh g(-1) and 82.2% capacity retention over 400 charge-discharge cycles between 1.2 and 0.01 V (vs Na(+)/Na) at a constant current of 50 mA g(-1) (0.2 C). Excellent cycling stability is also observed at an even higher charge-discharge rate. A high reversible capacity of 149 mAh g(-1) also can be obtained at a current rate of 500 mA g(-1) (2C). The good Na-ion insertion property is attributed to the short diffusion distance in the HCNWs and the large interlayer distance (0.37 nm) between the graphitic sheets, which agrees with the interlayered distance predicted by theoretical calculations to enable Na-ion insertion in carbon materials.

Chemical Imaging Analysis of Environmental Particles Using the Focused Ion Beam/scanning Electron Microscopy Technique: Microanalysis Insights into Atmospheric Chemistry of Fly Ash

The Analyst. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23207643

Airborne fly ash from coal combustion may represent a source of bioavailable iron (Fe) in the open ocean. However, few studies have focused on Fe speciation and distribution in coal fly ash. In this study, chemical imaging of fly ash has been performed using a dual-beam focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope (FIB/SEM) system for a better understanding of how simulated atmospheric processing can modify the morphology, chemical composition and element distribution within individual particles. A novel approach has been applied for cross-sectioning fly ash particles with the FIB in order to explore element distribution within the interior of individual particles. Our results indicate that simulated atmospheric processing can cause disintegration of aluminosilicate glass, a dominant material in fly ash particles. Fe present in the inner core of fly ash spheres within the aluminosilicate phase is more easily mobilized compared with Fe oxides present as surface aggregates on the exterior of fly ash spheres. Fe dissolution depends strongly on Fe speciation in fly ash particles. The approach for preparation of a cross-sectioned specimen described here opens up new opportunities for particle microanalysis, particularly with respect to inorganic refractive materials like fly ash and mineral dust.

Surface-driven Sodium Ion Energy Storage in Nanocellular Carbon Foams

Nano Letters. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23879207

Sodium ion (Na(+)) batteries have attracted increased attention for energy storage due to the natural abundance of sodium, but their development is hindered by poor intercalation property of Na(+) in electrodes. This paper reports a detailed study of high capacity, high rate sodium ion energy storage in functionalized high-surface-area nanocellular carbon foams (NCCF). The energy storage mechanism is surface-driven reactions between Na(+) and oxygen-containing functional groups on the surface of NCCF. The surface reaction, rather than a Na(+) bulk intercalation reaction, leads to high rate performance and cycling stability due to the enhanced reaction kinetics and the absence of electrode structure change. The NCCF makes more surface area and surface functional groups available for the Na(+) reaction. It delivers 152 mAh/g capacity at the rate of 0.1 A/g and a capacity retention of 90% for over 1600 cycles.

Manipulating Surface Reactions in Lithium-sulphur Batteries Using Hybrid Anode Structures

Nature Communications. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24402522

Lithium-sulphur batteries have high theoretical energy density and potentially low cost, but significant challenges such as severe capacity degradation prevent its widespread adoption. Here we report a new design of lithium-sulphur battery using electrically connected graphite and lithium metal as a hybrid anode to control undesirable surface reactions on lithium. Lithiated graphite placed in front of the lithium metal functions as an artificial, self-regulated solid electrolyte interface layer to actively control the electrochemical reactions and minimize the deleterious side reactions, leading to significant performance improvements. Lithium-sulphur cells incorporating this hybrid anodes deliver capacities of >800 mAh g(-1) for 400 cycles at a high rate of 1,737 mA g(-1), with only 11% capacity fade and a Coulombic efficiency >99%. This simple hybrid concept may also provide scientific strategies for protecting metal anodes in other energy-storage devices.

Biochip-based Study of Unidirectional Mitochondrial Transfer from Stem Cells to Myocytes Via Tunneling Nanotubes

Biofabrication. Feb, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26844857

Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are small membranous tubes of 50-1000 nm diameter observed to connect cells in culture. Transfer of subcellular organelles through TNTs was observed in vitro and in vivo, but the formation and significance of these structures is not well understood. A polydimethylsiloxane biochip-based coculture model was devised to constrain TNT orientation and explore both TNT-formation and TNT-mediated mitochondrial transfer. Two parallel microfluidic channels connected by an array of smaller microchannels enabled localization of stem cell and cardiomyocyte populations while allowing connections to form between them. Stem cells and cardiomyocytes were deposited in their respective microfluidic channels, and stem cell-cardiomyocyte pairs were formed via the microchannels. Formation of TNTs and transfer of stained mitochondria through TNTs was observed by 24 h real-time video recording. The data show that stem cells are 7.7 times more likely to initiate contact by initial extension of filopodia. By 24 h, 67% of nanotube connections through the microchannels are composed of cardiomyocyte membrane. Filopodial extension and retraction by stem cells draws an extension of TNTs from cardiomyocytes. MitoTracker staining shows that unidirectional transfer of mitochondria between stem cell-cardiomyocyte pairs invariably originates from stem cells. Control experiments with cardiac fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes show little nanotube formation between homotypic or mixed cell pairs and no mitochondrial transfer. These data identify a novel biological process, unidirectional mitochondrial transfer, mediated by heterotypic TNT connections. This suggests that the enhancement of cardiomyocyte function seen after stem-cell injection may be due to a bioenergetic stimulus provided by mitochondrial transfer.

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