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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Scalable graphene synthesised by plasma-assisted selective reaction on silicon carbide for device applications.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 10-14-2014
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Graphene, a two-dimensional material with honeycomb arrays of carbon atoms, has shown outstanding physical properties that make it a promising candidate material for a variety of electronic applications. To date, several issues related to the material synthesis and device fabrication need to be overcome. Despite the fact that large-area graphene films synthesised by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) can be grown with relatively few defects, the required transfer process creates wrinkles and polymer residues that greatly reduce its performance in device applications. Graphene synthesised on silicon carbide (SiC) has shown outstanding mobility and has been successfully used to develop ultra-high frequency transistors; however, this fabrication method is limited due to the use of costly ultra-high vacuum (UHV) equipment that can reach temperatures over 1500 °C. Here, we show a simple and novel approach to synthesise graphene on SiC substrates that greatly reduces the temperature and vacuum requirements and allows the use of equipment commonly used in the semiconductor processing industry. In this work, we used plasma treatment followed by annealing in order to obtain large-scale graphene films from bulk SiC. After exposure to N2 plasma, the annealing process promotes the reaction of nitrogen ions with Si and the simultaneous condensation of C on the surface of SiC. Eventually, a uniform, large-scale, n-type graphene film with remarkable transport behaviour on the SiC wafer is achieved. Furthermore, graphene field effect transistors (FETs) with high carrier mobilities on SiC were also demonstrated in this study.
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Tunable Multilevel Storage of Complementary Resistive Switching on Single-Step Formation of ZnO/ZnWOx Bilayer Structure via Interfacial Engineering.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 10-06-2014
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Tunable multilevel storage of complementary resistive switching (CRS) on single-step formation of ZnO/ZnWOx bilayer structure via interfacial engineering was demonstrated for the first time. In addition, the performance of the ZnO/ZnWOx-based CRS device with the voltage- and current-sweep modes was demonstrated and investigated in detail. The resistance switching behaviors of the ZnO/ZnWOx bilayer ReRAM with adjustable RESET-stop voltages was explained using an electrochemical redox reaction model whose electron-hopping activation energies of 28, 40, and 133 meV can be obtained from Arrhenius equation at RESET-stop voltages of 1.0, 1.3, and 1.5 V, respectively. In the case of the voltage-sweep operation on the ZnO-based CRS device, the maximum array numbers (N) of 9, 15, and 31 at RESET-stop voltages of 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6 V were estimated, while the maximum array numbers increase into 47, 63, and 105 at RESET-stop voltages of 2.0, 2.2, and 2.4 V, operated by the current-sweep mode, respectively. In addition, the endurance tests show a very stable multilevel operation at each RESET-stop voltage under the current-sweep mode.
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Synergistic combinations of tanshinone IIA and trans-resveratrol toward cisplatin-comparable cytotoxicity in HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Anticancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2014
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To determine the combinative effects of tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA) and trans-resveratrol (Resv) on cytotoxicity, apoptosis, cell-cycle arrest and DNA fragmentation in HepG2 human liver cancer cells.
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Micropillar sequence designs for fundamental inertial flow transformations.
Lab Chip
PUBLISHED: 10-01-2014
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The ability to control the shape of a flow in a passive microfluidic device enables potential applications in chemical reaction control, particle separation, and complex material fabrication. Recent work has demonstrated the concept of sculpting fluid streams in a microchannel using a set of pillars or other structures that individually deform a flow in a predictable pre-computed manner. These individual pillars are then placed in a defined sequence within the channel to yield the composition of the individual flow deformations - and ultimately complex user-defined flow shapes. In this way, an elegant mathematical operation can yield the final flow shape for a sequence without an experiment or additional numerical simulation. Although these approaches allow for programming complex flow shapes without understanding the detailed fluid mechanics, the design of an arbitrary flow shape of interest remains difficult, requiring significant design iteration. The development of intuitive basic operations (i.e. higher-level functions that consist of combinations of obstacles) that act on the flow field to create a basis for more complex transformations would be useful in systematically achieving a desired flow shape. Here, we show eight transformations that could serve as a partial basis for more complex transformations. We initially used in-house, freely available custom software (uFlow), which allowed us to arrive at these transformations that include making a fluid stream concave and convex, tilting, stretching, splitting, adding a vertex, shifting, and encapsulating another flow stream. The pillar sequences corresponding to these transformations were subsequently fabricated and optically analyzed using confocal imaging - yielding close agreement with uFlow-predicted shapes. We performed topological analysis on each transformation, characterizing potential sequences leading to these outputs and trends associated with changing diameter and placement of the pillars. We classify operations into four sets of sequence-building concatenations: stacking, recursion, mirroring, and shaping. The developed basis should help in the design of microfluidic systems that have a phenomenal variety of applications, such as optofluidic lensing, enhanced heat transfer, or new polymer fiber design.
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Single CuOx Nanowire Memristor: Forming-Free Resistive Switching Behavior.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 09-15-2014
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CuOx nanowires were synthesized by a low-cost and large-scale electrochemical process with AAO membranes at room temperature and its resistive switching has been demonstrated. The switching characteristic exhibits forming-free and low electric-field switching operation due to coexistence of significant amount of defects and Cu nanocrystals in the partially oxidized nanowires. The detailed resistive switching characteristics of CuOx nanowire systems have been investigated and possible switching mechanisms are systematically proposed based on the microstructural and chemical analysis via transmission electron microscopy.
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Dynamic observation of phase transformation behaviors in indium(III) selenide nanowire based phase change memory.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 08-25-2014
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Phase change random access memory (PCRAM) has been extensively investigated for its potential applications in next-generation nonvolatile memory. In this study, indium(III) selenide (In2Se3) was selected due to its high resistivity ratio and lower programming current. Au/In2Se3-nanowire/Au phase change memory devices were fabricated and measured systematically in an in situ transmission electron microscope to perform a RESET/SET process under pulsed and dc voltage swept mode, respectively. During the switching, we observed the dynamic evolution of the phase transformation process. The switching behavior resulted from crystalline/amorphous change and revealed that a long pulse width would induce the amorphous or polycrystalline state by different pulse amplitudes, supporting the improvement of the writing speed, retention, and endurance of PCRAM.
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Toward omnidirectional light absorption by plasmonic effect for high-efficiency flexible nonvacuum Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin film solar cells.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2014
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We have successfully demonstrated a great advantage of plasmonic Au nanoparticles for efficient enhancement of Cu(In,Ga)Se2(CIGS) flexible photovoltaic devices. The incorporation of Au NPs can eliminate obstacles in the way of developing ink-printing CIGS flexible thin film photovoltaics (TFPV), such as poor absorption at wavelengths in the high intensity region of solar spectrum, and that occurs significantly at large incident angle of solar irradiation. The enhancement of external quantum efficiency and photocurrent have been systematically analyzed via the calculated electromagnetic field distribution. Finally, the major benefits of the localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPR) in visible wavelength have been investigated by ultrabroadband pump-probe spectroscopy, providing a solid evidence on the strong absorption and reduction of surface recombination that increases electron-hole generation and improves the carrier transportation in the vicinity of pn-juction.
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Research highlights: increasing paper possibilities.
Lab Chip
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2014
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In this issue we highlight three recent papers that demonstrate new strategies to extend the capabilities of paper microfluidics. Paper (a mesh of porous fibers) has a long history as a substrate to perform biomolecular assays. Traditional lateral flow immunoassays (LFAs) are widely used for rapid diagnostic tests, and perform well when a yes or no answer is required and the analyte of interest is at relatively high concentrations. High concentrations are required because usually only a small volume of analyte-containing fluid flows past the detection region, leading to a limited signal. Further, the small pores within paper matrices prevent the use of paper to control the flow of larger particles and cells, limiting the use of paper microfluidics for cell-based diagnostics. The work we highlight addresses these important unmet challenges in paper microfluidics: enriching low concentration analytes to a higher concentration in a smaller volume that can be processed effectively, and using paper to pump flows in larger channels amenable to cells. Applying these new approaches may allow diagnosis of disease states currently technically unachievable using current LFA systems, while maintaining many of the "un-instrumented" advantages of an assay on self-wicking paper.
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Aneurysm permeability following coil embolization: packing density and coil distribution.
J Neurointerv Surg
PUBLISHED: 07-18-2014
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Rates of durable aneurysm occlusion following coil embolization vary widely, and a better understanding of coil mass mechanics is desired. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of packing density and coil uniformity on aneurysm permeability.
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Direct assessment of the mechanical modulus of graphene co-doped with low concentrations of boron-nitrogen by a non-contact approach.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2014
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Boron and nitrogen co-doping has been shown to be an effective way to induce a band gap in graphene for electrical applications but only a few theoretical studies have been done to understand the elastic and mechanical properties of the modified graphene. Until now, no experimental assessment of the mechanical modulus of boron-nitrogen-doped graphene (BNG) has been reported in the literature. Here, we demonstrate a novel non-contact approach to determine the in-plane stiffness of BNG at low BN concentrations. The in-plane stiffness of BNG with 2 at% BN concentration was estimated to be about 309 N m(-1), which is lower than that of pristine graphene, in good agreement with some theoretical studies. Moreover, we correlated the conductivity of BNG with induced strain and found the BNG to be more sensitive than pristine graphene in response to externally applied strain. This result indicates that BNG is a more suitable material than graphene for strain sensor applications.
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Low vacuum annealing of cellulose acetate on nickel towards transparent conductive CNT-graphene hybrid films.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2014
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We report a versatile method based on low vacuum annealing of cellulose acetate on nickel (Ni) surface for rapid fabrication of graphene and carbon nanotube (CNT)-graphene hybrid films with tunable properties. Uniform films mainly composed of tri-layer graphene can be achieved via a surface precipitation of dissociated carbon at 800 °C for 30 seconds under vacuum conditions of ?0.6 Pa. The surface precipitation process is further found to be efficient for joining the precipitated graphene with pre-coated CNTs on the Ni surface, consequently, generating the hybrid films. As expected, the hybrid films exhibit substantial opto-electrical and field electron emission properties superior to their individual counterparts. The finding suggests a promising route to hybridize the graphene with diverse nanomaterials for constructing novel hybrid materials with improved performances.
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Growth of large-scale nanotwinned Cu nanowire arrays from anodic aluminum oxide membrane by electrochemical deposition process: controllable nanotwin density and growth orientation with enhanced electrical endurance performance.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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Densely nanotwinned Cu nanowire (NW) arrays with an identical diameter of ?55 nm were fabricated by pulse electrochemical deposition at low temperature using anodic aluminum oxide as a template. Different growth orientations of nanotwinned Cu nanowire arrays were investigated. The endurance of the electrical current density before breakdown of the nanotwinned Cu NWs can reach up to 2.4 × 10(8) A cm(-2). The formation of highly dense nanotwins is attributed to relaxation of coalescence induced stress and twin fault stacking when Cu NWs grow by two-dimensional kinetics. A mechanism based on the twinning structure effect on the electromigration was proposed to explain the improved electrical endurance of Cu. The result demonstrates that the formation of nanotwins into Cu NWs can effectively suppress the void growth, leading to extended life time for use in electronic devices.
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Large scale and orientation-controllable nanotip structures on CuInS?, Cu(In,Ga)S?, CuInSe?, and Cu(In,Ga)Se? by low energy ion beam bombardment process: growth and characterization.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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One-step facile methodology to create nanotip arrays on chalcopyrite materials (such as CuInS2, Cu(In,Ga)S2, CuInSe2, and Cu(In,Ga)Se2) via a low energy ion beam bombardment process has been demonstrated. The mechanism of formation for nanotip arrays has been proposed by sputtering yields of metals and reduction of metals induced by the ion beam bombardment process. The optical reflectance of these chalcopyrite nanotip arrays has been characterized by UV-vis spectrophotometer and the efficient light-trapping effect has been observed. Large scale (?4'') and high density (10(10) tips/cm(2)) of chalcopyrite nanotip arrays have been obtained by using low ion energy (< 1 kV), short processing duration (< 30 min), and template-free. Besides, orientation and length of these chalcopyrite nanotip arrays are controllable. Our results can be the guide for other nanostructured materials fabrication by ion sputtering and are available for industrial production as well.
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Fabrication of large-scale single-crystal bismuth telluride (Bi?Te?) nanosheet arrays by a single-step electrolysis process.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2014
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Nanolizing of thermoelectric materials is one approach to reduce the thermal conductivity and hence enhance the figure of merit. Bismuth telluride (Bi?Te?)-based materials have excellent figure of merit at room temperature. For device applications, precise control and rapid fabrication for the nanostructure of thermoelectric materials are essential issues. In the present study, we demonstrate a one-step electrolysis process to directly form Bi?Te? nanosheet arrays (NSAs) on the surface of bulk Bi?Te? with controllable spacing distance and depth by tuning the applied bias and duration. The single sheet of NSAs reveals that the average thickness and electrical resistivity of single crystalline Bi?Te? in composition are 399.8 nm and 137.34 ?? m, respectively. The formation mechanism of NSAs has been proposed. A 1.12% efficiency of quantum dot-sensitized solar cells with Bi?Te? NSAs for counter electrode has been demonstrated, indicating that Bi?Te? NSAs from top-down processing with a high ratio of surface area to volume are a promising candidate for possible applications such as thermoelectrics, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), and lithium-ion batteries.
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A solar-thermal energy harvesting scheme: enhanced heat capacity of molten HITEC salt mixed with Sn/SiO(x) core-shell nanoparticles.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2014
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We demonstrated enhanced solar-thermal storage by releasing the latent heat of Sn/SiO(x) core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in a eutectic salt. The microstructures and chemical compositions of Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs were characterized. In situ heating XRD provides dynamic crystalline information about the Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs during cyclic heating processes. The latent heat of ?29 J g(-1) for Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs was measured, and 30% enhanced heat capacity was achieved from 1.57 to 2.03 J g(-1) K(-1) for the HITEC solar salt without and with, respectively, a mixture of 5% Sn/SiO(x) core-shell NPs. In addition, an endurance cycle test was performed to prove a stable operation in practical applications. The approach provides a method to enhance energy storage in solar-thermal power plants.
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Improved efficiency of a large-area Cu(In,Ga)Se? solar cell by a nontoxic hydrogen-assisted solid Se vapor selenization process.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 03-20-2014
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A nontoxic hydrogen-assisted solid Se vapor selenization process (HASVS) technique to achieve a large-area (40 × 30 cm(2)) Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar panel with enhanced efficiencies from 7.1 to 10.8% (12.0% for active area) was demonstrated. The remarkable improvement of efficiency and fill factor comes from improved open circuit voltage (Voc) and reduced dark current due to (1) decreased interface recombination raised from the formation of a widened buried homojunction with n-type Cd(Cu) participation and (2) enhanced separation of electron and hole carriers resulting from the accumulation of Na atoms on the surface of the CIGS film. The effects of microstructural, compositional, and electrical characteristics with hydrogen-assisted Se vapor selenization, including interdiffusion of atoms and formation of buried homojunction, were examined in detail. This methodology can be also applied to CIS (CuInSe2) thin film solar cells with enhanced efficiencies from 5.3% to 8.5% (9.4% for active area) and provides a facile approach to improve quality of CIGS and stimulate the nontoxic progress in the large scale CIGS PV industry.
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Direct growth of self-crystallized graphene and graphite nanoballs with Ni vapor-assisted growth: from controllable growth to material characterization.
Sci Rep
PUBLISHED: 03-17-2014
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A directly self-crystallized graphene layer with transfer-free process on arbitrary insulator by Ni vapor-assisted growth at growth temperatures between 950 to 1100 °C via conventional chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system was developed and demonstrated. Domain sizes of graphene were confirmed by Raman spectra from ~12 nm at growth temperature of 1000 °C to ~32 nm at growth temperature of 1100 °C, respectively. Furthermore, the thickness of the graphene is controllable, depending on deposition time and growth temperature. By increasing growth pressure, the growth of graphite nano-balls was preferred rather than graphene growth. The detailed formation mechanisms of graphene and graphite nanoballs were proposed and investigated in detail. Optical and electrical properties of graphene layer were measured. The direct growth of the carbon-based materials with free of the transfer process provides a promising application at nanoelectronics.
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Toward efficient and omnidirectional n-type Si solar cells: concurrent improvement in optical and electrical characteristics by employing microscale hierarchical structures.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2014
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We demonstrated that hierarchical structures combining different scales (i.e., pyramids from 1.5 to 7.5 ?m in width on grooves from 40 to 50 ?m in diameter) exhibit excellent broadband and omnidirectional light-trapping characteristics. These microscaled hierarchical structures could not only improve light absorption but prevent poor electrical properties typically observed from nanostructures (e.g., ultra-high-density surface defects and nonconformal deposition of following layers, causing low open-circuit voltages and fill factors). The microscaled hierarchical Si heterojunction solar cells fabricated with hydrogenated amorphous Si layers on as-cut Czochralski n-type substrates show a high short-circuit current density of 36.4 mA/cm(2), an open-circuit voltage of 607 mV, and a conversion efficiency of 15.2% due to excellent antireflection and light-scattering characteristics without sacrificing minority carrier lifetimes. Compared to cells with grooved structures, hierarchical heterojunction solar cells exhibit a daily power density enhancement (69%) much higher than the power density enhancement at normal angle of incidence (49%), demonstrating omnidirectional photovoltaic characteristics of hierarchical structures. Such a concept of hierarchical structures simultaneously improving light absorption and photocarrier collection efficiency opens avenues for developing large-area and cost-effective solar energy devices in the industry.
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Resistive memory for harsh electronics: immunity to surface effect and high corrosion resistance via surface modification.
Sci Rep
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2014
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The tolerance/resistance of the electronic devices to extremely harsh environments is of supreme interest. Surface effects and chemical corrosion adversely affect stability and operation uniformity of metal oxide resistive memories. To achieve the surrounding-independent behavior, the surface modification is introduced into the ZnO memristors via incorporating fluorine to replace the oxygen sites. F-Zn bonds is formed to prevent oxygen chemisorption and ZnO dissolution upon corrosive atmospheric exposure, which effectively improves switching characteristics against harmful surroundings. In addition, the fluorine doping stabilizes the cycling endurance and narrows the distribution of switching parameters. The outcomes provide valuable insights for future nonvolatile memory developments in harsh electronics.
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Vacuum-induced wrinkle arrays of InGaAs semiconductor nanomembranes on polydimethylsiloxane microwell arrays.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 02-21-2014
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Tunable surface morphology in III-V semiconductor nanomembranes provides opportunities to modulate electronic structures and light interactions of semiconductors. Here, we introduce a vacuum-induced wrinkling method for the formation of ordered wrinkles in InGaAs nanomembranes (thickness, 42 nm) on PDMS microwell arrays as a strategy for deterministic and multidirectional wrinkle engineering of semiconductor nanomembranes. In this approach, a vacuum-induced pressure difference between the outer and inner sides of the microwell patterns covered with nanomembranes leads to bulging of the nanomembranes at the predefined microwells, which, in turn, results in stretch-induced wrinkle formation of the nanomembranes between the microwells. The direction and geometry of the nanomembrane wrinkles are well controlled by varying the PDMS modulus, depth, and shape of microwells, and the temperature during the transfer printing of nanomembrane onto heterogeneous substrates. The wrinkling method shown here can be applied to other semiconductor nanomembranes and may create an important platform to realize unconventional electronic devices with tunable electronic properties.
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Shifting networks to achieve subgroup symmetry properties.
Adv. Mater. Weinheim
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2014
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A simple method for the preparation of nanomaterials with new functionality by physical displacement of a network phase is suggested, giving a change in space group symmetry and hence properties. A double gyroid structure made by the self-assembly of block copolymers is used as a model system for the demonstration of shifting networks to achieve single gyroid-like scattering properties. Free-standing single gyroid-like network materials can be fabricated to give nanophotonic properties, similar to the photonic properties of a butterfly wing structure.
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DNA from natural sources in design of functional devices.
Methods
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2014
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The role of DNA as structuring or templating agent has become more significant with the development of nanobiotechnology. Although short single and double stranded DNA have extensively been used as immobilization tool, as a template for nanoparticle preparation and in design of various devices such as nanomotors and biosensors, DNA from natural sources has an advantage of being abundant, cheap and readily available. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a huge interest in making the use of natural DNA properties for both nano- and micro-applications. In this review we attempt to give an overview of the up to date applications of natural DNA, either from viral, marine or mammalian sources, in design of functional devices. This article is meant to be a starting point and a guide to the platforms in which natural DNA is employed such as DNA origami, optoelectronic devices and organic catalysis.
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Early detachment of the Solitaire stent during thrombectomy retrieval: an in vitro investigation.
J Neurointerv Surg
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2014
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To elucidate the early detachment of the Solitaire stent during mechanical thrombectomy, we tested the stent in vitro under various conditions and evaluated with microscopy.
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Ultrahigh-gain photodetectors based on atomically thin graphene-MoS2 heterostructures.
Sci Rep
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2014
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Due to its high carrier mobility, broadband absorption, and fast response time, the semi-metallic graphene is attractive for optoelectronics. Another two-dimensional semiconducting material molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is also known as light- sensitive. Here we show that a large-area and continuous MoS2 monolayer is achievable using a CVD method and graphene is transferable onto MoS2. We demonstrate that a photodetector based on the graphene/MoS2 heterostructure is able to provide a high photogain greater than 10(8). Our experiments show that the electron-hole pairs are produced in the MoS2 layer after light absorption and subsequently separated across the layers. Contradictory to the expectation based on the conventional built-in electric field model for metal-semiconductor contacts, photoelectrons are injected into the graphene layer rather than trapped in MoS2 due to the presence of a perpendicular effective electric field caused by the combination of the built-in electric field, the applied electrostatic field, and charged impurities or adsorbates, resulting in a tuneable photoresponsivity.
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Phase-pure iron pyrite nanocrystals for low-cost photodetectors.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Earth-abundant iron pyrite (FeS2) shows great potential as a light absorber for solar cells and photodetectors due to their high absorption coefficient (>10(5) cm(-1)). In this paper, high-quality phase-pure and single crystalline pyrite nanocrystals were synthesized via facile, low-cost, and environment friendly hydrothermal method. The molar ratio of sulphur to iron and the reaction time play a crucial role in determining the quality and morphology of FeS2 nanocrystals. X-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy confirm that phase-pure and single crystalline pyrite nanocrystals can be synthesized with high sulphur to iron molar ratio and sufficient reaction time. For the first time, a crystalline nanogap pyrite photodetector with promising photocurrent and UV-visible photoresponse has been fabricated. This work further demonstrates a facile route to synthesize high-quality FeS2 nanomaterials and their potential in optoelectronic applications.
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Growth and characterization of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films by nanosecond and femtosecond pulsed laser deposition.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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In this work, CuIn1 - x Ga x Se2 (CIGS) thin films were prepared by nanosecond (ns)- and femtosecond (fs)-pulsed laser deposition (PLD) processes. Different film growth mechanisms were discussed in perspective of the laser-produced plasmas and crystal structures. The fs-PLD has successfully improved the inherent flaws, Cu2 - x Se, and air voids ubiquitously observed in ns-PLD-derived CIGS thin films. Moreover, the prominent antireflection and excellent crystalline structures were obtained in the fs-PLD-derived CIGS thin films. The absorption spectra suggest the divergence in energy levels of radiative defects brought by the inhomogeneous distribution of elements in the fs-PLD CIGS, which has also been supported by comparing photoluminescence (PL) spectra of ns- and fs-PLD CIGS thin films at 15 K. Finally, the superior carrier transport properties in fs-PLD CIGS were confirmed by fs pump-probe spectroscopy and four-probe measurements. The present results indicate a promising way for preparing high-quality CIGS thin films via fs-PLD.
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13% Efficiency Hybrid Organic/Silicon-Nanowire Heterojunction Solar Cell via Interface Engineering.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 11-19-2013
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Interface carrier recombination currently hinders the performance of hybrid organic-silicon heterojunction solar cells for high-efficiency low-cost photovoltaics. Here, we introduce an intermediate 1,1-bis[(di-4-tolylamino)phenyl]cyclohexane (TAPC) layer into hybrid heterojunction solar cells based on silicon nanowires (SiNWs) and conjugate polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxy-thiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). The highest power conversion efficiency reaches a record 13.01%, which is largely ascribed to the modified organic surface morphology and suppressed saturation current that boost the open-circuit voltage and fill factor. We show that the insertion of TAPC increases the minority carrier lifetime because of an energy offset at the heterojunction interface. Furthermore, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy reveals that TAPC can effectively block the strong oxidation reaction occurring between PEDOT:PSS and silicon, which improves the device characteristics and assurances for reliability. These learnings point toward future directions for versatile interface engineering techniques for the attainment of highly efficient hybrid photovoltaics.
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Stability scheme of ZnO-thin film resistive switching memory: influence of defects by controllable oxygen pressure ratio.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 09-11-2013
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We report a stability scheme of resistive switching devices based on ZnO films deposited by radio frequency (RF) sputtering process at different oxygen pressure ratios. I-V measurements and statistical results indicate that the operating stability of ZnO resistive random access memory (ReRAM) devices is highly dependent on oxygen conditions. Data indicates that the ZnO film ReRAM device fabricated at 10% O2 pressure ratio exhibits the best performance. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) of ZnO at different O2 pressure ratios were investigated to reflect influence of structure to the stable switching behaviors. In addition, PL and XPS results were measured to investigate the different charge states triggered in ZnO by oxygen vacancies, which affect the stability of the switching behavior.
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GaAs nanowires: from manipulation of defect formation to controllable electronic transport properties.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2013
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Reliable control in the crystal quality of synthesized III-V nanowires (NWs) is particularly important to manipulate their corresponding electronic transport properties for technological applications. In this report, a "two-step" growth process is adopted to achieve single-crystalline GaAs NWs, where an initial high-temperature nucleation process is employed to ensure the formation of high Ga supersaturated Au7Ga3 and Au2Ga alloy seeds, instead of the low Ga supersaturated Au7Ga2 seeds observed in the conventional "single-step" growth. These two-step NWs are long (>60 ?m) and thick (>80 nm) with the minimal defect concentrations and uniform growth orientations. Importantly, these NWs exhibit p-type conductivity as compared to the single-step grown n-type NWs for the same diameter range. This NW conductivity difference (p- versus n-channel) is shown to originate from the donor-like crystal defects, such as As precipitates, induced by the low Ga supersaturated multicrystalline Au7Ga2 alloy seeds. Then the well-controlled crystal quality for desired electronic properties is further explored in the application of large-scale p-type GaAs NW parallel array FETs as well as the integration of both p- and n-type GaAs NWs into CMOS inverters. All these illustrate the successful control of NW crystal defects and corresponding electronic transport properties via the manipulation of Ga supersaturation in the catalytic alloy tips with different preparation methods. The understanding of this relationship between NW crystal quality and electronic transport properties is critical and preferential to the future development of nanoelectronic materials, circuit design, and fabrication.
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Non-antireflective scheme for efficiency enhancement of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanotip array solar cells.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2013
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We present systematic works in characterization of CIGS nanotip arrays (CIGS NTRs). CIGS NTRs are obtained by a one-step ion-milling process by a direct-sputtering process of CIGS thin films (CIGS TF) without a postselenization process. At the surface of CIGS NTRs, a region extending to 100 nm in depth with a lower copper concentration compared to that of CIGS TF has been discovered. After KCN washing, removal of secondary phases can be achieved and a layer with abundant copper vacancy (V(Cu)) was left. Such compositional changes can be a benefit for a CIGS solar cell by promoting formation of Cd-occupied Cu sites (Cd(Cu)) at the CdS/CIGS interface and creates a type-inversion layer to enhance interface passivation and carrier extraction. The raised V(Cu) concentration and enhanced Cd diffusion in CIGS NTRs have been verified by energy dispersive spectrometry. Strengthened adhesion of Al:ZnO (AZO) thin film on CIGS NTRs capped with CdS has also been observed in SEM images and can explain the suppressed series resistance of the device with CIGS NTRs. Those improvements in electrical characteristics are the main factors for efficiency enhancement rather than antireflection.
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Single-step formation of ZnO/ZnWO(x) bilayer structure via interfacial engineering for high performance and low energy consumption resistive memory with controllable high resistance states.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 08-13-2013
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A spontaneously formed ZnO/ZnWOx bilayer resistive memory via an interfacial engineering by one-step sputtering process with controllable high resistance states was demonstrated. The detailed formation mechanism and microstructure of the ZnWOx layer was explored by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) and transmission electron microscope in detail. The reduced trapping depths from 0.46 to 0.29 eV were found after formation of ZnWOx layer, resulting in an asymmetric I-V behavior. In particular, the reduction of compliance current significantly reduces the switching current to reach the stable operation of device, enabling less energy consumption. Furthermore, we demonstrated an excellent performance of the complementary resistive switching (CRS) based on the ZnO/ZnWOx bilayer structure with DC endurance >200 cycles for a possible application in three-dimensional multilayer stacking.
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In situ doping control and electrical transport investigation of single and arrayed CdS nanopillars.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2013
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Highly aligned intrinsic and indium doped CdS nanopillar arrays were fabricated via a template assisted Solid Source Chemical Vapor Deposition method (SSCVD). The prepared nanopillar arrays were well aligned, dense and uniform in diameter and length. Their geometry can be well defined by the design of the templates. These unique properties make them promising candidates for future photonic and optoelectronic devices. The structure of the prepared nanopillars has been studied by high resolution transmission electron microscopy and their different growth orientation as compared to those grown in free space has been observed and interpreted by the template induced change of the liquid-solid interfacial energy and the surface tension at the edge of the circular interface. To investigate electrical property of CdS nanopillars, vertical nanopillar array devices and horizontal individual nanopillar field-effect transistors have been fabricated and characterized. The measurements showed that the location of the indium doping source significantly affected carrier concentration, conductivity and field-effect mobility of the prepared CdS nanopillars. Particularly, it was found that conductivity could be improved by 4 orders of magnitude and field-effect mobility could be enhanced up to 50 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) via proper doping control. These results enable further applications of CdS nanopillars in nano-optoelectronic applications such as photodetection and photovoltaics in the future.
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Manipulated transformation of filamentary and homogeneous resistive switching on ZnO thin film memristor with controllable multistate.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2013
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A bias polarity-manipulated transformation from filamentary to homogeneous resistive switching was demonstrated on a Pt/ZnO thin film/Pt device. Two types of switching behaviors, exhibiting different resistive switching characteristics and memory performances were investigated in detail. The detailed transformation mechanisms are systematically proposed. By controlling different compliance currents and RESET-stop voltages, controllable multistate resistances in low resistance states and a high resistance states in the ZnO thin film metal-insulator-metal structure under the homogeneous resistive switching were demonstrated. We believe that findings would open up opportunities to explore the resistive switching mechanisms and performance memristor with multistate storage.
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A microfluidic cell culture array with various oxygen tensions.
Lab Chip
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2013
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Oxygen tension plays an important role in regulating various cellular functions in both normal physiology and disease states. Therefore, drug testing using conventional in vitro cell models under normoxia often possesses limited prediction capability. A traditional method of setting an oxygen tension in a liquid medium is by saturating it with a gas mixture at the desired level of oxygen, which requires bulky gas cylinders, sophisticated control, and tedious interconnections. Moreover, only a single oxygen tension can be tested at the same time. In this paper, we develop a microfluidic cell culture array platform capable of performing cell culture and drug testing under various oxygen tensions simultaneously. The device is fabricated using an elastomeric material, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and the well-developed multi-layer soft lithography (MSL) technique. The prototype device has 4 × 4 wells, arranged in the same dimensions as a conventional 96-well plate, for cell culture. The oxygen tensions are controlled by spatially confined oxygen scavenging chemical reactions underneath the wells using microfluidics. The platform takes advantage of microfluidic phenomena while exhibiting the combinatorial diversities achieved by microarrays. Importantly, the platform is compatible with existing cell incubators and high-throughput instruments (liquid handling systems and plate readers) for cost-effective setup and straightforward operation. Utilizing the developed platform, we successfully perform drug testing using an anti-cancer drug, triapazamine (TPZ), on adenocarcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cell line (A549) under three oxygen tensions ranging from 1.4% to normoxia. The developed platform is promising to provide a more meaningful in vitro cell model for various biomedical applications while maintaining desired high throughput capabilities.
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Investigation of bulk hybrid heterojunction solar cells based on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanocrystals.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 06-15-2013
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This work presents the systematic studies of bulk hybrid heterojunction solar cells based on Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (CIGS) nanocrystals (NCs) embedded in poly(3-hexylthiophene) matrix. The CIGS NCs of approximately 17 nm in diameter were homogeneously blended with P3HT layer to form an active layer of a photovoltaic device. The blend ratios of CIGS NCs to P3HT, solvent effects on thin film morphologies, interface between P3HT/CIGS NCs and post-production annealing of devices were investigated, and the best performance of photovoltaic devices was measured under AM 1.5 simulated solar illumination (100 mW/cm2).
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Tuning the formation and functionalities of ultrafine CoFe2O4 nanocrystals via interfacial coherent strain.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2013
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Complex oxide nanocrystals with a spinel structure show their remarkable optical, electronic, mechanical, thermal, and magnetic properties. In this study, we present a simple yet versatile strategy to grow self-assembled epitaxial CoFe2O4 nanocrystals with well-controlled size (less than 10 nm) and single orientation. CoFe2O4 nanocrystals were fabricated via phase separation in a BiFeO3-CoF2O4 ultrathin film by pulsed laser deposition. The coherent strain at the BiFeO3-CoF2O4 interface suppressed the growth of the nanocrystals regardless of substrate temperatures. This strain also resulted in the ferromagnetic anisotropy and interesting conducting behaviors of ultrafine CFO nanocrystals.
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Reduction in distal emboli with proximal flow control during mechanical thrombectomy: a quantitative in vitro study.
Stroke
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2013
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To evaluate the impact of proximal flow control on efficacy and safety of mechanical thrombectomy in an in vitro middle cerebral artery occlusion.
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Electrofluidic pressure sensor embedded microfluidic device: a study of endothelial cells under hydrostatic pressure and shear stress combinations.
Lab Chip
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2013
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Various microfluidic cell culture devices have been developed for in vitro cell studies because of their capabilities to reconstitute in vivo microenvironments. However, controlling flows in microfluidic devices is not straightforward due to the wide varieties of fluidic properties of biological samples. Currently, flow observations mainly depend on optical imaging and macro scale transducers, which usually require sophisticated instrumentation and are difficult to scale up. Without real time monitoring, the control of flows can only rely on theoretical calculations and numerical simulations. Consequently, these devices have difficulty in being broadly exploited in biological research. This paper reports a microfluidic device with embedded pressure sensors constructed using electrofluidic circuits, which are electrical circuits built by fluidic channels filled with ionic liquid. A microfluidic device culturing endothelial cells under various shear stress and hydrostatic pressure combinations is developed to demonstrate this concept. The device combines the concepts of electrofluidic circuits for pressure sensing, and an equivalent circuit model to design the cell culture channels. In the experiments, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) are cultured in the device with a continuous medium perfusion, which provides the combinatory mechanical stimulations, while the hydrostatic pressures are monitored in real time to ensure the desired culture conditions. The experimental results demonstrate the importance of real time pressure monitoring, and how both mechanical stimulations affect the HUVEC culture. This developed microfluidic device is simple, robust, and can be easily scaled up for high-throughput experiments. Furthermore, the device provides a practical platform for an in vitro cell culture under well-controlled and dynamic microenvironments.
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Distinct angiogenesis roles and surface markers of early and late endothelial progenitor cells revealed by functional group analyses.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2013
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Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a fundamental role in post-natal vascular repair. Currently EPCs are defined as either early and late EPCs based on their biological properties and their time of appearance during in vitro culture. EPCs are rare and therefore optimizing isolation and culture is required before they can be applied as part of clinical therapies.
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Well-defined multibranched gold with surface plasmon resonance in near-infrared region from seeding growth approach using gyroid block copolymer template.
Adv. Mater. Weinheim
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2013
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Well-defined multibranched gold (Au) in polymers, both as bulk or continuous thin films, can be fabricated by using a nanoporous polymer with gyroid nanochannels as a template. The nanoporous polymer template is obtained from the self-assembly of a degradable block copolymer, polystyrene-b-poly (L-lactide) (PS-PLLA), followed by the hydrolysis of PLLA blocks. Templated seeding growth approach can be conducted to create precisely controlled nanostructured Au giving remarkable surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in (branched Au with uniform distribution in PS matrix) near-infrared (NIR) region. Controlled growth conditions allow the fabrication of three-dimensionally ordered nanoporous Au particles that possess NIR SPR. Double gyroid Au with dual networks in the PS matrix is obtained after completing the seeding growth at which the NIR SPR diminishes resulting from the reduction in the density of nanostructured edge.
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Influence of catalyst choices on transport behaviors of InAs NWs for high-performance nanoscale transistors.
Phys Chem Chem Phys
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2013
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The influence of the catalyst materials on the electron transport behaviors of InAs nanowires (NWs) grown by a conventional vapor transport technique is investigated. Utilizing the NW field-effect transistor (FET) device structure, ~20% and ~80% of Au-catalyzed InAs NWs exhibit strong and weak gate dependence characteristics, respectively. In contrast, ~98% of Ni-catalyzed InAs NWs demonstrate a uniform n-type behavior with strong gate dependence, resulting in an average OFF current of ~10(-10) A and a high I(ON)/I(OFF) ratio of >10(4). The non-uniform device performance of Au-catalyzed NWs is mainly attributed to the non-stoichiometric composition of the NWs grown from a different segregation behavior as compared to the Ni case, which is further supported by the in situ TEM studies. These distinct electrical characteristics associated with different catalysts were further investigated by the first principles calculation. Moreover, top-gated and large-scale parallel-array FETs were fabricated with Ni-catalyzed NWs by contact printing and channel metallization techniques, which yield excellent electrical performance. The results shed light on the direct correlation of the device performance with the catalyst choice.
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Nuclear localization of lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) and its role in regulating LIM domain only 2 (Lmo2) gene.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 12-16-2011
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LIM domain only protein 2 (Lmo2) is a transcription factor that plays a critical role in the development of T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). A previous report established a link between Lmo2 expression and the nuclear presence of oncogenic Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase. The oncogenic JAK2 kinase phosphorylates histone H3 on Tyr 41 that leads to the relief of Lmo2 promoter repression and subsequent gene expression. Similar to JAK2, constitutive activation of lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) has been implicated in lymphoid malignancies. However, it is not known whether oncogenic Lck regulates Lmo2 expression through a similar mechanism. We show here that Lmo2 expression is significantly elevated in T cell leukemia LSTRA overexpressing active Lck kinase and in HEK 293 cells expressing oncogenic Y505FLck kinase. Nuclear localization of active Lck kinase was confirmed in both Lck-transformed cells by subcellular fractionation and immunofluorescence microscopy. More importantly, in contrast to oncogenic JAK2, oncogenic Lck kinase does not result in significant increase in histone H3 phosphorylation on Tyr 41. Instead, chromatin immunoprecipitation experiment shows that oncogenic Y505FLck kinase binds to the Lmo2 promoter in vivo. This result raises the possibility that oncogenic Lck may activate Lmo2 promoter through direct interaction.
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Controlled growth of carbon nanotube-graphene hybrid materials for flexible and transparent conductors and electron field emitters.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 12-07-2011
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We report a versatile synthetic process based on rapid heating and cooling chemical vapor deposition for the growth of carbon nanotube (CNT)-graphene hybrid materials where the thickness of graphene and density of CNTs are properly controlled. Graphene films are demonstrated as an efficient barrier layer for preventing poisoning of iron nanoparticles, which catalyze the growth of CNTs on copper substrates. Based on this method, the opto-electronic and field emission properties of graphene integrated with CNTs can be remarkably tailored. A graphene film exhibits a sheet resistance of 2.15 k? sq(-1) with a transmittance of 85.6% (at 550 nm), while a CNT-graphene hybrid film shows an improved sheet resistance of 420 ? sq(-1) with an optical transmittance of 72.9%. Moreover, CNT-graphene films are demonstrated as effective electron field emitters with low turn-on and threshold electric fields of 2.9 and 3.3 V ?m(-1), respectively. The development of CNT-graphene films with a wide range of tunable properties presented in this study shows promising applications in flexible opto-electronic, energy, and sensor devices.
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Significant efficiency enhancement of hybrid solar cells using core-shell nanowire geometry for energy harvesting.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 11-08-2011
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A novel strategy employing core-shell nanowire arrays (NWAs) consisting of Si/regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) was demonstrated to facilitate efficient light harvesting and exciton dissociation/charge collection for hybrid solar cells (HSCs). We experimentally demonstrate broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting characteristics of core-shell NWA HSCs due to their subwavelength features, further supported by the simulation based on finite-difference time domain analysis. Meanwhile, core-shell geometry of NWA HSCs guarantees efficient charge separation since the thickness of the P3HT shells is comparable to the exciton diffusion length. Consequently, core-shell HSCs exhibit a 61% improvement of short-circuit current for a conversion efficiency (?) enhancement of 31.1% as compared to the P3HT-infiltrated Si NWA HSCs with layers forming a flat air/polymer cell interface. The improvement of crystal quality of P3HT shells due to the formation of ordering structure at Si interfaces after air mass 1.5 global (AM 1.5G) illumination was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The core-shell geometry with the interfacial improvement by AM 1.5G illumination promotes more efficient exciton dissociation and charge separation, leading to ? improvement (?140.6%) due to the considerable increase in V(oc) from 257 to 346 mV, J(sc) from 11.7 to 18.9 mA/cm(2), and FF from 32.2 to 35.2%, which is not observed in conventional P3HT-infiltrated Si NWA HSCs. The stability of the Si/P3HT core-shell NWA HSCs in air ambient was carefully examined. The core-shell geometry should be applicable to many other material systems of solar cells and thus holds high potential in third-generation solar cells.
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Low resistivity metal silicide nanowires with extraordinarily high aspect ratio for future nanoelectronic devices.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 10-27-2011
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One crucial challenge for the integrated circuit devices to go beyond the current technology has been to find the appropriate contact and interconnect materials. NiSi has been commonly used in the 45 nm devices mainly because it possesses the lowest resistivity among all metal silicides. However, for devices of even smaller dimension, its stability at processing temperature is in doubt. In this paper, we show the growth of high-quality nanowires of NiSi(2), which is a thermodynamically stable phase and possesses low resistivity suitable for future generation electronics devices. The origin of low resistivity for the nanowires has been clarified to be due to its defect-free single-crystalline structure instead of surface and size effects.
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Quantum confinement effects in nanoscale-thickness InAs membranes.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2011
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Nanoscale size effects drastically alter the fundamental properties of semiconductors. Here, we investigate the dominant role of quantum confinement in the field-effect device properties of free-standing InAs nanomembranes with varied thicknesses of 5-50 nm. First, optical absorption studies are performed by transferring InAs "quantum membranes" (QMs) onto transparent substrates, from which the quantized sub-bands are directly visualized. These sub-bands determine the contact resistance of the system with the experimental values consistent with the expected number of quantum transport modes available for a given thickness. Finally, the effective electron mobility of InAs QMs is shown to exhibit anomalous field and thickness dependences that are in distinct contrast to the conventional MOSFET models, arising from the strong quantum confinement of carriers. The results provide an important advance toward establishing the fundamental device physics of two-dimensional semiconductors.
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Suppression of surface recombination in surface plasmon coupling with an InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well sample.
Opt Express
PUBLISHED: 10-15-2011
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Temperature-dependent picosecond non-degenerate four-wave-mixing experiments were performed to explore the carrier dynamics in an InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well sample, in which light emission enhancement with surface plasmon (SP) coupling has been identified. In the time-resolved photoluminescence results, we can identify the faster carrier decay time of the sample with surface plasmon coupling. The faster decay time is due to this samples ability to create additional channels for effective carrier recombination. In the four-wave-mixing results, a slower grating decay time of the sample with surface plasmon coupling was measured. The diffusion coefficients and surface recombination velocities of photo-created carriers were estimated by modeling the decay rate of transient grating signals. For the sample for which surface plasmon coupling exists, smaller diffusion coefficients and slower surface recombination velocities can be estimated when the temperatures are above 150 K. The carriers coupling with some SP modes is not the only mechanism contributing to emission enhancement. In the InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well sample, surface recombination suppressed by SP coupling is another factor for increased light emission efficiency.
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Large scale single-crystal Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanotip arrays for high efficiency solar cell.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 09-19-2011
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In this paper, we demonstrated direct formation of large area Cu(In,Ga)Se(2) nanotip arrays (CIGS NTRs) by using one step Ar(+) milling process without template. By controlling milling time and incident angles, the length of CIGS NTRs with adjustable tilting orientations can be precisely controlled. Formation criteria of these CIGS NTRs have been discussed in terms of surface curvature, multiple components, and crystal quality, resulting in a highly anisotropic milling effect. The CIGS NTRs have very low reflectance <0.1% at incident wavelengths between 300 to 1200 nm. Open circuit voltage and short circuit current of CIGS NTRs solar cell were measured to be ?390 mV and ?22.56 mA/cm(2), yielding the filling factor and the efficiency of 59 and 5.2%, respectively. In contrast to CIGS thin film solar cell with efficiency of 3.2%, the nanostructured CIGS NTRs can have efficiency enhancement of ?160% due to the higher light absorption ability because of the nanostructure. The merits of current approach include the latest way via template-free direct creating process of nanostructured CIGS NTRs with controllable dimensionality and large scale production without postselenization process.
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Generation of oxygen gradients in microfluidic devices for cell culture using spatially confined chemical reactions.
Lab Chip
PUBLISHED: 09-13-2011
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This paper reports a microfluidic device capable of generating oxygen gradients for cell culture using spatially confined chemical reactions with minimal chemical consumption. The microfluidic cell culture device is constructed by single-layer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channels, in which the cells can be easily observed by microscopes. The device can control the oxygen gradients without the utilization of bulky pressurized gas cylinders, direct addition of oxygen scavenging agents, or tedious gas interconnections and sophisticated flow control. In addition, due to the efficient transportation of oxygen within the device using the spatially confined chemical reactions, the microfluidic cell culture device can be directly used in conventional cell incubators without altering their gaseous compositions. The oxygen gradients generated in the device are numerically simulated and experimentally characterized using an oxygen-sensitive fluorescence dye. In this paper, carcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial (A549) cells have been cultured in the microfluidic device with a growth medium and an anti-cancer drug (Tirapazamine, TPZ) under various oxygen gradients. The cell experiment results successfully demonstrate the hyperoxia-induced cell death and hypoxia-induced cytotoxicity of TPZ. In addition, the results confirm the great cell compatibility and stable oxygen gradient generation of the developed device. Consequently, the microfluidic cell culture device developed in this paper is promising to be exploited in biological labs with minimal instrumentation to study cellular responses under various oxygen gradients.
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Kinetic growth of self-formed In2O3 nanodots via phase segregation: Ni/InAs system.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 08-02-2011
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Highly compact In(2)O(3) nanodots with uniform size were synthesized by a novel approach via direct annealing of Ni/InAs samples at temperatures over 250 °C. The In(2)O(3) nanodots were formed by solid diffusion between nickel and indium arsenide (InAs) and phase segregation via a catalyst-assisted kinetic process. By controlling the annealing time and ambient conditions, the size and density of In(2)O(3) nanodots can be controlled. From photoluminescence (PL) measurements, two distinct peaks located at ?430 and ?850 nm, corresponding to 2.9 and 1.5 eV for In(2)O(3) nanodots, can be observed. The peaks originate from radioactive recombination centers such as oxygen vacancies or indium interstitials inside In(2)O(3) nanodots. The periodic array of Ni microdiscs with diameters and interdisc spacing of ?5 and ?10 ?m on InAs substrate surface prepared by a photolithography process demonstrated the precise control of In(2)O(3) nanodots at a specific position. Applications for precisely locating optoelectronic nanodevices in combination with electronic nanodevices are envisioned.
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Oxide-confined formation of germanium nanowire heterostructures for high-performance transistors.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2011
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Over the past several years, the formation of nanowire heterostructures via a solid-state reaction between a semiconductor nanowire and metal contact pads has attracted great interest. This is owing to its ready application in nanowire field-effect transistors (FETs) with a well-controlled channel length using a facile rapid thermal annealing process. We report the effect of oxide confinement on the formation of Ge nanowire heterostructures via a controlled reaction between a vapor-liquid-solid-grown, single-crystalline Ge nanowire and Ni pads. In contrast to the previous formation of Ni(2)Ge/Ge/Ni(2)Ge nanowire heterostructures, a segment of high-quality epitaxial NiGe was formed between Ni(2)Ge and Ge with the confinement of Al(2)O(3) during annealing. Significantly, back-gate FETs based on this Ni(2)Ge/NiGe/Ge/NiGe/Ni(2)Ge heterostructure demonstrated a high-performance p-type transistor behavior, showing a large on/off ratio of more than 10(5) and a high normalized transconductance of 2.4 ?S/?m. The field-effect hole mobility was extracted to be 210 cm(2)/(V s). Temperature-dependent I-V measurements further confirmed that NiGe has an ideal ohmic contact to p-type Ge with a small Schottky barrier height of 0.11 eV. Moreover, the hysteresis during gate bias sweeping was significantly reduced after Al(2)O(3) passivation, and our ?-gate Ge nanowire FETs using Al(2)O(3) as the top-gate dielectric showed an enhanced subthreshold swing and transconductance. Therefore, we conclude that the Al(2)O(3) layer can effectively passivate the Ge surface and also serve as a good gate dielectric in Ge top-gate FETs. Our innovative approach provides another freedom to control the growth of nanowire heterostructure and to further achieve high-performance nanowire transistors.
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Integrated ionic liquid-based electrofluidic circuits for pressure sensing within polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic systems.
Lab Chip
PUBLISHED: 03-30-2011
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This paper reports a novel pressure sensor with an electrical readout based on electrofluidic circuits constructed by ionic liquid (IL)-filled microfluidic channels. The developed pressure sensor can be seamlessly fabricated into polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic systems using the well-developed multilayer soft lithography (MSL) technique without additional assembly or sophisticated cleanroom microfabrication processes. Therefore, the device can be easily scaled up and is fully disposable. The pressure sensing is achieved by measuring the pressure-induced electrical resistance variation of the constructed electrofluidic resistor. In addition, an electrofluidic Wheatstone bridge circuit is designed for accurate and stable resistance measurements. The pressure sensor is characterized using pressurized nitrogen gas and various liquids which flow into the microfluidic channels. The experimental results demonstrate the great long-term stability (more than a week), temperature stability (up to 100 °C), and linear characteristics of the developed pressure sensing scheme. Consequently, the integrated microfluidic pressure sensor developed in this paper is promising for better monitoring and for characterizing the flow conditions and liquid properties inside the PDMS microfluidic systems in an easier manner for various lab on a chip applications.
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Nuclear localization of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex-E2 (PDC-E2), a mitochondrial enzyme, and its role in signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5)-dependent gene transcription.
Cell. Signal.
PUBLISHED: 02-28-2011
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STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription) proteins play a critical role in cellular response to a wide variety of cytokines and growth factors by regulating specific nuclear genes. STAT-dependent gene transcription can be finely tuned through the association with co-factors in the nucleus. We showed previously that STAT5 (including 5a and 5b) specifically interacts with a mitochondrial enzyme PDC-E2 (E2 subunit of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex) in both leukemic T cells and cytokine-stimulated cells. However, the functional significance of this novel association remains largely unknown. Here we report that PDC-E2 may function as a co-activator in STAT5-dependent nuclear gene expression. Subcellular fractionation analysis revealed that a substantial amount of PDC-E2 was constitutively present in the nucleus of BaF3, an interleukin-3 (IL-3)-dependent cell line. IL-3-induced tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT5 associated with nuclear PDC-E2 in co-immunoprecipitation analysis. These findings were confirmed by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy showing constant nuclear localization of PDC-E2 and its co-localization with STAT5 after IL-3 stimulation. Similar to mitochondrial PDC-E2, nuclear PDC-E2 was lipoylated and associated with PDC-E1. Overexpression of PDC-E2 in BaF3 cells augmented IL-3-induced STAT5 activity as measured by reporter assay with consensus STAT5-binding sites. Consistent with the reporter data, PDC-E2 overexpression in BaF3 cells led to elevated mRNA levels of endogenous SOCS3 (suppressor of cytokine signaling 3) gene, a known STAT5 target. We further identified two functional STAT5-binding sites in the SOCS3 gene promoter important for its IL-3-inducibility. The observation that both cis-acting elements were essential to detect the stimulatory effect by PDC-E2 strongly supports the role of PDC-E2 in up-regulating the transactivating ability of STAT5. All together, our results reveal a novel function of PDC-E2 in the nucleus. It also raises the possibility of nuclear-mitochondrial crosstalk through the interaction between STAT5 and PDC-E2.
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Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 interacts with oncogenic lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase.
Oncol. Rep.
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2011
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Lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) plays a key role in T cell signal transduction and is tightly regulated by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. Lck can function as an oncoprotein when overexpressed or constantly activated by mutations. Our previous studies showed that Lck-induced cellular transformation could be suppressed by enforced expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1), a SOCS family member involved in the negative feedback control of cytokine signaling. We observed attenuated Lck kinase activity in SOCS1-expressing cells, suggesting an important role of SOCS in regulating Lck functions. It remains largely unknown whether and how SOCS proteins interact with the oncogenic Lck kinase. Here, we report that among four SOCS family proteins, SOCS1, SOCS2, SOCS3 and CIS (cytokine-inducible SH2 domain containing protein), SOCS1 has the highest affinity in binding to the oncogenic Lck kinase. We identified the positive regulatory phosphotyrosine 394 residue in the kinase domain as the key interacting determinant in Lck. Additionally, the Lck kinase domain alone is sufficient to bind SOCS1. While the SH2 domain in SOCS1 is important in its association with the oncogenic Lck kinase, other functional domains may also contribute to overall binding affinity. These findings provide important mechanistic insights into the role of SOCS proteins as tumor suppressors in cells transformed by oncogenic protein tyrosine kinases.
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Mitochondrial translocation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) in leukemic T cells and cytokine-stimulated cells.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2010
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Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) were first identified as key signaling molecules in response to cytokines. Constitutive STAT activation also has been widely implicated in oncogenesis. We analyzed STAT5-associated proteins in a leukemic T cell line LSTRA, which exhibits constitutive tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of STAT5. A cellular protein was found to specifically interact with STAT5 in LSTRA cells by co-immunoprecipitation. Sequencing analysis and subsequent immunoblotting confirmed the identity of this STAT5-associated protein as the E2 component of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC-E2). Consistent with this interaction, both subcellular fractionation and immunofluorescence microscopy revealed mitochondrial localization of STAT5 in LSTRA cells. Mitochondrial localization of tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT5 also occurred in cytokine-stimulated cells. A time course experiment further demonstrated the transient kinetics of STAT5 mitochondrial translocation after cytokine stimulation. In contrast, cytokine-induced STAT1 and STAT3 activation did not result in their translocation into mitochondria. Furthermore, we showed that mitochondrial STAT5 bound to the D-loop regulatory region of mitochondrial DNA in vitro. It suggests a potential role of STAT5 in regulating the mitochondrial genome. Proliferative metabolism toward aerobic glycolysis is well known in cancer cells as the Warburg effect and is also observed in cytokine-stimulated cells. Our novel findings of cytokine-induced STAT5 translocation into mitochondria and its link to oncogenesis provide important insights into the underlying mechanisms of this characteristic metabolic shift.
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One-dimensional germanium nanostructures--formation and their electron field emission properties.
Nanotechnology
PUBLISHED: 10-14-2010
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Ge nanostructures were synthesized by reduction of GeO(2) in H(2) atmosphere at various temperatures. Entangled and straight Ge nanowires with oxide shells were grown at high temperatures. Ge nanowires with various numbers of nodules were obtained at low temperatures. Ge nanowires without nodules exhibited remarkable field emission properties with a turn-on field of 4.6 V µm(-1) and field enhancement factor of 1242.
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Ultrathin compound semiconductor on insulator layers for high-performance nanoscale transistors.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 06-07-2010
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Over the past several years, the inherent scaling limitations of silicon (Si) electron devices have fuelled the exploration of alternative semiconductors, with high carrier mobility, to further enhance device performance. In particular, compound semiconductors heterogeneously integrated on Si substrates have been actively studied: such devices combine the high mobility of III-V semiconductors and the well established, low-cost processing of Si technology. This integration, however, presents significant challenges. Conventionally, heteroepitaxial growth of complex multilayers on Si has been explored-but besides complexity, high defect densities and junction leakage currents present limitations in this approach. Motivated by this challenge, here we use an epitaxial transfer method for the integration of ultrathin layers of single-crystal InAs on Si/SiO(2) substrates. As a parallel with silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, we use XOI to represent our compound semiconductor-on-insulator platform. Through experiments and simulation, the electrical properties of InAs XOI transistors are explored, elucidating the critical role of quantum confinement in the transport properties of ultrathin XOI layers. Importantly, a high-quality InAs/dielectric interface is obtained by the use of a novel thermally grown interfacial InAsO(x) layer (~1 nm thick). The fabricated field-effect transistors exhibit a peak transconductance of ~1.6 mS µm(-1) at a drain-source voltage of 0.5 V, with an on/off current ratio of greater than 10,000.
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Ordered arrays of dual-diameter nanopillars for maximized optical absorption.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 05-25-2010
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Optical properties of highly ordered Ge nanopillar arrays are tuned through shape and geometry control to achieve the optimal absorption efficiency. Increasing the Ge materials filling ratio is shown to increase the reflectance while simultaneously decreasing the transmittance, with the absorbance showing a strong diameter dependency. To enhance the broad band optical absorption efficiency, a novel dual-diameter nanopillar structure is presented, with a small diameter tip for minimal reflectance and a large diameter base for maximal effective absorption coefficient. The enabled single-crystalline absorber material with a thickness of only 2 ?m exhibits an impressive absorbance of ?99% over wavelengths, ? = 300-900 nm. These results enable a viable and convenient route toward shape-controlled nanopillar-based high-performance photonic devices.
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Enforced SOCS1 and SOCS3 expression attenuates Lck-mediated cellular transformation.
Int. J. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2010
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Lck is an Src family protein tyrosine kinase with predominant T cell expression. Aberrant expression or activation of Lck kinase has been reported in both lymphoid and non-lymphoid malignancies. We showed previously that the signal transduction pathway involving Janus kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) is constitutively activated and contributes to Lck-mediated oncogenesis. Under normal physiological conditions, active STAT proteins induce the expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family proteins to inhibit further JAK/STAT signaling. It is not fully understood whether and how SOCS-mediated negative feedback control is dysregulated in Lck-transformed cells. Here we report that two SOCS family members, SOCS1 and SOCS3, are not expressed in Lck-transformed LSTRA leukemia. While SOCS1 gene is silenced by DNA hypermethylation, loss of SOCS3 expression is through a mechanism independent of epigenetic silencing by DNA methylation. Furthermore, ectopic expression of SOCS1 or SOCS3 leads to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis in Lck-transformed cells. This is consistent with the attenuation of Lck kinase activity by exogenous SOCS1 or SOCS3 expression. Downstream STAT5 activity is also inhibited as shown by reduced STAT5 tyrosine phosphorylation and in vitro DNA binding. All together, our data highlight the importance of silencing multiple SOCS genes in tumorigenesis and support the roles of SOCS1 and SOCS3 as tumor suppressors toward oncogenic Lck kinase.
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Metabolic response to endotoxin in vivo in the conscious mouse: role of interleukin-6.
Metab. Clin. Exp.
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2010
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Inflammation and insulin resistance are characteristics of endotoxemia. Although the role of interleukin (IL)-6 in insulin-resistant states has been characterized, little is known of its role in the metabolic response to inflammation. To study the role of IL-6, conscious chronically catheterized mice were used. Five days before being studied, catheters were implanted in the carotid artery and jugular vein. After a 5-hour fast, Escherichia coli (250 ?g per mouse) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was injected in IL-6?/? (KO, n = 13) and IL-6+/+ (WT, n = 10) littermates. The IL-6 response to LPS was simulated in an additional group of KO mice (KO + IL-6, n = 10). Interleukin-6 increased in WT (15 ± 0.7 ng/mL) 4 hours after LPS and was undetectable in KO. Interleukin-6 replacement in the KO restored circulating IL-6 to levels observed in the WT group (14 ± 0.3 ng/mL). Tumor necrosis factor-? increased more rapidly in WT than in both KO and KO + IL-6 mice. The KO mice exhibited a more profound glucose excursion 30 minutes after LPS injection and no apparent hypoglycemia at 4 hours (95 ± 5 vs 70 ± 8 mg/dL, KO vs WT), despite having a blunted glucagon and epinephrine response. Glucose levels in KO + IL-6 mice, while decreased (93 ± 4 mg/dL) at 4 hours, remained higher than those in WT mice. In summary, the absence of IL-6 protected against LPS-induced hypoglycemia. Acute restoration of the IL-6 response to LPS did not potentiate hypoglycemia but partially restored the glucagon response. Thus, although IL-6 promotes glucose intolerance in insulin-resistant states, IL-6 promotes hypoglycemia during acute inflammation.
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Nanoscale structural engineering via phase segregation: Au-Ge system.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2010
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A tunable structural engineering of nanowires based on template-assisted alloying and phase segregation processes is demonstrated. The Au-Ge system, which has a low eutectic temperature and negligible solid solubility (<10(-3) atom %) of Au in Ge at low temperatures, is utilized. Depending on the Au concentration of the initial nanowires, final structures ranging from nearly periodic nanodisk patterns to core/shell and fully alloyed nanowires are produced. The formation mechanisms are discussed in detail and characterized by in situ transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive spectrometry analyses. Electrical measurements illustrate the metallic and semiconducting characteristics of the fully alloyed and alternating Au/Ge nanodisk structures, respectively.
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Patterned p-doping of InAs nanowires by gas-phase surface diffusion of Zn.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2010
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Gas phase p-doping of InAs nanowires with Zn atoms is demonstrated as an effective route for enabling postgrowth dopant profiling of nanostructures. The versatility of the approach is demonstrated by the fabrication of high-performance gated diodes and p-MOSFETs. High Zn concentrations with electrically active content of approximately 1 x 10(19) cm(-3) are achieved which is essential for compensating the electron-rich surface layers of InAs to enable heavily p-doped structures. This work could have important practical implications for the fabrication of planar and nonplanar devices based on InAs and other III-V nanostructures which are not compatible with conventional ion implantation processes that often cause severe lattice damage with local stoichiometry imbalance.
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Advantages of dynamic "closed loop" stable isotope flux phenotyping over static "open loop" clamps in detecting silent genetic and dietary phenotypes.
Metabolomics
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2009
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In vivo insulin sensitivity can be assessed using "open loop" clamp or "closed loop" methods. Open loop clamp methods are static, and fix plasma glucose independently from plasma insulin. Closed loop methods are dynamic, and assess glucose disposal in response to a stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance test. Using PPARalpha(-/-) mice, open and closed loop assessments of insulin sensitivity/glucose disposal were compared. Indirect calorimetry done for the assessment of diurnal substrate utilization/metabolic flexibility showed that chow fed PPARalpha(-/-) mice had increased glucose utilization during the light (starved) cycle. Euglycemic clamps showed no differences in insulin stimulated glucose disposal, whether for chow or high fat diets, but did show differences in basal glucose clearance for chow fed PPARalpha(-/-) versus SV129J-wt mice. In contrast, the dynamic stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance tests reveal enhanced glucose disposal for PPARalpha(-/-) versus SV129J-wt, for chow and high fat diets. Area under the curve for plasma labeled and unlabeled glucose for PPARalpha(-/-) was approximately 1.7-fold lower, P < 0.01 during the stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance test for both diets. Area under the curve for plasma insulin was 5-fold less for the chow fed SV129J-wt (P < 0.01) but showed no difference on a high fat diet (0.30 +/- 0.1 for SV129J-wt vs. 0.13 +/- 0.10 for PPARalpha(-/-), P = 0.28). This study demonstrates that dynamic stable isotope labeled glucose tolerance test can assess "silent" metabolic phenotypes, not detectable by the static, "open loop", euglycemic or hyperglycemic clamps. Both open loop and closed loop methods may describe different aspects of metabolic inflexibility and insulin sensitivity.
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Hybrid core-shell nanowire forests as self-selective chemical connectors.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 04-28-2009
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Conventional connectors utilize mechanical, magnetic, or electrostatic interactions to enable highly specific and reversible binding of the components (i.e., mates) for a wide range of applications. As the connectors are miniaturized to small scales, a number of shortcomings, including low binding strength, high engagement/disengagement energies, difficulties with the engagement, fabrication challenges, and the lack of reliability are presented that limit their successful operation. Here, we report unisex, chemical connectors based on hybrid, inorganic/organic nanowire (NW) forests that utilize weak van der Waals bonding that is amplified by the high aspect ratio geometric configuration of the NWs to enable highly specific and versatile binding of the components. Uniquely, NW chemical connectors exhibit high macroscopic shear adhesion strength (approximately 163 N/cm(2)) with minimal binding to non-self-similar surfaces, anisotropic adhesion behavior (shear to normal strength ratio approximately 25), reusability (approximately 27 attach/detach cycles), and efficient binding for both micro- and macroscale dimensions.
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Three-dimensional nanopillar-array photovoltaics on low-cost and flexible substrates.
Nat Mater
PUBLISHED: 02-23-2009
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Solar energy represents one of the most abundant and yet least harvested sources of renewable energy. In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in developing photovoltaics that can be potentially mass deployed. Of particular interest to cost-effective solar cells is to use novel device structures and materials processing for enabling acceptable efficiencies. In this regard, here, we report the direct growth of highly regular, single-crystalline nanopillar arrays of optically active semiconductors on aluminium substrates that are then configured as solar-cell modules. As an example, we demonstrate a photovoltaic structure that incorporates three-dimensional, single-crystalline n-CdS nanopillars, embedded in polycrystalline thin films of p-CdTe, to enable high absorption of light and efficient collection of the carriers. Through experiments and modelling, we demonstrate the potency of this approach for enabling highly versatile solar modules on both rigid and flexible substrates with enhanced carrier collection efficiency arising from the geometric configuration of the nanopillars.
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Monolayer resist for patterned contact printing of aligned nanowire arrays.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2009
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Large-area, patterned printing of nanowires by using fluorinated self-assembled monolayers as the resist layer is demonstrated. By projecting a light pattern on the surface of the monolayer resist in an oxygen-rich environment, sticky and nonsticky regions on the surface are directly defined in a single-step process which then enables the highly specific and patterned transfer of the nanowires by the contact printing process, without the need for a subsequent lift-off step. This work demonstrates a simple route toward scalable, patterned printing of nanowires on substrates by utilizing light-tunable, nanoscale chemical interactions and demonstrates the versatility of molecular monolayers for use as a resist layer.
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Diameter-dependent electron mobility of InAs nanowires.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2009
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Temperature-dependent I-V and C-V spectroscopy of single InAs nanowire field-effect transistors were utilized to directly shed light on the intrinsic electron transport properties as a function of nanowire radius. From C-V characterizations, the densities of thermally activated fixed charges and trap states on the surface of untreated (i.e., without any surface functionalization) nanowires are investigated while enabling the accurate measurement of the gate oxide capacitance, therefore leading to the direct assessment of the field-effect mobility for electrons. The field-effect mobility is found to monotonically decrease as the radius is reduced to <10 nm, with the low temperature transport data clearly highlighting the drastic impact of the surface roughness scattering on the mobility degradation for miniaturized nanowires. More generally, the approach presented here may serve as a versatile and powerful platform for in-depth characterization of nanoscale, electronic materials.
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Sn-doped In2O3 nanowires: enhancement of electrical field emission by a selective area growth.
Nanoscale Res Lett
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Selective area growth of single crystalline Sn-doped In2O3 (ITO) nanowires synthesized via vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) method at 600°C was applied to improve the field emission behavior owing to the reduction of screen effect. The enhanced field emission performance reveals the reduction of turn-on fields from 9.3 to 6.6 V ?m-1 with increase of field enhancement factors (?) from 1,621 to 1,857 after the selective area growth at 3 h. Moreover, we find that the screen effect also highly depends on the length of nanowires on the field emission performance. Consequently, the turn-on fields increase from 6.6 to 13.6 V ?m-1 with decreasing ? values from 1,857 to 699 after the 10-h growth. The detailed screen effect in terms of electrical potential and NW density are investigated in details. The findings provide an effective way of improving the field emission properties for nanodevice application.
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Probing surface band bending of surface-engineered metal oxide nanowires.
ACS Nano
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We in situ probed the surface band bending (SBB) by ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) in conjunction with field-effect transistor measurements on the incompletely depleted ZnO nanowires (NWs). The diameter range of the NWs is ca. 150-350 nm. Several surface treatments (i.e., heat treatments and Au nanoparticle (NP) decoration) were conducted to assess the impact of the oxygen adsorbates on the SBB. A 100 °C heat treatment leads to the decrease of the SBB to 0.74 ± 0.15 eV with 29.9 ± 3.0 nm width, which is attributed to the removal of most adsorbed oxygen molecules from the ZnO NW surfaces. The SBB of the oxygen-adsorbed ZnO NWs is measured to be 1.53 ± 0.15 eV with 43.2 ± 2.0 nm width. The attachment of Au NPs to the NW surface causes unusually high SBB (2.34 ± 0.15 eV with the wide width of 53.3 ± 1.6 nm) by creating open-circuit nano-Schottky junctions and catalytically enhancing the formation of the charge O(2) adsorbates. These surface-related phenomena should be generic to all metal oxide nanostructures. Our study is greatly beneficial for the NW-based device design of sensor and optoelectronic applications via surface engineering.
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