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Feb 2023 • Journal of Power Sources

Lignin-derived bimetallic platinum group metal-free oxygen reduction reaction electrocatalysts for acid and alkaline fuel cells

Mohsin Muhyuddin, Ariel Friedman, Federico Poli, Elisabetta Petri, Hilah Honig, Francesco Basile, Andrea Fasolini, Roberto Lorenzi, Enrico Berretti, Marco Bellini, Alessandro Lavacchi, Lior Elbaz, Carlo Santoro, Francesca Soavi

Metal-nitrogen-carbons (M-N-Cs) as a reliable substitution for platinum-group-metals (PGMs) for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are emerging candidates to rationalize the technology of fuel cells. The development of M-N-Cs can further be economized by consuming waste biomass as an inexpensive carbon source for the electrocatalyst support. Herein, we report the simple fabrication and in-depth characterization of electrocatalysts using lignin-derived activated char. The activated char (LAC) was functionalized with metal phthalocyanine (FePc and MnPc) via atmosphere-controlled pyrolysis to produce monometallic M-N-Cs (L_Mn and L_Fe) and bimetallic M1-M2-N-Cs (L_FeMn) electrocatalysts. Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed a defect-rich architecture. XPS confirmed the coexistence of various nitrogen-containing active moieties. L_Fe and L_FeMn demonstrated …

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Dec 2022 • Cell Reports Physical Science

A cost-effective water-in-salt electrolyte enables highly stable operation of a 2.15-V aqueous lithium-ion battery

Meital Turgeman, Vered Wineman-Fisher, Fyodor Malchik, Arka Saha, Gil Bergman, Bar Gavriel, Tirupathi Rao Penki, Amey Nimkar, Valeriia Baranauskaite, Hagit Aviv, Mikhael D Levi, Malachi Noked, Dan Thomas Major, Netanel Shpigel, Doron Aurbach

Extensive efforts are currently underway to develop safe and cost-effective electrolytes for large-scale energy storage. In this regard, water-based electrolytes may be an attractive option, but their narrow electrochemical stability window hinders their realization. Although highly concentrated fluorinated electrolytes have been shown to be highly effective in suppression of water splitting, enabling significant widening of the applied potential range, they utilize expensive salts (e.g., lithium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl) imide [LiTFSI] or lithium trifluoromethane sulfonate [LiOTf]); hence, they cannot be considered for practical applications. Here, we demonstrate a cost-effective aqueous electrolyte solution combining 14 M LiCl and 4 M CsCl that allows stable operation of a 2.15-V battery comprising a TiO2 anode and LiMn2O4 cathode. Addition of CsCl to the electrolyte plays a double role in system stabilization: the added …

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Dec 2022 • Materials Today Energy

Ionically selective carbon nanotubes for hydrogen electrocatalysis in the hydrogen–bromine redox flow battery

Samuel S Hardisty, Kobby Saadi, Samala Nagaprasad Reddy, Ilya Grinberg, David Zitoun

Catalyst poisoning and leaching is a problem faced in almost all catalyst applications. A specific technology where catalyst poisoning and leaching are a major concern is the hydrogen bromine redox flow battery (H 2-B r 2 RFB), one of the most promising energy storage technologies. However, it is currently hindered through degradation of the hydrogen oxidation/evolution catalyst, caused by B r-/B r 3-which have crossed the membrane. To prevent this degradation, Pt nanoparticles were synthesized inside 2 nm single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques show that the Pt@ SWCNT has a vastly improved stability and higher mass activity over a commercial 50% Pt/C catalyst. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations show that the stability results from the selective diffusion of H 2 and H+ over the B r-and B r 3-species through the SWCNT to the Pt catalyst, effectively …

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Dec 2022 • Materials Today Sustainability

Methyl formate and dimethyl ether electro-oxidation on PtPdSn catalyst supported on carbon nanotube decorated with carbon dots

Vijay Bhooshan Kumar, Diwakar Kashyap, Hanan Teller, Medhanie Gebremedhin Gebru, Aharon Gedanken, Alex Schechter

In this work methyl formate (MF) and dimethyl ether (DME) electro-oxidation was studied on equimolar ratio Pt-Pd-Sn catalyst supported on Vulcan Carbon XC-72, carbon nanotubes (CNT), and CNT - nitrogen-doped carbon dots (NCDs) composite. The ternary catalyst was synthesized by the ethylene glycol assisted thermal reduction method and NCDs were synthesized by a hydrothermal method in the presence of CNT to form CNT-NCDs composite, in which the NCDs are incorporated onto the CNT surface. The activity of the catalyst in the oxidation of MF and DME was analyzed using cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry techniques. The ternary catalyst supported on CNT-NCDs composite (Pt1Pd1Sn1/CNT-NCDs) showed peak oxidation current of 75 mA mg-1 and 365 mA mg-1 for DME and MF, respectively, highest among the studied Pt1Pd1Sn1/XC-72 and Pt1Pd1Sn1/CNT. The onset potential of DME …

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Dec 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:1812.11450

Spin‐Spacetime Censorship

Jonathan Nemirovsky, Eliahu Cohen, Ido Kaminer

Quantum entanglement and relativistic causality are key concepts in theoretical works seeking to unify quantum mechanics and gravity. In this article, we show that the interplay between relativity theory and quantum entanglement has intriguing consequences for the spacetime surrounding elementary particles with spin. Classical and quantum gravity theories predict that a spin-generated magnetic dipole field causes a (slight) bending to the spacetime around particles, breaking its spherical symmetry. Motivated by the apparent break of spherical symmetry, we propose a very general gedanken experiment that does not rely on any specific theory of classical or quantum gravity, and analyze this gedanken experiment in the context of quantum information. We show that any spin-related deviation from spherical symmetry would violate relativistic causality. To avoid the violation of causality, the measurable spacetime around the particle's rest frame must remain spherically symmetric, potentially as a back-action by the act of measurement. This way, our gedanken experiment proves that there must be a censorship mechanism preventing the possibility of spacetime-based spin detection, which sheds new light on the interface between quantum mechanics and gravity. We emphasize that our proposed gedanken experiment is independent of any theory and by allowing spacetime to be quantized its purpose is to be used for testing present and future candidate theories of quantum gravity.

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Novel in situ multi-harmonic EQCM-D approach to characterize complex carbon pore architectures for capacitive deionization of brackish water (vol 28, 114001, 2016)

Netanel Shpigel, Mikhael D Levi, Sergey Sigalov, Doron Aurbach, Leonid Daikhin, Volker Presser

Dec 2022 • Optical Materials Express

Enhanced throughput and clean laser drilling with a sacrificial polymer layer

John Linden, Ariel Hoch, Asaf Levy, Igor Sakaev, Gil Bernstein Toker, Ofer Fogel, Manuela Hod, Zeev Zalevsky

Laser micromachining is the chosen method for vertical interconnect access point (VIA) formation in flex PCB layers. Even so, this method suffers from several inherent physical issues as a result of the intense localized heating causing strong Marangoni convection and the buildup of recast along the VIA upper crater walls while also scattered particle debris and oxidation of copper across the surface. The mitigation of the height and radius of this recast layer is critical for the following build-up process and device functionality and reliability. This is currently a major technology inhibitor to the adoption of flex PCBs for high-power electronics. In this study, we present experimental results showing the use of engineered sacrificial layers that coat the surface of the flex PCB substrate during the laser micromachining process. Optimization of this engineered sacrificial layer resulted in a major improvement in recast quality and debris control as well as reducing the oxide formation while increasing the laser drilling efficiency, attributable to increased surface pressure on the substrate. In this paper, we describe the methods and materials used in the development of sacrificial layers and show the positive impact it achieves on improving and modifying the plasma characteristics throughout the overall laser drilling process.

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Dec 2022 • Journal of Colloid and Interface Science

Strong coupling between an inverse bowtie Nano-Antenna and a J-aggregate

Adam Weissman, Maxim Shukharev, Adi Salomon

We demonstrate strong coupling between a single or few J-aggregates and an inverse bowtie plasmonic structure, when the J-aggregate is located at a specific axial distance from the metallic surface. Three hybrid modes are clearly observed, witnessing a strong interaction, with a Rabi splitting of up to 290 meV, the precise value of which significantly depends on the orientation of the J-aggregate with respect to the symmetry axis of the plasmonic structure. We repeated our experiments with a set of triangular hole arrays, showing consistent formation of three or more hybrid modes, in good agreement with numerical simulations.

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Dec 2022 • Advanced Electronic Materials

One‐Pot Synthesis of Deep Blue Hydrophobic Carbon Dots with Room Temperature Phosphorescence, White Light Emission, and Explosive Sensor

Sudhakar Pagidi, Hari Krishna Sadhanala, Kusha Sharma, Aharon Gedanken

Bright luminescent hydrophobic carbon dots receive significant attention on account of their potential utility in bio‐imaging, sensors, and creating a full range of colors in displays. Herein, the solvothermal one‐pot synthesis of nitrogen and sulfur‐doped hydrophobic carbon dots (HCDs) from a single precursor, is reported. These HCDs exhibit good dispersibility in different organic solvents and show blue fluorescence in solid and solution states. Notably, HCDs show green color room temperature phosphorescence emission centered at 515 nm with a long average lifetime of 1.1 ms and an ultralong lifetime of 334 ms at 77 K. An intense white light with Commission international de d'Eclairage chromaticity coordinate of (0.32, 0.34) is generated by a simple mixing of HCDs with rhodamine 6G in the solution state. Furthermore, these HCDs are explored for the rapid detection of extremely hazardous and strong explosive …

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Dec 2022 • European Heart Journal-Digital Health

A novel contact-free atrial fibrillation monitor: a pilot study

Ben Sadeh, Ilan Merdler, Sapir Sadon, Lior Lupu, Ariel Borohovitz, Eihab Ghantous, Philippe Taieb, Yoav Granot, Orit Goldstein, Jonathan Calderón Soriano, Ricardo Rubio-Oliver, Joaquin Ruiz-Rivas, Zeev Zalevsky, Javier Garcia-Monreal, Maxim Shatsky, Sagi Polani, Yaron Arbel

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Current guidelines support performing electrocardiogram (ECG) screenings to spot AF in high-risk patients. The purpose of this study was to validate a new algorithm aimed to identify AF in patients measured with a recent FDA-cleared contact-free optical device.

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Dec 2022 • Journal of Power Sources

The effect of porosity of activated carbon cloth cathodes on the cyclic performance of Li–S cells

Elena Markevich, Gregory Salitra, Sharon Bretler, Hideki Yoshida, Shunsuke Sawada, Doron Aurbach

Binder-free carbon cloth (CC) cathodes with tunable porosity prepared from Kynol 1500 by CO2 activation at 900 °C with the specific surface area up to 3170 m2g-1 and pore volume up to 2.05 cc g−1 have been tested in Li–S battery prototypes with catholyte solutions containing Li2S8. The capacity of CCs normalized to carbon mass is linearly proportional to the surface area and pore volume values. Capacities of CC cathodes were compared to the capacity of a composite mesoporous carbon (MPC) cathode prepared from MPC powder with PVdF binder and tested in identical conditions as sulfur host. The results indicate that pore volume of the carbon hosts is a key factor which determines the capacity of Li–S cells with lithium polysulfide catholyte solution. The effect of the surface area and pore volume of carbon cathodes on capacity and cycling performance is discussed. The possibility of attaining of a practical …

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Dec 2022 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

An Improved Cycling Performance of Different Types of Composite Sulfur-Carbon Cathodes with the Use of Lithium Polysulfides Containing Electrolyte Solutions

Elena Markevich, Gregory Salitra, Hideki Yoshida, Shunsuke Sawada, Doron Aurbach

We report on stabilization of Li-S cells with different types of composite sulfur cathodes using ethereal LiTFSI/LiNO3/DOL/DME electrolyte solutions containing a-priori 0.1M Li2S8. These electrolyte solutions enable an improved cycling behavior for Li-S cells compared to Li2S8-free electrolyte solutions, thanks to the presence of LiSx species from the beginning of operation. We show that Li anodes cycled in Li|S cells with solutions containing Li2S8 possess flatter and more uniform surface, higher dimensions of the surface structures in average and, as a result, a lower surface area. This surface morphology ensures a low rate of parasitic surface reactions of the electrolyte components on the Li anodes’ surface, slower depletion of the electrolyte solution in the cells and stabilization of the cells cycling. Besides, the presence of Li2S8 maintains a better integrity of composite sulfur/carbon/PVdF cathodes, ensuring a …

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Dec 2022 • Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics 13, 385-405, 2022

Studying Quantum Materials with Scanning SQUID Microscopy

Eylon Persky, Ilya Sochnikov, Beena Kalisky

Electronic correlations give rise to fascinating macroscopic phenomena such as superconductivity, magnetism, and topological phases of matter. Although these phenomena manifest themselves macroscopically, fully understanding the underlying microscopic mechanisms often requires probing on multiple length scales. Spatial modulations on the mesoscopic scale are especially challenging to probe, owing to the limited range of suitable experimental techniques. Here, we review recent progress in scanning superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) microscopy. We demonstrate how scanning SQUID combines unmatched magnetic field sensitivity and highly versatile designs, by surveying discoveries in unconventional superconductivity, exotic magnetism, topological states, and more. Finally, we discuss how SQUID microscopy can be further developed to answer the increasing demand for imaging …

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Dec 2022 • Genome medicine

T cell receptor beta germline variability is revealed by inference from repertoire data

Aviv Omer, Ayelet Peres, Oscar L Rodriguez, Corey T Watson, William Lees, Pazit Polak, Andrew M Collins, Gur Yaari

T and B cell receptor (TCR, BCR) repertoires constitute the foundation of adaptive immunity. Adaptive immune receptor repertoire sequencing (AIRR-seq) is a common approach to study immune system dynamics. Understanding the genetic factors influencing the composition and dynamics of these repertoires is of major scientific and clinical importance. The chromosomal loci encoding for the variable regions of TCRs and BCRs are challenging to decipher due to repetitive elements and undocumented structural variants. To confront this challenge, AIRR-seq-based methods have recently been developed for B cells, enabling genotype and haplotype inference and discovery of undocumented alleles. However, this approach relies on complete coverage of the receptors’ variable regions, whereas most T cell studies sequence a small fraction of that region. Here, we adapted a B cell pipeline for undocumented alleles, genotype, and haplotype inference for full and partial AIRR-seq TCR data sets. The pipeline also deals with gene assignment ambiguities, which is especially important in the analysis of data sets of partial sequences. From the full and partial AIRR-seq TCR data sets, we identified 39 undocumented polymorphisms in T cell receptor Beta V (TRBV) and 31 undocumented 5 ′ UTR sequences. A subset of these inferences was also observed using independent genomic approaches. We found that a single nucleotide polymorphism differentiating between the two documented T cell receptor Beta D2 (TRBD2) alleles is strongly associated with dramatic changes in the expressed repertoire. We reveal a rich picture of germline variability and …

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Nov 2022 • Nature Energy

Upshifting potentials to increase reversibility

Doron Aurbach, Mikhael Levi, Netanel Shpigel

One of the biggest hurdles to realise high-performance Li-metal batteries is the instability of Li metal towards all relevant electrolytes. Now, an approach is reported to improve Li cells’ stability by upshifting the Li electrodes’ potential to reduce their voltage gap with the electrolyte electrochemical stability windows.

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Nov 2022 • Energy Storage Materials

Double gas treatment: A successful approach for stabilizing the Li and Mn-rich NCM cathode materials’ electrochemical behavior

Sandipan Maiti, Hadar Sclar, Judith Grinblat, Michael Talianker, Maria Tkachev, Merav Tsubery, Xiaohan Wu, Malachi Noked, Boris Markovsky, Doron Aurbach

Herein, a systematic surface modification approach via double gas (SO2 and NH3) treatment at elevated temperatures is described, aimed to achieve a stable electrochemical performance of Li and Mn-rich NCM cathode materials of a typical composition 0.33Li2MnO3•0.67LiNi0.4Co0.2Mn0.4O2 (HE-NCM). Partial surface reduction of Mn4+ and the formation of a modified interface comprising Li-ions conductive nano-sized Li2SO4/Li2SO3 phases are established. Li-coin cells’ prolonged cycling performance demonstrated significantly improved capacity retention (∼2.2 times higher than untreated cathode materials) for the double-gas-treated cathodes after 400 cycles at a 1.0 C rate. Stable discharge potential and lower voltage hysteresis during cycling were also achieved through the double gas treatment. Comparative electrochemical studies in full-pouch cells [vs. Graphite anodes] also demonstrated …

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Nov 2022 • Ultrasonics Sonochemistry

Ultrasonic-assisted synthesis of lignin-capped Cu2O nanocomposite with antibiofilm properties

Moorthy Maruthapandi, Akanksha Gupta, Arumugam Saravanan, Gila Jacobi, Ehud Banin, John HT Luong, Aharon Gedanken

Under ultrasonication, cuprous oxide (Cu2O) microparticles (<5 µm) were fragmented into nanoparticles (NPs, ranging from 10 to 30 nm in diameter), and interacted strongly with alkali lignin (Mw= 10 kDa) to form a nanocomposite. The ultrasonic wave generates strong binding interaction between lignin and Cu2O. The L-Cu nanocomposite exhibited synergistic effects with enhanced antibiofilm activities against E. coli, multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli, S. aureus (SA), methicillin-resistant SA, and P. aeruginosa (PA). The lignin-Cu2O (L-Cu) nanocomposite also imparted notable eradication of such bacterial biofilms. Experimental evidence unraveled the destruction of bacterial cell walls by L-Cu, which interacted strongly with the bacterial membrane. After exposure to L-Cu, the bacterial cells lost the integrated structural morphology. The estimated MIC for biofilm inhibition for the five tested pathogens was 1 mg/mL L …

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Nov 2022 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Electrochemical Methods of Transference Number Determination for Polymer Electrolyte Systems: A Comparative Study

Shaul Bublil, Miryam Fayena-Greenstein, Yuval Elias, Doron Aurbach

The transference number for cations, t+, is one of the most important parameters for characterizing polymeric and/or composite solid electrolytes. It expresses the contribution of the positive charge carriers to the total conductivity, which in turn reflects the degree of polarization due to the negative carriers in the electrolyte systems. Four electrochemical methods based on different equations commonly used for obtaining t+ are compared. A series of experiments were conducted with solid polymer electrolytes based on polyethylene oxide with and without TiO2 ceramic additive. Interestingly, the oldest method developed and presented four decades ago, emerges as the most simple, reliable, sensitive, repeatable, and stable option for determining t+ values over time.

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Nov 2022 • Nano Letters

Intrinsic Magnetic (EuIn) As Nanowire Shells with a Unique Crystal Structure

Hadas Shtrikman, Man Suk Song, Magdalena A Załuska-Kotur, Ryszard Buczko, Xi Wang, Beena Kalisky, Perla Kacman, Lothar Houben, Haim Beidenkopf

In the pursuit of magneto-electronic systems nonstoichiometric magnetic elements commonly introduce disorder and enhance magnetic scattering. We demonstrate the growth of (EuIn)As shells, with a unique crystal structure comprised of a dense net of Eu inversion planes, over InAs and InAs1–xSbx core nanowires. This is imaged with atomic and elemental resolution which reveal a prismatic configuration of the Eu planes. The results are supported by molecular dynamics simulations. Local magnetic and susceptibility mappings show magnetic response in all nanowires, while a subset bearing a DC signal points to ferromagnetic order. These provide a mechanism for enhancing Zeeman responses, operational at zero applied magnetic field. Such properties suggest that the obtained structures can serve as a preferred platform for time-reversal symmetry broken one-dimensional states including intrinsic topological …

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Nov 2022 • Desalination 542, 116043, 2022

Advances and perspectives in integrated membrane capacitive deionization for water desalination

Qinghao Wu, Dawei Liang, Shanfu Lu, Haining Wang, Yan Xiang, Doron Aurbach, Eran Avraham, Izaak Cohen

Capacitive deionization (CDI) has been considered as the most promising and environmentally friendly electrical desalination technology owing to its low energy consumption and no secondary pollution. CDI is based on the principle of electric double layer for salt ion adsorption, but the existence of co-ions repulsion reduce the charge efficiency, leading to the low salt adsorption capacity. To prevent the intrinsic “co-ion effect” inside the porous carbon electrodes, membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI) by applying an ion-exchange membrane (IEM) to the surface of electrode is of increasing interest. However, MCDI brings various resistances, such as the internal and interface resistances of membrane, as well as the contact resistance between membrane and carbon electrode. More recently, by integrating “membrane” with carbon electrode without the introduction of free-standing IEM, integrated-MCDI has …

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Nov 2022 • Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter

Corrigendum: Novel in situ multi-harmonic EQCM-D approach to characterize complex carbon pore architectures for capacitive deionization of brackish water (2016 J. Phys …

Netanel Shpigel, Mikhael D Levi, Sergey Sigalov, Doron Aurbach, Leonid Daikhin, Volker Presser

It has been brought to the authors' notice that the SEM images in figure 2 panels (b) and (d) are related to the incorrect carbon material. A corrected version is shown here in figure 2. The authors apologize for the unfortunate mistake.

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