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Jan 2022 • Materialia

Synthesis of Nickel Sulfide Dendrites from Nickel Foil Using Thermal Annealing

Pola Shriber, Maria Tkachev, Ayelet Atkins, Ilana Perelshtein, Sharon Bretler, Bruria Schmerling, Gino Mariotto, Marco Giarola, Yafit Fleger, Gilbert Daniel Nessim

Similarly to other transition metal sulfides, nickel sulfide nanocrystals can be potentially used for functional device applications. However, controlling morphology and stoichiometry to target specific applications is a synthesis challenge. In this work we developed a rapid, one-step, chemical vapor deposition synthesis of nickel sulfide dendritic nanostructures with fractal geometry. Microtome-EDS compositional analysis of the mature crystal indicates a trend of decreasing sulfur and increasing nickel concentration towards the tip of the mature crystals. Following thorough investigation of these nanocrystals at different stages of their nucleation and growth by means of XRD, HR-SEM, HR-TEM, and Raman spectroscopy, we suggest possible kinetic mechanisms for the crystal formation and development. This work contributes to the understanding of growth mechanisms of dendritic structures with complex morphology.

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Jan 2022 • ACS Energy Letters

Stabilizing High-Voltage Lithium-Ion Battery Cathodes Using Functional Coatings of 2D Tungsten Diselenide

Sandipan Maiti, Rajashree Konar, Hadar Sclar, Judith Grinblat, Michael Talianker, Maria Tkachev, Xiaohan Wu, Aleksandr Kondrakov, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Doron Aurbach

Functional surface coatings were applied on high voltage spinel (LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4; LNMO) and Ni-rich (LiNi0.85Co0.1Mn0.05O2; NCM851005) NCM cathode materials using few-layered 2H tungsten diselenide (WSe2). Simple liquid-phase mixing with WSe2 in 2-propanol and low-temperature (130 °C) heat treatment in nitrogen flow dramatically improved electrochemical performance, including stable cycling, high-rate performance, and lower voltage hysteresis in Li coin cells at 30 and 55 °C. Significantly improved capacity retention at 30 °C [Q401/Q9 of 99% vs 38% for LNMO and Q322/Q23 of 64% vs 46% for NCM851005] indicated efficient functionality. TEM and XPS clarified the coating distribution and coordination with the cathode surface, while postcycling studies revealed its sustainability, enabling lower transition metal dissolution and minor morphological deformation/microcrack formation. A modified and …

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Jan 2022 • ACS sensors

Rapid Biosensing Method for Detecting Protein–DNA Interactions

Shira Roth, Diana Ideses, Tamar Juven-Gershon, Amos Danielli

Identifying and investigating protein–DNA interactions, which play significant roles in many biological processes, is essential for basic and clinical research. Current techniques for identification of protein–DNA interactions are laborious, time-consuming, and suffer from nonspecific binding and limited sensitivity. To overcome these challenges and assess protein–DNA interactions, we use a magnetic modulation biosensing (MMB) system. In MMB, one of the interacting elements (protein or DNA) is immobilized to magnetic beads, and the other is coupled to a fluorescent molecule. Thus, the link between the magnetic bead and the fluorescent molecule is established only when binding occurs, enabling detection of the protein–DNA interaction. Using magnetic forces, the beads are concentrated and manipulated in a periodic motion in and out of a laser beam, producing a detectable oscillating signal. Using MMB, we …

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2022 • Advanced Photonics Research

Coupled Molecular Emitters in Superstructures Interact with Plasmonic Nanoparticles

Daniel Beitner, Itai Carmeli, Zeev Zalevsky, Shachar Richter, Haim Suchowski

Using hyperspectral measurements, J‐aggregate nanorods of porphyrin molecules embedded in plasmonic Au nanoparticles arrays are studied. Measurements of J‐aggregate nanorods that cross onto a plasmonic array exhibit a shift in their absorption peak, and display weak coupling properties only for the embedded part. Furthermore, a significant thickness‐dependent redshift in the plasmonic resonance for the J‐aggregate clusters is observed. Such redshift is also dependent on the ratio of J‐aggregate in the plasmonic dipole interaction area, reaching values of up to 120 meV for ≈40% coverage. In addition, for large clusters of J‐aggregates, the plasmonic spectrum shows coupling behavior between the systems indicated by a small Rabi splitting. The findings are validated by a quasi‐static model based on the change of the dielectric environment around the embedded nanoparticles. Using the model, the …

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2022 • Proc. of SPIE Vol

Quantum hard x-ray microscopy with undetected photons

Haim Aknin, Sharon Shwartz

We explore the possibility for implementing nanoscale quantum imaging based on the concept of undetected photons with a pumping beam at x-ray wavelengths. Our proposed scheme exploits the nearly four order of magnitude angular magnification that is a result of the process of the effect of extreme non-degenerate spontaneous down conversion from xrays into optical radiation, which is used for the generation of entangled photon pairs with one x-ray photon and one visible photon. In our scheme the x-ray photons interact with the object and the visible do not interact with the object, but in contrast to other schemes like ghost imaging, only the visible photons are detected. The scheme is sensitive to both the amplitude and the phase variations and can provide resolutions down to a few nanometers, hence can be used as a powerful tool for nanoscale imaging. In the present configuration, the scheme requires very …

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2022 • Laser & Photonics Reviews

Interpolarization Forward Stimulated Brillouin Scattering in Standard Single‐Mode Fibers

Hilel Hagai Diamandi, Gil Bashan, Yosef London, Kavita Sharma, Keren Shemer, Avi Zadok

Forward stimulated Brillouin scattering in standard single‐mode fibers draws increasing interest toward sensing and signal processing applications. The process takes place through two classes of guided acoustic modes: purely radial ones and torsional‐radial modes with twofold azimuthal symmetry. The latter case cannot be described in terms of scalar models alone. In this work, the polarization attributes of forward stimulated Brillouin scattering in single‐mode fibers are investigated in analysis and experiment. Torsional‐radial acoustic modes are stimulated by orthogonally polarized pump tones, a first such report in standard single‐mode fibers. The scattering of optical probe waves by torsional‐radial modes may take up the form of phase modulation, cross‐polarization coupling, or a combination of both, depending on polarization. Lastly, this analysis predicts that circular and orthogonal pump tones may …

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2022 • Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Cu 2+-Induced self-assembly and amyloid formation of a cyclic d, l-α-peptide: structure and function

Daniel Klose, Sahithya Phani Babu Vemulapalli, Michal Richman, Safra Rudnick, Vered Aisha, Meital Abayev, Marina Chemerovski, Meital Shviro, David Zitoun, Katharina Majer, Nino Wili, Gil Goobes, Christian Griesinger, Gunnar Jeschke, Shai Rahimipour

In a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, self-assembly of pathogenic proteins to cytotoxic intermediates is accelerated by the presence of metal ions such as Cu2+. Only low concentrations of these early transient oligomeric inter-mediates are present in a mixture of species during fibril formation, and hence information on the extent of structuring of these oligomers is still largely unknown. Here, we investigate dimers as the first intermediates in the Cu2+-driven aggrega-tion of a cyclic D,L-α-peptide architecture. The unique structural and functional properties of this model system recapitu-late the self-assembling properties of amyloidogenic proteins including β-sheet conformation and cross-interaction with pathogenic amyloids. We show that a histidine-rich cyclic D,L-α-octapeptide binds Cu2+ with high affinity and selectivity to generate amyloid-like cross-β-sheet structures. By taking advantage of …

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2022 • Battery Energy

Li/graphene oxide primary battery system and mechanism

Denis Kornilov, Tirupathi Rao Penki, Andrey Cheglakov, Doron Aurbach

A novel type of Li/graphene oxide (Li/GO) battery based on a spontaneous redox reaction between Li metal and GO cathode is introduced as an alternative viable primary battery system. Here, we present an efficient synthesis of GO by the modified Hummers method and focus on a comprehensive study of the reduction mechanism. The Li/GO battery was thoroughly analyzed by various physical and electrochemical methods. GO rich in oxygen‐bearing functional groups on graphene layers provided lithium storage sites and delivered a high discharge capacity of around 720 mAh/g at 12 mA/g. Products formed on the surface during reduction were analyzed, and a mechanism was proposed. The results uncovered the reasons underlying the improved electrochemical properties and the contribution of the irreversible capacity of reduced GO in graphene‐based composite electrode materials for metal‐ion batteries …

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2022 • Advanced Materials Interfaces

Site‐Engineered Tetragonal ZrO2 Nanoparticles: A Promising Oxygen Reduction Catalyst with High Activity and Chemical Stability in Alkaline Medium

Vineesh Thazhe Veettil, Meera Mohankumar, David Zitoun

Practical implementation of anion exchange membrane fuel cells mainly relies on the choice of highly active and stable oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts. Transition metal oxides based on Group 4 and 5 are well known for their chemical stability and corrosion‐resistance and they are earth‐abundant too. Among them, zirconia (ZrO2) has exceptional chemical stability, but its poor conductivity and less active sites hinder the application of zirconia‐based materials toward ORR. In order to bring out the best activity from ZrO2, careful site engineering without losing the phase purity and chemical stability is essential. In this context, nitrogen doping on tetragonal zirconia (t‐ZrO2) as a viable method to obtain a highly active ORR catalyst is adopted. The temperature for the phase pure synthesis of t‐ZrO2 is optimized by crystallographic study. The nitrogen doping in the zirconia lattice is confirmed by various …

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2022 • Chemical Communications

Photoacoustic measurement of localized optical dichroism in chiral crystals

Gil Otis, Matan Benyamin, Yitzhak Mastai, Zeev Zalevsky

In this communication, we present a novel method to measure local optical dichroism (OD) in opaque crystal powder suspensions using photoacoustic (PA) effect. Our method is based upon the novel laser speckle contrast technique, in combination with a simple statistical approach, we were able to measure the OD of chiral crystals suspensions under completely random orientation.

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2022 • Advanced Functional Materials

Sulfur‐Treatment Passivates Bulk Defects in Sb2Se3 Photocathodes for Water Splitting

Rajiv Ramanujam Prabhakar, Thomas Moehl, Dennis Friedrich, Marinus Kunst, Sudhanshu Shukla, Damilola Adeleye, Vinayaka H Damle, Sebastian Siol, Wei Cui, Laxman Gouda, Jihye Suh, Yaakov R Tischler, Roel van de Krol, S David Tilley

Sb2Se3 has emerged as an important photoelectrochemical (PEC) and photovoltaic (PV) material due to its rapid rise in photoconversion efficiencies. However, Sb2Se3 has a complex defect chemistry, which reduces the maximum photovoltage. Thus, it is important to understand these defects and develop defect passivation strategies in Sb2Se3. A comprehensive investigation of the charge carrier dynamics of Sb2Se3 and the influence of sulfur treatment on its optoelectronic properties is performed using time‐resolved microwave conductivity (TRMC), photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, and low‐frequency Raman spectroscopy (LFR). The key finding in this work is that upon sulfur treatment of Sb2Se3, the carrier lifetime is increased by the passivation of deep defects in Sb2Se3 in both the surface region and the bulk, which is evidenced by increased charge carrier lifetime of TRMC decay dynamics, increased …

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2022 • Evolution, Biodiversity and a Reassessment of the Hygiene Hypothesis, 105-140, 2022

Regulation of host immunity by the gut microbiota

Hannah Partney, Nissan Yissachar

Constant exposure to diverse microorganisms has accompanied human evolution and continues to shape immunological development throughout life. In mucosal tissues, both innate and adaptive arms of the immune system are required to support healthy mutualistic interactions with the resident microbiota, while aggressively fighting pathogenic infections. Technological breakthroughs over the past decade facilitated groundbreaking discoveries that transformed our understanding of intestinal immunology and established the gut microbiota as a critical factor that shapes immunological development and function. Indeed, alterations to microbiota composition (dysbiosis) are associated with a wide array of human diseases, including autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, the metabolic syndrome, and cancer. In this chapter, we discuss fundamental concepts that underlie microbiota-immune system crosstalks …

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2022 • Polymers for Advanced Technologies

Electrospinning of polymer nanofibers based on chiral polymeric nanoparticles

Meir Abuaf, Yitzhak Mastai


2022 • Chemical Science

Cu (II)-based DNA Labeling Identifies the Structural Link Between Activation and Termination in a Metalloregulator

Joshua Casto, Alysia Mandato, Lukas Hofmann, Idan Yakobov, Shreya Ghosh, Sharon Ruthstein, Sunil Saxena

Understanding the structural and mechanistic details of protein-DNA interactions that lead to cellular defence against toxic metal ions in pathogenic bacteria can lead to new ways of combating their virulence. Herein, we examine the Copper Efflux Regulator (CueR) protein, a transcription factor which interacts with DNA to generate proteins that ameliorate excess free Cu(I). We exploit site directed Cu(II) labeling to measure the conformational changes in DNA as a function of protein and Cu(I) concentration. Unexpectedly, the EPR data indicates that the protein can bend the DNA at high protein concentrations even in the Cu(I)-free state. On the other hand, the bent state of the DNA is accessed at a low protein concentration in the presence of Cu(I). Such bending enables the coordination of the DNA with RNA polymerase. Taken together, the results lead to a structural understanding of how transcription is activated in …

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2022 • Springer, Cham

Regulation of Host Immunity by the Gut Microbiota

Hannah Partney, Nissan Yissachar

Constant exposure to diverse microorganisms has accompanied human evolution and continues to shape immunological development throughout life. In mucosal tissues, both innate and adaptive arms of the immune system are required to support healthy mutualistic interactions with the resident microbiota, while aggressively fighting pathogenic infections. Technological breakthroughs over the past decade facilitated groundbreaking discoveries that transformed our understanding of intestinal immunology and established the gut microbiota as a critical factor that shapes immunological development and function. Indeed, alterations to microbiota composition (dysbiosis) are associated with a wide array of human diseases, including autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, the metabolic syndrome, and cancer. In this chapter, we discuss fundamental concepts that underlie microbiota-immune system crosstalks …

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2022 • Advanced Materials Interfaces

Growth of Hybrid Chiral Thin Films by Molecular Layer Deposition Zinc/Cysteine as a Case Study

Reut Yemini, Shalev Blanga, Hagit Aviv, Ilana Perelshtein, Eti Teblum, Shahar Dery, Elad Gross, Yitzhak Mastai, Malachi Noked, Ortal Lidor‐Shalev

Atomic and molecular layer deposition (ALD and MLD) are techniques based on surface‐directed self‐limiting reactions that afford deposition of films controlled at the monolayer level and with extreme conformality, even on ultra‐high‐aspect‐ratio and porous substrates. These methodologies are typically used to deposit thin films with desirable physical properties and functionality. Here, the MLD process is harnessed to demonstrate the growth of molecularly thin chiral films that inherit a desirable chemical property directly from the source precursor: using this innovative technique, enantioselective nanosurfaces are managed to be grown. Specifically, the formation of a Zn/Cysteine nanostructure by MLD is demonstrated for both the l‐ and d‐ enantiomers. The reaction and growth mechanism of these chiral hybrid inorganic‐organic nanosurfaces are studied via various experimental procedures; their …

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2022 • Polymers for Advanced Technologies

Chirality of proteinoid nanoparticles made of lysine and phenylalanine

Liroy Lugasi, Gil Otis, Matan Oliel, Shlomo Margel, Yitzhak Mastai

Proteinoid nanoparticles composed of l‐lysine and l‐phenylalanine were prepared and showed enantioselective adsorption of l‐amino acids at various pH values, emphasizing the chiral nature of the particles. The adsorption was examined using circular dichroism, isothermal titration calorimetry and ζ‐potential measurements. Positively charged ammonium moieties on the proteinoid surface are most likely responsible for the enantioselective adsorption owing to their chirality which originates from l‐lysine. Accordingly, a higher enantiomeric excess was found for amino acids such as alanine with a more negative charge.

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2022 • Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Cu 2+-Induced self-assembly and amyloid formation of a cyclic d, l-α-peptide: structure and function

Daniel Klose, Sahithya Phani Babu Vemulapalli, Michal Richman, Safra Rudnick, Vered Aisha, Meital Abayev, Marina Chemerovski, Meital Shviro, David Zitoun, Katharina Majer, Nino Wili, Gil Goobes, Christian Griesinger, Gunnar Jeschke, Shai Rahimipour

In a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, self-assembly of pathogenic proteins to cytotoxic intermediates is accelerated by the presence of metal ions such as Cu2+. Only low concentrations of these early transient oligomeric inter-mediates are present in a mixture of species during fibril formation, and hence information on the extent of structuring of these oligomers is still largely unknown. Here, we investigate dimers as the first intermediates in the Cu2+-driven aggrega-tion of a cyclic D,L-α-peptide architecture. The unique structural and functional properties of this model system recapitu-late the self-assembling properties of amyloidogenic proteins including β-sheet conformation and cross-interaction with pathogenic amyloids. We show that a histidine-rich cyclic D,L-α-octapeptide binds Cu2+ with high affinity and selectivity to generate amyloid-like cross-β-sheet structures. By taking advantage of …

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2022 • Chemical Science

Cu (II)-based DNA Labeling Identifies the Structural Link Between Activation and Termination in a Metalloregulator

Joshua Casto, Alysia Mandato, Lukas Hofmann, Idan Yakobov, Shreya Ghosh, Sharon Ruthstein, Sunil Saxena


2022 • Magnetochemistry 8 (1), 3, 2022

The Advantages of EPR Spectroscopy in Exploring Diamagnetic Metal Ion Binding and Transfer Mechanisms in Biological Systems

Shelly Meron, Yulia Shenberger, Sharon Ruthstein

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has emerged as an ideal biophysical tool to study complex biological processes. EPR spectroscopy can follow minor conformational changes in various proteins as a function of ligand or protein binding or interactions with high resolution and sensitivity. Resolving cellular mechanisms, involving small ligand binding or metal ion transfer, is not trivial and cannot be studied using conventional biophysical tools. In recent years, our group has been using EPR spectroscopy to study the mechanism underlying copper ion transfer in eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems. This mini-review focuses on our achievements following copper metal coordination in the diamagnetic oxidation state, Cu(I), between biomolecules. We discuss the conformational changes induced in proteins upon Cu(I) binding, as well as the conformational changes induced in two proteins involved in Cu(I) transfer. We also consider how EPR spectroscopy, together with other biophysical and computational tools, can identify the Cu(I)-binding sites. This work describes the advantages of EPR spectroscopy for studying biological processes that involve small ligand binding and transfer between intracellular proteins.

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2022 • RSC Advances

Prospect of making XPS a high-throughput analytical method illustrated for a Cu x Ni 1− x O y combinatorial material library

Lucas CW Bodenstein-Dresler, Adi Kama, Johannes Frisch, Claudia Hartmann, Anat Itzhak, Regan G Wilks, David Cahen, Marcus Bär


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