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Oct 2021 • Nature Communications

Unveiling unconventional magnetism at the surface of Sr2RuO4

R Fittipaldi, R Hartmann, MT Mercaldo, S Komori, A Bjørlig, W Kyung, Y Yasui, T Miyoshi, LAB Olde Olthof, Palomares Garcia, V Granata, I Keren, W Higemoto, A Suter, T Prokscha, A Romano, C Noce, C Kim, Y Maeno, E Scheer, B Kalisky, JWA Robinson, M Cuoco, Z Salman, A Vecchione, A Di Bernardo

Materials with strongly correlated electrons often exhibit interesting physical properties. An example of these materials is the layered oxide perovskite Sr 2 RuO 4, which has been intensively investigated due to its unusual properties. Whilst the debate on the symmetry of the superconducting state in Sr 2 RuO 4 is still ongoing, a deeper understanding of the Sr 2 RuO 4 normal state appears crucial as this is the background in which electron pairing occurs. Here, by using low-energy muon spin spectroscopy we discover the existence of surface magnetism in Sr 2 RuO 4 in its normal state. We detect static weak dipolar fields yet manifesting at an onset temperature higher than 50 K. We ascribe this unconventional magnetism to orbital loop currents forming at the reconstructed Sr 2 RuO 4 surface. Our observations set a reference for the discovery of the same magnetic phase in other materials and unveil an electronic …

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Oct 2021 • Biotechnology Advances 53, 107843, 2021

Microbial inhibition and biosensing with multifunctional carbon dots: Progress and perspectives

Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, Poushali Das, John HT Luong, Aharon Gedanken

Carbon dots (CDs) and their doped counterparts including nitrogen-doped CDs can be synthesized by bottom-up or top-down approaches from different precursors. The attractiveness of such emerging 2D‑carbon-based nanosized materials can be attributed to their excellent biocompatibility, preparation, aqueous dispersibility, and functionality. The antimicrobial, optical, and electrochemical properties of CDs have been advocated for two important biotechnological applications: bacterial eradication and sensing/biosensing. CDs as well as N@CDs act as antimicrobial agents as their surface encompasses functional hydroxyl, carboxyl, and amino groups that generate free radicals. As a new class of photoluminescent nanomaterials, CDs can be employed in diversified analytics. CDs with surface carboxyl or amino groups can form nanocomposites with nanomaterials or be conjugated with biorecognition molecules …

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Oct 2021 • Small

Interfacial Engineering of Na3V2(PO4)2F3 Hollow Spheres through Atomic Layer Deposition of TiO2: Boosting Capacity and Mitigating Structural Instability

Tali Sharabani, Sarah Taragin, Ilana Perelshtein, Malachi Noked, Ayan Mukherjee

To mitigate the associated challenges of instability and capacity improvement in Na3V2(PO4)2F3 (NVPF), rationally designed uniformly distributed hollow spherical NVPF and coating the surface of NVPF with ultrathin (≈2 nm) amorphous TiO2 by atomic layer deposition is demonstrated. The coating facilitates higher mobility of the ion through the cathode electrolyte interphase (CEI) and enables higher capacity during cycling. The TiO2@NVPF exhibit discharge capacity of >120 mAhg−1, even at 1C rates, and show lower irreversible capacity in the first cycle. Further, nearly 100% capacity retention after rate performance in high current densities and 99.9% coulombic efficiency after prolonged cycling in high current density is reported. The improved performance in TiO2@NVPF is ascribed to the passivation behavior of TiO2 coating which protects the surface of NVPF from volume expansion, significantly less …

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Oct 2021 • ACS Omega

Optimization of Gold Nanorod Features for the Enhanced Performance of Plasmonic Nanocavity Arrays

Marianna Beiderman, Ariel Ashkenazy, Elad Segal, Menachem Motiei, Adi Salomon, Tamar Sadan, Dror Fixler, Rachela Popovtzer

Nanoplasmonic biosensors incorporating noble metal nanocavity arrays are widely used for the detection of various biomarkers. Gold nanorods (GNRs) have unique properties that can enhance spectroscopic detection capabilities of such nanocavity-based biosensors. However, the contribution of the physical properties of multiple GNRs to resonance enhancement of gold nanocavity arrays requires further characterization and elucidation. In this work, we study how GNR aspect ratio (AR) and surface area (SA) modify the plasmonic resonance spectrum of a gold triangular nanocavity array by both simulations and experiments. The finite integration technique (FIT) simulated the extinction spectrum of the gold nanocavity array with 300 nm periodicity onto which the GNRs of different ARs and SAs are placed. Simulations showed that matching of the GNRs longitudinal peak, which is affected by AR, to the nanocavity …

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Oct 2021 • Journal of the American Chemical Society 143 (43), 17875-17890, 2021

Benchmark test and guidelines for DEER/PELDOR experiments on nitroxide-labeled biomolecules

Olav Schiemann, Caspar A Heubach, Dinar Abdullin, Katrin Ackermann, Mykhailo Azarkh, Elena G Bagryanskaya, Malte Drescher, Burkhard Endeward, Jack H Freed, Laura Galazzo, Daniella Goldfarb, Tobias Hett, Laura Esteban Hofer, Luis Fábregas Ibáñez, Eric J Hustedt, Svetlana Kucher, Ilya Kuprov, Janet Eleanor Lovett, Andreas Meyer, Sharon Ruthstein, Sunil Saxena, Stefan Stoll, Christiane R Timmel, Marilena Di Valentin, Hassane S Mchaourab, Thomas F Prisner, Bela Ernest Bode, Enrica Bordignon, Marina Bennati, Gunnar Jeschke

Distance distribution information obtained by pulsed dipolar EPR spectroscopy provides an important contribution to many studies in structural biology. Increasingly, such information is used in integrative structural modeling, where it delivers unique restraints on the width of conformational ensembles. In order to ensure reliability of the structural models and of biological conclusions, we herein define quality standards for sample preparation and characterization, for measurements of distributed dipole–dipole couplings between paramagnetic labels, for conversion of the primary time-domain data into distance distributions, for interpreting these distributions, and for reporting results. These guidelines are substantiated by a multi-laboratory benchmark study and by analysis of data sets with known distance distribution ground truth. The study and the guidelines focus on proteins labeled with nitroxides and on double …

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Oct 2021 • ACS energy letters

Are Defects in Lead-Halide Perovskites Healed, Tolerated, or Both?

David Cahen, Leeor Kronik, Gary Hodes

Among many riddles posed by halide perovskites, the surprising apparent near-absence of harmful defects stands out. This is commonly explained by invoking defect tolerance (DT), but the term is used loosely, sometimes interchangeably with self-healing (SH). Also, the relation between underlying physical and chemical mechanisms and device behavior is often murky. Here, we offer our views as to what DT and SH constitute, the evidence for and against them, and what research challenges remain. In the (relatively) early days of the rebirth of halide perovskites, we wrote (with colleagues) a review, 1 originally titled “Hybrid organic− inorganic perovskites: III-V’s on the cheap”. To conform with journal policy, after final acceptance we changed it to the more pedestrian “Hybrid organic− inorganic perovskites: low-cost semiconductors with intriguing charge-transport properties”. Looking at the field today, we realize …

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Sep 2021 • Biophysical Reports

Point-localized, site-specific membrane potential optical recording by single fluorescent nanodiscs

Asaf Grupi, Zehavit Shapira, Shimon Yudovich, Nurit Degani-Katzav, Shimon Weiss

Nanodisc technology was implemented as a platform for voltage nanosensors. A fluorescence (Förster) resonance energy transfer (FRET)- based voltage-sensing scheme employing fluorescent nanodiscs and the hydrophobic ion dipicrylamine was developed and utilized to optically record membrane potentials on the single-nanodisc level. Ensemble and single-nanosensor recordings were demonstrated for HEK293 cells and primary cortical neuron cells. Conjugation of nanodiscs to anti-GABAA antibodies allowed for site-specific membrane potential measurements from postsynaptic sites.

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Sep 2021 • Journal of Molecular Liquids

Binary mixtures of homologous room-temperature ionic liquids: Temperature and composition evolution of the nanoscale structure

Diego Pontoni, Marco DiMichiel, Moshe Deutsch

Using X-ray scattering from binary mixtures of [C n mim][NTf 2] room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) with n= 8, 12 we study their nanoscale layering and its evolution with temperature T and mole fraction x of [C 8 mim][NTf 2]. The layers’ lateral structure, dominated by the common headgroups’ Coulomb interaction in the layer’s polar slab, and by the chain-chain van der Waals interaction in the apolar slab, hardly changes. However, the longitudinal layer spacing, d I, decreases with x, exhibiting domination by [C 12 mim][NTf 2] at least up to x≈ 0.5. The layering order’s range decreases uniformly with x. d I is found to deviate positively from an ideal mixture spacing by up to≲ 5%. The lateral spacings’ deviations are 10-fold smaller, implying the nanoscale excess volume to be also≲ 5%, 100-fold larger than those obtained from macroscopic molar density measurements. This gap is probably bridged at the larger length …

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Sep 2021 • 2021 Fifteenth International Congress on Artificial Materials for Novel Wave …, 2021

Two-Dimensional Solid-State Random Laser

Bhupesh Kumar, Santosh Maurya, Patrick Sebbah

We present random lasing action on a two dimensional (2D) active surface incorporated with randomly distributed air holes: responsible for coherent multiple scattering and couple out the radiation normal to surface.

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Sep 2021 • Scientific Reports

Innovative functional polymerization of pyrrole-N-propionic acid onto WS2 nanotubes using cerium-doped maghemite nanoparticles for photothermal therapy

Tzuriel Levin, Yakir Lampel, Gaya Savyon, Esthy Levy, Yifat Harel, Yuval Elias, Moshe Sinvani, Iftach Nachman, Jean-Paul Lellouche

Tungsten disulfide nanotubes (WS 2-NTs) were found to be very active for photothermal therapy. However, their lack of stability in aqueous solutions inhibits their use in many applications, especially in biomedicine. Few attempts were made to chemically functionalize the surface of the NTs to improve their dispersability. Here, we present a new polymerization method using cerium-doped maghemite nanoparticles (CM-NPs) as magnetic nanosized linkers between the WS 2-NT surface and pyrrole-N-propionic acid monomers, which allow in situ polymerization onto the composite surface. This unique composite is magnetic, and contains two active entities for photothermal therapy—WS 2 and the polypyrrole. The photothermal activity of the composite was tested at a wavelength of 808 nm, and significant thermal activity was observed. Moreover, the polycarboxylated polymeric coating of the NTs enables effective …

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Sep 2021 • The journal of physical chemistry letters

Unveiling the Mechanisms Ruling the Efficient Hydrogen Evolution Reaction with Mitrofanovite Pt3Te4

Danil W Boukhvalov, Jia Cheng, Gianluca D’Olimpio, François C Bocquet, Chia-Nung Kuo, Anan Bari Sarkar, Barun Ghosh, Ivana Vobornik, Jun Fujii, Kuan Hsu, Li-Min Wang, Ori Azulay, Gopi Nath Daptary, Doron Naveh, Chin Shan Lue, Mykhailo Vorokhta, Amit Agarwal, Lixue Zhang, Antonio Politano

By means of electrocatalytic tests, surface-science techniques and density functional theory, we unveil the physicochemical mechanisms ruling the electrocatalytic activity of recently discovered mitrofanovite (Pt3Te4) mineral. Mitrofanovite represents a very promising electrocatalyst candidate for energy-related applications, with a reduction of costs by 47% compared to pure Pt and superior robustness to CO poisoning. We show that Pt3Te4 is a weak topological metal with the invariant, exhibiting electrical conductivity (∼4 × 106 S/m) comparable with pure Pt. In hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), the electrode based on bulk Pt3Te4 shows a very small overpotential of 46 mV at 10 mA cm–2 and a Tafel slope of 36–49 mV dec–1 associated with the Volmer–Heyrovsky mechanism. The outstanding ambient stability of Pt3Te4 also provides durability of the electrode and long-term stability of its efficient catalytic …

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Sep 2021 • Molecular Microbiology

Pseudouridines on Trypanosoma brucei mRNAs are developmentally regulated: Implications to mRNA stability and protein binding

K Shanmugha Rajan, Katerina Adler, Hava Madmoni, Dana Peleg‐Chen, Smadar Cohen‐Chalamish, Tirza Doniger, Beathrice Galili, Doron Gerber, Ron Unger, Christian Tschudi, Shulamit Michaeli

The parasite Trypanosoma brucei cycles between an insect and a mammalian host and is the causative agent of sleeping sickness. Here, we performed high‐throughput mapping of pseudouridines (Ψs) on mRNA from two life stages of the parasite. The analysis revealed ~273 Ψs, including developmentally regulated Ψs that are guided by homologs of pseudouridine synthases (PUS1, 3, 5, and 7). Mutating the U that undergoes pseudouridylation in the 3′ UTR of valyl‐tRNA synthetase destabilized the mRNA level. To investigate the mechanism by which Ψ affects the stability of this mRNA, proteins that bind to the 3′ UTR were identified, including the RNA binding protein RBSR1. The binding of RBSR1 protein to the 3′ UTR was stronger when lacking Ψ compared to transcripts carrying the modification, suggesting that Ψ can inhibit the binding of proteins to their target and thus affect the stability of mRNAs …

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Sep 2021 • JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY

Siliplant1 protein precipitates silica in sorghum silica cells (vol 71, pg 6830, 2020)

Santosh Kumar, Nurit Adiram-Filiba, Shula Blum, Javier Arturo Sanchez-Lopez, Oren Tzfadia, Ayelet Omid, Hanne Volpin, Yael Heifetz, Gil Goobes, Rivka Elbaum


Sep 2021 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2109.13038

Discrete sampling of extreme events modifies their statistics

Lior Zarfaty, Eli Barkai, David A Kessler

We explore the extreme value (EV) statistics of correlated random variables modeled via Langevin equations. Starting with an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, we find that when the trajectory is sampled discretely, long measurement times make the EV distribution converge to that originating from independent and identically distributed variables drawn from the process' equilibrium measure. A transition occurs when the sampling interval vanishes, for which case the EV statistics corresponds to that of the continuous process. We expand these findings to general potential fields, revealing that processes with a force that diminishes for large distances exhibit an opposite trend. Hence, we unveil a second transition, this time with respect to the potential's behavior at large displacements.

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Sep 2021 • The journal of physical chemistry letters

Unveiling the Mechanisms Ruling the Efficient Hydrogen Evolution Reaction with Mitrofanovite Pt3Te4

Danil W Boukhvalov, Jia Cheng, Gianluca D’Olimpio, François C Bocquet, Chia-Nung Kuo, Anan Bari Sarkar, Barun Ghosh, Ivana Vobornik, Jun Fujii, Kuan Hsu, Li-Min Wang, Ori Azulay, Gopi Nath Daptary, Doron Naveh, Chin Shan Lue, Mykhailo Vorokhta, Amit Agarwal, Lixue Zhang, Antonio Politano

By means of electrocatalytic tests, surface-science techniques and density functional theory, we unveil the physicochemical mechanisms ruling the electrocatalytic activity of recently discovered mitrofanovite (Pt3Te4) mineral. Mitrofanovite represents a very promising electrocatalyst candidate for energy-related applications, with a reduction of costs by 47% compared to pure Pt and superior robustness to CO poisoning. We show that Pt3Te4 is a weak topological metal with the invariant, exhibiting electrical conductivity (∼4 × 106 S/m) comparable with pure Pt. In hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), the electrode based on bulk Pt3Te4 shows a very small overpotential of 46 mV at 10 mA cm–2 and a Tafel slope of 36–49 mV dec–1 associated with the Volmer–Heyrovsky mechanism. The outstanding ambient stability of Pt3Te4 also provides durability of the electrode and long-term stability of its efficient catalytic …

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Sep 2021 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Unraveling the Role of Fluorinated Alkyl Carbonate Additives in Improving Cathode Performance in Sodium-Ion Batteries

Amey Nimkar, Netanel Shpigel, Fyodor Malchik, Shaul Bublil, Tianju Fan, Tirupathi Rao Penki, Merav Nadav Tsubery, Doron Aurbach

A key issue in the development of sustainable Na-ion batteries (NIBs) is the stability of the electrolyte solution and its ability to form effective passivation layers on both cathode and anode. In this regard, the use of fluorine-based additives is considered a promising direction for improving electrode performance. Fluoroethylene carbonate (FEC) and trans-difluoroethylene carbonate (DFEC) were demonstrated as additives or cosolvents that form effective passivating surface films in Li-ion batteries. Their effect is evaluated for the first time with cathodes in NIBs. By application of systematic electrochemical and postmortem investigations, the role of fluorinated additives in the good performance of Na0.44MnO2 (NMO) cathodes was deciphered. Despite the significant improvement in the performance of Li-ion cells enabled by the use of FEC and FEC + DFEC, the highest stability for NIBs was observed when only FEC was …

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Sep 2021 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Novel Inorganic Integrated Membrane Electrodes for Membrane Capacitive Deionization

Qinghao Wu, Dawei Liang, Shanfu Lu, Jin Zhang, Haining Wang, Yan Xiang, Doron Aurbach

In capacitive deionization (CDI), coion repulsion and Faradaic reactions during charging reduce the charge efficiency (CE), thus limiting the salt adsorption capacity (SAC) and energy efficiency. To overcome these issues, membrane CDI (MCDI) based on the enhanced permselectivity of the anode and cathode is proposed using the ion-exchange polymer as the independent membrane or coating. To develop a novel and cost-effective MCDI system, we fabricated an integrated membrane electrode using a thin layer of the inorganic ion-exchange material coated on the activated carbon (AC) electrode, which effectively improves the ion selectivity. Montmorillonite (MT, Al2O9Si3) and hydrotalcite (HT, Mg6Al2(CO3)(OH)16·4H2O) were selected as the main active anion- and cation-exchange materials, respectively, for the cathode and anode. The HT–MT MCDI system employing HT–AC and MT–AC electrodes obtained a CE of 90.5% and an SAC of 15.8 mg g–1 after 100 consecutive cycles (50 h); these values were considerably higher than those of the traditional CDI system employing pristine AC electrodes (initially, a CE of 55% and an SAC of 10.2 mg g–1, which attenuated continuously to zero, and even “inverted work” occurs after 50 h, i.e., desorption during charging and adsorption during discharging). The HT–MT MCDI system showed moderate tolerance to organic matters during desalination and retained 84% SAC and 89% CE after 70 cycles in 50–200 mg L–1 sodium alginate. This study demonstrates a simple and cost-effective method for fabricating high-CE electrodes for desalination with great application potential.

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Sep 2021 • Biophysical Reports

Rapid ensemble measurement of protein diffusion and probe blinking dynamics in cells

Simon Sehayek, Xiyu Yi, Shimon Weiss, Paul W Wiseman

We present a fluorescence fluctuation image correlation analysis method that can rapidly and simultaneously measure the diffusion coefficient, photoblinking rates, and fraction of diffusing particles of fluorescent molecules in cells. Unlike other image correlation techniques, we demonstrated that our method could be applied irrespective of a non-uniformly distributed, immobile blinking fluorophore population. This allows us to measure blinking and transport dynamics in complex cell morphologies, a benefit for a range of super-resolution fluorescence imaging approaches that rely on probe emission blinking. Furthermore, we showed that our technique could be applied without directly accounting for photobleaching. We successfully employed our technique on several simulations with realistic EMCCD noise and photobleaching models, as well as on Dronpa-C12 labeled beta-actin in living NIH/3T3 and HeLa cells …

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Sep 2021 • Advanced Energy Materials

Fast Charging of Lithium‐Ion Batteries: A Review of Materials Aspects

Manuel Weiss, Raffael Ruess, Johannes Kasnatscheew, Yehonatan Levartovsky, Natasha Ronith Levy, Philip Minnmann, Lukas Stolz, Thomas Waldmann, Margret Wohlfahrt‐Mehrens, Doron Aurbach, Martin Winter, Yair Ein‐Eli, Jürgen Janek

Fast charging is considered to be a key requirement for widespread economic success of electric vehicles. Current lithium‐ion batteries (LIBs) offer high energy density enabling sufficient driving range, but take considerably longer to recharge than traditional vehicles. Multiple properties of the applied anode, cathode, and electrolyte materials influence the fast‐charging ability of a battery cell. In this review, the physicochemical basics of different material combinations are considered in detail, identifying the transport of lithium inside the electrodes as the crucial rate‐limiting steps for fast‐charging. Lithium diffusion within the active materials inherently slows down the charging process and causes high overpotentials. In addition, concentration polarization by slow lithium‐ion transport within the electrolyte phase in the porous electrodes also limits the charging rate. Both kinetic effects are responsible for lithium plating …

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Sep 2021 • ChemElectroChem

Critical Review on the Unique Interactions and Electroanalytical Challenges Related to Cathodes‐Solutions Interfaces in Non‐Aqueous Mg Battery Prototypes

Ran Attias, Daniel Sharon, Yosef Goffer, Doron Aurbach

Rechargeable batteries based on Mg metal anodes may be a promising alternative to current Li‐ion battery systems. However, the development of practical rechargeable Mg batteries (RMBs) is hindered by the absence of cathode materials that can reversibly intercalate Mg ions with a reasonably fast kinetic, while still exhibiting high capacity and high working voltages. In this minireview we summarize our recent progress in understanding cathodes/electrolyte solutions interfaces in non‐aqueous Mg systems. While most studies in the field of cathode materials for RMBs focus on the solid‐state diffusion phenomena of the bare Mg ion within the solid hosts, this minireview summarizes several important findings that demonstrate how the electrochemical response of the cathode material is also significantly influenced by the solution chemistry and structure. We provide a comprehensive description of the sequential …

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Sep 2021 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2109.04237

Population dynamics of entangled species

Bar Y Peled, Amit Te'eni, Eliahu Cohen, Avishy Carmi

The laws of physics enter the doctrine of population dynamics through various interactions whereby energy and matter, or more broadly, information are exchanged between different species and between species and their natural environment. The dynamics then emerge as a continual process involving many such causal interactions. Quantum physics, on the other hand, shows that the coordination between different processes must obey certain rules. We hypothetically ask: Can this game of species benefit from unique features of quantum mechanics such as entanglement and nonlocality? Here we extend quantum game theory to analyze this question and demonstrate that in certain models describing ecological systems where several predators feed on the same prey, the strength of quantum entanglement between the various species has a profound effect on the asymptotic behavior of the system. For example, if there are sufficiently many predator species who are all equally correlated with their prey, they are all driven to extinction. These results were derived in two ways: by analyzing the asymptotic dynamics of the system, and also by modeling the system as a quantum correlation network, which enabled us to apply methods from network theory in the above scenarios. Several generalizations and applications are discussed.

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