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Sep 2021 • Physical Review Letters

Weyl Semimetal Path to Valley Filtering in Graphene

Ahmed M Khalifa, Ribhu K Kaul, Efrat Shimshoni, Herbert A Fertig, Ganpathy Murthy

We propose a device in which a sheet of graphene is coupled to a Weyl semimetal, allowing for the physical access to the study of tunneling from two-to three-dimensional massless Dirac fermions. Because of the reconstructed band structure, we find that this device acts as a robust valley filter for electrons in the graphene sheet. We show that, by appropriate alignment, the Weyl semimetal draws away current in one of the two graphene valleys, while allowing current in the other to pass unimpeded. In contrast to other proposed valley filters, the mechanism of our proposed device occurs in the bulk of the graphene sheet, obviating the need for carefully shaped edges or dimensions.

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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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • Optics Express

High-speed temporal and spatial beam-shaping combining active and passive elements

John Linden, Sharona Cohen, Yuval Berg, Itay Peled, Zvi Kotler, Zeev Zalevsky

Temporal and spatial shaping of laser beams is common in laser micromachining applications to improve quality and throughput. However, dynamic beam shaping (DBS) of ultrashort, high-power pulses at rates of hundreds of kHz has been challenging. Achieving this allows for full synchronization of the beam shape with high repetition rates, high-power lasers with zero delay time. Such speeds must manipulate the beam shape at a rate that matches the nanosecond to microsecond process dynamics present in laser ablation. In this work, we present a novel design capable of alternating spatial and temporal beam shapes at repetition rates up to 330 kHz for conventional spatial profiles and temporal shaping at nanosecond timescales. Our method utilizes a unique multi-aperture diffractive optical element combined with two acousto-optical deflectors. These high damage threshold elements allow the proposed …

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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 • 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 • 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 • 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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Aug 2021

Picosecond Pulsed Laser Illumination: An Ultimate Solution for Photonic vs. Thermal Processes’ Contest in SOI Photo-Activated Modulator

David Glukhov, Zeev Zalevsky, Avi Karsenty

The functionality of a nanoscale silicon-based optoelectronic modulator is deeply analyzed while it appears that two competing processes, thermal and photonic, are occurring at the same time, and are preventing the optimization of the electro-optics coupling. While an incident illumination-beam first process is translated into photons, generating pairs of electrons-holes, a second process of thermal generation, creating phonons enables a loss of energy. Complementary studies, combining strong analytical models and numerical simulations, enabled to better understand this competition between photonic and thermal activities, in order to optimize the modulator. Moreover, in order to prevent unnecessary heating effects and to present a proposed solution, a picosecond pulsed laser is suggested and demonstrated as the ultimate solution so no energy will be wasted in heat, and still the photonic energy will be fully used. First everanalytical solution to the heating produced due to the laser illumination applied on a nano-photonic device, while the illumination is produced in a periodic time changing function, eg a pulsed illumination, is presented. The present case study and proposed adapted solution can serve as a basis of generic approach in sensors’ activation towards optimized photonics absorption.

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Aug 2021 • WILEY

The role of DYRK1A in B cell immune responses

Liat Stoler Barak, Amalie Grenov, Hadas Hezroni Bravyi, Ayelet Peres, Gur Yaari, Ziv Shulman


Aug 2021 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Tailoring Nickel-Rich LiNi0. 8Co0. 1Mn0. 1O2 Layered Oxide Cathode Materials with Metal Sulfides (M2S: M= Li, Na) for Improved Electrochemical Properties

Sri Harsha Akella, Sarah Taragin, Ayan Mukherjee, Ortal Lidor-Shalev, Hagit Aviv, Melina Zysler, Daniel Sharon, Malachi Noked

LiNi 0.8 Co 0.1 Mn 0.1 O 2 (NCM811) is a promising cathode material for long range electric vehicles. However, the material suffers severe chemo-mechanical degradation that can cause gradual capacity loss upon prolonged cycling. Surface passivation of NMC811 was demonstrated to help in retaining the structural integrity of the material upon extended cycling. Herein, we report the surface passivation of the NCM811 using Li 2 S and Na 2 S precursors via direct and simple wet chemical treatment, for the mitigation of parasitic reactions at the electrode electrolyte interphase. This phenomenon is accompanied by increase in the oxidation state of sulfur (from sulfide to sulfate) and partial reduction in the oxidation state of nickel. Electrochemical performance measurements show that the M 2 SO 4 (M: Li, Na) protection layer on NMC811 behaves as an artificial cathode electrolyte interphase (ACEI) that enhance the …

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Aug 2021 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2108.06778

Discrete sampling of correlated random variables modifies the long-time behavior of their extreme value statistics

Lior Zarfaty, Eli Barkai, David A Kessler

We consider the extreme value statistics of correlated random variables that arise from a Langevin equation. Recently, it was shown that the extreme values of the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process follow a different distribution than those originating from its equilibrium measure, composed of independent and identically distributed Gaussian random variables. Here, we first focus on the discretely sampled Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, which interpolates between these two limits. We show that in the limit of large times, its extreme values converge to those of the equilibrium distribution, instead of those of the continuously sampled process. This finding folds for any positive sampling interval, with an abrupt transition at zero. We then analyze the Langevin equation for any force that gives rise to a stable equilibrium distribution. For forces which asymptotically grow with the distance from the equilibrium point, the above conclusion continues to hold, and the extreme values for large times correspond to those of independent variables drawn from the equilibrium distribution. However, for forces which asymptotically decay to zero with the distance, the discretely sampled extreme value statistics at large times approach those of the continuously sampled process.

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Aug 2021 • ChemSusChem

AZ31 Magnesium alloy foils as thin anodes for rechargeable magnesium batteries

Ananya Maddegalla, Ayan Mukherjee, J Alberto Blázquez, Eneko Azaceta, Olatz Leonet, Aroa R Mainar, Aleksey Kovalevsky, Daniel Sharon, Jean-Frédéric Martin, Dane Sotta, Yair Ein-Eli, Doron Aurbach, Malachi Noked

In recent decades, rechargeable Mg batteries (RMBs) technologies have attracted much attention because the use of thin Mg foil anodes may enable development of high‐energy‐density batteries. One of the most critical challenges for RMBs is finding suitable electrolyte solutions that enable efficient and reversible Mg cells operation. Most RMB studies concentrate on the development of novel electrolyte systems, while only few studies have focused on the practical feasibility of using pure metallic Mg as the anode material. Pure Mg metal anodes have been demonstrated to be useful in studying the fundamentals of nonaqueous Mg electrochemistry. However, pure Mg metal may not be suitable for mass production of ultrathin foils (< 100 microns) due to its limited ductility. The metals industry overcomes this problem by using ductile Mg alloys. Herein, the feasibility of processing ultrathin Mg anodes in electrochemical cells was demonstrated by using AZ31 Mg alloys (3% Al; 1% Zn). Thin‐film Mg AZ31 anodes presented reversible Mg dissolution and deposition behavior in complex ethereal Mg electrolytes solutions that was comparable to that of pure Mg foils. Moreover, it was demonstrated that secondary Mg battery prototypes comprising ultrathin AZ31 Mg alloy anodes (≈ 25 μm thick) and Mg x Mo 6 S 8 Chevrel‐phase cathodes exhibited cycling performance equal to that of similar cells containing thicker pure Mg foil anodes. The possibility of using ultrathin processable Mg metal anodes is an important step in the realization of rechargeable Mg batteries.

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Aug 2021 • Available at SSRN 3737807

Decomposition of Individual SNP Patterns From Mixed DNA Samples

Gabriel Azhari, Shamam Waldman, Netanel Ofer, Yosi Keller, Shai Carmi, Gur Yaari

Single Nucleotide Polymorphism markers (SNPs) have great potential to identify individuals, family relations, biogeographical ancestry, and phenotypic traits. In many forensic situations DNA mixtures of a victim and an unknown suspect exist. Extracting from such samples the suspect's SNP profile can be used to assist investigation and gather intelligence. Computational tools to determine inclusion/exclusion of a known individual from a mixture exist, but no algorithm to extract an unknown SNP profile without a list of suspects is available. We present here AH-HA, a novel computational approach for extracting an unknown SNP profile from a whole genome sequencing (WGS) of a two person mixture. It utilizes techniques similar to the ones used in haplotype phasing. It constructs the inferred genotype as an imperfect mosaic of haplotypes from a reference panel of the target population. It is shown to outperform more simplistic approaches, maintaining high performance through a wide range of sequencing depths (500x-5x). AH-HA can be applied in cases of victim-suspect mixtures and improve the capabilities of the investigating forces. This approach can be extended to more complex mixtures, with more donors and less prior information, further motivating the development of SNP based forensics technologies.

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Aug 2021 • Physical Review B

Probing the metallic energy spectrum beyond the Thouless energy scale using singular value decomposition

Richard Berkovits

Disordered quantum systems feature an energy scale known as the Thouless energy. For energy ranges below this scale, the properties of the energy spectrum can be described by random matrix theory. Above this scale a different behavior sets in. For a metallic system it was shown long ago by Altshuler and Shklovskii [Sov. Phys. JETP 64, 127 (1986)] that the number variance should increase as a power law with power dependent on only the dimensionality of the system. Although tantalizing hints at this behavior were seen in previous numerical studies, it is quite difficult to verify this prediction using the standard local unfolding methods. Here we use a different unfolding method, ie, singular value decomposition, and establish a connection between the power law behavior of the scree plot (the singular values ranked by their amplitude) and the power law behavior of the number variance. Thus, we are able to …

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Aug 2021 • Biomacromolecules

Structure and Dynamics Perturbations in Ubiquitin Adsorbed or Entrapped in Silica Materials Are Related to Disparate Surface Chemistries Resolved by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy

Nurit Adiram-Filiba, Eli Ohaion, Gilit Verner, Avital Schremer, Merav Nadav-Tsubery, Tammy Lublin-Tennenbaum, Keren Keinan-Adamsky, Massimo Lucci, Claudio Luchinat, Enrico Ravera, Gil Goobes

Protein immobilization on material surfaces is emerging as a powerful tool in the design of devices and active materials for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications as well as for catalysis. Preservation of the protein’s biological functionality is crucial to the design process and is dependent on the ability to maintain its structural and dynamical integrity while removed from the natural surroundings. The scientific techniques to validate the structure of immobilized proteins are scarce and usually provide limited information as a result of poor resolution. In this work, we benchmarked the ability of standard solid-state NMR techniques to resolve the effects of binding to dissimilar silica materials on a model protein. In particular, the interactions between ubiquitin and the surfaces of MCM41, SBA15, and silica formed in situ were tested for their influence on the structure and dynamics of the protein. It is shown that the …

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Aug 2021 • ACS applied materials & interfaces, 2021

In Operando, Photovoltaic, and Microscopic Evaluation of Recombination Centers in Halide Perovskite-Based Solar Cells

Arava Zohar, Michael Kulbak, Silver H Turren-Cruz, Pabitra K Nayak, Adi Kama, Anders Hagfeldt, Henry J Snaith, Gary Hodes, David Cahen

The origin of the low densities of electrically active defects in Pb halide perovskite (HaP), a crucial factor for their use in photovoltaics, light emission, and radiation detection, remains a matter of discussion, in part because of the difficulty in determining these densities. Here, we present a powerful approach to assess the defect densities, based on electric field mapping in working HaP-based solar cells. The minority carrier diffusion lengths were deduced from the electric field profile, measured by electron beam-induced current (EBIC). The EBIC method was used earlier to get the first direct evidence for the n-i-p junction structure, at the heart of efficient HaP-based PV cells, and later by us and others for further HaP studies. This manuscript includes EBIC results on illuminated cell cross sections (in operando) at several light intensities to compare optoelectronic characteristics of different cells made by different groups …

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Aug 2021 • Physical Review B

Measurements of polarization dependencies in parametric down-conversion of x rays into ultraviolet radiation

S Sofer, O Sefi, AGA Nisbet, S Shwartz

We present measurements of the polarization dependencies of the x-ray signal photons generated by the effect of parametric down-conversion of x rays into ultraviolet radiation. The results exhibit pronounced discrepancies with the classical model for the nonlinearity but qualitatively agree with a recently developed quantum mechanical theory for the nonlinear interaction. Our work shows that the reconstruction of the atomic scale charge distribution of valence electrons in crystals by using nonlinear interaction between x rays and longer wavelength radiation, as was suggested in previous works, requires the knowledge of polarization of the generated x-ray signal beam. The results presented in this work indicate a methodology for the study of properties of the Wannier functions in crystals.

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