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2023 • Energy & Environmental Science

A practical perspective on the potential of rechargeable Mg batteries

J Alberto Blázquez, Rudi R Maça, Olatz Leonet, Eneko Azaceta, Ayan Mukherjee, Zhirong Zhao-Karger, Zhenyou Li, Aleksey Kovalevsky, Ana Fernández-Barquín, Aroa R Mainar, Piotr Jankowski, Laurin Rademacher, Sunita Dey, Siân E Dutton, Clare P Grey, Janina Drews, Joachim Häcker, Timo Danner, Arnulf Latz, Dane Sotta, M Rosa Palacin, Jean-Frédéric Martin, Juan Maria García Lastra, Maximilian Fichtner, Sumana Kundu, Alexander Kraytsberg, Yair Ein-Eli, Malachi Noked, Doron Aurbach

Emerging energy storage systems based on abundant and cost-effective materials are key to overcome the global energy and climate crisis of the 21st century. Rechargeable Magnesium Batteries (RMB), based on Earth-abundant magnesium, can provide a cheap and environmentally responsible alternative to the benchmark Li-ion technology, especially for large energy storage applications. Currently, RMB technology is the subject of intense research efforts at laboratory scale. However, these emerging approaches must be placed in a real-world perspective to ensure that they satisfy key technological requirements. In an attempt to bridge the gap between laboratory advancements and industrial development demands, herein, we report the first non-aqueous multilayer RMB pouch cell prototypes and propose a roadmap for a new advanced RMB chemistry. Through this work, we aim to show the great unrealized …

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2023 • Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Stabilizing Ni-rich high energy cathodes for advanced lithium-ion batteries: the case of LiNi 0.9 Co 0.1 O 2

Francis Amalraj Susai, Amreen Bano, Sandipan Maiti, Judith Grinblat, Arup Chakraborty, Hadar Sclar, Tatyana Kravchuk, Aleksandr Kondrakov, Maria Tkachev, Michael Talianker, Dan Thomas Major, Boris Markovsky, Doron Aurbach

Lithiated oxides like Li[NixCoyMnz]O2 (x+y+z=1) with high nickel content (x≥0.8) can possess high specific capacity ≥ 200 mAhg-1 and have attracted extensive attention as perspective cathode materials for advanced lithium-ion batteries. In this work, we synthesized LiNi0.9Co0.1O2 (NC90) materials and studied their structural characteristics, electrochemical performance, and thermal behavior in Li-cells. We developed modified cationic-doped NC90 samples with greatly improved properties due to doping with Mo6+ and B3+ and dual doping via simultaneous modification with these dopants. The main results of the current study are significantly higher capacity retention, greatly reduced voltage hysteresis, and considerably decreased charge-transfer resistance of the Mo and Mo-B doped electrodes compared to the undoped ones upon prolonged cycling. We also revealed remarkable microstructural stability of …

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2023 • Advanced Optical Materials

Characterization of Nanometric Thin Films with Far‐Field Light

Hodaya Klimovsky, Omer Shavit, Carine Julien, Ilya Olevsko, Mohamed Hamode, Yossi Abulafia, Hervé Suaudeau, Vincent Armand, Martin Oheim, Adi Salomon

The characterization of ultrathin transparent films is paramount for various optoelectronic materials, coatings, and photonics. However, characterizing such thin layers is difficult and it requires specialized clean‐room equipment and trained personnel. Here, a contact‐less, all‐optical method is introduced and validated for characterizing nanometric transparent films using far‐field optics. A series of nanometric, smooth, and homogeneous layered samples are fabricated first, alternating transparent spacer and fluorescent layers in a controlled manner. Fluorescence radiation pattern originating from the thin fluorophore layers is then recorded and analyzed and quantitative image analysis is used to perform in operando measurements of the refractive index, film homogeneity and to estimate axial fluorophore distances at a sub‐wavelength scale with a precision of a few of nanometers. The results compare favorably to …

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2023 • Batteries & Supercaps

Biopolymer‐Assisted Synthesis of P‐Doped TiO2 Nanoparticles for High‐Performance Li‐ion Batteries: A Comprehensive Study

Nabil El Halya, Mohamed Aqil, Karim El Ouardi, Amreen Bano, Ayoub El bendali, Loubna Hdidou, Rachid Amine, Seoung-Bum Son, Fouad Ghamouss, Dan Thomas Major, Khalil Amine, Jones Alami, Mouad Dahbi

TiO2 material has gained significant attention for large‐scale energy storage due to its abundant, low‐cost, and environmentally friendly properties, as well as the availability of various nanostructures. Phosphorus doping has been established as an effective technique for improving electronic conductivity and managing the slow ionic diffusion kinetics of TiO2. In this study, non‐doped and phosphorus doped TiO2 materials were synthesized using sodium alginate biopolymer as chelating agent. The prepared materials were evaluated as anode materials for Lithium‐Ion Batteries (LIBs). The electrodes exhibit remarkable electrochemical performance, including a high reversible capacity of 235 mAh g‐1 at 0.1C and excellent first coulombic efficiency of 99%. An integrated approach, combining Operando XRD and Ex‐situ XAS, comprehensively investigates the relationship between phosphorus doping, material …

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2023 • RSC advances

Organocatalytic chiral polymeric nanoparticles for asymmetric aldol reaction

Meir Abuaf, Subhomoy Das, Yitzhak Mastai

Chiral polymeric particles (CPPs) were studied extensively in recent years due to their importance in pharmaceutical applications. Here, nanosized CPPs were synthesized and applied as catalysts for direct asymmetric aldol reaction. The CPPs were prepared by miniemulsion or inverse miniemulsion based on various chiral amino acid derivatives and characterized by dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy. The nanoparticles with spherical structure between 250 and 400 nm and high chiral surface area were used as catalysts in the aldol reaction at room temperature without additional solvent. L-tryptophan gave the highest enantiomeric excess, >86% with similar catalytic performance four times.

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2023 • Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Exploring the impact of lithium halide-based redox mediators in suppressing CO 2 evolution in Li–O 2 cells

Sri Harsha Akella, Muniyandi Bagavathi, Daniel Sharon, Capraz Ozgur, Malachi Noked

The realization of lithium–oxygen (Li–O2) batteries has been impeded by parasitic reactions that cause cell component degradation, often accompanied by the release of CO2 gas during oxidation reactions. The use of halide-based redox mediators (RMs) like LiBr and LiI has been proposed as a strategy to reduce overpotentials during oxygen evolution reactions and thus suppress the subsequent evolution of CO2. However, there is a scarcity of research examining the effectiveness of these RMs in the direct mitigation of parasitic reactions. In this study, we investigated the evolution of CO2 during the oxidation processes using an online electrochemical mass spectrometer. The results show that cells without RMs exhibited high overpotentials and significant CO2 evolution from the first charging cycle. In contrast, the addition of 50 mM LiI to the electrolyte resulted in a delay in CO2 evolution, observed only after …

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2023 • EPJ Web of Conferences

Changes in the Observed Shape of H6TPPS J-Aggerates by the Polarisation of the Incoming Light

Alon Krause, Tchiya Zar, Adi Salomon

Samples of H6TPPS J aggregates and bundles, deposited on glass and aligned under nitrogen flow, were measured in a 2-photon microscopy setup. Changes in the polarization state of the incoming laser have shown a difference in the resulting 2-photon scanning of the same measured sample, revelling otherwise hidden features. In addition, tracing the response of certain areas under different polarisation can provide information about the arrangement of the dipoles in that area. This shows the significant role of polarisation in 2-photon measurement, and the need to consider such effects in the microscopy of biological samples.

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A predictive model for personalization of nanotechnology-based phototherapy in cancer treatment

Eli Varon, Gaddi Blumrosen, Orit Shefi

Cancer remains a leading cause of death globally (1). The conventional methods of treatment offered are radiation (2), chemotherapy (3), immunotherapy (4), surgery, and recently nanotechnology (nanomedicine and nano-processes)(5). Every cancer treatment can be defined and evaluated based on its efficiency, selectivity, side effects, and economic cost (6). However, combining predictive models and advanced machine learning methods with these cancer therapies may enhance their overall efficiency and selectivity, as well as the safety of the patient.Radiation Therapy (RT), also known as radiotherapy, is a non-surgical intervention frequently used in cancer treatment (2). This method is based on a high-level focused dose of radiation directed toward the tumor. This deposit of highenergy radiation kills cancer cells or decelerates their growth by damaging their DNA (2). Nevertheless, the challenges of RT include damage to tumor-proximate normal cells, the inability to radiate minor tumors out of scope of the imaging scans, patient movement, and low oxygen supply (7, 8). Therefore, many researchers are working on the development of targeted radiation methods to deliver a higher dose of radiation to the tumor with improved selectivity. Recently, the combination of nanotechnology with laser radiation has been demonstrated to represent a safe set of modalities for tumor destruction with high specificity (9). In particular, this involves the use of light-controlled nanoparticles (NPs) that can be activated via a light of a specific wavelength to form highly efficient and selective systems in the nanometer range (10). These NPs accumulate specifically …

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2023 • Carbon Energy

Single‐atom Pt on carbon nanotubes for selective electrocatalysis

Samuel S Hardisty, Xiaoqian Lin, Anthony RJ Kucernak, David Zitoun

Utilizing supported single atoms as catalysts presents an opportunity to reduce the usage of critical raw materials such as platinum, which are essential for electrochemical reactions such as hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR). Herein, we describe the synthesis of a Pt single electrocatalyst inside single‐walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) via a redox reaction. Characterizations via electron microscopy, X‐ray photoelectron microscopy, and X‐ray absorption spectroscopy show the single‐atom nature of the Pt. The electrochemical behavior of the sample to hydrogen and oxygen was investigated using the advanced floating electrode technique, which minimizes mass transport limitations and gives a thorough insight into the activity of the electrocatalyst. The single‐atom samples showed higher HOR activity than state‐of‐the‐art 30% Pt/C while almost no oxygen reduction reaction activity in the proton exchange …

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2023 • Advanced Materials Technologies

3D Printable Hydrogel with Tunable Degradability and Mechanical Properties as a Tissue Scaffold for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment

Yuxiang Zhu, Tina Kwok, Joel C Haug, Shenghan Guo, Xiangfan Chen, Weiheng Xu, Dharneedar Ravichandran, Yourka D Tchoukalova, Jeffrey L Cornella, Johnny Yi, Orit Shefi, Brent L Vernon, David G Lott, Jessica N Lancaster, Kenan Song

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a dysfunction that affects a large proportion of women. Current support scaffolds’ lack of biocompatibility, biodegradability, and mechanical compliance are associated with surgical complications including erosion and pain, indicating the urgent need for new tissue scaffolds with customizable functions. A new material that uses polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as the main ingredient and is chemically tuned to possess suitable mechanical properties and degradation rates for the surgical treatment of POP is developed. Specifically, the thiol‐norbornene “click” chemistry enables the sol‐gel transition of the biomaterial under UV‐light without side‐products. Meanwhile, NaOH treatment further toughens the hydrogel with a higher crosslink density. The PVA‐based biocompatible ink can be printed with UV‐facilitated direct ink writing due to the rapidly UV‐initiated chemical crosslink; in situ image …

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2023 • Chemical Communications

An in-cell spin-labelling methodology provides structural information on cytoplasmic proteins in bacteria

Yulia Shenberger, Lada Gevorkyan Aiapetov, Melanie Hirsch, Lukas Hofmann, Sharon Ruthstein

EPR in-cell spin-labeling was applied to CueR in E. coli. The methodology employed a Cu(II)-NTA complexed with dHis. High resolved in-cell distance distributions were obtained revealing minor differences between in-vitro and in-cell data. This methodology allows to study structural changes of any protein in-cell, independent of size or cellular system

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2023 • bioRxiv

A highly conserved A-to-I RNA editing event within the glutamate-gated chloride channel GluClα is necessary for olfactory-based behaviors in Drosophila

Galit Shohat-Ophir

A-to-I RNA editing is an important cellular process that modifies genomically encoded information during transcription, to generate various RNA isoforms from a single DNA sequence. It involves the conversion of specific adenosines in the RNA sequence to inosines by ADAR proteins, resulting in their recognition as guanosines by cellular machinery, and as such plays a vital role in neuronal and immune functions. Given the widespread occurrence of A-to-I RNA editing events across the animal kingdom, with thousands to millions of editing sites found in the transcriptomes of organisms such as flies and humans, identifying the critical sites and understanding their in-vivo functions remains a challenging task. Here we show for the first time the physiological importance of a single editing site, found within the extracellular domain of the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluClα), and bridge the gap between its evolutionary conservation across Drosophila species and its function in shaping the behavior of adult flies. We used genomic editing to ablate editing at this specific site, such that the endogenous channel harbors only the unedited version and used a battery of behavioral paradigms to analyze the effects on various features of adult behavior. We provide evidence that GluClαunedited flies exhibit reduced olfactory responses to both appetitive and aversive odors, as well as impaired pheromone-dependent social interactions, and that editing of this site is required for proper processing of olfactory information in olfactory projection neurons. Our findings demonstrate that evolutionary conservation is a useful criterion to pinpoint which of the many …

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2023 • ACS Catalysis

Biomimetic Fe–Cu Porphyrrole Aerogel Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Yeela Persky, Łukasz Kielesiński, Samala Nagaprasad Reddy, Noam Zion, Ariel Friedman, Hilah C Honig, Beata Koszarna, Michael J Zachman, Ilya Grinberg, Daniel T Gryko, Lior Elbaz

The development of bioinspired catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction is one of the most prominent pathways in the search for active materials to replace Pt-based catalysts in fuel cells. Herein, we report innovative bioinspired catalysts using a directed synthetic pathway to create adjacent Cu and Fe sites. This catalyst is composed of a covalent 3D framework in an aerogel form. Aerogels are high surface area and porous hierarchical structures that can allow the formation of ultrahigh active site density and optimized mass transport of reactants and products to and from the catalytic sites. The aerogel-based catalyst exhibits high performance in a half-cell in 0.1 M KOH, with an onset potential of 0.94 V vs RHE and half-wave potential of E1/2 = 0.80 V vs RHE, high selectivity toward the four-electron reduction of oxygen to hydroxide anions, and high durability. These results are well-translated to the anion exchange …

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2023 • Chemical Communications

Anodic instability of carbon in non-alkaline Zn–air batteries

Roman R Kapaev, Malachi Noked

Although non-alkaline rechargeable Zn–air batteries (RZABs) are promising for energy storage, their chemistry is still underdeveloped and unclear. It was suggested that using Zn(OAc)2 or Zn(OTf)2 aqueous solutions as electrolytes enables reversible, corrosion-free charge–discharge processes, but the anodic stability of carbon in these cells has remained poorly studied. We report that CO2 evolution is manifested during the oxygen evolution reaction in non-alkaline RZABs, which is associated with the corrosion of carbon scaffolds. This corrosion is observed for different electrolyte compositions, such as Zn(OAc)2, ZnSO4 and Zn(OTf)2 solutions of various concentrations. The corrosion rate decreases when the overpotentials during the oxygen evolution reaction are lower. This study underlines the importance of addressing the anodic instability of carbon in non-alkaline RZABs.

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2023 • Materials Advances

Impact of thermal gas treatment on the surface modification of Li-rich Mn-based cathode materials for Li-ion batteries

Maximilian Mellin, Zhili Liang, Hadar Sclar, Sandipan Maiti, Igor Píš, Silvia Nappini, Elena Magnano, Federica Bondino, Ilargi Napal, Robert Winkler, Réne Hausbrand, Jan P Hofmann, Lambert Alff, Boris Markovsky, Doron Aurbach, Wolfram Jaegermann, Gennady Cherkashinin

High energy density Li-rich 0.33Li2MnO3·0.67LiNi0.4Co0.2Mn0.4O2 (HE-NCM) layered structure cathodes for Li-ion batteries provide higher capacity gain via incorporation of an excess of lithium into the host. As a serious drawback, these cathodes suffer from continuous voltage fade upon cycling. Recently, high capacity retention, rate capability and low voltage hysteresis were achieved for HE-NCM by new thermal double gases SO2 and NH3 treatment. However, so far a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms responsible for this improved stability is missing. Herein, a comprehensive study of the chemical composition and electronic structure modifications of a series of HE-NCM (untreated, treated, carbon- and binder- free) is performed using advanced electron spectroscopy techniques supported by theoretical calculations. We demonstrate that the double gases treatment process leads to a partial …

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2023 • Advanced Functional Materials

Self‐Healing and‐Repair of Nanomechanical Damages in Lead Halide Perovskites

Santanu Parida, Sujit Kumar, Shiraz Cherf, Sigalit Aharon, David Cahen, Baran Eren

Recovery from damage in materials helps extend their useful lifetime and of devices that contain them. Given that the photodamages in HaP materials and based devices are shown to recover, the question arises if this also applies to mechanical damages, especially those that can occur at the nanometer scale, relevant also in view of efforts to develop flexible HaP‐based devices. Here, this question is addressed by poking HaP single crystal surfaces with an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip under both ultra‐high vacuum (UHV) and variably controlled ambient water vapor pressure conditions. Sequential in situ AFM scanning allowed real‐time imaging of the morphological changes at the damaged sites. Using methylammonium (MA) and cesium (Cs) variants for A‐site cations in lead bromide perovskites, the experiments show that nanomechanical damages on methylammonium lead bromide (MAPbBr3) crystals …

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2023 • Industrial Chemistry & Materials

Introduction to the themed issue on frontiers of hydrogen energy and fuel cells

Lior Elbaz, Minhua Shao, Jianglan Shui, Carlo Santoro

Climate change calls for a change in the way we use and produce energy, and carbon-free has become the future direction of energy production and utilization. To obtain this, we must rely on sustainable energy sources such as wind and sun, but their intermittence limits the production of clean energy to only a few hours a day. To overcome this issue, energy storage and production technologies must be developed. Although several technologies have been proposed, the only viable scheme that could allow short-to-long-term storage and efficient energy transportation at-scale is the hydrogen economy, which relies on three pillars of technology: electrolyzers, hydrogen storage and fuel cells. In recent years, there have been rapid technological advances in hydrogen production, new hydrogen storage materials, and high-performance hydrogen fuel cells, etc. However, there are still numerous technological difficulties …

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2023 • Laser & Photonics Reviews

Ray Engineering from Chaos to Order in 2D Optical Cavities

Chenni Xu, Li‐Gang Wang, Patrick Sebbah

Chaos, namely exponential sensitivity to initial conditions, is generally considered a nuisance, inasmuch as it prevents long‐term predictions in physical systems. Here, an easily accessible approach to undo deterministic chaos and tailor ray trajectories in arbitrary 2D optical billiards by introducing spatially varying refractive index therein is presented. A new refractive index landscape is obtained by a conformal mapping, which makes the trajectories of the chaotic billiard fully predictable and the billiard fully integrable. Moreover, trajectory rectification can be pushed a step further by relating chaotic billiards with non‐Euclidean geometries. Two examples are illustrated by projecting billiards built on a sphere as well as the deformed spacetime outside a Schwarzschild black hole, which respectively lead to all periodic orbits and spiraling trajectories remaining away from the boundaries of the transformed 2D billiards …

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2023 • Chemical Communications

An in-cell spin-labelling methodology provides structural information on cytoplasmic proteins in bacteria

Yulia Shenberger, Lada Gevorkyan-Airapetov, Melanie Hirsch, Lukas Hofmann, Sharon Ruthstein

EPR in-cell spin-labeling was applied to CueR in E. coli. The methodology employed a Cu(II)-NTA complexed with dHis. High resolved in-cell distance distributions were obtained revealing minor differences between in vitro and in-cell data. This methodology allows study of structural changes of any protein in-cell, independent of size or cellular system.

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2023 • Frontiers in Microbiology

Comparative genomics of Bacillus cereus sensu lato spp. biocontrol strains in correlation to in-vitro phenotypes and plant pathogen antagonistic capacity

Maya Moshe, Chhedi Lal Gupta, Noa Sela, Dror Minz, Ehud Banin, Omer Frenkel, Eddie Cytryn

The ban on many chemical pesticides has facilitated interest in discovery and application of bacteria (termed biocontrol agents) that antagonize soilborne plant pathogens. These bacteria protect plants from pathogens through a variety mechanisms that include niche exclusion (Wang et al., 2021), metabolic competition (Spadaro et al., 2010), production of siderophores (Yu et al., 2010; Li et al., 2014), secretion of chitinases that target the chitin components of fungal cell walls (Veliz et al., 2017), antibacterial and antifungal compounds (Raaijmakers et al., 2002; Ongena and Jacques, 2008), and induction of plant resistance (Pieterse et al., 2014). Secondary metabolites (SM),

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2023 • ChemElectroChem

Degradation Mechanisms of Platinum Group Metal‐Free Oxygen Reduction Reaction Catalyst based on Iron Phthalocyanine

Hilah C Honig, Lior Elbaz

Platinum group metal‐free catalysts have been considered the most promising alternative for platinum‐based catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Despite the significant advancement made in activity, their viability as fuel cell catalysts is still questionable due to their low durability. So far, deciphering the degradation mechanisms of this class of catalysts has been hampered by their undefined structure. Herein, we used a molecular model catalyst, iron‐phthalocyanine, featuring Fe−N4 active sites with resemblance to those in the more active Fe−N−C catalysts, and studied their degradation mechanisms. Based on X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and the electrochemical measurements, three main demetallation processes were identified: at potentials higher than 0.65 V vs. RHE, where the metal center is Fe3+, an electrochemical oxidation of the ligand ring is occurring, between 0.6 and 0.2 V …

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