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2021

Robust Room-Temperature NO₂ Sensors from Exfoliated 2D Few-Layered CVD-Grown Bulk Tungsten Di-selenide (2H-WSe₂)

Abderrahim Moumen, Rajashree Konar, Dario Zappa, Eti Teblum, Ilana Perelshtein, Ronit Lavi, Sharon Ruthstein, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Elisabetta Comini

We report a facile and robust room-temperature NO₂ sensor fabricated using bi- and multi-layered 2H variant of tungsten di-selenide (2H-WSe₂) nanosheets, exhibiting high sensing characteristics. A simple liquid-assisted exfoliation of 2H-WSe₂, prepared using ambient pressure chemical vapor deposition, allows smooth integration of these nanosheets on transducers. Three sensor batches are fabricated by modulating the total number of layers (L) obtained from the total number of droplets from a homogeneous 2H-WSe₂ dispersion, such as ∼2L, ∼5–6L, and ∼13–17L, respectively. The gas-sensing attributes of 2H-WSe₂ nanosheets are investigated thoroughly. Room temperature (RT) experiments show that these devices are specifically tailored for NO₂ detection. 2L WSe₂ nanosheets deliver the best rapid response compared to ∼5–6L or ∼13–17L. The response of 2L WSe₂ at RT is 250, 328, and 361% to 2, 4, and 6 ppm NO₂, respectively. The sensor showed nearly the same response toward low NO₂ concentration even after 9 months of testing, confirming its remarkable long-term stability. A selectivity study, performed at three working temperatures (RT, 100, and 150 °C), shows high selectivity at 150 and 100 °C. Full selectivity toward NO₂ at RT confirms that 2H-WSe₂ nanosheet-based sensors are ideal candidates for NO₂ gas detection.

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2021

Localized modes revealed in Random Lasers

MELANIE LEBENTAL, PATRICK SEBBAH

In sufficiently strong scattering media, light transport is suppressed and modes are exponentially localized. Anderson-like localized states have long been recognized as potential candidate for high-Q optical modes for low-threshold, cost effective random lasers. Operating in this regime remains however a challenge since Anderson localization is difficult to achieve in optics and nonlinear mode interaction compromise its observation. Here, we exhibit individually each lasing mode of a low-dimension solid-state random laser by applying a non-uniform optical gain. By undoing gain competition and cross-saturation, we demonstrate that all lasing modes are spatially localized. We find that selective excitation reduces significantly the lasing threshold while lasing efficiency is greatly improved. We show further how their spatial location is critical to boost laser power-efficiency. By efficiently suppressing spatial hole burning effect, we can turn on the optimally-outcoupled random lasing modes. Our demonstration opens the road to the exploration of linear and nonlinear mode interactions in the presence of gain, as well as disorder-engineering for laser applications.

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2021 • Advanced Functional Materials

Enhancing the Energy Storage Capabilities of Ti3C2Tx MXene Electrodes by Atomic Surface Reduction

Arka Saha, Netanel Shpigel, Nicole Leifer, Sarah Taragin, Tali Sharabani, Hagit Aviv, Ilana Perelshtein, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Malachi Noked, Yury Gogotsi

MXenes are a large class of 2D materials that consist of few‐atoms‐thick layers of transition metal carbides, nitrides, or carbonitrides. The surface functionalization of MXenes has immense implications for their physical, chemical, and electronic properties. However, solution‐phase surface functionalization often leads to structural degradation of the MXene electrodes. Here, a non‐conventional, single‐step atomic surface reduction (ASR) technique is adopted for the surface functionalization of MXene (Ti3C2Tx) in an atomic layer deposition reactor using trimethyl aluminum as a volatile reducing precursor. The chemical nature of the modified surface is characterized by X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. The electrochemical properties of the surface‐modified MXene are evaluated in acidic and neutral aqueous electrolyte solutions, as well as in conventional Li‐ion and …

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2021

Enhancement of Structural, Electrochemical, and Thermal Properties of High-Energy Density Ni-Rich LiNi₀. ₈₅Co₀. ₁Mn₀. ₀₅O₂ Cathode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries by Niobium …

Yehonatan Levartovsky, Arup Chakraborty, Sooraj Kunnikuruvan, Sandipan Maiti, Judith Grinblat, Michael Talianker, Dan Thomas Major, Doron Aurbach

Ni-rich layered oxide LiNi₁ – ₓ – yCoₓMnyO₂ (1 – x – y > 0.5) materials are favorable cathode materials in advanced Li-ion batteries for electromobility applications because of their high initial discharge capacity. However, they suffer from poor cycling stability because of the formation of cracks in their particles during operation. Here, we present improved structural stability, electrochemical performance, and thermal durability of LiNi₀.₈₅Co₀.₁Mn₀.₀₅O₂(NCM85). The Nb-doped cathode material, Li(Ni₀.₈₅Co₀.₁Mn₀.₀₅)₀.₉₉₇Nb₀.₀₀₃O₂, has enhanced cycling stability at different temperatures, outstanding capacity retention, improved performance at high discharge rates, and a better thermal stability compared to the undoped cathode material. The high electrochemical performance of the doped material is directly related to the structural stability of the cathode particles. We further propose that Nb-doping in NCM85 improves material stability because of partial reduction of the amount of Jahn–Teller active Ni³⁺ ions and formation of strong bonds between the dopant and the oxygen ions, based on density functional theory calculations. Structural studies of the cycled cathodes reveal that doping with niobium suppresses the formation of cracks during cycling, which are abundant in the undoped cycled material particles. The Nb-doped NCM85 cathode material also displayed superior thermal characteristics. The coherence between the improved electrochemical, structural, and thermal properties of the doped material is discussed and emphasized.

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2021 • Advanced Functional Materials

Enhancing the Energy Storage Capabilities of Ti3C2Tx MXene Electrodes by Atomic Surface Reduction

Arka Saha, Netanel Shpigel, Nicole Leifer, Sarah Taragin, Tali Sharabani, Hagit Aviv, Ilana Perelshtein, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Malachi Noked, Yury Gogotsi

MXenes are a large class of 2D materials that consist of few‐atoms‐thick layers of transition metal carbides, nitrides, or carbonitrides. The surface functionalization of MXenes has immense implications for their physical, chemical, and electronic properties. However, solution‐phase surface functionalization often leads to structural degradation of the MXene electrodes. Here, a non‐conventional, single‐step atomic surface reduction (ASR) technique is adopted for the surface functionalization of MXene (Ti3C2Tx) in an atomic layer deposition reactor using trimethyl aluminum as a volatile reducing precursor. The chemical nature of the modified surface is characterized by X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. The electrochemical properties of the surface‐modified MXene are evaluated in acidic and neutral aqueous electrolyte solutions, as well as in conventional Li‐ion and …

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2021 • s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published …, 2021

Effect of Diamond Polishing and Thermal Treatment on Carbon Paramagnetic Centers’ Nature and Structure. Materials 2021, 14, 7719

I Litvak, A Cahana, Y Anker, S Ruthstein, H Cohen

Diamonds contain carbon paramagnetic centers (stable carbon radicals) in small concentrations (at the level of~ 1× 1012 spins/mg) that can help in elucidating the structure of the nitrogen atoms’ contaminants in the diamond crystal. All diamonds that undergo polishing are exposed to high temperatures, owing to the friction force during the polishing process, which may affect the carbon-centered radicals’ concentration and structure. The temperature is increased appreciably; consequently, the black body radiation in the visible range turns orange. During polishing, diamonds emit an orange light (at a wavelength of about 600 nm) that is typical of a black body temperature of 900◦ C or higher. Other processes in which color-enhanced diamonds are exposed to high temperatures are thermal treatments or the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) process in which the brown color (resulting from plastic deformation) is bleached. The aim of the study was to examine how thermal treatment and polishing influence the paramagnetic centers in the diamond. For this purpose, four rough diamonds were studied: two underwent a polishing process, and the other two were thermally treated at 650◦ C and 1000◦ C. The diamonds were analyzed pre-and post-treatment by EPR (Electron Paramagnetic resonance), FTIR (Fourier transform infrared, fluorescence, and their visual appearance. The results indicate that the polishing process results in much more than just thermal heating the paramagnetic centers.

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2021 • CrystEngComm

Nitrogen concentration and anisotropic effects on the EPR spectra of natural diamonds

Ira Litvak, Haim Cohen, Yaakov Anker, Sharon Ruthstein

Paramagnetic centers in diamonds are affected by nitrogen atom contamination in the lattice. This study aimed to better understand the nitrogen concentration and anisotropy impact on the EPR (electron paramagnetic resonance) spectrum of natural diamonds (i.e. appropriate for color enhancement treatments). All the diamonds used were natural either colorless or faintly colored (D–M color range), which were selected according to the targeted final color post-treatment: green, blue, pink, orange, and yellow. Their paramagnetic centers were studied using EPR spectroscopy at various microwave power levels and evaluated for nitrogen concentration via FTIR spectroscopy. The results show a correlation between nitrogen concentrations and spin concentrations in all the pretreated diamonds, whereas the most abundant fast-relaxing paramagnetic center is similar to the C-centered radical. In addition, the hyperfine …

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2021 • Chemical Communications

Correction: Thiadiazole containing N-and S-rich highly ordered periodic mesoporous organosilica for efficient removal of Hg (II) from polluted water

Surajit Das, Sauvik Chatterjee, Saptarsi Mondal, Arindam Modak, Bijan Krishna Chandra, Suparna Das, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Adinath Majee, Asim Bhaumik

Correction for ‘Thiadiazole containing N- and S-rich highly ordered periodic mesoporous organosilica for efficient removal of Hg(II) from polluted water’ by Asim Baumik et al., Chem. Commun., 2020, 56, 3963–3966, DOI 10.1039/D0CC00407C.

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2021 • Viruses

The Portal Vertex of KSHV Promotes Docking of Capsids at the Nuclear Pores

Ronit Sarid, Daniela Dünn-Kittenplon, Yaron Shav-Tal, Inna Kalt, Asaf Ashkenazy-Titelman, Jean-Paul Lellouche

Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a cancer-related herpesvirus. Like other herpesviruses, the KSHV icosahedral capsid includes a portal vertex, composed of 12 protein subunits encoded by open reading frame (ORF) 43, which enables packaging and release of the viral genome into the nucleus through the nuclear pore complex (NPC). Capsid vertex-specific component (CVSC) tegument proteins, which directly mediate docking at the NPCs, are organized on the capsid vertices and are enriched on the portal vertex. Whether and how the portal vertex is selected for docking at the NPC is unknown. Here, we investigated the docking of incoming ORF43-null KSHV capsids at the NPCs, and describe a significantly lower fraction of capsids attached to the nuclear envelope compared to wild-type (WT) capsids. Like WT capsids, nuclear envelope-associated ORF43-null capsids co-localized with different nucleoporins (Nups) and did not detach upon salt treatment. Inhibition of nuclear export did not alter WT capsid docking. As ORF43-null capsids exhibit lower extent of association with the NPCs, we conclude that although not essential, the portal has a role in mediating the interaction of the CVSC proteins with Nups, and suggest a model whereby WT capsids can dock at the nuclear envelope through a non-portal penton vertex, resulting in an infection ‘dead end’.

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2021

Phase-Dependent Photocatalytic Activity of Bulk and Exfoliated Defect-Controlled Flakes of Layered Copper Sulfides under Simulated Solar Light

Telkhozhayeva Madina, Konar Rajashree, Lavi Ronit, Teblum Eti, Malik Bibhudatta, Ruthstein Sharon, Elisa Moretti, Gilbert Daniel Nessim

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2021 • Biomaterials science

‘Golden’exosomes as delivery vehicles to target tumors and overcome intratumoral barriers: in vivo tracking in a model for head and neck cancer

Oded Cohen, Oshra Betzer, Noy Elmaliach-Pnini, Menachem Motiei, Tamar Sadan, Moran Cohen-Berkman, Or Dagan, Aron Popovtzer, Ady Yosepovich, Hana Barhom, Shulamit Michaeli, Rachela Popovtzer

Exosomes are promising vectors for anti-tumor therapy, due to their biocompatibility, low immunogenicity, and innate ability to interact with target cells. However, promoting clinical application of exosome-based therapeutics requires elucidation of key issues, including exosome biodistribution, tumor targeting and accumulation, and the ability to overcome tumor barriers that limit the penetration of various nano-carriers and drugs. Here, we examined these parameters in exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-exo) and from the A431 squamous cell carcinoma line (A431-exo), which both have potential use in cancer therapy. Using our novel technique combining gold nanoparticle (GNP) labeling of exosomes and non-invasive computed tomography imaging (CT), we longitudinally and quantitatively tracked the two intravenously-injected exosome types in A431 tumor-bearing mice. CT imaging up to 48 …

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2021 • Optics Letters 46 (7), 1530-1533, 2021

Diffractive saturable loss mechanism in Kerr-lens mode-locked lasers: direct observation and simulation


2021

The Non-Coding Genome in Sex Determination

Nitzan Gonen, Francis Poulat

The Non-Coding Genome in Sex Determination Page 1 The Non-Coding Genome in Sex Determination Guest Editors Nitzan Gonen, Ramat Gan Francis Poulat, Montpellier 23 figures, 22 in color, and 4 tables, 2021 Page 2 S. Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers Disclaimer The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publisher and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements in the journal is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements. Drug Dosage The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set …

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2021 • Proc. of SPIE Vol 11658, 1165801-1, 2021

Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XVIII

Ewa M Goldys, Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu

The papers in this volume were part of the technical conference cited on the cover and title page. Papers were selected and subject to review by the editors and conference program committee. Some conference presentations may not be available for publication. Additional papers and presentation recordings may be available online in the SPIE Digital Library at SPIEDigitalLibrary. org.

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2021 • Light: Science and Applications

Anomalous weak values via a single photon detection

Rebufello Enrico, Piacentini Fabrizio, Avella Alessio, Gramegna Marco, Dziewior Jan, Eliahu Cohen, Vaidman Lev, Ivo Pietro Degiovanni, Marco Genovese

Is it possible that a measurement of a spin component of a spin-1/2 particle yields the value 100? In 1988 Aharonov, Albert and Vaidman argued that upon pre-and postselection of particular spin states, weakening the coupling of a standard measurement procedure ensures this paradoxical result 1. This theoretical prediction, called weak value, was realised in numerous experiments 2–9, but its meaning remains very controversial 10–19, since its “anomalous” nature, ie, the possibility to exceed the eigenvalue spectrum, as well as its “quantumness” are debated 20–22. We address these questions by presenting the first experiment measuring anomalous weak values with just a single click, without the need for statistical averaging. The measurement uncertainty is significantly smaller than the gap between the measured weak value and the nearest eigenvalue. Beyond clarifying the meaning of weak values …

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2021

Improvement of the Electrochemical Performance of LiNi₀. ₈Co₀. ₁Mn₀. ₁O₂ via Atomic Layer Deposition of Lithium-Rich Zirconium Phosphate Coatings

Sri Harsha Akella, Sarah Taragin, Yang Wang, Hagit Aviv, Alexander C Kozen, Melina Zysler, Longlong Wang, Daniel Sharon, Sang Bok Lee, Malachi Noked

Owing to its high energy density, LiNi₀.₈Co₀.₁Mn₀.₁O₂ (NMC811) is a cathode material of prime interest for electric vehicle battery manufacturers. However, NMC811 suffers from several irreversible parasitic reactions that lead to severe capacity fading and impedance buildup during prolonged cycling. Thin surface protection films coated on the cathode material mitigate degradative chemomechanical reactions at the electrode–electrolyte interphase, which helps to increase cycling stability. However, these coatings may impede the diffusion of lithium ions, and therefore, limit the performance of the cathode material at a high C-rate. Herein, we report on the synthesis of zirconium phosphate (ZrₓPOy) and lithium-containing zirconium phosphate (LiₓZryPOz) coatings as artificial cathode–electrolyte interphases (ACEIs) on NMC811 using the atomic layer deposition technique. Upon prolonged cycling, the ZrₓPOy- and LiₓZryPOz-coated NMC811 samples show 36.4 and 49.4% enhanced capacity retention, respectively, compared with the uncoated NMC811. Moreover, the addition of Li ions to the LiₓZryPOz coating enhances the rate performance and initial discharge capacity in comparison to the ZrₓPOy-coated and uncoated samples. Using online electrochemical mass spectroscopy, we show that the coated ACEIs largely suppress the degradative parasitic side reactions observed with the uncoated NMC811 sample. Our study demonstrates that providing extra lithium to the ACEI layer improves the cycling stability of the NMC811 cathode material without sacrificing its rate capability performance.

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2021

Robust Room-Temperature NO₂ Sensors from Exfoliated 2D Few-Layered CVD-Grown Bulk Tungsten Di-selenide (2H-WSe₂)

Abderrahim Moumen, Rajashree Konar, Dario Zappa, Eti Teblum, Ilana Perelshtein, Ronit Lavi, Sharon Ruthstein, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Elisabetta Comini

We report a facile and robust room-temperature NO₂ sensor fabricated using bi- and multi-layered 2H variant of tungsten di-selenide (2H-WSe₂) nanosheets, exhibiting high sensing characteristics. A simple liquid-assisted exfoliation of 2H-WSe₂, prepared using ambient pressure chemical vapor deposition, allows smooth integration of these nanosheets on transducers. Three sensor batches are fabricated by modulating the total number of layers (L) obtained from the total number of droplets from a homogeneous 2H-WSe₂ dispersion, such as ∼2L, ∼5–6L, and ∼13–17L, respectively. The gas-sensing attributes of 2H-WSe₂ nanosheets are investigated thoroughly. Room temperature (RT) experiments show that these devices are specifically tailored for NO₂ detection. 2L WSe₂ nanosheets deliver the best rapid response compared to ∼5–6L or ∼13–17L. The response of 2L WSe₂ at RT is 250, 328, and 361% to 2, 4, and 6 ppm NO₂, respectively. The sensor showed nearly the same response toward low NO₂ concentration even after 9 months of testing, confirming its remarkable long-term stability. A selectivity study, performed at three working temperatures (RT, 100, and 150 °C), shows high selectivity at 150 and 100 °C. Full selectivity toward NO₂ at RT confirms that 2H-WSe₂ nanosheet-based sensors are ideal candidates for NO₂ gas detection.

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2021 • https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.27.441612v1

Sexual deprivation modulates social interaction and reproductive physiology

Galit Shohat-Ophir Liora Omesi, Mali Levi, Assa Bentzur, Yong-Kyu Kim, Shir Ben-Shaanan, Reza Azanchi, Ulrike Heberlein


2021 • s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published …, 2021

Improving Compactness of 3D Metallic Microstructures Printed by Laser-Induced Forward Transfer. Crystals 2021, 11, 291

N Gorodesky, S Sedghani-Cohen, O Fogel, A Silber, M Tkachev, Z Kotler, Z Zalevsky

Laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) has been shown to be a useful technique for the manufacturing of micron-scale metal structures. LIFT is a high-resolution, non-contact digital printing method that can support the fabrication of complex shapes and multi-material structures in a single step under ambient conditions. However, LIFT printed metal structures often suffer from inferior mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties when compared to their bulk metal counterparts, and often are prone to enhanced chemical corrosion. This is due mostly to their non-compact structures, which have voids and inter-droplet delamination. In this paper, a theoretical framework together with experimental results of achievable compactness limits is presented for a variety of metals. It is demonstrated that compactness limits depend on material properties and jetting conditions. It is also shown how a specific choice of materials can yield compact structures, for example, when special alloys are chosen along with a suitable donor construct. The example of printed amorphous ZrPd is detailed. This study contributes to a better understanding of the limits of implementing LIFT for the fabrication of metal structures, and how to possibly overcome some of these limitations.

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2021

Neuron-glia crosstalk mediate the neurotoxic effects of ketamine via extracellular vesicles

Donald H Penning, Simona Cazacu, V Jevtovic-Todorovic, Steven N Kalkanis, Michael C Lewis, Chaya Brodie

Background: General anesthetics (GA) are associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities including cell death, cognitive and behavioral changes. There is now powerful evidence for non-cell autonomous mechanisms in almost every pathological condition in the brain, especially relevant to glial cells, mainly astrocytes and microglia, that exhibit structural and functional contacts with neurons. These interactions were recently reported to occur via the secretion of extracellular vesicles (EVs). Here, we employed primary human neural cells to analyze ketamine effects focusing on the functions of glial cells and their polarization/differentiation state. We also explored the roles of extracellular vesicles (EVs) and different components of the BDNF pathway.Methods: Ketamine effects were analyzed on human neuronal and glial cell proliferation and apoptosis and astrocytic (A1/A2) and microglial (M1/M2) cell activation were analyzed. The impact of the neuron-glial cell interactions in the neurotoxic effects of ketamine was analyzed using transwell co-cultures. The role of the brainderived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) pathway, was analyzed using RT-PCR, ELISA western blot and gene silencing. EVs secreted by ketamine-treated cells were isolated, characterized and analyzed for their effects in neuron-glia cell interactions. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance or a Student's t test with correction for data sets with unequal variances.Results: Ketamine induced neuronal and oligodendrocytic cell apoptosis and promoted the expression of proinflammatory astrocytes (A1) and microglia (M1) phenotypes. Astrocytes and microglia enhanced the …

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