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Jul 2022 • New Journal of Physics

Local equilibrium properties of ultraslow diffusion in the Sinai model

Amin Padash, Erez Aghion, Alexander Schulz, Eli Barkai, Aleksei V Chechkin, Ralf Metzler, Holger Kantz

We perform numerical studies of a thermally driven, overdamped particle in a random quenched force field, known as the Sinai model. We compare the unbounded motion on an infinite 1-dimensional domain to the motion in bounded domains with reflecting boundaries and show that the unbounded motion is at every time close to the equilibrium state of a finite system of growing size. This is due to time scale separation: inside wells of the random potential, there is relatively fast equilibration, while the motion across major potential barriers is ultraslow. Quantities studied by us are the time dependent mean squared displacement, the time dependent mean energy of an ensemble of particles, and the time dependent entropy of the probability distribution. Using a very fast numerical algorithm, we can explore times up top 10 17 steps and thereby also study finite-time crossover phenomena.

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Jul 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2207.12960

Experimental assessment of non-classicality in a solid-state spin qutrit

Santiago Hernández-Gómez, Stefano Gherardini, Alessio Belenchia, Matteo Lostaglio, Amikam Levy, Nicole Fabbri

The incompatibility of physical observables is one of the hallmarks of quantum mechanics. This form of non-classicality, encapsulated by negative quasiprobabilities, has been shown to underlie metrological and thermodynamical advantages and it can be related with information scrambling and dynamical phase transitions in many-body systems. In this work, we use a nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond to realize the experimental implementation of a weak two-point measurement scheme to reconstruct the Margenau-Hill quasiprobability distribution, whose negativity implies non-classicality. Finally, we experimentally show work extraction, empowered by non-classicality, beyond the classical case.

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Jul 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2207.01427

Reproducibility and control of superconducting flux qubits

T Chang, I Holzman, T Cohen, BC Johnson, DN Jamieson, M Stern

Superconducting flux qubits are promising candidates for the physical realization of a scalable quantum processor. Indeed, these circuits may have both a small decoherence rate and a large anharmonicity. These properties enable the application of fast quantum gates with high fidelity and reduce scaling limitations due to frequency crowding. The major difficulty of flux qubits' design consists of controlling precisely their transition energy - the so-called qubit gap - while keeping long and reproducible relaxation times. Solving this problem is challenging and requires extremely good control of e-beam lithography, oxidation parameters of the junctions and sample surface. Here we present measurements of a large batch of flux qubits and demonstrate a high level of reproducibility and control of qubit gaps, relaxation times and pure echo dephasing times. These results open the way for potential applications in the fields of quantum hybrid circuits and quantum computation.

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Jul 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2207.01460

Tunable superconducting flux qubits with long coherence times

T Chang, T Cohen, I Holzman, G Catelani, M Stern


Jun 2022 • SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Sourcing Herod the Great's calcite-alabaster bathtubs by a multi-analytic approach (vol 12, 7524, 2022)

Ayala Amir, Amos Frumkin, Boaz Zissu, Aren M Maeir, Gil Goobes, Amnon Albeck


Jun 2022 • Biophysical Reports

PySOFI: an open source Python package for SOFI

Yuting Miao, Shimon Weiss, Xiyu Yi

Super-resolution optical fluctuation imaging (SOFI) is a highly democratizable technique that provides optical super-resolution without requirement of sophisticated imaging instruments. Easy-to-use open-source packages for SOFI are important to support the utilization and community adoption of the SOFI method, they also encourage the participation and further development of SOFI by new investigators. In this work, we developed PySOFI, an open-source Python package for SOFI analysis that offers the flexibility to inspect, test, modify, improve, and extend the algorithm. We provide complete documentation for the package and a collection of Jupyter Notebooks to demonstrate the usage of the package. We discuss the architecture of PySOFI and illustrate how to use each functional module. A demonstration on how to extend the PySOFI package with additional modules is also included in the PySOFI package. We …

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Jun 2022 • Science advances

A long noncoding RNA promotes parasite differentiation in African trypanosomes

Fabien Guegan, K Shanmugha Rajan, Fábio Bento, Daniel Pinto-Neves, Mariana Sequeira, Natalia Gumińska, Seweryn Mroczek, Andrzej Dziembowski, Smadar Cohen-Chalamish, Tirza Doniger, Beathrice Galili, Antonio M Estévez, Cedric Notredame, Shulamit Michaeli, Luisa M Figueiredo

The parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes African sleeping sickness that is fatal to patients if untreated. Parasite differentiation from a replicative slender form into a quiescent stumpy form promotes host survival and parasite transmission. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are known to regulate cell differentiation in other eukaryotes. To determine whether lncRNAs are also involved in parasite differentiation, we used RNA sequencing to survey the T. brucei genome, identifying 1428 previously uncharacterized lncRNA genes. We find that grumpy lncRNA is a key regulator that promotes parasite differentiation into the quiescent stumpy form. This function is promoted by a small nucleolar RNA encoded within the grumpy lncRNA. snoGRUMPY binds to messenger RNAs of at least two stumpy regulatory genes, promoting their expression. grumpy overexpression reduces parasitemia in infected mice. Our analyses …

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Jun 2022 • Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry 26 (9), 1851-1869, 2022

Recent advances in solid-state beyond lithium batteries

Mary York, Karl Larson, Kailot C Harris, Eric Carmona, Paul Albertus, Rosy Sharma, Malachi Noked, Ela Strauss, Heftsi Ragones, Diana Golodnitsky

As battery technologies are in continuous development, and especially due to the rapid growth in vehicle electrification, which requires large (e.g., 100 s of kg) battery packs, there has been a growing demand for more efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly materials. Solid-state post-lithium-ion batteries are considered a possible next-generation energy storage technology. One immediate advantage of these power sources over commercial lithium-ion batteries is the potential of solving the resource issues facing LIBs, especially as cost-effective alternatives. The second advantage is the removal of flammable liquid electrolytes. The solid electrolytes are more resistant to changes in temperature and physical damage, produce up to 80% less heat, and are able to handle more charge/discharge cycles before degradation makes them unusable. All these features point towards a longer battery life. Other …

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Jun 2022 • Journal of Molecular Liquids

Binary mixtures of homologous room-temperature ionic liquids: Nanoscale structure evolution with alkyl lengths’ difference

Diego Pontoni, Marco DiMichiel, Moshe Deutsch

The nanoscale structure of equimolar binary mixtures [C 12 mim] 0.5 [C n mim] 0.5 [NTf 2] was studied by small-angle X-ray scattering for n= 1-22 and T= 293-373 K. All mixtures exhibit local layering and layer-normal thermal contraction with increasing T, as found for the pure components. The layer-parallel spacings of the polar headgroups and of the alkyl chains vary minimally with n over the full n range. The layer-normal spacing d I at high n follows closely, with a 1–1.5 Å downshift, the increasing trend of the pure longer component’s d I, indicating its dominance of the layering. At low n, d I at n= 1 greatly exceeds d I of the pure longer component, n= 12, and decreases sharply with increasing n, indicating a structure akin to lipid bilayer solutions. At intermediate n, d I is roughly constant, lying 1–1.5 Å below d I of n= 12. Our layer spacings provide a near-unique opportunity to study the evolution over a wide n-range …

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Jun 2022 • Nature communications

A forward Brillouin fibre laser

Gil Bashan, H Hagai Diamandi, Elad Zehavi, Kavita Sharma, Yosef London, Avi Zadok

Fibre lasers based on backward stimulated Brillouin scattering provide narrow linewidths and serve in signal processing and sensing applications. Stimulated Brillouin scattering in fibres takes place in the forward direction as well, with amplification bandwidths that are narrower by two orders of magnitude. However, forward Brillouin lasers have yet to be realized in any fibre platform. In this work, we report a first forward Brillouin fibre laser, using a bare off-the-shelf, panda-type polarisation maintaining fibre. Pump light in one principal axis provides Brillouin amplification for a co-propagating lasing signal of the orthogonal polarisation. Feedback is provided by Bragg gratings at both ends of the fibre cavity. Single-mode, few-modes and multi-mode regimes of operation are observed. The lasing threshold exhibits a unique environmental sensitivity: it is elevated when the fibre is partially immersed in water due to the …

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Jun 2022 • SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Sourcing Herod the Great's calcite-alabaster bathtubs by a multi-analytic approach (vol 12, 7524, 2022)

Ayala Amir, Amos Frumkin, Boaz Zissu, Aren M Maeir, Gil Goobes, Amnon Albeck


Jun 2022 • Cells

The association of MEG3 lncRNA with nuclear speckles in living cells

Sarah E Hasenson, Ella Alkalay, Mohammad K Atrash, Alon Boocholez, Julianna Gershbaum, Hodaya Hochberg-Laufer, Yaron Shav-Tal

Nuclear speckles are nuclear bodies containing RNA-binding proteins as well as RNAs including long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) is a nuclear retained lncRNA found to associate with nuclear speckles. To understand the association dynamics of MEG3 lncRNA with nuclear speckles in living cells, we generated a fluorescently tagged MEG3 transcript that could be detected in real time. Under regular conditions, transient association of MEG3 with nuclear speckles was observed, including a nucleoplasmic fraction. Transcription or splicing inactivation conditions, known to affect nuclear speckle structure, showed prominent and increased association of MEG3 lncRNA with the nuclear speckles, specifically forming a ring-like structure around the nuclear speckles. This contrasted with metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma (MALAT1) lncRNA that is normally highly associated with nuclear speckles, which was released and dispersed in the nucleoplasm. Under normal conditions, MEG3 dynamically associated with the periphery of the nuclear speckles, but under transcription or splicing inhibition, MEG3 could also enter the center of the nuclear speckle. Altogether, using live-cell imaging approaches, we find that MEG3 lncRNA is a transient resident of nuclear speckles and that its association with this nuclear body is modulated by the levels of transcription and splicing activities in the cell.

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Jun 2022 • Advanced Materials

Self‐Healing and Light‐Soaking in MAPbI3: The Effect of H2O

DR Ceratti, R Tenne, A Bartezzaghi, L Cremonesi, L Segev, V Kalchenko, D Oron, MAC Potenza, G Hodes, D Cahen

The future of Halide Perovskites, HaPs, which are of enormous interest for light ⟷ electrical energy conversion, is beclouded by limited scientific understanding of their long‐term stability. While HaPs can be altered by absorbed radiation that induces multiple processes, remarkably, they can also return to their original state by “self‐healing”. Here we use 2‐photon absorption to effect light‐induced modifications within single crystals of MAPbI3, the prototypical HaP. We then follow the changes in the photo‐damaged region by measuring the photoluminescence, resulting also from 2‐photon absorption, but with 2.5 orders of magnitude lower intensity than that used for photodamaging the MAPbI3. We find, immediately after photo‐damage, two brightening and one darkening process, all of which recover but on different timescales. The first two are attributed to trap‐filling (the fastest) and to proton‐amine related …

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Jun 2022 • SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Sourcing Herod the Great's calcite-alabaster bathtubs by a multi-analytic approach (vol 12, 7524, 2022)

Ayala Amir, Amos Frumkin, Boaz Zissu, Aren M Maeir, Gil Goobes, Amnon Albeck


Jun 2022 • Semiconductors and Semimetals 110, 1-52, 2022

SBS-based fiber sensors

A Zadok, X Bao, Z Yang, L Thevenaz

The spectra of Brillouin scattering processes in optical fibers are affected by temperature, axial strain, and other quantities of interest. This dependence forms the basis for optical Brillouin scattering based optical fiber sensors. Since the first proposition of such sensors in 1989, several protocols have been established for the spatially distributed analysis of Brillouin scattering spectra along fibers installed in structures of interest. Sensor systems cover hundreds of kilometers, reach sub-millimeter resolution, follow dynamic vibrations at MHz rates, and resolve sub-degree temperature changes and micro-strain elongations. Optical fiber sensors represent the most successful commercial application of Brillouin scattering physics to-date. This chapter reviews the principles, state of the art, performance trade-offs and recent breakthroughs in Brillouin scattering-based optical fiber sensors.

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Jun 2022 • SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Sourcing Herod the Great's calcite-alabaster bathtubs by a multi-analytic approach (vol 12, 7524, 2022)

Ayala Amir, Amos Frumkin, Boaz Zissu, Aren M Maeir, Gil Goobes, Amnon Albeck


Jun 2022 • Langmuir

Lysozyme is Sterically Trapped Within the Silica Cage in Bioinspired Silica–Lysozyme Composites: A Multi-Technique Understanding of Elusive Protein–Material Interactions

Francesco Bruno, Lucia Gigli, Giovanni Ferraro, Andrea Cavallo, Vladimir K Michaelis, Gil Goobes, Emiliano Fratini, Enrico Ravera

Lysozyme is widely known to promote the formation of condensed silica networks from solutions containing silicic acid, in a reproducible and cost-effective way. However, little is known about the fate of the protein after the formation of the silica particles. Also, the relative arrangement of the different components in the resulting material is a matter of debate. In this study, we investigate the nature of the protein–silica interactions by means of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and electron microscopy. We find that lysozyme and silica are in intimate contact and strongly interacting, but their interaction is neither covalent nor electrostatic: lysozyme is mostly trapped inside the silica by steric effects.

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Jun 2022 • SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Sourcing Herod the Great's calcite-alabaster bathtubs by a multi-analytic approach (vol 12, 7524, 2022)

Ayala Amir, Amos Frumkin, Boaz Zissu, Aren M Maeir, Gil Goobes, Amnon Albeck


Jun 2022 • SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Sourcing Herod the Great's calcite-alabaster bathtubs by a multi-analytic approach (vol 12, 7524, 2022)

Ayala Amir, Amos Frumkin, Boaz Zissu, Aren M Maeir, Gil Goobes, Amnon Albeck


Jun 2022 • Langmuir

Lysozyme is Sterically Trapped Within the Silica Cage in Bioinspired Silica–Lysozyme Composites: A Multi-Technique Understanding of Elusive Protein–Material Interactions

Francesco Bruno, Lucia Gigli, Giovanni Ferraro, Andrea Cavallo, Vladimir K Michaelis, Gil Goobes, Emiliano Fratini, Enrico Ravera

Lysozyme is widely known to promote the formation of condensed silica networks from solutions containing silicic acid, in a reproducible and cost-effective way. However, little is known about the fate of the protein after the formation of the silica particles. Also, the relative arrangement of the different components in the resulting material is a matter of debate. In this study, we investigate the nature of the protein–silica interactions by means of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and electron microscopy. We find that lysozyme and silica are in intimate contact and strongly interacting, but their interaction is neither covalent nor electrostatic: lysozyme is mostly trapped inside the silica by steric effects.

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Jun 2022 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Lead sequestration from halide perovskite solar cells with a low-cost thiol-containing encapsulant

Rene D Mendez L, Barry N Breen, David Cahen

Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are being studied and developed because of the outstanding properties of halide perovskites as photovoltaic materials and high conversion efficiencies achieved with the best PSCs. However, leaching out of lead (Pb) ions into the environment presents potential public health risks. We show that thiol-functionalized nanoparticles provide an economic way of minimizing Pb leaching in the case of PSC module damage and subsequent water exposure (at most, ∼2.5% of today’s crystal silicon solar panel production cost per square meter). Using commercial materials and methods, we retain ∼90% of Pb without degrading the photovoltaic performance of the cells, compared with nonencapsulated devices, yielding a worst-case scenario of top-soil pollution below natural Pb levels and well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits.

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