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Aug 2021 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Stability of Current Collectors Against Corrosion in APC Electrolyte for Rechargeable Mg Battery

Sankalpita Chakrabarty, J Alberto Blázquez, Tali Sharabani, Ananya Maddegalla, Olatz Leonet, Idoia Urdampilleta, Daniel Sharon, Malachi Noked, Ayan Mukherjee

Rechargeable magnesium batteries (RMBs) are highly attractive due to their high volumetric capacity, relatively low cost, and enhanced safety. Significant progress in the development of RMBs was the introduction of nonaqueous electrolyte solutions that enable reversible electrodeposition of Mg metal. These solutions contain a unique mixture of organo− aluminum and chloro− aluminum species. While these solutions are shown to be stable during cathodic polarization, the presence of chlorine anions in the solution can promote the corrosion process during the anodic polarization. Among all the cell components, the cathode current collector is most prone to corrosive processes. In this study, we characterize the corrosion behavior of different metallic current collectors in standard APC (All-Phenyl Complex) electrolyte solutions by following their electrochemical response and surface morphology changes during …

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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 • Trends in Genetics 37 (8), 685-687, 2021

The New RNA-Editing Era–Ethical Considerations

Azgad Gold, Erez Y Levanon, Eli Eisenberg

The characteristics of RNA editing, including the lower risk compared with genome editing, may loosen the ethical barriers that are currently imposed on genetic engineering, thus opening new possibilities for research, therapy, and human enhancement. We should start considering the future ethical and social implications of this new and promising technology.

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Aug 2021 • Nature Communications

A dynamical quantum cheshire cat effect and implications for counterfactual communication

Yakir Aharonov, Eliahu Cohen, Sandu Popescu

Here we report a type of dynamic effect that is at the core of the so called “counterfactual computation” and especially “counterfactual communication” quantum effects that have generated a lot of interest recently. The basic feature of these counterfactual setups is the fact that particles seem to be affected by actions that take place in locations where they never (more precisely, only with infinitesimally small probability) enter. Specifically, the communication/computation takes place without the quantum particles that are supposed to be the information carriers travelling through the communication channel or entering the logic gates of the computer. Here we show that something far more subtle is taking place: It is not necessary for the particle to enter the region where the controlling action takes place; it is enough for the controlled property of the particle,(ie, the property that is being controlled by actions in the control …

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Aug 2021 • Advanced Energy Materials

Bidirectionally Compatible Buffering Layer Enables Highly Stable and Conductive Interface for 4.5 V Sulfide‐Based All‐Solid‐State Lithium Batteries

Longlong Wang, Xingwei Sun, Jun Ma, Bingbing Chen, Chao Li, Jiedong Li, Liang Chang, Xinrun Yu, Ting‐Shan Chan, Zhiwei Hu, Malachi Noked, Guanglei Cui

High‐voltage all‐solid‐state lithium batteries (HVASSLBs) are considered attractive systems for portable electronics and electric vehicles, due to their theoretically high energy density and safety. However, realization of HVASSLBs with sulfide solid electrolytes (SEs) is hindered by their limited electrochemical stability, resulting in sluggish interphase dynamics. Here, a bidirectionally compatible buffering layer design scheme is proposed to overcome the interfacial challenges of sulfide‐based HVASSLBs. As a proof of concept, it is found that NASICON‐type LixZr2(PO4)3 surprisingly exhibit great compatibility with both 4.5 V LiCoO2 and Li6PS5Cl, based on the results of first‐principles calculations and various in situ/ex situ characterizations. This compatibility significantly restrains the interface reactivity and boosts interfacial Li‐ion transport. Therefore, 4.5 V sulfide‐based HVASSLBs can exhibit remarkably …

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Aug 2021 • Advanced Functional Materials 31 (46), 2104887, 2021

Graphene‐based nanomaterials for neuroengineering: recent advances and future prospective

Raj Kumar, Rossana Rauti, Denis Scaini, Merav Antman‐Passig, Ohad Meshulam, Doron Naveh, Laura Ballerini, Orit Shefi

Graphene unique physicochemical properties made it prominent among other allotropic forms of carbon, in many areas of research and technological applications. Interestingly, in recent years, many studies exploited the use of graphene family nanomaterials (GNMs) for biomedical applications such as drug delivery, diagnostics, bioimaging, and tissue engineering research. GNMs are successfully used for the design of scaffolds for controlled induction of cell differentiation and tissue regeneration. Critically, it is important to identify the more appropriate nano/bio material interface sustaining cells differentiation and tissue regeneration enhancement. Specifically, this review is focussed on graphene‐based scaffolds that endow physiochemical and biological properties suitable for a specific tissue, the nervous system, that links tightly morphological and electrical properties. Different strategies are reviewed to exploit …

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Aug 2021 • Langmuir

Sonochemically Prepared BSA microspheres as adsorbents for the removal of organic pollutants from water

Kusha Sharma, Hari Krishna Sadhanala, Yitzhak Mastai, Ze’ev Porat, Aharon Gedanken

This work investigates, for the first time, the application of sonochemically prepared bovine serum albumin (BSA) microspheres (BSAMS) as adsorbents of industrial organic pollutant dyes, such as rhodamine B (RhB), rhodamine 6G (Rh6G), and methylene blue (MB). These dyes also serve as model compounds for other organic pollutants such as bisphenol A and 2-nitrophenol. Adsorption kinetics of the dyes by the BSAMS was studied using pseudo-first-order (PFO) and pseudo-second-order (PSO) kinetic models. It was found that RhB follows PFO, with an adsorption capacity, qe,cal, of 7.9 mg/g, which was closer to the experimental adsorption capacity of qe,exp. of 7.6 mg/g. However, MB and Rh6G were controlled by PSO kinetics, with a qe,cal of 5.6 mg/g for MB and 6.6 mg/g for Rh6G, closer to the experimental adsorption capacity of 5.7 and 6.4 mg/g, respectively. The intraparticle diffusion (ID) model applied 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 • 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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Aug 2021 • ACS applied materials & interfaces 14 (30), 34171-34179, 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

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 • Lubricants

Tungsten disulfide inorganic nanotubes functionalized by PTFE for friction application

Tzuriel Levin, Yifat Harel, Jean-Paul Lellouche, Alexey Moshkovich, Igor Lapsker, Alex Laikhtman, Lev Rapoport

Inorganic nanotubes (INTs) and fullerene-like nanoparticles (NPs) of WS2/MoS2 penetrate and exfoliate at the contact interface and facilitate tribofilm formation. While the tribological properties are greatly improved by exfoliated NPs that shed easily, they may be diminished by agglomeration in oil. Therefore, surface functionalization is employed to improve dispersion in oil-based suspensions. Here, WS2 INTs were functionalized by polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) in a simple and cost-effective bath sonication method. WS2-INTs with two concentrations of added PTFE were characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. Superior distribution of WS2 was observed before and during friction experiments. Chemical analysis showed a significantly greater amount of PTFE-coated INTs on rubbed surfaces, in accordance with the improved friction and wear properties.

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Aug 2021 • ACS Applied Energy Materials

Multifold Electrochemical Protons and Zinc Ion Storage Behavior in Copper Vanadate Cathodes

Munseok S Chae, Ran Attias, Ben Dlugatch, Yosef Gofer, Doron Aurbach

Zinc-based batteries are gaining attention as a promising candidate for large-scale energy storage systems due to their safety, abundance of elemental zinc, low cost, and ease of handling in air. However, only a few zinc storage materials, namely, intercalation cathode materials, were reported, and there is a need to develop host structures with improved performance. Here, we investigate copper vanadate as a cathode material and uncover its proton and zinc storage behavior by combined electrochemical characterization, XRD analysis, and ion migration barrier calculations for the cation diffusion pathways. The material showed a highly reversible capacity of ∼315 mA h/g at 20 mA/g with a good capacity retention.

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Aug 2021 • bioRxiv

Diet-induced modifications to human microbiome reshape colonic homeostasis in irritable bowel syndrome

Ayelet Pearl, Hadar Bootz, Ehud Melzer, Efrat Sharon, Shlomi Abuchatzera, Sivan Amidror, Elana Aretz, Irit Shoval, Orly Yaron, Stephen Malnick, Nissan Yissachar

Changes in microbiome composition have been associated with a wide array of human diseases, turning the human microbiota into an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Yet clinical translation of these findings requires the establishment of causative connections between specific microbial taxa and their functional impact on host tissues. Here, we colonized gut organ cultures with longitudinal microbiota samples collected from newly-diagnosed and therapy-naïve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients under low-FODMAP (fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono- saccharides and Polyols) diet. We show that post-diet microbiota regulates intestinal expression of inflammatory and neuro-muscular gene-sets. Specifically, we identify Bifidobacterium adolescentis as a diet-sensitive pathobiont that alters tight junction integrity and disrupts gut barrier functions. Collectively, we present a unique pathway discovery approach for mechanistic dissection and identification of functional diet-host-microbiota modules. Our data support the hypothesis that the gut microbiota mediates the beneficial effects of low-FODMAP diet, and reinforce the potential feasibility of microbiome based-therapies in IBS.

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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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Jul 2021 • International Journal of Biology and Chemistry

Adsorption of Pb (II) and Cd (II) from aqueous solutions on polyvinylpyrrolidone modified Kyzylsok natural clay

Zarina Baranchiyeva, Gulziya Seilkhanova, Akmaral Rakhym, Yitzhak Mastai, Yenlik Ussipbekova

The present work considers the production of a cheap and effective sorbent based on natural clay from the Kyzylsok deposit (Almaty region) in order to purify wastewater from heavy metal ions (Cd 2+, Pb 2+). It was found that the starting material is applicable for the extraction of Cd 2+ ions (the degree of extraction is (97.00±1.99)%), while for the extraction of Pb 2+ ions the initial clay must be modified. The modification was carried out using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). The degree of extraction of Pb 2+ ions with modified clay increased from (70.00±1.77)% to (98±1.13)% The influence of PVP concentration in the composite material (modified clay) on its sorption properties was studied: the optimal concentration of PVP was 0.1% solution. The desorption of metal ions was also investigated in the work, it does not exceed 2%. It was found that the sorption process is described by the monomolecular Langmuir isotherm model and the kinetic model of the pseudo-second order.

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Jul 2021 • Pharmaceuticals

Tumor-targeted fluorescent proteinoid nanocapsules encapsulating synergistic drugs for personalized cancer therapy

Ella Itzhaki, Elad Hadad, Neta Moskovits, Salomon M Stemmer, Shlomo Margel

Personalized cancer treatment based on specific mutations offers targeted therapy and is preferred over “standard” chemotherapy. Proteinoid polymers produced by thermal step-growth polymerization of amino acids may form nanocapsules (NCs) that encapsulate drugs overcoming miscibility problems and allowing passive targeted delivery with reduced side effects. The arginine-glycine-glutamic acid (RGD) sequence is known for its preferential attraction to αvβ3 integrin, which is highly expressed on neovascular endothelial cells that support tumor growth. Here, tumor-targeted RGD-based proteinoid NCs entrapping a synergistic combination of Palbociclib (Pal) and Alpelisib (Alp) were synthesized by self-assembly to induce the reduction of tumor cell growth in different types of cancers. The diameters of the hollow and drug encapsulating poly(RGD) NCs were 34 ± 5 and 22 ± 3 nm, respectively; thereby, their drug targeted efficiency is due to both passive and active targeting. The encapsulation yield of Pal and Alp was 70 and 90%, respectively. In vitro experiments with A549, MCF7 and HCT116 human cancer cells demonstrate a synergistic effect of Pal and Alp, controlled release and dose dependence. Preliminary results in a 3D tumor spheroid model with cells derived from patient-derived xenografts of colon cancer illustrate disassembly of spheroids, indicating that the NCs have therapeutic potential.

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Jul 2021 • Optics Letters

Cross-phase modulation aberrations in time lenses

Hamootal Duadi, Avi Klein, Inbar Sibony, Sara Meir, Moti Fridman

We study the aberrations of four-wave mixing based time lenses resulting from the cross-phase modulations of the pump wave. These temporal aberrations have no spatial equivalent and are important when imaging weak signals with strong pump waves. We show that as the pump power increases, the cross-phase modulations of the pump are responsible for shifting, defocusing, and imposing temporal coma aberrations on the image. We present experimental results of these aberrations with high agreement to analytical and numerical calculations.

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Jul 2021 • JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments)

Fabrication of magnetic platforms for micron-scale organization of interconnected neurons

Ganit Indech, Reut Plen, Dafna Levenberg, Naor Vardi, Michal Marcus, Alejandra Smith, Shlomo Margel, Orit Shefi, Amos Sharoni

The ability to direct neurons into organized neural networks has great implications for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and bio-interfacing. Many studies have aimed at directing neurons using chemical and topographical cues. However, reports of organizational control on a micron-scale over large areas are scarce. Here, an effective method has been described for placing neurons in preset sites and guiding neuronal outgrowth with micron-scale resolution, using magnetic platforms embedded with micro-patterned, magnetic elements. It has been demonstrated that loading neurons with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) converts them into sensitive magnetic units that can be influenced by magnetic gradients. Following this approach, a unique magnetic platform has been fabricated on which PC12 cells, a common neuron-like model, were plated and loaded with superparamagnetic nanoparticles. Thin films of ferromagnetic (FM) multilayers with stable perpendicular magnetization were deposited to provide effective attraction forces toward the magnetic patterns. These MNP-loaded PC12 cells, plated and differentiated atop the magnetic platforms, were preferentially attached to the magnetic patterns, and the neurite outgrowth was well aligned with the pattern shape, forming oriented networks. Quantitative characterization methods of the magnetic properties, cellular MNP uptake, cell viability, and statistical analysis of the results are presented. This approach enables the control of neural network formation and improves neuron-to-electrode interface through the manipulation of magnetic forces, which can be an effective tool for in vitro …

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Jul 2021 • ACS Catalysis

Site-independent hydrogenation reactions on oxide-supported Au nanoparticles facilitated by intraparticle hydrogen atom diffusion

Shahar Dery, Hillel Mehlman, Lillian Hale, Mazal Carmiel-Kostan, Reut Yemini, Tzipora Ben-Tzvi, Malachi Noked, F Dean Toste, Elad Gross

Metal–support interactions have been widely utilized for optimizing the catalytic reactivity of oxide-supported Au nanoparticles. Optimized reactivity was mainly detected with small (1–5 nm) oxide-supported Au nanoparticles and correlated to highly reactive sites at the oxide–metal interface. However, catalytically active sites are not necessarily restricted to the interface but reside as well on the Au surface. Uncovering the interconnection between reactive sites located at the interface and those situated at the metal surface is of crucial importance for understanding the reaction mechanism on Au nanoparticles. Herein, high-spatial-resolution IR nanospectroscopy measurements were conducted to map the localized reactivity in hydrogenation reactions on oxide-supported Au particles while using nitro-functionalized ligands as probes molecules. Comparative analysis of the reactivity pattern on single particles supported …

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Jul 2021 • Cellulose 28 (18), 11275-11285, 2021

Effective degradation of cellulose by Microwave irradiation in alkaline solution

Lama Jabareen, Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, Aharon Gedanken

The utilization of lignocellulosic biomass is effective to produce chemicals and fuels, which are of importance for the establishment of a sustainable society. The conversion of cellulose, which is the main component of the lignocellulosic biomass, into signi cant chemicals that can be further converted to different chemicals or fuels in the subsequent step, under gentle conditions is a promising route. Organic acids such as acetic acid, glycolic acid and formic acid are signi cant chemicals are examples of such products. A novel method to producing important platform chemicals from Micro-crystalline cellulose was developed. Micro-crystalline cellulose was degraded as a result of an oxidation with potassium chlorate by microwave radiation, in a one-pot procedure, e cient reaction conditions such as short reaction time and full conversion of the cellulose were identi ed. The reaction products have been analyzed by 1H, 13C NMR, XPS, TGA and XRD.

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