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Concept: Corrosion


Bacterial adhesion to stainless steel 316L (SS316L), which is an alloy typically used in many medical devices and food processing equipment, can cause serious infections along with substantial healthcare costs. This work demonstrates that nanotextured SS316L surfaces produced by electrochemical etching effectively inhibit bacterial adhesion of both Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, but exhibit cytocompatibility and no toxicity toward mammalian cells in vitro. Additionally, the electrochemical surface modification on SS316L results in formation of superior passive layer at the surface, improving corrosion resistance. The nanotextured SS316L offers significant potential for medical applications based on the surface structure-induced reduction of bacterial adhesion without use of antibiotic or chemical modifications while providing cytocompatibility and corrosion resistance in physiological conditions.

Concepts: Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Escherichia coli, Steel, Stainless steel, Passivation, Corrosion


For more than one century, hydrogen assisted degradation of metallic microstructures has been identified as origin for severe technical component failures but the mechanisms behind have not yet been completely understood so far. Any in-situ observation of hydrogen transport phenomena in microstructures will provide more details for further elucidation of these degradation mechanisms. A novel experiment is presented which is designed to elucidate the permeation behaviour of deuterium in a microstructure of duplex stainless steel (DSS). A hydrogen permeation cell within a TOF-SIMS instrument enables electrochemical charging with deuterium through the inner surface of the cell made from DSS. The outer surface of the DSS permeation cell exposed to the vacuum has been imaged by TOF-SIMS vs. increasing time of charging with subsequent chemometric treatment of image data. This in-situ experiment showed evidently that deuterium is permeating much faster through the ferrite phase than through the austenite phase. Moreover, a direct proof for deuterium enrichment at the austenite-ferrite interface has been found.

Concepts: Iron, Metallurgy, Steel, Austenite, Stainless steel, Nickel, Corrosion, Microstructure


Titanium dioxide is one of the most popular compounds among simple oxides. Except for the fully oxidized titanate, titanium oxides have partially filled d states and their exotic properties have captured attention. Here, we report on the discovery of superconductivity in Ti4O7 and γ-Ti3O5 in a thin film form. The epitaxial Ti4O7 and γ-Ti3O5 thin films were grown using pulsed-laser deposition on (LaAlO3)0.3-(SrAl0.5Ta0.5O3)0.7 and α-Al2O3 substrates, respectively. The highest superconducting transition temperatures are 3.0 K and 7.1 K for Ti4O7 and γ-Ti3O5, respectively. The mechanism behind the superconductivity is discussed on the basis of electrical measurements and previous theoretical predictions. We conclude that the superconductivity arises from unstabilized bipolaronic insulating states with the assistance of oxygen non-stoichiometry and epitaxial stabilization.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Oxide, Chemical compound, Titanium dioxide, Titanium, Corrosion


We analyzed differences in pediatric elevated blood lead level incidence before and after Flint, Michigan, introduced a more corrosive water source into an aging water system without adequate corrosion control.

Concepts: Water resources, Drinking water, Water supply, Corrosion, Water crisis, Lead poisoning, Blood lead level, Deficit irrigation


Since the early discovery of the antireflection properties of insect compound eyes, new examples of natural antireflective coatings have been rare. Here, we report the fabrication and optical characterization of a biologically inspired antireflective surface that emulates the intricate surface architectures of leafhopper-produced brochosomes-soccer ball-like microscale granules with nanoscale indentations. Our method utilizes double-layer colloidal crystal templates in conjunction with site-specific electrochemical growth to create these structures, and is compatible with various materials including metals, metal oxides, and conductive polymers. These brochosome coatings (BCs) can be designed to exhibit strong omnidirectional antireflective performance of wavelengths from 250 to 2000 nm, comparable to the state-of-the-art antireflective coatings. Our results provide evidence for the use of brochosomes as a camouflage coating against predators of leafhoppers or their eggs. The discovery of the antireflective function of BCs may find applications in solar energy harvesting, imaging, and sensing devices.

Concepts: Metal, Materials science, Hemiptera, Corrosion, Insects, Leafhopper, Brochosome, Anti-reflective coating


Miniaturized solid oxide fuel cells (micro-SOFCs) are being extensively studied as a promising alternative to Li batteries for next generation portable power. A new micro-SOFC is designed and fabricated which shows enhanced thermal robustness by employing oxide-based thin-film electrode and porous stainless steel (STS) substrate. To deposit gas-tight thin-film electrolyte on STS, nano-porous composite oxide is proposed and applied as a new contact layer on STS. The micro-SOFC fabricated on composite oxide- STS dual layer substrate shows the peak power density of 560 mW cm(-2) at 550 °C and maintains this power density during rapid thermal cycles. This cell may be suitable for portable electronic device that requires high power-density and fast thermal cycling.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Battery, Electrolyte, Electrolysis, Fuel cell, Passivation, Corrosion, Solid oxide fuel cell


Lithium-rich layered transition metal oxide positive electrodes offer access to anion redox at high potentials, thereby promising high energy densities for lithium-ion batteries. However, anion redox is also associated with several unfavorable electrochemical properties, such as open-circuit voltage hysteresis. Here we reveal that in Li1.17-x Ni0.21Co0.08Mn0.54O2, these properties arise from a strong coupling between anion redox and cation migration. We combine various X-ray spectroscopic, microscopic, and structural probes to show that partially reversible transition metal migration decreases the potential of the bulk oxygen redox couple by > 1 V, leading to a reordering in the anionic and cationic redox potentials during cycling. First principles calculations show that this is due to the drastic change in the local oxygen coordination environments associated with the transition metal migration. We propose that this mechanism is involved in stabilizing the oxygen redox couple, which we observe spectroscopically to persist for 500 charge/discharge cycles.

Concepts: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Electrochemistry, Nitrogen, Oxide, Oxidation state, Lithium, Corrosion


To turn waste into treasure and meet the urgent requirement of developing high performance cathode for potassium ion batteries, as a proof-of concept experiment, we first propose and demonstrate a new strategy to fabricate the flexible binder-free potassium-ion batteries (KIBs) electrode via in situ transforming the corrosion layer of rusty stainless steels mesh (SSM) into compact stack layer of PB nanocubes (PB@SSM). Unexpectedly, when further coated with reduced graphite oxide (RGO) to enhance electric conductivity and structural stability, the obtained stable, low-cost, and binder-free RGO@PB@SSM cathode exhibits excellent electrochemical performances for KIBs, including high capacity (96 mAh g-1), high discharge voltage (3.3 V) and superior rate capability (1000 mAh g-1) as well as outstanding cycle stability (305 cycles). The obtained results open new avenue for both the recycle of rust stainless steels and developing of novel cathode for KIBs.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Battery, Electrolyte, Electrolysis, Steel, Passivation, Corrosion, Rust


We propose a hypothesis that a very thin layer can be made more transparent by adding a thin coating with susceptibility of opposing sign. Two experimental tests backed by a theoretical model support this hypothesis. First, we show that the visible and near-infrared transmission through a semi-transparent silver film can be enhanced by up to ~70% and spectrally tailored depending on the type and thickness of the dielectric coating. Material types explored as dielectric coating layers include conventional metal oxides (titanium dioxide) and lesser-explored elemental semiconductors (undoped silicon, p-type silicon, and germanium). Second, and more surprisingly, we show that coating a 50-nm-thick silicon nitride membrane with a 10-nm-thick silver layer can modestly enhance the transmission by up to 6 ± 1% in the blue part of the spectrum. Transmission enhancements are observed for three silver-coated membranes in different configurations. Thinner silver coatings are theoretically capable of enhancement factors greater than 10%, but implementation is restricted by challenges in making smooth and continuous silver films below 10 nm in thickness. This study is important because it is the first demonstration of reciprocity with respect to the transmission enhancements achieved by combining thin metallic and dielectric layers.

Concepts: Oxygen, Metal, Oxide, Semiconductor, Silicon, Titanium dioxide, Germanium, Corrosion


Toxicological studies show that oral doses of nickel and chromium can cause cutaneous adverse reactions such as dermatitis. Additional dietary sources, such as leaching from stainless steel cookware during food preparation, are not well characterized. This study examined stainless steel grades, cooking time, repetitive cooking cycles, and multiple types of tomato sauces for their effects on nickel and chromium leaching. Trials included three types of stainless steels and a stainless steel saucepan; cooking times of 2 to 20 hours, ten consecutive cooking cycles, and four commercial tomato sauces. After a simulated cooking process, samples were analyzed by ICP-MS for Ni and Cr. After six hours of cooking, Ni and Cr concentrations in tomato sauce increased up to 26- and 7-fold respectively, depending on the grade of stainless steel. Longer cooking durations resulted in additional increases in metal leaching, where Ni concentrations increased 34 fold and Cr increased approximately 35 fold from sauces cooked without stainless steel. Cooking with new stainless steel resulted in the largest increases. Metal leaching decreases with sequential cooking cycles and stabilized after the sixth cooking cycle, though significant metal contributions to foods were still observed. The tenth cooking cycle, resulted in an average of 88 µg of Ni and 86 µg of Cr leached per 126 g serving of tomato sauce. Stainless steel cookware can be an overlooked significant source of nickel and chromium, where the contribution is dependent on stainless steel grade, cooking time, and cookware usage.

Concepts: Steel, Titanium, Stainless steel, Chromium, Nickel, Corrosion, Sauce, Steels