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Concept: Particle


Drawing from a series of field measurement activities including the Alternative Aviation Fuels Experiments (AAFEX1 and AAFEX2), we present experimental measurements of particle number, size, and composition-resolved mass that describe the physical and chemical evolution of aircraft exhaust plumes on the time scale of 5 sec to 2-3 min. As the plume ages, the particle number emission index initially increases by a factor of 10-50, due to gas-to-particle formation of a nucleation/growth mode, and then begins to fall with increased aging. Increasing the fuel sulfur content causes the initial increase to occur more rapidly. The contribution of the nucleation/growth mode to the overall particle number density is most pronounced at idle power and decreases with increasing engine power. Increasing fuel sulfur content - but not fuel aromatic content - causes the nucleation/growth mode to dominate the particle number emissions to higher powers than for a fuel with “normal” sulfur and aromatic content. Particle size measurements indicate that the observed particle number emissions trends are due to continuing gas-to-particle conversion and coagulation growth of the nucleation/growth mode particles, processes which simultaneously increase particle mass and reduce particle number density. Measurements of nucleation/growth mode mass are consistent with the interpretation of particle number and size data and suggest that engine exit plane measurements may underestimate the total particle mass by much as a factor of between 5 and 10.

Concepts: Particle physics, Experiment, Physical quantities, Particle, Fuel, Plume, Ultra-low sulfur diesel, Number density


The aim of this study is to prepare whey protein (WP)-based microparticles (MP) using the Encapsulator(®) device. The viscosity dependence of the extrusion device required to mix WP with a food-grade and less viscous polymer. Mixed WP/ALG MP were obtained with the optimized WP/alginate (ALG) ratio (62/38). These particles were further coated with WP or ALG using non-traumatic and solvent-free coating process developed in this study. Size and morphology of coated and uncoated MP were determined. Then, swelling and degradation (WP release) of formulations were investigated in pH 1.2 and 7.5 buffers and in simulated gastric and intestinal fluids (SGF, SIF) and compared to pure ALG and pure WP particle behaviours. At pH 1.2, pure ALG shrank and pure WP swelled, whereas the sizes of mixed WP/ALG matrix were stable. In SGF, WP/ALG MP resisted to pepsin degradation compare to pure WP particles due to ALG shrinkage which limited pepsin diffusion within particles. Coating addition with WP or ALG slowed down pepsin degradation. At pH 7.5, WP/ALG particles were rapidly degraded due to ALG sensitivity but the addition of a WP coating limited effectively the swelling and the degradation of MP. In SIF, pancreatin accelerated MP degradation but ALG-coated MP exhibited interesting robustness. These results confirmed the interest and the feasibility to produce coated WP-based MP which could be a potential orally controlled release drug delivery system.

Concepts: Whey protein, Milk, Viscosity, Coating, Fluid, Particle, Non-Newtonian fluid, Formulations


The origin of the narrow particle size distributions obtained in the oleic acid-based synthesis of hexagonal phase β-NaREF(4) nanocrystals (RE = Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb) has been investigated. Compared to the standard synthesis, the growth conditions were simplified by using small purified particles of either α-NaREF(4) (cubic phase) or β-NaREF(4) (hexagonal phase) as single-source precursors, thereby avoiding the complications arising from the simultaneous presence of molecular educts and intermediately formed small particles. The study shows that α-phase as well as β-phase particles grow by Ostwald-ripening but narrow particle size distributions of the β-NaREF(4) product particles are only obtained when α-phase precursor particles are employed. Since the small particles are also formed as intermediate products in the standard synthesis of β-NaSmF(4), β-NaEuF(4), β-NaGdF(4) and β-NaTbF(4) particles, their crystal phase is an important parameter to obtain a narrow size distribution in these systems.

Concepts: Crystal, Crystallography, Particle size distribution, Crystal system, Particle, Liquid crystal, Crystallographic database, Atomic packing factor


The reversible cycling of CaO adsorbents to CaCO(3) for high-temperature CO(2) capture is substantially improved by mechanical treatment. The mechanical milling intensity and conditions of grinding (e.g., wet vs. dry, planetary vs. vibratory milling) were determined to be the main factors that control the effectiveness of the mechanochemical synthesis to enhance the recycling stability of the sorbents prepared. In addition, MgO was used as an example of an inert binder to help mitigate CaCO(3) sintering. Wet planetary milling of MgO into CaCO(3) allowed efficient particle size reduction and the effective dispersion of MgO throughout the particles. Wet planetary milling yielded the most stable sorbents during 50 cycles of carbonation-calcination.

Concepts: Particle physics, Effect, Effectiveness, Particle, Heat transfer, Calcium oxide


Due to the bicontinuous phase structure of Nafion® with small hydrophilic channels, formation of composites with silica colloids to improve thermal stability, hydration and proton conductivity should be influenced by size and surface functionality of the colloids. To test this hypothesis we prepared batches of silica particles between 20 - 400 nm in diameter with narrow polydispersities using a modified Stöber procedure. Some particles were subsequently surface modified using mercaptopropyltriethoxysilane. Enough particles were mixed with Nafion® in alcohols to achieve 5wt% silica in the final membranes, which were made by casting and drying. Membrane top and bottom surface and cross-section morphologies were examined with AFM and SEM to determine how the particles were dispersed. We discovered that casting the membranes from dispersions with viscosities less than 65 Centapoise led to larger particles floating to the top surface of the membrane where they were easily dislodged from the dry membrane. Membranes cast from more viscous solutions exhibited homogeneous distributions of particles. Water up-take was over 60% higher in nanocomposites with un-modified silica particles than for Nafion® and about 15% higher than for Nafion® with in situ generated silica particles, but showed no trend in water uptake correlating with changing particle size. Surface silated particles of all sizes appeared to have reduced water uptake relative to Nafion® alone.

Concepts: Function, Particle physics, Ethanol, The Final, Solution, Particle, Nanocomposite, Membrane


We report a method to synthesize and image Janus spheroid and “kayak” shaped patchy particles that combine both shape and interaction anisotropy. These particles are fabricated by sequentially combining evaporative deposition of chrome and gold with the uniaxial deformation of the colloidal particles into spheroids. We introduce combined reflection and fluorescence confocal microscopy to image each component of the patchy particle. Image analysis algorithms that resolve patch orientation from these image volumes are described and used to characterize self-assembly behavior. Assemblies of the Janus spheroid and kayak particles produced at different salt concentrations demonstrate the functional nature of the patch-to-patch interactions between the particles. Selective gold-to-gold patch bonding is observed at intermediate salt concentrations, while higher salt concentrations yield gel-like structures with non-selective patch-to-patch bonding. At intermediate salt concentrations, differences in the orientational order of the assemblies indicate that both the preferential gold-to-gold patch bonding and the particles' shape anisotropy influence the self-assembled structure.

Concepts: Structure, Interaction, Synthesis, Orientation, Particle, Sphere, Spheroid, Ellipsoid


Sample extraction is the first challenge in analysis of herbal medicines (HMs). Numerous methods have been developed to improve extraction efficiency, use less solvent and short time. In this work, a tissue-smashing based ultra-rapid extraction (TSURE) method has been proposed through the designed particle crushing, drastic stir, and dynamic molecular permeation at normal temperature. Factors in TSURE like extraction time, volts, and solvents were optimized for extraction efficiency of salvianolic acid B, cryptotanshinone, and tanshinone IIA from Salvia miltiorrhiza. The TSURE method was validated in terms of repeatability (RSD<2.2%) and extraction recoveries (93-106% with RSD<5.0%). TSURE showed a comparable extraction efficiency to conventional heat reflux extraction (HRE) and better than ultrasonic assisted extraction (UAE). The extraction time was about 2.0-3.0 min for TSURE, 60 times faster than the performance of HRE and 20 times faster than UAE. Microscopic analysis showed that the Krummbein diameter of plant particles after extraction were about 600-1200 μm for HRE and UAE, and decreased to 50-80 μm for TSURE. Subsequently, the developed TSURE was applied to high-throughput extraction of 19 S. miltiorrhiza samples collected in different regions of China. Besides, application of TSURE to other herbal medicines was also investigated, including Panax quinquefolius and Lonicera japonica. TSURE method provided an ultra-rapid and promising alternation for extraction of ingredients in herbal medicines, and can be extended to pharmaceutics, foods and cosmetics.

Concepts: Time, English-language films, Solvent, Part, Particle, Pharmacy, Panax, Honeysuckle


To achieve high and sustained magnetic particle loading in a proliferative and endocytotically active neural transplant population (astrocytes) through tailored magnetite content in polymeric iron oxide particles.

Concepts: Iron, Iron oxide, Particle physics, Oxides, Particle, Iron ore, Magnetite, Hematite


The directed transport of microparticles in microfluidic devices is vital for efficient bioassays and fabrication of complex microstructures. There remains, however, a need for methods to propel and steer microscopic cargo that do not require modifying these particles. Using theory and experiments, we show that catalytic surface reactions can be used to deliver microparticle cargo to specified regions in microchambers. Here reagents diffuse from a gel reservoir and react with the catalyst-coated surface. Fluid density gradients due to the spatially varying reagent concentration induce a convective flow, which carries the suspended particles until the reagents are consumed. Consequently, the cargo is deposited around a specific position on the surface. The velocity and final peak location of the cargo can be tuned independently. By increasing the local particle concentration, highly sensitive assays can be performed efficiently and rapidly. Moreover, the process can be repeated by introducing fresh reagent into the microchamber.

Concepts: Density, Fluid dynamics, Diffusion, Fluid mechanics, Velocity, Particle, Microfluidics, Reagent


The strong adhesion of sub-micron sized particles to surfaces is a nuisance, both for removing contaminating colloids from surfaces and for conscious manipulation of particles to create and test novel micro/nano-scale assemblies. The obvious idea of using detergents to ease these processes suffers from a lack of control: the action of any conventional surface-modifying agent is immediate and global. With photosensitive azobenzene containing surfactants we overcome these limitations. Such photo-soaps contain optical switches (azobenzene molecules), which upon illumination with light of appropriate wavelength undergo reversible trans-cis photo-isomerization resulting in a subsequent change of the physico-chemical molecular properties. In this work we show that when a spatial gradient in the composition of trans- and cis- isomers is created near a solid-liquid interface, a substantial hydrodynamic flow can be initiated, the spatial extent of which can be set, e.g., by the shape of a laser spot. We propose the concept of light induced diffusioosmosis driving the flow, which can remove, gather or pattern a particle assembly at a solid-liquid interface. In other words, in addition to providing a soap we implement selectivity: particles are mobilized and moved at the time of illumination, and only across the illuminated area.

Concepts: Time, Optics, Light, Particle physics, Liquid, Particle, Soap, Detergent