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Concept: Pressure


This paper presents the results of investigations whose aim was to describe the influence of the pressure difference level on the ability of contaminants migration between neighbouring rooms in dynamic conditions associated with door swing. The analysis was based on airflow visualization made with cold smoke, which simulated the heavy contaminants. The test room was pressurized to a specific level and then the door was opened to observe the trail of the smoke plume in the plane of the door. The door was opened in both directions: to the positively and negatively pressurized room. This study focuses on the visualization of smoke plume discharge and an uncertainty analysis is not applicable. Unlike other studies which focus on the analysis of pressure difference, the present study looks at the contaminants which are heavier than air and on “pumping out” the contaminants by means of door swing. Setting the proper level of pressure difference between the contaminated room and the neighbouring rooms can prove instrumental in ensuring protection against toxic contaminants migration. This study helped to establish the threshold of pressure difference necessary to reduce migration of heavy contaminants to neighbouring rooms.

Concepts: Present, Toxicology, Pressure, Atmospheric pressure, Plane, Rooms, Room


We demonstrate a new optical approach to generate high-frequency (>15 MHz) and high-amplitude focused ultrasound, which can be used for non-invasive ultrasound therapy. A nano-composite film of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and elastomeric polymer is formed on concave lenses, and used as an efficient optoacoustic source due to the high optical absorption of the CNTs and rapid heat transfer to the polymer upon excitation by pulsed laser irradiation. The CNT-coated lenses can generate unprecedented optoacoustic pressures of >50 MPa in peak positive on a tight focal spot of 75 μm in lateral and 400 μm in axial widths. This pressure amplitude is remarkably high in this frequency regime, producing pronounced shock effects and non-thermal pulsed cavitation at the focal zone. We demonstrate that the optoacoustic lens can be used for micro-scale ultrasonic fragmentation of solid materials and a single-cell surgery in terms of removing the cells from substrates and neighboring cells.

Concepts: Optics, Electromagnetic radiation, Ultrasound, Pressure, Sound, Elastomer, Sonar, Photographic lens


OBJECTIVE: Anterior chest thrusts (with the subject sitting or standing and thrusts applied to the lower sternum) are recommended by the Australian Resuscitation Council as part of the sequence for clearing upper airway obstruction by a foreign body. Lateral chest thrusts (with the victim lying on their side) are no longer recommended due to a lack of evidence. We compared anterior, lateral chest and abdominal thrusts in the generation of airway pressures using a suitable animal model. METHODS: This was a repeated-measures, cross-over, clinical trial of eight anaesthetised, intubated, adult pigs. For each animal, ten trials of each technique were undertaken with the upper airway obstructed. A chest/abdominal pressure transducer, a pneumotachograph and an intra-oesophageal balloon catheter recorded chest/abdominal thrust, expiratory air flows, airway and intrapleural pressures, respectively. RESULTS: The mean (SD) thrust pressures generated for the anterior, lateral and abdominal techniques were 120.9 (11.0), 135.2 (20.0), and 142.4 (27.3) cmH(2)O, respectively (p<0.0001). The mean (SD) peak expiratory airway pressures were 6.5 (3.0), 18.0 (5.5) and 13.8 (6.7) cmH(2)O, respectively (p<0.0001). The mean (SD) peak expiratory intrapleural pressures were 5.4 (2.7), 13.5 (6.2) and 10.3 (8.5) cmH(2)O, respectively (p<0.0001). At autopsy, no rib, intra-abdominal or intra-thoracic injury was observed. CONCLUSION: Lateral chest and abdominal thrust techniques generated significantly greater airway and pleural pressures than the anterior thrust technique. We recommend further research to provide additional evidence that may inform management guidelines for clearing foreign body upper airway obstruction.

Concepts: Sternum, Pressure, Thorax, Obstructive lung disease, Pleural cavity, Victim, Thrust, Pressure sensor


Studies of the interaction between hydrogen and graphene have been increasingly required due to the indispensable modulation of the electronic structure of graphene for device applications and the possibility of using graphene as a hydrogen storage material. Here, we report on the behaviour of molecular hydrogen on graphene using the gate voltage-dependent resistance of single-, bi-, and multi-layer graphene sheets as a function of H(2) gas pressure up to 24 bar from 300 K to 345 K. Upon H(2) exposure, the charge neutrality point shifts toward the negative gate voltage region, indicating n-type doping, and distinct Raman signature changes, increases in the interlayer distance of multi-layer graphene, and a decrease in the d-spacing occur, as determined by TEM. These results demonstrate the occurrence of dissociative H(2) adsorption due to the existence of vacancy defects on graphene.

Concepts: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Catalysis, Atom, Pressure, Gas, Liquid hydrogen, Hydrogen storage


Despite extensive research for more than 200 years, the experimental isolation of monatomic sulphur chains, which are believed to exhibit a conducting character, has eluded scientists. Here we report the synthesis of a previously unobserved composite material of elemental sulphur, consisting of monatomic chains stabilized in the constraining volume of a carbon nanotube. This one-dimensional phase is confirmed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. Interestingly, these one-dimensional sulphur chains exhibit long domain sizes of up to 160 nm and high thermal stability (~800 K). Synchrotron X-ray diffraction shows a sharp structural transition of the one-dimensional sulphur occurring at ~450-650 K. Our observations, and corresponding electronic structure and quantum transport calculations, indicate the conducting character of the one-dimensional sulphur chains under ambient pressure. This is in stark contrast to bulk sulphur that needs ultrahigh pressures exceeding ~90 GPa to become metallic.

Concepts: Electron, X-ray, Chemical element, Carbon, Carbon nanotube, X-ray crystallography, Tensile strength, Pressure


To pattern electrical metal contacts, electron beam lithography or photolithography are commonly utilized, and these processes require polymer resists with solvents. During the patterning process the graphene surface is exposed to chemicals, and the residue on the graphene surface was unable to be completely removed by any method, causing the graphene layer to be contaminated. A lithography free method can overcome these residue problems. In this study, we use a micro-grid as a shadow mask to fabricate a graphene based field-effect-transistor (FET). Electrical measurements of the graphene based FET samples are carried out in air and vacuum. It is found that the Dirac peaks of the graphene devices on SiO2 or on hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) shift from a positive gate voltage region to a negative region as air pressure decreases. In particular, the Dirac peaks shift very rapidly when the pressure decreases from ~2 × 10(-3) Torr to ~5 × 10(-5) Torr within 5 minutes. These Dirac peak shifts are known as adsorption and desorption of environmental gases, but the shift amounts are considerably different depending on the fabrication process. The high gas sensitivity of the device fabricated by shadow mask is attributed to adsorption on the clean graphene surface.

Concepts: Electron, Pressure, Gas, Pascal, Photolithography, Vacuum, Electron beam lithography, Boron nitride


We investigate the possibility of achieving high-temperature superconductivity in hydrides under pressure by inducing metallization of otherwise insulating phases through doping, a path previously used to render standard semiconductors superconducting at ambient pressure. Following this idea, we study H2O, one of the most abundant and well-studied substances, we identify nitrogen as the most likely and promising substitution/dopant. We show that for realistic levels of doping of a few percent, the phase X of ice becomes superconducting with a critical temperature of about 60 K at 150 GPa. In view of the vast number of hydrides that are strongly covalent bonded, but that remain insulating up to rather large pressures, our results open a series of new possibilities in the quest for novel high-temperature superconductors.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Condensed matter physics, Pressure, Superconductivity, Critical point, BCS theory, High-temperature superconductivity, Technological applications of superconductivity


Under high pressure, krypton, one of the most inert elements is predicted to become sufficiently reactive to form a new class of krypton compounds; krypton oxides. Using modern ab-initio evolutionary algorithms in combination with Density Functional Theory, we predict the existence of several thermodynamically stable Kr/O species at elevated pressures. In particular, our calculations indicate that at approx. 300 GPa the monoxide, KrO, should form spontaneously and remain thermo- and dynamically stable with respect to constituent elements and higher oxides. The monoxide is predicted to form non-molecular crystals with short Kr-O contacts, typical for genuine chemical bonds.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Volume, Chemistry, Density functional theory, Chemical compound, Pressure


Studies of materials' properties at high and ultrahigh pressures lead to discoveries of unique physical and chemical phenomena and a deeper understanding of matter. In high-pressure research, an achievable static pressure limit is imposed by the strength of available strong materials and design of high-pressure devices. Using a high-pressure and high-temperature technique, we synthesized optically transparent microballs of bulk nanocrystalline diamond, which were found to have an exceptional yield strength (~460 GPa at a confining pressure of ~70 GPa) due to the unique microstructure of bulk nanocrystalline diamond. We used the nanodiamond balls in a double-stage diamond anvil cell high-pressure device that allowed us to generate static pressures beyond 1 TPa, as demonstrated by synchrotron x-ray diffraction. Outstanding mechanical properties (strain-dependent elasticity, very high hardness, and unprecedented yield strength) make the nanodiamond balls a unique device for ultrahigh static pressure generation. Structurally isotropic, homogeneous, and made of a low-Z material, they are promising in the field of x-ray optical applications.

Concepts: Thermodynamics, Materials science, Pressure, Pascal, Torr, Pressure measurement, Diamond anvil cell, Static pressure


The teeth of limpets exploit distinctive composite nanostructures consisting of high volume fractions of reinforcing goethite nanofibres within a softer protein phase to provide mechanical integrity when rasping over rock surfaces during feeding. The tensile strength of discrete volumes of limpet tooth material measured using in situ atomic force microscopy was found to range from 3.0 to 6.5 GPa and was independent of sample size. These observations highlight an absolute material tensile strength that is the highest recorded for a biological material, outperforming the high strength of spider silk currently considered to be the strongest natural material, and approaching values comparable to those of the strongest man-made fibres. This considerable tensile strength of limpet teeth is attributed to a high mineral volume fraction of reinforcing goethite nanofibres with diameters below a defect-controlled critical size, suggesting that natural design in limpet teeth is optimized towards theoretical strength limits.

Concepts: Scientific method, Thermodynamics, Materials science, Tensile strength, Fiber, Pressure, Teeth, Spider silk