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Concept: Pressure


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


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


At low pressures, the solubility of gases in liquids is governed by Henry’s law, which states that the saturated solubility of a gas in a liquid is proportional to the partial pressure of the gas. As the pressure increases, most gases depart from this ideal behavior in a sublinear fashion, leveling off at pressures in the 1- to 5-kbar (0.1 to 0.5 GPa) range with solubilities of less than 1 mole percent (mol %). This contrasts strikingly with the well-known marked increase in solubility of simple gases in water at high temperature associated with the critical point (647 K and 212 bar). The solubility of the smallest hydrocarbon, the simple gas methane, in water under a range of pressure and temperature is of widespread importance, because it is a paradigmatic hydrophobe and occurs widely in terrestrial and extraterrestrial geology. We report measurements up to 3.5 GPa of the pressure dependence of the solubility of methane in water at 100°C-well below the latter’s critical temperature. Our results reveal a marked increase in solubility between 1 and 2 GPa, leading to a state above 2 GPa where the maximum solubility of methane in water exceeds 35 mol %.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Temperature, Liquid, Pressure, Gas, Critical point, Boiling point, Ideal gas law


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


Most multicellular organisms can only survive under atmospheric pressure. The reduced pressure of a high vacuum usually leads to rapid dehydration and death. Here we show that a simple surface modification can render multicellular organisms strongly tolerant to high vacuum. Animals that collapsed under high vacuum continued to move following exposure of their natural extracellular surface layer (or that of an artificial coat-like polysorbitan monolaurate) to an electron beam or plasma ionization (i.e., conditions known to enhance polymer formation). Transmission electron microscopic observations revealed the existence of a thin polymerized extra layer on the surface of the animal. The layer acts as a flexible “nano-suit” barrier to the passage of gases and liquids and thus protects the organism. Furthermore, the biocompatible molecule, the component of the nano-suit, was fabricated into a “biomimetic” free-standing membrane. This concept will allow biology-related fields especially to use these membranes for several applications.

Concepts: DNA, Cell, Life, Cell membrane, Animal, Pressure, Gas, Pressure measurement