SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry

28

In chromophore-containing cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) model systems, solvent effects on the splitting efficiency may depend on the length of the linker, the molecular conformation, and the oxidation potential of the donor. To further explore the relationship between chromophore structure and splitting efficiency, we prepared a series of substituted indole-T<>T model compounds 2 a-2 g and measured their splitting quantum yields in various solvents. Two reverse solvent effects were observed: an increase in splitting efficiency in solvents of lower polarity for models 2 a-2 d with an electron-donating group (EDG), and vice versa for models 2 e-2 g with an electron-withdrawing group (EWG). According to the Hammett equation, the negative value of the slope of the Hammett plot indicates that the indole moiety during the T<>T-splitting reaction loses negative charge, and the larger negative value implies that the repair reaction is more sensitive to substituent effects in low-polarity solvents. The EDGs of the models 2 a-2 d can delocalize the charge-separated state, and low-polarity solvents make it more stable, which leads to higher splitting efficiency in low-polarity solvents. Conversely, the EWGs of models 2 e-2 g favor destabilization of the charge-separated state, and high-polarity solvents decrease the destabilization and hence lead to more efficient splitting in high-polarity solvents.

Concepts: Acetic acid, Solvent, Model, Pyrimidine dimers, Physical organic chemistry, Substituent, Inductive effect, Hammett equation

28

The photocontrolled phase transitions and reflection behaviors of a smectic liquid crystal, 4-octyl-4'-cyanobiphenyl (8CB), tuned by a chiral azobenzene, are systematically investigated. For the smectic 8CB doped with the chiral azobenzene (1R)-(-)-4-n-hexyl-4'-menthylazobenzene (ABE), the initial smectic phase can be switched to cholesteric and then to isotropic upon UV irradiation due to the trans-to-cis photoisomerization of ABE; however, no reflection band is observed. For the smectic 8CB doped with ABE and the chiral agent (S)-(-)-1,1'-binaphthyl-2,2'-diol (BN), a reflection band located in the short-wavelength infrared region is observed, which disappears after further UV irradiation. For the smectic 8CB doped with ABE and a chiral agent with higher helical twisting power, (S)-2,2'-methylendioxy-1,1'-binaphthalene (DBN), a phototunable system with cholesteric pitch short enough to reflect visible light is demonstrated. With a given concentration of the chiral dopant DBN, a reversible reflection color transition is realized tuned by the isomerization of azobenzene. The reverse phase transition from isotropic to cholesteric and then to smectic can be recovered upon visible irradiation. The photocontrolled phase transitions in smectic liquid crystals and the corresponding changes in reflection band switched by photoisomerization of azobenzene may provide impetus for their practical application in optical memories, displays, and switches.

Concepts: Crystal, Crystal structure, Phase transition, Liquid crystal display, Liquid crystal, Cholesteric liquid crystal

28

The other polymorph: A vapor-phase route for the fabrication of β-Fe(2) O(3) nanomaterials on Ti substrates at 400-500 °C is reported. For the first time, the β polymorph is tested as anode for lithium batteries, exhibiting promising performances in terms of Li storage and rate capability.

Concepts: Battery, Electrolysis, Rechargeable battery, Lithium-ion battery, Lithium, Lithium battery, Lithium-ion polymer battery, Nanowire battery

28

We design well-defined metal-semiconductor nanostructures using thiol-functionalized CdTe quantum dots (QDs)/quantum rods (QRs) with bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein-conjugated Au nanoparticles (NPs)/nanorods (NRs) in aqueous solution. The main focus of this article is to address the impacts of size and shape on the photophysical properties, including radiative and nonradiative decay processes and energy transfers, of Au-CdTe hybrid nanostructures. The red shifting of the plasmonic band and the strong photoluminescence (PL) quenching reveal a strong interaction between plasmons and excitons in these Au-CdTe hybrid nanostructures. The PL quenching of CdTe QDs varies from 40 to 86 % by changing the size and shape of the Au NPs. The radiative as well as the nonradiative decay rates of the CdTe QDs/QRs are found to be affected in the presence of both Au NPs and NRs. A significant change in the nonradiative decay rate from 4.72×10(6) to 3.92×10(10) s(-1) is obtained for Au NR-conjugated CdTe QDs. It is seen that the sizes and shapes of the Au NPs have a pronounced effect on the distance-dependent energy transfer. Such metal-semiconductor hybrid nanostructures should have great potentials for nonlinear optical properties, photovoltaic devices, and chemical sensors.

Concepts: Optics, Proton, Chemistry, Radioactive decay, Serum albumin, Solar cell, Surface plasmon resonance, Bovine serum albumin

28

The geometric and electronic structures and photophysical properties of anilido-pyridine boron difluoride dyes 1-4, a series of scarce 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY) derivatives with large Stokes shift, are investigated by employing density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) calculations to shed light on the origin of their large Stokes shifts. To this end, a suitable functional is first determined based on functional tests and a recently proposed index-the charge-transfer distance. It is found that PBE0 provides satisfactory overall results. An in-depth insight into Huang-Rhys (HR) factors, Wiberg bond indices, and transition density matrices is provided to scrutinize the geometric distortions and the character of excited states pertaining to absorption and emission. The results show that the pronounced geometric distortion due to the rotation of unlocked phenyl groups and intramolecular charge transfer are responsible for the large Stokes shift of 1 and 2, while 3 shows a relatively blue-shifted emission wavelength due to its mild geometric distortion upon photoemission, although it has a comparable energy gap to 1. Finally, compound 4, which is designed to realize the rare red emission in BODIPY derivatives, shows desirable and expected properties, such as high Stokes shift (4847 cm(-1) ), red emission at 660 nm, and reasonable fluorescence efficiency. These properties give it great potential as an ideal emitter in organic light-emitting diodes. The theoretical results could complement and assist in the development of BODIPY-based dyes with both large Stokes shift and high quantum efficiency.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Spectroscopy, Light, Kinetic energy, Density functional theory, Quantum chemistry, Stokes shift, Time-dependent density functional theory

28

Crystalline porous materials can be exploited in many applications. Discovery of materials with optimum adsorption properties typically involves expensive brute-force characterization of large sets of materials. An alternative approach based on similarity searching that enables discovery of materials with optimum adsorption for CO(2) and other molecules at a fraction of the cost of brute-force characterization is demonstrated.

Concepts: Costs, Materials science, Cost, Porous medium

27

Mechanical properties of glass fiber reinforced composite materials are affected by fiber sizing. A complex film formation, based on a silane film and PVA/PVAc (polyvinyl alcohol/polyvinyl acetate) microspheres on a glass fiber surface is determined at 1) the nanoscale by using atomic force microscopy (AFM), and 2) the macroscale by using the zeta potential. Silane groups strongly bind through the SiOSi bond to the glass surface, which provides the attachment mechanism as a coupling agent. The silane groups form islands, a homogeneous film, as well as empty sites. The average roughness of the silanized surface is 6.5 nm, whereas it is only 0.6 nm for the non-silanized surface. The silane film vertically penetrates in a honeycomb fashion from the glass surface through the deposited PVA/PVAc microspheres to form a hexagonal close pack structure. The silane film not only penetrates, but also deforms the PVA/PVAc microspheres from the spherical shape in a dispersion to a ellipsoidal shape on the surface with average dimensions of 300/600 nm. The surface area value Sa represents an area of PVA/PVAc microspheres that are not affected by the silane penetration. The areas are found to be 0.2, 0.08, and 0.03 μm(2) if the ellipsoid sizes are 320/570, 300/610, and 270/620 nm for silane concentrations of 0, 3.8, and 7.2 μg mL(-1) , respectively. The silane film also moves PVA/PVAc microspheres in the process of complex film formation, from the low silane concentration areas to the complex film area providing enough silane groups to stabilize the structure. The values for the residual silane honeycomb structure heights (Ha ) are 6.5, 7, and 12 nm for silane concentrations of 3.8, 7.2, and 14.3 μg mL(-1) , respectively. The pH-dependent zeta-potential results suggest a specific role of the silane groups with effects on the glass fiber surface and also on the PVA/PVAc microspheres. The non-silanized glass fiber surface and the silane film have similar zeta potentials ranging from -64 to -12 mV at pH’s of 10.5 and 3, respectively. The zeta potentials for the PVA/PVAc microspheres on the glass fiber surface and within the silane film significantly decrease and range from -25 to -5 mV. The shapes of the pH-dependent zeta potentials are different in the cases of silane groups over a pH range from 7 to 4. A triple-layer model is used to fit the non-silanized glass surface and the silane film. The value of the surface-site density for ΓXglass and ΓXsilane , in which X denotes the AlOSi group, differs by a factor of 10(-4) , which suggests an effective coupling of the silane film. A soft-layer model is used to fit the silane-PVA/PVAc complex film, which is approximated as four layers. Such a simplification and compensation of the microsphere shape gives an approximation of the relevant widths of the layers as the follows: 1) the layer of the silane groups makes up 10 % of the total length (27 nm), 2) the layer of the first PVA shell contributes 30 % to the total length (81 nm), 3) the layer of the PVAc core contributes 30 % to the total length (81 nm), and finally 4) the layer of the second PVA shell provides 30 % of the total length (81 nm). The coverage simulation resulted in a value of 0.4, which corresponds with the assumption of low-order coverage, and is supported by the AFM scans. Correlating the results of the AFM scans, and the zeta potentials sheds some light on the formation mechanism of the silane-PVA/PVAc complex film.

Concepts: Volume, Layer, Sphere, Area, Polyvinyl alcohol, Polyvinyl acetate, Fiberglass, Ellipsoid

27

The construction of an n-p heterojunction through the self-assembly of a dyad based on tetraphenylporphyrin (TPP) and 1,4,5,8-naphthalenedimide (NDI) (1) is described. Proton transfer from the lysine head group of 1 to the porphyrin ring occurs concomitantly with self-assembly into 1D nanorods in CHCl3 . TEM and AFM studies showed that the nanorods are formed by the lateral and vertical fusion of multilameller vesicles into networks and hollow ribbons, respectively. These intermediate structures transitioned to nanorods over the course of 4-6 days. Time-resolved spectroscopy revealed that photoinduced charge separation occurs with rate constants that depend on the nature of the aggregation.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Electric charge, Nanotechnology, Heme, Pyrrole, Porphyrin, Porphyria, Tetraphenylporphyrin

25

A series of strong polycations is synthesized through the anionic polymerization of 2-vinylpyridine, followed by subsequent quaternization of the resulting polymer. Polycations based on quaternized 2-vinylpyridine (PVPQs) with degrees of polymerization (DP) from 20 to 440 are adsorbed on the surface of small anionic liposomes. Liposome/PVPQ complexes are characterized by using a number of physicochemical methods. All PVPQs are totally adsorbed onto the liposome surface up to a certain concentration at which saturation is reached (which is specific for each PVPQ). The integrity of the adsorbed liposomes remains intact. Short PVPQs interact with anionic lipids localized on the outer membrane leaflet, whereas long PVPQs extract anionic lipids from the inner to outer leaflet. Complexes tend to aggregate, and the largest aggregates are formed when the initial charge of the liposomes is fully neutralized by the charge of the PVPQ. PVPQs with intermediate DPs demonstrate behavioral features of both short and long PVPQs. These results are important for the interpretation of the biological effects of cationic polymers and the selection of cationic polymers for biomedical applications.

Concepts: Polymer, Monomer, Membrane biology, Saturation, DPS, Liposome, Interior, Polymersome

25

A new CO2 fixation process into solid CO2 -storage materials (CO2 SMs) under mild conditions has been developed. The novel application of amine-glycol systems to the capture, storage, and utilization of CO2 with readily available 1,2-ethanediamine (EDA) and ethylene glycol derivatives (EGs) was demonstrated. Typically, the CO2 SMs were isolated in 28.9-47.5 % yields, followed by extensive characterization using (13) C NMR, XRD, and FTIR. We found that especially the resulting poly-ethylene-glycol-300-based CO2 SM (PCO2 SM) product could be processed into stable tablets for CO2 storage; the aqueous PCO2 SM solution exhibited remarkable CO2 capturing and releasing capabilities after multiple cycles. Most importantly, the EDA and PEG 300 released from PCO2 SM were found to act as facilitative surfactants for the multiple preparation of CaCO3 microparticles with nano-layer structure.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Carbon dioxide, Fiction, Calcium carbonate, Ethylene glycol, Ethylene oxide, Character, Dry ice