MXenes, firstly described in 2011, are a relatively new class of layered materials, each layer consisting of a few atoms of transition metal carbides and/or nitrides, e.g. Ti3C2Tx. MXenes have attracted considerable research attention for electronics and electrochemical applications, benefiting from their outstanding electrical and ionic transport properties. However, the nature of charges which can move freely in the material – so-called “free electrons” - and their transport mechanism in MXenes have remained elusive. In the past, strongly conflicting charge transport mechanisms have been proposed. New research shows that a free electron in MXenes displaces the atoms in the material's lattice: the electron is “dressed” by a local lattice deformation, extending over several lattice constants. This transforms the electron into a polaron, a quasi-particle, which plays a crucial role in determining the electrical conductivity of MXenes. [more]
Dual responsive dynamic covalent peptide tags exhibiting cooperative effects are tailored to control stability of bioconjugates and their release in tumor-like microenvironment. [more]
​Polymer engineering at the nanoscale has now a greater toolbox to construct 3-D architectures that are unattainable by conventional polymerization technologies. Using folded DNA origami as a template, polymers can be grown in patterns and assimilate a designated shape. Combined with multi-wavelength photopolymerization methods, we show that spatial and temporal control over polymer nanostructures can be made accessible to the broad scientific community. [more]
In this study, we have described the construction of synthetic nano-organelles for the regulation of enzymatic reactions in multi-compartmentalized systems. To do that, we have designed silica nano-capsules that can precisely encapsulate different enzymes, allowing the composition of the capsules to be adjusted. The outcome and efficiency of the multistep enzymatic cascade reactions depended on the number and type of nano-organelles present in the system. Moreover, the robustness of silica nano-organelles enabled their encapsulation into giant polymeric vesicles, resulting in multi-compartment bioreactors that mimic the structure of natural cells. [more]
In a study published in “Science Advances”, employing THz spectroscopy Zhang et al. report excess energy-dependent highly mobile hot holes in Cs2AgBiBr6 double perovskites. The finding could be relevant for utilizing Cs2AgBiBr6 for hot carrier-based optoelectronic devices. [more]
In a review now published in Nature Review Chemistry, Grazia Gonella et al. present results on the interaction of water molecules in contact with different types of charged or electrified interfaces, ranging from metals over oxides to biomembranes. While research on such aqueous interfaces is vital to very different communities, e.g. biophysics, electrochemistry, and geochemistry, the authors show the essential similarity of the different systems studied in these disciplines. They discuss open questions regarding the molecular picture of the interfacial organization and the preferential alignment of water molecules as well as the structure of water molecules and ion distributions at different charged interfaces. [more]
A study published in “ACS Nano” investigates the mechanism governing the cooling dynamics of photo-excited charge carriers in graphene-based structures, which are interesting candidates for future optoelectronic devices. This research was performed by a team of scientists from Barcelona, Milan, and Mainz, together with other researchers from Spain, Italy, Germany, UK, Belgium, and China.  [more]
Frost is a frequent encounter during winter.  It emerges whenever warm and humid air meets cold surfaces, e.g. morning dew frost. While frost is often perceived as mesmerizing and beautiful, it can create serious problems with infrastructure, crops or process machinery (valves, coils, cooling fins, etc.). Strategies such as heating or chemical anti-frost agents are energetically costly and harmful for the environment.   [more]
When nanomedicines are injected into the blood stream, biomacromolecules such as proteins present in the blood rapidly adsorb to their surfaces. The coverage of protein corona may shield the modified surface functionalities of nanomedicines, and hence imparts detrimentally their efficacy. Covalently attaching polyethylene glycol (PEG), a hydrophilic polymer, is the gold standard for reducing protein adsorption on nanocarriers. However, the role of polymer conformation on protein corona on nanoparticles with low protein affinity still needs to be unraveled. [more]
Perovskites are a recently re-discovered material class with excellent optoelectronic properties. For example, solar cells with record efficiencies have recently been prepared using perovskites. An important figure of merit for perovskites is the mobility of charges, i.e. electrons and holes, following the absorption of photons. Despite the promise of the material, many questions remain regarding the nature and mobility of charge carriers in perovskites. [more]
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