Archive for the ‘MCF Editors’ Recommendation’ Category

MCF Editors’ Recommendation – the best work as chosen by Dan Wang

As a joint venture between the chemistry communities of China and the UK, Materials Chemistry Frontiers strives to report the best research from China and rest of the world to international audiences.

Board members of the journal regularly select and feature their favourite MCF articles that represent research the members see as possessing exceptional novelty and a potential impact to the development of the field.

This month, Associate Editor Dan Wang picked his choice articles from those published in Materials Chemistry Frontiers during February and March 2017. This selection of articles focuses on the preparation of hybrid or nanomaterials and their promising applications in energy conversion and storage.

All these articles are now FREE to read.

@MaterChem on Twitter to tell us how you think about them.


Research progress regarding Si-based anode materials towards practical application in high energy density Li-ion batteries

Jin-Yi Li, Quan Xu, Ge Li, Ya-Xia Yin, Li-Jun Wan* and Yu-Guo Guo*  
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00302H, Review Article
First published online on 20 Feb 2017

Editor’s Comments:

Si-based anode materials provide a promising way to improve the energy density of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) due to its environmentally friendly character, natural abundance, high theoretical capacity and attractive operating voltage. However, huge volume variation during lithiation/delithiation and low electric conductivity of Si make it challenging for practical applications of Si-based materials. Yu-Guo Guo and coworkers at Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences analyzed the mechanisms of Li-Si alloying and cell failure of Si-based anodes and summarized research progress of Si-based anode materials. To obtain high reversible capacity and excellent cycling stability, nano/micro-structured Si/C and SiOx/C composite anodes with 3D conductive networks and stable interfaces are discussed. The researchers proposed the key aspects of Si-based materials and prospective strategies for promoting the practical applications of Si-based anodes in high energy density Li-ion batteries.


High-quality organohalide lead perovskite films fabricated by layer-by-layer alternating vacuum deposition for high efficiency photovoltaics

Mohammad Mahdi Tavakoli, Abdolreza Simchi, Xiaoliang Mo* and Zhiyong Fan*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00379F, Research Article
First published online on 06 Feb 2017

Editor’s Comments:

A new procedure to fabricate stoichiometric, uniform, and highly crystalline lead perovskite thin films. In this work, Fan et al. at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developed a layer-by-layer alternating (LBLA) vacuum deposition method to obtain methylammonium lead iodide thin films with much improved morphology, thickness uniformity and composition stoichiometry, as compared with previously reported two-step thin film deposition method. Characterizations show that LBLA films have higher crystallinity and longer carrier life-time. The better film quality leads to 20% improved power conversion efficiency in thin film perovskite solar devices, primarily owing to a higher fill factor and current density.

 


Ternary silver chlorobromide nanocrystals: intrinsic influence of size and morphology on photocatalytic activity

Sasitha C. Abeyweera and Yugang Sun* 
DOI: 10.1039/C7QM00046D, Research Article
First published online on 09 Mar 2017

Editor’s Comments:

Stirring rate plays a significant role in determining the mass diffusion and thus nucleation and growth kinetics of forming colloidal nanocrystals in particular in high-viscosity solutions even though its importance is usually overlooked.  By controlling the rate of solution stirring, Abeyweera and Sun from Temple University demonstrated the successful synthesis of various silver chlorobromide (AgClxBr1-x) nanoparticles with well-controlled sizes and morphologies through precipitation reaction of silver ions and halide ions in ethylene glycol.  The as-synthesized AgClxBr1‒x nanoparticles provide a unique platform to accurately study the dependence of their photocatalytic activity on particle size (which determines charge separation efficiency) and morphology (which determines the type of catalytic surfaces).


Fabrication of core–shell, yolk–shell and hollow Fe3O4@carbon microboxes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries

Hao Tian, Hao Liu*, Tianyu Yang, Jean-Pierre Veder, Guoxiu Wang, Ming Hu, Shaobin Wang, Mietek Jaroniec* and Jian Liu*
DOI: 10.1039/C7QM00059F, Research Article
First published on 06 Mar 2017

Editor’s comments:

This work presents a facile synthetic procedure of Fe3O4@carbon microboxes with core-shell, yolk-shell and hollow structures via one-step Stöber coating synthesis. Dr Jian Liu and co-workers working primarily at Curtin University, Australia, with connections to Shanghai University, China, and Kent State University, USA have synthesized a series of Fe3O4@carbon microboxes. When applied as electrodes in a lithium ion battery, the core–shell structured Fe3O4@carbon microboxes show an excellent performance with a high reversible capacity of 857 mA h g−1 that could be retained after 100 cycles at a current density of 0.1 A g−1. Their results revealed that a great performance of the Fe3O4@carbon microboxes proves the importance of rational design and fabrication of core–shell particles with tuneable structures, multi-chemical composition and improved functionalities.

*This article is also featured as the front cover story for Mater. Chem. Front., Vol 1, Iss 5.


High open-circuit voltage ternary organic solar cells based on ICBA as acceptor and absorption-complementary donors

Jin Fang, Dan Deng, Jianqi Zhang, Yajie Zhang, Kun Lu and Zhixiang Wei*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00308G, Research Article
Published as Advance Articles on 06 Feb 2017

Editor’s comments:

A potential strategy to improve the performance of organic solar cells (OSCs), ternary OSCs based on indene-C60 bisadduct (ICBA) electron acceptor and absorption-complementary electron donors, was reported by Wei and co-workers from National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China. A high open-circuit voltage of 0.98 V is obtained. The performance of ternary OSCs is improved by 10% attributed to the optimized morphology with better crystalline electron donors and acceptor after blending solution processing small molecules. The reported studies reveal a new method for enhancing the performance of ICBA and non-fullerene based OSCs.


Previous articles recommended by MCF board members are also open for all to access. Read the full collection now!

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MCF Editors’ Recommendation – the best work as chosen by Natalia Shustova

As a joint venture between the chemistry communities of China and the UK, Materials Chemistry Frontiers strives to report the best research from China and rest of the world to international audiences.

Board members of the journal regularly select and feature their favourite MCF articles that represent research the members see as possessing exceptional novelty and a potential impact to the development of the field.

This month, we would like to highlight two articles about Metal-Organic Frameworks under the recommendation of our Associate Editor Natalia Shustova. Both of these articles were selected from those published in Materials Chemistry Frontiers during December 2016 and January 2017. They were also part of the themed collection Functional Open framework materials.

All these papers are now free to read. @MaterChem on Twitter to tell us how you think about them.

 


Towards hydroxamic acid linked zirconium metal–organic frameworks

Carla F. Pereira, Ashlee J. Howarth, Nicolaas A. Vermeulen, Filipe A. Almeida PazJoa ̃o P. C. Tome, Joseph T. Hupp* and Omar K. Farha*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00364H
First Published online on 30 Jan 2017

Editor’s comments:

A very powerful approach, solvent-assisted linker exchange (SALE) in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), was developed in the Hupp and Farha team from Northwestern University, USA. One of the major advantages of SALE is preservation of a MOF topology while introducing a new functionality. The authors demonstrated that SALE could also be applied to increase MOF stability. In particular, increase of stability of widely used UiO-66 framework was reported through incorporation of benzene-1,4-dihydroxamic acid linkers due to formation of stronger bonds. These studies reveal a new avenue in the use of post-synthetic techniques, such as SALE, to access robust metal-organic materials, which is a key component for practical application development.


Two-dimensional metal–organic frameworks for selective separation of CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2

Stephen Charles King, Rui-Biao Lin,* Hailong Wang, Hadi D. Arman and Banglin Chen*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00375C
First published on 13 Jan 2017

Editor’s comments:

Due to modularity and exceptional tunability, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) offer a number of advantages for efficient gas separation. Thus, Chen and co-workers from the University of Texas at San Antonio, USA reported the novel MOFs, which selectively adsorb CO2 over CH4 and N2, as shown by single component gas sorption and selectivity calculations. The reported studies are an important step forward for the industrial separation of CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 gas mixtures as well as a next generation of efficient absorbents.

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MCF Editors’ Recommendation – the best work as chosen by the editorial board

As a joint venture between the chemistry communities of China and the UK, Materials Chemistry Frontiers strives to report the best research from China and rest of the world to international audiences.

Board members of the journal regularly select and feature their favourite MCF articles that represent research the members see as possessing exceptional novelty and a potential impact to the development of the field.

This month, Editor-in-Chief Ben Zhong Tang has picked his choice articles from those published in Materials Chemistry Frontiers before December 2016.

All these papers are now FREE to read.

@MaterChem on Twitter to tell us how you think about them.

 


Monolithic hierarchical gold sponges for efficient and stable catalysis in a continuous-flow microreactor

You Yu*, Wenqing Xiao, Tongtong Zhou, Ping Zhang, Casey Yan and Zijian Zheng*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00115G
First published online 23 Aug 2016

Editor’s comments:

It is highly desirable to fabricate metallic materials with large surface area-to-volume ratios by simple procedures. Y. Yu, Z. Zheng and coworkers at Northwest University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (both in China) developed an air-compatible and moisture-tolerant solution process for the preparation of free-standing monolithic gold sponges through a polymer-assisted metal deposition approach. The Au sponges showed ultrahigh catalytic efficiency for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol even after 100 times of repeated use. The researchers also developed a continuous-flow system made of the Au sponges, which enabled separation-free, continuous catalytic reduction of flow-in liquid chemicals.


Flexible assembly of targeting agents on porous magnetic nano-cargos by inclusion complexation for accurate drug delivery

Dian Li, Luyan Sun, Yuting Zhang, Meng Yu, Jia Guo and Changchun Wang*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00049E
First published online 07 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Development of effective systems for accurate drug delivery is in great demand. C. Wang and collaborators at Fudan University (Shanghai) and Technical Center of China Tobacco Guangxi Industrial Co., Ltd. (Nanning) developed magnetic nano-cargos for controlled drug delivery. The Chinese researchers fixed anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) onto porous magnetic cores by acid-susceptible linkers, which can be broken in intracellular environments or organelles. The superficial poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains on the magnetic cores enhanced the dispersion of the nano-cargos and the immobilized folate (FA)-modified a-cyclodextrin (CD) by inclusion complexation, and the α-CD derivatives could be flexibly replaced as needed. With efficient pH-responsive drug release, this drug delivery system inhibited the proliferation of cancer (HeLa) cells, while imposing little cytotoxicity on normal (HEK 293T) cells. The synergistic interplay of the targeting and pH-controlled drug release capabilities of the nano-cargos has great potential in cancer chemotherapy with personalized and accurate treatment.


Triphenylamine-based donor–π–acceptor organic phosphors: synthesis, characterization and theoretical study

Aravind Babu Kajjam, Santanb Giri and Sivakumar V.*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00031B
First published online 07 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

The development of efficient organic phosphors is of great importance to the construction of hybrid organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Sivakumar V. and coworkers at National Institute of Technology (India) successfully synthesized a series of new triphenylamine derivatives with multiple acceptors as yellow organic phosphors and demonstrated that an increase in the number of the acceptors led to a red shift in the photoluminescence (PL), owing to the π–π interaction and aggregation-induced emission. The yellow phosphors all showed solvent-dependent PL or solvatochromic behaviour. The phosphors are stable at high temperatures and have the potential to be used for the fabrication of white OLEDs.


Dicyanopyrazine capped with tetraphenylethylene: polymorphs with high contrast luminescence as organic volatile sensors

Chao Ge, Yang Liu,* Xin Ye, Xiaoxin Zheng, Quanxiang Han, Jie Liu and Xutang Tao
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00146G
First published online 12 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Organic luminescent polymorphs with high contrasts in light emission have attracted much attention. Taking advantage of the aggregation-induced emission feature of propeller-shaped tetraphenylethylene and the strong electron-withdrawing ability of dicyanopyrazine, Liu and coworkers at Shandong University (China) have synthesized a pair of luminescent materials (1DQCN and 2DQCN) with intramolecular charge-transfer attribute.  Whereas 1DQCN shows crystallization-induced blue shift in its light emission, 2DQCN exhibits crystallization-induced red shift due to its more coplanar molecular structure.  2DQCN displays three distinguishable polymorphs with different colour and luminescence.  Switching between the polymorphs can be readily achieved by solvent fuming and thermal annealing, making the luminogen promising as visualization sensor for the detection of volatile organic compounds.


An anthracenecarboximide fluorescent probe for in vitro and in vivo ratiometric imaging of endogenous alpha-ʟ-fucosidase for hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis

Xianfeng Hou, Jin Peng, Fang Zeng,* Changmin Yu and Shuizhu Wu*
DOI: 10.1039/c6qm00112b
First published online 28 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Alpha-ʟ-fucosidase (AFU) is an enzyme that belongs to the family of hydrolases and that plays a vital role in all mammalian cells at low concentrations.  Aberrant levels of AFU, however, cause health problems such as fucosidosis and carcinoma.  Effective detection of AFU can thus be very useful in terms of early disease diagnosis.  F. Zeng, S. Wu and coworkers at South China University of Technology (Guangzhou) presented the first example of ratiometric fluorescent bioprobe for AFU assay.  The bioprobe is based on the mechanism of AFU-catalyzed selective cleavage of α-ʟ-fucose group, enabling highly sensitive and selective detection of AFU in live cells.  Its detection limit is as low as 0.0033 U mL-1. The researchers successfully applied this bioprobe to a hepatocellular carcinoma model of zebrafish for monitoring and spatially mapping endogenous AFU levels. This work offers an effective approach to studying AFU-associated physiological and pathological processes.


Different cell behaviors induced by stereochemistry on polypeptide brush grafted surfaces

Yinan Ma, Yong Shen* and Zhibo Li*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00200E
First published online 15 Nov 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Almost all the proteinogenic amino acids are L-stereoisomers in the living systems. Is there any biological implication of this structural motif? A “yes” answer was given in a recent study by Y. Shen, Z. Li and collaborators at Qingdao University of Science and Technology (Shandong) and Institute of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing).  The researchers prepared surface-grafted poly(γ-benzyl glutamate) brushes with different secondary structures to investigate the influence of main-chain chirality on cell adhesion behaviours.  They found that cells adhered and grown more densely and homogeneously on the poly(γ-benzyl L-glutamate) (PBLG)-grafted surfaces than on those grafted with its enantiomeric counterpart poly(γ-benzyl D-glutamate) (PBDG).  This is possibly owing to the chirality recognition of living cells through the stereospecific interactions between the chiral molecules and the cell surface proteins. This study may help better understand cell/chirality interactions.

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