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The techniques of low temperature spectroscopy are applied here to analyze infrared observational data of Io in the 2.0-5.0 μm range. The presence of solid H2S and traces of H2O in the SO2-dominant surface ices are derived from this analysis and it is suggested that CO2 clusters may as well be present near the surface of Io.
With the Ultraviolet Visual Echelle Spectrograph mounted at the Very Large Telescope, we have observed at unprecedented spectral resolution the absorption spectrum toward reddened stars in the Magellanic Clouds over the wavelength range of 3500-10500 Å. This range covers the strong transitions associated with neutral and charged large carbon molecules of varying sizes and structures. We report the first detection of diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 5780 and 5797 Å in the Small Magellanic Cloud and the variation of those DIBs toward several targets in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The variation of DIBs in the Magellanic Clouds compared with Galactic targets may be governed by a combination of the different chemical processes prevailing in low-metallicity regions and the local environmental conditions. The analysis of high-resolution absorption spectra allows us to reveal the global effects in the chemistry and recycling of cosmic dust in the Magellanic Clouds which are relevant for the chemical pathways forming large organic molecules in external galaxies.
The ORGANIC experiment on EXPOSE-R spent 682 days outside the International Space Station, providing continuous exposure to the cosmic-, solar- and trapped-particle radiation background for fourteen samples: 11 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and three fullerenes. The thin films of the ORGANIC experiment received, during space exposure, an irradiation dose of the order of 14 000 MJ m−2 over 2900 h of unshadowed solar illumination. Extensive analyses were performed on the returned samples and the results compared to ground control measurements. Analytical studies of the returned samples included spectral measurements from the vacuum ultraviolet to the infrared range and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. Limited spectral changes were observed in most cases pointing to the stability of PAHs and fullerenes under space exposure conditions. Furthermore, the results of these experiments confirm the known trend in the stability of PAH species according to molecular structure: compact PAHs are more stable than non-compact PAHs, which are themselves more stable than PAHs containing heteroatoms, the last category being the most prone to degradation in the space environment. We estimate a depletion rate of the order of 85 ± 5% over the 17 equivalent weeks of continuous unshadowed solar exposure in the most extreme case tetracene (smallest, non-compact PAH sample). The insignificant spectral changes (below 10%) measured for solid films of large or compact PAHs and fullerenes indicate a high stability under the range of space exposure conditions investigated on EXPOSE-R.
We present the first results of an exploratory VLT/X-Shooter survey of near-infrared diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in diffuse to translucent interstellar clouds. These observations confirm the presence of recently discoved NIR DIBs and provide more accurate rest wavelengths and line widths. Example spectra are shown for the reddened, AV ~ 10 mag, line-of-sight towards the distant binary system 4U 1907+09.
PAHs are among the most commonly proposed and popular candidates for DIB carriers. We present a critical assessment of the PAH-DIB model in view of the progress and the advances that have recently been achieved through a series of complementary studies involving astronomical observations of DIBs, laboratory simulation of interstellar analogs for PAHs (neutrals and ions), space exposure experiments of PAHs, theoretical calculations of PAH spectra and the modeling of diffuse and translucent interstellar clouds. What have we learned from these complementary studies? What are the constraints that can now be derived for the PAHs as DIB carriers? What are the strengths and the weaknesses of the PAH model to account for the DIBs?
Synthetic biodegradable polymers are commonly used as scaffolds for tissue engineering despite their poor cell adhesion compared to natural polymers. One of the problems in using biodegradable scaffolds is that a higher cell colonization at the scaffold periphery and inadequate colonization at its center is generally noted. Such aspects could seriously compromise the in vivo regeneration of a damaged tissue and, in turn, the success of the implant. Plasma processes have been lately proven as promising scaffold modification techniques. The current work aims at enhancing cell colonization in the core of polymer scaffolds via plasma deposition of coatings with different chemical characteristics. The versatility and ability of plasma processes to modify only the outermost layer of a material can render them competitive with respect to wet chemistry approaches in the field of biomedical materials. In this paper some of the results obtained by plasma processing of 3D interconnected porous polymer scaffolds for Tissue Engineering will be shown. In particular, it will be shown how it is possible to enhance cell adhesion, growth and colonization in porous Polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds where gradient of surface compositions are induced from the external (e.g., hydrophobic, slightly cell-repulsive) to the internal (e.g., hydrophilic, cell-adhesive) side of the scaffolds. 3D scaffolds were modified with several RF (13.56 MHz) deposition and treatment plasma processes. Materials were characterized by means of XPS, and FT-IR techniques. Cell-growth experiments were run with cell-lines to check the efficiency of several treatments to enhance/accelerate cell in-growth inside scaffolds.
The main purpose of Commission 14 is to foster interactions between the astronomical community and those conducting research to provide data vital to reducing and analysing astronomical observations and conducting theoretical investigations. One way that the Commission accomplishes this goal is through triennial compilations on recent relevant research in astronomy, atomic, molecular and solid state physics, and related fields of chemical analysis. The most recent compilations appear in the accompanying set of Commission 14 WG Triennial Reports, which were produced by members of the Working Groups and the Organizing Committee of Commission 14.
The study of molecules in space, known as astrochemistry or molecular astrophysics, is a rapidly growing field. Molecules exist in a wide range of environments in both gaseous and solid form, from our own solar system to the distant early universe. To astronomers, molecules are indispensable and unique probes of the physical conditions and dynamics of regions in which they are detected, especially the interstellar medium. In particular, the many stages of both low-mass and high-mass star formation are better understood today thanks to the analysis of molecular observations. Molecules can also yield a global picture of the past and present of sources. Moreover, molecules affect their environment by contributing to the heating and cooling processes that occur.
Studies of dust analogs formed from hydrocarbon
C2H6) and PAH precursors have
been performed using a new facility that we have developed to simulate interstellar and
circumstellar processes. The species formed in a plasma are detected, characterized and
monitored in situ with high-sensitivity techniques, which provide both
spectroscopic and ion mass information. From these measurements we derive information on
the nature, the size and the structure of dust particles, as well as a better
understanding of the growth and destruction processes of extraterrestrial dust.
A low-cost, non-vacuum reel-to reel dip-coating system has been used to continuously fabricate epitaxial Gd2O3 buffer layers on mechanically strengthened, biaxially textured Ni- (3at.%W-1.7at%Fe), defined as Ni-alloy, metal tapes. X-ray diffraction analysis of the seed Gd2O3 layers indicated that well textured films can be obtained at processing temperatures (Tp) between 1100 and 1175°C. Processing speed did not significantly affect the crystalline quality of the Gd2O3. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a continuous, dense and crack-free surface morphology for these dip-coated buffers. The Gd2O3 layer thickness led to remarkable differences in the growth characteristics of the subsequent YSZ and CeO2 layers deposited by rfmagnetron sputtering. Epitaxial YBCO films grown by pulsed laser deposition on the short prototype CeO2/YSZ/Gd2O3/Ni-(3at%W-1.7at%Fe) conductors yielded self-field critical current densities (Jc) as high as 1.2×106 A/cm2 at 77 K. Pure Ni tapes were used to asses the viability of dip-coated buffers for long length coated conductor fabrication. The YBCO films, grown on 80 cm long and 1 cm wide CeO2/YSZ/Gd2O3 buffered Ni tapes by the industrially scalable ex-situ BaF2 precursor process, exhibited end-to-end self-field Jc of 6.25×105 A/cm2 at 77 K.
We report the fabrication and superconducting properties of ∼0.5 μm thick, fine-grained polycrystalline coatings of MgB2 on single-crystal substrate surfaces. The films exhibit large critical current densities, implying little effect from the grain boundaries. Analyses for thermal activation effects are inconclusive, and evidence is presented that the irreversibility line is dominated by the combined influences of Hc2 anisotropy and polycrystallinity. Comparative studies of the magnetic persistent currents and electrical transport properties reveal excellent agreement over a wide range of temperature and magnetic field. This result is contrary to similar comparisons on high-temperature cuprates, where disparities arise from the effects of large flux creep and the diverse electric field regimes probed by the two techniques. The MgB2 films exhibit extremely sharp voltage-current relations away from the irreversibility line, in qualitative agreement with observed large Jc values and low rates of magnetic flux creep.
We report the synthesis of superconducting MgB2 thin films grown in-situ by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Mg-rich fluxes are deposited with B-flux by electron beam evaporation onto c- and r-plane sapphire substrates. Deposition temperature is varied between 260 ∼ 320 °C. Base pressure of the MBE chamber is at low 10-10 Torr, rising to 10-8 Torr during deposition due mostly to the presence of hydrogen and nitrogen. Asgrown MgB2 films show superconducting transition at ∼ 34 K with ΔTc < 1 K. The films on c-plane sapphire substrates exhibit c-axis oriented peaks of MgB2, and full-width at half maximum of 3 degree in their rocking curves. Azimuthal phi-scan of the MgB2(101) peak shows 12-fold symmetric peaks, which is confirmed by selected area diffraction pattern in transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Plan-view TEM shows hexagonal-shaped grain growth with grain size of about 400 Å.
The presence of a superstructure is identified to play a key role for the modifications in both superconductivity and structure transitions in the Mg1-xAlxB2 system. This superstructure occurs along the c-axis direction, and can be well interpreted by Al-layer ordering. The optimal composition of the superstructure phase is MgAlB4, a superconductor with Tc ∼12K. Raman spectrum of MgAlB4 gives rise to a sharp peak at around 941cm−1. Brief diagrams illustrating the superconductivity and structural features of Mg1-xAlxB2 (0≤x≤1) materials are presented.
A novel x-ray diffractometer has been used to characterize the texture of 2 km of textured tape in segments up to 20 m long. Techniques have been developed for the study of the uniformity of texture and for the detection of second phases, deviations from cube texture, and the sharpness of cube texture, in metal substrates, oxide buffer layers, and YBa2Cu3O7 (YBCO) superconductors.
We studied the influence of sample preparation and defects in the superconducting properties samples using atomic ratios of Mg:B=1:1 and Mg:B=1:2. Samples were characterized by SEM, and XRD, and the magnetization properties were examined in a SQUID magnetometer. The presence of Mg vacancies was determined by Rietveld analysis. Most of the samples exhibited sharp superconducting transitions with Tcs between 37–39 K.
We found a strong correlation between the crystal strain and the Tc. This strain was related to the presence of Mg vacancies. In addition, results showed that some samples degraded with time when exposed to ambient conditions. In these samples the Tc did not change with time, but the superconducting transition became broader and the Meissner fraction decreased. This effect was only present in samples with poor connectivity between grains and smaller grain sizes. The degradation was related to a surface decomposition as observed by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. No correlation was found between this effect and the presence of Mg vacancies.
We have used a low temperature magnetic imaging system to determine current pathways in 5 cm long “good” and “bad” regions of a 1-cm-wide YBa2Cu3O7-δ coated conductor. The good and bad regions were identified with 4 point probe measurements taken at 1 cm intervals along the tape length. The current density map from the good region showed the expected edge peaked structure, similar to that seen in previous work on high quality test samples grown on single crystal substrates. The structure was also consistent with theoretical understanding of thin film superconductors where demagnetizing effects are strong. The maps from the bad region showed that the current was primarily confined to the right half of the sample. The left half carried only a small current that reached saturation quickly. Effectively halving the sample width quantitatively explains the critical current measured in that section. Spatially resolved x-ray analysis with 1 mm resolution was used to further characterize the bad section and suggested an abnormally large amount of a-axis YBCO present. This may be the result of non-uniform heating leading to a low deposition temperature in that area.
A new scheme for phagetyping campylobacters has been evaluated using strains isolated from five outbreaks. The phagetyping results have been compared with the results of Penner serotyping, Lior serotyping and Preston biotyping. Phagetyping recognized the causative strains in all of the incidents and also differentiated these strains from animal and environmental strains isolated during these investigations. In some outbreaks phagetyping proved to be more discriminatory than serotyping or biotyping, e.g. strains of Penner serotype 2, and serogroup 4, 13, 16, 50 were subdivided by this method. Phagetyping is to be recommended for typing strains from outbreaks and although the results indicate that it may be used alone we advocate that it should be used in conjunction with one of the established typing methods.
The main purpose of Commission 14 is to foster interactions between the astronomical community and those conducting research on atoms, molecules and solid state particles. One way the Commission accomplishes this goal is through triennial compilations on recent relevant research in atomic, molecular and solid state physics, as well as related chemical fields. The most recent compilations appear in the following set of WG Triennial Reports, which were produced by members of the Working Groups and the Organizing Committee of Commission 14. Before presenting the Reports, we highlight the meetings supported by the Commission.