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Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) or CuInSe2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at every layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.
Methods of obtaining large grain size and high crystallinity in absorber materials play an important role in fabrication of high-performance methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells. Here we study the effect of adding small concentrations of Cd2+, Zn2+, and Fe2+salts to the perovskite precursor solution used in the single-step solution fabrication process. Enhanced grain size and crystallinity in MAPbI3 films were obtained by using 0.1% of Cd2+ or Zn2+in the precursor solution. Consequently, solar cells constructed with Cd- and Zn-doped perovskite films show a significant improvement in device performance. These results suggest that the process may be an effective and facile method to fabricate high-efficiency perovskite photovoltaic devices.
Curcumin has been attributed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial activities, and has shown highly protective effects against enteropathogenic bacteria and mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. The possible effect of curcumin on the alleviation of enterotoxicity induced by OTA is unknown. The effects of dietary curcumin supplementation on OTA-induced oxidative stress, intestinal barrier and mitochondrial dysfunctions were examined in young ducks. A total of 540 mixed-sex 1-day-old White Pekin ducklings with initial BW (43.4±0.1 g) were randomly assigned into controls (fed only the basal diet), a group fed an OTA-contaminated diet (2 mg/kg feed), and a group fed the same OTA-contaminated feed plus 400 mg/kg of curcumin. Each treatment consisted of six replicates, each containing 30 ducklings and treatment lasted for 21 days. There was a significant decrease in average daily gain (ADG) and increased feed : gain caused by OTA (P<0.05); curcumin co-treatment prevented the decrease in BW and ADG compared with the OTA group (P<0.05). Histopathological and ultrastructural examination showed clear signs of enterotoxicity caused by OTA, but these changes were largely prevented by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin decreased the concentrations of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and malondialdehyde, and increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase induced by OTA in the jejunal mucosa of ducks (P<0.05). Additionally, curcumin increased jejunal mucosa occludin and tight junction protein 1 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased those of ρ-associated protein kinase 1 (P<0.05). Notably, curcumin inhibited the increased expression of apoptosis-related genes, and downregulated mitochondrial transcription factors A, B1 and B2 caused by OTA without any effects on RNA polymerase mitochondrial (P<0.05). These results indicated that curcumin could protect ducks from OTA-induced impairment of intestinal barrier function and mitochondrial integrity.
The triplite LiFeSO4F displays both the highest potential ever reported for an Fe-based compound, as well as a comparable specific energy with that of popular LiFePO4. The synthesis is still a challenge because the present approaches are connected with long time, special equipments or organic reagents, etc. In this work, the triplite LiFeSO4F powder was synthesized through an ambient two-step solid-state route. The reaction process and phase purity were analyzed, coupled with structure refinement and electrochemical test.
One view of major Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events is that these (proton-dominated) fluxes are accelerated in heliospheric shock sources created by Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections (ICMEs), and then travel mainly along interplanetary magnetic field lines connecting the shock(s) to the observer(s). This places a particular emphasis on the role of the heliospheric conditions during the event, requiring a realistic description of the latter to interpret and/or model SEP events. The well-known ENLIL heliospheric simulation with cone model generated ICME shocks is used together with the SEPMOD particle event modeling scheme to demonstrate the value of applying these concepts at multiple inner heliosphere sites.
A Lean Premixed Prevaporised (LPP) low-emission combustor with a staged lean combustion technology was developed. In order to study cold-flow dynamics in the LPP combustor, both experimental tests using the particle image velocimetry (PIV) to quantify the flow dynamics and numerical simulation using the commercial software (FLUENT) were conducted, respectively. Numerical results were in good agreement with the experimental data. It is shown from the observation of the results that: there is a Primary Recirculation Zone (PRZ), a Corner Recirculation Zone (CRZ) and a Lip Recirculation Zone (LRZ) in the LPP combustor, and the exchanges of mass, momentum and energy between pilot swirling flow and primary swirling flow are contributed by the velocity gradients, and the shear flow is transformed into a mixing layer exhibiting the higher Reynolds stresses, which suggests the mixing process is strictly affected by the Reynolds stresses.
Methylphenidate and atomoxetine are commonly prescribed for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, their therapeutic neural mechanisms remain unclear.
After baseline evaluation including cognitive testing of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), drug-naive children with ADHD (n = 46), aged 7–17 years, were randomly assigned to a 12-week treatment with methylphenidate (n = 22) or atomoxetine (n = 24). Intrinsic brain activity, including the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo), was quantified via resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and week 12.
Reductions in inattentive symptoms were related to increased fALFF in the left superior temporal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobule for ADHD children treated with methylphenidate, and in the left lingual gyrus and left inferior occipital gyrus for ADHD children treated with atomoxetine. Hyperactivity/impulsivity symptom reductions were differentially related to increased fALFF in the methylphenidate group and to decreased fALFF in the atomoxetine group in bilateral precentral and postcentral gyri. Prediction analyses in the atomoxetine group revealed negative correlations between pre-treatment CANTAB simple reaction time and fALFF change in the left lingual gyrus and left inferior occipital gyrus, and positive correlations between pre-treatment CANTAB simple movement time and fALFF change in bilateral precentral and postcentral gyri and left precuneus, with a negative correlation between movement time and the fALFF change in the left lingual gyrus and the inferior occipital gyrus.
Our findings suggest differential neurophysiological mechanisms for the treatment effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine in children with ADHD.
A field experiment was conducted to quantify changes in soil aggregation and aggregate-associated soil organic carbon (SOC) concentration 1, 3, 5 and 10 years after abandoned, salinized land in the Manasi River Basin was reclaimed for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Results showed that reclamation significantly increased SOC concentrations and SOC stocks. Specifically, 10 years of cotton production increased SOC concentrations by 45% in the 0–60 cm depth and SOC stocks by 35%. The SOC concentrations and stocks decreased as soil depth increased. Reclamation time, season and soil depth had significant interaction effects on SOC. The SOC concentrations were significantly and positively correlated with available soil nitrogen and available soil phosphorus. Compared with abandoned farmland, macro-aggregate-associated (>250 µm) SOC concentrations in the 0–60 cm depth increased by 47% after 5 years of cotton production and by 53% after 10 years of cotton production. The contribution of macro-aggregate-associated SOC to total SOC in the 0–60 cm depth increased by 87% after 5 years of cotton production and by 69% after 10 years of cotton production. The findings indicate that soil aggregates were more stable after abandoned, salinized farmland was reclaimed for cotton production. Furthermore, cotton production can increase SOC concentrations and sequester C in this arid area.
Soluble starch synthase II (SSII) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of starch and in rice it consists of three isoforms encoded by SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3. However, the genetic effects of various SSII alleles on grain quality have not been systematically characterized. In the present study, the japonica alleles on SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3 (SSIIa) loci from a japonica cultivar, Suyunuo, were respectively introgressed by molecular marker-assisted selection into a typical indica cultivar, Guichao2, through successive backcrossing, generating three sets of near-isogenic lines (NILs). Grain quality and starch property analysis showed that NIL-SSII-3j exhibited significant decreases in the following parameters: amylose content, average granule size, and setback viscosity and consistency; but increases in peak viscosity, hot paste viscosity, gelatinization temperature and relative crystallinity. Moreover, the proportion of short amylopectin chains and branching degree also increased when compared with those of NIL-SSII-3i (Guochao2). Similar effects were observed in NIL-SSII-1j, and certain alterations in the fine structure of starch (granule size) were revealed. However, NIL-SSII-2j did not exert significant effect on grain quality and starch properties. In brief, among the SSII gene family, the functional diversity occurred on SSII-1 and SSII-3, and not on SSII-2. Therefore, it appears that more attention should be directed to SSII-1 and SSII-3 loci for improving the eating and cooking quality of rice.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria that cause diarrhea in piglets through colonizing pig small intestine epithelial cells by their surface fimbriae. Different fimbriae type of ETEC including F4, F18, K99 and F41 have been isolated from diarrheal pigs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study to map the loci associated with the susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 using 39454 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 667 F2 pigs from a White Duroc×Erhualian F2 cross. The most significant SNP (ALGA0022658, P=5.59×10−13) located at 6.95 Mb on chromosome 4. ALGA0022658 was in high linkage disequilibrium (r2>0.5) with surrounding SNPs that span a 1.21 Mb interval. Within this 1.21 Mb region, we investigated ZFAT as a positional candidate gene. We re-sequenced cDNA of ZFAT in four pigs with different susceptibility phenotypes, and identified seven coding variants. We genotyped these seven variants in 287 unrelated pigs from 15 diverse breeds that were measured with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype. Five variants showed nominal significant association (P<0.05) with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype in International commercial pigs. This study provided refined region associated with susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 than that reported previously. Further works are needed to uncover the underlying causal mutation(s).
An oscillating vertical displacement of the Milky Way, with a wavelength of about 8 kpc and and amplitude of about 100 pc (increasing with distance from the Galactic center) is observed towards the Galactic anticenter. These oscillations are thought to be the result of disk perturbations from dwarf satellites of the Milky Way. They explain the Monoceros Ring and could be related to Milky Way spiral structure.
Cavitation bubbles, which always exist in the diesel jet leaving the nozzle and in diesel droplets breaking up from the jet as a result of supercavitation of the diesel within the injection nozzle, increase the instability of jet and droplets in part due to the two-phase mixture, while the mechanism of this effect is still unclear. Cavitation bubble expansion within the diesel droplet has been simulated numerically based on the volume of fluid (VOF) method, and the control mechanism of bubble growth process is analyzed by Rayleigh-Plesset equation. The process of bubble growth is divided into three parts, including surface tension controlled domain, comprehensive competition controlled domain and inertial force controlled domain. During the first stage, cavitation bubble growth is controlled by the surface tension, and the decrease of the surface tension leads to the increase of the bubble growth rate. During the second stage, the bubble growth rate is controlled by the comprehensive competition of the surface tension, the inertial force and the viscous force. During the third stage, the process of bubble growth is majorly controlled by the inertial force.
Glutamate, which is one of the most important contributors to oxidative metabolism in the intestinal mucosa, is mainly transported by the excitatory amino acids transporters (EAATs) that are expressed in enterocytes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of in ovo administration of l-trans pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (l-trans-PDC), a potent competitive inhibitor of glutamate uptake by EAATs, on the growth of the small intestine in chicks. Two series of experiments were conducted with hatching eggs; 100 μl of various l-trans-PDC solutions (0, 0.075 or 0.225 mg/egg for the Control group, low-dose l-trans pyrrolidine 2,4-dicarboxylic acid group (L-PDC) or high-dose l-trans pyrrolidine 2,4-dicarboxylic acid group (H-PDC), respectively) was injected into the albumen sac of these hatching eggs before incubation. Hatchlings were sacrificed by cervical dislocation to determine the embryonic development in Experiment I, whereas the birds in Experiment II were raised or sampled at hatching, days 7 and 14 (D7 and D14) for further study. Gene expression in the small intestines was determined by real-time RT-PCR; and serum concentration of free amino acids was determined by an amino acid analyzer. The results showed that the hatchability was decreased by in ovo administration of l-trans-PDC. The small intestinal weights of the H-PDC group were decreased (P<0.05) at hatching and increased (P<0.05) on D7 and D14 compared with those in the Control group. In addition, the gene expression of EAAT2 in the completed or segmental small intestines was not changed (P>0.05); EAAT3 gene expression in the duodenum (P<0.05), jejunum (P=0.084) and ileum (P=0.060) on D14 was lower in the H-PDC group than in the Control group. Furthermore, the serum concentrations of free proline, threonine and phenylalanine but not glutamate or aspartate were increased (P<0.06) in H-PDC group. In conclusion, this paper is the first to report that in ovo administration of l-trans-PDC induces small intestinal growth retardation during the embryonic period and catch-up growth after hatching.
We present a high precision frequency determination method for digitized NMR FID signals. The method employs high precision numerical integration rather than simple summation as in many other techniques. With no independent knowledge of the other parameters of a NMR FID signal (phase ф, amplitude A, and transverse relaxation time T2) this method can determine the signal frequency f0 with a precision of if the observation time T ≫ T2. The method is especially convenient when the detailed shape of the observed FT NMR spectrum is not well defined. When T2 is +∞ and the signal becomes pure sinusoidal, the precision of the method is which is one order more precise than the ±1 count error induced precision of a typical frequency counter. Analysis of this method shows that the integration reduces the noise by bandwidth narrowing as in a lock-in amplifier, and no extra signal filters are needed. For a pure sinusoidal signal we find from numerical simulations that the noise-induced error in this method reaches the Cramer-Rao Lower Band (CRLB) on frequency determination. For the damped sinusoidal case of most interest, the noise-induced error is found to be within a factor of 2 of CRLB when the measurement time T is 2 or 3 times larger than T2. We discuss possible improvements for the precision of this method.
Pre-storage drying-transfer operations and early stage storage expose cladding to higher temperatures and much higher pressure-induced tensile hoop stresses relative to normal operation in-reactor and pool storage under these conditions. Radial hydrides precipitate during cooling and could provide an additional embrittlement mechanism as the cladding temperature decreases below the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature. To simulate this behavior, unirradiated Zircaloy-4 samples were hydrided by a gas charging method to levels that encompass the range of hydrogen concentrations observed in current used fuel. Mechanical testing was carried out by the ring compression test (RCT) method at various temperatures to evaluate the sample’s ductility for both as-hydrided and post-hydride reorientation treated specimens. As-hydrided samples with higher hydrogen concentration (>800 ppm) resulted in lower strain before fracture and reduced maximum load. Increasing RCT temperatures resulted in increased ductility of the as-hydrided cladding. A systematic radial hydride treatment was conducted at various pressures and temperatures for the hydrided samples with H content around 200 ppm. Following the radial hydride treatment, RCTs on the hydride reoriented samples were conducted and exhibited lower ductility compared to as-hydrided samples.
Dirac materials are characterized by exceptional mobility, orders of magnitude higher than any semiconductor, due to the massless pseudorelativistic nature of the Dirac fermions. These systems being semimetallic, the lack of a genuine band-gap poses a serious limitation to their possible applications in electronics. We recently demonstrated that thin TiO2 nanowires can exhibit 1D Dirac states similar to metallic carbon nanotubes, with the crucial difference that these states lie inside the conduction band in proximity of a wide band gap. We analyze the robustness of the Dirac states respect to an Anderson disorder model and substitutional impurity and compare to different one dimensional systems. The results suggest that thin anatase TiO2 nanowires can be a promising candidate material for switching devices.
In recent years, human leptospirosis has been reported in Jinping and Liping counties, Guizhou province, but the leptospires have never been isolated. To track the source of infection and understand the aetiological characteristics, we performed surveillance for field mice carriage of leptospirosis in 2011. Four strains of leptospire were isolated from Apodemus agrarius. PCR confirmed the four isolates as pathogenic. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) showed that the four strains were closely related to serovar Lai strain 56601 belonging to serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae, which is consistent with the antibody detection results from local patients. Furthermore, the diversity of leptospiral isolates from different hosts and regions was demonstrated with MLVA. Our results suggest that A. agrarius may be the main carrier of Leptospira in Jinping and Liping counties, and the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae serovar may be the epidemic serogroup of Leptospira. This will contribute to the control and prevention of leptospirosis in these localities.
Ion beam synthesis of SiC/Si heterostructures was performed by MEVVA (metal vapor vacuum arc) implantation under various implantation and annealing conditions. The implanted SiC/Si heterostructures were characterized by various techniques. Carbon redistribution in overstoichiometrically implanted samples during annealing to form a stoichiometric SiC layer has been observed for the first time. The FTIR spectra were found to be composed of two components, one attributed to amorphous SiC and the other to β-SiC. It was also found that there are critical dose and critical energy at which the crystalline fraction increases abruptly. Other results on electrical and optical characterization are also presented and discussed