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The “LEXT” confocal laser scanning microscope has been used for the three-dimensional (3D) imaging of the surface of specimens, especially in materials science fields, by the penetration of near-infrared (NIR) light without mechanical cutting, deposition, or other specimen pretreatment. Noninvasive investigation of various biological tissues such as human spinal dura mater, rat aorta, and cornea without the dehydration process was successfully carried out with the “LEXT,” in order to access both surface and internal topographic images of the biological structures at a good status of the wet tissue such as in vivo, especially in measuring tissue thickness. The confocal NIR laser microscopy offers the viable means to visualize tissue architecture and its thickness in microdomain to integrate 3D images efficiently. We believe that the “LEXT” has a good application for biological researchers to study biomaterials, and it would be useful as a diagnostic tool in the near future.
Our work involves understanding the chemical reaction dynamics of nanotechnology energetic materials on the time and length scales of individual molecules or nanoparticles. These types of measurements provide insights into fundamental mechanisms and make a close connection to modern atomistic simulation methods. We are especially interested in the relationships between performance and nanostructure. We have developed a number of diagnostic instruments in our laboratory that can be used to probe chemical reaction dynamics, reaction propagation over short length scales, and explosive performance. Some recent results on energetic materials containing Al nanoparticles and either nitrocellulose (NC) or Teflon oxidizers are presented.
Tungsten oxide nanorods (TONs) with the diameters of 40 nm and the length of 130 nm have been synthesized on substrates using two step electrochemical anodizing processes. The TONs were vertically well-ordered on the substrates with the average interdistance of 100 nm. The TONs had amorphous structure and was mainly composed of W, Al, and O elements, of which the contents varied gradually along the nanorod length from the top surface to the bottom. The cyclic voltammograms (CVs) and galvanostatic charge-discharge analyses showed that TONs had the typical electrochemical pseudocapacitive features of rectangular CV hysteresis and symmetric charge-discharge behaviors, respectively. When the TONs were heat-treated at 600℃ in vacuum, they showed the maximum specific capacitance of 660 ㎌/cm2, which was higher, by an order of magnitude, than that (68 ㎌/cm2) of the TONs annealed at 300 ℃ in ambient atmosphere.
A picosecond laser flash-heating technique is combined with ultrafast spectroscopic probe diagnostics to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of nanoenergetic material performance. The systems studied include Al nanoparticle aggregates in nitrocellulose (NC) oxidizer, size-selected Al nanoparticles in NC and in Teflon oxidizers, and nanoparticle thermites consisting of 30 nm Al and nanometric MoO3. The time-dependence of reactions between Al and the oxidizer on the picosecond to nanosecond time scales are studied using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) to monitor oxidizer consumption. The time-dependence of energy release is measured using fast optical spectroscopy. The space-dependence of chemical reaction propagation over 100 to 1500 nm distances is studied using the average distance between nanoparticles as a ruler. The distance of reaction propagation from a flash-heated Al nanoparticle increases linearly with energy, which is explained by a hydrodynamic model.
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