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The seventh-century AD switch from gold to silver currencies transformed the socio-economic landscape of North-west Europe. The source of silver, however, has proven elusive. Recent research, integrating ice-core data from the Colle Gnifetti drill site in the Swiss Alps, geoarchaeological records and numismatic and historical data, has provided new evidence for this transformation. Annual ice-core resolution data are combined with lead pollution analysis to demonstrate that significant new silver mining facilitated the change to silver coinage, and dates the introduction of such coinage to c. AD 660. Archaeological evidence and atmospheric modelling of lead pollution locates the probable source of the silver to mines at Melle, in France.
Complex, electrochemically driven transport processes form the basis of electrochemical energy storage devices. The direct imaging of electrochemical processes at high spatial resolution and within their native liquid electrolyte would significantly enhance our understanding of device functionality, but has remained elusive. In this work we use a recently developed liquid cell for in situ electrochemical transmission electron microscopy to obtain insight into the electrolyte decomposition mechanisms and kinetics in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries by characterizing the dynamics of solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation and evolution. Here we are able to visualize the detailed structure of the SEI that forms locally at the electrode/electrolyte interface during lithium intercalation into natural graphite from an organic Li-ion battery electrolyte. We quantify the SEI growth kinetics and observe the dynamic self-healing nature of the SEI with changes in cell potential.
Insight into dynamic electrochemical processes can be obtained with in situ electrochemical-scanning/transmission electron microscopy (ec-S/TEM), a technique that utilizes microfluidic electrochemical cells to characterize electrochemical processes with S/TEM imaging, diffraction, or spectroscopy. The microfluidic electrochemical cell is composed of microfabricated devices with glassy carbon and platinum microband electrodes in a three-electrode cell configuration. To establish the validity of this method for quantitative in situ electrochemistry research, cyclic voltammetry (CV), choronoamperometry (CA), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were performed using a standard one electron transfer redox couple [Fe(CN)6]3−/4−-based electrolyte. Established relationships of the electrode geometry and microfluidic conditions were fitted with CV and chronoamperometic measurements of analyte diffusion coefficients and were found to agree with well-accepted values that are on the order of 10−5 cm2/s. Influence of the electron beam on electrochemical measurements was found to be negligible during CV scans where the current profile varied only within a few nA with the electron beam on and off, which is well within the hysteresis between multiple CV scans. The combination of experimental results provides a validation that quantitative electrochemistry experiments can be performed with these small-scale microfluidic electrochemical cells provided that accurate geometrical electrode configurations, diffusion boundary layers, and microfluidic conditions are accounted for.
Sarcocystis spp. represent apicomplexan parasites. They usually have a heteroxenous life cycle. Around 200 species have been described, affecting a wide range of animals worldwide, including reptiles. In recent years, large numbers of reptiles have been imported into Europe as pets and, as a consequence, animal welfare and species protection issues emerged. A sample of pooled feces from four confiscated green pythons (Morelia viridis) containing Sarcocystis spp. sporocysts was investigated. These snakes were imported for the pet trade and declared as being captive-bred. Full length 18S rRNA genes were amplified, cloned into plasmids and sequenced. Two different Sarcocystis spp. sequences were identified and registered as Sarcocystis sp. from M. viridis in GenBank. Both showed a 95–97% sequence identity with the 18S rRNA gene of Sarcocystis singaporensis. Phylogenetic analysis positioned these sequences together with other Sarcocystis spp. from snakes and rodents as definitive and intermediate hosts (IH), respectively. Sequence data and also the results of clinical and parasitological examinations suggest that the snakes were definitive hosts for Sarcocystis spp. that circulate in wild IH. Thus, it seems unlikely that the infected snakes had been legally bred. Our research shows that information on the infection of snakes with Sarcocystis spp. may be used to assess compliance with regulations on the trade with wildlife species.
Bulk structures of un-stabilized ZrO2-x with x in the 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.44 range under ambient pressure exist in three different structures (monoclinic, tetragonal and cubic). At ambient temperature and elevated pressures above 3.5 GPa, zirconia, at these compositions, a fourth phase is found, the orthorhombic structure. A dilute sol-gel method was used to produce nanoscale zirconia particles containing the unstabilized orthorhombic cotunnite structure for use in this project. Extensive characterization of this material indicates that the critical factor in determining the synthesized structures appears to be the number and placement of oxygen vacancies. These results also indicate that surface energy alone is not the controlling factor in determining the crystal structure synthesized.
Damage in single crystal ß-SiC(100) as a result of ion bombardment has been studied using Rutherford backscattering (RBS) and cross-section transmission electron microscopy (X-TEM). Samples were implanted with 123 keV 27Al at liquid nitrogen temperature. RBS spectra for He channeling in the (110) axis at 45° were obtained as a function of implantation dose to determine damage accumulation. X-TEM was used to characterize damage structure for selected doses. The surface of the SiC becomes amorphous for doses greater than 1 x 1015 /cm 2. At lower doses, significant uniaxial lattice strain along the (100) direction is suggested by comparison of RBS channeling spectra obtained for several high index axes. High resolution TEM on a sample implanted at 4 x 1014 /cm2 shows no damage structure in the surface region; lattice damage in a broad layer centered roughly at the depth of highest energy deposition is characterized by small amorphous pockets in a crystalline matrix. Qualitatively similar backscattering results were obtained for other elements implanted at room and liquid nitrogen temperature.
This paper discusses the variation in microstructures encountered during the separate depositions of boron nitride (BN) and aluminum nitride (A1N) as well as during the codeposition of BNߝA1N dispersed phase ceramic coatings. This combination was chosen in order to take advantage of the self lubricating properties of hexagonal BN along with the hard, erosion resistance of A1N. Films were characterized using scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and x-ray diffraction (XRD).
A range of coating microstructures are possible depending on the conditions of deposition. The best films produced, in terms of hardness, density, and tenacity, were a fine mixture of turbostratic BN and preferentially oriented A1N whiskers aligned with the whisker axis perpendicular to the substrate surface as seen by both electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction.
Composite coatings consisting of discrete phases of TiN and MoS2 were codeposited on graphite substrates from Ti((CH3)2N)4/NH3/MoF6/H2S gas mixtures in a cold-wall reactor at 1073 K and 1.3 kPa. Chemical composition and microstructure of the coatings were characterized by Auger electron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. Kinetic friction coefficients of the coatings were determined by a computer-controlled friction microprobe and values less than 0.2 were obtained with a type-440C stainless-steel counterface under ambient condition.
Microwave processed glass reinforced epoxies or glass reinforced polyesters exhibit mechanical behaviors different from conventionally cured materials, relatively to tensile tests. The faster increases of temperature due to microwaves cause a competition between the matrix flow and the crosslinking reaction which can be estimated by porosity variations. Higher mechanical moduih are also obtained, because of both an effect on chemical kinetics and a more homogenous distribution of temperature in materials. Nevertheless, to provide such specific mechanical behaviors in microwave processed composite materials, a best control of the experimental pressure parameters is requested.