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In the 2015 review paper ‘Petawatt Class Lasers Worldwide’ a comprehensive overview of the current status of high-power facilities of
was presented. This was largely based on facility specifications, with some description of their uses, for instance in fundamental ultra-high-intensity interactions, secondary source generation, and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). With the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to Professors Donna Strickland and Gerard Mourou for the development of the technique of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), which made these lasers possible, we celebrate by providing a comprehensive update of the current status of ultra-high-power lasers and demonstrate how the technology has developed. We are now in the era of multi-petawatt facilities coming online, with 100 PW lasers being proposed and even under construction. In addition to this there is a pull towards development of industrial and multi-disciplinary applications, which demands much higher repetition rates, delivering high-average powers with higher efficiencies and the use of alternative wavelengths: mid-IR facilities. So apart from a comprehensive update of the current global status, we want to look at what technologies are to be deployed to get to these new regimes, and some of the critical issues facing their development.
Droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) are formed using brain total lipid extract (BTLE) to create a synthetic bilayer whose lipid composition mimics that of neural cells. The electrical properties of BTLE DIBs, specifically membrane resistance, capacitance, and rupture potential, are determined and compared to the properties of bilayers formed using DPhPC, the most common lipid within the growing DIB field. There is no significant difference in the resistance or rupture potential of BTLE and DPhPC bilayers, for instance with average nominal resistance over 200 GΩ and rupture potential around 200 mV. In electrical measurements with either DPhPC or BTLE bilayers, applied voltages of up to ±150 mV yield low levels of leakage current. Upon interaction with the pore-forming amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide, both bilayers display sudden significant voltage-dependent increases in conductance with characteristic threshold voltages well below 150 mV. Discrete single-channel type events are observed in the case of Aβ-BTLE whereas disordered fluctuating conductance is observed with Aβ-DPhPC. Circular dichroism is measured for Aβ incubated with BTLE and DPhPC liposomes, as well as pure Aβ, at a range of temperatures over a period of several weeks. Changes in secondary structure of liposome-bound and pure Aβ are significantly affected by both lipid type and temperature. A key finding includes the 100% conversion of Aβ to alpha-helical confirmation within 24 hours when incubated with liposomes (of either type) at physiologically relevant 37°C. The 100% alpha-helical Aβ is maintained for up to 2 weeks at 37°C when incubated with liposomes, although other structures begin to emerge after the 14 day mark. Between 14-31 days after reconstitution, Aβ incubated at 37C with BTLE bilayers displays longer lasting alpha-helical content than DPhPC. At the same temperature, pure Aβ is 100% alpha helical only at the 1 day mark with apparent restructuring from day 2 through day 31. Refrigerated Ab samples do not display 100% alpha-helical structure across the entire 31 day testing period. The differences observed between BTLE and DPhPC in both electrophysiological and spectroscopic experiments may be a result of phase separations or other variations in membrane fluidity that result from the use of a homogeneous total lipid extract. Time and temperature play essential roles in the aggregation and restructuring of potentially toxic Aβ oligomers, and there is motivation for further efforts to elicit the mechanistic differences in interactions of Ab with BTLE compared to DPhPC.
In nature, biomolecules guide the formation of hierarchically-ordered, lightweight, inorganic-organic composites such as corals, shells, teeth and bones. M13 bacteriophage has been used to mimic bio-inspired material development due to its rigid, nanoscale rod-like morphology. Liquid-crystalline monolayers of genetically engineered phage have been used to template crystallization of thin layers of inorganic and metallic materials. We have created thin films composed of engineered M13 phage capable of binding inorganic components. We employed both a dip-cast and a drop-cast film fabrication method on both smooth and rough gold, silica and glass casting surfaces to create thin films and 3D structures of various degrees of hierarchical order. We have found the engineered M13 phage and the inorganic mineral significantly affected both film morphology and the mechanical properties of the film. Similarly, film fabrication parameters such as solution chemistry, temperature, and pulling speed affected film properties. Using a calcium phosphate biomineralized 4E phage, film thickness increased linearly with the number of layers/dips in the phage solution. The stiffness of these composites (Young's modulus) were >80 GPa for mineralized, multilayer films. These materials are an order of magnitude stiffer than the biological equivalent collagen. Stiffness, however, does not appear to increase in a multilayer film beyond a saturation point. Ultimately, we have developed a platform for phage-based bio-composites for developing high performance materials.
Magnesium (Mg) plays an important role in the body mediating cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions, bone apatite structure and density, and nucleic acid chemistries. While Mg has been investigated as a biomaterial for bone applications, it has not been studied for applications within soft tissues. This study investigated, for the first time, the response of fibroblasts to magnesium oxide (MgO) nanoparticles for soft tissue engineering applications. Primary human dermal fibroblasts were cultured both on tissue culture polystyrene in media supplemented with MgO nanoparticles as well as on poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)-MgO nanoparticle composites. As this study was conducted concurrently with a study aimed at bone tissue engineering, hydroxyapatite (HA) nanomaterials were used for comparison. Results showed for the first time that fibroblasts adhered onto MgO-containing composites roughly three times better than HA-PLLA samples and roughly 4.5 times better than plain PLLA samples. Fibroblasts also proliferated to statistically higher densities when cultured in medium supplemented with MgO nanoparticles compared to un-supplemented medium and medium supplemented with HA nanoparticles. These preliminary results together suggest that MgO nanoparticles should be further investigated as materials to improve the regeneration of soft tissues as well as bone.
Organic biological hybrid systems, accessible by covalent functionalization of photosynthetic proteins with molecular antennas, represent a promising novelty to enhance natural photosynthesis. In this paper, we present the successful bioconjugation of a commercial fluorophore, fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), to the photosynthetic reaction center RC from the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain R26. The resulting hybrid outperforms the pristine protein in hole-electron couple generation yield, exclusively at wavelengths where the fluorophore absorbs while the protein does not.
MscL, a large-conductance mechanosensitive channel, is a ubiquitous osmolyte release valve that aids bacteria in surviving abrupt hypo-osmotic shocks. The large scale of its tension-driven opening transition makes it a strong candidate to serve as a transducer in novel stimuli-responsive biomolecular materials. In the previous work, a low-threshold gain-of-function V23T mutant of MscL produced a reliable activation behavior in a droplet interface bilayer (DIB) with applied axial droplet compression. Near the maximal compression, the aqueous droplets deform and the resulting increase in surface area leads to an increase in tension in the water-lipid-oil interface. This increase in tension is the product of the relative change in the droplet surface area and the elastic modulus of the DPhPC lipid monolayer (∼120 mN/m). This paper, presents a study of the physical processes that cause MscL gating in the DIB. Analysis of video during compression and relaxation of the droplets is utilized to estimate the change in the surface area of the droplet and the variation on monolayer surface tension. The monolayer surface tension is proportional to the area change of the droplet normalized to the original surface area. The results demonstrate that the area change in the droplet is negligible at frequencies above 1 Hz, but is approximately 2% at frequencies in the range of 100 mHz. In addition, at low frequencies (∼0.2 Hz) bilayer thinning occurs at maximum compression, proving an increase in bilayer tension. However, this study also shows that gating at frequencies higher than 0.2 Hz could be achieved through the application of high duty cycle oscillation (∼75%). The relative change in monolayer area increases significantly at higher duty cycle oscillations where the compression stroke is much faster than the relaxation stroke.
Designing new materials with well-defined structures and desired functions is a challenge in materials science, especially with nanomaterials. Nature, however, solves design of these materials through a self-assembling, hierarchically ordered process. We have investigated the mechanisms by which the high- aspect ratio and unique surface chemistry of M13 bacteriophage can give rise to increasingly complex, hierarchically ordered, bundled phage structures with a wide range of material applications. A molecular dynamic simulation of the 3-D structure of a 20-nm section of wild type (WT) and mutant phage types were developed based on WT phage crystal structure and ab initio calculations. Simulations of these phage were then used to examine repulsive and attractive forces of the particles in solution. Examination of contact interactions between two WT phage indicated the phage were maximally attracted to each other in a head to tail orientation. A mutant phage (4E) with a higher negative surface charge relative to WT phage also preferentially ordered head to tail in solution. In contrast, a mutant phage (CLP8) with a net positive surface charge had minimal repulsion in a 90° orientation. Understanding the self-assembly process through molecular dynamic simulations and decomposition of fundamental forces driving inter- and intra-strand interactions has provided a qualitative assessment of mechanisms that lead to hierarchical phage bundle structures. Results from simulation agree with experimentally observed patterns from self-assembly. We anticipate using this system to further investigate development of hierarchical structures not only from biological molecules but also from synthetic materials.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO), which will be launched onboard the
Lomonosov spacecraft, contains two crucial instruments: UFFO Burst
Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) for detection and localization of Gamma-Ray Bursts
(GRBs) and the fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) designed for the observation
of the prompt optical/UV counterparts. Here we discuss the in-space calibrations of the
UBAT detector and SMT telescope. After the launch, the observations of the standard X-ray
sources such as pulsar in Crab nebula will provide data for necessary calibrations of
UBAT. Several standard stars will be used for the photometric calibration of SMT. The
celestial X-ray sources, e.g. X-ray binaries with bright optical sources
in their close angular vicinity will serve for the cross-calibration of UBAT and SMT.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) Pathfinder for Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) consists
of two telescopes. The UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) handles the
detection and localization of GRBs, and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) conducts the
measurement of the UV/optical afterglow. UBAT is equipped with an X-ray detector, analog
and digital signal readout electronics that detects X-rays from GRBs and determines the
location. SMT is equipped with a stepping motor and the associated electronics to rotate
the slewing mirror targeting the GRBs identified by UBAT. First the slewing mirror points
to a GRB, then SMT obtains the optical image of the GRB using the intensified CCD and its
readout electronics. The UFFO Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) is responsible for the
overall function and operation of the observatory and the communication with the satellite
main processor. In this paper we present the design and implementation of the electronics
of UBAT and SMT as well as the architecture and implementation of UDAQ.
One of the unexplored domains in the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is the early time
phase of the optical light curve. We have proposed Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) to
address this question through extraordinary opportunities presented by a series of small
space missions. The UFFO is equipped with a fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope that
uses a rapidly moving mirror or mirror array to redirect the optical beam rather than
slewing the entire spacecraft or telescope to aim the optical instrument at the GRB
position. The UFFO will probe the early optical rise of GRBs with sub-second response, for
the first time, opening a completely new frontier in GRB and transient studies. Its fast
response measurements of the optical emission of dozens of GRB each year will provide
unique probes of the burst mechanism and test the prospect of GRB as a new standard
candle, potentially opening up the z > 10 universe. We describe the current limit in
early photon measurements, the aspects of early photon physics, our soon-to-be-launched
UFFO-pathfinder mission, and our next planned mission, the UFFO-100.
The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is the UV/optical telescope of UFFO-pathfinder. The
SMT optical system is a Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) telescope of 100 mm diameter pointed by
means of a gimbal-mounted flat mirror in front of the telescope. The RC telescope has a
17 × 17arcmin2 in Field of View and 4.3 arcsec resolution (full width half
maximum of the point spread function) The beam-steering mirror enables the SMT to access a
35 × 35degree region and point and settle within 1 sec. All mirrors were fabricated to
about 0.02 wavelengths RMS in wave front error (WFE) and 84.7% average reflectivity over
200 nm ~ 650 nm. The RC telescope was aligned to 0.05 wavelengths RMS in WFE (test
wavelength 632.8 nm). In this paper, the technical details of the RC telescope and slewing
mirror system assembly, integration, and testing are given shortly, and performance tests
of the full SMT optical system are reported.
The UFFO (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory) is a GRB detector on board the Lomonosov
satellite, to be launched in 2013. The GRB trigger is provided by an X-ray detector,
called UBAT (UFFO Burst Alarm & Trigger Telescope), which detects X-rays from the GRB
and then triggers to determine the direction of the GRB and then alerts the Slewing Mirror
Telescope (SMT) to turn in the direction of the GRB and record the optical photon fluxes.
This report details the calibration of the two components: the MAPMTs and the YSO crystals
and simulations of the UBAT. The results shows that this design can observe a GRB within a
field of view of ±35° and can trigger in a time scale as short as 0.2 – 1.0 s
after the appearance of a GRB X-ray spike.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space observatory for optical follow-ups of
gamma ray bursts (GRBs), aiming to explore the first 60 seconds of GRBs optical emission.
UFFO is utilized to catch early optical emissions from GRBs within few sec after trigger
using a Gimbal mirror which redirects the optical path rather than slewing entire
spacecraft. We have developed a 15 cm two-axis Gimbal mirror stage for the UFFO-Pathfinder
which is going to be on board the Lomonosov satellite which is to be launched in 2013. The
stage is designed for fast and accurate motion with given budgets of 3 kg of mass and 3
Watt of power. By employing stepping motors, the slewing mirror can rotate faster than 15
deg/sec so that objects in the UFFO coverage (60 deg × 60 deg) can be targeted in
~1 sec. The obtained targeting resolution is better 2 arcmin using a close-loop
control with high precision rotary encoder. In this presentation, we will discuss details
of design, manufacturing, space qualification tests, as well as performance tests.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) aims to detect the earliest moment of Gamma-Ray
Bursts (GRBs) which is not well known, resulting into the enhancement of GRB mechanism
understanding. The pathfinder mission was proposed to be a scaled-down version of UFFO,
and only contains the UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) measuring the
X-ray/gamma-ray with the wide-field of view and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) with a
rapid-response for the UV/optical photons. Once the UBAT detects a GRB candidate with the
position accuracy of 10 arcmin, the SMT steers the UV/optical photons from the candidate
to the telescope by the fast rotatable mirror and provides the early UV/optical photons
measurements with 4 arcsec accuracy. The SMT has a modified Ritchey-Chrètien telescope
with the aperture size of 10 cm diameter including the rotatable mirror and the image
readout by the intensified charge-coupled device. There is a key board called the UFFO
Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) that manages the communication of each telescope and also
of the satellite and the UFFO overall operation. This pathfinder is designed and built
within the limited size and weight of ~20 kg and the low power consumption up to
~30 W. We will discuss the design and performance of the UFFO-pathfinder, and its
integration to the Lomonosov satellite.
One of the key aspects of the upcoming Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) pathfinder for
Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) identification is the UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope
(UBAT). The scientific propose of UBAT is to detect and locate as fast as possible the
GRBs in the sky. This is achieved by using a coded mask aperture camera scheme with a wide
field of view (FOV) and selecting a X-ray detector of high quantum efficiency and large
detection area. This X-ray detector of high quantum efficiency and large detection area is
called the UBAT detector. The UBAT detector consists of 48 × 48 Yttrium Oxyorthosilicate
(YSO) scintillator crystal arrays and Multi Anode Photomultiplier Tubes (MAPMTs), analog
electronics equipped with ASIC chips, digital electronics equipped with Field Programmable
Gate Array (FPGA) chips, and a mechanical structure that supports all components of the
UBAT detector. The total number of the pixels in the UBAT detector is 2304, and the total
effective detection area is 191 cm2. We will present the design and
construction, and performance of the UBAT detector including the responses of the UBAT
detector to X-ray sources.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space mission to detect the early moments of an explosion from Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), thus enhancing our understanding of the GRB mechanism. It consists of the UFFO Burst & Trigger telescope (UBAT) for the recognition of GRB positions using hard X-ray from GRBs. It also contains the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) for the fast detection of UV-optical photons from GRBs. It is designed to begin the UV-optical observations in less than a few seconds after the trigger. The UBAT is based on a coded-mask X-ray camera with a wide field of view (FOV) and is composed of the coded mask, a hopper and a detector module. The SMT has a fast rotatable mirror which allows a fast UV-optical detection after the trigger. The telescope is a modified Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with the aperture size of 10 cm diameter, and an image intensifier readout by CCD. The UFFO pathfinder is scheduled to launch into orbit on 2012 June by the Lomonosov spacecraft. It is a scaled-down version of UFFO in order to make the first systematic study of early UV/optical light curves, including the rise phase of GRBs. We expect UBAT to trigger ~44 GRBs/yr and expect SMT to detect ~10 GRBs/yr.
Direct observations for high frequency microscopic dielectric distributions in cross sections of a multi-layer ceramic capacitor were carried out using non-contact type microwave probe. The measured data were imaged from the raw data and rounding data process. Using microwave reflection intensity mappings from cross sections of multi-layer ceramic capacitor, the dielectric permittivity distribution in micro-region of a multi-layer ceramic capacitor was measured at room temperature. The spatial resolution was experimentally estimated to be about 10 μm from mappings of the dielectric and inner electrode layers in a multi-layer ceramic capacitor.
Gas sensors based on optical absorption changes in thin films are of interest for detection of various gases such as CO, NO, H2. Optical gas sensors have several advantages over conventional electronic gas sensors, including the potential for higher sensitivity, reduced signal noise, and compatibility with combustible gases. Pulsed laser deposition (PLD) is an excellent method to prepare thin films with controllable thickness, composition and microstructures. Recently, our group reported that films of cobalt oxide prepared by PLD exhibit remarkably high sensitivity), showing an absorbance change in CO gas 70 times greater than those prepared by sputtering methods). Here we examine the effect of film microstructure and composition on CO gas sensing properties in order to identify the origin of the high sensitivity. Cobalt oxide films were prepared by PLD from a CoO target in an inert argon gas at various pressures. Films prepared near vacuum were smooth and continuous while the porosity and grain size increased linearly with pressure. In addition the pressure affected the composition and the thickness of the films. Data on the detection of CO gas suggests a direct relationship between sensitivity to CO gas and the effective surface area of films. We will discuss how the ablation plume can be used to tune the surface area for optimal sensitivity, and will demonstrate origin of the high detection sensitivity based on the structural changes with detecting gas.