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Depression and anxiety in the antenatal period are of public health concern given potential adverse effects for both mother and infant. Both are under-researched in the first trimester of pregnancy, especially in Africa. We examine the prevalence of first trimester antenatal depression and anxiety in a cohort of South African women and investigate associated risk factors. Data were collected from 946 women (2014–2016) in the Soweto First 1000 Days Cohort, a prospective pregnancy cohort in Soweto, South Africa. Antenatal depression was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale with a score of ⩾13 indicating probable depression. Anxiety was assessed using the short form of the State-Trait Anxiety Index with a score ⩾12 indicating probable anxiety. Prevalence of antenatal depression was 27% [95% confidence interval (CI) 24.2–29.8] and anxiety 15.2% (95% CI 12.9–17.5). Factors associated with antenatal depression and anxiety were predominantly relationship- and family-centred. Women who perceived that their partner made life harder for them had three-fold increased odds for depression [(odds ratio (OR) 3.33 [2.28–4.85] P<0.001], whereas those with family stressors had almost double the odds for depression (OR 1.78 [1.22–2.59] P=0.003) and anxiety (OR 1.75 [1.44–2.69] P=0.0011). Antenatal depression and anxiety are common in the first trimester of pregnancy, and partner and family relationship stressors are central. Longitudinal analysis is needed to determine if this is a phase of adjustment to pregnancy or onset of persistent symptomology. Early intervention may have secondary preventative effects and should involve the partner and family.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Stunting is a measure of overall nutritional status and is a major public health concern because of its association with child mortality and morbidity and later adult performance. This study examined the effects of pregnancy events, birth characteristics and infant risk exposure on stunting at age 2 years. The study, established in 1990 in Soweto, an urban South African township, included 1098 mother–infant pairs enroled in the Birth to Twenty Plus longitudinal birth cohort study. In total, 22% of children were stunted at age 2 years, with males at greater risk than females [24.8 v. 19.4%, odds ratio (OR)=1.38; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03, 1.83]. In unadjusted analysis, male sex, household socio-economic status (SES), overcrowding, maternal age, maternal education, single motherhood, ethnicity, birth weight, gestational age and duration of infant breastfeeding were all significantly associated with stunting. In multivariable analysis, higher birth weight was protective against stunting for both sexes. Higher maternal education was protective for females only (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.35; 95% CI: 0.14, 0.87), whereas wealthier household SES protected males (AOR for richest SES group=0.39; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.92). In this and other similar settings, current stunting prevention efforts focussing on primarily providing targeted proximal interventions, such as food supplements, risk undermining the critical importance of addressing key distal determinants of stunting such as SES and maternal education.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
Control of fire was a hallmark of developing human cognition and an essential technology for the colonisation of cooler latitudes. In Europe, the earliest evidence comes from recent work at the site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar in south-eastern Spain. Charred and calcined bone and thermally altered chert were recovered from a deep, 0.8-million-year-old sedimentary deposit. A combination of analyses indicated that these had been heated to 400–600°C, compatible with burning. Inspection of the sediment and hydroxyapatite also suggests combustion and degradation of the bone. The results provide new insight into Early Palaeolithic use of fire and its significance for human evolution.
The growing number of spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (SACS) gene mutations reported worldwide has broadened the clinical phenotype of autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS). The identification of Quebec ARSACS cases without two known SACS mutation led to the development of a multi-modal genomic strategy to uncover mutations in this large gene and explore phenotype variability.
Search for SACS mutations by combining various methods on 20 cases with a classical French-Canadian ARSACS phenotype without two mutations and a group of 104 sporadic or recessive spastic ataxia cases of unknown cause. Western blot on lymphoblast protein from cases with different genotypes was probed to establish if they still expressed sacsin.
A total of 12 mutations, including 7 novels, were uncovered in Quebec ARSACS cases. The screening of 104 spastic ataxia cases of unknown cause for 98 SACS mutations did not uncover carriers of two mutations. Compounds heterozygotes for one missense SACS mutation were found to minimally express sacsin.
The large number of SACS mutations present even in Quebec suggests that the size of the gene alone may explain the great genotypic diversity. This study does not support an expanding ARSACS phenotype in the French-Canadian population. Most mutations lead to loss of function, though phenotypic variability in other populations may reflect partial loss of function with preservation of some sacsin expression. Our results also highlight the challenge of SACS mutation screening and the necessity to develop new generation sequencing methods to ensure low cost complete gene sequencing.
We discuss the dependence of the dielectric function on the nanocrystalline size of porous silicon layers. The layers were grown by a standard electrochemical process and characterized by spectroscopic ellipsometry. By a lineshape analysis values of the critical point energies and broadening parameters of the Interband critical points were derived. In order to obtain further information about the nanocrystallites, the preparation conditions were varied (HF concentration, NH4F was added) or the layers were further treated by etching and arsenic deposition. The lineshape analysis values indicate that the layers consist mainly of nanocrystallites, or more accurately, that the electrons are confined to regions of a few nanometers in size. Furthermore, there is strong indication that some preparation conditions may leave these nanocrystallites heavily strained .
Diamond is an important semiconductor which has great potential in high temperature, high power device applications. In the fabrication process of diamond electronic device, doping ofdiamond and understanding of diamond/metal interfaces are important. As a Column V element, Sb is a possible dopant for diamond. Early work reported that Sb is incorporated into diamond by ion implantaion . In addition, Sb plays an important role in Si and Ge heteroepitaxial growth. On the Si or Ge surface one ordered monolayer of Sb occupies the epitaxial sites and saturates the surface dangling bonds, which leads to uniform epitaxial growth. While diamond has the same crystal structure as both silicon and germanium, it has a drastically smaller lattice and much stronger bond. This makes it very difficult to extrapolate antimony's behavior on diamond from its behavior on either silicon or germanium. In this work, we have studied the electronic and geometric structure of Sb on diamond surfaces using photoelectron spectroscopy and low energy electron diffraction. While the exact adsorption sites could not be determined, we find that antimony strongly bonds to the diamond surface. Further, antimony behaves very differently on the diamond(100) face as compared to the diamond(111) face. We also find that neither Sb/diamond system behaves like antimony on either silicon or germanium. We attribute these results to the drastically smaller diamond lattice and the stronger C-C bond.
The greatest benefits of nitrogen incorporation into gate dielectrics may be obtained by placing nitrogen preferentially at the interfacial regions of the dielectric film. One method of distributing nitrogen in this manner is by using a three-step thermal process consisting of 1.) oxynitridation in NO, 2.) subsequent reoxidation in O2, and 3.) a final NO anneal. This study investigates the effect of NO processing on substrate/dielectric interface roughness and correlates that roughness with dielectric reliability. The initial NO-containing step can roughen the interface, as can subsequent reoxidation. Increased NO exposure yields a greater nitrogen content and a concomitant increase in interface roughness. These films show a degradation in charge to breakdown (Qbd) of at least an order of magnitude when compared with similarly prepared O2-oxide films. An O2/NO process produces films with interface roughness and Qbd comparable to that of pure SiO2, independent of nitrogen content. The oxynitride reliability depends on the exact scheme for incorporating nitrogen into SiO2.
In this paper, we report a novel low thermal budget process (<800°C) for engineered ultra thin oxynitride dielectrics with high nitrogen concentration (>5% a.c.) using vertical high pressure (VHP) process. VHP grown oxynitride films show >1 OX lower leakage current, higher drive current and superior hot-carrier reliability compared to control SiO2 of identical thickness (Tox,eq) grown by RTP in O2.
The effects of vacuum and inert gas annealing of ultra-thin (20Å) CVD Ta2O5 films deposited on Si substrates, with and without oxynitride interface layer, on the Ta2O5/Si interface stability were examined extensively by means of in-situ X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), ex-situ Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), and Temperature Programmed Reaction (TPR). When annealed to 680 °C for up to 50 min, changes in ∼ 20Å Ta2O5 films formed on Si(100) are negligible, but annealing to 820 °C for 10 min in vacuum, Ar or N2 produces major chemical restructuring. SiO is formed at the Ta2O5 - Si(100) interfaces and becomes incorporated into the tantalum oxide. A reduced form of Ta, attributed to TaSix, forms at the buried interface. Extending the annealing time to 20 min produces no further changes. SiO desorbs during annealing at 1000 °C. Nitriding Si prior to forming the Ta2O5 film deposition inhibits these processes.
The thermal and chemical stability of thin CVD iridium films deposited on thin CVD tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) films on Si(100) have been investigated by means of in-situ X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and ex-situ Angle Resolved XPS (ARXPS). It was found that upon annealing in vacuum at 800 °C for more than 1 min, tantalum oxide at the Ir-Ta2O5 interface was decomposed and formed metallic tantalum which diffused through Ir, while changes in iridium film itself were negligible. When annealed at 750 °C within 15 minutes, intermediate partially oxidized Ta was formed and coexisted with metallic and oxidized Ta. A portion of metallic Ta near Ir-vacuum interface was subsequently oxidized when the films were exposed in air.
In this paper, we report performance and reliability of CMOS devices with ultra thin (<20Å) Si3N4gate dielectric fabricated by in-situ rapid thermal CVD (RTCVD) process, and compare with control SiO2devices of identical equivalent oxide thickness (Tox,eq). Ultra thin CVD Si3N4 devices show significantly lower gate leakage current, complete suppression of boron penetration, improved MOSFET performance, and enhanced reliability against electrical stress.
The oxidation kinetics of ultra thin thermally NH3-nitrided Si3N4 films in N2O ambient has been extensively studied using angle resolved x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS). Ultra thin (7Å) Si3N4 films formed by RTP nitridation of Si in NH3 were annealed in N2O at various temperatures (700 °C - 1000 °C) for 30 sec. ARXPS showed that Si substrate at the Si-Si3N4 interface was oxidized when annealed at 1000 °C for 30 sec, and was accompanied by the oxidation of the top Si3N4 surface. The total film thickness increases 4–5 times of that of the original Si3N4 layer. However, the oxide formed on the top Si3N4 surface is twice as thick as that formed at the Si3N4/Si interface. No interfacial oxide was found when annealing below 900°C, although the formation of the silicon oxide and oxynitride above the Si3N4 layer was still observed.
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and photocurrent measurements for the determination of surface recombination velocity provide complementary information on the structure of the Si-SiO2 interface, being sensitive to the chemical nature of foreign species at the interface the former, and to intrinsic defects the latter. The comparison of the XPS N(1s) peaks determined for the Si-Si0 2 interfaces nitrided in NO or N2O ambients is useful to identify the species responsible for the broadening of the peak. In fact, nitridation by NO is mainly responsible for the formation of Si3N moieties at the silicon surface in which silicon atoms are partially oxidized; while nitridation by N2O proceeds with the oxidation of Si – Si backbonds to Si – N bonds, thus resulting in the formation of N(Si(O-)3)3 groups embedded in the oxide. Surface recombination velocity by photocurrent measurements gives evidence that nitridation in N2O is associated with an appreciable co-oxidation, while nitridation in NO is mainly associated with the passivation of interface states. Furthermore N2O and NO nitridation are responsible for different morphologies of the nitrided layers.
Epitaxial InP(100)-films were prepared with TBP (tertiarybutylphosphine) and TMIn (trimethylindium) as precursors in a commercial MOCVD reactor. During growth, the V-III-ratio and TBP partial pressure were varied between 50 and 1 and possible changes of the surface structure monitored with the corresponding RAS (reflectance anisotropy spectroscopy) signal based on a correlation established with corresponding LEED measurements. Bulk properties of these films were investigated ex-situ with photoluminescence at 2 K, showing no noticeable difference between the samples. The MOCVD apparatus was modified to facilitate transfer of the sample from the MOCVD environment to UIHV in less than 20 seconds (to the 10−9 mbar range). After transfer, the same RA spectrum was recovered also in the critical case of the P-rich, as-grown surface. A corresponding Auger electron spectrum (AES) did not show any trace of contamination. Furthermore, the surface structure was investigated with LEED and STM. The LEED picture shows a clear (2×l)-pattern with a weak twofold symmetry along the  direction, STM pictures revealed a disordered surface terminated by P-dimers
An understanding of dielectric breakdown mechanisms is critical for continued oxide scaling. Although working transistors have been demonstrated with sub-2nm SiO2 gate dielectrics, the manufacturability of such devices hinges on the reliability of the oxide. As oxides become thinner and operating voltages become lower, a fundamentally different mode of dielectric breakdown occurs. This has been called soft breakdown and is considered to be the formation of a small, localized tunneling path through a dielectric. For transistors with 2-nm gate oxides, threshold voltage and maximum transconductance are not affected by soft breakdown, implying that circuits may continue to operate after soft breakdown. The increase in gate current or voltage noise associated with soft breakdown is not a limiting factor for many applications. However, some cases will be shown in which soft breakdown does degrade device function.
In order to make comparisons of ultra-thin oxide quality, it is important to be able to reliably detect soft breakdown. J-ramp, a commonly used ramped-current measurement to determine oxide quality, is unable to detect soft breakdown in ultra-thin oxides. We will demonstrate the incorporation of noise measurements in a commercial J-ramp algorithm.