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Maternal dietary restriction is often associated with cardiovascular disease in offspring. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of green tea extract (GTE) intake during lactation on macrophage infiltration, and activation of adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and serine-threonine kinase Akt (Akt) in the hearts of weanlings exposed to maternal dietary protein restriction. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed control (C) or low-protein diets (LP) throughout gestation. Following delivery, the dams received a control or a GTE-containing control diet during lactation: control diet during gestation and lactation (CC), low-protein diet during gestation and lactation (LPC), low-protein diet during gestation and 0.12% GTE-containing low-protein diet during lactation (LPL), and low-protein diet during gestation and 0.24% GTE-containing low-protein diet during lactation (LPH). The female offspring were sacrificed at day 22. Biochemical parameters in the plasma, macrophage infiltration, degree of fibrosis and expression levels of AMPK and Akt were examined. The plasma insulin level increased in LPH compared with LPC. Percentage of the fibrotic areas and the number of macrophages in LPC were higher than those in CC. Conversely, the fibrotic areas and the macrophage number in LPH were smaller (21 and 56%, respectively) than those in LPC. The levels of phosphorylated AMPK in LPL and LPH, and Akt in LPH were greater than those in LPC. In conclusion, maternal protein restriction may induce macrophage infiltration and the decrease of insulin levels. However, GTE intake during lactation may suppress macrophage infiltration and restore insulin secretion function via upregulation of AMPK and insulin signaling in weanlings.
Highly alkaline environments induced by cement-based materials are likely to cause the physical and/or chemical properties of the bentonite buffer materials in radioactive waste repositories to deteriorate. Assessing long-term alteration of concrete/clay systems requires physicochemical models and a number of input parameters. In order to provide reliability in the assessment of the long-term performance of bentonite buffers under disposal conditions, it is necessary to develop and verify reactive transport codes for concrete/clay systems. In this study, a PHREEQC-based, reactive transport analysis code (MC-CEMENT ver. 2) was developed and was verified by comparing results of the calculations with in situ observations of the mineralogical evolution at the concrete/argillite interface. The calculation reproduced the observations such as the mineralogical changes in the argillite limited to within 1 cm in thickness from the interface, formation of CaCO3 and CSH, dissolution of quartz, decrease of porosity in the argillite and an increase in the concrete. These agreements indicate a possibility that models based on lab-scale (∼1 year) experiments can be applied to longer time scales although confidence in the models is necessary for much longer timescales. The fact that the calculations did not reproduce the dissolution of clays and the formation of gypsum indicates that there is still room for improvement in our model.
This article presents results from the first 3 rounds of an international intercomparison of measurements of Δ14CO2 in liter-scale samples of whole air by groups using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The ultimate goal of the intercomparison is to allow the merging of Δ14CO2 data from different groups, with the confidence that differences in the data are geophysical gradients and not artifacts of calibration. Eight groups have participated in at least 1 round of the intercomparison, which has so far included 3 rounds of air distribution between 2007 and 2010. The comparison is intended to be ongoing, so that: a) the community obtains a regular assessment of differences between laboratories; and b) individual laboratories can begin to assess the long-term repeatability of their measurements of the same source air. Air used in the intercomparison was compressed into 2 high-pressure cylinders in 2005 and 2006 at Niwot Ridge, Colorado (USA), with one of the tanks “spiked” with fossil CO2, so that the 2 tanks span the range of Δ14CO2 typically encountered when measuring air from both remote background locations and polluted urban ones. Three groups show interlaboratory comparability within l% for ambient level Δ14CO2. For high CO2/low Δ14CO2 air, 4 laboratories showed comparability within 2%. This approaches the goals set out by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) CO2 Measurements Experts Group in 2005. One important observation is that single-sample precisions typically reported by the AMS community cannot always explain the observed differences within and between laboratories. This emphasizes the need to use long-term repeatability as a metric for measurement precision, especially in the context of long-term atmospheric monitoring.
We present recent results of quiescent X-ray observations of recurrent novae (RNe) and related objects. Several RNe are luminous hard X-ray sources in quiescence, consistent with accretion onto a near Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf. Detection of similar hard X-ray emissions in old novae and other cataclysmic variables may lead to identification of additional RNe candidates. On the other hand, other RNe are found to be comparatively hard X-ray faint. We present several scenarios that may explain this dichotomy, which should be explored further.
The sublimation growth technique is highly attractive as a commercially viable GaN substrate technology on account of its simplicity and relatively high growth rates. Sublimation growth of GaN using GaN powder source, however, is hampered by formation of liquid Ga in the source. To overcome this limitation, an oxide transport process using a mixture of gallium oxide (Ga2O3) powder and graphite powder as precursors with nitrogen gas as carrier and ammonia as the source of nitrogen has been developed. GaN layers grown by this process were studied by optical microscopy, synchrotron white beam x-ray topography (SWBXT) and high resolution x-ray diffraction (HRXRD) to characterize their structural properties. Studies reveal that the GaN layers grown are single crystal but characterized by dislocation densities and impurities higher than those obtained using GaN powder source. Observed defect distribution is correlated with growth conditions to deduce optimal growth procedure.
We have studied the evolution of stress and microstructure of compositionally graded Al1-xGaxN (0 ≤ x ≤1) buffer layers on (111) Si substrates with varying thicknesses. In-situ stress measurements reveal a tensile-to-compressive stress transition that occurs near the half-thickness in each buffer layer. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) shows a significant reduction in threading dislocation (TD) density in the top half of the buffer layer, suggesting that the compressive stress enhances the threading dislocation annihilation. The composition of the buffer layers varies linearly with thickness, as determined by X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (XEDS). The composition grading-induced compressive stress offsets the tensile stress introduced by microstructure evolution, thus yielding a tensile-to-compressive stress transition at x ≈ 0.5.
A series of Al0.47Ga0.53N/GaN heterostructures with different AlN interlayer thicknesses ranging from 1nm to 50nm has been examined. It was found that when the interlayer thickness is greater than ∼5nm, it becomes possible to grow 250nm of Al0.47Ga0.53N without cracking. The interlayers are then believed to be sufficiently relaxed to place the AlGaN under compressive strain. The mechanisms for this relaxation have been studied using high angle annular dark field (HAADF) imaging, conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-filtered TEM (EFTEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). It is found that relaxation takes place through both the small-scale cracking of the interlayer and the generation of misfit dislocations at the GaN/AlN interface. EELS and EFTEM have been used to probe the Al and Ga content of both the material filling the interlayer cracks, and the interlayer itself. This chemical analysis suggests Ga-rich AlGaN areas inside the interlayer cracks and also significant compositional variations in defect-free interlayer regions. It is observed that relaxation by the generation of misfit dislocations results in an increase in the threading dislocation density of the AlGaN layer, in part due to the bending up of misfit dislocations at crack walls.
Optical and structural properties of in situ Cu doped GaN thin films grown on sapphire substrates were optically investigated by means of Raman, photoluminescence (PL), and absorption spectroscopy. Different Cu concentrations in the films were analyzed by secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) and found to vary from 2×1016 cm-3 to 5×1017 cm-3. Raman studies confirmed high crystalline quality of GaN:Cu with no major structural damages due to Cu incorporation. PL investigation revealed that the origin of the emission around 2.4 eV is most likely due to Cu incorporation. The electrical conductivity of the samples was analyzed by Hall measurements and the found semi-insulating behavior was assigned to the compensation of intrinsic donors by the deep Cu acceptor states.
GaAs/GaN heterostructures were grown by molecular-beam epitaxy using GaN/supphire (0001) templates. In spite of a ∼20% lattice mismatch, epitaxial growth was realized, so that the GaAs films showed good adhesion and their surface had a large mirror-like area. The GaAs films were as thick as 1um. The surface profile was characterized by atomic-force microscopy, which gave an average roughness of 10 nm for a 5×5 μm scan. Micro-Raman characterization and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the epitaxial GaAs films had zincblende lattice with (111) orientation, whereas the GaN substrates had wurtzite symmetry. The GaAs/GaN interface was found to be flat and abrupt. A large number of defects have been observed which originated from relaxation of the large lattice mismatch. The defects included misfit dislocations and nanocavities at the interface, as well as dislocations and stacking faults in the bulk of the GaAs film. Sharp interference fringes and characteristic behavior were observed for the ψ and Δ parameters of spectroscopic ellipsometry in the range of 0.75-5.3 eV. Simulation of the optical properties of the GaAs/GaN/sapphire heterostructure indicated a reasonably good optical quality of the layers and interfaces. Photoluminescence (PL) spectra recorded at the temperatures from 17 to 300 K revealed wide and weak radiative bands. Non-radiative processes dominated in recombination of non-equilibrium carriers. The observed PL broadening originated from the band tails that were a result of the high density of charged defects.
Two-dimensional electro-thermal simulations of GaN-based metal-semiconductor field-effect transistor are performed in the framework of the drift-diffusion model. The dependence of the hot spot temperature in transistors with many gates on the gate-to-gate pitch is studied. The case of SiC substrate is compared to the case of sapphire substrate. The ambient temperature effect on transistor performance is simulated. The specific of a thermal breakdown in GaN-based devices is discussed. The results obtained can be useful for the optimization of the thermal design for field-effect transistors.
Gallium Nitride is of interest due to its direct bandgap, which allows for efficient emission in the near-UV range. Bulk GaN is already in use in solid-state devices that exploit its emissive properties, however, the promise of GaN nanocrystals as tunable emitters for use in light-emitting devices and lasers has led to the recent exploration of nanocrystalline GaN synthesis routes. Here we discuss the use of nonthermal plasmas for the synthesis of nanocrystalline pow-ders of GaN. The particles were examined using transmission electron microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
The quantum efficiency (QE) of photoluminescence (PL) has been estimated in GaN and ZnO samples. A Si-doped GaN layer grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) exhibited the highest QE of about 90% at low temperatures. Recombination via the shallow donor-acceptor pair transitions dominated in this sample. In contrast, a bulk ZnO crystal with the QE of PL of about 85% contained almost no defect- or impurity-related PL signatures besides the emission attributed to free and bound excitons. The sources of radiative and nonradiative recombination in GaN and ZnO are discussed.
In this paper we describe the use of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) mapping and electron channeling contrast imaging—in the scanning electron microscope—to study tilt, atomic steps and dislocations in epitaxial GaN thin films. We show results from epitaxial GaN thin films and from a just coalesced epitaxial laterally overgrown GaN thin film. From our results we deduce that EBSD may be used to measure orientation changes of the order of 0.02°, in GaN thin films. As EBSD has a spatial resolution of ≈ 20 nm, this means we have a powerful technique with which to quantitatively map surface tilt. We also demonstrate that channeling contrast in electron channeling contrast images may be used to image tilt, atomic steps and threading dislocations in GaN thin films.
Growth of GaN based devices such as light emitting diodes and laser diodes often occurs on already prepared GaN templates grown on native (e.g. bulk GaN) and non-native (e.g. sapphire) substrates. High temperature annealing methods that are generally used for growth on other substrates cannot be completed on GaN templates due to the decomposition at temperatures above 800 °C in hydrogen rich ambient. The decomposition rate is higher than the Ga desorption rate from the surface under most conditions and causes Ga droplets to form on the surface which can hinder further growth. The effect of the annealing conditions on the GaN homoepitaxy on GaN templates is presented. In-situ annealing conditions were developed for annealing the GaN templates to remove any contamination while preventing significant Ga droplets from accumulating on the surface in both H2 and N2 environments to obtain optimized annealing conditions. As measured by AFM the RMS roughness of the GaN surfaces increases upon annealing, but becomes similar to the starting template after 1 μm, indicating complete recovery. The optical quality of the homoepitaxially overgrown layers as measured by PL shows improved band edge luminescence and band edge to yellow band ratio for annealing in H2 while it degrades for annealing in N2 only. Hall measurements show superior characteristics for annealing in H2 as well. These results will be especially important because bulk substrates are subjected to polishing damage that is known to negatively affect the surface condition and initial growth nucleation.