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Metallic silver nanoparticles were synthesized using a hydrothermal route for use in high throughput biosensing applications. Particle shape was engineered by varying polyvinyl pyrollidone (PVP) concentration in the precursor mixture, resulting in the emergence of flat triangular shaped nanoparticles with increasing PVP content. The hydrothermal method was found to yield particles with better particle size distribution and longer shelf life relative to polyol synthesis particles.
In 2015 and 2016, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) Social Media (SoMe) Team collaborated with established medical websites to promote CJEM articles using podcasts and infographics while tracking dissemination and readership.
CJEM publications in the “Original Research” and “State of the Art” sections were selected by the SoMe Team for podcast and infographic promotion based on their perceived interest to emergency physicians. A control group was composed retrospectively of articles from the 2015 and 2016 issues with the highest Altmetric score that received standard Facebook and Twitter promotions. Studies on SoMe topics were excluded. Dissemination was quantified by January 1, 2017 Altmetric scores. Readership was measured by abstract and full-text views over a 3-month period. The number needed to view (NNV) was calculated by dividing abstract views by full-text views.
Twenty-nine of 88 articles that met inclusion were included in the podcast (6), infographic (11), and control (12) groups. Descriptive statistics (mean, 95% confidence interval) were calculated for podcast (Altmetric: 61, 42-80; Abstract: 1795, 1135-2455; Full-text: 431, 0-1031), infographic (Altmetric: 31.5, 19-43; Abstract: 590, 361-819; Full-text: 65, 33-98), and control (Altmetric: 12, 8-15; Abstract: 257, 159-354; Full-Text: 73, 38-109) articles. The NNV was 4.2 for podcast, 9.0 for infographic, and 3.5 for control articles.
Limitations included selection bias, the influence of SoMe promotion on the Altmetric scores, and a lack of generalizability to other journals.
Collaboration with established SoMe websites using podcasts and infographics was associated with increased Altmetric scores and abstract views but not full-text article views.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.
At late times, the energy deposition in the ejecta of type Ia supernovae is dominated by the slowing of energetic positrons produced in 56Co → 56Fe decays. Through comparisons of simulations of energy deposition in SN Ia models with observed light curves from supernovae, we study the positron transport and thus the magnetic fields of SNe Ia. In this paper, we summarize the current status of these investigations, emphasizing the observations made of two recent SNe Ia, 1999by and 2000cx.
At the first meeting of the newly formed Commission on Spectrophotometry, at Paris in 1935, a thorough discussion, aided by several reports, took place on the principles of this branch of astrophysics. So it will be sufficient now to treat only such special points of theory and practice as have won interest by researches of the last few years.
We present the observed “continuum” levels of polarization as a function of time for four well-observed Type II-Plateau supernovae (SNe II-P; Fig. 1), the class of SNe decisively determined to arise from red supergiant stars (Smartt 2009). All four objects show temporally increasing degrees of polarization through the end of the photospheric phase, with some exhibiting early-time polarization that challenge existing models (e.g., Dessart and Hillier 2011) to reproduce. A fundamental ejecta asymmetry is present in this photometrically diverse sample of type II SNe, and it probably takes different forms (e.g., 56Ni blobs/fingers, large scale deformation). We acknowledge support from NSF grants AST-1009571 and AST-1210311.
Electronic systems are a very good platform for sensing biological signals for fast point-of-care diagnostics or threat detection. One of the solutions is the lab-on-a-chip integrated circuit (IC), which is low cost and high reliability, offering the possibility for label-free detection. In recent years, similar integrated biosensors based on the conventional complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology have been reported. However, post-fabrication processes are essential for all classes of CMOS biochips, requiring biocompatible electrode deposition and circuit encapsulation.
In this work, we present an amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film transistor (TFT) array based sensing approach, which greatly simplifies the fabrication procedures and even decreases the cost of the biosensor. The device contains several identical sensor pixels with amplifiers to boost the sensitivity. Ring oscillator and logic circuits are also integrated to achieve different measurement methodologies, including electro-analytical methods such as amperometric and cyclic voltammetric modes. The system also supports different operational modes. For example, depending on the required detection arrangement, a sample droplet could be placed on the sensing pads or the device could be immersed into the sample solution for real time in-situ measurement. The entire system is designed and fabricated using a low temperature TFT process that is compatible to plastic substrates. No additional processing is required prior to biological measurement. A Cr/Au double layer is used for the biological-electronic interface. The success of the TFT-based system used in this work will open new avenues for flexible label-free or low-cost disposable biosensors.
The Broselow Pediatric Emergency Tape (Armstrong Medical Industries, Inc., Lincolnshire, IL) (BT) is a well-established length-based tool for estimation of body weight for children during resuscitation. In view of pandemic childhood obesity, the BT may no longer accurately estimate weight. We therefore studied the BT in children from Ontario in a large recent patient cohort.
Actual height and weight were obtained from an urban and a rural setting. Children were prospectively recruited between April 2007 and July 2008 from the emergency department and outpatient clinics at the London Health Science Centre. Rural children from junior kindergarten to grade 4 were also recruited in the spring of 2008 from the Avon Maitland District School Board. Data for preschool children were obtained from three daycare centres and the electronic medical record from the Maitland Valley Medical Centre. The predicted weight from the BT was compared to the actual weight using Spearman rank correlation; agreement and percent error (PE) were also calculated.
A total of 6,361 children (46.2% female) were included in the study. The median age was 3.9 years (interquartile range [IQR] 1.56-7.67 years), weight was 17.2 kg (IQR 11.6-25.4 kg), and height was 103.5 cm (IQR 82-124.4 cm). Although the BT weight estimate correlated with the actual weight (r = 0.95577, p < 0.0001), the BT underestimated the actual weight by 1.62 kg (7.1% ± 16.9% SD, 95% CI -26.0-40.2). The BT had an ≥ 10% PE 43.7% of the time.
Although the BT remains an effective method for estimating pediatric weight, it was not accurate and tended to underestimate the weight of Ontario children. Until more accurate measurement tools for emergency departments are developed, physicians should be aware of this discrepancy.
A comparison of the threshold voltage shift after gate-bias stress in hydrogenated and fully deuterated amorphous silicon thin film transistors (TFTs) is presented. A series of fully deuterated bottom gate TFTs consisting of a deuterated n+ contact layer, deuterated intrinsic amorphous silicon (deposited at a range of pressures) and deuterated silicon nitride gate insulator have been produced. A similar series of fully hydrogenated bottom gate TFTs have also been produced, and the stability of the two sets of devices compared. Deuterated and hydrogenated amorphous silicon deposited under the same process conditions do not have the same material properties due to the difference in the ion energy of H and D in the plasma. However, deuterated and hydrogenated material deposited at the same growth rate have almost identical structural properties. Hydrogenated and deuterated TFTs are found to exhibit the same variation in stability as a function of growth rate. In particular, there is no evidence for increased stability in deuterated TFTs. Previous reports of more stable deuterated TFTs, by other groups, can be explained by a change in the Si network properties due to the higher ion energy of deuterium in comparison with hydrogen, when using similar deposition conditions. The implication of our experimental results is that, for the same amorphous network and hydrogen/deuterium concentration, the stability is identical for hydrogenated and deuterated TFTs. Therefore, there is no giant isotopic effect in amorphous silicon TFTs. The study also further supports the idea that Si-Si bond breaking is the rate-limiting step for Si dangling bond defect creation, rather than Si-H bond breaking.
A systematic study has been made of the growth of both hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and silicon nitride (a-SiN) by electron cyclotron resonance plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (ECR-PECVD). In the case of a-SiN, helium and nitrogen gas is injected into the system such that it passes through the resonance zone. These highly ionised gases provide sufficient energy to ionise the silane gas, which is injected further downstream. It is demonstrated that a gas phase reaction occurs between the silane and nitrogen species. It is control of the ratio of silane to nitrogen in the plasma which is critical for the production of stoichiometric a-SiN. Material has been produced at 80 °C with a Si:N ratio of 1:1.3 a breakdown strength of ∼6 MV cm−1 and resistivity of >1014 Ωcm. In the case of a-Si:H, helium and hydrogen gas is injected into the ECR zone and silane is injected downstream. It is shown that control of the gas phase reactions is critical in this process also. a-Si:H has been deposited at 80 °C with a dark conductivity of 10−11 Ω−1 cm−1 and a photosensitivity of just below 4×104. Such materials are suitable for use in thin film transistors on plastic substrates.
For application to active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs), a low temperature (< 600 °C) process for the production of polycrystalline silicon is required to permit the use of inexpensive glass substrates. This would allow the integration of drive electronics onto the display panel. Current low temperature processes include excimer laser annealing, which requires expensive equipment, and solid phase crystallization, which requires high temperatures. It is known that by adding small amounts of metals such as nickel to the amorphous silicon the solid phase crystallization temperature can be significantly reduced. The rate of this solid phase metal induced crystallization is increased in the presence of an electric field. Previous work on field aided crystallization has reported crystal growth that either proceeds towards the positive terminal or is independent of the direction of the electric field. In this work, extensive investigation has consistently revealed directional crystallization, from the positive to the negative terminal, of amorphous silicon thin films during heat treatment in the presence of an electric field. This is the first time that this phenomenon has been reported. Models have been proposed for metal induced crystallization with and without an applied electric field in which a reaction between Ni and Si to produce NiSi is the rate-limiting step. The crystallization rate is increased in the presence of an electric field through the drift of positive Ni ions.
High-quality electron sources can be made from individual multi-walled carbon nanotubes. A process was developed allowing the control over 1) the length of the fraction of the nanotube protruding from the support tip, 2) the contact length of the nanotube with the support tip, 3) the diameter of the nanotube. In addition, the cap of the nanotube was closed and the nanotube was cleaned thoroughly. The field emission model successfully describes the electron emission process of these electron sources and the work function is 5.1 eV. The emitters show a highly stable emission, as expected on account of the extremely stable structure of the carbon nanotube.
It has been widely observed that thin film transistors (TFTs) incorporating an hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) channel exhibit a progressive shift in their threshold voltage with time upon application of a gate bias. This is attributed to the creation of metastable defects in the a-Si:H which can be removed by annealing the device at elevated temperatures with no bias applied to the gate, causing the threshold voltage to return to its original value. In this work, the defect creation and removal process has been investigated using both fully hydrogenated and fully deuterated amorphous silicon (a-Si:D) TFTs. In both cases, material was deposited by rf plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition over a range of gas pressures to cover the a-g transition. The variation in threshold voltage as a function of gate bias stressing time, and annealing time with no gate bias, was measured. Using the thermalisation energy concept, it has been possible to quantitatively determine the distribution of energies required for defect creation and removal as well as the associated attempt-to-escape frequencies. The defect creation and removal process in a-Si:H is then discussed in the light of these results.
Organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays are a serious competitor to liquid crystal displays in view of their superior picture quality, higher contrast, faster on/off response, thinner profile, and high power efficiency. For large area and/or high-resolution applications, an active matrix OLED (AMOLED) addressing scheme is vital. The active matrix backplane can be made with amorphous silicon (a-Si), polysilicon, or organic technology, all of which suffer from threshold voltage shift and/or mismatch problems, causing temporal or spatial variations in the OLED brightness. In addition, the efficiency of the OLED itself degrades over time. Despite these shortcomings, there has been considerable progress in development of AMOLED displays using circuit solutions engineered to provide stable and uniform brightness. Indeed the design of AMOLED pixel circuits, particularly in low-mobility TFT technologies such as a-Si, is challenging due to the stringent requirements of timing, current matching, and low voltage operation. While circuit solutions are necessary, they are not sufficient. Process improvements to enhance TFT performance are becoming inevitable. This paper will review pertinent material requirements of AMOLED backplanes along with design considerations that address pixel architecture, contact resistance, and more importantly, the threshold voltage stability and associated gate overdrive voltage. In particular, we address the question of whether conventional PECVD can be deployed for high mobility and high stability TFTs, and if micro-/nano-crystalline silicon could provide the solution.
Zinc oxide is a versatile II-VI naturally n-type semiconductor that exhibits piezoelectric properties. By controlling the growth kinetics during a simple carbothermal reduction process a wide range of 1D nanostructures such as nanowires, nanobelts, and nanotetrapods have been synthesized. The driving force for the nanostructure growth is the Zn vapour supersaturation and supply rate which, if known, can be used to predict and explain the type of crystal structure that results. A model which attempts to determine the Zn vapour concentration as a function of position in the growth furnace is described. A numerical simulation package, COMSOL, was used to simultaneously model the effects of fluid flow, diffusion and heat transfer in a tube furnace made specifically for ZnO nanostructure growth. Parameters such as the temperature, pressure, and flow rate are used as inputs to the model to show the effect that each one has on the Zn concentration profile. An experimental parametric study of ZnO nanostructure growth was also conducted and compared to the model predictions for the Zn concentration in the tube.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires (NWs) are receiving significant industrial and academic attention for a variety of novel electronic, optoelectronic and MEMS device applications due to their unusual combination of physical properties, including being optically transparent, semiconducting and piezoelectric. Hydrothermal growth is possible at significantly lower temperatures (and hence lower thermal budgets) compared with other NW growth methods, such as chemical vapour deposition. In this context, the hydrothermal growth of ZnO NWs on seeded substrates immersed in equimolar zinc nitrate/HMTA aqueous solution was investigated. NWs were grown on polished silicon (001) substrates, and the solution concentrations, temperatures and growth times were varied. Importantly, the NW diameter was found to depend only on concentration during hydrothermal growth for times up to 4 hours. The average diameter was 14 nm in 0.005 M solution and increased up to a maximum 150 nm at 0.07 M, when the NWs formed a continuous polycrystalline film. Concentration and temperature were all found to affect the axial growth rate of NWs in the  direction. The growth rate was constant up to 4 hours (200 nm hr-1) for constant conditions (81 oC, 0.025 M). The growth rate was found to increase approximately linearly with concentration at a rate of 7840 nm M-1 hr-1 up to 0.06 M (81 oC solution). The growth rate also increased linearly with temperature at a rate of 4.9 nm hr-1 K-1 (0.025 M solution). This indicates that growth takes place close to the equilibrium point, found by linear regression to be 36 oC for 0.025 M solution.
The Canadian Emergency Cardiac Care Coalition, the American Heart Association and similar groups have established a benchmark for the administration of thrombolytics in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) care as a door-to-needle (DTN) time of 30 minutes or less. Previous research suggests that this goal is not being achieved in Canada. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the target DTN time of 30 minutes or less for thrombolysis could be met in 2 rural Ontario emergency departments (EDs).
We conducted a retrospective chart review and obtained descriptive data for each case, including demographic information and the Canadian Emergency Department Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) score. Visit timeline data were also collected and included the time during which patients saw a physician, had an electrocardiogram (ECG), received thrombolytic therapy and were discharged from the ED. Relevant time intervals, such as the median DTN time, were calculated.
A total of 454 charts were reviewed for patients with a diagnosis of AMI who were seen between 1996 and 2007. The final sample consisted of 101 patients who received thrombolytics (63% men) whose median age was 67 years and median CTAS score was Level II (Emergent). The median door-to-ECG time was 6 minutes, door-to-physician time was 8 minutes and DTN time was 27 minutes; 58% of patients received thrombolytics within 30 minutes.
A DTN time of 30 minutes or less is achievable in rural EDs.
It is well established that in human subjects a proportion of urea production undergoes hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal tract with release of N potentially available for amino acid synthesis. Previous studies have suggested adaptive changes in urea kinetics, with more urea-N retained within the metabolic pool during reduced dietary intakes of energy and protein. We therefore investigated the effect of rate and extent of weight loss on adaptive changes in urea kinetics in two groups (each n 6) of obese men (mean age 43 (sd 12) years, BMI 34·8 (sd 2·9)kg/m2) during either total starvation for 6d or a very-low-energy diet (2·55MJ/d) for 21d. Subjects were resident in the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rowett Research Institute (Aberdeen, Scotland, UK) and lost 6 and 9% initial body weight within the starvation and dieting groups respectively. Changes in urea-N metabolism were assessed by stable isotope tracer kinetics using [15N15N]urea infused intravenously for 36h before, during and after weight loss. In response to weight loss, urea production decreased (P<0·01) by 25% from 278 to 206μmol urea-N/h per kg within the dieting group only. However, no changes were observed in the proportion of urea being hydrolysed in the gastrointestinal tract (range 20–25%) or in the proportion of N retained for anabolic purposes (80–85% urea-N from gastrointestinal hydrolysis) within either group. It was concluded that no adaptive changes in urea kinetics occurred in response to either the different rate or extent of weight loss.