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The higher-education system in Israel is governed by The Council for Higher Education and is mainly merit-based. This chapter discusses the practices used in Israel for admissions into higher education institutions, the use of the Bagrut Certificate as part of admissions, and fairness and psychometric issues related to the admissions examination, the Psychometric Entrance Test. The chapter also describes challenges surrounding Psychometric Entrance Test and the various reform efforts.
This paper discusses new components and approaches to make stretchable optical fiber sensors better meet the power and washability requirements of wearables. First, an all-polymer quick connector allows the light source and photosensor to be quickly detached for washing. Second, the paper investigates the possibility of driving the sensors using ambient light instead of an onboard light source. While optical strain sensors and touch sensors have advantages over electronic ones in wet environments, and the intrinsic stretchability of the fibers is useful for soft robotics and highly conformal wearables, the typical light-emitting diode (LED) light source consumes more power than an electronic resistive or capacitive strain sensor. In this work, ambient light of uniform but unknown intensity is demonstrated to drive an elastomeric optical touch sensor in a differential configuration.
Any material inherently comes with its physical and chemical properties. The material scientists and allied engineers work on these properties in order to unearth newer findings. The change in the properties of a material through various process directly affects its characteristics and behaviour. Significant research on material science and metallurgical engineering have been done based on physical properties of the substance. Out of many physical characteristics of materials, this paper focuses on optical properties based on human visual perception. The particular research aims at an interdisciplinary approach to investigate how visual perception plays an important role in design and analysis of materials. Two particular cases have been analysed for this purpose, one in the domain of micro structure analysis and the other relating to the external physical visual characteristics of a material. Through this analysis a generic process framework is evolved which could be applied in material research as a theoretical discourse. Additionally an expert opinion survey reinforces the establishment of the evolved process framework. It would help scientists and engineers adapt and relate to a process so far as designing of new materials or comparative assessment of materials are concerned based on human visual perception.
In this study, the magnetic properties of Fe39.8Co19.92Mn20.52Cr14.77Si5 multi-principal element alloy in both bulk and thin films were studied. X-ray diffraction measurements show coexisting face centered cubic (FCC) and hexagonal close packed phases in the bulk and the 500 nm thin films, while only FCC phase is observed in the 65 nm thin film. A four orders of magnitude increase in the magnetic moment is observed for 65 nm thin film compared with the bulk sample. Evolution of magnetization as a function of temperature and applied magnetic field shows multiple magnetic transitions. A paramagnetic to spin glass transition is detected at TS ∼ 390 K for all samples. Further cooling results in a spin glass to ferromagnetic (FM) transition, and the transition temperature, TF, is dependent on the film thickness. Higher saturation magnetization and transition temperature observed for the thin film samples indicate the stabilization of FM ordering due to thickness confinement.
SmTaO4 ceramics have excellent high-temperature phase stabilities and mechanical properties and show great potential for use as next-generation thermal barrier coating (TBC) materials. CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics are prepared via high-temperature solid–state reaction. It retains a single monoclinic phase structure. Ce4+ was reduced to Ce3+ by high-temperature deoxidation, and the Ce3+ ions substitute for an equal number of Sm3+ ions. The CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics had lower thermal conductivities [1.09–2.75 W/(m K)] than yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) [2.1–2.7 W/(m K)] at 100–800 °C, which decreased dramatically with increasing temperature. SmTaO4 doped with 2% CeO2 had lower thermal conductivity [1.09 W/(m K), 800 °C] than SmTaO4 [1.42 W/(m K), 800 °C] and 2% ZrO2-doped SmTaO4 ceramics [1.22 W/(m K), 800 °C]. The low thermal conductivity is attributed to Ce3+ substitution for an equal number of Sm3+ ions, and because Ce3+ ions are the strongest phonon scattering centers, they can decrease the phonon mean free path effectively. The thermal expansion coefficient of 8% CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics is approximately 10.3 × 10−6 K−1 at 1200 °C, which is slightly higher than that of both YSZ (10.0 × 10−6 K−1) and SmTaO4 (9.58 × 10−6 K−1). The outstanding thermophysical properties indicate that CeO2–SmTaO4 ceramics are potential TBC materials.
‘Negative mechanical materials / metamaterials’ refer to materials and/or engineered systems that exhibit anomalous macroscopic thermo-mechanical properties that emerge due to the structure of their subunits, rather than the specific chemical composition. As a result of their design/construction, they may exhibit anomalous macroscopic properties such as zero or negative Poisson’s ratios (auxetic), moduli and/or indices. Such zero/negative properties are not normally manifested by their conventional counterparts and may thus potentially be used in applications where typical materials cannot. This work will look into some of the more recent developments made in this field, focusing on how existing materials (e.g. crystals) are providing the blueprint for the design and manufacture of novel ’negative materials’. In particular, this work looks at how wine-rack like crystalline materials which are typically studied for their negative thermal expansion and/or negative compressibility properties can be modified so as to generate negative Poisson’s ratio through a novel mechanism involving forcing elements to move out-of-plane to generate giant out-of-plane auxeticity.
This study aims to create controlled fine space by electrospinning, and to develop the electrode materials for high-performance energy devices. With the popularization of mobile devices, household appliances, hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and the like, the use of power storage devices is expanding, and further performance improvements are required. In this study, a novel electrode material was developed by compositing Si with carbon nanofibers derived from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) by electrospinning and heat treatment. The texture and structure of the nanofibers were observed and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) combined with image processing. Nano spaces were created in the CNFs and Si particles were able to be contained in the CNFs. In the second and subsequent cycles of the charge/discharge experiments of lithium ion battery (LIB) electrode made from the materials, the capacity was more than twice the theoretical capacity using graphite, and good cycle performance was obtained.
The majority of highly efficient perovskite light-emitting diodes (PeLED) contain PEDOT:PSS (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate) as hole transport layer (HTL). However, the hygroscopic and acidic nature of PEDOT:PSS may lead to deterioration of PeLED performance. Moreover, due to its inferior electron-blocking properties, an additional electron-blocking layer (EBL) is required to establish charge balance and consequently obtain superior emission characteristics in typically electron-rich PeLED structures. In this work, PTAA (poly(bis(4-phenyl)(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)amine)) serving both as HTL and EBL is employed to substitute PEDOT:PSS in PeLED. The perovskite CsPbBr3 is chosen as emissive layer (EML) material due to its high color purity and photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield. Dense CsPbBr3 films are fabricated on PTAA-coated ITO substrates by employing a one-step spin-coating approach based on nonstoichiometric perovskite precursor solutions. To suppress non-radiative recombination, a small amount of methylammonium bromide (MABr) is incorporated in the CsPbBr3 lattice. The resulting films exhibit excellent coverage and PL intensity. PeLED containing pure CsPbBr3 films as EML show a green emission with a peak at 520 nm, maximum luminance of 11,000 cd/m2, an external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 3.3 % and a current efficiency (CE) of 10.3 cd/A. Further enhancement to 21,000 cd/m2, 7.5 % and 27.0 cd/A is demonstrated by PeLED with MABr-doped CsPbBr3 layers.
This paper addresses the chemical synthesis and characterization of a composite formed by Li2O-Al2O3-Al3Fe-Al3Fe5O12/PCL which were obtained by the process of reduction of ferric chloride (FeCl3) with lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4) in an open atmosphere. The goal of the development of this hybrid material was to perform a superparamagnetic material with several potential applications. The results of the characterizations by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and vibrating sample magnetometer showed a Li2O-Al2O3-Al3Fe-Al3Fe5O12 “desert rose stone”-like morphology 3D hierarchical powders formation when particles were sintered at 850 °C. Homogeneous nanometric particles after calcination at 1100 °C were observed. X-ray diffraction analysis were performed to determine their composition. Subsequently, the superparamagnetic powders were added by dispersion in a polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix, and then, were evaluated by SEM for the observation of their morphologies. The composite material presented a polymer network with an opened structure, a well dispersion of the oxides particles into the interstices with irregular topography and reliefs.
This study reports on the effect of introducing TiO2 compact layer on the photovoltaic characteristics of TiO2/Nb2O5 composite dye sensitized solar cell. The compact layer was deposited by spray pyrolysis technique. It was observed that introduction of 60 nm thick compact layer improved the short circuit current density Jsc ,Open circuit voltage Voc, and efficiency of the cell from 4.9 mA/cm2 to 8.2 mA/cm2, 6.8×10-1 V to 7.2×10-1 V and 1.9 % to 3.4 % respectively compared to traditional cell prepared without compact layer. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy confirmed an increase in recombination resistance from 5.5×101 Ω.cm2 for bare DSSC to 9.0×101 Ω.cm2 for DSSC with compact layer thereby improving electron lifetime of the cells from 2.5×10-4 s to 386.9×10-4 s.
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to determine the technological properties of indigenous Lactococcus lactis strains isolated from Lait caillé, a spontaneous fermented milk, from the perspective of starter culture development. Fermentations were conducted to determine the acidification patterns. The ropy character, growth in 0.04 g/ml NaCl and citrate metabolism were additionally tested. Furthermore, the rheological properties of samples from selected strains and the impact of cold storage were evaluated. Based on the rate of acidification, the indigenous strains were divided into 2 groups depending on their fermentation time, i.e. 10–13 h (fast acidifier), and up to 72 h (slow acidifier), respectively. The physiological tests suggested that most of these strains produced exopolysaccharides but none could ferment citrate. The flow properties of the samples inoculated by the fast acidifier strains showed a time-dependent shear thinning behaviour, while their viscoelastic properties corresponded structurally to those of weak gels. Cold storage decreased the viscosity and CFU counts for most of the indigenous strains tested. This study is a step towards the definition of starter cultures for African spontaneous fermented milks such as Lait caillé.
Structural evolution induced and driven by a dual system and simultaneous passivation of phosphorene are reported. Different nano-objects of phosphorene or black phosphorus (BP) are obtained using a new method of exfoliation, in which solvent and an ionic polymer are combined to weaken the van der Waals forces and to scissor the nanosheets. Nanoribbons, nanorods, and nanoneedles are obtained under mechanical force and ambient conditions. Ionic polymer chains assist in curling the monolayer or few-layer nanosheet. Nafion is chosen to exfoliate the bulk BP and induce a morphological transition in BP nanosheets. The exfoliation of BP nanosheets results into thin and specific structures such as nanosheets/rods/needles. The nanosheets of phosphorene are covered and passivated simultaneously by the polymeric sheath that protects the nanosheets from degradation or oxidation and can be integrated with a device directly without any further coating.
Pairs of conjugate donor-acceptor fluorescent probes have proven themselves useful in stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy in recent years. For instance, it has been shown that the lifetime of said probes directly correlates to the resolution of the microscope. However, once the lifetimes of the probes have been optimized, it is desirable to control their fluorescence in order to improve the resolution further. Here, we propose combining model-free control with sliding mode control to track nanosecond pulses of red-shifted acceptor fluorescence in order to inhibit visible light emitted from the image plane, shrink the point spread function, and subsequently improve the resolution of the microscope. This is achieved by automatic adjustment of the STED laser beam pump power. This controller is numerically simulated against a generic model created from Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) theory. However, since it is data-driven, it can be easily applied to various physical systems with drastically different dynamics. This work provides a reliable theoretic control solution to modern super resolution microscopy for biological imaging.
In this contribution, we use heavy ion irradiation and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy to demonstrate that defects can be used to tailor the optical properties of two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). Sonicated MoS2 flakes were deposited onto Si/SiO2 substrate and subjected to 3 MeV Au2+ ion irradiation at room temperature to fluences ranging from 1 × 1012 to 1 × 1016 cm−2. We demonstrate that irradiation-induced defects can control optical excitations in the inner core shell of MoS2 by binding A1s- and B1s-excitons, and correlate the exciton peaks to the specific defects introduced with irradiation. The systematic increase of ion fluence produced different defect densities in MoS2, which were estimated using B/A exciton ratios and progressively increased with ion fluence. We show that up to the fluences of 1 × 1014 cm−2, the MoS2 lattice remains crystalline and defect densities can be controlled, whereas at higher fluences (≥1 × 1015 cm−2), the large number of introduced defects distorts the excitonic structure of the material. In addition to controlling excitons, defects were used to split bound and free trions, and we demonstrate that at higher fluences (1 × 1015 cm−2), both free and bound trions can be observed in the same PL spectrum. Most importantly, the lifetimes of these states exceed trion and exciton lifetimes in pristine MoS2, and PL spectra of irradiated MoS2 remains unchanged weeks after irradiation experiments. Thus, this work demonstrated the feasibility of engineering novel optical behaviors in low-dimensional materials using heavy ion irradiation. The insights gained from this study will aid in understanding the many-body interactions in low-dimensional materials and may ultimately be used to develop novel materials for optoelectronic applications.
Ionic hydrogels are an abundant class of materials with applications ranging from drug delivery devices to high performance concrete to baby diapers. A more thorough understanding of interactions between polyelectrolyte networks and ionic solutes is critical as these materials are further tailored for performance applications in highly targeted ionic environments. In this work, we seek to develop structure-property relationships between polyelectrolyte gels and environments containing high concentrations of multivalent ions. Specifically, this work seeks to elucidate the causes behind differences in hydrogel response to divalent ions of main group metals versus transition metals. PANa-co-PAM hydrogels containing low and high fractions of ionic groups are investigated in solutions of DI water, NaCl, CaCl2, and CuSO4 at concentrations ranging from 5 to 100 mM in order to understand 1) the transient or permanent nature of crosslinks produced in these networks by divalent counter-ions, 2) the role of polymer ionic content in these interactions, and 3) how these interactions scale with salt concentration. Gravimetric swelling and mechanical compression testing are employed to characterize water and salt-swollen hydrogels in order to develop guiding principles to control and manipulate material properties through polymer-counter-ion interactions. The work presented here confirms the formation of permanent crosslinks by transition metal ions, offers explanation for the behavioral discrepancy observed between ionic hydrogels and main group versus transition metal ions, and illustrates how such hydrogel properties scale with counter-ion concentration.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) have unique optical, electrical, and thermal properties and are being incorporated into products that range from photovoltaics to biological and chemical sensors. The production of silver nanoparticles has been increasing worldwide in the nanotechnology industry due to the variety of applications and are very likely to reach aquatic ecosystems damaging them. Due to their small size and high surface area to volume ratio of NPs, they can strongly interact with life cells and cause damage to tested animals. Based on the mentioned previously, it is necessary to evaluate the silver nanoparticle nanotoxicity in aquatic ecosystems to prevent possible ingestion or transfer to humans. Also, the research will benefit aquatic systems due to less pollution around aquatic organisms. The objectives of this research included: i) production and characterization of stable silver nanoparticles in water, ii) characterizing the optical properties by UV-Vis spectroscopy and morphology by HR-TEM and; iii) evaluate the toxicity of silver nanoparticles in aquatic organisms, i.e Artemia salina. Results obtained evidenced that Ag NPs showed an intense absorption peak at 448 nm. This broad peak is due to the phenomenon called surface plasmon resonance (SPR) that is responsible for a variety of phenomena, including nanoscale optical focusing, negative refraction, and surface-enhanced Raman scattering. HR-TEM measurements evidenced the spherical form of the nanoparticles and its small size at around 12-20 nm. In addition, Electron Diffraction analyses suggested the composition of the nanoparticle, which contained only Ag0. The toxicity assays were evaluated using different concentrations of purified Ag NPs. During the cytotoxicity assay, it was demonstrated that Ag NPs were not toxic to Artemia salina after 24 and 48 hours of exposure. However, silver (as silver nitrate) evidenced high toxicity to Artemia salina at larval stage.
Nanocomposites of polyvinylidene fluoride loaded with various amounts of γ-Fe2O nanoparticles, with an average size ranging between 20 and 40 nm, have been obtained by melt mixing and investigated using various experimental techniques [Superconducting Quantum Interference Device, Mössbauer, and Thermogravimetric Analysis]. Magnetic and Mössbauer measurements confirmed the presence of maghemite and a trace of a paramagnetic iron compound. Magnetic data are consistent with a blocking temperature close to room temperature (RT), showing a decrease in the coercive field as the temperature is increased. A weak exchange bias was noticed in all nanocomposites investigated at all temperatures and tentatively ascribed to surface spin disorder. The temperature dependence of the coercive field obeys the Kneller law. The nanocomposites exhibit superparamagnetic behavior near RT. Most magnetic measurements have been performed below the blocking temperature, revealing thus a complex behavior. The dependence of the mass loss derivative versus temperature, as obtained by thermogravimetric analysis, exhibits a single peak due to the thermal degradation of the polymeric matrix. A weak increase in the thermal stability of the polymeric matrix upon loading with maghemite is reported.
Propagating inhomogeneous electromagnetic waves called surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) can be excited by free-space beams on corrugated conducting surfaces at resonance angles determined by corrugation period, permittivity, and optical frequency. SPPs are coupled to and co-propagate with surface charge displacements. Complete electrical isolation of individual conducting corrugations prevents the charge displacement necessary to sustain an SPP, such that excitation resonances of traveling SPPs are absent. However, SPPs can be excited via electric induction if a smooth conducting surface exists below and nearby the isolated conducting corrugations. The dependence of SPP excitation resonances on that separation is experimentally investigated here at long-wave infrared wavelengths. We find that excitation resonances for traveling SPPs broaden and disappear as the dielectric’s physical thickness is increased beyond ∼1% of the free-space wavelength. The resonance line width increases with refractive index and optical thickness of the dielectric.
Eumelanin is a redox active, quinone-based biopigment, featuring a broad band absorption in the UV-Vis region. The combination of the redox and optical properties makes eumelanin an interesting candidate to explore light-assisted storage technologies. Electrodes of melanin on indium tin oxide (ITO) current collectors were investigated for their morphological and voltammetric characteristics in aqueous electrolytes. Under solar light, we observed that the capacity and the capacitance of the melanin electrodes significantly increase with respect to the dark conditions (by 63% and 73%, respectively).
We fabricated a van der Waals heterostructure of WS2–ReSe2 and studied its charge-transfer properties. Monolayers of WS2 and ReSe2 were obtained by mechanical exfoliation and chemical vapor deposition, respectively. The heterostructure sample was fabricated by transferring the WS2 monolayer on top of ReSe2 by a dry transfer process. Photoluminescence quenching was observed in the heterostructure, indicating efficient interlayer charge transfer. Transient absorption measurements show that holes can efficiently transfer from WS2 to ReSe2 on an ultrafast timescale. Meanwhile, electron transfer from ReSe2 to WS2 was also observed. The charge-transfer properties show that monolayers of ReSe2 and WS2 form a type-II band alignment, instead of type-I as predicted by theory. The type-II alignment is further confirmed by the observation of extended photocarrier lifetimes in the heterostructure. These results provide useful information for developing van der Waals heterostructure involving ReSe2 for novel electronic and optoelectronic applications and introduce ReSe2 to the family of two-dimensional materials to construct van der Waals heterostructures.