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Hyperbolic polariton modes are highly appealing for a broad range of applications in nanophotonics, including surfaced enhanced sensing, sub-diffractional imaging, and reconfigurable metasurfaces. Here we show that attenuated total reflectance (ATR) micro-spectroscopy using standard spectroscopic tools can launch hyperbolic polaritons in a Kretschmann–Raether configuration. We measure multiple hyperbolic and dielectric modes within the naturally hyperbolic material hexagonal boron nitride as a function of different isotopic enrichments and flake thickness. This overcomes the technical challenges of measurement approaches based on nanostructuring, or scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy. Ultimately, our ATR approach allows us to compare the optical properties of small-scale materials prepared by different techniques systematically.
Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake is associated with reduced risk of a number of non-communicable diseases. Research tends to focus on antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols contained in FV as the main beneficial components to health; however, increasing FV may also alter overall diet profile. Extra FV may be substituted for foods thought to be less healthy, therefore altering the overall macronutrient and/or micronutrient content in the diet. This analysis merged dietary data from four intervention studies in participants with varying health conditions and examined the effect of increased FV consumption on diet profile. Dietary intake was assessed by either diet diaries or diet histories used in four FV randomised intervention studies. All food and drink intake recorded was analysed using WISP version 3.0, and FV portions were manually counted using household measures. Regression analysis revealed significant increases in intakes of energy (172 kJ (+41 kcal)), carbohydrate (+3·9 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), total sugars (+6·0 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) and fibre (+0·8 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) and significant decreases in intakes of total fat (−1·4 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), SFA (−0·6 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), MUFA (−0·6 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)), PUFA (−0·1 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) and starch (−2·1 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal)) per one portion increase in FV. Significant percentage increases were also observed in vitamin C (+24 %) and -carotene (+20 %) intake, per one portion increase in FV. In conclusion, pooled analysis of four FV intervention studies, that used similar approaches to achieving dietary change, in participants with varying health conditions, demonstrated an increase in energy, total carbohydrate, sugars and fibre intake, and a decrease in fat intake alongside an expected increase in micronutrient intake.
Materials designed and engineered for technical applications must invariably meet or exceed multiple key specifications. Even if commercial realization is not intended, scientific interest is piqued if a challenging combination of properties is achieved, particularly if they are mutually exclusive for certain classes of materials. For example, the combination of mechanical toughness, chemical durability, and high thermal-shock resistance, with pore-free, smooth, aesthetically beautiful surfaces simultaneously realized in certain glasses that are crystallized in a controlled manner—glass-ceramics—have enabled two distinct, decades-long applications, cookware and flat cooktop panels. Other special glass-ceramic materials have been developed for electronic, photonic, dental, and biomedical applications. No other class of material could combine these properties in such an advantageous and economically feasible manner. This issue highlights six very different innovative applications of glass-ceramics, all of which owe their importance and continuing interest to “hard-to-combine” properties.
With a wide band gap of greater than 3.0 eV and the ability to self-heal from radiation damage, icosahedral boron arsenide (B12As2) is an apt candidate for use in next-generation betavoltaics. By capturing and converting high energy electrons from radioisotopes into usable electricity, “nuclear batteries” made from B12As2 could potentially power devices for decades. Compared to bulk crystals or epitaxial films, B12As2 nanowires may have lower defect densities or may even be defect-free, leading to better electrical properties and device performance. In our study, B12As2 nanowires were synthesized via vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth using platinum powder and nickel powder on silicon carbide and 20 nm thick nickel film on silicon substrates from 700 °C to 1200 °C. Platinum yielded the highest quality nanowires from 900 °C to 950 °C, resulting in platinum particles densely covered with wires formed by straight segments connected by sharp angular kinks. At these growth temperatures, diameters ranged from less than 30 nm to about 300 nm as determined by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Growth temperatures of 850 °C or less produced curled wires 200-1000 nm in diameter. Transmission electron microscopy and selected area electron diffraction revealed excellent crystallinity in wires grown above 850 °C, while wires grown at or below 850 °C were partially amorphous. Wires grown from the 20 nm nickel film displayed similar morphologies at temperatures up to 850 °C; from 900 °C to 950 °C, straight, isolated wires were grown with diameters of 200-400 nm. Nickel powder only produced wires larger than 1 μm in diameter. The comparative quality and growth of B12As2nanowires will be discussed.
PbTe-based thermoelectric (TE) materials exhibit promising thermoelectric properties and have potential applications in waste heat recovery from sources such as truck engines and shipboard engines. TE components designed for these applications will be subject to mechanical/thermal loading and vibration as a result from in-service conditions, including mechanical vibration, mechanical and/or thermal cycling, and thermal shock.
In the current study, we present and discuss the mechanical properties of several PbTe-based compositions with different dopants and processing methods, including n-type and p-type specimens fabricated both by casting and by powder processing. Room temperature hardness and Young's modulus are studied by Vickers indentation and nanoindentation while fracture strength is obtained by biaxial flexure testing. Temperature dependent Young's modulus, shear modulus, and Poisson's ratio are studied via resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS).
A detailed investigation was conducted to identify the main factors influencing the current poor reproductive performance in dairy herds in Northern Ireland. Nineteen herds were selected and a comprehensive database was established, comprising detailed information collected over a 2-year period. Milk progesterone monitoring (no.=1423 cows), based on twice weekly sampling, was included in this on-farm investigation. The mean interval from calving to commencement of luteal activity was 30·1 days and 13·4% (184/1378) of these cows had not commenced luteal activity by day 50 post partum. In addition, there was a high incidence of abnormal progesterone profiles: delayed ovulation type I; 15·6% (242/1388), delayed ovulation type II; 11·7% (125/965), persistent corpus luteum type I; 19·4% (212/1121) and persistent corpus luteum type II; 11·9% (70/619). Delayed commencement of luteal activity and abnormal profiles were associated with reduced fertility performance manifested as increased interval to first AI service and ultimately prolonged calving interval. Delayed commencement of luteal activity and abnormal progesterone profiles, with the exception of ‘delayed ovulation type II’ profiles, were not associated with lower conception rates. Assistance at calving was associated with delayed commencement of luteal activity. Delayed commencement of luteal activity and delayed ovulation types I and II profiles were associated with indicators of nutritional stress and poorer production performance in early lactation. Retained foetal membranes were strongly associated with prolonged luteal phases (persistent corpus luteum types I and II profiles). While hormonal therapy may prove useful in treating cows with abnormal milk progesterone profiles, the prevention and treatment of associated diseases and the implementation of good management practices are likely to be more rewarding.