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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
A greater understanding of the rumen microbiota and its function may help find new strategies to improve feed efficiency in cattle. This study aimed to investigate whether the cattle breed affects specific ruminal taxonomic microbial groups and functions associated with feed conversion ratio (FCR), using two genetically related Angus breeds as a model. Total RNA was extracted from 24 rumen content samples collected from purebred Black and Red Angus bulls fed the same forage diet and then subjected to metatranscriptomic analysis. Multivariate discriminant analysis (sparse partial least square discriminant analysis (sPLS-DA)) and analysis of composition of microbiomes were conducted to identify microbial signatures characterizing Black and Red Angus cattle. Our analyses revealed relationships among bacterial signatures, host breeds and FCR. Although Black and Red Angus are genetically similar, sPLS-DA detected 25 bacterial species and 10 functions that differentiated the rumen microbial signatures between those two breeds. In Black Angus, we identified bacterial taxa Chitinophaga pinensis, Clostridium stercorarium and microbial functions with large and small subunits ribosomal proteins L16 and S7 exhibiting a higher abundance in the rumen microbiome. In Red Angus, nonetheless, we identified the poorly characterized bacterial taxon Oscillibacter valericigenes with a higher abundance and pathways related to carbohydrate metabolism. Analysis of composition of microbiomes revealed that C. pinensis and C. stercorarium exhibited a higher abundance in Black Angus compared to Red Angus associated with FCR, suggesting that these bacterial species may play a key role in the feed conversion efficiency of forage-fed bulls. This study highlights how the discovery of signatures of bacterial taxa and their functions can be used to harness the full potential of the rumen microbiome in Angus cattle.
Nitroethane (NE), 2-nitroethanol (NEOH) and 2-nitro-1-propanol (NPOH) were investigated in order to determine their inhibitory effects on in vitro ruminal fermentation and methane (CH4) production of a hay-rich substrate (alfalfa hay: maize meal = 4:1, w/w). The rumen liquor collected from cannulated Holstein dairy cows was incubated at 39 °C for 72 h. The addition of NE, NEOH and NPOH slowed down the fermentation process and notably decreased molar CH4 proportion by 96.8, 96.4 and 35.0%, respectively. The abundance of total methanogen and methanogens from the order Methanobacteriales were all decreased with NE, NEOH and NPOH supplementation. Meanwhile, the nitrocompound addition reduced mcrA gene expression, coenzyme F420 and F430 contents. The correlation analysis showed that CH4 production was correlated positively with the population abundance of total methanogens, Methanobacteriales, mcrA gene expression, coenzyme contents of F420 and F430. The nitrocompound addition decreased acetate concentration and increased propionate and butyrate concentrations in the culture fluid. In summary, both NE and NEOH addition presented nearly the same inhibitory effectiveness on in vitro CH4 production; they were more effective than NPOH. The results of the current study provide evidence that NE, NEOH and NPOH can dramatically decrease methanogen population, mcrA gene expression and the coenzyme content of F420 and F430 in ruminal methanogenesis.
The very high temperature reactor (VHTR) is a development of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) and one of the six proposed Generation IV reactor concept candidates. The 10 MW high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China. A sampling system for the measurement of carbon-14 (14C) was established in the helium purification system of the HTR-10 primary loop, which could sample 14C from the coolant at three locations. The results showed that activity concentration of 14C in the HTR-10 primary coolant was 1.2(1) × 102 Bq/m3 (STP). The production mechanisms, distribution characteristics, reduction routes, and release types of 14C in HTR-10 were analyzed and discussed. A theoretical model was built to calculate the amount of 14C in the core of HTR-10 and its concentration in the primary coolant. The activation reaction of 13C has been identified to be the dominant 14C source in the core, whereas in the primary coolant, it is the activation of 14N. These results can supplement important information for the source term analysis of 14C in HTR-10 and promote the study of 14C in HTGRs.
Boron nitride has attracted a great deal of attention as a two dimensional (2D) insulator for substrate and gate dielectric applications in 2D electronics. Development of a scalable technique to grow mono- to few-layer h-BN on microelectronics compatible substrates is desirable. Work on the growth of atomically smooth BN and graphene on sapphire and Si is presented in this paper. Two approaches are described: i) growth of h-BN and graphene on Si and sapphire substrates using a catalyzing Cu thin film, and ii) low pressure metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth on sapphire. In approach i) we discuss problems associated with the thermal instability of Cu at the interface with the substrate and show how the stability may be improved through the use of a thin Ni buffer layer or careful substrate selection. The correlation between Cu film morphology and h-BN (and graphene) quality is shown. In approach ii) we find two different growth modes, 3D island growth at low V/III ratios and self-terminating growth at high V/III ratios. Under self-terminating growth atomically smooth few-layer h-BN films are produced. Nitridation of the sapphire surface is found to promote this self-terminating growth by improving nucleation of BN on the substrate. Finally, we present results from the growth of graphene/h-BN on sapphire in a single process.
Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), one of the transition-metal dichalcogenides, is a 2-dimensional semiconducting material that has a layered structure. Owing to excellent optical and electronic properties, the ultra-thin MoS2 film is expected to be used for various devices, such as transistors and flexible displays. In this study, we investigated the physical and chemical properties of sputtered-MoS2 film in the sub-10-nm region by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). As the results of Raman spectroscopy investigations, we observed two Raman modes, E12g and A1g, in the 2-dimensional MoS2 films. As the thickness of the MoS2 film decreased, the peak frequency difference between E12g and A1g modes increased. From the XPS investigations, we confirmed sulfur reductions from the 2-dimensional MoS2 films. Therefore, we considered that the sulfur vacancies in the MoS2 film affected the Raman peak positions. Moreover, we performed the additional sulfurization of sputtered-MoS2 films. From the XPS and Raman investigations, the quality of the sputtered-MoS2 films was improved by the additional sulfurization.
To understand the clinical epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in children with diarrhoea in Guangzhou, South China, we collected 1128 faecal specimens from children with diarrhoea from July 2010 to December 2012. HBoV and five other major enteric viruses were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Human rotavirus (HRV) was the most prevalent pathogen, detected in 250 (22·2%) cases, followed by enteric adenovirus (EADV) in 76 (6·7%) cases, human astrovirus (HAstV) in 38 (3·4%) cases, HBoV in 17 (1·5%) cases, sapovirus (SaV) in 14 (1·2%) cases, and norovirus (NoV) in 9 (0·8%) cases. Co-infections were identified in 3·7% of the study population and 23·5% of HBoV-positive specimens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 14 HBoV strains to be clustered into species HBoV1 with only minor variations among them. Overall, the detection of HBoV appears to partially contribute to the overall detection gap for enteric infections, single HBoV infection rarely results in severe clinical outcomes, and HBoV sequencing data appears to support conserved genomes across strains identified in this study.
We studied the effect of a cross-conjugated bridging group (χC) on charge-transfer in a push-pull chromophore system. The hyperpolarizability of such molecules was found to be comparable to that of a fully π-conjugated molecule (πC) with the same donor and acceptor. The cross-conjugated moiety was then applied as a pendant to a fully π-conjugated chromophore containing a tricyanopyrroline acceptor (TCP). The addition of a χC moiety did not alter the intrinsic hyperpolarizability and provides an avenue for extending and aiding πC systems. The molecules were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), hyper-Raleigh scattering (HRS) and UV-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy. Experimental results were compared with the predictions of density functional theory (DFT). Cross-conjugated molecules have comparable β values, relative to πC molecules, due to reduced spatial overlap between the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO). Thus, the χC architecture could facilitate independent modification of donor and acceptor strengths while minimizing unfavorable effects on electronic transitions and dipole moments.
Two methods for the fabrication of flexible and stretchable photonic crystal slabs are demonstrated and compared. In both cases a periodically nanostructured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane is used as substrate. The first method is based on oblique-angle vapor deposition of SiO as a high refractive index material onto the nanostructured membrane. The deposition is made at an angle of 45° to the surface. The grooves of the nanostructure are aligned such that shading effects cause an inhomogeneous layer thickness distribution on the surface. This supports controlled, periodic cracking of the high index layer upon stretching. In the second approach ZnO nanoparticles are spin-coated on the nanostructured PDMS membrane. Here, the membrane can be stretched and serves as a photonic crystal slab without the need of any further treatment. For both types of flexible photonic crystal slabs a shift of the guided mode resonances to longer wavelengths is observed upon stretching. For a 20% strain perpendicular to the grating grooves a resonance shift of more than 50 nm is obtained.
It is well known that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can result in various physical and psychological diseases. Therefore, there is a strong demand for a reliable sensor to monitor UV exposure levels in the physiologically relevant intensity ranges of mW/cm2. Here, we demonstrate a UV sensor based on a silica whispering gallery mode microresonator. This UV sensor works over physiologically relevant intensity ranges with linear performance both in the forward and backward operating directions, with very high signal-to-noise ratio that can be utilized in monitoring the UV exposure for various applications.
The use of organic nonlinear optical (ONLO) materials in electro-optic (EO) modulators requires that the active molecular components (chromophores) be acentrically oriented. The fundamental molecular constituents are in a condensed, glassy phase. Molecular orientation in such systems is typically achieved by applying a DC poling field to the glassy material. We are developing efficient coarse-grained classical Monte Carlo (MC) methods to simulate the order of such systems. The most challenging aspects of these simulations are convergence to an experimentally relevant equilibrium ensemble and verification of simulation accuracy. We use a variety of molecular descriptions and a variety of MC methods to achieve proper order in the shortest number of computational cycles possible. Herein, we illustrate a few examples of the types of calculations and compare with experimental results with representative amorphous organic materials, including electro-optic chromophores.
Defect structures in Rubidium Titanyl Phosphate (RTP) crystals (non-doped and doped) grown by the Top Seeded Solution Growth (TSSG) method were characterized using Synchrotron White Beam X-ray Topography. Main defects observed in non-doped crystals are growth sector boundaries while both growth sector boundaries and growth striations are observed in the Nb single doped and (Nb,Yb)-codoped crystals with relatively few linear defects such as dislocations. Results show that the overall crystalline quality is lowered as more doping elements are incorporated. Details of defect distributions are correlated with the growth process to facilitate high quality growth of doped RTP.
The warm white light emission from the MOS capacitor containing the Zr-doped HfO2 high-k thin film on a p-type Si wafer under various post deposition annealing temperatures has been investigated. The light intensity is affected by the annealing temperature and the magnitude of the stress voltage. The annealing temperature changes the defect density and the physical thickness of the high-k stack. The high stress voltage induces the strong light emission because of the passage of a large current through the conductive path. The broad band emission spectrum covers the visible and near IR wavelength range with a large color rendering index. This new light emission device has a very long lifetime of > 1,000 hours at the atmosphere without a protection layer. The device is made of the IC compatible material and fabrication process, which favors the application over a wide range of products.
We have been studying a number of nanosystems that either have potential applications in bioimaging and/or light-activated therapies, or are bioderived. The standard Z-scan technique was routinely used for most of the measurements which were carried out in a wide wavelength range, typically from ∼550 nm to 1.6 μm. The range of nanoparticles studied has included colloidal semiconductor nanoparticles (e.g. CdS, CdSe), plasmonic nanoparticles, metal clusters, lanthanide-doped fluoride and oxide nanocrystals as well as core-shell systems. Among the bioderived systems studied especially interesting one is that of protein amyloid fibers.
Many of these materials exhibit nonlinear absorption features due not only to the typical two-photon absorption processes, but also due to multiple-photon absorption taking place, especially at longer wavelengths (e.g. three- four- and five-photon processes). On the other hand, absorption saturation processes may prevail or compete with multi-photon absorption in certain wavelength ranges in some of these materials, especially those characterized by broadband absorption due to surface plasmon excitation.
We investigated theoretically the transmission spectra in one-dimensional photonic quasicrystals (1DPQ) made up from dielectric materials organized in accordance to a discrete varying electric permittivity profile that obeys an analogous of the quasiperiodic potential in the so-called Audry-André (AA) model, in order to modulate the refraction index. Our results show that due to the incommensurate dielectric distribution, the spectrum splits into a fractal set of pass- and forbidden-band structure. By studying the transmission spectra as a function of the modulation phase ϕ, we found boundary states lying within the gaps localized either on the left or on the right boundary of the system, characterizing the so-called topological states.
Single crystals of semiorganic nonlinear optical material Triglycine Sodium Halides(TGSH) have been grown from aqueous solution by slow evaporation technique at constant temperature. The powder X-ray diffraction of the grown crystals is recorded and indexed. Functional groups present in the samples are identified by FTIR spectral analysis. The optical absorption studies shows that the UV cut off wavelength is around 300nm and has a wide transparency window. The powder second harmonic generation efficiency of the crystals is measured by Kurtz and Perry powder technique using Nd:YAG laser and it is 1.5 times for Triglycine Sodium Chloride, 1.2 times for Triglycine Sodium Bromide and 1.4 times for Triglycine potassium Iodide crystals that of the standard KDP crystals. Triglycine Sodium halide crystals show very good stability under laser irradiation with no signs of decomposition. Laser damage threshold energy density of Triglycine Sodium Iodide is found to be 857 MW/cm2 and 540MW/cm2 for Triglycine Sodium Chloride crystals.
To prepare cholesteric liquid crystalline nonlinear optical materials with ability to be vitrified on cooling and form long time stability cholesteric glasses at room temperature, a series of platinum acetylide complexes modified with cholesterol has been synthesized. The materials synthesized have the formula trans-Pt(PR3)(cholesterol (3 or 4)-ethynyl benzoate)(1-ethynyl-4-X-benzene), where R = Et, Bu or Oct and X = H, F, OCH3 and CN. A cholesteric liquid crystal phase was observed in the complexes R = Et, and X = F, OCH3 and CN but not in any of the other complexes. When X = CN, a cholesteric glass was observed at room temperature which remained stable up to 130 °C, then converted to a mixed crystalline/cholesteric phase and completely melted to an isotropic phase at 230 °C. When X = F or OCH3 the complexes were crystalline at room temperature with conversion to the cholesteric phase upon heating to 190 and 230 °C, respectively. In the series X = CN, OCH3 and F, the cholesteric pitch was determined to be 1.7, 3.4 and 9.0 µ, respectively.