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As for the efficient dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), one of the important goals is to increase the light harvesting efficiency to further improve the photoelectric conversion efficiency (PCE). The excellent photoanode materials should possess a uniform porous structure, a large surface area, high crystallinity, and good stability. Herein, the porous TiO2 electrode (named as S-1.5) with the above merits had been prepared by the simple template-assisted method with camphene as the pore-forming reagent. The surface area of the porous TiO2 electrode can be tailored by introducing the amount of camphene. The porous TiO2 layer with the optimal surface area directly adhered on the top of the ultra-thin P25 dense layer had been constructed and this unique electrode with a “double layers structure”, which named as S-1.5/P25. When DSSCs assembled with this photoanode, a desirable PCE of 8.31% had been achieved, which was obviously higher than that of the commercial P25 (7.62%) in parallel. The improved PCE can be attributed to the improved utilization of sunlight, the facilitated photo-generated electron transfer, and the reduced interface resistance. Meanwhile, the related characterization including electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy, and intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy was characterized to explore the possible mechanism.
It is important to fabricate iron-based nitride/conductive material composite to obtain good catalytic performance. In this work, Fe2N nanoparticles with diameter of approximately 30 nm have been successfully dispersed on the surface of nitrogen-doped graphite oxide (NrGO) by a facile sol–gel method and further ammonia atmosphere treatment. XPS, XRD, Raman, and TEM proved that Fe2N nanoparticles are well monodispersed, and nitrogen atoms are doped in NrGO. The composite possessed two merits, that is, the more catalytic active site in Fe2N nanoparticles due to the well monodispersion, and fast electron transfer due to the nitrogen dope in rGO. With the proper ratio, the composite exhibited brilliant catalytic activity and durability in acidic media. It possesses overpotential of 94 mV to approach 10 mA/cm2, a small Tefel slope of 49 mV/dec, and maintains the good electrocatalytic activity for 10 h. Cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicated that the electrocatalyst possessed high catalytic active area and fast electron transfer. Our work may provide a new avenue for the preparation of low-cost iron-based nitride/NrGO composite for highly efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the mechanistic basis of protein deficiency during pregnancy in mother that is transduced to offspring. To this end, timed-pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats were fed either a control (20 % of energy from protein) or low-protein (LP, 8 % of energy from protein) diet during gestation. Tissues were collected after delivery from rat dams, and skeletal muscle was collected at postnatal day 38 from the offspring. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analyses were performed to determine mRNA and protein levels. Histological analysis was performed to evaluate myofibre size. LP dams gained significantly less weight during pregnancy, developed muscle atrophy, and had significantly lower circulating threonine and histidine levels than control dams. The mRNA expression of the well-known amino acid response (AAR) pathway-related target genes was increased only in the skeletal muscle of LP dams, as well as the protein expression levels of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and phosphorylated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (p-eIF2α). The mRNA expression of autophagy-related genes was significantly increased in the skeletal muscle of LP dams. Moreover, the mRNA expression of genes involved in both AAR and autophagy pathways remained elevated and was memorised in the muscle of LP offspring that consumed a post-weaning control diet. Additionally, the LP diet increased an autophagy marker, microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3B) protein expression in the skeletal muscle of rat dams, consistent with the initiation of autophagy. The LP diet further increased ATF4 binding at the predicted regions of AAR and autophagy pathway-related genes. Increased binding of ATF4 unveils the crucial role of ATF4 in the activation of autophagy in response to protein restriction. Our data suggest that molecular changes in maternal muscle are memorised in the offspring long after gestational protein restriction, reinforcing the role of maternal signalling in programming offspring health.
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