This paper presents a sealed ageing study of palm oil (PO) and coconut oil (CO) in the presence of insulation paper. The type of PO under study is refined, bleached, and deodorized palm oil (RBDPO) olein. Three different variations of RBDPO and one sample of CO are aged at temperatures of 90 °C, 110 °C, and 130 °C. The properties of RBDPO and CO as well as paper under ageing are then analysed through dielectric and physicochemical measurements. It is found that the effect of ageing is not significant on the alternating current (AC) breakdown voltages and relative permittivities of RBDPO and CO. There is a slight increment trend of the resistivity for CO, while for all of the RBDPO, the resistivity slightly decreases as the ageing progresses. Only CO shows an apparent reduction of the dielectric dissipation factor. Throughout the ageing time, the acidities of all of the RBDPO and CO remain at low level, while the moisture in oils decreases. The tensile index (TI) of the papers for all of the RBDPO and CO retain more than 50% of the TI. A significant increment of the paper ageing rates of all of the RBDPO and CO is observed at an ageing temperature of 130 °C.
Melting aluminium waste to produce a secondary bulk material is such an energy-intensive recycling technique that it also indirectly threatens the environment. Hot press forging is introduced as an alternative. Mixing the waste with another substance is a proven practice that enhances the material integrity. To cope with the technology revolution, a finite element is utilised to predict the behaviour without a practical trial. Utilising commercial software, DEFORM 3D, the conjectures were demonstrated scientifically. The flow stress of the material was modified to suit the material used in the actual experiment. It is acknowledged that the stress⁻strain had gradually increased in each step. Due to the confined forming space, the temperature decreased by ~0.5% because the heat could not simply vacate the area. A reduction of ~10% of the flesh observed in the simulation is roughly the same as in the actual experiment. Above all, the simulation abides by the standards and follows what has been done previously. Through the finite element utilisation, this study forecasted the performance of the recycled composite. The results presented may facilitate improvement of the recycling issue and conserve the environment for a better future.
Despite its large band gap, ZnO has wide applicability in many fields ranging from gas sensors to solar cells. ZnO was chosen over other materials because of its large exciton binding energy (60 meV) and its stability to high-energy radiation. In this study, ZnO nanorods were deposited on ITO glass via a simple dip coating followed by a hydrothermal growth. The morphological, structural and compositional characteristics of the prepared films were analyzed using X-ray diffractometry (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis). Photoelectrochemical conversion efficiencies were evaluated via photocurrent measurements under calibrated halogen lamp illumination. Thin film prepared at 120 °C for 4 h of hydrothermal treatment possessed a hexagonal wurtzite structure with the crystallite size of 19.2 nm. The average diameter of the ZnO nanorods was 37.7 nm and the thickness was found to be 2680.2 nm. According to FESEM images, as the hydrothermal growth temperature increases, the nanorod diameter become smaller. Moreover, the thickness of the nanorods increase with the growth time. Therefore, the sample prepared at 120 °C for 4 h displayed an impressive photoresponse by achieving high current density of 0.1944 mA/cm².
This paper discusses the effect of jet impingement of water on a photovoltaic thermal (PVT) collector and compound parabolic concentrators (CPC) on electrical efficiency, thermal efficiency and power production of a PVT system. A prototype of a PVT solar water collector installed with a jet impingement and CPC has been designed, fabricated and experimentally investigated. The efficiency of the system can be improved by using jet impingement of water to decrease the temperature of the solar cells. The electrical efficiency and power output are directly correlated with the mass flow rate. The results show that electrical efficiency was improved by 7% when using CPC and jet impingement cooling in a PVT solar collector at 1:00 p.m. (solar irradiance of 1050 W/m² and an ambient temperature of 33.5 °C). It can also be seen that the power output improved by 36% when using jet impingement cooling with CPC, and 20% without CPC in the photovoltaic (PV) module at 1:30 p.m. The short-circuit current ISC of the PV module experienced an improvement of ~28% when using jet impingement cooling with CPC, and 11.7% without CPC. The output of the PV module was enhanced by 31% when using jet impingement cooling with CPC, and 16% without CPC.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment that employs the production of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS), subsequently triggering tumor apoptosis and tumor size reduction. However, this approach suffers from insufficient light penetration depth. In order to mitigate this issue, pollen-structured gold clusters (PSGCs) were designed for mediating X-ray-induced PDT for radiotherapy enhancement. The structure of PSGCs provides a large surface area that is able to generate ROS upon X-ray irradiation. The synthesized PSGCs were exposed to different X-ray doses and the generated ROS was then quantified by dihydroethidium (DHE) assay. Furthermore, at the cellular level, the PDT efficacy of PSGCs was evaluated via immunofluorescence staining with γ-H2AX and comet assay. The results demonstrated that PSGCs possess a significantly high ROS-generating capacity and a remarkable PDT efficacy in the treatment of breast cancer cells, thus showing potential clinical uses in deep-tissue cancer treatment.
Remarkable attention has been committed to the recently discovered cost effective and solution processable lead-free organic-inorganic halide perovskite solar cells. Recent studies have reported that, within five years, the reported efficiency has reached 9.0%, which makes them an extremely promising and fast developing candidate to compete with conventional lead-based perovskite solar cells. The major challenge associated with the conventional perovskite solar cells is the toxic nature of lead (Pb) used in the active layer of perovskite material. If lead continues to be used in fabricating solar cells, negative health impacts will result in the environment due to the toxicity of lead. Alternatively, lead free perovskite solar cells could give a safe way by substituting low-cost, abundant and non toxic material. This review focuses on formability of lead-free organic-inorganic halide perovskite, alternative metal cations candidates to replace lead (Pb), and possible substitutions of organic cations, as well as halide anions in the lead-free organic-inorganic halide perovskite architecture. Furthermore, the review gives highlights on the impact of organic cations, metal cations and inorganic anions on stability and the overall performance of lead free perovskite solar cells.
Infectious disease caused by pathogenic bacteria continues to be the primary challenge to humanity. Antimicrobial resistance and microbial biofilm formation in part, lead to treatment failures. The formation of biofilms by nosocomial pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) on medical devices and on the surfaces of infected sites bring additional hurdles to existing therapies. In this review, we discuss the challenges encountered by conventional treatment strategies in the clinic. We also provide updates on current on-going research related to the development of novel anti-biofilm technologies. We intend for this review to provide understanding to readers on the current problem in health-care settings and propose new ideas for new intervention strategies to reduce the burden related to microbial infections.
Many wounds are unresponsive to currently available treatment techniques and therefore there is an immense need to explore suitable materials, including biomaterials, which could be considered as the crucial factor to accelerate the healing cascade. In this study, we fabricated polyhydroxyalkanoate-based antibacterial mats via an electrospinning technique. One-pot green synthesized graphene-decorated silver nanoparticles (GAg) were incorporated into the fibres of poly-3 hydroxybutarate-co-12 mol.% hydroxyhexanoate (P3HB-co-12 mol.% HHx), a co-polymer of the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) family which is highly biocompatible, biodegradable, and flexible in nature. The synthesized PHA/GAg biomaterial has been characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), elemental mapping, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), UV-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). An in vitro antibacterial analysis was performed to investigate the efficacy of PHA/GAg against gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) strain 12,600 ATCC and gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain 8739 ATCC. The results indicated that the PHA/GAg demonstrated significant reduction of S. aureus and E. coli as compared to bare PHA or PHA- reduced graphene oxide (rGO) in 2 h of time. The p value (p < 0.05) was obtained by using a two-sample t-test distribution.
This paper investigates the effect of the ratio of ammonium nitrate (AN) on the structural, microstructural, magnetic, and alternating current (AC) conductivity properties of barium hexaferrite (BaFe12O19). The BaFe12O19 were prepared by using the salt melt method. The samples were synthesized using different powder-to-salt weight ratio variations (1:3, 1:4, 1:5, 1:6 and 1:7) of BaCO₃ + Fe₂O₃ and ammonium nitrate salt. The NH₄NO₃ was melted on a hot plate at 170 °C. A mixture of BaCO₃ and Fe₂O₃ were added into the NH₄NO₃ melt solution and stirred for several hours using a magnetic stirrer under a controlled temperature of 170 °C. The heating temperature was then increased up to 260 °C for 24 hr to produce an ash powder. The x-ray diffraction (XRD) results show the intense peak of BaFe12O19 for all the samples and the presence of a small amount of the impurity Fe₂O₃ in the samples, at a ratio of 1:5 and 1:6. From the Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectra, the band appears at 542.71 cm - 1 and 432.48 cm - 1 , which corresponding to metal⁻oxygen bending and the vibration of the octahedral sites of BaFe12O19. The field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) images show that the grains of the samples appear to stick each other and agglomerate at different masses throughout the image with the grain size 5.26, 5.88, 6.14, 6.22, and 6.18 µm for the ratios 1:3, 1:4, 1:5, 1:6, and 1:7 respectively. From the vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) analysis, the magnetic properties of the sample ratio at 1:3 show the highest value of coercivity Hc of 1317 Oe, a saturation magnetization Ms of 91 emu/g, and a remnant Mr of 44 emu/g, respectively. As the temperature rises, the AC conductivity is increases with an increase in frequency.
This paper investigates the field-dependent rheological properties of magnetorheological (MR) fluid used to fill in MR dampers after long-term cyclic operation. For testing purposes, a meandering MR valve was customized to create a double-ended MR damper in which MR fluid flowed inside the valve due to the magnetic flux density. The test was conducted for 170,000 cycles using a fatigue dynamic testing machine which has 20 mm of stroke length and 0.4 Hz of frequency. Firstly, the damping force was investigated as the number of operating cycles increased. Secondly, the change in viscosity of the MR fluid was identified as in-use thickening (IUT). Finally, the morphological observation of MR particles was undertaken before and after the long-term operation. From these tests, it was demonstrated that the damping force increased as the number of operating cycles increases, both when the damper is turn on (on-state) and off (off-state). It is also observed that the particle size and shape changed due to the long operation, showing irregular particles.
In-situ observations of the polymorphic transformation in a single targeted Cu₆Sn₅ grain constrained between Sn-0.7 wt % Cu solder and Cu-Cu₃Sn phases and the associated structural evolution during a solid-state thermal cycle were achieved via a high-voltage transmission electron microscope (HV-TEM) technique. Here, we show that the monoclinic η'-Cu₆Sn₅ superlattice reflections appear in the hexagonal η-Cu₆Sn₅ diffraction pattern upon cooling to isothermal 140 °C from 210 °C. The in-situ real space imaging shows that the η'-Cu₆Sn₅ contrast pattern is initiated at the grain boundary. This method demonstrates a new approach for further understanding the polymorphic transformation behavior on a real solder joint.
There are various approaches to enhancing the catalytic properties of TiO₂, including modifying its morphology by altering the surface reactivity and surface area of the catalyst. In this study, the primary aim is to enhance the photocatalytic activity by changing the TiO₂ nanotubes' architecture. The highly ordered infrastructure is favorable for a better charge carrier transfer. It is well known that anodization affects TiO₂ nanotubes' structure by increasing the anodization duration which in turn influence the photocatalytic activity. The characterizations were conducted by FE-SEM (fiend emission scanning electron microscopy), XRD (X-ray diffraction), RAMAN (Raman spectroscopy), EDX (Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy), UV-Vis (Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy) and LCMS/MS/MS (liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy). We found that the morphological structure is affected by the anodization duration according to FE-SEM. The photocatalytic degradation shows a photodegradation rate of k = 0.0104 min-1. It is also found that a mineralization of Simazine by our prepared TiO₂ nanotubes leads to the formation of cyanuric acid. We propose three Simazine photodegradation pathways with several intermediates identified.
The principal objective of this research work was to investigate the results of impregnating epoxy matrix-glass fibre composite laminates with nanosilica as secondary reinforcement. 0.5, 0.75, 1 and 3 wt% nanosilica was used and thereafter properties of composites were assessed through tensile, three point bending, quasi static indentation tests and dynamic mechanical analysis. Scanning electron microscope examinations were done on fracture surfaces and failure modes were analyzed. The internal failures of the composite due to quasi-static indentation were evaluated through C-Scan. Among samples of different weight fractions, 0.75 wt% nanosilica reinforced composite laminates exhibited substantial increase of 42% in tensile strength and 39.46% in flexural strength. The reduction in glass transition temperature (Tg), increase in storage modulus (E'), loss modulus (E″) and damping factor (tan δ) were also observed. Quasi-static indentation assessments revealed that energy absorption property was enhanced significantly by 53.97%. Hence nanosilica up to 0.75 wt% can be used as a potential candidate for secondary reinforcement in epoxy composite laminates.
In this work, nanocrystalline Ge1-xSnx alloy formation from a rapid thermal annealed Ge/Sn/Ge multilayer has been presented. The multilayer was magnetron sputtered onto the Silicon substrate. This was followed by annealing the layers by rapid thermal annealing, at temperatures of 300 °C, 350 °C, 400 °C, and 450 °C, for 10 s. Then, the effect of thermal annealing on the morphological, structural, and optical characteristics of the synthesized Ge1-xSnx alloys were investigated. The nanocrystalline Ge1-xSnx formation was revealed by high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD) measurements, which showed the orientation of (111). Raman results showed that phonon intensities of the Ge-Ge vibrations were improved with an increase in the annealing temperature. The results evidently showed that raising the annealing temperature led to improvements in the crystalline quality of the layers. It was demonstrated that Ge-Sn solid-phase mixing had occurred at a low temperature of 400 °C, which led to the creation of a Ge1-xSnx alloy. In addition, spectral photo-responsivity of a fabricated Ge1-xSnx metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) photodetector exhibited its extending wavelength into the near-infrared region (820 nm).
Foamed mortar with a density of 1300 kg/m³ was prepared. In the initial laboratory trials, water-to-cement (w/c) ratios ranging from 0.54 to 0.64 were tested to determine the optimal value for foamed mortar corresponding to the highest compressive strength without compromising its fresh state properties. With the obtained optimal w/c ratio of 0.56, two types of foamed mortar were prepared, namely cement-foamed mortar (CFM) and slag-foamed mortar (SFM, 50% cement was replaced by slag weight). Four different curing conditions were adopted for both types of foamed mortar to assess their compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) and thermal insulation performance. The test results indicated that utilizing 50% of slag as cement replacement in the production of foamed mortar improved the compressive strength, UPV and thermal insulation properties. Additionally, the initial water curing of seven days gained higher compressive strength and increased UPV values as compared to the air cured and natural weather curing samples. However, this positive effect was more pronounced in the case of compressive strength than in the UPV and thermal conductivity of foamed mortar.
A miniaturized antenna employing a negative index metamaterial with modified split-ring resonator (SRR) and capacitance-loaded strip (CLS) unit cells is presented for Ultra wideband (UWB) microwave imaging applications. Four left-handed (LH) metamaterial (MTM) unit cells are located along one axis of the antenna as the radiating element. Each left-handed metamaterial unit cell combines a modified split-ring resonator (SRR) with a capacitance-loaded strip (CLS) to obtain a design architecture that simultaneously exhibits both negative permittivity and negative permeability, which ensures a stable negative refractive index to improve the antenna performance for microwave imaging. The antenna structure, with dimension of 16 × 21 × 1.6 mm³, is printed on a low dielectric FR4 material with a slotted ground plane and a microstrip feed. The measured reflection coefficient demonstrates that this antenna attains 114.5% bandwidth covering the frequency band of 3.4-12.5 GHz for a voltage standing wave ratio of less than 2 with a maximum gain of 5.16 dBi at 10.15 GHz. There is a stable harmony between the simulated and measured results that indicate improved nearly omni-directional radiation characteristics within the operational frequency band. The stable surface current distribution, negative refractive index characteristic, considerable gain and radiation properties make this proposed negative index metamaterial antenna optimal for UWB microwave imaging applications.
50 years ago, Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the catalytic polymerization of ethylene and propylene using titanium compounds and aluminum-alkyls as co-catalysts. Polyolefins have grown to become one of the biggest of all produced polymers. New metallocene/methylaluminoxane (MAO) catalysts open the possibility to synthesize polymers with highly defined microstructure, tacticity, and steroregularity, as well as long-chain branched, or blocky copolymers with excellent properties. This improvement in polymerization is possible due to the single active sites available on the metallocene catalysts in contrast to their traditional counterparts. Moreover, these catalysts, half titanocenes/MAO, zirconocenes, and other single site catalysts can control various important parameters, such as co-monomer distribution, molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, molecular architecture, stereo-specificity, degree of linearity, and branching of the polymer. However, in most cases research in this area has reduced academia as olefin polymerization has seen significant advancements in the industries. Therefore, this paper aims to further motivate interest in polyolefin research in academia by highlighting promising and open areas for the future.
This paper presents the design and analysis of a novel split-H-shaped metamaterial unit cell structure that is applicable in a multi-band frequency range and that exhibits negative permeability and permittivity in those frequency bands. In the basic design, the separate split-square resonators are joined by a metal link to form an H-shaped unit structure. Moreover, an analysis and a comparison of the 1 × 1 array and 2 × 2 array structures and the 1 × 1 and 2 × 2 unit cell configurations were performed. All of these configurations demonstrate multi-band operating frequencies (S-band, C-band, X-band and Ku-band) with double-negative characteristics. The equivalent circuit model and measured result for each unit cell are presented to validate the resonant behavior. The commercially available finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)-based simulation software, Computer Simulation Technology (CST) Microwave Studio, was used to obtain the reflection and transmission parameters of each unit cell. This is a novel and promising design in the electromagnetic paradigm for its simplicity, scalability, double-negative characteristics and multi-band operation.
The significant increase in metal costs has forced the electronics industry to provide new materials and methods to reduce costs, while maintaining customers' high-quality expectations. This paper considers the problem of most electronic industries in reducing costly materials, by introducing a solder paste with alloy composition tin 98.3%, silver 0.3%, and copper 0.7%, used for the construction of the surface mount fine-pitch component on a Printing Wiring Board (PWB). The reliability of the solder joint between electronic components and PWB is evaluated through the dynamic characteristic test, thermal shock test, and Taguchi method after the printing process. After experimenting with the dynamic characteristic test and thermal shock test with 20 boards, the solder paste was still able to provide a high-quality solder joint. In particular, the Taguchi method is used to determine the optimal control parameters and noise factors of the Solder Printer (SP) machine, that affects solder volume and solder height. The control parameters include table separation distance, squeegee speed, squeegee pressure, and table speed of the SP machine. The result shows that the most significant parameter for the solder volume is squeegee pressure (2.0 mm), and the solder height is the table speed of the SP machine (2.5 mm/s).
Hydrolyzing the amorphous region while keeping the crystalline region unaltered is the key technology for producing nanocellulose. This study investigated if the dissolution properties of the amorphous region of microcrystalline cellulose can be enhanced in the presence of Fe(3+) salt in acidic medium. The process parameters, including temperature, time and the concentration of metal chloride catalyst (FeCl₃), were optimized by using the response surface methodology (RSM). The experimental observation demonstrated that temperature and time play vital roles in hydrolyzing the amorphous sections of cellulose. This would yield hydrocellulose with higher crystallinity. The factors that were varied for the production of hydrocellulose were the temperature (x₁), time (x₂) and FeCl₃ catalyst concentration (x₃). Responses were measured in terms of percentage of crystallinity (y₁) and the yield (y₂) of the prepared hydrocellulose. Relevant mathematical models were developed. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out to obtain the most significant factors influencing the responses of the percentage of crystallinity and yield. Under optimum conditions, the percentage of crystallinity and yield were 83.46% and 86.98% respectively, at 90.95 °C, 6 h, with a catalyst concentration of 1 M. The physiochemical characteristics of the prepared hydrocellulose were determined in terms of XRD, SEM, TGA and FTIR analyses. The addition of FeCl₃ salt in acid hydrolyzing medium is a novel technique for substantially increasing crystallinity with a significant morphological change.