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Takahashi Y.,Imperial College London | Shevchuk A.I.,Imperial College London | Novak P.,Imperial College London | Zhang Y.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | And 10 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

Double take: Double-barrel carbon nanoprobes with integrated distance control for simultaneous nanoscale electrochemical and ion conductance microscopy can be fabricated with a wide range of probe sizes in less than two minutes. The nanoprobes allow simultaneous noncontact topographical (left image) and electrochemical imaging (right) of living neurons, as well as localized K + delivery and simultaneous neurotransmitter detection. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Yang X.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Liu X.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Zhang X.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Lu H.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | And 4 more authors.
Ultramicroscopy | Year: 2011

PC12 cells derived from rat pheochromocytoma can differentiate into sympathetic-neuron-like cells in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). These cells have been proved to be a useful cell model to study neuronal differentiation. NGF induces rapid changes in membrane morphology, neurite outgrowth, and electrical excitability. However, the relationship between the 3D morphological changes of NGF-differentiated PC12 cells and their electrophysiological functions remains poorly understood.In this study, we combined a recently developed Hopping Probe Ion Conductance Microscopy (HPICM) with patch-clamp technique to investigate the high-resolution morphological changes and functional ion-channel development during the NGF-induced neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells. NGF enlarged TTX-sensitive sodium currents of PC12 cells, which associated with cell volume, membrane surface area, surface roughness of the membrane, and neurite outgrowth. These results demonstrate that the combination of HPICM and patch-clamp technique can provide detailed information of membrane microstructures and ion-channel functions during the differentiation of PC12 cells, and has the potential to become a powerful tool for neuronal research. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Lu H.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | Deng K.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | Shi Z.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | Liu Q.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | And 3 more authors.
Nanoscale Research Letters | Year: 2014

ZnO nanostructures were manipulated, via a low-temperature solution process, from pure nanorod arrays to complex nanostructures of microflowers on nanorod arrays with adjusted quantities of flowers. We proposed the mechanism of local dissolution-driven growth to rationally discuss the novel growth process. These nanostructures were used as photoanodes in dye-sensitized solar cells. Compared to pure nanorod arrays, the nanorod array-microflower hierarchical structures improved the power conversion efficiency from 0.41% to 0.92%, corresponding to a 124% efficiency increase. The enhancement of the efficiency was mainly ascribed to the synergistic effect of the enhanced surface area for higher dye loading and the improved light harvesting from efficient light scattering. Present results provide a promising route to improve the capability of light-harvesting for ZnO nanorod array-based DSSCs. © 2014, Lu et al.; licensee Springer.


Wang R.,Qingdao University | Wu Q.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Lu Y.,Northeast Forestry University | Liu H.,Griffith University | And 6 more authors.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2014

The preparation of nitrogen-doped TiO2/graphene nanohybrids and their application as counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) are presented. These nanohybrids are prepared by self-assembly of pyrene modified H2Ti3O7 nanosheets and graphene in aqueous medium via π-π stacking interactions, followed by thermal calcination at different temperatures in ammonia atmosphere to afford nitrogen-doped TiO 2/graphene nanohybrids. H2Ti3O7 nanosheets were synthesized from TiOSO4·xH2O by a hydrothermal reaction at 150 C for 48 h. The microstructure of the obtained mixed-phase nanohybrids was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Moreover, the performances of the as-prepared nanohybrids as counter electrode materials for DSSC was investigated, and the results indicated that the nanohybrids prepared at higher nitridation temperature would lead to higher short-circuit current density than those prepared at lower nitridation temperature, indicating that it can be utilized as a low-cost alternative to Pt for DSSCs and other applications. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Qu J.,Changzhou University | Wu Q.-D.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Ren Y.-R.,Changzhou University | Su Z.,Jiangsu University | And 2 more authors.
Chemistry - An Asian Journal | Year: 2012

Curled up: TiO 2-B nanotubes with two curled layers are successfully prepared by a facile hydrothermal route and subsequent calcination. The two curled layers produce a thin wall, and thus the obtained double-walled structure results in short distances of electron and lithium-ion transport, thereby leading to an improved high-rate performance. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Qu J.,Changzhou University | Qu J.,Colorado School of Mines | Yang Y.,Colorado School of Mines | Wu Q.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | And 6 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2014

Hedgehog-like hierarchical ZnO needle-clusters, three-dimensional (3-D) ZnO flowers and one-dimensional (1-D) ZnO needles have been synthesised via a facile hydrothermal method. These samples with different morphologies and microstructures were used to fabricate photoelectrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Out of the three samples, current-voltage (I-V) curve measurements show that DSSCs with hedgehog-like ZnO needle-clusters display the best photoelectrochemical performance which can be attributed to enhanced light harvesting and faster reaction kinetics resulting from the unique morphology. The UV-vis absorption and diffused reflectance spectra indicate that hedgehog-like ZnO needle-clusters show higher light harvesting abilities due to high UV absorption, stronger light scattering, as well as a high surface area. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS), and intensity-modulated voltage spectroscopy (IMVS) further demonstrate that hedgehog-like ZnO needle-clusters provide superior electron transfer kinetics: fast electron transfer and long electron lifetimes with suppressed recombination. The ZnO needle-clusters obtained not only provide a 3-D matrix but also avoid extensive grain boundary formation. The discoveries from this work are important for the design of efficient photoanode materials with optimum structures for DSSCs. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Zhang D.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering
Advanced Materials Research | Year: 2012

The surface and structural properties, thermal stability and oxygen storage capability are inverstigated in ceria-zirconia-alumina oxide with deposition coprecipitation method using the Pseudoboehmite precursor. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Brunauer-Emmet Teller method (BET), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and oxygen pulsing technique are used to character the prepared materials. The prepared ceria-zirconia-alumina oxides are highly dispersed composite solid solution. After calcination at 650°C and 1000°C respectively, these compounds can still keep the structural and textural stability and hold excellent oxygen storage capability. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications.


Lai C.,Jiangsu University | Wu Z.,Jiangsu University | Zhu Y.,Jiangsu University | Wu Q.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2013

Mesoporous Li4Ti5O12 is prepared via ball-milling assisted solid-state reaction with titanyl sulfate and LiOH as precursors. Different from previous reports, the solid-state reaction route generates mesopores in Li4Ti5O12 by removing the impurities after the high-temperature synthesis process. This technique ensures the formation of well-defined mesoporous structure and ultrafine nanoparticles with the size of around 8 nm. The as-prepared sample shows good rate and cycle performance. At the current density of 1750 mA g-1 (10 C), high initial discharge capacity of 174.5 mAh g-1 can be obtained, which can be retained at 143.4 mAh g-1 after 50 cycles. This facile ball-milling assisted solid-state reaction could be a practical way for the mass synthesis of mesoporous Li4Ti5O12 as high-performance anodes. © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Liu X.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Yang X.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Zhang B.,Tianjin Medical University | Zhang X.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | And 4 more authors.
Brain Research | Year: 2011

It is well known that heterogeneous neuroblastoma (NB) has three different phenotypic variants; the differentiation and transdifferentiation among them increase the complexity of this cancer. However, high-resolution characterization of their morphology has not been addressed by conventional microscopy. Under the help of high-resolution hopping probe ion conductance microscopy, we demonstrated that three morphologically distinct cell populations exist in live NB SK-N-SH cell line. Among these three types cells, N-type cells had the smallest cell volume and the biggest height, S-type owned the biggest cell volume and the smallest height, and I-type was intermediate between N- and S-type. The difference of microvilli morphology rendered I- and N-type cells with a higher RMS than S-type cells. These high-resolution morphologic criteria can provide more direct information to distinguish different cell types in NB tumor, and may give a hand to the development of new therapies and diagnosis. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Patent
China National Academy Of Nanotechnology And Engineering | Date: 2010-07-09

An organic dye and preparation method thereof and dye-sensitized solar cells using this organic dye are provided. The structure of the organic dye molecule is donor-conjugated unit(s)-acceptor. The organic dye with broad spectrum response and high molar-absorption coefficient is obtained by modifying the structure by using various conjugated unit(s) in combination with donor and acceptor. The conditions of preparation of the organic dye are mild and the yield is high, and the organic dye can be used for highly effective dye-sensitized solar cells.

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