1Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei City 106319, Taiwan 2Department of Medical Research, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Hualien City 970, Taiwan 3National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Hsinchu City 300092, Taiwan 4Tzu-Chi University of Science and Technology, Hualien City 970, Taiwan 5Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei City 106335, Taiwan 6Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City 106, Taiwan
Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation with wavelengths of 10 – 121 nm has drawn considerable attention recently for its use in photolithography to fabricate nanoelectronic chips. This study demonstrates, for the first time, fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) with nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers as scintillators to image and characterize EUV radiations. The FNDs employed are ~100 nm in size; they form a uniform and stable thin film on an indium tin oxide-coated slide by electrospray deposition. The film is non-hygroscopic, photostable, and can emit bright red fluorescence from NV0 centers when excited by EUV light. An FND-based imaging device has been developed and applied for beam diagnostics of 50 nm and 13.5 nm synchrotron radiations, achieving a spatial resolution of 30 μm using a film of ~1 μm thickness. The noise equivalent power density is 29 μW/cm2Hz1/2 for the 13.5 nm radiation. The method is generally applicable to imaging EUV radiations from different sources.
Direct gas-phase formation of formic acid through reaction of Criegee intermediates with formaldehyde
Pei-Ling Luo*, I-Yun Chen, M. Anwar H. Khan, and Dudley E. Shallcross
Ozonolysis of isoprene is considered to be an important source of formic acid (HCOOH), but its underlying reaction mechanisms related to HCOOH formation are poorly understood. Here, we report the kinetic and product studies of the reaction between the simplest Criegee intermediate (CH2OO) and formaldehyde (HCHO), both of which are the primary products formed in ozonolysis of isoprene. By utilizing time-resolved infrared laser spectrometry with the multifunctional dual-comb spectrometers, the rate coefficient kCH2OO+HCHO is determined to be (4.11 ± 0.25) × 10−12 cm3 molecule−1 s−1 at 296 K and a negative temperature dependence of the rate coefficient is observed and described by an Arrhenius expression with an activation energy of (–1.81 ± 0.04) kcal mol−1. Moreover, the branching ratios of the reaction products HCOOH + HCHO and CO + H2O + HCHO are explored. The yield of HCOOH is obtained to be 37–54% over the pressure (15–60 Torr) and temperature (283–313 K) ranges. The atmospheric implications of the reaction CH2OO + HCHO are also evaluated by incorporating these results into a global chemistry-transport model. In the upper troposphere, the percent loss of CH2OO by HCHO is found by up to 6% which can subsequently increase HCOOH mixing ratios by up to 2% during December-January-February months.
Effects of Non-Adiabatic Electromagnetic Vacuum Fluctuations on Internal Conversion
Hung-Sheng Tsai, Chih-En Shen, Sheng-Chieh Hsu, and Liang-Yan Hsu*
To explore non-adiabatic effects caused by electromagnetic (EM) vacuum fluctuations in molecules, we develop a general theory of internal conversion (IC) in the framework of quantum electrodynamics and propose a new mechanism, “quantum electrodynamic internal conversion” (QED-IC). The theory allows us to compute the rates of the conventional IC and QED-IC processes at the first-principles level. Our simulations manifest that, under experimentally feasible weak light–matter coupling conditions, EM vacuum fluctuations can significantly affect IC rates by an order of magnitude. Moreover, our theory elucidates three key factors in the QED-IC mechanism: the effective mode volume, coupling-weighted normal mode alignment, and molecular rigidity. The theory successfully captures the nucleus–photon interaction in the factor “coupling-weighted normal mode alignment”. In addition, we find that molecular rigidity plays a totally different role in conventional IC versus QED-IC rates. Our study provides applicable design principles for exploiting QED effects on IC processes.
Our latest publication employed PalmGRET, a bioluminescence-resonance-energy-transfer (BRET)-based EV reporter, to discover an abundant release of big EVs (bEVs; >200 nm) by aggressive breast cancers when compared to epithelial and less malignant cells. bEVs have been largely overshadowed by small EVs (sEVs; <200 nm) in EV research in the past decades. This is the first study to accurately detect and systematically compare biophysical property and in vivo profiles of breast cancer bEVs and sEVs. This is followed by the identification of EV surface oncoproteins, and their role in modulating organotropism and tumorigenic potential of the bEVs and sEVs. Our landmark findings impart a broad and deep reference for upcoming EV studies, with an emphasis on EV engineering for diagnosis and therapeutic applications.
Phase Modulation of Self-Gating in Ionic Liquid-Functionalized InSe Field-Effect Transistors
Chih-Yi Cheng, Wei-Liang Pai, Yi-Hsun Chen, Naomi Tabudlong Paylaga, Pin-Yun Wu, Chun-Wei Chen, Chi-Te Liang, Fang-Cheng Chou, Raman Sankar, Michael S. Fuhrer, Shao-Yu Chen*, and Wei-Hua Wang*
Understanding the Coulomb interactions between two-dimensional (2D) materials and adjacent ions/impurities is essential to realizing 2D material-based hybrid devices. Electrostatic gating via ionic liquids (ILs) has been employed to study the properties of 2D materials. However, the intrinsic interactions between 2D materials and ILs are rarely addressed. This work studies the intersystem Coulomb interactions in IL-functionalized InSe field-effect transistors by displacement current measurements. We uncover a strong self-gating effect that yields a 50-fold enhancement in interfacial capacitance, reaching 550 nF/cm2 in the maximum. Moreover, we reveal the IL-phase-dependent transport characteristics, including the channel current, carrier mobility, and density, substantiating the self-gating at the InSe/IL interface. The dominance of self-gating in the rubber phase is attributed to the correlation between the intra- and intersystem Coulomb interactions, further confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. This study provides insights into the capacitive coupling at the InSe/IL interface, paving the way to developing liquid/2D material hybrid devices.
Employing direct Z-scheme semiconductor heterostructures in photocatalysis offers efficient charge carrier separation and isolation of both redox reactions, thus beneficial to reduce CO2 into solar fuels. Here, a ZnS/ZnIn2S4 heterostructure, comprising cubic ZnS nanocrystals on hexagonal ZnIn2S4 (ZIS) nanosheets, is successfully fabricated in a single-pot hydrothermal approach. The composite ZnS/ZnIn2S4 exhibits microstrain at its interface with an electric field favorable for Z-scheme. At an optimum ratio of Zn:In (~ 1:0.5), an excellent photochemical quantum efficiency of around 0.8% is reached, nearly 200-fold boost compared with pristine ZnS. Electronic levels and band alignments are deduced from ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy and UV-Vis. Evidence of the direct Z-scheme and carrier dynamics is verified by photo-reduction experiment, along with photoluminescence (PL) and time-resolved PL. Finally, diffuse-reflectance infrared Fourier transformed spectroscopy explores the CO2 and related intermediate species adsorbed on the catalyst during the photocatalytic reaction. This microstrain-induced direct Z-scheme approach opens a new pathway for developing next-generation photocatalysts for CO2 reduction.
Cavity-Free Quantum-Electrodynamic Electron Transfer Reactions
Yu-Chen Wei and Liang-Yan Hsu*
Richard Feynman stated that “The theory behind chemistry is quantum electrodynamics”. However, harnessing quantum-electrodynamic (QED) effects to modify chemical reactions is a grand challenge and currently has only been reported in experiments using cavities due to the limitation of strong light–matter coupling. In this article, we demonstrate that QED effects can significantly enhance the rate of electron transfer (ET) by several orders of magnitude in the absence of cavities, which is implicitly supported by experimental reports. To understand how cavity-free QED effects are involved in ET reactions, we incorporate the effect of infinite one-photon states into Marcus theory, derive an explicit expression for the rate of radiative ET, and develop the concept of “electron transfer overlap”. Moreover, QED effects may lead to a barrier-free ET reaction whose rate is dependent on the energy-gap power law. This study thus provides new insights into fundamental chemical principles, with promising prospects for QED-based chemical reactions.
Explorations of symmetry and topology have led to important breakthroughs in quantum optics, but much richer behaviors arise from the non-Hermitian nature of light-matter interactions. A high-reflectivity, non-Hermitian optical mirror can be realized by a two-dimensional subwavelength array of neutral atoms near the cooperative resonance associated with the collective dipole modes. Here we show that exceptional points develop from a nondefective degeneracy by lowering the crystal symmetry of a square atomic lattice, and dispersive bulk Fermi arcs that originate from exceptional points are truncated by the light cone. From its nontrivial energy spectra topology, we demonstrate that the geometry-dependent non-Hermitian skin effect emerges in a ribbon geometry. Furthermore, skin modes localized at a boundary show a scale-free behavior that stems from the long-range interaction and whose mechanism goes beyond the framework of non-Bloch band theory. Our work opens the door to the study of the interplay among non-Hermiticity, topology, and long-range interaction.
Synchronized two-color time-resolved dual-comb spectroscopy for quantitative detection of HOx radicals formed from Criegee intermediates
Pei-Ling Luo* and I-Yun Chen
A novel spectrometer has been developed based on synchronized two-color time-resolved dual-comb spectroscopy (TRDCS), enabling high-resolution hyperspectral measurements. The proposed approach with TRDCS exhibits great potential in quantitative diagnostics of multispecies and opens opportunities to decipher key reaction mechanisms in atmospheric chemistry. In this work, we perform simultaneous measurements in two distinct molecular fingerprint regions near 2.9 and 7.8 μm by employing the new approach with synchronized two-color TRDCS. Upon flash photolysis of CH2I2/O2/N2 gas mixtures, multiple reaction species, involving the simplest Criegee intermediates (CH2OO), formaldehyde (CH2O), hydroxyl (OH) and hydroperoxy (HO2) radicals are simultaneously detected with microsecond time resolution. The concentration of each molecule can be determined based on high-resolution rovibrational absorption spectroscopy. With quantitative detection and simulation of temporal concentration profiles of the targeted molecules at various conditions, the underlying reaction mechanisms and pathways related to the formation of the HOx radicals, which can be generated from decomposition of initially energized and vibrationally excited Criegee intermediates, are explored.
Limited methods are available for investigating the reorientational dynamics of A-site cations in two-dimensional organic–inorganic hybrid perovskites (2D OIHPs), which play a pivotal role in determining their physical properties. Here, we describe an approach to study the dynamics of A-site cations using solid-state NMR and stable isotope labelling. 2H NMR of 2D OIHPs incorporating methyl-d3-ammonium cations (d3-MA) reveals the existence of multiple modes of reorientational motions of MA. Rotational-echo double resonance (REDOR) NMR of 2D OIHPs incorporating 15N- and 13C-labeled methylammonium cations (13C,15N-MA) reﬂects the averaged dipolar coupling between the C and N nuclei undergoing different modes of motions. Our study reveals the interplay between the A-site cation dynamics and the structural rigidity of the organic spacers, so providing a molecular-level insight into the design of 2D OIHPs.
Chromatin is a DNA–protein complex that is densely packed in the cell nucleus. The nanoscale chromatin compaction plays critical roles in the modulation of cell nuclear processes. However, little is known about the spatiotemporal dynamics of chromatin compaction states because it remains difficult to quantitatively measure the chromatin compaction level in live cells. Here, we demonstrate a strategy, referenced as DYNAMICS imaging, for mapping chromatin organization in live cell nuclei by analyzing the dynamic scattering signal of molecular fluctuations. Highly sensitive optical interference microscopy, coherent brightfield (COBRI) microscopy, is implemented to detect the linear scattering of unlabeled chromatin at a high speed. A theoretical model is established to determine the local chromatin density from the statistical fluctuation of the measured scattering signal. DYNAMICS imaging allows us to reconstruct a speckle-free nucleus map that is highly correlated to the fluorescence chromatin image. Moreover, together with calibration based on nanoparticle colloids, we show that the DYNAMICS signal is sensitive to the chromatin compaction level at the nanoscale. We confirm the effectiveness of DYNAMICS imaging in detecting the condensation and decondensation of chromatin induced by chemical drug treatments. Importantly, the stable scattering signal supports a continuous observation of the chromatin condensation and decondensation processes for more than 1 h. Using this technique, we detect transient and nanoscopic chromatin condensation events occurring on a time scale of a few seconds. Label-free DYNAMICS imaging offers the opportunity to investigate chromatin conformational dynamics and to explore their significance in various gene activities.Link to the paper: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.1c09748Recommended in Faculty Opinion: https://facultyopinions.com/prime/741388510Reported by Science Promotion & Engagement Center: https://spec.ntu.edu.tw/20220322-research-chem/
We here report on the direct observation of ferroelectric properties of water ice in its 2D phase. Upon nanoelectromechanical confinement between two graphene layers, water forms a 2D ice phase at room temperature that exhibits a strong and permanent dipole which depends on the previously applied field, representing clear evidence for ferroelectric ordering. Characterization of this permanent polarization with respect to varying water partial pressure and temperature reveals the importance of forming a monolayer of 2D ice for ferroelectric ordering which agrees with ab-initio and molecular dynamics simulations conducted. The observed robust ferroelectric properties of 2D ice enable novel nanoelectromechanical devices that exhibit memristive properties. A unique bipolar mechanical switching behavior is observed where previous charging history controls the transition voltage between low-resistance and high-resistance state. This advance enables the realization of rugged, non-volatile, mechanical memory exhibiting switching ratios of 106, 4 bit storage capabilities and no degradation after 10,000 switching cycles.
We here demonstrate the multifunctional properties of atomically thin heterojunctions that are enabled by strong interfacial interactions and their integration into ultra-high performance, self-powered sensors. Epitaxial alignment between tin diselenide and graphene through direct growth produces thermoelectric and mechanoelectric properties beyond the ability of either component. An unprecedented ZT of 2.43 originated from the synergistic combination of graphene’s high carrier conductivity and SnSe2 mediated thermal conductivity lowering. Moreover, strong interaction at the SnSe2/graphene interface produces stress localization that results in a novel 2D-crack-assisted strain sensing mechanism whose sensitivity (GF=450) is superior to all other 2D materials. Finally, the graphene-assisted growth process, permits the formation of high-quality heterojunctions directly on polymeric substrates for flexible and transparent self-powered sensors that achieve fast and reliable strain sensing from a small temperature gradient. Our work enhances the fundamental understanding of multifunctionality at the atomic scale and provide a route towards structural health monitoring through ubiquitous and smart devices.
Multiplexed bioluminescence-mediated tracking of DNA double strand break repairs in vitro and in vivo
Jasper Che-Yung Chien, Christian E. Badr* and Charles Pin-Kuang Lai*
The dynamics of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repairs including homology-directed repair and nonhomologous end joining play an important role in diseases and therapies. However, investigating DSB repair is typically a low-throughput and cross-sectional process, requiring disruption of cells and organisms for subsequent nuclease-, sequencing- or reporter-based assays. In this protocol, we provide instructions for establishing a bioluminescent repair reporter system using engineered Gaussia and Vargula luciferases for noninvasive tracking of homology-directed repair and nonhomologous end joining, respectively, induced by SceI meganuclease, SpCas9 or SpCas9 D10A nickase-mediated editing. We also describe complementation with orthogonal DSB repair assays and omics analyses to validate the reporter readouts. The bioluminescent repair reporter system provides longitudinal and rapid readout (~seconds per sample) to accurately and efficiently measure the efficacy of genome-editing tools and small-molecule modulators on DSB repair. This protocol takes ~2–4 weeks to establish, and as little as 2 h to complete the assay. The entire bioluminescent repair reporter procedure can be performed by one person with standard molecular biology expertise and equipment. However, orthogonal DNA repair assays would require a specialized facility that performs Sanger sequencing or next-generation sequencing.
Giant exciton-enhanced shift currents and direct current conduction with subbandgap photo excitations produced by many-electron interactions
Y. H. Chan, Diana Y. Qiu, Felipe H. da Jornada, and Steven G. Louie
Shift current is a direct current generated from nonlinear light–matter interaction in a noncentrosymmetric crystal and is considered a promising candidate for next-generation photovoltaic devices. The mechanism for shift currents in real materials is, however, still not well understood, especially if electron–hole interactions are included. Here, we employ a first-principles interacting Green’s-function approach on the Keldysh contour with real-time propagation to study photocurrents generated by nonlinear optical processes under continuous wave illumination in real materials. We demonstrate a strong direct current shift current at subbandgap excitation frequencies in monolayer GeS due to strongly bound excitons, as well as a giant excitonic enhancement in the shift current coefficients at above bandgap photon frequencies. Our results suggest that atomically thin two-dimensional materials may be promising building blocks for next-generation shift current devices.