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Author: Boris Yakobson (153)


Dec
2017

Despite recent increased research interest in hetero-atom (B and/or N) doping effects on the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance of carbon nanomaterials, microscopic understanding of active catalytic sites and effects of B and/or N doping has not been conclusively reached. Here, through comparative first-principles simulations between BN codoping and isolated B or N doping in both graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), we not only identify active sites in these doped carbon nanomaterials, but elucidate the underlying mechanism of ORR processes. While the distortion of C-C bonds in CNTs leads to strong binding of O2, spin density distribution along the edges plays a key role in enhancing the adsorption strength of O2 on GNRs.

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Dec
2017

Black phosphorene (BP)/carbon nanotube (CNT) heterostructures can be classified as either type I or II, depending on the size of the CNTs. An external electric field (Eext) can modulate the interfacial electronic structures and separate the electron and hole carriers of the BP/CNT heterostructures. The giant Stark effect is observed, and the band gap of the semiconducting heterostructures can vary several-fold.

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Dec
2017

Correction for 'Two-dimensional boron: structures, properties and applications' by Zhuhua Zhang et al., Chem. Soc.

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Nov
2017

Recently discovered two-dimensional (2D) boron polymorphs, collectively tagged borophene, are all metallic with high free charge carrier concentration, pointing toward the possibility of supporting plasmons. Ab initio linear response computations of the dielectric function allow one to calculate the plasmon frequencies (ω) in the selected example structures of boron layers. The results show that the electrons in these sheets indeed mimic a 2D electron gas, and their plasmon dispersion in the small wavevector (q) limit accurately follows the signature dependence ω ∝ √q.

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Nov
2017

Situated between metals and non-metals in the periodic table, boron is one of the most chemically versatile elements, forming at least sixteen bulk polymorphs composed of interlinked boron polyhedra. In low-dimensionality, boron chemistry remains or becomes even more intriguing since boron clusters with several to tens of atoms favor planar or cage-like structures, which are similar to their carbon counterparts in terms of conformation and electronic structure. The similarity between boron and carbon has raised a question of whether there exists stable two-dimensional (2D) boron, as a conceptual precursor, from which other boron nanostructures may be built.

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Sep
2017

RABORAL V-RG® is an oral rabies vaccine bait that contains an attenuated ("modified-live") recombinant vaccinia virus vector vaccine expressing the rabies virus glycoprotein gene (V-RG). Approximately 250 million doses have been distributed globally since 1987 without any reports of adverse reactions in wildlife or domestic animals since the first licensed recombinant oral rabies vaccine (ORV) was released into the environment to immunize wildlife populations against rabies. V-RG is genetically stable, is not detected in the oral cavity beyond 48 h after ingestion, is not shed by vaccinates into the environment, and has been tested for thermostability under a range of laboratory and field conditions.

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Sep
2017

Two-dimensional (2D) Dirac materials and boron sheets have attracted intensive interest recently. However, 2D Dirac materials remain rare and difficult to be realized experimentally, and 2D boron sheets generally have high dynamical instability. Stimulated by the experimental observation of Dirac cones in nongraphene-like β12 boron sheets and based on the understanding of boron sheet electronic organization, we theoretically design new 2D Dirac materials β12-XBeB5 (X = H, F, Cl) with high stability.

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Nov
2017

Gate-Voltage Control of Borophene Structure Formation.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2017 Nov 25;56(48):15421-15426. Epub 2017 Oct 25.
Zhuhua Zhang, Sharmila N Shirodkar, Yang Yang, Boris I Yakobson
Boron nanostructures are easily charged but how charge carriers affect their structural stability is unknown. We combined cluster expansion methods with first-principles calculations to analyze the dependence of the preferred structure of two-dimensional (2D) boron, or "borophene", on charge doping controlled by a gate voltage. At a reasonable doping level of 3.

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Sep
2017

Synthesis of two-dimensional (2D) crystals is a topic of great current interest, since their chemical makeup, electronic, mechanical, catalytic, and optical properties are so diverse. A universal challenge, however, is the generally random formation of defects caused by various growth factors on flat surfaces. Here we show through theoretical analysis and experimental demonstration that nonplanar, curved-topography substrates permit the intentional and controllable creation of topological defects within 2D materials.

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Sep
2017

Alloying/doping in 2D material is important due to wide range bandgap tunability. Increasing the number of components would increase the degree of freedom which can provide more flexibility in tuning the bandgap and also reduces the growth temperature. Here, synthesis of quaternary alloys Mox W1-x S2y Se2(1-y) is reported using chemical vapor deposition.

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Jun
2017

We show how a jellium model can represent a catalyst particle within the density-functional theory based approaches to the growth mechanism of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The advantage of jellium is an abridged, less computationally taxing description of the multi-atom metal particle, while at the same time in avoiding the uncertainty of selecting a particular atomic geometry of either a solid or ever-changing liquid catalyst particle. A careful choice of jellium sphere size and its electron density as a descriptive parameter allows one to calculate the CNT-metal interface energies close to explicit full atomistic models.

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Jul
2017

The cathodic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is essential in the electrochemical energy conversion of fuel cells. Here, through the NH3 atmosphere annealing of a graphene oxide (GO) precursor containing trace amounts of Ru, we have synthesized atomically dispersed Ru on nitrogen-doped graphene that performs as an electrocatalyst for the ORR in acidic medium. The Ru/nitrogen-doped GO catalyst exhibits excellent four-electron ORR activity, offering onset and half-wave potentials of 0.

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Jun
2017

One can utilize the folding of paper to build fascinating 3D origami architectures with extraordinary mechanical properties and surface area. Inspired by the same, the morphology of 2D graphene can be tuned by addition of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles in the presence of a magnetic field. The innovative 3D architecture with enhanced mechanical properties also shows a high surface area (∼2500 m2 g-1) which is utilized for oil absorption.

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Feb
2017

We report a comprehensive first-principles study of the structural and chemical properties of the recently discovered B40 cage. It is found to be highly reactive and can exothermically dimerize, regardless of the orientation, by overcoming a small energy barrier ≃0.06 eV.

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Feb
2017

Recent production of long carbyne chains, concurrent with advances in the synthesis of pure boron fullerenes and atom-thin layers, motivates an exploration of possible one-dimensional boron. By means of first-principles calculations, we find two isomers, two-atom wide ribbon and single-atom chain, linked by a tension-driven (negative-pressure) transformation. We explore the stability and unusual properties of both phases, demonstrating mechanical stiffness on par with the highest-performing known nanomaterials, and a phase transition between stable 1D metal and an antiferromagnetic semiconductor, with the phase boundary effectively forming a stretchable 1D Schottky junction.

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Feb
2017

The development of catalytic materials for the hydrogen oxidation, hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction or oxygen evolution reactions with high reaction rates and low overpotentials are key goals for the development of renewable energy. We report here Ru(0) nanoclusters supported on nitrogen-doped graphene as high-performance multifunctional catalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), showing activities similar to that of commercial Pt/C in alkaline solution. For HER performance in alkaline media, sample Ru/NG-750 reaches 10 mA cm-2 at an overpotential of 8 mV with a Tafel slope of 30 mV dec-1.

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Jan
2017

Mo2C nanocrystals (NCs) anchored on vertically aligned graphene nanoribbons (VA-GNR) as hybrid nanoelectrocatalysts (Mo2C-GNR) are synthesized through the direct carbonization of metallic Mo with atomic H treatment. The growth mechanism of Mo2C NCs with atomic H treatment is discussed. The Mo2C-GNR hybrid exhibits highly active and durable electrocatalytic performance for the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR).

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Dec
2016

We perform comprehensive first-principles analyses on the stability of MX2 nanoclusters. The MX2 (M = Mo, W; X = S) clusters thermodynamically show a high level of phase variability, i.e.

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Dec
2016

D-loops, a new type of structural defect in carbon fibers, are presented, which have highly detrimental effect on their mechanical properties and can define a new fundamental upper limit to their strength. These defects form exclusively during polyacrylonitrile carbonization, act as stress concentrators in the graphitic basal plane, and cannot be removed by local annealing.

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Oct
2016

Two-dimensional (2D) materials tend to be mechanically flexible yet planar, especially when adhered on metal substrates. Here, we show by first-principles calculations that periodic nanoscale one-dimensional undulations can be preferred in borophenes on concertedly reconstructed Ag(111). This "wavy" configuration is more stable than its planar form on flat Ag(111) due to anisotropic high bending flexibility of borophene that is also well described by a continuum model.

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Sep
2016

We propose an aqueous functionalized molybdenum disulfide nanoribbon suspended over a solid electrode as a capacitive displacement sensor aimed at determining the DNA sequence. The detectable sequencing events arise from the combination of Watson-Crick base-pairing, one of nature's most basic lock-and-key binding mechanisms, with the ability of appropriately sized atomically thin membranes to flex substantially in response to subnanonewton forces. We employ carefully designed numerical simulations and theoretical estimates to demonstrate excellent (79% to 86%) raw target detection accuracy at ∼70 million bases per second and electrical measurability of the detected events.

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Aug
2016

Graphene nanoribbons (GNR), can be prepared in bulk quantities for large-area applications by reducing the product from the lengthwise oxidative unzipping of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT). Recently, the biomaterials application of GNR has been explored, for example, in the pore to be used for DNA sequencing. Therefore, understanding the polymer behavior of GNR in solution is essential in predicting GNR interaction with biomaterials.

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Aug
2016

Two-dimensional (2D) layered semiconducting transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are promising candidates for next-generation ultrathin, flexible, and transparent electronics. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is a promising method for their controllable, scalable synthesis but the growth mechanism is poorly understood. Herein, we present systematic studies to understand the CVD growth mechanism of monolayer MoSe2 , showing reaction pathways for growth from solid and vapor precursors.

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Aug
2016

Using detailed first-principles calculations, we investigate the hopping rate of vacancies in phosphorene, an emerging elemental 2D material besides graphene. Our work predicts that a direct observation of these monovacancies (MVs), showing a highly mobile and anisotropic motion, is possible only at low temperatures around 70 K or below where the thermal activity is greatly suppressed. At room temperature, the motion of a MV is 16 orders faster than that in graphene, because of the low diffusion barrier of 0.

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Aug
2016

With the lateral coplanar heterojunctions of two-dimensional monolayer materials turning into reality, the quantitative understanding of their electronic, electrostatic, doping, and scaling properties becomes imperative. In contrast to traditional bulk 3D junctions where carrier equilibrium is reached through local charge redistribution, a highly nonlocalized charge transfer (trailing off as 1/x away from the interface) is present in lateral 2D junctions, increasing the junction size considerably. The depletion width scales as p(-1), while the differential capacitance varies very little with the doping level p.

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Jun
2016


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Jun
2016

A large number of experimental studies over the past few years observed the formation of unusual highly symmetric polycrystalline twinned nanoislands of transition metal dichalcogenides, resembling bowties or stars. Here, we analyze their morphology in terms of equilibrium and growth shapes. We propose a mechanism for these complex shapes' formation via collision of concurrently growing islands and validate the theory with phase-field simulations that demonstrate how highly symmetric structures can actually emerge from arbitrary starting conditions.

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Jul
2016

A new concept for junction fabrication by connecting multiple regions with varying layer thicknesses, based on the thickness dependence, is demonstrated. This type of junction is only possible in super-thin-layered 2D materials, and exhibits similar characteristics as p-n junctions. Rectification and photovoltaic effects are observed in chemically homogeneous MoSe2 junctions between domains of different thicknesses.

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May
2016

Vertically stacked van der Waals heterostructures composed of compositionally different two-dimensional atomic layers give rise to interesting properties due to substantial interactions between the layers. However, these interactions can be easily obscured by the twisting of atomic layers or cross-contamination introduced by transfer processes, rendering their experimental demonstration challenging. Here, we explore the electronic structure and its strain dependence of stacked MoSe2/WSe2 heterostructures directly synthesized by chemical vapor deposition, which unambiguously reveal strong electronic coupling between the atomic layers.

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May
2016

The unidirectional alignment of graphene islands is essential to the synthesis of wafer-scale single-crystal graphene on Ge(110) surface, but the underlying mechanism is not well-understood. Here we report that the necessary coalignment of the nucleating graphene islands on Ge(110) surface is caused by the presence of step-pattern; we show that on the preannealed Ge(110) textureless surface the graphene islands appear nonpreferentially orientated, while on the Ge(110) surfaces with natural step pattern, all graphene islands emerge coaligned. First-principles calculations and theoretical analysis reveal this different alignment behaviors originate from the strong chemical binding formed between the graphene island edges and the atomic steps on the Ge(110) surface, and the lattice matching at edge-step interface dictates the alignment of graphene islands with the armchair direction of graphene along the [-110] direction of the Ge(110) substrate.

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Apr
2016

Can Two-Dimensional Boron Superconduct?

Nano Lett 2016 Apr 25;16(4):2522-6. Epub 2016 Mar 25.
Evgeni S Penev, Alex Kutana, Boris I Yakobson
Two-dimensional boron is expected to exhibit various structural polymorphs, all being metallic. Additionally, its small atomic mass suggests strong electron-phonon coupling, which in turn can enable superconducting behavior. Here we perform first-principles analysis of electronic structure, phonon spectra, and electron-phonon coupling of selected 2D boron polymorphs and show that the most stable structures predicted to feasibly form on a metal substrate should also exhibit intrinsic phonon-mediated superconductivity, with estimated critical temperature in the range of Tc ≈ 10-20 K.

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Feb
2016

Nanostructured materials, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks, have been considered to capture CO2. However, their application has been limited largely because they exhibit poor selectivity for flue gases and low capture capacity under low pressures. We perform a high-throughput screening for selective CO2 capture from flue gases by using first principles thermodynamics.

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May
2016

Bernal (AB)-stacked bilayer graphene (BLG) is a semiconductor whose bandgap can be tuned by a transverse electric field, making it a unique material for a number of electronic and photonic devices. A scalable approach to synthesize high-quality BLG is therefore critical, which requires minimal crystalline defects in both graphene layers and maximal area of Bernal stacking, which is necessary for bandgap tunability. Here we demonstrate that in an oxygen-activated chemical vapour deposition (CVD) process, half-millimetre size, Bernal-stacked BLG single crystals can be synthesized on Cu.

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Feb
2016

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) sheet is a structural analogue of graphene, yet its growth mechanism has been rarely studied, as complicated by its binary composition. Here, we reveal an atomistic growth mechanism for the h-BN islands by combining crystal growth theory with comprehensive first-principles calculations. The island shapes preferred by edge equilibrium are found to be inconsistent with experimental facts, which is in contrast to previous common views.

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Feb
2016

Two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors can be very useful for novel electronic and optoelectronic applications because of their good material properties. However, all current 2D materials have shortcomings that limit their performance. As a result, new 2D materials are highly desirable.

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Jan
2016

The practical recycling of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the electrochemical reduction route requires an active, stable, and affordable catalyst system. Although noble metals such as gold and silver have been demonstrated to reduce CO2 into carbon monoxide (CO) efficiently, they suffer from poor durability and scarcity. Here we report three-dimensional (3D) graphene foam incorporated with nitrogen defects as a metal-free catalyst for CO2 reduction.

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Feb
2016

A MoS2(1-x) P(x) solid solution (x = 0 to 1) is formed by thermally annealing mixtures of MoS2 and red phosphorus. The effective and stable electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution in acidic solution holds promise for replacing scarce and expensive platinum that is used in present catalyst systems. The high performance originates from the increased surface area and roughness of the solid solution.

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Jan
2016

Here we report a unique method to locally determine the mechanical response of individual covalent junctions between carbon nanotubes (CNTs), in various configurations such as "X", "Y", and "Λ"-like. The setup is based on in situ indentation using a picoindenter integrated within a scanning electron microscope. This allows for precise mapping between junction geometry and mechanical behavior and uncovers geometry-regulated junction stiffening.

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Nov
2015

The mechanism of translation symmetry breakdown in newly proposed low-dimensional carbon pentagon-constituted nanostructures (e.g., pentagraphene) with multiple sp(2)/sp(3) sublattices was studied by GGA DFT, DFTB, and model potential approaches.

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Dec
2015

Phosphorene and graphene have a tiny lattice mismatch along the armchair direction, which can result in an atomically sharp in-plane interface. The electronic properties of the lateral heterostructures of phosphorene/graphene are investigated by the first-principles method. Here, we demonstrate that the electronic properties of this type of heterostructure can be highly tunable by the quantum size effects and the externally applied electric field (Eext).

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Dec
2015

High-quality organic and inorganic van der Waals (vdW) solids are realized using methylammonium lead halide (CH3 NH3 PbI3 ) as the organic part (organic perovskite) and 2D inorganic monolayers as counterparts. By stacking on various 2D monolayers, the vdW solids exhibit dramatically different light emissions. Futhermore, organic/h-BN vdW solid arrays are patterned for red-light emission.

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Jan
2016

Traditional inductors in modern electronics consume excessive areas in the integrated circuits. Carbon nanostructures can offer efficient alternatives if the recognized high electrical conductivity of graphene can be properly organized in space to yield a current-generated magnetic field that is both strong and confined. Here we report on an extraordinary inductor nanostructure naturally occurring as a screw dislocation in graphitic carbons.

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Nov
2015

The properties and growth processes of graphene are greatly influenced by the elemental distributions of impurity atoms and their functional groups within or on the hexagonal carbon lattice. Oxygen and hydrogen atoms and their functional molecules (OH, CO, and CO2 ) positions' and chemical identities are tomographically mapped in three dimensions in a graphene monolayer film grown on a copper substrate, at the atomic part-per-million (atomic ppm) detection level, employing laser assisted atom-probe tomography. The atomistic plan and cross-sectional views of graphene indicate that oxygen, hydrogen, and their co-functionalities, OH, CO, and CO2 , which are locally clustered under or within the graphene lattice.

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Oct
2015

Two-dimensional (2D) molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) has attracted significant attention recently due to its direct bandgap semiconducting characteristics. Experimental studies on monolayer MoS2 show that S vacancy concentration varies greatly; while recent theoretical studies show that the formation energy of S vacancy is high and thus its concentration should be low. We perform density functional theory calculations to study the structures and energetics of vacancy and interstitial in both grain boundary (GB) and grain interior (GI) in monolayer MoS2 and uncover an anomalous formation pathway for dislocation-double S vacancy (V2S) complexes in MoS2.

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Nov
2015

Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes (NCNTs) have been considered as a promising electrocatalyst for carbon-dioxide-reduction reactions, but two fundamental chemistry questions remain obscure: 1) What are the active centers with respect to various defect species and 2) what is the role of defect density on the selectivity of NCNTs? The aim of this work is to address these questions. The catalytic activity of NCNTs depends on the structural nature of nitrogen in CNTs and defect density. Comparing with pristine CNTs, the presence of graphitic and pyridinic nitrogen significantly decreases the overpotential (ca.

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Oct
2015

Intrinsic semimetallicity of graphene and silicene largely limits their applications in functional devices. Mixing carbon and silicon atoms to form two-dimensional (2D) silicon carbide (SixC1-x) sheets is promising to overcome this issue. Using first-principles calculations combined with the cluster expansion method, we perform a comprehensive study on the thermodynamic stability and electronic properties of 2D SixC1-x monolayers with 0 ≤ x ≤ 1.

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Oct
2015

Two-Dimensional Boron Monolayers Mediated by Metal Substrates.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2015 Oct 2;54(44):13022-6. Epub 2015 Sep 2.
Zhuhua Zhang, Yang Yang, Guoying Gao, Boris I Yakobson
Two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as graphene and boron nitride, have specific lattice structures independent of external conditions. In contrast, the structure of 2D boron sensitively depends on metal substrate, as we show herein using the cluster expansion method and a newly developed surface structure-search method, both based on first-principles calculations. The preferred 2D boron on weaker interacting Au is nonplanar with significant buckling and numerous polymorphs as in vacuum, whereas on more reactive Ag, Cu, and Ni, the polymorphic energy degeneracy is lifted and a particular planar structure is found to be most stable.

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Sep
2014

Mimicking the conventional barrier-based kinetic Monte Carlo simulation, an energy-driven kinetic Monte Carlo (EDKMC) method was developed to study the structural transformation of carbon nanomaterials. The new method is many orders magnitude faster than standard molecular dynamics or Monte Marlo (MC) simulations and thus allows us to explore rare events within a reasonable computational time. As an example, the temperature dependence of fullerene coalescence was studied.

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