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Langmuir ; 38(41): 12570-12580, 2022 Oct 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36190908


Colloidal probe atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows us to explore sliding friction phenomena in graphite contacts of nominal lateral size up to hundreds of nanometers. It is known that contact formation involves tribo-induced material transfer of graphite flakes from the graphitic substrate to the colloidal probe. In this context, sliding states with nearly vanishing friction, i.e., superlubricity, may set in. A comprehensive investigation of the transfer layer properties is mandatory to ascertain the origin of superlubricity. Here we explore the friction response of micrometric beads, of different size and pristine surface roughness, sliding on graphite under ambient conditions. We show that such tribosystems undergo a robust transition toward a low-adhesion, low-friction state dominated by mechanical interactions at one dominant tribo-induced nanocontact. Friction force spectroscopy reveals that the nanocontact can be superlubric or dissipative, in fact undergoing a load-driven transition from dissipative stick-slip to continuous superlubric sliding. This behavior is excellently described by the thermally activated, single-asperity Prandtl-Tomlinson model. Our results indicate that upon formation of the transfer layer, friction depends on the energy landscape experienced by the topographically highest tribo-induced nanoasperity. We consistently find larger dissipation when the tribo-induced nanoasperity is slid against surfaces with higher atomic corrugation than graphite, like MoS2 and WS2, in prototypical van der Waals layered heterojunctions.

Small ; 18(35): e2202768, 2022 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35931457


High-sensitivity nanomechanical sensors are mostly based on silicon technology and related materials. The use of functional materials, such as complex oxides having strong interplay between structural, electronic, and magnetic properties, may open possibilities for developing new mechanical transduction schemes and for further enhancement of the device performances. The integration of these materials into micro/nano-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) is still at its very beginning and critical basic aspects related to the stress state and the quality factors of mechanical resonators made from epitaxial oxide thin films need to be investigated. Here, suspended micro-bridges are realized from single-crystal thin films of (La0.7 ,Sr0.3 )MnO3 (LSMO), a prototypical complex oxide showing ferromagnetic ground state at room temperature. These devices are characterized in terms of resonance frequency, stress state, and Q-factor. LSMO resonators are highly stressed, with a maximum value of ≈260 MPa. The temperature dependence of their mechanical resonance is discussed considering both thermal strain and the temperature-dependent Young's modulus. The measured Q-factors reach few tens of thousands at room temperature, with indications of further improvements by optimizing the fabrication protocols. These results demonstrate that complex oxides are suitable to realize high Q-factor mechanical resonators, paving the way toward the development of full-oxide MEMS/NEMS sensors.

Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34770046


COVID-19 respiratory failure is a life-threatening condition. Oxygenation targets were evaluated in a non-ICU setting. In this retrospective, observational study, we enrolled all patients admitted to the University Hospital of Genoa, Italy, between 1 February and 31 May 2020 with an RT-PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2. PaO2, PaO2/FiO2 and SatO2% were collected and analyzed at time 0 and in case of admission, patients who required or not C-PAP (groups A and B) were categorized. Each measurement was correlated to adverse outcome. A total of 483 patients were enrolled, and 369 were admitted to hospital. Of these, 153 required C-PAP and 266 had an adverse outcome. Patients with PaO2 <60 and >100 had a higher rate of adverse outcome at time 0, in groups A and B (OR 2.52, 3.45, 2.01, respectively). About the PaO2/FiO2 ratio, the OR for < 300 was 3.10 at time 0, 4.01 in group A and 4.79 in group B. Similar odds were found for < 200 in any groups and < 100 except for group B (OR 11.57). SatO2 < 94% showed OR 1.34, 3.52 and 19.12 at time 0, in groups A and B, respectively. PaO2 < 60 and >100, SatO2 < 94% and PaO2/FiO2 ratio < 300 showed at least two- to three-fold correlation to adverse outcome. This may provide simple but clear targets for clinicians facing COVID-19 respiratory failure in a non ICU-setting.

COVID-19 , Síndrome do Desconforto Respiratório , Estudos de Coortes , Humanos , Oxigênio , Estudos Retrospectivos , SARS-CoV-2
Nanotechnology ; 31(49): 494001, 2020 Dec 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32990260


The present paper describes the improvement of the performances of boron powder obtained applying the freeze-drying process (FDP) for the nanostructuration and doping of B2O3, which is here used as boron precursor. After the nanostructuration process, B2O3 is reduced to elemental nanoboron (nB) through magnesiothermic reaction with Mg. For this work, the usefulness of the process was tested focusing on the carbon-doping (C-doping), using Cblack, inulin and haemoglobin as C sources. The choice of these molecules, their concentration, size and shape, aims at producing improvements in the final compound of boron: in this case the superconductive magnesium diboride, which has been prepared and characterized both as powder and wire. The characteristics of B2O3, B and MgB2 powder, as well as MgB2 wire were tested and compared with that obtained using the best commercial precursors: H. C. Starck micrometric boron and Pavezyum nanometric boron. Both the FDP and the magnesiothermic reaction were carried out with simplicity and a great variety of doping sources, i.e. elements or compounds, which can be organic or inorganic and soluble or insoluble. The FDP allows to produce nB suitable for numerous applications. This process is also very competitive in terms of scalability and production costs if compared to the via gas technique adopted by nanoboron producers currently available on the world market.

Inorg Chem ; 58(22): 15045-15059, 2019 Nov 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31675217


We investigated the U-Ni-B and Nb-Ni-B systems to search for possible new heavy fermion compounds and superconducting materials. The formation, crystal chemistry, and physical properties of U2Ni21B6 and Nb3-yNi20+yB6 [ternary derivatives of the cubic Cr23C6-type (cF116, Fm3̅m)] have been studied; the formation of the hypothetical "U3Ni20B6" and "Nb2Ni21B6" has been disproved. U2Ni21B6 [a = 10.6701(2) Å] crystallizes in the ordered W2Cr21C6-type, whereas Nb3-yNi20+yB6 [a = 10.5842(1) Å] adopts the Mg3Ni20B6-type. Ni in U2Ni21B6 can be substituted by U, leading to the solid solution U2+xNi21-xB6 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.3); oppositely, Nb in Nb3Ni20B6 is partially replaced by Ni, forming the solution Nb3-yNi20+yB6 (0 ≤ y ≤ 0.5), none of them reaching the limit corresponding to the hypothetically ordered "U3Ni20B6" and "Nb2Ni21B6". These results prompted us to investigate quaternary compounds U2-zNbzNi21B6 and UδNb3-δNi20B6: strong competition in the occupancy of the 4a and 8c sites by U, Nb, and Ni atoms has been observed, with the 4a site occupied by U/Ni atoms only and the 8c site filled by U/Nb atoms only. U2Ni21B6, U2.3Ni20.7B6, and Nb3Ni20B6 are Pauli paramagnets. Interestingly, Nb2.5Ni20.5B6 shows ferromagnetism with TC ≈ 11 K; the Curie-Weiss fit gives an effective magnetic moment of 2.78 µB/Ni, suggesting that all Ni atoms in the formula unit contribute to the total magnetic moment. The M(H) data at 2 K further corroborate the ferromagnetic behavior with a saturation moment of 10 µB/fu (≈0.49 µB/Ni). The magnetic moment of Ni at the 4a site induces a moment in all of the Ni atoms of the whole unit cell (32f and 48h sites), with all atoms ordering ferromagnetically at 11 K. Density functional theory (DFT) shows that the formation of U2Ni21B6 and Nb3Ni20B6 is energetically preferred. The various electronic states generating ferromagnetism on Nb2.5Ni20.5B6 and Pauli paramagnetism on U2Ni21B6 and Nb3Ni20B6 have been identified.

J Phys Condens Matter ; 29(48): 485002, 2017 12 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29120863


We investigate with scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations the surface structures and the electronic properties of Fe1+y Te thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition. Contrary to the regular arrangement of antiferromagnetic nanostripes previously reported on cleaved single-crystal samples, the surface of Fe1+y Te thin films displays a peculiar distribution of spatially inhomogeneous nanostripes. Both STM and DFT calculations show the bias-dependent nature of such features and support the interpretation of spin-polarized tunneling between the FeTe surface and an unintentionally magnetized tip. In addition, the spatial inhomogeneity is interpreted as a purely electronic effect related to changes in hybridization and Fe-Fe bond length driven by local variations in the concentration of excess interstitial Fe cations. Unexpectedly, the surface density of states measured by STS strongly evolves with temperature in close proximity to the antiferromagnetic-paramagnetic first-order transition, and reveals a large pseudogap of 180-250 meV at about 50-65 K. We believe that in this temperature range a phase transition takes place, and the system orders and locks into particular combinations of orbitals and spins because of the interplay between excess interstitial magnetic Fe and strongly correlated d-electrons.