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1.
Adv Healthc Mater ; 9(12): e2000377, 2020 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32378358

RESUMO

A sensor array based on heterojunctions between semiconducting organic layers and single walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) films is produced to explore applications in breathomics, the molecular analysis of exhaled breath. The array is exposed to gas/volatiles relevant to specific diseases (ammonia, ethanol, acetone, 2-propanol, sodium hypochlorite, benzene, hydrogen sulfide, and nitrogen dioxide). Then, to evaluate its capability to operate with real relevant biological samples the array is exposed to human breath exhaled from healthy subjects. Finally, to provide a proof of concept of its diagnostic potential, the array is exposed to exhaled breath samples collected from subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an airway chronic inflammatory disease not yet investigated with CNT-based sensor arrays, and breathprints are compared with those obtained from of healthy subjects. Principal component analysis shows that the sensor array is able to detect various target gas/volatiles with a clear fingerprint on a 2D subspace, is suitable for breath profiling in exhaled human breath, and is able to distinguish subjects with COPD from healthy subjects based on their breathprints. This classification ability is further improved by selecting the most responsive sensors to nitrogen dioxide, a potential biomarker of COPD.

2.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 566: 60-68, 2020 Jan 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31986309

RESUMO

We observed a 73% enhancement of the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of a photovoltaic cell based on a single wall carbon nanotube/Si hybrid junction after exposing the device to a limited amount (10 ppm) of NO2 diluted in dry air. On the basis of a computational modeling of the junction, this enhancement is discussed in terms of both carbon nanotube (CNT) p-doping, induced by the interaction with the oxidizing molecules, and work function changes across the junction. Unlike studies so far reported, where the PCE enhancement was correlated only qualitatively to CNT doping, our study (i) provides a novel and reversible path to tune and considerably enhance the cell efficiency by a few ppm gas exposure, and (ii) shows computational results that quantitatively relate the observed effects to the electrostatics of the cell through a systematic calculation of the work function. These effects have been cross-checked by exposing the cell to reducing molecules (i.e·NH3) that resulted to be detrimental to the cell efficiency, consistently with the theoretical ab-initio calculations.

3.
Analyst ; 144(13): 4100-4110, 2019 Jul 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31172149

RESUMO

An array of five sensors, based on carbon nanotubes (CNT) functionalized with nanoparticles of Au, TiO2, ITO, and Si has been fabricated and exposed to a selected series of target gas molecules (NH3, NO2, H2S, H2O, benzene, ethanol, acetone, 2-propanol, sodium hypochlorite, and several combinations of two gases). The results of principal component analysis (PCA) of the experimental data show that this array of sensors is able to detect different target gas and to discriminate each molecule in the 2D PCA parameters space. In particular, the possibility to include in the array a humidity sensor significantly increases the capability to discriminate the response to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), even though VOCs usually react with CNTs less than NO2 or NH3. This leads to an improvement in selectivity that could meet the requirements for gas detection applications in the field of environmental monitoring and breathomics, where sensors are exposed to a variety of different molecules and where the humidity can severely affect the overall response of the sensor. Finally, we demonstrate that the ability to test multiple sensors simultaneously can reveal a specific sensor sensitivity, addressing the best functionalization choice to improve the response of new sensors based on decorated CNT layers. In particular, our study shows the better capability of the ITO-decorated sensor to detect H2S and benzene.

4.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 9(19): 16627-16634, 2017 May 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28425281

RESUMO

Despite the astonishing values of the power conversion efficiency reached, in just less than a decade, by the carbon nanotube/silicon (CNT/Si) solar cells, many doubts remain on the underlying transport mechanisms across the CNT/Si heterojunction. Here, by combining transient optical spectroscopy in the femtosecond timescale, X-ray photoemission, and a systematic tracking of I-V curves across all phases of the interlayer SiOx growth at the interface, we grasp the mechanism that adequately preserves charge separation at the junction, hindering the photoexcited carrier recombination. Moreover, supported by ab initio calculations aimed to model the complex CNT-Si heterointerface, we show that oxygen-related states at the interface act as entrapping centers for the photoexcited electrons, thus preventing recombination with holes that can flow from Si to CNT across the SiOx layer.

5.
Nanotechnology ; 27(14): 145605, 2016 Apr 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26916977

RESUMO

A novel carbon-based nanostructured material, which includes carbon nanotubes (CNTs), porous carbon, nanostructured ZnO and Fe nanoparticles, has been synthetized using catalytic chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of acetylene on vertically aligned ZnO nanorods (NRs). The deposition of Fe before the CVD process induces the presence of dense CNTs in addition to the variety of nanostructures already observed on the process done on the bare NRs, which range from amorphous graphitic carbon up to nanostructured dendritic carbon films, where the NRs are partially or completely etched. The combination of scanning electron microscopy and in situ photoemission spectroscopy indicate that Fe enhances the ZnO etching, and that the CNT synthesis is favoured by the reduced Fe mobility due to the strong interaction between Fe and the NRs, and to the presence of many defects, formed during the CVD process. Our results demonstrate that the resulting new hybrid shows a higher sensitivity to ammonia gas at ambient conditions (∼60 ppb) than the carbon nanostructures obtained without the aid of Fe, the bare ZnO NRs, or other one-dimensional carbon nanostructures, making this system of potential interest for environmental ammonia monitoring. Finally, in view of the possible application in nanoscale optoelectronics, the photoexcited carrier behaviour in these hybrid systems has been characterized by time-resolved reflectivity measurements.

6.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 6(18): 3632-8, 2015 Sep 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26722734

RESUMO

Photochemically activated reactions, despite being a powerful tool to covalently stabilize self-organized molecular structures on metallic surfaces, have struggled to take off due to several not yet well understood light-driven processes that can affect the final result. A thorough understanding of the photoinduced charge transfer mechanisms at the organic/metal interface would pave the way to controlling these processes and to developing on-surface photochemistry. Here, by time-resolved two-photon photoemission measurements, we track the relaxation processes of the first two excited molecular states at the interface between porphyrin, the essential chromophore in chlorophyll, and two different orientations of the silver surface. Due to the energy alignment of the porphyrin first excited state with the unoccupied sp-bands, an indirect charge transfer path, from the substrate to the molecule, opens in porphyrin/Ag(100) 250 fs after the laser pump excitation. The same time-resolved measurements carried out on porphyrin/Ag(111) show that in the latter case such an indirect path is not viable.

7.
Analyst ; 138(24): 7392-9, 2013 Nov 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24171188

RESUMO

The possibility of using novel architectures based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for a realistic monitoring of the air quality in an urban environment requires the capability to monitor concentrations of polluting gases in the low-ppb range. This limit has been so far virtually neglected, as most of the testing of new ammonia gas sensor devices based on CNTs is carried out above the ppm limit. In this paper, we present single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) chemiresistor gas sensors operating at room temperature, displaying an enhanced sensitivity to NH3. Ammonia concentrations in air as low as 20 ppb have been measured, and a detection limit of 3 ppb is demonstrated, which is in the full range of the average NH3 concentration in an urban environment and well below the sensitivities so far reported for pristine, non-functionalized SWCNTs operating at room temperature. In addition to careful preparation of the SWCNT layers, through sonication and dielectrophoresis that improved the quality of the CNT bundle layers, the low-ppb limit is also attained by revealing and properly tracking a fast dynamics channel in the desorption process of the polluting gas molecules.

8.
Phys Rev Lett ; 94(3): 037601, 2005 Jan 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-15698325

RESUMO

Nonlinear photoemission from a silver single crystal is investigated by femtosecond laser pulses in a perturbative regime. A clear observation of above-threshold photoemission in solids is reported for the first time. The ratio between the three-photon above-threshold and the two-photon Fermi edges is found to be 10(-4). This value constitutes the only available benchmark for theories aimed at understanding the mechanism responsible for above-threshold photoemission in solids.

9.
Phys Rev Lett ; 92(25 Pt 1): 256802, 2004 Jun 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-15245045

RESUMO

Photoemission from image potential states on Ag(100) is investigated using angle resolved multiphoton photoemission induced by 150 fs laser pulses. For the first time we demonstrate that image potential states populated by indirect transitions can be observed with light polarized parallel to the plane of incidence and light polarized normal to the plane of incidence. The latter is a process normally forbidden by the dipole transition selection rules. These findings are related to the creation of a hot-electron population whose properties largely remains to be understood.

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