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1.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 1340, 2019 03 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30902984

RESUMO

Geometric or electronic confinement of guests inside nanoporous hosts promises to deliver unusual catalytic or opto-electronic functionality from existing materials but is challenging to obtain particularly using metastable hosts, such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Reagents (e.g. precursor) may be too large for impregnation and synthesis conditions may also destroy the hosts. Here we use thermodynamic Pourbaix diagrams (favorable redox and pH conditions) to describe a general method for metal-compound guest synthesis by rationally selecting reaction agents and conditions. Specifically we demonstrate a MOF-confined RuO2 catalyst (RuO2@MOF-808-P) with exceptionally high catalytic CO oxidation below 150 °C as compared to the conventionally made SiO2-supported RuO2 (RuO2/SiO2). This can be caused by weaker interactions between CO/O and the MOF-encapsulated RuO2 surface thus avoiding adsorption-induced catalytic surface passivation. We further describe applications of the Pourbaix-enabled guest synthesis (PEGS) strategy with tutorial examples for the general synthesis of arbitrary guests (e.g. metals, oxides, hydroxides, sulfides).

2.
Langmuir ; 35(16): 5484-5495, 2019 Apr 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30924339

RESUMO

In several recent studies, we showed that micrometer-sized oil-in-water emulsion droplets from alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, triglycerides, or mixtures of these components can spontaneously "self-shape" upon cooling into various regular shapes, such as regular polyhedrons, platelets, rods, and fibers ( Denkov , N. , Nature 2015 , 528 , 392 ; Cholakova , D. , Adv. Colloid Interface Sci. 2016 , 235 , 90 ). These drop-shape transformations were explained by assuming that intermediate plastic rotator phase, composed of ordered multilayers of oily molecules, is formed beneath the drop surface around the oil-freezing temperature. An alternative explanation was proposed ( Guttman , S. , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2016 113 , 493 ; Guttman , S. , Langmuir 2017 , 33 , 1305 ), which is based on the assumption that the oil-water interfacial tension decreases to very low values upon emulsion cooling. Here, we present new results, obtained by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), which quantify the enthalpy effects accompanying the drop-shape transformations. Using optical microscopy, we related the peaks in the DSC thermograms to the specific changes in the drop shape. Furthermore, from the enthalpies measured by DSC, we determined the fraction of the intermediate phase involved in the processes of drop deformation. The obtained results support the explanation that the drop-shape transformations are intimately related to the formation of ordered multilayers of alkane molecules with thickness varying between several and dozens of layers of alkane molecules, depending on the specific system. The new results provide the basis for a rational approach to the mechanistic explanation and to the fine control of this fascinating and industrially relevant phenomenon.

3.
Biotechnol Prog ; 35(2): e2750, 2019 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30457210

RESUMO

Polymeric scaffolds comprising two size scales of microfibers and submicron fibers can better support three-dimensional (3D) cell growth in tissue engineering, making them an important class of healthcare material. However, a major manufacturing barrier hampers their translation into wider practical use: scalability. Traditional production of two-scale scaffolds by electrospinning is slow and costly. For day-to-day cell cultures, the scaffolds need to be affordable, made in high yield to drive down cost. Combining expertise from academia and industry from the United Kingdom and United States, this study uses a new series of high-yield, low-cost scaffolds made by shear spinning for tissue engineering. The scaffolds comprise interwoven submicron fibers and microfibers throughout as observed under scanning electron microscopy and demonstrate good capability to support cell culturing for tumor modeling. Three model human cancer cell lines (HEK293, A549 and MCF-7) with stable expression of GFP were cultured in the scaffolds and found to exhibit efficient cell attachment and sustained 3D growth and proliferation for 30 days. Cryosection and multiphoton fluorescence microscopy confirmed the formation of compact 3D cell clusters throughout the scaffolds. In addition, comparative growth curves of 2D and 3D cultures show significant cell-type-dependent differences. This work applies high-yield shear-spun scaffolds in mammalian tissue engineering and brings practical, affordable applications of multiscale scaffolds closer to reality. © 2018 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 35: e2750, 2019.


Assuntos
Resistência ao Cisalhamento , Proliferação de Células , Sobrevivência Celular , Humanos , Microscopia de Fluorescência , Engenharia Tecidual , Tecidos Suporte , Células Tumorais Cultivadas
4.
Macromol Rapid Commun ; 39(21): e1800518, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30207618

RESUMO

Nature often uses structuring of materials for coloration rather than incorporating dye molecules, since single-construction materials are capable of producing any vivid visible color in plants and insects. By precisely engineering features that diffract or scatter light, more recently, humans have created similarly intense non-fading colors. Stretchable polymer opals have emerged as a single material which can dynamically shift across the whole visible spectrum using structural colors, by temporary stretching or compression. For energy efficiency and practical considerations, however, it is necessary to fix semi-permanently desired colors without continuous stretching or application of other stimuli or energy. Here, a polymer opal incorporating a shape-memory polymer embedded in its matrix can keep a particular color fixed without the application of external forces, yet can be reprogrammed to a different fixed color on demand. The influence of the material composition on its optical appearance, shape-fixity, and shape recovery abilities in controlled stretch experiments is quantified. High-speed printing-compatible localized compression pattern imprinting is shown to generate stable but easily erasable color patterns. This opens up the potential for durable and energy-efficient yet reusable and reconfigurable displays, wearables, or packaging and security labeling based on such polymeric film materials.


Assuntos
Cor , Polímeros/química , Estrutura Molecular , Óptica e Fotônica
5.
J Am Chem Soc ; 140(19): 6130-6136, 2018 05 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29685030

RESUMO

Three-dimensional carbon-based structures have proven useful for tailoring material properties in structural mechanical and energy storage applications. One approach to obtain them has been by carbonization of selected metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with catalytic metals, but this is not applicable to most common MOF structures. Here, we present a strategy to transform common MOFs, by guest inclusions and high-temperature MOF-guest interactions, into complex carbon-based, diatom-like, hierarchical structures (named for the morphological similarities with the naturally existing diatomaceous species). As an example, we introduce metal salt guests into HKUST-1-type MOFs to generate a family of carbon-based nano-diatoms with two to four levels of structural hierarchy. We report control of the morphology by simple changes in the chemistry of the MOF and guest, with implications for the formation mechanisms. We demonstrate that one of these structures has unique advantages as a fast-charging lithium-ion battery anode. The tunability of composition should enable further studies of reaction mechanisms and result in the growth of a myriad of unprecedented carbon-based structures from the enormous variety of currently available MOF-guest candidates.

6.
ACS Energy Lett ; 2(9): 2014-2020, 2017 Sep 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29104940

RESUMO

Conducting polymers show great promise as supercapacitor materials due to their high theoretical specific capacitance, low cost, toughness, and flexibility. Poor ion mobility, however, can render active material more than a few tens of nanometers from the surface inaccessible for charge storage, limiting performance. Here, we use semi-interpenetrating networks (sIPNs) of a pseudocapacitive polymer in an ionically conductive polymer matrix to decrease ion diffusion length scales and make virtually all of the active material accessible for charge storage. Our freestanding poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(ethylene oxide) (PEDOT/PEO) sIPN films yield simultaneous improvements in three crucial elements of supercapacitor performance: specific capacitance (182 F/g, a 70% increase over that of neat PEDOT), cycling stability (97.5% capacitance retention after 3000 cycles), and flexibility (the electrodes bend to a <200 µm radius of curvature without breaking). Our simple and controllable sIPN fabrication process presents a framework to develop a range of polymer-based interpenetrated materials for high-performance energy storage technologies.

7.
Langmuir ; 33(43): 12155-12170, 2017 10 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28988487

RESUMO

Emulsification requires drop breakage and creation of a large interfacial area between immiscible liquid phases. Usually, high-shear or high-pressure emulsification devices that generate heat and increase the emulsion temperature are used to obtain emulsions with micrometer and submicrometer droplets. Recently, we reported a new, efficient procedure of self-emulsification (Tcholakova et al. Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 15012), which consists of one to several cycles of freezing and melting of predispersed alkane drops in a coarse oil-in-water emulsion. Within these freeze-thaw cycles of the dispersed drops, the latter burst spontaneously into hundreds and thousands of smaller droplets without using any mechanical agitation. Here, we clarify the main factors and mechanisms, which drive this self-emulsification process, by exploring systematically the effects of the oil and surfactant types, the cooling rate, and the initial drop size. We show that the typical size of the droplets, generated by this method, is controlled by the size of the structural domains formed in the cooling-freezing stage of the procedure. Depending on the leading mechanism, these could be the diameter of the fibers formed upon drop self-shaping or the size of the crystal domains formed at the moment of drop-freezing. Generally, surfactant tails that are 0-2 carbon atoms longer than the oil molecules are most appropriate to observe efficient self-emulsification. The specific requirements for the realization of different mechanisms are clarified and discussed. The relative efficiencies of the three different mechanisms, as a function of the droplet size and cooling procedure, are compared in controlled experiments to provide guidance for understanding and further optimization and scale-up of this self-emulsification process.

8.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 12481, 2017 10 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28970531

RESUMO

Electrically deformable surfaces based on dielectric elastomers have recently demonstrated controllable microscale roughness, ease of operation, fast response, and possibilities for programmable control. Potential applications include marine anti-biofouling, dynamic pattern generation, and voltage-controlled smart windows. Most of these systems, however, exhibit limited durability due to irreversible dielectric breakdown. Lowering device voltage to avoid this issue is hindered by an inadequate understanding of the electrically-induced wrinkling deformation as a function of the deformable elastic film thickness. Here we report responsive surfaces that overcome these shortcomings: we achieve fault-tolerant behavior based on the ability to self-insulate breakdown faults, and we enhance fundamental understanding of the system by quantifying the critical field necessary to induce wrinkles in films of different thickness and comparing to analytical models. We also observe new capabilities of these responsive surfaces, such as field amplification near local breakdown sites, which enable actuation and wrinkle pattern formation at lower applied voltages. We demonstrate the wide applicability of our responsive, fault-tolerant films by using our system for adjustable transparency films, tunable diffraction gratings, and a dynamic surface template/factory from which various static micropatterns can be molded on demand.

9.
Mater Horiz ; 4(1): 64-71, 2017 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28496984

RESUMO

Reactions inside the pores of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) offer potential for controlling polymer structures with regularity to sub-nanometre scales. We report a wet-chemistry route to poly-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT)-MOF composites. After a two-step removal of the MOF template we obtain unique and stable macroscale structures of this conductive polymer with some nanoscale regularity.

10.
Langmuir ; 33(23): 5696-5706, 2017 06 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28509554

RESUMO

In our recent study we showed that single-component emulsion drops, stabilized by proper surfactants, can spontaneously break symmetry and transform into various polygonal shapes during cooling [ Denkov Nature 2015 , 528 , 392 - 395 ]. This process involves the formation of a plastic rotator phase of self-assembled oil molecules beneath the drop surface. The plastic phase spontaneously forms a frame of plastic rods at the oil drop perimeter which supports the polygonal shapes. However, most of the common substances used in industry appear as mixtures of molecules rather than pure substances. Here we present a systematic study of the ability of multicomponent emulsion drops to deform upon cooling. The observed trends can be summarized as follows: (1) The general drop-shape evolution for multicomponent drops during cooling is the same as with single-component drops; however, some additional shapes are observed. (2) Preservation of the particle shape upon freezing is possible for alkane mixtures with chain length difference Δn ≤ 4; for greater Δn, phase separation within the droplet is observed. (3) Multicomponent particles prepared from alkanes with Δn ≤ 4 plastify upon cooling due to the formation of a bulk rotator phase within the particles. (4) If a compound, which cannot induce self-shaping when pure, is mixed with a certain amount of a compound which induces self-shaping, then drops prepared from this mixture can also self-shape upon cooling. (5) Self-emulsification phenomena are also observed for multicomponent drops. In addition to the three recently reported mechanisms of self-emulsification [ Tcholakova Nat. Commun. 2017 , ( 8 ), 15012 ], a new (fourth) mechanism is observed upon freezing for alkane mixtures with Δn > 4. It involves disintegration of the particles due to a phase separation of alkanes upon freezing.

11.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 501: 142-149, 2017 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28448834

RESUMO

The critical micelle concentration (CMC) of various surfactants is difficult to predict accurately, yet often necessary to do in both industry and science. Hence, quantum-chemical software packages for precise calculation of CMC were developed, but they are expensive and time consuming. We show here an easy method for calculating CMC with a reasonable accuracy. Firstly, CMC0 (intrinsic CMC, absent added salt) was coupled with quantitative structure - property relationship (QSPR) with defined by us parameter "CMC predictor" f1. It can be easily calculated from a number of tabulated molecular parameters - the adsorption energy of surfactant's head, the adsorption energy of its methylene groups, its number of carbon atoms, the specific adsorption energy of its counter-ions, their valency and bare radius. We applied this method to determine CMC0 to a test set of 11 ionic surfactants, yielding 7.5% accuracy. Furthermore, we calculated CMC in the presence of added salts using the advanced version of Corrin-Harkins equation, which accounts for both the intrinsic and the added counter-ions. Our salt-saturation multiplier, accounts for both the type and concentration of the added counter-ions. We applied our theory to a test set containing 11 anionic/cationic surfactant+salt systems, achieving 8% accuracy.

12.
Nat Commun ; 8: 15012, 2017 04 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28447603

RESUMO

In self-emulsification higher-energy micrometre and sub-micrometre oil droplets are spontaneously produced from larger ones and only a few such methods are known. They usually involve a one-time reduction in oil solubility in the continuous medium via changing temperature or solvents or a phase inversion in which the preferred curvature of the interfacial surfactant layer changes its sign. Here we harness narrow-range temperature cycling to cause repeated breakup of droplets to higher-energy states. We describe three drop breakup mechanisms that lead the drops to burst spontaneously into thousands of smaller droplets. One of these mechanisms includes the remarkable phenomenon of lipid crystal dewetting from its own melt. The method works with various oil-surfactant combinations and has several important advantages. It enables low surfactant emulsion formulations with temperature-sensitive compounds, is scalable to industrial emulsification and applicable to fabricating particulate drug carriers with desired size and shape.

13.
Phys Rev Lett ; 118(8): 088001, 2017 Feb 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28282177

RESUMO

Recent studies of cooled oil emulsion droplets uncovered transformations into a host of flattened shapes with straight edges and sharp corners, driven by a partial phase transition of the bulk liquid phase. Here, we explore theoretically the simplest geometric competition between this phase transition and surface tension in planar polygons and recover the observed sequence of shapes and their statistics in qualitative agreement with experiments. Extending the model to capture some of the three-dimensional structure of the droplets, we analyze the evolution of protrusions sprouting from the vertices of the platelets and the topological transition of a puncturing planar polygon.

14.
Interface Focus ; 6(4): 20160026, 2016 Aug 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27499846

RESUMO

Electromechanical coupling in electroactive polymers (EAPs) has been widely applied for actuation and is also being increasingly investigated for sensing chemical and mechanical stimuli. EAPs are a unique class of materials, with low-moduli high-strain capabilities and the ability to conform to surfaces of different shapes. These features make them attractive for applications such as wearable sensors and interfacing with soft tissues. Here, we review the major types of EAPs and their sensing mechanisms. These are divided into two classes depending on the main type of charge carrier: ionic EAPs (such as conducting polymers and ionic polymer-metal composites) and electronic EAPs (such as dielectric elastomers, liquid-crystal polymers and piezoelectric polymers). This review is intended to serve as an introduction to the mechanisms of these materials and as a first step in material selection for both researchers and designers of flexible/bendable devices, biocompatible sensors or even robotic tactile sensing units.

15.
Adv Colloid Interface Sci ; 235: 90-107, 2016 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27389390

RESUMO

The general mechanisms of structure and form generation are the keys to understanding the fundamental processes of morphogenesis in living and non-living systems. In our recent study (Denkov et al., Nature 528 (2015) 392) we showed that micrometer sized n-alkane drops, dispersed in aqueous surfactant solutions, can break symmetry upon cooling and "self-shape" into a series of geometric shapes with complex internal structure. This phenomenon is important in two contexts, as it provides: (a) new, highly efficient bottom-up approach for producing particles with complex shapes, and (b) remarkably simple system, from the viewpoint of its chemical composition, which exhibits the basic processes of structure and shape transformations, reminiscent of morphogenesis events in living organisms. In the current study, we show for the first time that drops of other chemical substances, such as long-chain alcohols, triglycerides, alkyl cyclohexanes, and linear alkenes, can also evolve spontaneously into similar non-spherical shapes. We demonstrate that the main factors which control the drop "self-shaping", are the surfactant type and chain length, cooling rate, and initial drop size. The studied surfactants are classified into four distinct groups, with respect to their effect on the "self-shaping" phenomenon. Coherent explanations of the main experimental trends are proposed. The obtained results open new prospects for fundamental and applied research in several fields, as they demonstrate that: (1) very simple chemical systems may show complex structure and shape shifts, similar to those observed in living organisms; (2) the molecular self-assembly in frustrated confinement may result in complex events, governed by the laws of elasto-capillarity and tensegrity; (3) the surfactant type and cooling rate could be used to obtain micro-particles with desired shapes and aspect ratios; and (4) the systems studied serve as a powerful toolbox to investigate systematically these phenomena.

16.
Langmuir ; 32(31): 7985-91, 2016 08 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27429158

RESUMO

Two recent studies (Denkov et al., Nature 2015, 528, 392 and Guttman et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.2016, 113, 493) demonstrated that micrometer-sized n-alkane drops, dispersed in aqueous surfactant solutions, can break their spherical symmetry upon cooling and self-shape into a variety of regular shapes, such as fluid polyhedra, platelet-shaped hexagons, triangles, rhomboids, toroids, and submicrometer-diameter fibers. In the first study, the observed phenomenon was explained by a mechanism involving the formation of interfacial multilayer of self-assembled alkane molecules in the so-called rotator phases, templated by the frozen surfactant adsorption layer. Such phases are known to form in alkane droplets under similar conditions and are sufficiently strong to deform the droplets against the capillary pressure of a finite interfacial tension of several mN/m. The authors of the second study proposed a different explanation, namely, that the oil-water interfacial tension becomes ultralow upon cooling, which allows for surface extension and drop deformation at negligible energy penalty. To reveal which of these mechanisms is operative, we measure in the current study the temperature dependence of the interfacial tensions of several systems undergoing such drop-shape transitions. Our results unambiguously show that drop self-shaping is not related to ultralow oil-water interfacial tension, as proposed by Guttmann et al. These results support the mechanism proposed by Denkov et al., which implies that the large bending moment, required to deform an oil-water interface with an interfacial tension of 5 to 10 mN/m, is generated by an interfacial multilayer of self-assembled alkane molecules.

17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(20): 5503-7, 2016 May 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27140648

RESUMO

Nanoactuators and nanomachines have long been sought after, but key bottlenecks remain. Forces at submicrometer scales are weak and slow, control is hard to achieve, and power cannot be reliably supplied. Despite the increasing complexity of nanodevices such as DNA origami and molecular machines, rapid mechanical operations are not yet possible. Here, we bind temperature-responsive polymers to charged Au nanoparticles, storing elastic energy that can be rapidly released under light control for repeatable isotropic nanoactuation. Optically heating above a critical temperature [Formula: see text] = 32 °C using plasmonic absorption of an incident laser causes the coatings to expel water and collapse within a microsecond to the nanoscale, millions of times faster than the base polymer. This triggers a controllable number of nanoparticles to tightly bind in clusters. Surprisingly, by cooling below [Formula: see text] their strong van der Waals attraction is overcome as the polymer expands, exerting nanoscale forces of several nN. This large force depends on van der Waals attractions between Au cores being very large in the collapsed polymer state, setting up a tightly compressed polymer spring which can be triggered into the inflated state. Our insights lead toward rational design of diverse colloidal nanomachines.

18.
Food Chem ; 208: 97-102, 2016 Oct 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27132828

RESUMO

Ferric pyrophosphate (FePP) is a widely used iron source in food fortification and in nutritional supplements, due to its white colour, that is very uncommon for insoluble Fe salts. Although its dissolution is an important determinant of Fe adsorption in human body, the solubility characteristics of FePP are complex and not well understood. This report is a study on the solubility of FePP as a function of pH and excess of pyrophosphate ions. FePP powder is sparingly soluble in the pH range of 3-6 but slightly soluble at pH<2 and pH>8. In the presence of pyrophosphate ions the solubility of FePP strongly increases at pH 5-8.5 due to formation a soluble complex between Fe(III) and pyrophosphate ions, which leads to an 8-10-fold increase in the total ionic iron concentration. This finding is beneficial for enhancing iron bioavailability, which important for the design of fortified food, beverages, and nutraceutical products.


Assuntos
Difosfatos/química , Alimentos Fortificados , Ferro/química , Bebidas , Disponibilidade Biológica , Suplementos Nutricionais , Humanos , Solubilidade
19.
Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl ; 63: 88-95, 2016 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27040199

RESUMO

Multifunctional nanoparticles for magnetic hyperthermia which simultaneously display antibacterial properties promise to decrease bacterial infections co-localized with cancers. Current methods synthesize such particles by multi-step procedures, and systematic comparisons of antibacterial properties between coatings, as well as measurements of specific absorption rate (SAR) during magnetic hyperthermia are lacking. Here we report the novel simple method for synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles with shells of oleic acid (OA), polyethyleneimine (PEI) and polyethyleneimine-methyl cellulose (PEI-mC). We compare their antibacterial properties against single gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria as well as biofilms. Magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) with PEI-methyl cellulose were found to be most effective against both S. aureus and E. coli with concentration for 10% growth inhibition (EC10) of <150 mg/l. All the particles have high SAR and are effective for heat-generation in alternating magnetic fields.


Assuntos
Antibacterianos/química , Nanopartículas de Magnetita/química , Polietilenoimina/química , Antibacterianos/farmacologia , Biofilmes/efeitos dos fármacos , Escherichia coli/efeitos dos fármacos , Escherichia coli/fisiologia , Hipertermia Induzida , Metilcelulose/química , Espectroscopia de Infravermelho com Transformada de Fourier , Staphylococcus aureus/efeitos dos fármacos , Staphylococcus aureus/fisiologia
20.
Cryst Growth Des ; 16(2): 1010-1016, 2016 Feb 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27065755

RESUMO

Non- and semipolar GaN have great potential to improve the efficiency of light emitting devices due to much reduced internal electric fields. However, heteroepitaxial GaN growth in these crystal orientations suffers from very high dislocation and stacking faults densities. Here, we report a facile method to obtain low defect density non- and semipolar heteroepitaxial GaN via selective area epitaxy using self-assembled multilayers of silica nanospheres (MSN). Nonpolar (11-20) and semipolar (11-22) GaN layers with high crystal quality have been achieved by epitaxial integration of the MSN and a simple one-step overgrowth process, by which both dislocation and basal plane stacking fault densities can be significantly reduced. The underlying defect reduction mechanisms include epitaxial growth through the MSN covered template, island nucleation via nanogaps in the MSN, and lateral overgrowth and coalescence above the MSN. InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells structures grown on a nonpolar GaN/MSN template show more than 30-fold increase in the luminescence intensity compared to a control sample without the MSN. This self-assembled MSN technique provides a new platform for epitaxial growth of nitride semiconductors and offers unique opportunities for improving the material quality of GaN grown on other orientations and foreign substrates or heteroepitaxial growth of other lattice-mismatched materials.

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