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  1. We studied laser-induced liquid indentations generated by the Marangoni effect. We showed experimental results along with the simulation model based on the lubrication theory. 
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  2. Abstract

    Large numbers of leaves fall on the earth each autumn. The current treatments of dead leaves mainly involve completely destroying the biocomponents, which causes considerable energy consumption and environmental issues. It remains a challenge to convert waste leaves into useful materials without breaking down their biocomponents. Here, we turn red maple dead leaves into an active three-component multifunctional material by exploiting the role of whewellite biomineral for binding lignin and cellulose. Owing to its intense optical absorption spanning the full solar spectrum and the heterogeneous architecture for effective charge separation, films of this material show high performance in solar water evaporation, photocatalytic hydrogen production, and photocatalytic degradation of antibiotics. Furthermore, it also acts as a bioplastic with high mechanical strength, high-temperature tolerance, and biodegradable features. These findings pave the way for the efficient utilization of waste biomass and innovations of advanced materials.

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  3. Abstract

    Water-ice transformation of few nm nanodroplets plays a critical role in nature including climate change, microphysics of clouds, survival mechanism of animals in cold environments, and a broad spectrum of technologies. In most of these scenarios, water-ice transformation occurs in a heterogenous mode where nanodroplets are in contact with another medium. Despite computational efforts, experimental probing of this transformation at few nm scales remains unresolved. Here, we report direct probing of water-ice transformation down to 2 nm scale and the length-scale dependence of transformation temperature through two independent metrologies. The transformation temperature shows a sharp length dependence in nanodroplets smaller than 10 nm and for 2 nm droplet, this temperature falls below the homogenous bulk nucleation limit. Contrary to nucleation on curved rigid solid surfaces, ice formation on soft interfaces (omnipresent in nature) can deform the interface leading to suppression of ice nucleation. For soft interfaces, ice nucleation temperature depends on surface modulus. Considering the interfacial deformation, the findings are in good agreement with predictions of classical nucleation theory. This understanding contributes to a greater knowledge of natural phenomena and rational design of anti-icing systems for aviation, wind energy and infrastructures and even cryopreservation systems.

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  5. Flexible electronics and mechanically bendable devices based on Group III-N semiconductor materials are emerging; however, there are several challenges in manufacturing, such as cost reduction, device stability and flexibility, and device-performance improvement. To overcome these limitations, it is necessary to replace the brittle and expensive semiconductor wafers with single-crystalline flexible templates for a new-bandgap semiconductor platform. The substrates in the new concept of semiconductor materials have a hybrid structure consisting of a single-crystalline III-N thin film on a flexible metal tape substrate which provides a convenient and scalable roll-to-roll deposition process. We present a detailed study of a unique and simple direct epitaxial growth technique for crystallinity transformation to deliver single-crystalline GaN thin film with highly oriented grains along both a -axis and c -axis directions on a flexible and polycrystalline copper tape. A 2-dimensional (2D) graphene having the same atomic configuration as the (0001) basal plane of wurtzite structure is employed as a seed layer which plays a key role in following the III-N epitaxy growth. The DC reactive magnetron sputtering method is then applied to deposit an AlN layer under optimized conditions to achieve preferred-orientation growth. Finally, single-crystalline GaN layers (∼1 μm) are epitaxially grown using metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on the biaxially-textured buffer layer. The flexible single-crystalline GaN film obtained using this method provides a new way for a wide-bandgap semiconductor platform pursuing flexible, high-performance, and versatile device technology. 
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  6. null (Ed.)