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  1. Mesoporous polyetherimides are important high-performance polymers. Conventional strategies to prepare porous polyetherimides, and polyimide in general, are based on covalent organic framework or thermolysis of sacrificial polymers. The former produces micropores due to intrinsically crosslinked microstructures, and the latter results in macropores because of a blowing effect by the sacrificial polymers. The preparation of mesopores remains a challenge. Here we have prepared mesoporous polyetherimide films by hydrolyzing polylactide- b -polyetherimide- b -polylactide (AIA). Controlled by molecular weight and volume fraction of polylactide in AIA, the porous films exhibit an average pore width of 24 nm. The mesoporous polyetherimide films exhibit a storage modulus of ∼1 GPa at ambient temperatures. This work advances the chemistry of high-performance polymers and provides an alternative strategy to prepare mesoporous polymers, enabling potential use as high-performance membranes for separation, purification, and electrochemistry. 
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  2. Two novel ternary compounds from the pseudobinary CH3NH3X–AgX (X = Br, I) phase diagrams are reported. CH3NH3AgBr2 and CH3NH3Ag2I3 were synthesized via solid state sealed tube reactions and the crystal structures were determined through a combination of single crystal and synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction. Structurally, both compounds consist of one-dimensional ribbons built from silvercentered tetrahedra. The structure of CH3NH3AgBr2 possesses orthorhombic Pnma symmetry and is made up of zig-zag chains where each silver bromide tetrahedron shares two edges with neighboring tetrahedra. The tetrahedral coordination of silver is retained in CH3NH3Ag2I3, which has monoclinic P21/m symmetry, but the change in stoichiometry leads to a greater degree of edge-sharing connectivity within the silver iodide chains. With band gaps of 3.3 eV (CH3NH3Ag2I3) and 4.0 eV (CH3NH3AgBr2) the absorption onsets of the ternary phases are significantly blue shifted from the binary silver halides, AgBr and AgI, due in part to the decrease in electronic dimensionality. The compounds are stable for at least one month under ambient conditions and are thermally stable up to approximately 200 1C. Density functional theory calculations reveal very narrow valence bands and moderately disperse conduction bands with Ag 5s character. Bond valence calculations are used to analyze the hydrogen bonding between methylammonium cations and coordinatively unsaturated halide ions. The crystal chemistry of these compounds helps to explain the dearth of iodide double perovskites in the literature.

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  3. Saraf, Shubhangi (Ed.)
    We initiate a study of the classification of approximation complexity of the eight-vertex model defined over 4-regular graphs. The eight-vertex model, together with its special case the six-vertex model, is one of the most extensively studied models in statistical physics, and can be stated as a problem of counting weighted orientations in graph theory. Our result concerns the approximability of the partition function on all 4-regular graphs, classified according to the parameters of the model. Our complexity results conform to the phase transition phenomenon from physics. We introduce a quantum decomposition of the eight-vertex model and prove a set of closure properties in various regions of the parameter space. Furthermore, we show that there are extra closure properties on 4-regular planar graphs. These regions of the parameter space are concordant with the phase transition threshold. Using these closure properties, we derive polynomial time approximation algorithms via Markov chain Monte Carlo. We also show that the eight-vertex model is NP-hard to approximate on the other side of the phase transition threshold. 
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  4. Porous carbons are promising materials for supercapacitor electrodes owing to their excellent electrical conductivity, high surface area, unique porous networks, and superior chemical inertness. This article summarizes the recent development of block copolymer-based porous carbons for supercapacitor electrodes. We first introduce the fundamentals of supercapacitors and block copolymers, followed by representative examples to highlight the use of block copolymers for fabricating porous carbons that have morphologies unattainable by other strategies. Instead of a comprehensive review, the article surveys papers published within the past five years. We discuss block copolymer-based porous carbons in the formats of zero-dimensional powders, one-dimensional fibers, two-dimensional films, and three-dimensional monoliths. In the end, the article presents a few challenges and opportunities associated with the application of block copolymers for supercapacitors. 
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  5. null (Ed.)