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  1. Protein scaffolds direct the organization of amorphous precursors that transform into mineralized tissues, but the templating mechanism remains elusive. Motivated by models for the biomineralization of tooth enamel, wherein amyloid-like amelogenin nanoribbons guide the mineralization of apatite filaments, we investigated the impact of nanoribbon structure, sequence, and chemistry on amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) nucleation. Using full-length human amelogenin and peptide analogs with an amyloid-like domain, films of β-sheet nanoribbons were self-assembled on graphite and characterized by in situ atomic force microscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. All sequences substantially reduce nucleation barriers for ACP by creating low-energy interfaces, while phosphoserines along the length of the nanoribbons dramatically enhance kinetic factors associated with ion binding. Furthermore, the distribution of negatively charged residues along the nanoribbons presents a potential match to the Ca–Ca distances of the multi-ion complexes that constitute ACP. These findings show that amyloid-like amelogenin nanoribbons provide potent scaffolds for ACP mineralization by presenting energetically and stereochemically favorable templates of calcium phosphate ion binding and suggest enhanced surface wetting toward calcium phosphates in general. 
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  4. Abstract

    Manganese‐rich layered oxide materials hold great potential as low‐cost and high‐capacity cathodes for Na‐ion batteries. However, they usually form a P2 phase and suffer from fast capacity fade. In this work, an O3 phase sodium cathode has been developed out of a Li and Mn‐rich layered material by leveraging the creation of transition metal (TM) and oxygen vacancies and the electrochemical exchange of Na and Li. The Mn‐rich layered cathode material remains primarily O3 phase during sodiation/desodiation and can have a full sodiation capacity of ca. 220 mAh g−1. It delivers ca. 160 mAh g−1specific capacity between 2–3.8 V with >86 % retention over 250 cycles. The TM and oxygen vacancies pre‐formed in the sodiated material enables a reversible migration of TMs from the TM layer to the tetrahedral sites in the Na layer upon de‐sodiation and sodiation. The migration creates metastable states, leading to increased kinetic barrier that prohibits a complete O3‐P3 phase transition.

     
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  5. Abstract

    Manganese‐rich layered oxide materials hold great potential as low‐cost and high‐capacity cathodes for Na‐ion batteries. However, they usually form a P2 phase and suffer from fast capacity fade. In this work, an O3 phase sodium cathode has been developed out of a Li and Mn‐rich layered material by leveraging the creation of transition metal (TM) and oxygen vacancies and the electrochemical exchange of Na and Li. The Mn‐rich layered cathode material remains primarily O3 phase during sodiation/desodiation and can have a full sodiation capacity of ca. 220 mAh g−1. It delivers ca. 160 mAh g−1specific capacity between 2–3.8 V with >86 % retention over 250 cycles. The TM and oxygen vacancies pre‐formed in the sodiated material enables a reversible migration of TMs from the TM layer to the tetrahedral sites in the Na layer upon de‐sodiation and sodiation. The migration creates metastable states, leading to increased kinetic barrier that prohibits a complete O3‐P3 phase transition.

     
    more » « less