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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  2. Lignin@Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles adsorb at oil–water interfaces, form Pickering emulsions, induce on-demand magnetic responses to break emulsions, and can sequester oil from water. Lignin@Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles were prepared using a pH-induced precipitation method and were fully characterized. These were used to prepare Pickering emulsions with castor oil/Sudan red G dye and water at various oil/water volume ratios and nanoparticle concentrations. The stability and demulsification of the emulsions under different magnetic fields generated with permanent magnets (0–540 mT) were investigated using microscopy images and by visual inspection over time. The results showed that the Pickering emulsions were more stable at the castor oil/water ratio of 50/50 and above. Increasing the concentration of lignin@Fe 3 O 4 improved the emulsion stability and demulsification rates with 540 mT applied magnetic field strength. The adsorption of lignin@Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles at the oil/water interface using 1-pentanol evaporation through Marangoni effects was demonstrated, and magnetic manipulation of a lignin@Fe 3 O 4 stabilized castor oil spill in water was shown. Nanoparticle concentration and applied magnetic field strengths were analyzed for the recovery of spilled oil from water; it was observed that increasing the magnetic strength increased oil spill motion formore »a lignin@Fe 3 O 4 concentration of up to 0.8 mg mL −1 at 540 mT. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of lignin-magnetite nanocomposites for rapid on-demand magnetic responses to externally induced stimuli.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 18, 2024
  3. Guiding analytes to the sensing area is an indispensable step in a sensing system. Most of the sensing systems apply a passive sensing method, which waits for the analytes to diffuse towards the sensor. However, passive sensing methods limit the detection of analytes to a picomolar range on micro/nanosensors for a practical time scale. Therefore, active sensing methods need to be used to improve the detection limit in which the analytes are forced to concentrate on the sensors. In this article, we have demonstrated the manufacturing of nanogap-rich structures for active chemical sensing. Nanogap-rich structures are manufactured from metallic nanoparticles through an optothermally generated microbubble (OGMB) which is a laser-induced micron-sized bubble. The OGMB induces a strong convective flow that helps to deposit metallic nanoparticles to form nanogap-rich structures on a solid surface. In addition, the OGMB is used to guide and concentrate analytes towards the nanogap-rich structures for the active sensing of analytes. An active sensing method can improve the detection limit of chemical substances by an order of magnitude compared to a passive sensing method. The microbubble assisted manufacturing of nanogap-rich structures together with an active analyte sensing method paves a new way for advanced chemical and bio-sensingmore »applications.« less