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  1. Abstract

    Large-scale production and waste of plastic materials have resulted in widespread environmental contamination by the breakdown product of bulk plastic materials to micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs). The small size of these particles enables their suspension in the air, making pulmonary exposure inevitable. Previous work has demonstrated that xenobiotic pulmonary exposure to nanoparticles during gestation leads to maternal vascular impairments, as well as cardiovascular dysfunction within the fetus. Few studies have assessed the toxicological consequences of maternal nanoplastic (NP) exposure; therefore, the objective of this study was to assess maternal and fetal health after a single maternal pulmonary exposure to polystyrene NP in late gestation. We hypothesized that this acute exposure would impair maternal and fetal cardiovascular function. Pregnant rats were exposed to nanopolystyrene on gestational day 19 via intratracheal instillation. 24 h later, maternal and fetal health outcomes were evaluated. Cardiovascular function was assessed in dams using vascular myography ex vivo and in fetuses in vivo function was measured via ultrasound. Both fetal and placental weight were reduced after maternal exposure to nanopolystyrene. Increased heart weight and vascular dysfunction in the aorta were evident in exposed dams. Maternal exposure led to vascular dysfunction in the radial artery of the uterus, a resistance vessel that controls blood flow to the fetoplacental compartment. Function of the fetal heart, fetal aorta, and umbilical artery after gestational exposure was dysregulated. Taken together, these data suggest that exposure to NPs negatively impacts maternal and fetal health, highlighting the concern of MNPs exposure on pregnancy and fetal development.

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  2. Indexing is a core technique for accelerating predicate evaluation in databases. After many years of effort, the indexing performance has reached its peak on the existing hardware infrastructure. We propose to use ray tracing (RT) cores to move the indexing performance and efficiency to another level by addressing the following technical challenges: (1) the lack of an efficient mapping of predicate evaluation to a ray tracing job and (2) the poor performance by the heavy and imbalanced ray load when processing skewed datasets. These challenges set obstacles to effectively exploiting RT cores for predicate evaluation.

    In this paper, we propose RTScan, an approach that leverages RT cores to accelerate index scans. RTScan transforms the evaluation of conjunctive predicates into an efficient ray tracing job in a three-dimensional space. A set of techniques are designed in RTScan, i.e., Uniform Encoding, Data Sieving, and Matrix RT Refine, which significantly enhances the parallelism of scans on RT cores while lightening and balancing the ray load. With the proposed techniques, RTScan achieves high performance for datasets with either uniform or skewed distributions and queries with different selectivities. Extensive evaluations demonstrate that RTScan enhances the scan performance on RT cores by five orders of magnitude and outperforms the state-of-the-art approach on CPU by up to 4.6×.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  5. F-band substrate-integrated waveguides (SIWs) are designed, fabricated, and characterized on a SiC wafer, along with SIW-based filters, impedance standards, and transitions to grounded coplanar waveguides (GCPW). The GCPW-SIW transitions not only facilitate wafer probing, but also double as resonators to form a 3-pole band-pass filter together with an SIW resonator. The resulted filter exhibits a 1.5-dB insertion loss at 115 GHz with a 34-dB return loss and a 19-GHz (16%) 3-dB bandwidth. The size of the filter is only 63% of previous filters comprising three SIW resonators. These results show the feasibility for monolithic integration of high-quality filters with high-efficiency antennas and amplifiers in a single-chip RF frontend above 110 GHz, which is particularly advantageous for 6G wireless communications and next-generation automobile radars. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 5, 2024
  6. The goal of this article is twofold. First, we investigate the linearized Vlasov–Poisson system around a family of spatially homogeneous equilibria in the unconfined setting. Our analysis follows classical strategies from physics (Binney and Tremaine 2008, Galactic Dynamics,(Princeton University Press); Landau 1946, Acad. Sci. USSR. J. Phys.10,25–34; Penrose 1960,Phys. Fluids,3,258–65) and their subsequent mathematical extensions (Bedrossian et al 2022, SIAM J. Math. Anal.,54,4379–406; Degond 1986,Trans. Am. Math. Soc., 294,435–53; Glassey and Schaeffer 1994,Transp. Theory Stat. Phys.,23, 411–53; Grenier et al 2021, Math. Res. Lett., 28,1679–702; Han-Kwan et al, 2021, Commun. Math. Phys. 387, 1405–40; Mouhot and Villani 2011, Acta Math., 207, 29–201). The main novelties are a unified treatment of a broad class of analytic equilibria and the study of a class of generalized Poisson equilibria. For the former, this provides a detailed description of the associated Green’s functions, including in particular precise dissipation rates (which appear to be new), whereas for the latter we exhibit explicit formulas. Second, we review the main result and ideas in our recent work (Ionescu et al, 2022 on the full global nonlinear asymptotic stability of the Poisson equilibrium in R3 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 14, 2024
  7. Frontal polymerization (FP) is a promising alternative manufacturing method for thermoset-based fiber-reinforced polymer composites (FRP) in comparison with the traditional autoclave/oven-curing method, due to its rapid curing process, low energy consumption, and low cost. Optimizing the weight contents of initiators relative to the resin’s mass is needed to adjust the mechanical properties of FRPs in industrial applications. This study investigates the effect of varying the photo-initiator (PI) weight content on tensile properties and the frontal polymerization characteristics, including the front velocity, front temperature, and degree of cure, in the FP process of the epoxy resin. Specifically, a dual-initiator system, including PI and thermal-initiator (TI), is used to initiate the polymerization process by ultraviolent (UV) light. The weight content of the TI is fixed at 1 w%, and the relative PI concentration is varied from 0.2 w% to 0.5 wt%. Results show that increasing the PI amount from 0.2 wt% to 0.3 wt% significantly improves the front velocity and the degree of cure by about two times. Increasing the PI content from 0.3 wt% to 0.4 wt% results in 15% and 26% higher degree of cure and front velocity, respectively. Moreover, due to the different front velocity in the top and bottom regions of the specimen, the specimens with 0.4 wt% PI exhibited a curved shape. The specimen with 0.5 wt% PI is thermally degraded and foamed. By comparing tensile properties, it is found that increasing the PI concentration from 0.2 wt% to 0.3 wt% improves the tensile strength and Young’s modulus by 3.91% and 7%, respectively, while the tensile strength and the Young’s modulus of frontal polymerized specimens are on average 8% and 14% higher than traditionally oven-cured ones, respectively. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 18, 2024
  8. As 6G wireless communications push the operation frequency above 110 GHz, it is critical to have low-loss interconnects that can be accurately tested. To this end, D-band (110 GHz to 170 GHz) substrate-integrated waveguides (SIWs) are designed on a 100-μm-thick SiC substrate. The fabricated SIWs are probed on-wafer in a single sweep from 70 kHz to 220 GHz with their input/output transitioned to grounded coplanar waveguides (GCPWs). From CPW-probed scattering parameters, two-tier calibration is used to de-embed the SIW-GCPW transitions and to extract the intrinsic SIW characteristics. In general, the record low loss measured agrees with that obtained from finite-element full-wave electromagnetic simulation. For example, across the D band, the average insertion loss is approximately 0.2 dB/mm, which is several times better than that of coplanar or microstrip transmission lines fabricated on the same substrate. A 3-pole filter exhibits a 1-dB insertion loss at 135 GHz with 20-dB selectivity and 11% bandwidth, which is order-of-magnitude better than typical on-chip filters. These results underscore the potential of using SIWs to interconnect transistors, filters, antennas, and other circuit elements on the same monolithically integrated chip. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 3, 2024
  9. Abstract

    Stratospheric ozone intrusions can have a significant impact on regional near‐surface ozone levels. Especially in summer, intrusions can contribute to extreme ozone events because of preexisting high ozone levels near the surface and cause serious health issues. Considering the increasing trend of surface ozone level, an understanding of stratospheric ozone intrusion is necessary. From a 19‐year Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, version 6 simulation and a stratospheric origin ozone tracer, we identify the global hotspots of stratospheric intrusions based on extreme tracer concentrations near the surface: North America, Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. We investigate the common underlying large‐scale mechanisms of the stratospheric intrusions over the identified hotspots from the lower stratosphere to the lower troposphere. From the trajectory analysis, we find that the upper‐level jet drives isentropic mixing near the jet axis and initiates stratospheric ozone intrusion. Subsequently, climatological descent at the lower troposphere brings the ozone down to the surface, which explains the spatial preference of summertime stratospheric intrusion events.

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