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Creators/Authors contains: "Wang, Zhong Lin"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 23, 2023
  2. The piezo-phototronic effect (a coupling effect of piezoelectric, photoexcitation and semiconducting properties, coined in 2010) has been demonstrated to be an ingenious and robust strategy to manipulate optoelectronic processes by tuning the energy band structure and photoinduced carrier behavior. The piezo-phototronic effect exhibits great potential in improving the quantum yield efficiencies of optoelectronic materials and devices and thus could help increase the energy conversion efficiency, thus alleviating the energy shortage crisis. In this review, the fundamental principles and challenges of representative optoelectronic materials and devices are presented, including photocatalysts (converting solar energy into chemical energy), solar cells (generating electricity directly under light illumination), photodetectors (converting light into electrical signals) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs, converting electric current into emitted light signals). Importantly, the mechanisms of how the piezo-phototronic effect controls the optoelectronic processes and the recent progress and applications in the above-mentioned materials and devices are highlighted and summarized. Only photocatalysts, solar cells, photodetectors, and LEDs that display piezo-phototronic behavior are reviewed. Material and structural design, property characterization, theoretical simulation calculations, and mechanism analysis are then examined as strategies to further enhance the quantum yield efficiency of optoelectronic devices via the piezo-phototronic effect. This comprehensive overview will guide future fundamental and applied studies that capitalize on the piezo-phototronic effect for energy conversion and storage. 
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  3. Abstract The human metabolome provides a window into the mechanisms and biomarkers of various diseases. However, because of limited availability, many sample types are still difficult to study by metabolomic analyses. Here, we present a mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomics strategy that only consumes sub-nanoliter sample volumes. The approach consists of combining a customized metabolomics workflow with a pulsed MS ion generation method, known as triboelectric nanogenerator inductive nanoelectrospray ionization (TENGi nanoESI) MS. Samples tested with this approach include exhaled breath condensate collected from cystic fibrosis patients as well as in vitro - cultured human mesenchymal stromal cells. Both test samples are only available in minimum amounts. Experiments show that picoliter-volume spray pulses suffice to generate high-quality spectral fingerprints, which increase the information density produced per unit sample volume. This TENGi nanoESI strategy has the potential to fill in the gap in metabolomics where liquid chromatography-MS-based analyses cannot be applied. Our method opens up avenues for future investigations into understanding metabolic changes caused by diseases or external stimuli. 
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  4. Placing plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) in close proximity to semiconductor nanostructures renders effective tuning of the optoelectronic properties of semiconductors through the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)-induced enhancement of light absorption and/or promotion of carrier transport. Herein, we report on, for the first time, the scrutiny of carrier dynamics of perovskite solar cells (PSCs) via sandwiching monodisperse plasmonic/dielectric core/shell NPs with systematically varied dielectric shell thickness yet fixed plasmonic core diameter within an electron transport layer (ETL). Specifically, a set of Au NPs with precisely controlled dimensions ( i.e. , fixed Au core diameter and tunable SiO 2 shell thickness) and architectures (plain Au NPs and plasmonic/dielectric Au/SiO 2 core/shell NPs) are first crafted by capitalizing on the star-like block copolymer nanoreactor strategy. Subsequently, these monodisperse NPs are sandwiched between the two consecutive TiO 2 ETLs. Intriguingly, there exists a critical dielectric SiO 2 shell thickness, below which hot electrons from the Au core are readily injected to TiO 2 ( i.e. , hot electron transfer (HET)); this promotes local electron mobility in the TiO 2 ETL, leading to improved charge transport and increased short-circuit current density ( J sc ). It is also notable that the HET effect moves up the Fermi level of TiO 2 , resulting in an enhanced built-in potential and open-circuit voltage ( V oc ). Taken together, the PSCs constructed by employing a sandwich-like TiO 2 /Au NPs/TiO 2 ETL exhibit both greatly enhanced J sc and V oc , delivering champion PCEs of 18.81% and 19.42% in planar and mesostructured PSCs, respectively. As such, the judicious positioning of rationally designed monodisperse plasmonic NPs in the ETL affords effective tailoring of carrier dynamics, thereby providing a unique platform for developing high-performance PSCs. 
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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 28, 2024