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  1. Abstract

    Knowledge of the sound velocity of core materials is essential to explain the observed anomalously low shear wave velocity (VS) and high Poisson’s ratio (σ) in the solid inner core. To date, neitherVSnorσof Fe and Fe-Si alloy have been measured under core conditions. Here, we presentVSandσderived from direct measurements of the compressional wave velocity, bulk sound velocity, and density of Fe and Fe-8.6 wt%Si up to ~230 GPa and ~5400 K. The new data show that neither the effect of temperature nor incorporation of Si would be sufficient to explain the observed lowVSand highσof the inner core. A possible solution would add carbon (C) into the solid inner core that could further decreaseVSand increaseσ. However, the physical property-based Fe-Si-C core models seemingly conflict with the partitioning behavior of Si and C between liquid and solid Fe.

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  2. Charge trapping degrades the energy resolution of germanium (Ge) detectors, which require to have increased experimental sensitivity in searching for dark matter and neutrinoless double-beta decay. We investigate the charge trapping processes utilizing nine planar detectors fabricated from USD-grown crystals with well-known net impurity levels. The charge collection efficiency as a function of charge trapping length is derived from the Shockley-Ramo theorem. Furthermore, we develop a model that correlates the energy resolution with the charge collection efficiency. This model is then applied to the experimental data. As a result, charge collection efficiency and charge trapping length are determined accordingly. Utilizing the Lax model (further developed by CDMS collaborators), the absolute impurity levels are determined for nine detectors. The knowledge of these parameters when combined with other traits such as the Fano factor serve as a reliable indicator of the intrinsic nature of charge trapping within the crystals. We demonstrate that electron trapping is more severe than hole trapping in a p-type detector and the charge collection efficiency depends on the absolute impurity level of the Ge crystal when an adequate bias voltage is applied to the detector. Negligible charge trapping is found when the absolute impurity level is less than 1.0$\times$10$^11/3$ for collecting electrons and 2.0$\times$10$^11/3$ for collecting holes. 
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  3. Abstract

    Li‐S batteries can potentially deliver high energy density and power, but polysulfide shuttle and lithium dendrite formations on Li metal anode have been the major hurdle. The polysulfide shuttle becomes severe particularly when the areal loading of the active material (sulfur) is increased to deliver the high energy density and the charge/discharge current density is raised to deliver high power. This study reports a novel mechanochemical method to create trenches on the surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in free‐standing 3D porous CNT sponges. Unique spiral trenches are created by pressures during the chemical treatment process, providing polysulfide‐philic surfaces for cathode and lithiophilic surfaces for anode. The Li‐S cells made from manufacturing‐friendly sulfur‐sandwiched cathodes and lithium‐infused anodes using the mechanochemically treated electrodes exhibit a strikingly high areal capacity as high as 13.3 mAh cm−2, which is only marginally reduced even with a tenfold increase in current density (16 mA cm−2), demonstrating both high “cell‐level” energy density and power. The outstanding performance can be attributed to the significantly improved reaction kinetics and lowered overpotentials coming from the reduced interfacial resistance and charge transfer resistance at both cathodes and anodes. The trench–wall CNT sponge simultaneously tackles the most critical problems on both the cathodes and anodes of Li‐S batteries, and this method can be utilized in designing new electrode materials for energy storage and beyond.

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