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  1. Abstract

    Higher order topological insulators (HOTIs) are a new class of topological materials which host protected states at the corners or hinges of a crystal. HOTIs provide an intriguing alternative platform for helical and chiral edge states and Majorana modes, but there are very few known materials in this class. Recent studies have proposed Bi as a potential HOTI, however, its topological classification is not yet well accepted. In this work, we show that the (110) facets of Bi and BiSb alloys can be used to unequivocally establish the topology of these systems. Bi and Bi0.92Sb0.08(110) films were grown onmore »silicon substrates using molecular beam epitaxy and studied by scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The surfaces manifest rectangular islands which show localized hinge states on three out of the four edges, consistent with the theory for the HOTI phase. This establishes Bi and Bi0.92Sb0.08as HOTIs, and raises questions about the topological classification of the full family of BixSb1−xalloys.

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  2. Abstract

    The physical realization of Chern insulators is of fundamental and practical interest, as they are predicted to host the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) effect and topologically protected chiral edge states which can carry dissipationless current. Current realizations of the QAH state often require complex heterostructures and sub-Kelvin temperatures, making the discovery of intrinsic, high temperature QAH systems of significant interest. In this work we show that time-reversal symmetry breaking Weyl semimetals, being essentially stacks of Chern insulators with inter-layer coupling, may provide a new platform for the higher temperature realization of robust chiral edge states. We present combined scanningmore »tunneling spectroscopy and theoretical investigations of the magnetic Weyl semimetal, Co3Sn2S2. Using modeling and numerical simulations we find that depending on the strength of the interlayer coupling, chiral edge states can be localized on partially exposed kagome planes on the surfaces of a Weyl semimetal. Correspondingly, our dI/dVmaps on the kagome Co3Sn terraces show topological states confined to the edges which display linear dispersion. This work provides a new paradigm for realizing chiral edge modes and provides a pathway for the realization of higher temperature QAH effect in magnetic Weyl systems in the two-dimensional limit.

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  3. Abstract

    Atomic force microscopy-infrared (AFM-IR) spectroscopic imaging offers non-perturbative, molecular contrast for nanoscale characterization. The need to mitigate measurement artifacts and enhance sensitivity, however, requires narrowly-defined and strict sample preparation protocols. This limits reliable and facile characterization; for example, when using common substrates such as Silicon or glass. Here, we demonstrate a closed-loop (CL) piezo controller design for responsivity-corrected AFM-IR imaging. Instead of the usual mode of recording cantilever deflection driven by sample expansion, the principle of our approach is to maintain a zero amplitude harmonic cantilever deflection by CL control of a subsample piezo. We show that the piezomore »voltage used to maintain a null deflection provides a reliable measure of the local IR absorption with significantly reduced noise. A complete analytical description of the CL operation and characterization of the controller for achieving robust performance are presented. Accurate measurement of IR absorption of nanothin PMMA films on glass and Silicon validates the robust capability of CL AFM-IR in routine mapping of nanoscale molecular information.

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  4. Abstract

    Field-effect transistor (FET)-based biosensors allow label-free detection of biomolecules by measuring their intrinsic charges. The detection limit of these sensors is determined by the Debye screening of the charges from counter ions in solutions. Here, we use FETs with a deformed monolayer graphene channel for the detection of nucleic acids. These devices with even millimeter scale channels show an ultra-high sensitivity detection in buffer and human serum sample down to 600 zM and 20 aM, respectively, which are ∼18 and ∼600 nucleic acid molecules. Computational simulations reveal that the nanoscale deformations can form ‘electrical hot spots’ in the sensingmore »channel which reduce the charge screening at the concave regions. Moreover, the deformed graphene could exhibit a band-gap, allowing an exponential change in the source-drain current from small numbers of charges. Collectively, these phenomena allow for ultrasensitive electronic biomolecular detection in millimeter scale structures.

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  5. Abstract

    Graphene, owing to its inherent chemical inertness, biocompatibility, and mechanical flexibility, has great potential in guiding cell behaviors such as adhesion and differentiation. However, due to the two-dimensional (2D) nature of graphene, the microfabrication of graphene into micro/nanoscale patterns has been widely adopted for guiding cellular assembly. In this study, we report crumpled graphene, i.e., monolithically defined graphene with a nanoscale wavy surface texture, as a tissue engineering platform that can efficiently promote aligned C2C12 mouse myoblast cell differentiation. We imparted out-of-plane, nanoscale crumpled morphologies to flat graphene via compressive strain-induced deformation. When C2C12 mouse myoblast cells were seededmore »on the uniaxially crumpled graphene, not only were the alignment and elongation promoted at a single-cell level but also the differentiation and maturation of myotubes were enhanced compared to that on flat graphene. These results demonstrate the utility of the crumpled graphene platform for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine for skeletal muscle tissues.

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  6. Abstract

    The emergence of two-dimensional (2D) materials as functional surfaces for sensing, electronics, mechanics, and other myriad applications underscores the importance of understanding 2D material–liquid interactions. The thinness and environmental sensitivity of 2D materials induce novel surface forces that drive liquid interactions. This complexity makes fundamental 2D material–liquid interactions variable. In this review, we discuss the (1) wettability, (2) electrical double layer (EDL) structure, and (3) frictional interactions originating from 2D material–liquid interactions. While many 2D materials are inherently hydrophilic, their wettability is perturbed by their substrate and contaminants, which can shift the contact angle. This modulation of the wettingmore »behavior enables templating, filtration, and actuation. Similarly, the inherent EDL at 2D material–liquid interfaces is easily perturbed. This EDL modulation partially explains the wettability modulation and enables distinctive electrofluidic systems, including supercapacitors, energy harvesters, microfluidic sensors, and nanojunction gating devices. Furthermore, nanoconfinement of liquid molecules at 2D material surfaces arising from a perturbed liquid structure results in distinctive hydrofrictional behavior, influencing the use of 2D materials in microchannels. We expect 2D material–liquid interactions to inform future fields of study, including modulation of the chemical reactivity of 2D materials via tuning 2D material–liquid interactions. Overall, 2D material–liquid interactions are a rich area for research that enables the unique tuning of surface properties, electrical and mechanical interactions, and chemistry.

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  7. Abstract

    Organic semiconductors are usually polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their analogs containing heteroatom substitution. Bioinspired materials chemistry of organic electronics promises new charge transport mechanism and specific molecular recognition with biomolecules. We discover organic semiconductors from deoxyribonucleic acid topoisomerase inhibitors, featuring conjugated backbone decorated with hydrogen-bonding moieties distinct from common organic semiconductors. Using ellipticine as a model compound, we find that hydrogen bonds not only guide polymorph assembly, but are also critical to forming efficient charge transport pathways along π−conjugated planes when at a low dihedral angle by shortening the end-to-end distance of adjacent π planes. In the π−π stackingmore »and hydrogen-bonding directions, the intrinsic, short-range hole mobilities reach as high as 6.5 cm2V−1s−1and 4.2 cm2V−1s−1measured by microwave conductivity, and the long-range apparent hole mobilities are up to 1.3 × 10–3cm2V−1s−1and 0.4 × 10–3cm2V−1s−1measured in field-effect transistors. We further demonstrate printed transistor devices and chemical sensors as potential applications.

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  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 11, 2023
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 9, 2023