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  1. Abstract

    The molecular basis underlying the rich phase behavior of globular proteins remains poorly understood. We use atomistic multiscale molecular simulations to model the solution‐state conformational dynamics and interprotein interactions of D‐crystallin and its P23T‐R36S mutant, which drastically limits the protein solubility, at both infinite dilution and at a concentration where the mutant fluid phase and crystalline phase coexist. We find that while the mutant conserves the protein fold, changes to the surface exposure of residues in the neighborhood of residue‐36 enhance protein–protein interactions and develop specific protein–protein contacts found in the protein crystal lattice.

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  2. Abstract

    Oxide solid electrolytes (OSEs) have the potential to achieve improved safety and energy density for lithium-ion batteries, but their high grain-boundary (GB) resistance generally is a bottleneck. In the well-studied perovskite oxide solid electrolyte, Li3xLa2/3-xTiO3(LLTO), the ionic conductivity of grain boundaries is about three orders of magnitude lower than that of the bulk. In contrast, the related Li0.375Sr0.4375Ta0.75Zr0.25O3(LSTZ0.75) perovskite exhibits low grain boundary resistance for reasons yet unknown. Here, we use aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy, along with an active learning moment tensor potential, to reveal the atomic scale structure and composition of LSTZ0.75 grain boundaries. Vibrational electron energy loss spectroscopy is applied for the first time to reveal atomically resolved vibrations at grain boundaries of LSTZ0.75 and to characterize the otherwise unmeasurable Li distribution therein. We find that Li depletion, which is a major reason for the low grain boundary ionic conductivity of LLTO, is absent for the grain boundaries of LSTZ0.75. Instead, the low grain boundary resistivity of LSTZ0.75 is attributed to the formation of a nanoscale defective cubic perovskite interfacial structure that contained abundant vacancies. Our study provides new insights into the atomic scale mechanisms of low grain boundary resistivity.

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  3. Abstract

    Peptides naturally have stimuli‐adaptive structural conformations that are advantageous for endowing synthetic materials with dynamic functionalities. Here, we report a carbodiimide‐based approach, combined with electrostatic modulation, to instruct π‐conjugated peptides to self‐assemble and be responsive to thermal disassembly cues upon consumption of the assembly trigger. Quaterthiophene‐functionalized peptides are utilized as a model system herein to study the formation of nanostructures at non‐equilibrium states. Peptides were designed to have aspartic acid at the termini to allow intramolecular anhydride formation upon adding carbodiimide, which consequentially reduces the electrostatic repulsion and facilitates assembly. We show that the carbodiimide‐fueled assembly and subsequent thermally assisted disassembly can be modulated by the net charge of the peptidic monomers, suggesting an assembly mechanism that can be encoded by sequence design. This carbodiimide‐based approach for the assembly of designer π‐conjugated systems offers a unique opportunity to develop bioelectronic supramolecular materials with controllable formation of dynamic and stimuli‐responsive structures.

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  4. Abstract

    The rocksalt structured (Co,Cu,Mg,Ni,Zn)O entropy-stabilized oxide (ESO) exhibits a reversible phase transformation that leads to the formation of Cu-rich tenorite and Co-rich spinel secondary phases. Using atom probe tomography, kinetic analysis, and thermodynamic modeling, we uncover the nucleation and growth mechanisms governing the formation of these two secondary phases. We find that these phases do not nucleate directly, but rather they first form Cu-rich and Co-rich precursor phases, which nucleate in regions rich in Cu and cation vacancies, respectively. These precursor phases then grow through cation diffusion and exhibit a rocksalt-like crystal structure. The Cu-rich precursor phase subsequently transforms into the Cu-rich tenorite phase through a structural distortion-based transformation, while the Co-rich precursor phase transforms into the Co-rich spinel phase through a defect-mediated transformation. Further growth of the secondary phases is controlled by cation diffusion within the primary rocksalt phase, whose diffusion behavior resembles other common rocksalt oxides.

    Graphical abstract

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  5. Abstract

    Multi‐scale organization of molecular and living components is one of the most critical parameters that regulate charge transport in electroactive systems—whether abiotic, biotic, or hybrid interfaces. In this article, an overview of the current state‐of‐the‐art for controlling molecular order, nanoscale assembly, microstructure domains, and macroscale architectures of electroactive organic interfaces used for biomedical applications is provided. Discussed herein are the leading strategies and challenges to date for engineering the multi‐scale organization of electroactive organic materials, including biomolecule‐based materials, synthetic conjugated molecules, polymers, and their biohybrid analogs. Importantly, this review provides a unique discussion on how the dependence of conduction phenomena on structural organization is observed for electroactive organic materials, as well as for their living counterparts in electrogenic tissues and biotic‐abiotic interfaces. Expansion of fabrication capabilities that enable higher resolution and throughput for the engineering of ordered, patterned, and architecture electroactive systems will significantly impact the future of bioelectronic technologies for medical devices, bioinspired harvesting platforms, and in vitro models of electroactive tissues. In summary, this article presents how ordering at multiple scales is important for modulating transport in both the electroactive organic, abiotic, and living components of bioelectronic systems.

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  6. Abstract

    Ferroelectric materials are characterized by the spontaneous polarization switchable by the applied fields, which can act as a “gate” to control various properties of ferroelectric/insulator interfaces. Here we review the recent studies on the modulation of oxide hetero-/homo-interfaces by ferroelectric polarization. We discuss the potential applications of recently developed four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy and how it can provide insights into the fundamental understanding of ferroelectric polarization-induced phenomena and stimulate future computational studies. Finally, we give the outlook for the potentials, the challenges, and the opportunities for the contribution of materials computation to future progress in the area.

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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 4, 2024