Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 45197

Physical and Mathematical Sciences

The Mechanism Study of Degradative Solvent Extraction of Biomass by Liquid-Membrane Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Degradative solvent extraction (DSE) is the method developed for biomass upgrading by dewatering and fractionation of biomass under the mild condition. However, the conversion mechanism of the DSE method has not been fully understood so far. The main reactions from the studies of the DSE method of biomass are dehydration, decarboxylation, and aromatization. The feasibility and advantages of liquid-membrane Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) technique have been proved to identify molecular components and quantitatively analyze of the hydroxyl groups of the main extraction product (solvent-soluble) of the DSE method without separation from the solvent. To study this process mechanism in-depth, the liquid-membrane FTIR technique is applied in this study. The solvent-treatment temperature is varied from 250 to 350oC to examine the changed occurring during the conversion of biomass of DSE method. The rice straw is treated in 1-methylnaphthalene at a different solvent-treatment temperature from 250 to 350oC with the residence time for 60 min. The FTIR spectrum of solvent-soluble associated with oxygen functional groups, the oxygen-hydrogen stretching (3600 - 3100 cm-1) and the carbonyl stretching (1800 - 1600 cm-1) regions, are then investigated. The obtained IR spectrum is deconvoluted to a series of bands in each region and the peak areas for each band are obtained. The content of oxygen in hydroxyl groups and in carboxylic acid are calculated from the FTIR analysis with the aid of the absorption coefficient, which has been derived using the known concentration reagents. It has been found that the oxygen obtained in the oxygen-hydrogen stretching region and in carboxylic acid in the carbonyl stretching region decreased slightly with increasing solvent-treatment temperature from 250 to 350oC. The relative quantity of hydrogen-bonded OH of soluble in the oxygen-hydrogen stretching region decreases from 300 to 350oC, which shows that dehydration reaction takes place between 300oC and 350oC. The results of deconvolution applied to the carbonyl stretching region, FTIR spectra reveal the presence of esters, carboxylic acid and ketonic groups in the solvent-soluble of biomass. As the relative change of carbonyl functional groups measured from the band areas in the solvent-soluble of biomass, the results decrease as increasing the solvent-treatment temperature. These functional groups may be removed by the decarboxylation by the carboxylic acid in the solvent-soluble of biomass changing to the form of carbon dioxide.
Planar Plasmonic Terahertz Waveguides for Sensor Applications
Planar plasmonic terahertz waveguides have been widely examined in the last decade owing to its significance in slow light phenomenon, band pass and band stop filter, achromatic quarter wave plate etc. In this paper, we investigate sensing capabilities of the planar plasmonic terahertz guide wave devices. In our proposed configuration, the waveguide is comprised of one-dimensional array of periodically arranged sub-wavelength corrugations in the form of rectangular dimples in order to ensure plasmonic response. We first examine the dispersion relations of the fundamental terahertz mode supported by the plasmonic waveguides. The terahertz waveguide transmission is observed for the thin film polyimide substance that fills the dimples. The refractive index of the polyimide film is varied to examine various sensing parameters such as frequency shift, sensitivity, and Figure of Merit (FoM) of the fundamental plasmonic resonance. We employ a semi-analytical transmission line resistor, inductor and capacitor (RLC) circuit model to elucidate our numerical observations. In efforts to improve sensing characteristics, we also examine sensing capabilities of a plasmonic waveguide having V-shaped corrugations and compare results with that of rectangular dimples. The proposed study could be significant in the development of new terahertz sensors with improved sensitivity utilizing the plasmonic waveguides.
Validation of the Formula for Air Attenuation Coefficient for Acoustic Scale Models
Methodology of measurement of sound absorption coefficient in scaled models is based on the ISO 354 standard. The measurement is realised indirectly - the coefficient is calculated from the reverberation time of an empty chamber as well as a chamber with an inserted sample. It is crucial to maintain the atmospheric conditions stable during both measurements. Possible differences may be amended basing on the formulas for atmospheric attenuation coefficient α given in ISO 9613-1. Model studies require scaling particular factors in compliance with specified characteristic numbers. For absorption coefficient measurement, these are for example: frequency range or the value of attenuation coefficient m. Thanks to the possibilities of modern electroacoustic transducers, it is no longer a problem to scale the frequencies which have to be proportionally higher. However, it may be problematic to reduce values of the attenuation coefficient. It is practically obtained by drying the air down to a defined relative humidity. Despite the change of frequency range and relative humidity of the air, ISO 9613-1 standard still allows the calculation of the amendment for little differences of the atmospheric conditions in the chamber during measurements. The paper discusses a number of theoretical analyses and experimental measurements performed in order to obtain consistency between the values of attenuation coefficient calculated from the formulas given in the standard and by measurement. The authors performed measurements of reverberation time in a chamber made in a 1/8 scale in a corresponding frequency range, i.e. 800 Hz - 40 kHz and in different values of the relative air humidity (40% 5%). Based on the measurements, empirical values of attenuation coefficient were calculated and compared with theoretical ones. In general, the values correspond with each other, but for high frequencies and low values of relative air humidity the differences are significant. Those discrepancies may directly influence the values of measured sound absorption coefficient and cause errors. Therefore, the authors made an effort to determine an amendment minimizing described inaccuracy.
Engineering Method to Measure the Impact Sound Improvement with Floor Coverings
Methodology used to measure the reduction of transmitted impact sound by floor coverings situated on a massive floor is described in ISO 10140-3: 2010. To carry out such tests, the standardised reverberation room separated by a standard floor from the second measuring room are required. The need to have a special laboratory results in high cost and low accessibility of this measurement. The authors propose their own engineering method to measure the impact sound improvement with floor coverings. This method does not require standard rooms and floor. This paper describes the measurement procedure of proposed engineering method. Further, verification tests were performed. Validation of the proposed method was based on the analytical model, Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) model and empirical measurements. The received results were related to corresponding ones obtained from ISO 10140-3:2010 measurements. The study confirmed the usefulness of the engineering method.
Experimental Verification of Similarity Criteria for Sound Absorption of Perforated Panels
Scaled modeling is very common in the areas of science such as aerodynamics or fluid mechanics, since defining characteristic numbers enables to determine relations between objects under test and their models. In acoustics, scaled modeling is aimed mainly at investigation of room acoustics, sound insulation and sound absorption phenomena. Despite such a range of application, there is no method developed that would enable scaling acoustical perforated panels freely, maintaining their sound absorption coefficient in a desired frequency range. However, conducted theoretical and numerical analyses have proven that it is not physically possible to obtain given sound absorption coefficient in a desired frequency range by directly scaling only all of the physical dimensions of a perforated panel, according to a defined characteristic number. This paper is a continuation of the research mentioned above and presents practical evaluation of theoretical and numerical analyses. The measurements of sound absorption coefficient of perforated panels were performed in order to verify previous analyses and as a result find the relations between full-scale perforated panels and their models which will enable to scale them properly. The measurements were conducted in a one-to-eight model of a reverberation chamber of Technical Acoustics Laboratory, AGH. Obtained results verify theses proposed after theoretical and numerical analyses. Finding the relations between full-scale and modeled perforated panels will allow to produce measurement samples equivalent to the original ones. As a consequence, it will make the process of designing acoustical perforated panels easier and will also lower the costs of prototypes production. Having this knowledge, it will be possible to emulate in a constructed model panels used, or to be used, in a full-scale room more precisely and as a result imitate or predict the acoustics of a modeled space more accurately.
The Analysis of Noise Harmfulness in Public Utility Facilities
The main purpose of the study is to perform the measurement and analysis of noise harmfulness in public utility facilities. The World Health Organization reports that the number of people suffering from hearing impairment is constantly increasing. The most alarming is the number of young people occurring in the statistics. The majority of scientific research in the field of hearing protection and noise prevention concern industrial and road traffic noise as the source of health problems. As the result, corresponding standards and regulations defining noise level limits are enforced. However, there is another field uncovered by profound research – leisure time. Public utility facilities such as clubs, shopping malls, sport facilities or concert halls – they all generate high-level noise, being out of proper juridical control. Among European Union Member States, the highest legislative act concerning noise prevention is the Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC. However, it omits the problem discussed above and even for traffic, railway and aircraft noise it does not set limits or target values, leaving these issues to the discretion of the Member State authorities. Without explicit and uniform regulations, noise level control at places designed for relaxation and entertainment is often in the responsibility of people having little knowledge of hearing protection, unaware of the risk the noise pollution poses. Exposure to high sound levels in clubs, cinemas, at concerts and sports events may result in a progressive hearing loss, especially among young people, being the main target group of such facilities and events. The first step to change this situation and to raise the general awareness is to perform reliable measurements the results of which will emphasize the significance of the problem. This project presents the results of more than hundred measurements, performed in most types of public utility facilities in Poland. As the most suitable measuring instrument for such a research, personal noise dosimeters were used to collect the data. Each measurement is presented in the form of numerical results including equivalent and peak sound pressure levels and a detailed description considering the type of the sound source, size and furnishing of the room and the subjective sound level evaluation. In the absence of a straight reference point for the interpretation of the data, the limits specified in EU Directive 2003/10/EC were used for comparison. They set the maximum sound level values for workers in relation to their working time length. The analysis of the examined problem leads to the conclusion that during leisure time, people are exposed to noise levels significantly exceeding safe values. As the hearing problems are gradually progressing, most people underplay the problem, ignoring the first symptoms. Therefore, an effort has to be made to specify the noise regulations for public utility facilities. Without any action, in the foreseeable future the majority of Europeans will be dealing with serious hearing damage, which will have a negative impact on the whole societies.
The Effect of Iron Deficiency on the Magnetic Properties of Ca₀.₅La₀.₅Fe₁₂₋yO₁₉₋δ M-Type Hexaferrites
Recently, Ca₁₋ₓLaₓFe₁₂O₁₉ (Ca-La M-type) hexaferrites have been reported to possess higher crystalline anisotropy compared with SrFe₁₂O₁₉ (Sr M-type) hexaferrite without reducing its saturation magnetization (Ms), resulting in higher coercivity (Hc). While iron deficiency is known to be helpful for the growth and the formation of NiZn spinel ferrites, the effect of iron deficiency in Ca-La M-type hexaferrites has never been reported yet. In this study, therefore, we tried to investigate the effect of iron deficiency on the magnetic properties of Ca₀.₅La₀.₅Fe₁₂₋yO₁₉₋δ hexaferrites prepared by solid state reaction. As-calcined powder was pressed into pellets and sintered at 1275~1325℃ for 4 h in air. Samples were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Powder XRD analyses revealed that Ca₀.₅La₀.₅Fe₁₂₋yO₁₉₋δ (0.75 ≦ y ≦ 2.15) ferrites calcined at 1250-1300℃ for 12 h in air were composed of single phase without the second phases. With increasing the iron deficiency, y, the lattice parameters a, c and unite cell volumes were decreased first up to y=10.25 and then increased again. The highest Ms value of 77.5 emu/g was obtainable from the sample of Ca₀.₅La₀.₅Fe₁₂₋yO₁₉₋δ sintered at 1300℃ for 4 h in air. Detailed microstructures and magnetic properties of Ca-La M-type hexagonal ferrites will be presented for a discussion
A Tunable Long-Cavity Passive Mode-Locked Fiber Laser Based on Nonlinear Amplifier Loop Mirror
In this paper, we demonstrate a tunable long-cavity passive mode-locked fiber laser. The mode locker is a nonlinear amplifying loop mirror (NALM). The cavity frequency of the laser is 465 kHz because that 404m SMF is inserted in the cavity. A tunable bandpass filter with ~1nm 3dB bandwidth is inserted into the cavity to realize tunable mode locking. The passive mode-locked laser at a fixed wavelength is investigated in detail. The experimental results indicate that the laser operates in dissipative soliton resonance (DSR) region. When the pump power is 400mW, the laser generates the rectangular pulses with 10.58 ns pulse duration, 70.28nJ single-pulse energy. When the pump power is 400mW, the laser keeps stable mode locking status in the range from 1523.4nm to 1575nm. During the whole tuning range, the SNR, the pulse duration, the output power and single pulse energy have a little fluctuation because that the gain of the EDF changes with the wavelength.
The Effect of Varying Cone Beam Computed Tomography Image Resolution and Field-of-View Centralization on the Effective Radiation Dose
Introduction: Estimating the potential radiation risk for a widely used imaging technique such as cone beam CT (CBCT) is crucial. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of varying two CBCT technical factors, the voxel size (VOX) and the Field-of-View (FOV) centralization, on the radiation dose. Methodology: The head and neck slices of a RANDO® man phantom (Alderson Research Laboratories) were used with nanoDot™ OSLD dosimeters to measure the absorbed radiation dose at 25 predetermined sites. Imaging was done using the i-CAT® (Imaging Science International, Hatfield, PA, USA) CBCT unit. The VOX was changed for every three cycles of exposures from 0.2mm to 0.3mm and then 0.4mm. Then the FOV was centered on the maxilla and mandible alternatively while holding all other factors constant. Finally, the effective radiation dose was calculated for each view and voxel setting. Results: The effective radiation dose was greatest when the smallest VOX was chosen. When the FOV was centered on the maxilla, the highest radiation doses were recorded in the eyes and parotid glands. While on the mandible, the highest radiation doses were recorded in the sublingual and submandibular glands. Conclusion: Minor variations in the CBCT exposure factors significantly affect the effective radiation dose and thus the radiation risk to the patient. Therefore, extreme care must be taken when choosing these parameters especially for vulnerable patients such as children.
Bi-Lateral Comparison between NIS-Egypt and NMISA-South Africa for the Calibration of an Optical Spectrum Analyzer
Dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology requires tight specification and therefore measurement of wavelength accuracy and stability of the telecommunication lasers. Therefore, calibration of the used Optical Spectrum Analyzers (OSAs) that are used to measure wavelength is of a great importance. Proficiency testing must be performed on such measuring activity to insure the accuracy of the measurement results. In this paper, a new comparison scheme is introduced to test the performance of such calibrations. This comparison scheme is implemented between NIS-Egypt and NMISA-South Africa for the calibration of the wavelength scale of an OSA. Both institutes employ reference gas cell to calibrate OSA according to the standard IEC/BS EN 62129 (2006). The result of this comparison is compiled in this paper.
New Neuroplasmonic Sensor Based on Soft Nanolithography
New neuro plasmonic sensor based on one dimensional plasmonic nano-grating has been prepared. To record neural activity, the sample has been exposed under different infrared laser and then has been calculated by ellipsometry parameters. Our results show that we have efficient sensitivity to different laser excitation.
1D PIC Simulation of Cold Plasma Electrostatic Waves beyond Wave-Breaking Limit
Electrostatic Waves in plasma have emerged as a new source for the acceleration of charged particles. The accelerated particles have a wide range of applications, for example in cancer therapy to cutting and melting of hard materials. The maximum acceleration can only be achieved when the amplitude of the plasma wave stays below a critical limit known as wave-breaking amplitude. Beyond this limit amplitude of the wave diminishes dramatically as the coherent energy of the wave starts to convert into random kinetic energy. In this work, spatiotemporal evolution of non-relativistic electrostatic waves in a cold plasma has been studied in the wave-breaking regime using a 1D particle-in-cell simulation (PIC). It is found that plasma gets heated after the wave-breaking but a fraction of initial energy always remains with the remnant wave in the form of Bernstein-Greene-Kruskal (BGK) mode in warm plasma. Another interesting finding of this work is that the frequency of the resultant BGK wave is found be below electron plasma frequency which decreases with increasing initial amplitude and the acceleration mechanism after the wave-breaking is also found to be different from the previous work. In order to explain the results observed in the numerical experiments, a simplified theoretical model is constructed which exhibits a good agreement with the simulation. In conclusion, it is shown in this work that electrostatic waves get shower after the wave-breaking and a fraction of initial coherent energy always remains with remnant wave. These investigations have direct relevance in wakefield acceleration experiments.
Radiation Protection and Licensing for an Experimental Fusion Facility: The Italian and European Approaches
An experimental nuclear fusion device could be seen as a step toward the development of the future nuclear fusion power plant. If compared with other possible solutions to the energy problem, nuclear fusion has advantages that ensure sustainability and security. In particular considering the radioactivity and the radioactive waste produced, in a nuclear fusion plant the component materials could be selected in order to limit the decay period, making it possible the recycling in a new reactor after about 100 years from the beginning of the decommissioning. To achieve this and other pertinent goals many experimental machines have been developed and operated worldwide in the last decades, underlining that radiation protection and workers exposure are critical aspects of these facilities due to the high flux, high energy neutrons produced in the fusion reactions. Direct radiation, material activation, tritium diffusion and other related issues pose a real challenge to the demonstration that these devices are safer than the nuclear fission facilities. In Italy, a limited number of fusion facilities have been constructed and operated since 30 years ago, mainly at the ENEA Frascati Center, and the radiation protection approach, addressed by the national licensing requirements, shows that it is not always easy to respect the constraints for the workers' exposure to ionizing radiation. In the current analysis, the main radiation protection issues encountered in the Italian Fusion facilities are considered and discussed, and the technical and legal requirements are described. The licensing process for these kinds of devices is outlined and compared with that of other European countries. The following aspects are considered throughout the current study: i) description of the installation, plant and systems, ii) suitability of the area, buildings, and structures, iii) radioprotection structures and organization, iv) exposure of personnel, v) accident analysis and relevant radiological consequences, vi) radioactive wastes assessment and management. In conclusion, the analysis points out the needing of a special attention to the radiological exposure of the workers in order to demonstrate at least the same level of safety as that reached at the nuclear fission facilities.
Kinetics and Adsorption Studies of Tetracycline from Aqueous Solution Using Melon Husk
The adsorption of tetracycline from aqueous solution was carried out using melon husk as a low-cost adsorbent. The adsorption was characterized using standard methods and values obtained were; pH = 7.80, bulk density = 0.43 g/mL, ash content = 2.2 %, moisture content = 8.27 %, attrition = 1%, and iodine number = 552 mg/g. Adsorption capacity was found to vary with initial concentration, adsorbent dosage, pH, contact time and temperature, the maximum adsorption capacity in each case was found to be at; 30 mg/L for concentration, 0.8 g for adsorbent dose, 5 for pH, 60 minutes for time and 30 °C for temperature. FTIR analysis was done to analyses the surface functional groups which shows the presence of O-H stretch, at 3743.92 corresponding to alcohol, phenols, C-H stretch at 2923.27 indicative of alkanes, H-C=O: C-H stretch at 2725.76 corresponding to aldehyde, C-C stretch at 1462.72 corresponding to aromatic, SEM analysis carried out revealed a rough and smooth morphology of the uncontacted and contacted adsorbent respectively. The experimental data judging from the R2 values fitted best into the Temkin isotherm. The fitting of tetracycline adsorption into the pseudo second order kinetic model (R2 of 0.9992) is suggestive of chemisorption for the adsorbent.
High Accuracy Analytic Approximation for Special Functions Applied to Bessel Functions Jₒ(x) and Its Zeros
The Bessel function Jₒ(x) is very important in electrodynamics and physics, as well as its zeros. In this work, a method to obtain high accuracy approximation is presented through an application to that function. In most of the applications of this function, the values of the zeros are very important. In this work, analytic approximations for this function have been obtained valid for all positive values of the variable x, which has high accuracy for the function as well as for the zeros. The approximation is determined by the simultaneous use of the power series and asymptotic expansion. The structure of the approximation is a combination of two rational functions with elementary functions as trigonometric and fractional powers. In Padé method, a rational function is used; but here the method is much different, because first two rational functions are used, and they are also combined with rational functions are used and they are also combined with other elementary functions, because now asymptotic expansions are used as well as power series, and the approximate function will be a bridge between both expansions. In the simplest approximation using 4 parameters, the maximum absolute error is less than 0.006 at x ~ 4.9. In this case, also the maximum relative error is less than 0.003 at x ~ 2.1, the second zero, but that value decreases rapidly for the other zeros. The same kind of behavior happens for the relative error of the maximum and minimum of the functions. Approximations with higher accuracy and more parameters will be also shown. All the approximations are valid for any positive value of x, and they can be calculated easily.
Precise Analytic Approximation for the Parabolic Cylinder Function I₁/₄(x) and I-₁/₄(x)
New efficient analytic approximations have been found for the modified Bessel functions I₁/₄(x) and I-₁/₄(x), improving prior techniques, such as the quasirational multipolar approximation, MPQA. As in Padé method, rational functions are used, but now the asymptotic expansion is also used simultaneously with the power series, and because of this, rational functions have to be combined with elementary functions, so that the approximation is a bridge between both expansions. The approximation now found is a rational function combined with the hyperbolic function and fractional powers. Only three parameters are needed to obtain a maximum relative error of less than one percent. Higher accuracy has been obtained using a higher number of parameters, and they will also be presented here. All the approximations are analytic, and they can be integrated and differentiated, as well. They are also valid for all positive values of the variable, and the accuracy is higher for small and large values of the variable. For instance, in the simplest approximant, the maximum relative error for I₁/₄(x) is 0.006 for x ~ 0.61. Outside this region, the around 0.1 the accuracy of the function is about 0.002. In this case, also the approximation is so simple that can be easily calculated with a usual pocket calculator.
Characterization of Shear and Extensional Rheology of Fibre Suspensions Prior to Atomization
Spray drying of fruit juices from liquid to powder is desirable as the powders are easier to handle, especially for storage and transportation. In this project, pomace fibres will be used as a drying aid during spray drying, replacing the commonly used maltodextrins. The main attraction of this drying aid is that the pomace fibres are originally derived from the fruit itself. However, the addition of micro-sized fibres to fruit juices is expected to affect the rheology and subsequent atomization behaviour during the spray drying process. This study focuses on the determination and characterization of the rheology of juice-fibre suspensions specifically inside a spray dryer nozzle. Results show that the juice-fibre suspensions exhibit shear thinning behaviour with a significant extensional viscosity. The shear and extensional viscosities depend on several factors which include fibre fraction, shape, size and aspect ratio. A commercial capillary rheometer is used to characterize the shear behaviour while a portable extensional rheometer has been designed and built to study the extensional behaviour. Methods and equipment will be presented along with the rheology results. Rheology or behaviour of the juice-fibre suspensions provides an insight into the limitations that will be faced during atomization, and in the future, this finding will assist in choosing the best nozzle design that can overcome the limitations introduced by the fibre particles thus resulting in successful spray drying of juice-fibre suspensions.
High Accuracy Analytic Approximations for Modified Bessel Functions I₀(x)
A method to obtain analytic approximations for special function of interest in engineering and physics is described here. Each approximate function will be valid for every positive value of the variable and accuracy will be high and increasing with the number of parameters to determine. The general technique will be shown through an application to the modified Bessel function of order zero, I₀(x). The form and the calculation of the parameters are performed with the simultaneous use of the power series and asymptotic expansion. As in Padé method rational functions are used, but now they are combined with other elementary functions as; fractional powers, hyperbolic, trigonometric and exponential functions, and others. The elementary function is determined, considering that the approximate function should be a bridge between the power series and the asymptotic expansion. In the case of the I₀(x) function two analytic approximations have been already determined. The simplest one is (1+x²/4)⁻¹/⁴(1+0.24273x²) cosh(x)/(1+0.43023x²). The parameters of I₀(x) were determined using the leading term of the asymptotic expansion and two coefficients of the power series, and the maximum relative error is 0.05. In a second case, two terms of the asymptotic expansion were used and 4 of the power series and the maximum relative error is 0.001 at x≈9.5. Approximations with much higher accuracy will be also shown. In conclusion a new technique is described to obtain analytic approximations to some functions of interest in sciences, such that they have a high accuracy, they are valid for every positive value of the variable, they can be integrated and differentiated as the usual, functions, and furthermore they can be calculated easily even with a regular pocket calculator.
Detection and Identification of Antibiotic Resistant UPEC Using FTIR-Microscopy and Advanced Multivariate Analysis
Antimicrobial drugs have played an indispensable role in controlling illness and death associated with infectious diseases in animals and humans. However, the increasing resistance of bacteria to a broad spectrum of commonly used antibiotics has become a global healthcare problem. Many antibiotics had lost their effectiveness since the beginning of the antibiotic era because many bacteria have adapted defenses against these antibiotics. Rapid determination of antimicrobial susceptibility of a clinical isolate is often crucial for the optimal antimicrobial therapy of infected patients and in many cases can save lives. The conventional methods for susceptibility testing require the isolation of the pathogen from a clinical specimen by culturing on the appropriate media (this culturing stage lasts 24 h-first culturing). Then, chosen colonies are grown on media containing antibiotic(s), using micro-diffusion discs (second culturing time is also 24 h) in order to determine its bacterial susceptibility. Other methods, genotyping methods, E-test and automated methods were also developed for testing antimicrobial susceptibility. Most of these methods are expensive and time-consuming. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy is rapid, safe, effective and low cost method that was widely and successfully used in different studies for the identification of various biological samples including bacteria; nonetheless, its true potential in routine clinical diagnosis has not yet been established. The new modern infrared (IR) spectrometers with high spectral resolution enable measuring unprecedented biochemical information from cells at the molecular level. Moreover, the development of new bioinformatics analyses combined with IR spectroscopy becomes a powerful technique, which enables the detection of structural changes associated with resistivity. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the potential of the FTIR microscopy in tandem with machine learning algorithms for rapid and reliable identification of bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics in time span of few minutes. The UTI E.coli bacterial samples, which were identified at the species level by MALDI-TOF and examined for their susceptibility by the routine assay (micro-diffusion discs), are obtained from the bacteriology laboratories in Soroka University Medical Center (SUMC). These samples were examined by FTIR microscopy and analyzed by advanced statistical methods. Our results, based on 700 E.coli samples, were promising and showed that by using infrared spectroscopic technique together with multivariate analysis, it is possible to classify the tested bacteria into sensitive and resistant with success rate higher than 90% for eight different antibiotics. Based on these preliminary results, it is worthwhile to continue developing the FTIR microscopy technique as a rapid and reliable method for identification antibiotic susceptibility.
Experimental Options for the Role of Dynamic Torsion in General Relativity
The experimental search for spin coupling in General Relativity via torsion has been inconclusive. In this work, further experimental avenues to test dynamic torsion are proposed and evaluated. In the extended theory, by relaxing the torsion free condition on the metric connection, general relativity is reformulated to relate the spin density of particles to a new quantity, the torsion tensor. In torsion theories, the spin tensor and torsion tensor are related in much the same way as the stress-energy tensor is related to the metric connection. Similarly, as the metric is the field associated with the metric connection, fields can be associated with the torsion tensor resulting in a field that is either propagating or static. Experimental searches for static torsion have thus far been inconclusive, and currently, there have been no experimental tests for propagating torsion. Experimental tests of propagating theories of torsion are proposed utilizing various spin densities of matter, such as interfaces in superconducting materials and plasmas. The experimental feasibility and observable bounds are estimated, and the most viable candidates are selected to pursue in detail in a future work.
Groundwater Recharge Pattern in East and West Coast of India: Evidence of Dissimilar Moisture Sources
The stable isotope (δ¹⁸ O and δ²H) composition of groundwater of the coastal areas of Periyar and Mahanadi basins falling along East and West coast of India during North-East (NE) monsoon season have been studied. The east and west coast regions are surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea respectively, which are considered to be the primary sources for precipitation over India. The major difference between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea is that a number of large rivers feed the Bay of Bengal, whereas the Arabian Sea is fed by very few small rivers, resulting in enriched stable isotopic composition of the Arabian Sea than the Bay of Bengal. Previous studies have reported depleted ratios of stable isotopes during Northeast monsoon along East and West coasts due to the influence of the Bay of Bengal moisture source. The isotopic composition of groundwater of the Mahanadi delta in the east coast region varies from -6.87 ‰ to -3.40 ‰ for δ¹⁸ O and -45.42 ‰ to -22.43‰ for δ²H. However, the groundwater of the Periyar basin in the west coast has enriched stable isotope value varying from -4.3‰ to -2.5 ‰ for δ¹⁸ O and for δ²H from -23.7 to -6.4 ‰ which is a characteristic of South-West monsoon season. This suggests the groundwater system of the Mahanadi delta and the Periyar basins are influenced by dissimilar moisture sources. The δ¹⁸ O and δ² H relationship (δ²H= 6.513 δ¹⁸ O - 1.39) and d-excess value (< 10) in the east coast region indicates the influence of NE monsoon implying the quick groundwater recharge after precipitation with significant amount of evaporation. In contrast, the δ¹⁸ O and δ²H regression line (δ²H= 8.408 δ¹⁸ O + 11.71) with high d-excess value (>10) in the west coast region implies delayed recharge due to SW monsoon. The observed isotopic enrichment in west coast suggests that NE winter monsoon rainfall does not replenish groundwater quick enough to produce isotopic depletion during the season.
Optimal Parameters of Two-Color Ionizing Laser Pulses for Terahertz Generation
Generation of broadband intense terahertz (THz) radiation attracts reasonable interest due to various applications, such as the THz time-domain spectroscopy, the probing and control of various ultrafast processes, the THz imaging with subwavelength resolution, and many others. One of the most promising methods for generating powerful and broadband terahertz pulses is based on focusing two-color femtosecond ionizing laser pulses in gases, including ambient air. For this method, the amplitudes of terahertz pulses are determined by the free-electron current density remaining in a formed plasma after the passage of the laser pulse. The excitation of this residual current density can be treated as multi-wave mixing: Аn effective generation of terahertz radiation is possible only when the frequency ratio of one-color components in the two-color pulse is close to irreducible rational fraction a/b with small odd sum a + b. This work focuses on the optimal parameters (polarizations and intensities) of laser components for the strongest THz generation. The optimal values of parameters are found numerically and analytically with the use of semiclassical approach for calculating the residual current density. For frequency ratios close to a/(a ± 1) with natural a, the strongest THz generation is shown to take place when the both laser components have circular polarizations and equal intensities. For this optimal case, an analytical formula for the residual current density was derived. For the frequency ratios such as 2/5, the two-color ionizing pulses with circularly polarized components practically do not excite the residual current density. However, the optimal parameters correspond generally to specific elliptical (not linear) polarizations of the components and intensity ratios close to unity.
Rare Earth Doped Alkali Halide Crystals for Thermoluminescence Dosimetry Application
The Europium (Eu) doped (0.02-0.1 wt %) lithium fluoride (LiF) crystal in the form of multicrystalline sheet was gown by the edge defined film fed growth (EFG) technique. Crystals were grown in argon gas atmosphere using graphite crucible and stainless steel die. The systematic incorporation of Eu inside the host LiF lattice was confirmed by X-ray diffractometry. Thermoluminescence (TL) glow curve was recorded on annealed (AN) crystals after irradiation with a gamma dose of 15 Gy. The effect of different concentration of Eu in enhancing the thermoluminescence (TL) intensity of LiF was studied. The normalized peak height of the Eu-doped LiF crystal was nearly 12 times that of the LiF crystals. The optimized concentration of Eu in LiF was found to be 0.05wt% at which maximum TL intensity was observed with main TL peak positioned at 185 °C. At higher concentration TL intensity decreases due to the formation of precipitates in the form of clusters or aggregates. The nature of the energy traps in Eu doped LiF was analysed through glow curve deconvolution. The trap depth was found to be in the range of 0.2 – 0.5 eV. These results showed that doping with Eu enhances the TL intensity by creating more defect sites for capturing of electron and holes during irradiation which might be useful for dosimetry application.
Electronic/Optoelectronic Property Tuning in Two-Dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides via High Pressure
The tuneable interlayer interactions in two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichlcogenides (TMDs) offer an exciting platform for exploring new physics and applications by material variety, thickness, stacking sequence, electromagnetic filed, and stress/strain. Compared with the five methods mentioned above, high pressure is a clean and powerful tool to induce dramatic changes in lattice parameters and physical properties for 2D TMD materials. For instance, high pressure can strengthen the van der Waals interactions along c-axis and shorten the covalent bonds in atomic plane, leading to the typical first-order structural transition (2Hc to 2Ha for MoS2), or metallization. In particular, in the case of WTe₂, its unique symmetry endows the significant anisotropy and the corresponding unexpected properties including the giant magnetoresistance, pressure-induced superconductivity and Weyl semimetal states. Upon increasing pressure, the Raman peaks for WTe₂ at ~120 cm⁻¹, are gradually red-shifted and totally suppressed above 10 GPa, attributed to the possible structural instability of orthorhombic Td phase under high pressure and phase transition to a new monoclinic T' phase with inversion symmetry. Distinct electronic structures near Fermi level between the Td and T' phases may pave a feasible way to achieve the Weyl state tuning in one material without doping.
Raman Spectroscopy Analysis of MnTiO₃-TiO₂ Eutectic
Oxide-oxide eutectic is attracting increasing interest of scientific community because of their unique properties and numerous potential applications. Some of the most interesting examples of applications are metamaterials, glucose sensors, photoactive materials, thermoelectric materials, and photocatalysts. Their unique properties result from the fact that composite materials consist of two or more phases. As a result, these materials have additive and product properties. Additive properties originate from particular phases while product properties originate from the interaction between phases. MnTiO3-TiO2 eutectic is one of such materials. TiO2 is a well-known semiconductor, and it is used as a photocatalyst. Moreover, it may be used to produce solar cells, in a gas sensing devices and in electrochemistry. MnTiO3 is a semiconductor and antiferromagnetic. Therefore it has potential application in integrated circuits devices, and as a gas and humidity sensor, in non-linear optics and as a visible-light activated photocatalyst. The above facts indicate that eutectic MnTiO3-TiO2 constitutes an extremely promising material that should be studied. Despite that Raman spectroscopy is a powerful method to characterize materials, to our knowledge Raman studies of eutectics are very limited, and there are no studies of the MnTiO3-TiO2 eutectic. While to our knowledge the papers regarding this material are scarce. The MnTiO3-TiO2 eutectic, as well as TiO2 and MnTiO3 single crystals, were grown by the micro-pulling-down method at the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology in Warsaw, Poland. A nitrogen atmosphere was maintained during whole crystal growth process. The as-grown samples of MnTiO3-TiO2 eutectic, as well as TiO2 and MnTiO3 single crystals, are black and opaque. Samples were cut perpendicular to the growth direction. Cross sections were examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and with Raman spectroscopy. The present studies showed that maintaining nitrogen atmosphere during crystal growth process may result in obtaining black TiO2 crystals. SEM and Raman experiments showed that studied eutectic consists of three distinct regions. Furthermore, two of these regions correspond with MnTiO3, while the third region corresponds with the TiO2-xNx phase. Raman studies pointed out that TiO2-xNx phase crystallizes in rutile structure. The studies show that Raman experiments may be successfully used to characterize eutectic materials. The MnTiO3-TiO2 eutectic was grown by the micro-pulling-down method. SEM and micro-Raman experiments were used to establish phase composition of studied eutectic. The studies revealed that the TiO2 phase had been doped with nitrogen. Therefore the TiO2 phase is, in fact, a solid solution with TiO2-xNx composition. The remaining two phases exhibit Raman lines of both rutile TiO2 and MnTiO3. This points out to some kind of coexistence of these phases in studied eutectic.
Radiation Protection Assessment of the Emission of a d-t Neutron Generator: Simulations with MCNP Code and Experimental Measurements in Different Operating Conditions
Practical guidelines are provided in this work for the safe use of a portable d-t Thermo Scientific MP-320 neutron generator producing pulsed 14.1 MeV neutron beams. The neutron generator’s emission was tested experimentally and reproduced by MCNPX Monte Carlo code. Simulations were particularly accurate, even generator’s internal components were reproduced on the basis of ad-hoc collected X-ray radiographic images. Measurement campaigns were conducted under different standard experimental conditions using an LB 6411 neutron detector properly calibrated at three different energies, and comparing simulated and experimental data. In order to estimate the dose to the operator vs. the operating conditions and the energy spectrum, the most appropriate value of the conversion factor between neutron fluence and ambient dose equivalent has been identified, taking into account both direct and scattered components. The results of the simulations show that, in real situations, when there is no information about the neutron spectrum at the point where the dose has to be evaluated, it is possible - and in any case conservative - to convert the measured value of the count rate by means of the conversion factor corresponding to 14 MeV energy. This outcome has a general value when using this type of generator, enabling a more accurate design of experimental activities in different setups. The increasingly widespread use of this type of device for industrial and medical applications makes the results of this work of interest in different situations, especially as a support for the definition of appropriate radiation protection procedures and, in general, for risk analysis.
Residual Dipolar Couplings in NMR Spectroscopy Using Lanthanide Tags
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an indispensable technique used in structure determination of small and macromolecules to study their physical properties, elucidation of characteristic interactions, dynamics and thermodynamic processes. Quantum mechanics defines the theoretical description of NMR spectroscopy and treatment of the dynamics of nuclear spin systems. The phenomenon of residual dipolar coupling (RDCs) has become a routine tool for accurate structure determination by providing global orientation information of magnetic dipole-dipole interaction vectors within a common reference frame. This offers accessibility of distance-independent angular information and insights to local relaxation. The measurement of RDCs requires an anisotropic orientation medium for the molecules to partially align along the magnetic field. This can be achieved by introduction of liquid crystals or attaching a paramagnetic center. Although anisotropic paramagnetic tags continue to mark achievements in the biomolecular NMR of large proteins, its application in small organic molecules remains unspread. Here, we propose a strategy for the synthesis of a lanthanide tag and the measurement of RDCs in organic molecules using paramagnetic lanthanide complexes.
Magnetic versus Non-Magnetic Adatoms in Graphene Nanoribbons: Tuning of Spintronic Applications and the Quantum Spin Hall Phase
Conductance in graphene nanoribbons (GNR) in presence of magnetic (for example, Iron) and non-magnetic (for example, Gold) adatoms are explored theoretically within a Kane-Mele model for their possible spintronic applications and topologically non-trivial properties. In our work, we have considered the magnetic adatoms to induce a Rashba spin-orbit coupling (RSOC) and an exchange bias field, while the non-magnetic ones induce an RSOC and an intrinsic spin-orbit (SO) coupling. Even though RSOC is present in both, they, however, represent very different physical situations, where the magnetic adatoms do not preserve the time reversal symmetry, while the non-magnetic case does. This has important implications on the topological properties. For example, the non-magnetic adatoms, for moderately strong values of SO, the GNR denotes a quantum spin Hall insulator as evident from a 2e²/h plateau in the longitudinal conductance and presence of distinct conducting edge states with an insulating bulk. Since the edge states are protected by time reversal symmetry, the magnetic adatoms in GNR yield trivial insulators and do not possess any non-trivial topological property. However, they have greater utility than the non-magnetic adatoms from the point of view of spintronic applications. Owing to the broken spatial symmetry induced by the presence of adatoms of either type, all the x, y and z components of the spin-polarized conductance become non-zero (only the y-component survives in pristine Graphene owing to a mirror symmetry present there) and hence become suitable for spintronic applications. However, the values of the spin polarized conductances are at least two orders of magnitude larger in the case of magnetic adatoms than their non-magnetic counterpart, thereby ensuring more efficient spintronic applications. Further the applications are tunable by altering the adatom densities.
Tunable Thermometric Application of a Metal–Insulator–Superconductor Junction in Presence of Rashba Spin–Orbit Coupling
The temperature dependent current-voltage (I-V) characteristic of a device consisting of a metal-insulator-superconductor (MIS) junction in the presence of Rashba spin-orbit coupling (RSOC) at the interfaces has been investigated via a modified version of the Blonder - Tinkham - Klapwijk (BTK) theory. Since the I-V characteristics are strongly sensitive to temperature, they may be suitable for low temperature thermometric applications. The operational temperature range of this MIS device is set by the transition temperature (Tc) of the superconductor as beyond which the superconductivity is destroyed. It is found that the conductance characteristic is highly sensitive to the presence of RSOC and owing to the tunability of the RSOC parameter via an external gate voltage, the MIS junction can be applied as a sensitive thermometric device where the sensitivity can be altered by manipulating the strength of RSOC. Very interestingly, it has been noticed that the barrier potential in the insulating region has intriguing interplay with the RSOC strength in the thermometric applications, where for certain range of the Rashba interaction, the thermometric sensitivity increases where for some other range the reverse happens. Thus a design of a MIS junction as a temperature sensor would require an information of the barrier potential and the RSOC strength.
Shape Evolution of CdSe Quantum Dots during the Synthesis in the Presence of Silver Halides
We propose the investigation of CdSe quantum dots which were synthesized in the presence of silver halides. To understand a process of nanoparticle formation in more detail, we varied the silver halide amount in the synthesis and proposed a sampling during colloidal growth. The attempts were focused on the investigation of shape, structure and optical properties of nanoparticles. We used the colloidal method of synthesis. Cadmium oleate, tri-n-octylphosphine selenide (TOPSe) and AgHal in TOP were precursors of cadmium, selenium and silver halides correspondingly. The molar Ag/Cd ratio in synthesis was varied from 1/16 to 1/1. The sampling was basically realized in 20 sec, 5 min, and 30 min after the beginning of quantum dots nucleation. To investigate nanoparticles we used transmission electron microscopy (including high resolution one), X-ray diffraction, and optical spectroscopy. It was established that silver halides lead to obtaining tetrapods with different leg length and large ellipsoidal nanoparticles possessing an intensive near IR photoluminescence. The change of the amount of silver halide in synthesis and the selection of an optimal growth time allows controlling the shape and the share of tetrapods or ellipsoidal nanoparticles in the product. Our main attempts were focused on a detailed investigation of the quantum dots structure and shape evolution and, finally, on mechanisms of such nanoparticle formation.