The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, is associated with senile plaques formed by the filamentous aggregation of hydrophobic amyloid-β (Aβ) in the brains of patients. Small oligomeric assemblies also occur and drugs and chemical compounds that can interact with such assemblies have attracted much attention. However, these compounds need to be solubilized in appropriate solvents, such as ethanol, which may also destabilize their protein structures. As the impact of ethanol on oligomeric Aβ assembly is unknown, we investigated the effect of various concentrations of ethanol (0 to 7.2 M) on Aβ pentameric assemblies (Aβp) by combining blue native-PAGE (BN-PAGE) and ambient air atomic force microscopy (AFM). This approach was proven to be very convenient and reliable for the quantitative analysis of Aβ assembly. The Gaussian analysis of the height histogram obtained from the AFM images was correlated with band intensity on BN-PAGE for the quantitative estimation of Aβp. Our observations indicated up to 1.4 M (8.3%) of added ethanol can be used as a solvent/vehicle without quantitatively affecting Aβ pentamer stability. Higher concentration induced significant destabilization of Aβp and eventually resulted in the complete disassembly of Aβp.
AbstractFe (acceptor) and Nb (donor) doped epitaxial Pb(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3 (PZT) films were grown on single crystal SrTiO3 substrates and their electric properties were compared to those of un-doped PZT layers deposited in similar conditions. All the films were grown from targets produced from high purity precursor oxides and the doping was in the limit of 1% atomic in both cases. The remnant polarization, the coercive field and the potential barriers at electrode interfaces are different, with lowest values for Fe doping and highest values for Nb doping, with un-doped PZT in between. The dielectric constant is larger in the doped films, while the effective density of charge carriers is of the same order of magnitude. An interesting result was obtained from piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) investigations. It was found that the as-grown Nb-doped PZT has polarization orientated upward, while the Fe-doped PZT has polarization oriented mostly downward. This difference is explained by the change in the conduction type, thus in the sign of the carriers involved in the compensation of the depolarization field during the growth. In the Nb-doped film the majority carriers are electrons, which tend to accumulate to the growing surface, leaving positively charged ions at the interface with the bottom SrRuO3 electrode, thus favouring an upward orientation of polarization. For Fe-doped film the dominant carriers are holes, thus the sign of charges is opposite at the growing surface and the bottom electrode interface, favouring downward orientation of polarization. These findings open the way to obtain p-n ferroelectric homojunctions and suggest that PFM can be used to identify the type of conduction in PZT upon the dominant direction of polarization in the as-grown films.
We report the growth of non-polar GaN and AlGaN films on Si(111) substrates by plasma-assisted metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (PA-MOCVD). Low-temperature growth of GaN or AlN was used as a buffer layer to overcome the lattice mismatch and thermal expansion coefficient between GaN and Si(111) and GaN’s poor wetting on Si(111). As grown, the buffer layer is amorphous, and it crystalizes during annealing to the growth temperature and then serves as a template for the growth of GaN or AlGaN. We used scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) characterization to investigate the influence of the buffer layer on crystal structure, orientation, and the morphology of GaN. We found that the GaN buffer layer is superior to the AlN buffer layer. The thickness of the GaN buffer layer played a critical role in the crystal quality and plane orientation and in reducing the cracks during the growth of GaN/Si(111) layers. The optimum GaN buffer layer thickness is around 50 nm, and by using the optimized GaN buffer layer, we investigated the growth of AlGaN with varying Al compositions. The morphology of the AlGaN films is flat and homogenous, with less than 1 nm surface roughness, and has preferred orientation in a-axis.
In this research, the pure titanium foil was treated in glycerol base electrolyte with 0.7 wt.% NH4F and a small amount of H2O at 17 V for 2 hours by electrochemical anodization process in order to prepare Titania nanotube arrays at room temperature (~25 ºC), different water content was added to the electrolyte as a tube enhancing agent. The high density uniform arrays are prepared by using organized and well aligned these tubes. The average size of tube diameter, ranging from 57 to 92 nm which found it increases with increasing water content, and the length of the tube ranging from 2.76 to 4.12 µm, also found to increase with increasing water content and ranging in size of wall thickness from 23 to 35 nm. A possible growth mechanism is presented. The X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were utilized to study the structure and morphology of the Titania films.
The present work investigated the comparison of the effects of Na2SO3 and Na2SiO3 on thiourea stabilization, and a systematic study was undertaken to establish the effects of these stabilizers on the stability of alkaline thiourea, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The effects of these stabilizers on the activation energy of alkaline thiourea gold leaching was also studied. The results showed that sodium silicate was more suitable as a stabilizer in this system than sodium sulfite because the peak current of gold dissolution with sodium sulfite was higher than that with sodium silicate, but the inhibition of thiourea decomposition by the former was less obvious than that of sodium silicate in the cyclic voltammetry curve. The quartz crystal microbalance results showed that the quality decreased to about 100 ng cm2 in the presence of a stabilizer, while it increased to 300 ng cm2 in the absence of the stabilizer. It is inferred that gold can be dissolved by alkaline thiourea in the presence of a stabilizer, while it cannot without a stabilizer because of the decomposition of thiourea. This assumption was confirmed by atomic force microscopy measurements. The surface activation energy of Au dissolution decreased from 183.76 to 98.07 kJ/moL with the addition of sodium silicate, indicating that Au dissolution was promoted with the chemical.