5 research outputs found

    Interaction between U/UO2 bilayers and hydrogen studied by in-situ X-ray diffraction

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    This paper reports experiments investigating the reaction of H2_{2} with uranium metal-oxide bilayers. The bilayers consist of \leq 100 nm of epitaxial α\alpha-U (grown on a Nb buffer deposited on sapphire) with a UO2_{2} overlayer of thicknesses of between 20 and 80 nm. The oxides were made either by depositing via reactive magnetron sputtering, or allowing the uranium metal to oxidise in air at room temperature. The bilayers were exposed to hydrogen, with sample temperatures between 80 and 200 C, and monitored via in-situ x-ray diffraction and complimentary experiments conducted using Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy - Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (STEM-EELS). Small partial pressures of H2_{2} caused rapid consumption of the U metal and lead to changes in the intensity and position of the diffraction peaks from both the UO2_{2} overlayers and the U metal. There is an orientational dependence in the rate of U consumption. From changes in the lattice parameter we deduce that hydrogen enters both the oxide and metal layers, contracting the oxide and expanding the metal. The air-grown oxide overlayers appear to hinder the H2_{2}-reaction up to a threshold dose, but then on heating from 80 to 140 C the consumption is more rapid than for the as-deposited overlayers. STEM-EELS establishes that the U-hydride layer lies at the oxide-metal interface, and that the initial formation is at defects or grain boundaries, and involves the formation of amorphous and/or nanocrystalline UH3_{3}. This explains why no diffraction peaks from UH3_{3} are observed. {\textcopyright British Crown Owned Copyright 2017/AWE}Comment: Submitted for peer revie

    2020 roadmap on solid-state batteries

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    Li-ion batteries have revolutionized the portable electronics industry and empowered the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. Unfortunately, traditional Li-ion chemistry is approaching its physicochemical limit. The demand for higher density (longer range), high power (fast charging), and safer EVs has recently created a resurgence of interest in solid state batteries (SSB). Historically, research has focused on improving the ionic conductivity of solid electrolytes, yet ceramic solids now deliver sufficient ionic conductivity. The barriers lie within the interfaces between the electrolyte and the two electrodes, in the mechanical properties throughout the device, and in processing scalability. In 2017 the Faraday Institution, the UK's independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, launched the SOLBAT (solid-state lithium metal anode battery) project, aimed at understanding the fundamental science underpinning the problems of SSBs, and recognising that the paucity of such understanding is the major barrier to progress. The purpose of this Roadmap is to present an overview of the fundamental challenges impeding the development of SSBs, the advances in science and technology necessary to understand the underlying science, and the multidisciplinary approach being taken by SOLBAT researchers in facing these challenges. It is our hope that this Roadmap will guide academia, industry, and funding agencies towards the further development of these batteries in the future

    Liquid-Phase Approach to Glass-Microfiber-Reinforced Sulfide Solid Electrolytes for All-Solid-State Batteries

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    Deformable, fast-ion conducting sulfides enable the construction of bulk-type solid-state batteries that can compete with current Li-ion batteries in terms of energy density and scalability. One approach to optimizing the energy density of these cells is to minimize the size of the electrolyte layer by integrating the solid electrolyte in thin membranes. However, additive-free thin membranes, as well as many membranes based on preprepared scaffolds, are difficult to prepare or integrate in solid cells on a large scale. Here, we propose a scalable solution-based approach to produce bulk-type glass-microfiber-reinforced composites that restore the deformability of sulfide electrolytes and can easily be shaped into thin membranes by cold pressing. This approach supports both the ease of preparation and enhancement of the energy density of sulfide-based solid-state batteries

    Transcription and masking of mRNA in germ cells: Involvement of Y-box proteins

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    Gametogenesis is directed by various specialized genetic mechanisms which, to a considerable extent, apply to the production of both eggs and sperm and have been conserved across a wide spectrum of eukaryotic organisms. Two key aspects which are discussed here are: germ-cell-specific gene transcription; and translational repression (masking) of mRNA accumulated in oocytes and spermatocytes/spermatids. Together, these two processes conspire to deliver often large amounts of essential proteins at the appropriate stages of development. It is perhaps not surprising that recent evidence points to a functional link between transcription activation and translation repression, both processes being determined in the nucleus and involving common components. One set of components which has been studied recently are members of the Y-box family of regulatory proteins. Most information of the involvement of Y-box proteins in germ cell development comes from studies on amphibian oocytes and mammalian spermatids. In these cells, Y-box proteins have been detected as major components of both maternal and paternal mRNP particles and have been shown to be instrumental in the masking process. Y-box proteins are also implicated in the regulation of several germ-cell-specific genes. Possible connections between these processes are discussed