Current Articles

2023, Volume 5,  Issue 1

Review of the structure and performance of through-holed anodes and cathodes prepared with a picosecond pulsed laser for lithium-ion batteries
Futoshi Matsumoto, Mitsuru Yamada, Masaya Tsuta, Susumu Nakamura, Nobuo Ando, Naohiko Soma
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/aca1f0

To move the performance of lithium-ion batteries into the next stage, the modification of the structure of cells is the only choice except for the development of materials exhibiting higher performance. In this review paper, the employment of through-holing structures of anodes and cathodes prepared with a picosecond pulsed laser has been proposed. The laser system and the structure for improving the battery performance were introduced. The performance of laminated cells constructed with through-holed anodes and cathodes was reviewed from the viewpoints of the improvement of high-rate performance and energy density, removal of unbalanced capacities on both sides of the current collector, even greater high-rate performance by hybridizing cathode materials and removal of irreversible capacity. In conclusion, the points that should be examined and the problem for the through-holed structure to be in practical use are summarized.

Friction behaviors in the metal cutting process: state of the art and future perspectives
Xiaoliang Liang, Zhanqiang Liu, Bing Wang, Chunjin Wang, Chi Fai Cheung
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/ac9e27

Material removal in the cutting process is regarded as a friction system with multiple input and output variables. The complexity of the cutting friction system is caused by the extreme conditions existing on the tool–chip and tool–workpiece interfaces. The critical issue is significant to use knowledge of cutting friction behaviors to guide researchers and industrial manufacturing engineers in designing rational cutting processes to reduce tool wear and improve surface quality. This review focuses on the state of the art of research on friction behaviors in cutting procedures as well as future perspectives. First, the cutting friction phenomena under extreme conditions, such as high temperature, large strain/strain rates, sticking–sliding contact states, and diverse cutting conditions are analyzed. Second, the theoretical models of cutting friction behaviors and the application of simulation technology are discussed. Third, the factors that affect friction behaviors are analyzed, including material matching, cutting parameters, lubrication/cooling conditions, micro/nano surface textures, and tool coatings. Then, the consequences of the cutting friction phenomena, including tool wear patterns, tool life, chip formation, and the machined surface are analyzed. Finally, the research limitations and future work for cutting friction behaviors are discussed. This review contributes to the understanding of cutting friction behaviors and the development of high-quality cutting technology.

Effect of tool geometry on ultraprecision machining of soft-brittle materials: a comprehensive review
Weihai Huang, Jiwang Yan
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/acab3f

Brittle materials are widely used for producing important components in the industry of optics, optoelectronics, and semiconductors. Ultraprecision machining of brittle materials with high surface quality and surface integrity helps improve the functional performance and lifespan of the components. According to their hardness, brittle materials can be roughly divided into hard-brittle and soft-brittle. Although there have been some literature reviews for ultraprecision machining of hard-brittle materials, up to date, very few review papers are available that focus on the processing of soft-brittle materials. Due to the ‘soft’ and ‘brittle’ properties, this group of materials has unique machining characteristics. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of recent advances in ultraprecision machining of soft-brittle materials. Critical aspects of machining mechanisms, such as chip formation, surface topography, and subsurface damage for different machining methods, including diamond turning, micro end milling, ultraprecision grinding, and micro/nano burnishing, are compared in terms of tool-workpiece interaction. The effects of tool geometries on the machining characteristics of soft-brittle materials are systematically analyzed, and dominating factors are sorted out. Problems and challenges in the engineering applications are identified, and solutions/guidelines for future R&D are provided.

Two/Quasi-two-dimensional perovskite-based heterostructures: construction, properties and applications
Haizhen Wang, Yingying Chen, Dehui Li
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/acab40

Two-dimensional (2D)/quasi-2D organic-inorganic halide perovskites are regarded as naturally formed multiple quantum wells with inorganic layers isolated by long organic chains, which exhibit layered structure, large exciton binding energy, strong nonlinear optical effect, tunable bandgap via changing the layer number or chemical composition, improved environmental stability, and excellent optoelectronic properties. The extensive choice of long organic chains endows 2D/quasi-2D perovskites with tunable electron-phonon coupling strength, chirality, or ferroelectricity properties. In particular, the layered nature of 2D/quasi-2D perovskites allows us to exfoliate them to thin plates to integrate with other materials to form heterostructures, the fundamental structural units for optoelectronic devices, which would greatly extend the functionalities in view of the diversity of 2D/quasi-2D perovskites. In this paper, the recent achievements of 2D/quasi-2D perovskite-based heterostructures are reviewed. First, the structure and physical properties of 2D/quasi-2D perovskites are introduced. We then discuss the construction and characterizations of 2D/quasi-2D perovskite-based heterostructures and highlight the prominent optical properties of the constructed heterostructures. Further, the potential applications of 2D/quasi-2D perovskite-based heterostructures in photovoltaic devices, light emitting devices, photodetectors/phototransistors, and valleytronic devices are demonstrated. Finally, we summarize the current challenges and propose further research directions in the field of 2D/quasi-2D perovskite-based heterostructures.

Laser machining fundamentals: micro, nano, atomic and close-to-atomic scales
Jinshi Wang, Fengzhou Fang, Haojie An, Shan Wu, Huimin Qi, Yuexuan Cai, Guanyu Guo
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/acb134

With the rapid development in advanced industries, such as microelectronics and optics sectors, the functional feature size of devises/components has been decreasing from micro to nanometric, and even ACS for higher performance, smaller volume and lower energy consumption. By this time, a great many quantum structures are proposed, with not only an extreme scale of several or even single atom, but also a nearly ideal lattice structure with no material defect. It is almost no doubt that such structures play critical role in the next generation products, which shows an urgent demand for the ACSM. Laser machining is one of the most important approaches widely used in engineering and scientific research. It is high-efficient and applicable for most kinds of materials. Moreover, the processing scale covers a huge range from millimeters to nanometers, and has already touched the atomic level. Laser–material interaction mechanism, as the foundation of laser machining, determines the machining accuracy and surface quality. It becomes much more sophisticated and dominant with a decrease in processing scale, which is systematically reviewed in this article. In general, the mechanisms of laser-induced material removal are classified into ablation, CE and atomic desorption, with a decrease in the scale from above microns to angstroms. The effects of processing parameters on both fundamental material response and machined surface quality are discussed, as well as theoretical methods to simulate and understand the underlying mechanisms. Examples at nanometric to atomic scale are provided, which demonstrate the capability of laser machining in achieving the ultimate precision and becoming a promising approach to ACSM.

Controllable rectification on the thermal conductivity of porous YBa2Cu3O7−x superconductors from 3D-printing
Yanbin Ma, Baoqiang Zhang, Xingyi Zhang, You-He Zhou
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/ac9f88

Superconducting YBa2Cu3O7-x (YBCO) bulks have promising applications in quasi-permanent magnets, levitation, etc. Recently, a new way of fabricating porous YBCO bulks, named direct-ink-writing (DIW) 3D-printing method, has been reported. In this method, the customized precursor paste and programmable shape are two main advantages. Here, we have put forward a new way to customize the YBCO 3D-printing precursor paste which is doped with Al2O3 nanoparticles to obtain YBCO with higher thermal conductivity. The great rheological properties of precursor paste after being doped with Al2O3 nanoparticles can help the macroscopic YBCO samples with high thermal conductivity fabricated stably with high crystalline and lightweight properties. Test results show that the peak thermal conductivity of Al2O3-doped YBCO can reach twice as much as pure YBCO, which makes a great effort to reduce the quench propagation speed. Based on the microstructure analysis, one can find that the thermal conductivity of Al2O3-doped YBCO has been determined by its components and microstructures. In addition, a macroscopic theoretical model has been proposed to assess the thermal conductivity of different microstructures, whose calculated results take good agreement with the experimental results. Meanwhile, a microstructure with high thermal conductivity has been found. Finally, a macroscopic YBCO bulk with the presented high thermal conductivity microstructure has been fabricated by the Al2O3-doped method. Compared with YBCO fabricated by the traditional 3D-printed, the Al2O3-doped structural YBCO bulks present excellent heat transfer performances. Our customized design of 3D-printing precursor pastes and novel concept of structural design for enhancing the thermal conductivity of YBCO superconducting material can be widely used in other DIW 3D-printing materials.

Crack-free high-aspect ratio holes in glasses by top–down percussion drilling with infrared femtosecond laser GHz-bursts
Pierre Balage, John Lopez, Guillaume Bonamis, Clemens Hönninger, Inka Manek-Hönninger
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/acaa14

We report novel results on top-down percussion drilling in different glasses with femtosecond laser GHz-bursts. Thanks to this particular regime of light–matter interaction, combining non-linear absorption and thermal cumulative effects, we obtained crack-free holes of aspect ratios exceeding 30 in sodalime and 70 in fused silica. The results are discussed in terms of inner wall morphology, aspect ratio and drilling speed.

Two-dimensional laser-induced periodic surface structures formed on crystalline silicon by GHz burst mode femtosecond laser pulses
Shota Kawabata, Shi Bai, Kotaro Obata, Godai Miyaji, Koji Sugioka
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/acb133

Femtosecond laser pulses with GHz burst mode that consist of a series of trains of ultrashort laser pulses with a pulse interval of several hundred picoseconds offer distinct features in material processing that cannot be obtained by the conventional irradiation scheme of femtosecond laser pulses (single-pulse mode). However, most studies using the GHz burst mode femtosecond laser pulses focus on ablation of materials to achieve high-efficiency and high-quality material removal. In this study, we explore the ability of the GHz burst mode femtosecond laser processing to form laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) on silicon. It is well known that the direction of LIPSS formed by the single-pulse mode with linearly polarized laser pulses is typically perpendicular to the laser polarization direction. In contrast, we find that the GHz burst mode femtosecond laser (wavelength: 1030 nm, intra-pulse duration: 220 fs, intra-pulse interval time (intra-pulse repetition rate): 205 ps (4.88 GHz), burst pulse repetition rate: 200 kHz) creates unique two-dimensional (2D) LIPSS. We regard the formation mechanism of 2D LIPSS as the synergetic contribution of the electromagnetic mechanism and the hydrodynamic mechanism. Specifically, generation of hot spots with highly enhanced electric fields by the localized surface plasmon resonance of subsequent pulses in the bursts within the nanogrooves of one-dimensional LIPSS formed by the preceding pulses creates 2D LIPSS. Additionally, hydrodynamic instability including convection flow determines the final structure of 2D LIPSS.

Understand anisotropy dependence of damage evolution and material removal during nanoscratch of MgF2 single crystals
Chen Li, Yinchuan Piao, Feihu Zhang, Yong Zhang, Yuxiu Hu, Yongfei Wang
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/ac9eed

To understand the anisotropy dependence of the damage evolution and material removal during the machining process of MgF2 single crystals, nanoscratch tests of MgF2 single crystals with different crystal planes and directions were systematically performed, and surface morphologies of the scratched grooves under different conditions were analyzed. The experimental results indicated that anisotropy considerably affected the damage evolution in the machining process of MgF2 single crystals. A stress field model induced by the scratch was developed by considering the anisotropy, which indicated that during the loading process, median cracks induced by the tensile stress initiated and propagated at the front of the indenter. Lateral cracks induced by tensile stress initiated and propagated on the subsurface during the unloading process. In addition, surface radial cracks induced by the tensile stress were easily generated during the unloading process. The stress change led to the deflection of the propagation direction of lateral cracks. Therefore, the lateral cracks propagated to the workpiece surface, resulting in brittle removal in the form of chunk chips. The plastic deformation parameter indicated that the more the slip systems were activated, the more easily the plastic deformation occurred. The cleavage fracture parameter indicated that the cracks propagated along the activated cleavage planes, and the brittle chunk removal was owing to the subsurface cleavage cracks propagating to the crystal surface. Under the same processing parameters, the scratch of the (001) crystal plane along the [100] crystal-orientation was found to be the most conducive to achieving plastic machining of MgF2 single crystals. The theoretical results agreed well with the experimental results, which will not only enhance the understanding of the anisotropy dependence of the damage evolution and removal process during the machining of MgF2 crystals, but also provide a theoretical foundation for achieving the high-efficiency and low-damage processing of anisotropic single crystals.

Nano-additive manufacturing of multilevel strengthened aluminum matrix composites
Chenwei Shao, Haoyang Li, Yankun Zhu, Peng Li, Haoyang Yu, Zhefeng Zhang, Herbert Gleiter, André McDonald, James Hogan
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/ac9ba2

Nanostructured materials are being actively developed, while it remains an open question how to rapidly scale them up to bulk engineering materials for broad industrial applications. This study propose an industrial approach to rapidly fabricate high-strength large-size nanostructured metal matrix composites and attempts to investigate and optimize the deposition process and strengthening mechanism. Here, advanced nanocrystalline aluminum matrix composites (nanoAMCs) were assembled for the first time by a novel nano-additive manufacturing method that was guided by numerical simulations (i.e. the in-flight particle model and the porefree deposition model). The present nanoAMC with a mean grain size<50 nm in matrix exhibited hardness eight times higher than the bulk aluminum and shows the highest hardness among all Al–Al2O3 composites reported to date in the literature, which are the outcome of controlling multiscale strengthening mechanisms from tailoring solution atoms, dislocations, grain boundaries, precipitates, and externally introduced reinforcing particles. The present high-throughput strategy and method can be extended to design and architect advanced coatings or bulk materials in a highly efficient (synthesizing a nanostructured bulk with dimensions of 50   ×  20   ×  4 mm3 in 9 min) and highly flexible (regulating the gradient microstructures in bulk) way, which is conducive to industrial production and application.

Rational design and low-cost fabrication of multifunctional separators enabling high sulfur utilization in long-life lithium-sulfur batteries
Xiaoqing Zhang, Wei Yuan, Honglin Huang, Ming Xu, Yu Chen, Bote Zhao, Xinrui Ding, Shiwei Zhang, Yong Tang, Longsheng Lu
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/aca40b

The lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery with an ultrahigh theoretical energy density has emerged as a promising rechargeable battery system. However, the practical applications of Li-S batteries are severely plagued by the sluggish reaction kinetics of sulfur species and notorious shuttling of soluble lithium polysulfides (LiPSs) intermediates that result in low sulfur utilization. The introduction of functional layers on separators has been considered as an effective strategy to improve the sulfur utilization in Li-S batteries by achieving effective regulation of LiPSs. Herein, a promising self-assembly strategy is proposed to achieve the low-cost fabrication of hollow and hierarchically porous Fe3O4 nanospheres (p-Fe3O4-NSs) assembled by numerous extremely-small primary nanocrystals as building blocks. The rationally-designed p-Fe3O4-NSs are utilized as a multifunctional layer on the separator with highly efficient trapping and conversion features toward LiPSs. Results demonstrate that the nanostructured p-Fe3O4-NSs provide chemical adsorption toward LiPSs and kinetically promote the mutual transformation between LiPSs and Li2S2/Li2S during cycling, thus inhibiting the LiPSs shuttling and boosting the redox reaction kinetics via a chemisorption-catalytic conversion mechanism. The enhanced wettability of the p-Fe3O4-NSs-based separator with the electrolyte enables fast transportation of lithium ions. Benefitting from these alluring properties, the functionalized separator with p-Fe3O4-NSs endows the battery with an admirable rate performance of 877 mAh g−1 at 2 C, an ultra-durable cycling performance of up to 2176 cycles at 1 C, and a promising areal capacity of 4.55 mAh cm−2 under high-sulfur-loading and lean-electrolyte conditions (4.29 mg cm−2, electrolyte/ratio: 8 µl mg−1). This study will offer fresh insights on the rational design and low-cost fabrication of multifunctional separator to strengthen electrochemical reaction kinetics by regulating LiPSs conversion for developing efficient and long-life Li-S batteries.

Manufacturing N,O-carboxymethyl chitosan-reduced graphene oxide under freeze-dying for performance improvement of Li-S battery
Zhibin Jiang, Lujie Jin, Xiying Jian, Jinxia Huang, Hongshuai Wang, Binhong Wu, Kang Wang, Ling Chen, Youyong Li, Xiang Liu, Weishan Li
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/aca44c

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries can provide far higher energy density than currently commercialized lithium ion batteries, but challenges remain before it they are used in practice. One of the challenges is the shuttle effect that originates from soluble intermediates, like lithium polysulfides. To address this issue, we report a novel laminar composite, N,O-carboxymethyl chitosan-reduced graphene oxide (CC-rGO), which is manufactured via the self-assembly of CC onto GO and subsequent reduction of GO under an extreme condition of 1 Pa and -50 ℃. The synthesized laminar CC-rGO composite is mixed with acetylene black (AB) and coated on a commercial polypropylene (PP) membrane, resulting in a separator (CC-rGO/AB/PP) that can not only completely suppress the polysulfides penetration, but also can accelerate the lithium ion transportation, providing a Li-S battery with excellent cyclic stability and rate capability. As confirmed by theoretic simulations, this unique feature of CC-rGO is attributed to its strong repulsive interaction to polysulfide anions and its benefit for fast lithium ion transportation through the paths paved by the heteroatoms in CC.

Bifunctional flexible electrochromic energy storage devices based on silver nanowire flexible transparent electrodes
He Zhang, Fangyuan Sun, Ge Cao, Dongyan Zhou, Guofan Zhang, Jiayun Feng, Shang Wang, Fengyu Su, Yanqing Tian, Yan Jun Liu, Yanhong Tian
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/aca638

Flexible electrochromic energy storage devices (FECESDs) for powering flexible electronics have attracted considerable attention. Silver nanowires (AgNWs) are one kind of the most promising flexible transparent electrodes (FTEs) materials for the emerging flexible devices. Currently, fabricating FECESD based on AgNWs FTEs is still hindered by their intrinsic poor electrochemical stability. To address this issue, a hybrid AgNWs/Co(OH)2/PEDOT:PSS electrode is proposed. The PEDOT:PSS could not only improve the resistance against electrochemical corrosion of AgNWs, but also work as functional layer to realize the color-changing and energy storage properties. Moreover, the Co(OH)2 interlayer further improved the color-changing and energy storage performance. Based on the improvement, we assembled the symmetrical FECESDs. Under the same condition, the areal capacitance (0.8 mF cm−2) and coloration efficiency (269.80 cm2 C−1) of AgNWs/Co(OH)2/PEDOT:PSS FECESDs were obviously higher than AgNWs/PEDOT:PSS FECESDs. Furthermore, the obtained FECESDs exhibited excellent stability against the mechanical deformation. The areal capacitance remained stable during 1000 times cyclic bending with a 25 mm curvature radius. These results demonstrated the broad application potential of the AgNWs/Co(OH)2/PEDOT:PSS FECESD for the emerging portable and multifunctional electronics.

Novel Ni3S4/NiS/NC composite with multiple heterojunctions synthesized through space-confined effect for high-performance supercapacitors
Wutao Wei, Zijie Guo, Jiaqiang Xu, Zhe Fang, Jiujun Zhang, Yu Jia, Liwei Mi
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/aca8da

The construction of heterojunctions in composite materials to optimize the electronic structures and active sites of energy materials is considered to be the promising strategy for the fabrication of high-performance electrochemical energy devices. In this paper, a one-step, easy processing and cost-effective technique for generating composite materials with heterojunctions was successfully developed. The composite containing Ni3S4, NiS, and N-doped amorphous carbon (abbreviated as Ni3S4/NiS/NC) with multiple heterojunction nanosheets are synthesized via the space-confined effect of molten salt interface of recrystallized NaCl. Several lattice matching forms of Ni3S4 with cubic structure and NiS with hexagonal structure are confirmed by the detailed characterization of heterogeneous interfaces. The C–S bonds are the key factor in realizing the chemical coupling between nickel sulfide and NC and constructing the stable heterojunction. Density functional theory calculations further revealed that the electronic interaction on the heterogeneous interface of Ni3S4/NiS can contribute to high electronic conductivity. The heterogeneous interfaces are identified to be the good electroactive region with excellent electrochemical performance. The synergistic effect of abundant active sites, the enhanced kinetic process and valid interface charge transfer channels of Ni3S4/NiS/NC multiple heterojunction can guarantee high reversible redox activity and high structural stability, resulting in both high specific capacitance and energy/power densities when it is used as the electrode for supercapacitors. This work offers a new avenue for the rational design of the heterojunction materials with improved electrochemical performance through space-confined effect of NaCl.

Anisotropic thermal expansion in high-entropy multicomponent AlB2-type diboride solid solutions
Frédéric Monteverde, Mattia Gaboardi, Federico Saraga, Lun Feng, William Fahrenholtz, Gregory Hilmas
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/acabee

High-entropy (HE) ultra-high temperature ceramics have the chance to pave the way for future applications propelling technology advantages in the fields of energy conversion and extreme environmental shielding. Among others, HE diborides stand out owing to their intrinsic anisotropic layered structure and ability to withstand ultra-high temperatures. Herein, we employed in-situ high-resolution synchrotron diffraction over a plethora of multicomponent compositions, with four to seven transition metals, with the intent of understanding the thermal lattice expansion following different composition or synthesis process. As a result, we were able to control the average thermal expansion (TE) from 1.3×10-6 to 6.9×10-6 K-1 depending on the combination of metals, with a variation of in-plane to out-of-plane TE ratio ranging from 1.5 to 2.8.

Flexible temperature sensor with high sensitivity ranging from liquid nitrogen temperature to 1200°C
Zhaojun Liu, Bian Tian, Zhuangde Jiang, Shuimin Li, Jiaming Lei, Zhongkai Zhang, Jiangjiang Liu, Peng Shi, Qijing Lin
2023, 5(1) doi: 10.1088/2631-7990/aca44d

Flexible temperature sensors have been extensively investigated due to their prospect of wide application in various flexible electronic products. However, most of the current flexible temperature sensors only work well in a narrow temperature range, with their application at high or low temperatures still being a big challenge. This work proposes a flexible thermocouple temperature sensor based on aerogel blanket substrate, the temperature-sensitive layer of which uses the screen-printing technology to prepare indium oxide and indium tin oxide. It has good temperature sensitivity, with the test sensitivity reaching 226.7 μV ℃-1 . Most importantly, it can work in a wide temperature range, from extremely low temperatures down to liquid nitrogen temperature to high temperatures up to 1200 ℃, which is difficult to be achieved by other existing flexible temperature sensors. This temperature sensor has huge application potential in biomedicine, aerospace and other fields.