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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
A multichannel calorimeter system is designed and constructed which is capable of delivering single-shot and broad-band spectral measurement of terahertz (THz) radiation generated in intense laser–plasma interactions. The generation mechanism of backward THz radiation (BTR) is studied by using the multichannel calorimeter system in an intense picosecond laser–solid interaction experiment. The dependence of the BTR energy and spectrum on laser energy, target thickness and pre-plasma scale length is obtained. These results indicate that coherent transition radiation is responsible for the low-frequency component (
1 THz) of BTR. It is also observed that a large-scale pre-plasma primarily enhances the high-frequency component (
3 THz) of BTR.
When a drop impacts on a liquid surface its bottom is deformed by lubrication pressure and it entraps a thin disc of air, thereby making contact along a ring at a finite distance from the centreline. The outer edge of this contact moves radially at high speed, governed by the impact velocity and bottom radius of the drop. Then at a certain radial location an ejecta sheet emerges from the neck connecting the two liquid masses. Herein, we show the formation of an azimuthal instability at the base of this ejecta, in the sharp corners at the two sides of the ejecta. They promote regular radial vorticity, thereby breaking the axisymmetry of the motions on the finest scales. The azimuthal wavenumber grows with the impact Weber number, based on the bottom curvature of the drop, reaching over 400 streamwise streaks around the periphery. This instability occurs first at Reynolds numbers (
, but for larger
is overtaken by the subsequent axisymmetric vortex shedding and their interactions can form intricate tangles, loops or chains.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
A drop impacting on a solid surface must push away the intervening gas layer before making contact. This entails a large lubricating air pressure which can deform the bottom of the drop, thus entrapping a bubble under its centre. For a millimetric water drop, the viscous-dominated flow in the thin air layer counteracts the inertia of the drop liquid. For highly viscous drops the viscous stresses within the liquid also affect the interplay between the drop and the gas. Here the drop also forms a central dimple, but its outer edge is surrounded by an extended thin air film, without contacting the solid. This is in sharp contrast with impacts of lower-viscosity drops where a kink in the drop surface forms at the edge of the central disc and makes a circular contact with the solid. Larger drop viscosities make the central air dimple thinner. The thin outer air film subsequently ruptures at numerous random locations around the periphery, when it reaches below 150 nm thickness. This thickness we measure using high-speed two-colour interferometry. The wetted circular contacts expand rapidly, at orders of magnitude larger velocities than would be predicted by a capillary–viscous balance. The spreading velocity of the wetting spots is
independent of the liquid viscosity. This may suggest enhanced slip of the contact line, assisted by rarefied-gas effects, or van der Waals forces in what we call extreme wetting. Myriads of micro-bubbles are captured between the local wetting spots.
The spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a Critically Endangered shorebird that breeds in the Russian arctic and winters in coastal and estuarine habitats in South-east Asia. We report the first formal estimate of its global population size, combining a mark–resighting estimate of the number of leg-flagged individuals alive in autumn 2014 with an estimate of the proportion of birds with flags from scan surveys conducted during the same period at a migration stop-over site on the Jiangsu coast of China. We estimate that the world breeding population of spoon-billed sandpipers in 2014 was 210–228 pairs and the post-breeding population of all age classes combined was 661–718 individuals. This and related methods have considerable potential for surveillance of the population size of other globally threatened species, especially widely dispersed long-distance migrants.
When a drop impacts onto a solid surface, the lubrication pressure in the air deforms its bottom into a dimple. This makes the initial contact with the substrate occur not at a point but along a ring, thereby entrapping a central disc of air. We use ultra-high-speed imaging, with 200 ns time resolution, to observe the structure of this first contact between the liquid and a smooth solid surface. For a water drop impacting onto regular glass we observe a ring of microbubbles, due to multiple initial contacts just before the formation of the fully wetted outer section. These contacts are spaced by a few microns and quickly grow in size until they meet, thereby leaving behind a ring of microbubbles marking the original air-disc diameter. On the other hand, no microbubbles are left behind when the drop impacts onto molecularly smooth mica sheets. We thereby conclude that the localized contacts are due to nanometric roughness of the glass surface, and the presence of the microbubbles can therefore distinguish between glass with 10 nm roughness and perfectly smooth glass. We contrast this entrapment topology with the initial contact of a drop impacting onto a film of extremely viscous immiscible liquid, where the initial contact appears to be continuous along the ring. Here, an azimuthal instability occurs during the rapid contraction at the triple line, also leaving behind microbubbles. For low impact velocities the nature of the initial contact changes to one initiated by ruptures of a thin lubricating air film.
When a drop impacts on a solid surface, its rapid deceleration is cushioned by a thin layer of air, which leads to the entrapment of a bubble under its centre. For large impact velocities the lubrication pressure in this air layer becomes large enough to compress the air. Herein we use high-speed interferometry, with 200 ns time-resolution, to directly observe the thickness evolution of the air layer during the entire bubble entrapment process. The initial disc radius and thickness shows excellent agreement with available theoretical models, based on adiabatic compression. For the largest impact velocities the air is compressed by as much as a factor of 14. Immediately following the contact, the air disc shows rapid vertical expansion. The radial speed of the surface minima just before contact, can reach 50 times the impact velocity of the drop.
Dysregulation of the striatum and altered corticostriatal connectivity have been associated with psychotic disorders. Social anhedonia has been identified as a predictor for the development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The aim of the present study was to examine corticostriatal functional connectivity in individuals with high social anhedonia.
Twenty-one participants with high social anhedonia score and 30 with low social anhedonia score measured by the Chinese version of the Revised Social Anhedonia Scale were recruited from university undergraduates (age 17–21 years) to undergo resting-state functional MRI scans. Six subdivisions of the striatum in each hemisphere were defined as seeds. Voxel-wise functional connectivity analyses were conducted between each seed and the whole brain voxels, followed by repeated-measures ANOVA for the group effect.
Participants with high social anhedonia showed hyper-connectivity between the ventral striatum and the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula, and between the dorsal striatum and the motor cortex. Hypo-connectivity in participants with high social anhedonia was also observed between the ventral striatum and the posterior cingulate cortex. Partial correlation analyses further showed that the functional connectivity between the ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex was associated with pleasure experience and emotional suppression.
Our findings suggest that altered corticostriatal connectivity can be found in participants with high levels of social anhedonia. Since social anhedonia has been considered a predictor for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, our results may provide novel evidence on the early changes in brain functional connectivity in at-risk individuals.
Drops impacting at low velocities onto a pool surface can stretch out thin hemispherical sheets of air between the drop and the pool. These air sheets can remain intact until they reach submicron thicknesses, at which point they rupture to form a myriad of microbubbles. By impacting a higher-viscosity drop onto a lower-viscosity pool, we have explored new geometries of such air films. In this way we are able to maintain stable air layers which can wrap around the entire drop to form repeatable antibubbles, i.e. spherical air layers bounded by inner and outer liquid masses. Furthermore, for the most viscous drops they enter the pool trailing a viscous thread reaching all the way to the pinch-off nozzle. The air sheet can also wrap around this thread and remain stable over an extended period of time to form a cylindrical air sheet. We study the parameter regime where these structures appear and their subsequent breakup. The stability of these thin cylindrical air sheets is inconsistent with inviscid stability theory, suggesting stabilization by lubrication forces within the submicron air layer. We use interferometry to measure the air-layer thickness versus depth along the cylindrical air sheet and around the drop. The air film is thickest above the equator of the drop, but thinner below the drop and up along the air cylinder. Based on microbubble volumes, the thickness of the cylindrical air layer becomes less than 100 nm before it ruptures.
Hybrid organic/silicon heterostructures have become of great interest for photovoltaic application due to their promising features (e.g. easy fabrication in a low-temperature process) for cost-effective photovoltaics. This work is focused on solar cells with a hybrid heterojunction between the polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) and n-doped monocrystalline silicon. As semi-transparent top contact, a thin (15 nm) Au layer was employed. Devices with different P3HT thicknesses were processed by spin-casting and compared with a reference Au/n-Si Schottky diode solar cell.
The current density-voltage (J-V) measurements of the hybrid devices show a significant increase in open-circuit voltage (VOC) from 0.29 V up to 0.50 V for the best performing hybrid devices compared to the Schottky diode reference, while the short-circuit current density (JSC) does not change significantly. The increased VOC indicates that P3HT effectively reduces the reverse electron current into the gold contact. The wavelength-dependent JSC measurements show a decreased JSC in the wavelength range of P3HT absorption. This is related to the reduced JSC generation in silicon not being compensated by JSC generation in P3HT. It is concluded that the charge generation in P3HT is less efficient than in silicon.
After a thermal annealing of the hybrid P3HT/silicon solar cells, we achieved power conversion efficiencies (PCE) (AM1.5 illumination) up to 6.5% with VOC of 0.52 V, JSC of 18.6 mA/cm² and a fill factor (FF) of 67%. This is more than twice the efficiency of the reference Schottky diode.
Monoclinic Cu2SnS3 was made by solution based processing of the precursor metals after which the samples are annealed in a sulphur environment. XRD and Raman spectra shows that the monoclinic phase was synthesised. One sample was further etched in KCN and HCl to remove possible secondary phases. Transmission spectra show that the material has two optical transitions and in conjunction with reflection data absorption spectra were calculated. The two optical transitions are determined to be 0.91 and 0.98 for the unetched sample and 0.90 and 0.95 eV for the etched sample. The values of the optical transitions are within the error the same and thus etching does not affect the values of these optical transitions. Photoluminescence spectra map show only one luminescence peak with a maximum at 0.95 eV, which is consistent with the values found by absorption spectra. This in combination with the Raman spectra and XRD indicates that the sample contains only one polymorph of Cu2SnS3, which is monoclinic. Therefore the two optical transitions are intrinsic to monoclinic Cu2SnS3.
We have investigated the film morphology and photoluminescence properties of spin-coated CH3NH3PbI3-xClx films on mesoporous and compact TiO2 substrates. We observe that the perovskite film deposited on the mesoporous substrate composed of 20 nm TiO2 nanopaticles exhibits relatively uniform grain size, while the films deposited on the compact TiO2 substrate and the mesoporous substrate with large TiO2 nanoparticles (200 nm) show highly heterogeneous film morphology. The heterogeneity of film morphology has significant effect on the photoluminescence spectra and lifetime of the perovskite films. The result of time-resolved confocal microscopy unveils the relation between film structure and photoluminescence properties.
Long term stability of mixed perovskite compounds is one of the important concerns for prolonged viability and economical use of perovskite based solar cells. Degradation in perovskite films mainly occurs due to exposure to moisture. Hence, a controlled atmospheric condition and lower humidity is preferred for device fabrication and use. Many different strategies such as use of thin and wide band gap semiconductor layer, improvement in pour filling of metal oxide film, and utilization of AgTFSI have been attempted to improve device stability. However, for long term durability, there is an urgent need to increase stability of parent perovskite layer, apart from use of protective layers. In this study we examined water resistant additive, structural modifications, and stoichiometric modification for enhanced film durability. These strategies and preliminary results are discussed in this report.
Flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells on lightweight substrates can deliver high specific powers. Flexible lightweight CIGS solar cells are also primary candidates for building-integrated panels. In all applications, CIGS cells can greatly benefit from the application of broadband and wide-angle AR coating technology. The AR coatings can significantly improve the transmittance of light over the entire CIGS absorption band spectrum. Increased short-circuit current has been observed after integrating AR coated films onto baseline solar panels. NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) has predicted up to 14% higher annual power output on AR integrated vertical or building-integrated panels. The combination of lightweight flexible substrates and advanced device designs employing nanostructured optical coatings together have the potential to achieve flexible CIGS modules with enhanced efficiencies and specific power.
Perovskite solar cells have caught wide attention. High efficiency, low-cost and high stability are among the major goals, which could eventually move the perovskite solar cells to the market. To achieve these goals, interface deliberation and nanostructural engineering hold the key.