• 2^n Bordered Constructions of Self-Dual codes from Group Rings

      Dougherty, Steven; Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; University of Scranton; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy (Elsevier, 2020-08-04)
      Self-dual codes, which are codes that are equal to their orthogonal, are a widely studied family of codes. Various techniques involving circulant matrices and matrices from group rings have been used to construct such codes. Moreover, families of rings have been used, together with a Gray map, to construct binary self-dual codes. In this paper, we introduce a new bordered construction over group rings for self-dual codes by combining many of the previously used techniques. The purpose of this is to construct self-dual codes that were missed using classical construction techniques by constructing self-dual codes with different automorphism groups. We apply the technique to codes over finite commutative Frobenius rings of characteristic 2 and several group rings and use these to construct interesting binary self-dual codes. In particular, we construct some extremal self-dual codes length 64 and 68, constructing 30 new extremal self-dual codes of length 68.
    • Additively Manufactured Graphitic Electrochemical Sensing Platforms

      Foster, Christopher W; El Bardisy, Hadil M; Down, Michael P; Keefe, Edmund M; Smith, Graham C; Banks, Craig E; Manchester Metropolitan University (Foster, El Bardisy, Down, Keefe, Banks), University of Chester (Smith) (Elsevier, 2020-02-01)
      Additive manufacturing (AM)/3D printing technology provides a novel platform for the rapid prototyping of low cost 3D platforms. Herein, we report for the first time, the fabrication, characterisation (physicochemical and electrochemical) and application (electrochemical sensing) of bespoke nanographite (NG)-loaded (25 wt. %) AM printable (via fused deposition modelling) NG/PLA filaments. We have optimised and tailored a variety of NG-loaded filaments and their AM counterparts in order to achieve optimal printability and electrochemical behaviour. Two AM platforms, namely AM macroelectrodes (AMEs) and AM 3D honeycomb (macroporous) structures are benchmarked against a range of redox probes and the simultaneous detection of lead (II) and cadmium (II). This proof-of-concept demonstrates the impact that AM can have within the area of electroanalytical sensors.
    • Airlift Bioreactor for Biological Applications with Microbubble Mediated Transport Processes

      Al-Mashhadani, Mahmood K. H.; Wilkinson, Stephen J.; Zimmerman, William B.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2015-12-01)
      Airlift bioreactors can provide an attractive alternative to stirred tanks, particularly for bioprocesses with gaseous reactants or products. Frequently, however, they are susceptible to being limited by gas-liquid mass transfer and by poor mixing of the liquid phase, particularly when they are operating at high cell densities. In this work we use CFD modelling to show that microbubbles generated by fluidic oscillation can provide an effective, low energy means of achieving high interfacial area for mass transfer and improved liquid circulation for mixing. The results show that when the diameter of the microbubbles exceeded 200 μm, the “downcomer” region, which is equivalent to about 60 % of overall volume of the reactor, is free from gas bubbles. The results also demonstrate that the use of microbubbles not only increases surface area to volume ratio, but also increases mixing efficiency through increasing the liquid velocity circulation around the draft tube. In addition, the depth of downward penetration of the microbubbles into the downcomer increases with decreasing bubbles size due to a greater downward drag force compared to the buoyancy force. The simulated results indicate that the volume of dead zone increases as the height of diffuser location is increased. We therefore hypothesise that poor gas bubble distribution due to the improper location of the diffuser may have a markedly deleterious effect on the performance of the bioreactor used in this work.
    • An algorithm to detect small solutions in linear delay differential equations

      Ford, Neville J.; Lumb, Patricia M. (Elsevier, 2006-08-15)
      This preprint discusses an algorithm that provides a simple reliable mechanism for the detection of small solutions in linear delay differential equations.
    • An Altered Four Circulant Construction for Self-Dual Codes from Group Rings and New Extremal Binary Self-dual Codes I

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester; Sampoerna University; Northern Arizona University (Elsevier, 2019-08-07)
      We introduce an altered version of the four circulant construction over group rings for self-dual codes. We consider this construction over the binary field, the rings F2 + uF2 and F4 + uF4; using groups of order 4 and 8. Through these constructions and their extensions, we find binary self-dual codes of lengths 16, 32, 48, 64 and 68, many of which are extremal. In particular, we find forty new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68, including twelve new codes with \gamma=5 in W68,2, which is the first instance of such a value in the literature.
    • An analysis of the L1 scheme for stochastic subdiffusion problem driven by integrated space-time white noise

      Yan, Yubin; Yan, Yuyuan; Wu, Xiaolei; University of Chester, Lvliang University, Jimei University (Elsevier, 2020-06-02)
      We consider the strong convergence of the numerical methods for solving stochastic subdiffusion problem driven by an integrated space-time white noise. The time fractional derivative is approximated by using the L1 scheme and the time fractional integral is approximated with the Lubich's first order convolution quadrature formula. We use the Euler method to approximate the noise in time and use the truncated series to approximate the noise in space. The spatial variable is discretized by using the linear finite element method. Applying the idea in Gunzburger \et (Math. Comp. 88(2019), pp. 1715-1741), we express the approximate solutions of the fully discrete scheme by the convolution of the piecewise constant function and the inverse Laplace transform of the resolvent related function. Based on such convolution expressions of the approximate solutions, we obtain the optimal convergence orders of the fully discrete scheme in spatial multi-dimensional cases by using the Laplace transform method and the corresponding resolvent estimates.
    • An analytic approach to the normalized Ricci flow-like equation: Revisited

      Kavallaris, Nikos I.; Suzuki, Takashi; University of Chester ; Osaka University (Elsevier, 2015-01-07)
      In this paper we revisit Hamilton’s normalized Ricci flow, which was thoroughly studied via a PDE approach in Kavallaris and Suzuki (2010). Here we provide an improved convergence result compared to the one presented Kavallaris and Suzuki (2010) for the critical case λ=8πλ=8π. We actually prove that the convergence towards the stationary normalized Ricci flow is realized through any time sequence.
    • Analytical and numerical investigation of mixed-type functional differential equations

      Lima, Pedro M.; Teodoro, M. Filomena; Ford, Neville J.; Lumb, Patricia M.; Instituto Superior Tecnico UTL, Lisbon : Instituto Politecnico de Setubal, Lisbon : University of Chester : University of Chester (Elsevier, 2009-11-09)
      This journal article is concerned with the approximate solution of a linear non-autonomous functional differential equation, with both advanced and delayed arguments.
    • Analytical and numerical treatment of oscillatory mixed differential equations with differentiable delays and advances

      Ferreira, José M.; Ford, Neville J.; Malique, Md A.; Pinelas, Sandra; Yan, Yubin; Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon : University of Chester : University of Chester : Universidade dos Açores : University of Chester (Elsevier, 2011-04-12)
      This article discusses the oscillatory behaviour of the differential equation of mixed type.
    • Avoiding ambient air and light induced degradation in high-efficiency polymer solar cells by the use of hydrogen-doped zinc oxide as electron extraction material

      Polydorou, Ermioni; Sakelis, Elias; Soultati, Anastasia; Kaltzoglou, Andreas; Papadopoulos, Theodoros A.; Briscoe, Joe; Tsikritzis, Dimitris; Fakis, Mihalis; Palilis, Leonidas C.; Kennou, Stella; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-02-24)
      Polymer solar cells have undergone rapid development in recent years. Their limited stability to environmental influence and during illumination, however, still remains a major stumbling block to the commercial application of this technology. Several attempts have been made to address the instability issue, mostly concentrated on the insertion of charge transport interlayers in the device stack. Although zinc oxide (ZnO) is one of the most common electron transport materials in those cells, the presence of defects at the surface and grain boundaries significantly affects the efficiency and stability of the working devices. To address these issues, we herein employ hydrogen-doping of ZnO electron extraction material. It is found that devices based on photoactive layers composed of blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) with electron acceptors possessing different energy levels, such as [6,6]-phenyl-C70butyric acid methyl ester (PC70BM) or indene-C60 bisadduct (IC60BA) essentially enhanced their photovoltaic performance when using the hydrogen-doped ZnO with maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) reaching values of 4.62% and 6.65%, respectively, which are much higher than those of the cells with the pristine ZnO (3.08% and 4.51%). Most significantly, the degradation of non-encapsulated solar cells when exposed to ambient or under prolonged illumination is studied and it is found that devices based on un-doped ZnO showed poor environmental stability and significant photo-degradation while those using hydrogen-doped ZnO interlayers exhibited high long-term ambient stability and maintained nearly 80–90% of their initial PCE values after 40 h of 1.5 AM illumination. All mechanisms responsible for this enhanced stability are elucidated and corresponding models are proposed. This work successfully addresses and tackles the instability problem of polymer solar cells and the key findings pave the way for the upscaling of these and, perhaps, of related devices such as perovskite solar cells.
    • Bacillus Spores and Their Relevant Chemicals Studied by Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy

      Tang, Jianhua; Yang, Bin; Llewellyn, Ian; Cutler, Ronald R.; Donnan, Robert S.; Queen Mary University of London; University of Bolton (Elsevier, 2013-12-28)
      Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy has been used to investigate 0.2 to 2.2 terahertz (THz) transmission responses of Bacillus spores and their related chemical components. Whilst no THz signatures could be clearly associated with either sporulated cells or their chief chemical components, differing degrees of signal attenuation and frequency-dependent light scattering were observed depending on spore composition and culture media. The observed monotonic increase in absorption by spores over this THz spectral domain is mainly from Mie scattering and also from remnant water bound to the spores.
    • A barrier and techno-economic analysis of small-scale bCHP (biomass combined heat and power) schemes in the UK.

      Wright, Daniel G.; Dey, Prasanta K.; Brammer, John G.; Aston University (Elsevier, 2014-05-17)
      bCHP (Biomass combined heat and power) systems are highly efficient at smaller-scales when a significant proportion of the heat produced can be effectively utilised for hot water, space heating or industrial heating purposes. However, there are many barriers to project development and this has greatly inhibited deployment in the UK. Project viability is highly subjective to changes in policy, regulation, the finance market and the low cost fossil fuel incumbent. The paper reviews the barriers to small-scale bCHP project development in the UK along with a case study of a failed 1.5 MWel bCHP scheme. The paper offers possible explanations for the project’s failure and suggests adaptations to improve the project resilience. Analysis of the project’s: capital structuring; contract length and bankability; feedstock type and price uncertainty, and; plant oversizing highlight the negative impact of the existing project barriers on project development. The research paper concludes with a discussion on the effects of these barriers on the case study project and this industry more generally. A greater understanding of the techno-economic effects of some barriers for small-scale bCHP schemes is demonstrated within this paper, along with some methods for improving the attractiveness and resilience of projects of this kind.
    • Benchmarking of a micro gas turbine model integrated with post-combustion CO2 capture

      Usman, Ali; Font Palma, Carolina; Nikpey Somehsaraei, Homam; Mansouri Majoumerd, Mohammad; Akram, Muhammad; Finney, Karen N.; Best, Thom; Mohd Said, Nassya B.; Assadi, Mohsen; Pourkashanian, Mohamed; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-03-19)
      The deployment of post-combustion CO2 capture on large-scale gas-fired power plants is currently progressing, hence the integration of the power and capture plants requires a good understanding of operational requirements and limitations to support this effort. This article aims to assist research in this area, by studying a micro gas turbine (MGT) integrated with an amine-based post-combustion CO2 capture unit. Both processes were simulated using two different software tools –IPSEpro and Aspen Hysys, and validated against experimental tests. The two MGT models were benchmarked at the nominal condition, and then extended to part-loads (50 and 80 kWe), prior to their integration with the capture plant at flue gas CO2 concentrations between 5 and 10 mol%. Further, the performance of the MGT and capture plant when gas turbine exhaust gases were recirculated was assessed. Exhaust gas recirculation increases the CO2 concentration, and reduces the exhaust gas flowrate and specific reboiler duty. The benchmarking of the two models revealed that the IPSEpro model can be easily adapted to new MGT cycle modifications since turbine temperatures and rotational speeds respond to reaching temperature limits; whilst a detailed rate-based approach for the capture plant in Hysys resulted in closely aligned simulation results with experimental data.
    • Bioinspired bactericidal surfaces with polymer nanocone arrays

      Hazell, Gavin; Fisher, Leanne E.; Murray, Andrew W.; Nobbs, Angela H.; Su, Bo; University of Chester; University of Bristol (Elsevier, 2018-05-28)
      Infections resulting from bacterial biofilm formation on the surface of medical devices are challenging to treat and can cause significant patient morbidity. Recently, it has become apparent that regulation of surface nanotopography can render surfaces bactericidal. In this study, poly(ethylene terephthalate) nanocone arrays are generated through a polystyrene nanosphere-mask colloidal lithographic process. It is shown that modification of the mask diameter leads to a direct modification of centre-to-centre spacing between nanocones. By altering the oxygen plasma etching time it is possible to modify the height, tip width and base diameter of the individual nanocone features. The bactericidal activity of the nanocone arrays was investigated against Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. It is shown that surfaces with the most densely populated nanocone arrays (center-to-center spacing of 200 nm), higher aspect ratios (>3) and tip widths <20 nm kill the highest percentage of bacteria (∼30%).
    • Blending low-order stabilised finite element methods: a positivity preserving local projection method for the convection-diffusion equation

      Barrenechea, Gabriel; Burman, Erik; Karakatsani, Fotini; University of Strathclyde; UCL; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2017-01-20)
      In this work we propose a nonlinear blending of two low-order stabilisation mechanisms for the convection–diffusion equation. The motivation for this approach is to preserve monotonicity without sacrificing accuracy for smooth solutions. The approach is to blend a first-order artificial diffusion method, which will be active only in the vicinity of layers and extrema, with an optimal order local projection stabilisation method that will be active on the smooth regions of the solution. We prove existence of discrete solutions, as well as convergence, under appropriate assumptions on the nonlinear terms, and on the exact solution. Numerical examples show that the discrete solution produced by this method remains within the bounds given by the continuous maximum principle, while the layers are not smeared significantly.
    • Bordered Constructions of Self-Dual Codes from Group Rings and New Extremal Binary Self-Dual Codes

      Dougherty, Steven; Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Korban, Adrian; Tylyshchak, Alexander; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Scranton; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy; Uzhgorod State University; Northern Arizona University (Elsevier, 2019-02-22)
      We introduce a bordered construction over group rings for self-dual codes. We apply the constructions over the binary field and the ring $\F_2+u\F_2$, using groups of orders 9, 15, 21, 25, 27, 33 and 35 to find extremal binary self-dual codes of lengths 20, 32, 40, 44, 52, 56, 64, 68, 88 and best known binary self-dual codes of length 72. In particular we obtain 41 new binary extremal self-dual codes of length 68 from groups of orders 15 and 33 using neighboring and extensions. All the numerical results are tabulated throughout the paper.
    • Capsule membranes encapsulated with smart nanogels for facile detection of trace lead(II) ions in water

      Liu, Wen Ying; Ju, Xiao Jie; Faraj, Yousef; He, Fan; Peng, Han Yu; Liu, Yu Qiong; Liu, Zhuang; Wang, Wei; Xie, Rui; Chu, Liang Yin; et al.
      A novel method based on capsule membranes encapsulated with smart nanogels is successfully developed for facilely detecting trace lead(II) (Pb2+) ions, which are hazardous to both human health and the environment because of their toxicity. The capsule membrane system is composed of a semi-permeable calcium alginate membrane and encapsulated poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acryloylamidobenzo-18-crown-6) (PNB) nanogels. The semi-permeable membrane allows Pb2+ ions and water to pass through quickly, but rejects the encapsulated nanogels and polymers totally. As soon as Pb2+ ions appear in the aqueous environment and enter into the capsule, they can be specifically recognized by encapsulated PNB nanogels via forming 18-crown-6/Pb2+ complexes that cause a Pb2+-induced phase transition of PNB nanogels from hydrophobic to hydrophilic state. As a result, the osmotic pressure inside the capsule membrane increases remarkably, and thus the elastic capsule membrane isothermally swells upon the presence of Pb2+ ions in the environmental aqueous solution. The Pb2+-induced swelling degree of the capsule membrane is dependent on the concentration of Pb2+ ions ([Pb2+]) in water. Thus, the [Pb2+] value in water is able to be easily detected by directly measuring the Pb2+-induced isothermal swelling ratio of the capsule membrane, which we demonstrate by using 15 prepared capsule membranes arranged in a line. The Pb2+-induced swelling ratios of the capsule membrane groups are easily observed with the naked eye, and the detection limit of the [Pb2+] in water is 10-9 mol L-1. Such a proposed method provides an easy and efficient strategy for facile detection of trace threat analytes in water.
    • Characteristic functions of differential equations with deviating arguments

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Ford, Neville J.; University of Manchester; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2019-04-24)
      The material here is motivated by the discussion of solutions of linear homogeneous and autonomous differential equations with deviating arguments. If $a, b, c$ and $\{\check{\tau}_\ell\}$ are real and ${\gamma}_\natural$ is real-valued and continuous, an example with these parameters is \begin{equation} u'(t) = \big\{a u(t) + b u(t+\check{\tau}_1) + c u(t+\check{\tau}_2) \big\} { \red +} \int_{\check{\tau}_3}^{\check{\tau}_4} {{\gamma}_\natural}(s) u(t+s) ds \tag{\hbox{$\rd{\star}$}} . \end{equation} A wide class of equations ($\rd{\star}$), or of similar type, can be written in the {\lq\lq}canonical{\rq\rq} form \begin{equation} u'(t) =\DSS \int_{\tau_{\rd \min}}^{\tau_{\rd \max}} u(t+s) d\sigma(s) \quad (t \in \Rset), \hbox{ for a suitable choice of } {\tau_{\rd \min}}, {\tau_{\rd \max}} \tag{\hbox{${\rd \star\star}$}} \end{equation} where $\sigma$ is of bounded variation and the integral is a Riemann-Stieltjes integral. For equations written in the form (${\rd{\star\star}}$), there is a corresponding characteristic function \begin{equation} \chi(\zeta) ):= \zeta - \DSS \int_{\tau_{\rd \min}}^{\tau_{\rd \max}} \exp(\zeta s) d\sigma(s) \quad (\zeta \in \Cset), \tag{\hbox{${\rd{\star\star\star}}$}} \end{equation} %%($ \chi(\zeta) \equiv \chi_\sigma (\zeta)$) whose zeros (if one considers appropriate subsets of equations (${\rd \star\star}$) -- the literature provides additional information on the subsets to which we refer) play a r\^ole in the study of oscillatory or non-oscillatory solutions, or of bounded or unbounded solutions. We show that the related discussion of the zeros of $\chi$ is facilitated by observing and exploiting some simple and fundamental properties of characteristic functions.
    • Characterization of microwave and terahertz dielectric properties of single crystal La2Ti2O7 along one single direction

      Zhang, Man; Tang, Zhiyong; Zhang, Hangfeng; Smith, Graham; Jiang, Qinghui; Saunders, Theo; Yang, Bin; Yan, Haixue; Huazhong University of Science and Technology; University of Chester; Queen Mary University of London; Chinese Academy of Sciences (Elsevier, 2021-08-02)
      New generation wireless communication systems require characterisations of dielectric permittivity and loss tangent at microwave and terahertz bands. La2Ti2O7 is a candidate material for microwave application. However, all the reported microwave dielectric data are average value from different directions of a single crystal, which could not reflect its anisotropic nature due to the layered crystal structure. Its dielectric properties at the microwave and terahertz bands in a single crystallographic direction have rarely been reported. In this work, a single crystal ferroelectric La2Ti2O7 was prepared by floating zone method and its dielectric properties were characterized from 1 kHz to 1 THz along one single direction. The decrease in dielectric permittivity with increasing frequency is related to dielectric relaxation from radio frequency to microwave then to terahertz band. The capability of characterizing anisotropic dielectric properties of a single crystal in this work opens the feasibility for its microwave and terahertz applications.
    • Chemical changes in PCPDTBT:PCBM solar cells using XPS and TOF-SIMS and use of inverted device structure for improving lifetime performance

      Kettle, Jeff; Waters, Huw; Ding, Ziqian; Horie, Masaki; Smith, Graham C.; School of Electronic Engineering University of Bangor (Kettle, Waters, Ding), Department of Chemical Engineering National Tsing Hua University Taiwan (Horie), Department of Natural Sciences University of Chester (Smith) (Elsevier, 2015-06-10)
      Analysis of the degradation routes for poly[(4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-cyclopenta-[2,1-b;3,4-b′]dithiophene)-2,6-diyl-alt-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole-4,7-diyl] (PCPDTBT)-based solar cells under illumination and in the presence of air have been conducted using a combination of X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Time-Of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMs) and solar cell device data. After ageing, XPS studies show that PCPDTBT appears as an oxygen-containing polymer, with data indicating that a break-up in the aromatic rings, formation of sulphates at the thiophene ring, chain scission in the polymer backbone and also loss of side chains. XPS studies have also been conducted on Phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) films and show a breakage of the fullerene cage, loss of molecular shape and oxidation of carbon atoms in the fullerene cage and side chains after ageing. XPS studies on active layers blends of PCPDTBT and PCBM also show significant changes in the vertical composition during ageing, with increased enrichment of PCPDTBT observed at the top surface and that the use of a processing additive (ODT) has a negative impact on the morphological stability. Based on these studies, it shown that inverted structures are better suited than non-inverted devices for PCPDTBT:PCBM solar cells. An additional advantage of inverted devices is shown using TOF-SIMS; electrode degradation during ageing experiments leads to migration of indium and tin ions into the active layer in non-inverted devices, but is eliminated for inverted devices.