• Taking the pain out of network induction: Using INFORMS to induct new first year students

      Fiander, Wendy; Peters, Lisa; Sinclair, Colin (SCONUL, 2003)
      In September 2003, Learning Resources at University College Chester used the JISC-funded INFORMS tutorial for student induction into the computer network. The article comments on how the INFORMS computer induction tutorial was developed at Chester, how it was used, and plans for future developments.
    • Talin mechanosensitivity is modulated by a direct interaction with cyclin-dependent kinase-1.

      Gough, Rosemarie E; Jones, Matthew C; Zacharchenko, Thomas; Le, Shimin; Yu, Miao; Jacquemet, Guillaume; Muench, Ste P; Yan, Jie; Humphries, Jonathan D; Jørgensen, Claus; et al. (2021-06-09)
      Talin (TLN1) is a mechanosensitive component of adhesion complexes that directly couples integrins to the actin cytoskeleton. In response to force, talin undergoes switch-like behavior of its multiple rod domains that modulate interactions with its binding partners. Cyclin-dependent kinase-1 (CDK1) is a key regulator of the cell cycle, exerting its effects through synchronized phosphorylation of a large number of protein targets. CDK1 activity maintains adhesion during interphase, and its inhibition is a prerequisite for the tightly choreographed changes in cell shape and adhesion that are required for successful mitosis. Using a combination of biochemical, structural and cell biological approaches, we demonstrate a direct interaction between talin and CDK1 that occurs at sites of integrin-mediated adhesion. Mutagenesis demonstrated that CDK1 contains a functional talin-binding LD motif, and the binding site within talin was pinpointed to helical bundle R8. Talin also contains a consensus CDK1 phosphorylation motif centered on S1589, a site shown to be phosphorylated by CDK1 in vitro. A phosphomimetic mutant of this site within talin lowered the binding affinity of the cytoskeletal adaptor KANK and weakened the response of this region to force as measured by single molecule stretching, potentially altering downstream mechanotransduction pathways. The direct binding of the master cell cycle regulator CDK1 to the primary integrin effector talin represents a coupling of cell proliferation and cell adhesion machineries, and thereby indicates a mechanism by which the microenvironment can control cell division in multicellular organisms. [Abstract copyright: Crown Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.]
    • Tamaglitchi

      Collins, Karen; Dockwray, Ruth (ACM, 2018-09-12)
    • Targeted Delivery of Epidermal Growth Factor to the Human Placenta to Treat Fetal Growth Restriction

      Renshall, Lewis J.; email: lewis.renshall@manchester.ac.uk; Beards, Frances; email: frances.beards@manchester.ac.uk; Evangelinos, Angelos; email: angelos.evangelinos@manchester.ac.uk; Greenwood, Susan L.; email: susan.l.greenwood@manchester.ac.uk; Brownbill, Paul; email: Paul.brownbill@manchester.ac.uk; Stevens, Adam; email: Adam.stevens@manchester.ac.uk; Sibley, Colin P.; orcid: 0000-0002-2713-0492; email: Colin.sibley@manchester.ac.uk; Aplin, John D.; email: John.aplin@manchester.ac.uk; Johnstone, Edward D.; email: edward.johnstone@manchester.ac.uk; Teesalu, Tambet; email: tambet.teesalu@ut.ee; et al. (MDPI, 2021-10-25)
      Placental dysfunction is the underlying cause of pregnancy complications such as fetal growth restriction (FGR) and pre-eclampsia. No therapies are available to treat a poorly functioning placenta, primarily due to the risks of adverse side effects in both the mother and the fetus resulting from systemic drug delivery. The use of targeted liposomes to selectively deliver payloads to the placenta has the potential to overcome these issues. In this study, we assessed the safety and efficacy of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-loaded, peptide-decorated liposomes to improve different aspects of placental function, using tissue from healthy control pregnancies at term, and pregnancies complicated by FGR. Phage screening identified a peptide sequence, CGPSARAPC (GPS), which selectively homed to mouse placentas in vivo, and bound to the outer syncytiotrophoblast layer of human placental explants ex vivo. GPS-decorated liposomes were prepared containing PBS or EGF (50–100 ng/mL), and placental explants were cultured with liposomes for up to 48 h. Undecorated and GPS-decorated liposomes containing PBS did not affect the basal rate of amino acid transport, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) release or cell turnover in placental explants from healthy controls. GPS-decorated liposomes containing EGF significantly increased amino acid transporter activity in healthy control explants, but not in placental explants from women with FGR. hCG secretion and cell turnover were unaffected by EGF delivery; however, differential activation of downstream protein kinases was observed when EGF was delivered via GPS-decorated vs. undecorated liposomes. These data indicate that targeted liposomes represent a safe and useful tool for the development of new therapies for placental dysfunction, recapitulating the effects of free EGF.
    • Targeting dissociation using cognitive behavioural therapy in voice hearers with psychosis and a history of interpersonal trauma: A case series

      Varese, Filippo; orcid: 0000-0001-7244-598X; email: filippo.varese@manchester.ac.uk; Douglas, Maggie; Dudley, Robert; Bowe, Samantha; Christodoulides, Thomas; Common, Stephanie; Grace, Tim; Lumley, Victoria; McCartney, Laura; Pace, Sonia; et al. (2020-09-10)
      Abstract: Objectives: Previous studies have suggested that dissociation might represent an important mechanism in the maintenance of auditory verbal hallucinations (i.e., voices) in people who have a history of traumatic life experiences. This study investigated whether a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) intervention for psychosis augmented with techniques specifically targeting dissociative symptoms could improve both dissociation and auditory hallucination severity in a sample of voice hearers with psychosis and a history of interpersonal trauma (e.g., exposure to sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse). Design: Case series. Methods: A total of 19 service users with psychosis were offered up to 24 therapy sessions over a 6‐month intervention window. Participants were assessed four times over a 12‐month period using measures of dissociation, psychotic symptoms severity, and additional secondary mental‐health and recovery measures. Results: Sixteen participants engaged in the intervention and were included in last‐observation‐carried‐forward analyses. Dropout rates were in line with those of other CBT for psychosis trials (26.3%). Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed large and significant improvements in dissociation (drm = 1.23) and hallucination severity (drm = 1.09) by the end of treatment; treatment gains were maintained 6 months following the end of therapy. Large and statistically significant gains were also observed on measures of post‐traumatic symptoms, delusion severity, emotional distress, and perceived recovery from psychosis. Conclusions: The findings of this case series suggest that the reduction of dissociation represents a valuable and acceptable treatment target for clients with auditory verbal hallucinations and a trauma history. Future clinical trials might benefit from considering targeting dissociative experiences as part of psychological interventions for distressing voices. Practitioner points: Practitioners should consider the role of dissociation when assessing and formulating the difficulties of voice hearers with a history of trauma. Techniques to reduce dissociation can be feasibly integrated within psychological interventions for voices. Voice hearers with histories of trauma can benefit from psychological interventions aimed at reducing dissociation.
    • Targeting molecular quantum memory with embedded error correction.

      Lockyer, Selena J; Chiesa, Alessandro; orcid: 0000-0003-2955-3998; Timco, Grigore A; orcid: 0000-0003-0966-0315; McInnes, Eric J L; Bennett, Tom S; Vitorica-Yrezebal, Inigo J; orcid: 0000-0001-8806-150X; Carretta, Stefano; orcid: 0000-0002-2536-1326; Winpenny, Richard E P; orcid: 0000-0002-7101-3963 (2021-06-02)
      The implementation of a quantum computer requires both to protect information from environmental noise and to implement quantum operations efficiently. Achieving this by a fully fault-tolerant platform, in which quantum gates are implemented within quantum-error corrected units, poses stringent requirements on the coherence and control of such hardware. A more feasible architecture could consist of connected memories, that support error-correction by enhancing coherence, and processing units, that ensure fast manipulations. We present here a supramolecular {Cr<sub>7</sub>Ni}-Cu system which could form the elementary unit of this platform, where the electronic spin 1/2 of {Cr<sub>7</sub>Ni} provides the processor and the naturally isolated nuclear spin 3/2 of the Cu ion is used to encode a logical unit with embedded quantum error-correction. We demonstrate by realistic simulations that microwave pulses allow us to rapidly implement gates on the processor and to swap information between the processor and the quantum memory. By combining the storage into the Cu nuclear spin with quantum error correction, information can be protected for times much longer than the processor coherence.
    • Targeting molecular quantum memory with embedded error correction.

      Lockyer, Selena J; Chiesa, Alessandro; orcid: 0000-0003-2955-3998; Timco, Grigore A; orcid: 0000-0003-0966-0315; McInnes, Eric J L; Bennett, Tom S; Vitorica-Yrezebal, Inigo J; orcid: 0000-0001-8806-150X; Carretta, Stefano; orcid: 0000-0002-2536-1326; Winpenny, Richard E P; orcid: 0000-0002-7101-3963 (2021-06-02)
      The implementation of a quantum computer requires both to protect information from environmental noise and to implement quantum operations efficiently. Achieving this by a fully fault-tolerant platform, in which quantum gates are implemented within quantum-error corrected units, poses stringent requirements on the coherence and control of such hardware. A more feasible architecture could consist of connected memories, that support error-correction by enhancing coherence, and processing units, that ensure fast manipulations. We present here a supramolecular {Cr Ni}-Cu system which could form the elementary unit of this platform, where the electronic spin 1/2 of {Cr Ni} provides the processor and the naturally isolated nuclear spin 3/2 of the Cu ion is used to encode a logical unit with embedded quantum error-correction. We demonstrate by realistic simulations that microwave pulses allow us to rapidly implement gates on the processor and to swap information between the processor and the quantum memory. By combining the storage into the Cu nuclear spin with quantum error correction, information can be protected for times much longer than the processor coherence. [Abstract copyright: This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.]
    • Targeting STAT3 signaling using stabilised sulforaphane (SFX-01) inhibits endocrine resistant stem-like cells in ER-positive breast cancer

      Simões, Bruno M.; orcid: 0000-0003-1253-6657; email: bruno.simoes@manchester.ac.uk; Santiago-Gómez, Angélica; Chiodo, Chiara; Moreira, Tiago; Conole, Daniel; orcid: 0000-0002-3389-8377; Lovell, Scott; Alferez, Denis; Eyre, Rachel; Spence, Katherine; Sarmiento-Castro, Aida; et al. (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2020-05-30)
      Abstract: Estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer is frequently sensitive to endocrine therapy. Multiple mechanisms of endocrine therapy resistance have been identified, including cancer stem-like cell (CSC) activity. Here we investigate SFX-01, a stabilised formulation of sulforaphane (SFN), for its effects on breast CSC activity in ER+ preclinical models. SFX‐01 reduced mammosphere formation efficiency (MFE) of ER+ primary and metastatic patient samples. Both tamoxifen and fulvestrant increased MFE and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumors, which was reversed by combination with SFX‐01. SFX-01 significantly reduced tumor-initiating cell frequency in secondary transplants and reduced the formation of spontaneous lung micrometastases by PDX tumors in mice. Mechanistically, we establish that both tamoxifen and fulvestrant induce STAT3 phosphorylation. SFX-01 suppressed phospho‐STAT3 and SFN directly bound STAT3 in patient and PDX samples. Analysis of ALDH+ cells from endocrine-resistant patient samples revealed activation of STAT3 target genes MUC1 and OSMR, which were inhibited by SFX-01 in patient samples. Increased expression of these genes after 3 months’ endocrine treatment of ER+ patients (n = 68) predicted poor prognosis. Our data establish the importance of STAT3 signaling in CSC-mediated resistance to endocrine therapy and the potential of SFX-01 for improving clinical outcomes in ER+ breast cancer.
    • Targeting the MAPK7/MMP9 axis for metastasis in primary bone cancer

      Green, Darrell; orcid: 0000-0002-0217-3322; Eyre, Heather; Singh, Archana; orcid: 0000-0002-5027-4582; Taylor, Jessica T.; Chu, Jason; Jeys, Lee; Sumathi, Vaiyapuri; Coonar, Aman; Rassl, Doris; Babur, Muhammad; et al. (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2020-07-13)
      Abstract: Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related death. This multistage process involves contribution from both tumour cells and the tumour stroma to release metastatic cells into the circulation. Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) survive circulatory cytotoxicity, extravasate and colonise secondary sites effecting metastatic outcome. Reprogramming the transcriptomic landscape is a metastatic hallmark, but detecting underlying master regulators that drive pathological gene expression is a key challenge, especially in childhood cancer. Here we used whole tumour plus single-cell RNA-sequencing in primary bone cancer and CTCs to perform weighted gene co-expression network analysis to systematically detect coordinated changes in metastatic transcript expression. This approach with comparisons applied to data collected from cell line models, clinical samples and xenograft mouse models revealed mitogen-activated protein kinase 7/matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MAPK7/MMP9) signalling as a driver for primary bone cancer metastasis. RNA interference knockdown of MAPK7 reduces proliferation, colony formation, migration, tumour growth, macrophage residency/polarisation and lung metastasis. Parallel to these observations were reduction of activated interleukins IL1B, IL6, IL8 plus mesenchymal markers VIM and VEGF in response to MAPK7 loss. Our results implicate a newly discovered, multidimensional MAPK7/MMP9 signalling hub in primary bone cancer metastasis that is clinically actionable.
    • Tau, XMAP215/Msps and Eb1 co-operate interdependently to regulate microtubule polymerisation and bundle formation in axons

      editor: Yu, Fengwei; Hahn, Ines; orcid: 0000-0001-7703-8160; email: Ines.Hahn@manchester.ac.uk; Voelzmann, Andre; orcid: 0000-0002-7682-5637; Parkin, Jill; Fülle, Judith B.; orcid: 0000-0003-1609-1368; Slater, Paula G.; orcid: 0000-0003-2601-0613; Lowery, Laura Anne; orcid: 0000-0001-8959-2679; Sanchez-Soriano, Natalia; orcid: 0000-0002-6667-2817; email: N.Sanchez-Soriano@liverpool.ac.uk; Prokop, Andreas; email: Andreas.Prokop@manchester.ac.uk (Public Library of Science, 2021-07-06)
      The formation and maintenance of microtubules requires their polymerisation, but little is known about how this polymerisation is regulated in cells. Focussing on the essential microtubule bundles in axons of Drosophila and Xenopus neurons, we show that the plus-end scaffold Eb1, the polymerase XMAP215/Msps and the lattice-binder Tau co-operate interdependently to promote microtubule polymerisation and bundle organisation during axon development and maintenance. Eb1 and XMAP215/Msps promote each other’s localisation at polymerising microtubule plus-ends. Tau outcompetes Eb1-binding along microtubule lattices, thus preventing depletion of Eb1 tip pools. The three factors genetically interact and show shared mutant phenotypes: reductions in axon growth, comet sizes, comet numbers and comet velocities, as well as prominent deterioration of parallel microtubule bundles into disorganised curled conformations. This microtubule curling is caused by Eb1 plus-end depletion which impairs spectraplakin-mediated guidance of extending microtubules into parallel bundles. Our demonstration that Eb1, XMAP215/Msps and Tau co-operate during the regulation of microtubule polymerisation and bundle organisation, offers new conceptual explanations for developmental and degenerative axon pathologies.
    • TCF3 Dominant Negative Variant Causes an Early Block in B-Lymphopoiesis and Agammaglobulinemia.

      Al Sheikh, Ebtehal; Arkwright, Peter D; email: peter.arkwright@manchester.ac.uk; Herwadkar, Archana; Hussell, Tracy; Briggs, Tracy A (2021-04-27)
    • Technical Note: Four‐dimensional deformable digital phantom for MRI sequence development

      Hanson, Hanna M.; email: hanna.hanson@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk; Eiben, Björn; McClelland, Jamie R.; van Herk, Marcel; Rowland, Benjamin C. (2021-08-02)
      Abstract: Purpose: MR‐guided radiotherapy has different requirements for the images than diagnostic radiology, thus requiring development of novel imaging sequences. MRI simulation is an excellent tool for optimizing these new sequences; however, currently available software does not provide all the necessary features. In this paper, we present a digital framework for testing MRI sequences that incorporates anatomical structure, respiratory motion, and realistic presentation of MR physics. Methods: The extended Cardiac‐Torso (XCAT) software was used to create T1, T2, and proton density maps that formed the anatomical structure of the phantom. Respiratory motion model was based on the XCAT deformation vector fields, modified to create a motion model driven by a respiration signal. MRI simulation was carried out with JEMRIS, an open source Bloch simulator. We developed an extension for JEMRIS, which calculates the motion of each spin independently, allowing for deformable motion. Results: The performance of the framework was demonstrated through simulating the acquisition of a two‐dimensional (2D) cine and demonstrating expected motion ghosts from T2 weighted spin echo acquisitions with different respiratory patterns. All simulations were consistent with behavior previously described in literature. Simulations with deformable motion were not more time consuming than with rigid motion. Conclusions: We present a deformable four‐dimensional (4D) digital phantom framework for MR sequence development. The framework incorporates anatomical structure, realistic breathing patterns, deformable motion, and Bloch simulation to achieve accurate simulation of MRI. This method is particularly relevant for testing novel imaging sequences for the purpose of MR‐guided radiotherapy in lungs and abdomen.
    • Tell Me about Loneliness: Interviews with Young People about What Loneliness Is and How to Cope with It

      Verity, Lily; orcid: 0000-0001-7339-722X; email: lily.verity@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk; Schellekens, Tine; email: tine.schellekens@kuleuven.be; Adam, Tine; email: tine.adam@student.kuleuven.be; Sillis, Floor; email: floor.sillis@student.kuleuven.be; Majorano, Marinella; email: marinella.majorano@univr.it; Wigelsworth, Michael; email: michael.wigelsworth@manchester.ac.uk; Qualter, Pamela; orcid: 0000-0001-6114-3820; email: pamela.qualter@manchester.ac.uk; Peters, Beth; email: beth.peters@student.manchester.ac.uk; Stajniak, Stephanie; orcid: 0000-0002-4581-154X; email: stephanie.stajniak@student.manchester.ac.uk; Maes, Marlies; orcid: 0000-0002-1710-5728; email: marlies.maes@kuleuven.be (MDPI, 2021-11-12)
      Background: loneliness is a common experience for adolescents, yet the voices of adolescents are missing from current conceptualisations of loneliness. That means, measures that have been created based on current conceptualisations may miss important contexts of adolescence, such as the roles of friendships, that determine the way loneliness is experienced. The current study aims to centre adolescent voices to identify how they conceptualise loneliness and what strategies they consider to be useful for adolescents to cope with loneliness. Method: thematic framework analysis (TFA) was conducted on qualitative interviews with young people aged 8–14 years in Belgium and Italy to identify salient themes in their conceptualisations of loneliness. Results: Loneliness was conceptualised as a negative emotional state involving negative thinking patterns that occurs when an individual perceives they are missing out on a desired aspect in their social relationships. Coping strategies related to alleviating negative affect, and aiding social reconnection. Conclusions: friendships with peers were understood to be central to adolescent loneliness experiences. In line with that, loneliness was seen to be experienced at school. Age-related differences in friendship expectations were identified, highlighting how developmental needs relate to the loneliness experience.
    • Telling Reproductive Stories: Social Scripts, Relationality and Donor Conception

      Nordqvist, Petra; email: petra.nordqvist@manchester.ac.uk (SAGE Publications, 2021-01-12)
      Storytelling is a fundamental part of human interaction; it is also deeply social and political in nature. In this article, I explore reproductive storytelling as a phenomenon of sociological consequence. I do so in the context of donor conception, which used to be managed through secrecy but where children are now perceived ‘to have the right’ to know about their genetic origins. I draw on original qualitative data with families of donor conceived children, and bringing my data into conversation with social script theory and the concept of relationality, I investigate the disjuncture between the value now placed on openness and storytelling, and the absence of an existing social script by which to do so. I show the nuanced ways in which this absence plays out on relational playing-fields, within multidimensional, intergenerational relationships. I suggest that in order to understand sociologically the significance and process of reproductive storytelling, it is vital to keep both the role of social scripts, and embedded relationality, firmly in view.
    • Template for Rapid Iterative Consensus of Experts (TRICE)

      Chater, Angel M.; orcid: 0000-0002-9043-2565; email: angel.chater@beds.ac.uk; Shorter, Gillian W.; orcid: 0000-0001-5752-2297; email: g.shorter@qub.ac.uk; Swanson, Vivien; orcid: 0000-0002-1685-2991; email: vivien.swanson@stir.ac.uk; Kamal, Atiya; orcid: 0000-0002-6651-6400; email: Atiya.Kamal@bcu.ac.uk; Epton, Tracy; orcid: 0000-0002-1653-191X; email: Tracy.Epton@manchester.ac.uk; Arden, Madelynne A.; email: m.arden@shu.ac.uk; Hart, Jo; orcid: 0000-0001-9985-5137; email: jo.hart@manchester.ac.uk; Byrne-Davis, Lucie M. T.; orcid: 0000-0002-9658-5394; email: lucie.byrne-davis@manchester.ac.uk; Drury, John; orcid: 0000-0002-7748-5128; email: j.drury@sussex.ac.uk; Whittaker, Ellie; orcid: 0000-0001-8599-9316; email: eleanor.whittaker@northyorks.gov.uk; et al. (MDPI, 2021-09-29)
      Background: Public health emergencies require rapid responses from experts. Differing viewpoints are common in science, however, “mixed messaging” of varied perspectives can undermine credibility of experts; reduce trust in guidance; and act as a barrier to changing public health behaviours. Collation of a unified voice for effective knowledge creation and translation can be challenging. This work aimed to create a method for rapid psychologically-informed expert guidance during the COVID-19 response. Method: TRICE (Template for Rapid Iterative Consensus of Experts) brings structure, peer-review and consensus to the rapid generation of expert advice. It was developed and trialled with 15 core members of the British Psychological Society COVID-19 Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce. Results: Using TRICE; we have produced 18 peer-reviewed COVID-19 guidance documents; based on rapid systematic reviews; co-created by experts in behavioural science and public health; taking 4–156 days to produce; with approximately 18 experts and a median of 7 drafts per output. We provide worked-examples and key considerations; including a shared ethos and theoretical/methodological framework; in this case; the Behaviour Change Wheel and COM-B. Conclusion: TRICE extends existing consensus methodologies and has supported public health collaboration; co-creation of guidance and translation of behavioural science to practice through explicit processes in generating expert advice for public health emergencies.
    • Ten simple rules for teaching applied programming in an authentic and immersive online environment

      editor: Schwartz, Russell; Hooley, Frances; orcid: 0000-0003-1048-4558; Freeman, Peter J.; orcid: 0000-0002-5838-5404; Davies, Angela C.; orcid: 0000-0002-3365-7231; email: angela.davies@manchester.ac.uk (Public Library of Science, 2021-08-05)
    • Terahertz Characterization of Lead-Free Dielectrics for Different Applications

      Zhang, Man; Zhang, Hangfeng; Jiang, Qinghui; orcid: 0000-0001-7851-2653; Gao, Feng; orcid: 0000-0002-5075-4076; Chen, Riqing; Zhang, Dou; orcid: 0000-0001-8555-2784; Reece, Michael John; orcid: 0000-0002-2293-7123; Yang, Bin; Viola, Giuseppe; Yan, Haixue; orcid: 0000-0002-4563-1100 (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2021-11-02)
    • Terahertz Characterization of Lead-Free Dielectrics for Different Applications

      Zhang, Man; Zhang, Hangfeng; Jiang, Qinghui; orcid: 0000-0001-7851-2653; Gao, Feng; orcid: 0000-0002-5075-4076; Chen, Riqing; Zhang, Dou; orcid: 0000-0001-8555-2784; Reece, Michael John; orcid: 0000-0002-2293-7123; Yang, Bin; Viola, Giuseppe; Yan, Haixue; orcid: 0000-0002-4563-1100 (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2021-11-02)
    • Terahertz Characterization of Lead-Free Dielectrics for Different Applications.

      Zhang, Man; Zhang, Hangfeng; Jiang, Qinghui; orcid: 0000-0001-7851-2653; Gao, Feng; orcid: 0000-0002-5075-4076; Chen, Riqing; Zhang, Dou; orcid: 0000-0001-8555-2784; Reece, Michael John; orcid: 0000-0002-2293-7123; Yang, Bin; Viola, Giuseppe; Yan, Haixue; orcid: 0000-0002-4563-1100 (2021-11-02)
      In this spotlight on applications, we describe our recent progress on the terahertz (THz) characterization of linear and nonlinear dielectrics for broadening their applications in different electrical devices. We begin with a discussion on the behavior of dielectrics over a broadband of frequencies and describe the main characteristics of ferroelectrics, as they are an important category of nonlinear dielectrics. We then move on to look at the influence of point defects, porosities, and interfaces, including grain boundaries and domain walls, on the dielectric properties at THz frequencies. Based on our studies on linear dielectrics, we show that THz characterization is able to probe the effect of porosities, point defects, shear planes, and grain boundaries to improve dielectric properties for telecommunication applications. Further, we demonstrate that THz measurements on relaxor ferroelectrics can be successfully used to study the reversibility of the electric field-induced phase transitions, providing guidance for improving their energy storage efficiency in capacitors. Finally, we show that THz characterization can be used to characterize the effect of domain walls in ferroelectrics. In particular, our studies indicate that the dipoles located within domain walls provide a lower contribution to the permittivity at THz frequencies than the dipoles present in domains. The new findings could help develop a new memory device based on nondestructive reading operations using a THz beam.
    • Terahertz probing of low temperature degradation in zirconia bio‐ceramics

      Ahmed, Shafique; Zhang, Man; orcid: 0000-0002-1094-7279; Koval, Vladimir; Zou, Lifong; Shen, Zhijian; Chen, Riqing; Yang, Bin; orcid: 0000-0001-5620-9506; Yan, Haixue (Wiley, 2021-09-19)