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See detailDeliberate and Accidental Gas-Phase Alkali Doping of Chalcogenide Semiconductors: Cu(In,Ga)Se2
Colombara, Diego UL; Berner, Ulrich; Ciccioli, Andrea et al

in Scientific Reports (2017), 7

Alkali metal doping is essential to achieve highly efficient energy conversion in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe) solar cells. Doping is normally achieved through solid state reactions, but recent observations of ... [more ▼]

Alkali metal doping is essential to achieve highly efficient energy conversion in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe) solar cells. Doping is normally achieved through solid state reactions, but recent observations of gas phase alkali transport in the kesterite sulfide (Cu2ZnSnS4) system (re)open the way to a novel gas-phase doping strategy. However, the current understanding of gas-phase alkali transport is very limited. This work (i) shows that CIGSe device efficiency can be improved from 2% to 8% by gas-phase sodium incorporation alone, (ii) identifies the most likely routes for gas-phase alkali transport based on mass spectrometric studies, (iii) provides thermochemical computations to rationalize the observations and (iv) critically discusses the subject literature with the aim to better understand the chemical basis of the phenomenon. These results suggest that accidental alkali metal doping occurs all the time, that a controlled vapor pressure of alkali metal could be applied during growth to dope the semiconductor, and that it may have to be accounted for during the currently used solid state doping routes. It is concluded that alkali gas-phase transport occurs through a plurality of routes and cannot be attributed to one single source. [less ▲]

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See detailIn situ phenotypic heterogeneity among single cells of the filamentous bacterium Candidatus Microthrix parvicella
Sheik, Abdul UL; Muller, Emilie UL; Audinot, Jean-Nicolas et al

in ISME Journal (2015)

Microorganisms in biological wastewater treatment plants require adaptive strategies to deal with rapidly fluctuating environmental conditions. At the population level, the filamentous bacterium ... [more ▼]

Microorganisms in biological wastewater treatment plants require adaptive strategies to deal with rapidly fluctuating environmental conditions. At the population level, the filamentous bacterium Candidatus Microthrix parvicella (Ca. M. parvicella) has been found to fine-tune its gene expression for optimized substrate assimilation. Here we investigated in situ substrate assimilation by single cells of Ca. M. parvicella using nano-scale secondary-ion mass spectrometry (nanoSIMS). NanoSIMS imaging highlighted phenotypic heterogeneity among Ca. M. parvicella cells of the same filament, whereby 13C-oleic acid and 13C-glycerol-3-phosphate assimilation occurred in ≈21–55% of cells, despite non-assimilating cells being intact and alive. In response to alternating aerobic–anoxic regimes, 13C-oleic acid assimilation occurred among subpopulations of Ca. M. parvicella cells (≈3–28% of cells). Furthermore, Ca. M. parvicella cells exhibited two temperature optima for 13C-oleic acid assimilation and associated growth rates. These results suggest that phenotypic heterogeneity among Ca. M. parvicella cells allows the population to adapt rapidly to fluctuating environmental conditions facilitating its widespread occurrence in biological wastewater treatment plants. [less ▲]

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See detailIn situ single-cell investigations of substrate utilisation by Candidatus Microthrix parvicella
Sheik, Abdul UL; Muller, Emilie UL; Audinot, Jean-Nicolas et al

Poster (2014, October 16)

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See detailBet-hedging strategy for substrate usage among single cells of Candidatus Microthrix parvicella?
Sheik, Abdul UL; Muller, Emilie UL; Audinot, Jean-Nicolas et al

Scientific Conference (2014, September 29)

Detailed reference viewed: 166 (14 UL)