• Mohammad Kassem, Maria Bokova, Andrey S. Tverjanovich, Daniele Fontanari, David Le Coq, Anton Sokolov, Pascal Masselin, Shinji Kohara, Takeshi Usuki, Alex C. Hannon, Chris J. Benmore and Eugene Bychkov*, Bent HgI2 Molecules in the Melt and Sulfide Glasses: Implications for Nonlinear Optics, Chem. Mater. 2019. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b00860

    Nonlinear optical (NLO) crystals are widely used in advanced photonic technologies for second harmonic and difference frequency generation (SHG and DFG, respectively), producing coherent light at frequencies where existing lasers are unavailable. Isotropic glasses do not exhibit SHG or DFG, except temporarily induced anisotropy under external stimuli. However, recent reports on glasses with chiral structural motifs show promising permanent NLO properties. We propose an alternative solution: hybrid molecular/network glasses with noncentrosymmetric HgI2 monomers. Mercury(II) iodide consists of linear HgI2 triatomic molecules in the vapor phase and in the yellow orthorhombic polymorph stable above 400 K. At lower temperatures, the tetragonal red form is composed of corner-sharing HgI4/2 tetrahedra forming a layered extended framework...

  • Dan Wang, Lihui Xiao, Peixia Yang,* Zhengrui Xu, Xiangyu Lu, Lei Du,* Oleg Levin, Liping Ge, Xiaona Pan, Jinqiu Zhang and Maozhong An, Dual-nitrogen-source engineered Fe–Nx moieties as a booster for oxygen electroreduction, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, 7, 11007-11015. DOI: 10.1039/C9TA01953G

    Metal–air batteries, particularly Zn–air batteries, have triggered considerable enthusiasm of communities due to their high theoretical power density. Developing highly active, cost-effective and alternative non-precious metal catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is pivotal for popularizing zinc–air batteries. The rational design and synthesis of this type of catalyst are therefore critical, but it is still challenging to control the well-defined active sites as expected. Herein, we report a dual-nitrogen-source mediated route for synergistically controlling the formation of active Fe–Nx moieties that are embedded in the carbon matrix...

  • Maartje J.Levels, Cynthia M.Fehres, Lisa G.M. van Baarsen, Nathalie O.P. van Uden, Kristine Germar, Tom G.O'Toole, Iris C.J.Blijdorp, Johanna F.Semmelink, Marieke E.Doorenspleet, Arjen Q.Bakker, Mikhail Krasavin, Alexey Tomilin, Sophie Brouard, Hergen Spits, Dominique L.P.Baeten, Nataliya G.Yeremenko, BOB.1 controls memory B-cell fate in the germinal center reaction, J. Autoimmun. 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaut.2019.04.011

    During T cell-dependent (TD) germinal center (GC) responses, naïve B cells are instructed to differentiate towards GC B cells (GCBC), high-affinity long-lived plasma cells (LLPC) or memory B cells (Bmem). Alterations in the B cell-fate choice could contribute to immune dysregulation leading to the loss of self-tolerance and the initiation of autoimmune disease. Here we show that mRNA levels of the transcription regulator BOB.1 are increased in the lymph node compartment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a prototypical autoimmune disease caused by the loss of immunological tolerance. Investigating to what extent levels of BOB.1 impact B cells during TD immune responses we found that BOB.1 has a crucial role in determining the B cell-fate decision. High BOB.1 levels promote the generation of cells with phenotypic and functional characteristics of Bmem. Mechanistically, overexpression of BOB.1 drives ABF1 and suppresses BCL6, favouring Bmem over LLPC or recycling GCBC. Low levels of BOB.1 are sufficient for LLPC but not for Bmem differentiation...

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Mohammad Kassem, Maria Bokova, Andrey S. Tverjanovich, Daniele Fontanari, David Le Coq, Anton Sokolov, Pascal Masselin, Shinji Kohara, Takeshi Usuki, Alex C. Hannon, Chris J. Benmore and Eugene Bychkov*, Bent HgI2 Molecules in the Melt and Sulfide Glasses: Implications for Nonlinear Optics, Chem. Mater. 2019. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b00860

Abstract

Nonlinear optical (NLO) crystals are widely used in advanced photonic technologies for second harmonic and difference frequency generation (SHG and DFG, respectively), producing coherent light at frequencies where existing lasers are unavailable. Isotropic glasses do not exhibit SHG or DFG, except temporarily induced anisotropy under external stimuli. However, recent reports on glasses with chiral structural motifs show promising permanent NLO properties. We propose an alternative solution: hybrid molecular/network glasses with noncentrosymmetric HgI2 monomers. Mercury(II) iodide consists of linear HgI2 triatomic molecules in the vapor phase and in the yellow orthorhombic polymorph stable above 400 K. At lower temperatures, the tetragonal red form is composed of corner-sharing HgI4/2 tetrahedra forming a layered extended framework. There is a gap in the molecular evolution; direct structural measurements of the liquid HgI2 phase are missing. Using high-energy X-ray scattering, pulsed neutron diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy supported by structural and vibrational modeling, we show that the mercury(II) iodide melt and HgI2-containing sulfide glasses are built up by bent HgI2 monomers (the bond angle ∠I–Hg–I = 156 ± 2° in the melt). The noncentrosymmetric entities imply intrinsic optical nonlinearity of the second order, confirmed by a strong SHG response.


Dan Wang, Lihui Xiao, Peixia Yang,* Zhengrui Xu, Xiangyu Lu, Lei Du,* Oleg Levin, Liping Ge, Xiaona Pan, Jinqiu Zhang and Maozhong An, Dual-nitrogen-source engineered Fe–Nx moieties as a booster for oxygen electroreduction, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, 7, 11007-11015. DOI: 10.1039/C9TA01953G

Abstract

Metal–air batteries, particularly Zn–air batteries, have triggered considerable enthusiasm of communities due to their high theoretical power density. Developing highly active, cost-effective and alternative non-precious metal catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is pivotal for popularizing zinc–air batteries. The rational design and synthesis of this type of catalyst are therefore critical, but it is still challenging to control the well-defined active sites as expected. Herein, we report a dual-nitrogen-source mediated route for synergistically controlling the formation of active Fe–Nx moieties that are embedded in the carbon matrix. The facile control of coordination structures of precursors by this dual-nitrogen-source approach is revealed to play a key role in this report. Impressively, the optimized dual-nitrogen-source derived catalyst (i.e. Fe–N–C-800) exhibits prominently enhanced ORR activity with a half-wave potential of 0.883 V in alkaline electrolyte, higher by 32 mV and 72 mV than those derived from individual nitrogen sources, which is also further evaluated in primary Zn–air batteries. The enhanced ORR activity of Fe–N–C-800 is attributed to the rich Fe–Nx active sites derived from the dual-nitrogen-source approach.


Maartje J.Levels, Cynthia M.Fehres, Lisa G.M. van Baarsen, Nathalie O.P. van Uden, Kristine Germar, Tom G.O'Toole, Iris C.J.Blijdorp, Johanna F.Semmelink, Marieke E.Doorenspleet, Arjen Q.Bakker, Mikhail Krasavin, Alexey Tomilin, Sophie Brouard, Hergen Spits, Dominique L.P.Baeten, Nataliya G.Yeremenko, BOB.1 controls memory B-cell fate in the germinal center reaction, J. Autoimmun. 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaut.2019.04.011

Abstract

During T cell-dependent (TD) germinal center (GC) responses, naïve B cells are instructed to differentiate towards GC B cells (GCBC), high-affinity long-lived plasma cells (LLPC) or memory B cells (Bmem). Alterations in the B cell-fate choice could contribute to immune dysregulation leading to the loss of self-tolerance and the initiation of autoimmune disease. Here we show that mRNA levels of the transcription regulator BOB.1 are increased in the lymph node compartment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a prototypical autoimmune disease caused by the loss of immunological tolerance. Investigating to what extent levels of BOB.1 impact B cells during TD immune responses we found that BOB.1 has a crucial role in determining the B cell-fate decision. High BOB.1 levels promote the generation of cells with phenotypic and functional characteristics of Bmem. Mechanistically, overexpression of BOB.1 drives ABF1 and suppresses BCL6, favouring Bmem over LLPC or recycling GCBC. Low levels of BOB.1 are sufficient for LLPC but not for Bmem differentiation. Our findings demonstrate a novel role for BOB.1 in B cells during TD GC responses and suggest that its dysregulation may contribute to the pathogenesis of RA by disturbing the B cell-fate determination.