Toxicity evaluation of boron nitride nanospheres and water-soluble boron nitride in Caenorhabditis elegans.
ABSTRACT: Boron nitride (BN) nanomaterials have been increasingly explored for potential biological applications. However, their toxicity remains poorly understood. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a whole-animal model for toxicity analysis of two representative types of BN nanomaterials - BN nanospheres (BNNSs) and highly water-soluble BN nanomaterial (named BN-800-2) - we found that BNNSs overall toxicity was less than soluble BN-800-2 with irregular shapes. The concentration thresholds for BNNSs and BN-800-2 were 100 µg·mL-1 and 10 µg·mL-1, respectively. Above this concentration, both delayed growth, decreased life span, reduced progeny, retarded locomotion behavior, and changed the expression of phenotype-related genes to various extents. BNNSs and BN-800-2 increased oxidative stress levels in C. elegans by promoting reactive oxygen species production. Our results further showed that oxidative stress response and MAPK signaling-related genes, such as GAS1, SOD2, SOD3, MEK1, and PMK1, might be key factors for reactive oxygen species production and toxic responses to BNNSs and BN-800-2 exposure. Together, our results suggest that when concentrations are lower than 10 µg·mL-1, BNNSs are more biocompatible than BN-800-2 and are potentially biocompatible material.
Project description:A strategy was reported to prepare boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) by a molten hydroxide assisted liquid exfoliation from hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) powder. BNNSs with an average thickness of 3?nm were obtained by a facile, low-cost, and scalable exfoliation method. Highly thermally conductive polyimide (PI) composite films with BNNSs filler were prepared by solution-casting process. The in-plane thermal conductivity of PI composite films with 7?wt% BNNSs is up to 2.95?W/mK, which increased by 1,080% compared to the neat PI. In contrast, the out-of plane thermal conductivity of the composites is 0.44?W/mK, with an increase by only 76%. The high anisotropy of thermal conductivity was verified to be due to the high alignment of the BNNSs. The PI/BNNSs composite films are attractive for the thermal management applications in the field of next-generation electronic devices.
Project description:Within the context of emergent researches linked to graphene, it is well known that h-BN nanosheets (BNNSs), also referred as 2D BN, are considered as the best candidate for replacing SiO2 as dielectric support or capping layers for graphene. As a consequence, the development of a novel alternative source for highly crystallized h-BN crystals, suitable for a further exfoliation, is a prime scientific issue. This paper proposes a promising approach to synthesize pure and well-crystallized h-BN flakes, which can be easily exfoliated into BNNSs. This new accessible production process represents a relevant alternative source of supply in response to the increasing need of high quality BNNSs. The synthesis strategy to prepare pure h-BN is based on a unique combination of the Polymer Derived Ceramics (PDCs) route with the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) process. Through a multi-scale chemical and structural investigation, it is clearly shown that obtained flakes are large (up to 30??m), defect-free and well crystallized, which are key-characteristics for a subsequent exfoliation into relevant BNNSs.
Project description:We report the studies of (1) the basic mechanism underlying the formation of defect-free, single crystalline boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) synthesized using pulsed laser plasma deposition (PLPD) technique, (2) the variation in the crystalline structure at the edges of the hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheets, and (3) the basic electrical properties related to the BNNSs tunneling effect and electrical breakdown voltage. The nanoscale morphologies of BNNSs are characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The results show that each sample consisted of a number of transparent BNNSs that partially overlapped one another. Varying the deposition duration yielded different thicknesses of sample but did not affect the morphology, structure, and thickness of individual BNNSs pieces. Analysis of the SEM and HRTEM data revealed changes in the spatial period of the B3-N3 hexagonal structures and the interlayer distance at the edge of the BNNSs, which occurred due to the limited number of atomic layers and was confirmed further by x-ray diffraction (XRD) study. The experimental results clearly indicate that the values of the electrical conductivities of the super-thin BNNSs and the effect of temperature relied strongly on the direction of observation.
Project description:Carbon coated boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs@C) hybrids with different carbon contents were synthesized by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. The content of carbon in as-obtained BNNSs@C hybrids could be precisely adjusted from 2.50% to 22.62% by controlling the carbon deposition time during the CVD procedure. Afterward, the BNNSs@C hybrids were subsequently incorporated into the polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) matrix to fabricate the BNNSs@C/PVDF nanocomposites through a combination of solution and melting blending methods. The dielectric properties of the as-obtained BNNSs@C/PVDF nanocomposites could be accurately tuned by adjusting the carbon content. The resultant nanocomposites could afford a high dielectric constant about 39 (10³ Hz) at BNNSs@C hybrids loading of 30 vol %, which is 4.8 times larger than that of pristine BNNSs-filled ones at the same filler loading, and 3.5 times higher than that of pure PVDF matrix. The largely enhanced dielectric performance could be ascribed to the improved interfacial polarizations of BNNSs/carbon and carbon/PVDF interfaces. The approach reported here offers an effective and alternative method to fabricate high-performance dielectric nanocomposites, which could be potentially applied to the embedded capacitors with high dielectric performance.
Project description:Atomically thin hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is often regarded as an elastic film that is impermeable to gases. The high stabilities in thermal and chemical properties allow h-BN to serve as a gas barrier under extreme conditions. Here, we demonstrate the isolation of hydrogen in bubbles of h-BN via plasma treatment. Detailed characterizations reveal that the substrates do not show chemical change after treatment. The bubbles are found to withstand thermal treatment in air, even at 800 °C. Scanning transmission electron microscopy investigation shows that the h-BN multilayer has a unique aligned porous stacking nature, which is essential for the character of being transparent to atomic hydrogen but impermeable to hydrogen molecules. In addition, we successfully demonstrated the extraction of hydrogen gases from gaseous compounds or mixtures containing hydrogen element. The successful production of hydrogen bubbles on h-BN flakes has potential for further application in nano/micro-electromechanical systems and hydrogen storage.
Project description:Atomically thin boron nitride (BN) nanosheets are important two-dimensional nanomaterials with many unique properties distinct from those of graphene, but investigation into their mechanical properties remains incomplete. Here we report that high-quality single-crystalline mono- and few-layer BN nanosheets are one of the strongest electrically insulating materials. More intriguingly, few-layer BN shows mechanical behaviours quite different from those of few-layer graphene under indentation. In striking contrast to graphene, whose strength decreases by more than 30% when the number of layers increases from 1 to 8, the mechanical strength of BN nanosheets is not sensitive to increasing thickness. We attribute this difference to the distinct interlayer interactions and hence sliding tendencies in these two materials under indentation. The significantly better interlayer integrity of BN nanosheets makes them a more attractive candidate than graphene for several applications, for example, as mechanical reinforcements.
Project description:Residual antibiotics in water have become a primary source of water pollution due to their misuse. Recently, membranes, produced by layered nanomaterials such as graphene oxide (GO), boron nitride (BN) and transition metal dichalcogenides, have been used in water purification, desalination and molecule separation as they are energy saving and simple to operate. The performance of membranes is closely related to their structure and the properties of the nanomaterials used. In this work, BN nanosheets (BNNSs) and GO were used to fabricate a two-dimensional nanocomposite membrane in order to improve the membrane's permeance. It should be mentioned that the corresponding equal mass of the pure GO membrane was almost impermeable for the antibiotic solution. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were inserted into the GO layers to increase the interlayer spacing and adsorb more antibiotics from the water. The resultant MWCNTs/BNNSs/GO membranes showed improved permeance and stable sieving capability for the antibiotic and small species. Specifically, permeance reached 30.2 L m-2 h-1 bar-1, which was much higher than pure GO membrane and the antibiotic rejection was 96.1%.
Project description:Hexagonal boron nitride (BN), an effective diffusion material for mass transport, was functionalized with molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and Au nanoparticles (Au NPs). Then, the working electrodes with developed nanomaterials were applied to construct an electrochemical paraquat sensor. BN was prepared using a solid-state synthesis method combined with solvent-cutting. The electrochemical properties of the BN/MoS2/Au NP-based glassy carbon electrode (GCE) were investigated using differential pulse voltammetry and cyclic voltammetry. An excellent response signal to paraquat was found from 0.1 to 100 ?M with a limit of detection of 0.074 ?M, and it had acceptable reproducibility (relative standard deviation = 2.99%, n = 5) and good anti-interference ability. The modified GCE showed superior performance owing to the synergistic effects among all three given nanomaterials. With the proposed method, paraquat in grass samples from an orchard was then investigated. The results of the electrochemical analysis agreed with those of experiments and obtained a 96.28% confidence level via high-performance liquid chromatography, exhibiting relatively high stability. Therefore, the fabricated sensor can be a candidate for the determination of paraquat.
Project description:Although tailored wet ball milling can be an efficient method to produce a large quantity of two-dimensional nanomaterials, such as boron nitride (BN) nanosheets, milling parameters including milling speed, ball-to-powder ratio, milling ball size and milling agent, are important for optimization of exfoliation efficiency and production yield. In this report, we systematically investigate the effects of different milling parameters on the production of BN nanosheets with benzyl benzoate being used as the milling agent. It is found that small balls of 0.1-0.2 mm in diameter are much more effective in exfoliating BN particles to BN nanosheets. Under the optimum condition, the production yield can be as high as 13.8% and the BN nanosheets are 0.5-1.5 ?m in diameter and a few nanometers thick and of relative high crystallinity and chemical purity. The lubrication properties of the BN nanosheets in base oil have also been studied. The tribological tests show that the BN nanosheets can greatly reduce the friction coefficient and wear scar diameter of the base oil.
Project description:One of the low-dimensional Boron Nitride (BN) forms, namely, cubic-BN (c-BN) nanodots (NDs), offers a variety of novel opportunities in battery, biology, deep ultraviolet light emitting diodes, sensors, filters, and other optoelectronic applications. To date, the attempts towards producing c-BN NDs were mainly performed under extreme high-temperature/high-pressure conditions and resulted in c-BN NDs with micrometer sizes, mixture of different BN phases, and containing process-related impurities/contaminants. To enhance device performance for those applications by taking advantage of size effect, pure, sub-100 nm c-BN NDs are necessary. In this paper, we report self-assembled growth of c-BN NDs on cobalt and nickel substrates by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. It is found that the nucleation, formation, and morphological properties of c-BN NDs can be closely correlated with the nature of substrate including catalysis effect, lattice-mismatch-induced strain, and roughness, and growth conditions, in particular, growth time and growth temperature. The mean lateral size of c-BN NDs on cobalt scales from 175?nm to 77?nm with the growth time. The growth mechanism of c-BN NDs on metal substrates is concluded to be Volmer-Weber (VW) mode. A simplified two-dimensional numerical modeling shows that the elastic strain energy plays a key role in determining the total formation energy of c-BN NDs on metals.