Materials science

  • Article |

    Preparing amorphous phases of carbon with mostly sp3 bonding in bulk is challenging, but macroscopic samples that are nearly pure sp3 are synthesized here by heating fullerenes at high pressure.

    • Yuchen Shang
    • , Zhaodong Liu
    •  & Bingbing Liu
  • Article |

    A study describes the synthesis, structural characterization and formation mechanism of a paracrystalline state of diamond, adding an unusual form of diamond to the family of carbon-based materials.

    • Hu Tang
    • , Xiaohong Yuan
    •  & Huiyang Gou
  • Article |

    A study demonstrates that a range of different behaviours—from reversible, through weeping, to explosive—can be exhibited by a chemically homogeneous ceramic system by manipulating conditions of compatibility in unusual ways.

    • Hanlin Gu
    • , Jascha Rohmer
    •  & Richard D. James
  • Article |

    An all-in-one methodology for fabricating soft robotics reported here uses interfacial flows in elastomers that cure to produce actuators that can be tailored to suit applications from artificial muscles to grippers.

    • Trevor J. Jones
    • , Etienne Jambon-Puillet
    •  & P.-T. Brun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Propene is obtained through propane dehydrogenation using catalysts that are toxic, expensive or demanding to regenerate with ecologically harmful compounds, but the ZnO-based alternative reported here is cheap, clean and scalable.

    • Dan Zhao
    • , Xinxin Tian
    •  & Evgenii V. Kondratenko
  • Article |

    Amorphous–amorphous phase transitions in silicon dioxide are shown to proceed through a sequence of percolation transitions, a process that has relevance to a range of important liquid and glassy systems.

    • A. Hasmy
    • , S. Ispas
    •  & B. Hehlen
  • Article |

    By coordinating copper ions with the oxygen-containing groups of cellulose nanofibrils, the molecular spacing in the nanofibrils is increased, allowing fast transport of lithium ions and offering hopes for solid-state batteries.

    • Chunpeng Yang
    • , Qisheng Wu
    •  & Liangbing Hu
  • Perspective |

    Computing approaches based on mechanical mechanisms are discussed, with a view towards a framework in which adaptable materials and structures act as a distributed information processing network.

    • Hiromi Yasuda
    • , Philip R. Buskohl
    •  & Jordan R. Raney
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Extremely anisotropic thermal conductors based on large-area van der Waals thin films with random interlayer rotations are reported here.

    • Shi En Kim
    • , Fauzia Mujid
    •  & Jiwoong Park
  • Article |

    Hollow colloidal capsules, each with a single micropore, act as artificial cell-like structures that can capture and release payloads such as solid particles or bacteria from the external environment.

    • Zhe Xu
    • , Theodore Hueckel
    •  & Stefano Sacanna
  • Review Article |

    This Review discusses the state of the art of interface optics—including refractive optics, meta-optics and moiré engineering—for the control of van der Waals polaritons.

    • Qing Zhang
    • , Guangwei Hu
    •  & Cheng-Wei Qiu
  • Article |

    Gold nanoflake pairs form by self-assembly in an aqueous ligand solution and offer stable and tunable microcavities by virtue of equilibrium between attractive Casimir forces and repulsive electrostatic forces.

    • Battulga Munkhbat
    • , Adriana Canales
    •  & Timur O. Shegai
  • Article |

    Multiple redox transitions in a molecular memristor can be harnessed as ‘decision trees’ to undertake complex and reconfigurable logic operations in a single time step.

    • Sreetosh Goswami
    • , Rajib Pramanick
    •  & R. Stanley Williams
  • Article |

    Restricting the initial growth temperatures used for chemical vapour deposition of graphene on metal foils produces optimum conditions for growing large areas of fold-free, single-crystal graphene.

    • Meihui Wang
    • , Ming Huang
    •  & Rodney S. Ruoff
  • Article |

    Rechargeable Na/Cl2 and Li/Cl2 batteries are produced with a microporous carbon positive electrode, aluminium chloride in thionyl chloride as the electrolyte, and either sodium or lithium as the negative electrode.

    • Guanzhou Zhu
    • , Xin Tian
    •  & Hongjie Dai
  • Article |

    Surface enhancements in glass mobility are complicated in polymers by the interplay of the surface mobile layer thickness with a second length scale (the size of the polymer chains), giving rise to a transient rubbery surface even in polymers with short chains.

    • Zhiwei Hao
    • , Asieh Ghanekarade
    •  & Biao Zuo
  • Article |

    Model patchy colloids with directional bonding are designed that assemble into icosahedral quasicrystals through the propagation of an icosahedral network of bonds and may be realized using DNA origami particles.

    • Eva G. Noya
    • , Chak Kui Wong
    •  & Jonathan P. K. Doye
  • Article |

    A structured fabric constructed of linked hollow polyhedral particles (resembling chain mail) can be simply and reversibly tuned between flexible and rigid states; when it is compressed, its linked particles become jammed.

    • Yifan Wang
    • , Liuchi Li
    •  & Chiara Daraio
  • Article |

    High-performance optoelectronic devices that operate in the infrared regime at room temperature exhibit wide-range, active and reversible tunability of the operating wavelengths with black phosphorus.

    • Hyungjin Kim
    • , Shiekh Zia Uddin
    •  & Ali Javey
  • Article |

    Flexible electronic platforms would enable the integration of functional electronic circuitry with many everyday objects; here, a low-cost and fully flexible 32-bit microprocessor is produced.

    • John Biggs
    • , James Myers
    •  & Scott White
  • Article |

    A large violation of the Pauli limit and re-entrant superconductivity in a magnetic field is reported for magic-angle twisted trilayer graphene, suggesting that the spin configuration of the superconducting state of this material is unlikely to consist of spin singlets.

    • Yuan Cao
    • , Jeong Min Park
    •  & Pablo Jarillo-Herrero
  • Article |

    High-performance hydrodynamic simulations show that the skeletal structure of the deep-sea sponge Euplectella aspergillum reduces the hydrodynamic stresses on it, while possibly being beneficial for feeding and reproduction.

    • Giacomo Falcucci
    • , Giorgio Amati
    •  & Sauro Succi
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective reviews the recent technical developments in the components of the fuel cell stack in proton-exchange membrane fuel cell vehicles and outlines the road towards large-scale commercialization of such vehicles.

    • Kui Jiao
    • , Jin Xuan
    •  & Michael D. Guiver
  • Article |

    Cellular fluidics provides a platform of unit-cell-based, three-dimensional structures for the deterministic control of multiphase flow, transport and reaction processes.

    • Nikola A. Dudukovic
    • , Erika J. Fong
    •  & Eric B. Duoss
  • Article |

    Fizeau drag of plasmon polaritons by an electron flow in strongly biased monolayer graphene is directly observed by exploiting the high electron mobility and slow plasmon propagation of Dirac electrons.

    • Wenyu Zhao
    • , Sihan Zhao
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Article |

    Direct infrared nano-imaging of plasmonic waves in graphene carrying high current density reveals the Fizeau drag of plasmon polaritons by fast-moving quasi-relativistic electrons.

    • Y. Dong
    • , L. Xiong
    •  & D. N. Basov
  • Article |

    The dynamics of ions within a working lithium-ion battery are examined using optical interferometric scattering microscopy, which allows ion transport to be related to phase transitions and microstructural features.

    • Alice J. Merryweather
    • , Christoph Schnedermann
    •  & Akshay Rao
  • Perspective |

    Inanimate matter is beginning to show some signs of basic intelligence—the ability to sense, actuate and use memory, as controlled by an internal communication network in functional materials.

    • C. Kaspar
    • , B. J. Ravoo
    •  & W. H. P. Pernice
  • Article |

    CO2 and ultraviolet light are used to initiate the p-type doping of spiro-OMeTAD:LiTFSI films, which show enhanced efficiencies when used as hole-transporting layers in solar cells and have shorter fabrication times compared with interlayers doped using conventional methods.

    • Jaemin Kong
    • , Yongwoo Shin
    •  & André D. Taylor
  • Article |

    Optical experiments on WSe2/MoSe2 heterobilayers reveal signatures of moiré trions, including interlayer emission with sharp lines and a complex charge-density dependence, features that differ markedly from those of conventional trions.

    • Erfu Liu
    • , Elyse Barré
    •  & Chun Hung Lui