Browse Articles

  • Review Article |

    The discovery of new thermoelectric materials is challenging owing to the diversity of the chemical space and to the serial nature of experimental work. This Review highlights the recent progress in computationally guided discovery of thermoelectric materials and identifies the key outstanding challenges.

    • Prashun Gorai
    • , Vladan Stevanović
    •  & Eric S. Toberer
  • Review Article |

    Graphene and its macroscopic assemblies and composites are currently enabling a range of high-performance ‘smart’ materials that are responsive to various stimuli. In this Review, different graphene-based smart materials are described, along with their potential applications in actuators, chemical or strain sensors, self-healing materials, photothermal therapy and controlled drug delivery.

    • Xiaowen Yu
    • , Huhu Cheng
    • , Miao Zhang
    • , Yang Zhao
    • , Liangti Qu
    •  & Gaoquan Shi
  • Review Article |

    Overall water splitting using powdered photocatalysts is a promising approach to large-scale solar hydrogen production. This Review details recent developments in particulate photocatalysts for overall water splitting based on one- and two-step photoexcitation systems.

    • Shanshan Chen
    • , Tsuyoshi Takata
    •  & Kazunari Domen
  • Review Article |

    Low-bandgap (<1.6 eV) polymers enable polymer solar cells to form effective tandem structures for harvesting near-infrared solar energy as well as reducing thermal loss. This Review summarizes recent progress and provides a perspective on various low-bandgap polymer-containing tandem solar cells; namely, pure polymer–polymer tandem, hybrid polymer–amorphous silicon tandem and unconventional perovskite–polymer tandem solar cells.

    • Gang Li
    • , Wei-Hsuan Chang
    •  & Yang Yang
  • Review Article |

    This Review details the structural and chemical features of state-of-the-art metal–organic frameworks for their application in the entire carbon cycle of capturing, purifying and transforming CO2 into valuable products.

    • Christopher A. Trickett
    • , Aasif Helal
    • , Bassem A. Al-Maythalony
    • , Zain H. Yamani
    • , Kyle E. Cordova
    •  & Omar M. Yaghi
  • Review Article |

    The field of active matter studies how internally driven motile components self-organize into large-scale dynamical states and patterns. This Review discusses how active matter concepts are important for understanding cell biology, and how the use of biochemical components enables the creation of new inherently non-equilibrium materials with unique properties that have so far been mostly restricted to living organisms.

    • Daniel Needleman
    •  & Zvonimir Dogic
  • Review Article |

    Asymmetric chiroplasmonic structures comprising nanoparticles or nanorods can be assembled using DNA scaffolds by a range of methods. In this Review, these assembly methods, the chiroplasmonic properties of static and dynamically reconfigurable systems, theoretical modelling of the chiroplasmonic structures, their applications for sensing and information processing, and future perspectives are discussed.

    • Alessandro Cecconello
    • , Lucas V. Besteiro
    • , Alexander O. Govorov
    •  & Itamar Willner
  • Comment |

    Wood has great potential as a building material, because it is strong and lightweight, environmentally friendly and can be used in prefabricated buildings. However, only changes in building codes will make wood competitive with steel and concrete.

    • Guido Wimmers
  • Review Article |

    The discovery of nanoporous materials is now being propelled by the analysis of big data combined with traditional computational thermodynamics calculations. In this Review, we analyse the current state of the art, with a focus on the generation of computational databases and results from large-scale screening for gas separations.

    • Peter G. Boyd
    • , Yongjin Lee
    •  & Berend Smit
  • Review Article |

    Studying nature to reveal the mechanisms of special wetting phenomena in biological systems can effectively inspire the design and fabrication of functional interfacial materials with superwettability. In this Review, the historical development, new phenomena and emerging applications of superwettability systems are discussed.

    • Mingjie Liu
    • , Shutao Wang
    •  & Lei Jiang
  • Review Article |

    Two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) exhibit attractive electronic and mechanical properties. In this Review, the charge density wave, superconductive and topological phases of TMCDs are discussed, along with their synthesis and applications in devices with enhanced mobility and with the use of strain engineering to improve their properties.

    • Sajedeh Manzeli
    • , Dmitry Ovchinnikov
    • , Diego Pasquier
    • , Oleg V. Yazyev
    •  & Andras Kis
  • Review Article |

    Magnetic skyrmions are topologically protected spin whirls that hold promise for applications because they can be controllably moved, created and annihilated. In this Review, the underlying physics of the stabilization of skyrmions at room temperature and their prospective use for spintronic applications are discussed.

    • Albert Fert
    • , Nicolas Reyren
    •  & Vincent Cros
  • Comment |

    The first race involving molecular ‘cars’ stimulated technical advances in scanning tunnelling microscopy and provided insights in surface science and synthetic chemistry — it also attracted wide interest from the public.

    • Gwénaël Rapenne
    •  & Christian Joachim
  • Review Article |

    Carbon nitrides are potentially cheap and metal-free alternatives for catalysts, semiconductors, battery materials and memory devices. In this Review, we discuss the synthesis, design and morphology of these materials, and reflect on the ability of methods such as templating, etching, dye sensitization, heteroatom doping and co-polymerization, as well as the assembly of various heterojunctions, to improve device performance.

    • Fabian K. Kessler
    • , Yun Zheng
    • , Dana Schwarz
    • , Christoph Merschjann
    • , Wolfgang Schnick
    • , Xinchen Wang
    •  & Michael J. Bojdys