Browse Articles

  • Review Article |

    Shape-memory materials can generate programmable movements triggered by an external stimulus, such as an environmental change. In this Review, the authors discuss mechanisms, fabrication schemes, characterization methods and applications of the one-way shape-memory effect enabling shape recovery and of reversible shape-memory effects exhibiting actuation behaviour.

    • Andreas Lendlein
    •  & Oliver E. C. Gould
  • Review Article |

    Man-made fibrillar hydrogels mimic the structure of filamentous extracellular matrices and can be used as biomaterials for 3D cell culture and tissue engineering. In this Review, the authors discuss the design and properties of fibrillar hydrogels and explore different building blocks, assembly mechanisms, properties and applications.

    • Elisabeth Prince
    •  & Eugenia Kumacheva
  • Review Article |

    Chalcogenide phase-change materials (PCMs) are leading candidates for non-volatile memory and neuro-inspired computing devices. This Review focuses on the crystallization mechanisms of PCMs as well as the design principles to achieve PCMs with high switching speeds and good data retention, which will aid the development of PCM-based universal memory and neuro-inspired devices.

    • Wei Zhang
    • , Riccardo Mazzarello
    • , Matthias Wuttig
    •  & Evan Ma
  • Review Article |

    Liquid cell electron microscopy provides a unique combination of spatial and temporal resolution, which is useful for imaging static and dynamic processes in liquids. In this Review, we discuss the resolution expected when imaging liquid specimens in transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy and consider the benefits of spherical and chromatic aberration for resolution, image interpretability and dose efficiency.

    • Niels de Jonge
    • , Lothar Houben
    • , Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
    •  & Frances M. Ross
  • Review Article |

    3D electrodes with interconnected and interpenetrating pathways enable efficient electron and ion transport. In this Review, the design and synthesis of such 3D electrodes are discussed, along with their ability to address charge transport limitations at high areal mass loading and to enable composite electrodes with an unprecedented combination of energy and power densities in electrochemical energy storage devices.

    • Hongtao Sun
    • , Jian Zhu
    • , Daniel Baumann
    • , Lele Peng
    • , Yuxi Xu
    • , Imran Shakir
    • , Yu Huang
    •  & Xiangfeng Duan
  • Review Article |

    Ingestible electronics can be used as clinical tools for diagnosis and therapy. In this Review, the authors discuss clinical applications of ingestible electronic devices and highlight materials and sensor technologies, drug delivery applications and major challenges and opportunities for clinical translation, such as safety, powering and communication.

    • Christoph Steiger
    • , Alex Abramson
    • , Phillip Nadeau
    • , Anantha P. Chandrakasan
    • , Robert Langer
    •  & Giovanni Traverso
  • Review Article |

    The dynamics of epithelial tissues play a key role in tissue organization, both in health and disease. In this Review, the authors discuss materials and techniques for the study of epithelial movement and mechanics and investigate epithelia as active matter from a theoretical and experimental perspective.

    • Wang Xi
    • , Thuan Beng Saw
    • , Delphine Delacour
    • , Chwee Teck Lim
    •  & Benoit Ladoux
  • Review Article |

    Holographic duality establishes a connection between quantum gravity and strongly correlated many-body systems, providing a unique opportunity to study quantum black holes in the laboratory. In this Review, Sachdev–Ye–Kitaev models, which illustrate this duality, are discussed, along with their potential realization in ultracold gases, graphene, semiconducting nanowires and 3D topological insulators.

    • Marcel Franz
    •  & Moshe Rozali
  • Review Article |

    Combining low-dimensional and 3D perovskites is a promising approach to achieve stable and efficient solar cells. In this Review, we discuss the structural, optical and photophysical properties of low-dimensional perovskites, compare the stability and efficiency of 2D and 3D perovskite devices, and consider 2D/3D composites as a strategy to increase the stability of perovskite solar cells.

    • Giulia Grancini
    •  & Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin
  • Review Article |

    Inorganic semiconductor devices enable the formation of functional interfaces with cells and tissues to detect or provide physical stimuli. In this Review, inorganic semiconductor materials are discussed for electronic and optoelectronic sensing, optoelectronic and photothermal stimulation and photoluminescent in vivo imaging.

    • Yuanwen Jiang
    •  & Bozhi Tian
  • Review Article |

    Sound waves can be manipulated using structurally designed 2D materials of subwavelength thickness. This emerging field, namely, acoustic metasurfaces, is driven by the desire to control acoustic wave propagation using compact devices.

    • Badreddine Assouar
    • , Bin Liang
    • , Ying Wu
    • , Yong Li
    • , Jian-Chun Cheng
    •  & Yun Jing
  • Review Article |

    Cells can be transplanted into the body to both repair injured or diseased tissue and restore tissue function. This Review discusses how biomaterial design strategies can be used to improve cell survival, influence the fate of transplanted cells, and favourably manipulate the host microenvironment and the immune system.

    • Nikolaos Mitrousis
    • , Ana Fokina
    •  & Molly S. Shoichet
  • Review Article |

    Graphene-integrated photonics is a platform for wafer-scale manufacturing of modulators, detectors and switches for next-generation datacom and telecom systems. This Review describes how these functions can be achieved with graphene layers placed on top of optical waveguides, acting as passive light guides, thus simplifying the current technology. In addition, a roadmap of the technological requirements for the datacom and telecom markets is presented.

    • Marco Romagnoli
    • , Vito Sorianello
    • , Michele Midrio
    • , Frank H. L. Koppens
    • , Cedric Huyghebaert
    • , Daniel Neumaier
    • , Paola Galli
    • , Wolfgang Templ
    • , Antonio D’Errico
    •  & Andrea C. Ferrari
  • Review Article |

    A responsive material in the form of a polymer or hydrogel can be combined with a signal transduction element in the form of plasmonic particles, resulting in hybrid plasmonic polymer nanocomposites. In this Review, the fabrication and applications of such nanocomposites are discussed. The applications described focus on optical data storage, sensing and imaging and the use of photothermal gels for in vivo therapy.

    • Isabel Pastoriza-Santos
    • , Calum Kinnear
    • , Jorge Pérez-Juste
    • , Paul Mulvaney
    •  & Luis M. Liz-Marzán
  • Review Article |

    This Review discusses how biomaterials can be used to recreate and understand the influence of specific tumour microenvironment properties on cancer progression and highlights materials-based strategies to capture, detect and assess metastatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

    • Pranjali Beri
    • , Bibiana F. Matte
    • , Laurent Fattet
    • , Daehwan Kim
    • , Jing Yang
    •  & Adam J. Engler
  • Editorial |

    Synchrotron radiation has revolutionized our ability to probe and understand the intrinsic properties of materials. A new generation of synchrotron facilities and techniques is emerging, extending our capabilities in materials characterization.

  • Review Article |

    Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) is a powerful experimental technique that can directly visualize electronic structures of materials. In this Review, the basic principles of ARPES are introduced, and its application to quantum materials, with a focus on topological quantum materials and transition metal dichalcogenides, is discussed.

    • Haifeng Yang
    • , Aiji Liang
    • , Cheng Chen
    • , Chaofan Zhang
    • , Niels B. M. Schroeter
    •  & Yulin Chen
  • In the Classroom |

    Combining data from neutron and X-ray techniques can reveal previously unseen details within fossilized remains. Interpretation of vast amounts of data by students speeds up the gathering of information and engages young scientists in the discovery process.

    • Joseph J. Bevitt
  • Review Article |

    The past four decades have seen breathtaking developments in techniques and applications using synchrotron radiation for the characterization of heterogeneous catalysts and catalytic processes. In this Review, we discuss recent advances, focusing on spatial and temporal explorations of the solid catalyst.

    • Florian Meirer
    •  & Bert M. Weckhuysen
  • Review Article |

    Photon spectroscopies provide insight into a wide range of materials. In this Review, theoretical and computational efforts to understand, simulate and predict the results of photon spectroscopies are assessed for systems both in and out of equilibrium, with a focus on advances that reveal information about correlated materials.

    • Yao Wang
    • , Martin Claassen
    • , Chaitanya Das Pemmaraju
    • , Chunjing Jia
    • , Brian Moritz
    •  & Thomas P. Devereaux
  • Comment |

    X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) are revolutionizing our ability to measure and understand the behaviour of complex materials. A new generation of XFELs is imminent, offering new approaches to materials characterization.

    • Mike Dunne
  • Comment |

    An intergovernmental research facility in Jordan — SESAME — opened its doors in 2017 to researchers from the neighbouring region. A year later, the first experiments by users are revealing how the possibilities for scientific research in the region have increased, bringing the promise for rapid development and the initiation of new collaborations.

    • Rolf Heuer
    •  & James Gillies
  • Review Article |

    Interactions of nanoparticles with the kidneys affect their transport, clearance, targeting, therapeutic efficacy and biosafety in the body. This Review discusses nano–bio interactions of nanoparticles in the kidneys and highlights their potential for the detection and treatment of disease.

    • Bujie Du
    • , Mengxiao Yu
    •  & Jie Zheng
  • Feature |

    The new European Spallation Source (ESS) and the MAX IV synchrotron in Sweden form the next European hub for accelerator-based research. Following visits to these centres, and participating in the Big Science Business Forum 2018 (BSBF2018) in Copenhagen, the future of European X-ray and neutron beamlines is explored.

    • Christine-Maria Horejs
  • Review Article |

    Organ-on-a-chip devices can recreate key aspects of human physiology in vitro, offering an alternative to animal models for preclinical drug testing. This Review examines how tissue barrier properties, parenchymal tissue function and multi-organ interactions can be recreated in organ-on-a-chip systems and applied for drug screening.

    • Boyang Zhang
    • , Anastasia Korolj
    • , Benjamin Fook Lun Lai
    •  & Milica Radisic
  • Review Article |

    Heusler compounds, Weyl semimetals and the Berry phase are three current research fields of great interest. In this Review, we discuss the connection between the Berry phase and Weyl physics in the context of highly tunable Heusler compounds.

    • Kaustuv Manna
    • , Yan Sun
    • , Lukas Muechler
    • , Jürgen Kübler
    •  & Claudia Felser
  • Comment |

    To protect our cultural heritage, it is essential that we understand the material properties of artefacts. Detailed information can be obtained on complex and often highly degraded materials using synchrotron X-ray analysis, aiding our ability to design effective stabilization and remediation strategies.

    • Eleanor J. Schofield
  • Review Article |

    Nanoplasmonics have emerged as a promising technology for applications in life sciences and medicine. In this Review, we discuss the application of nanoplasmonic optical antennas for in vivo intracellular exploration, photonic gene delivery and regulation, and in vitro molecular diagnostics.

    • Hongbao Xin
    • , Bumseok Namgung
    •  & Luke P. Lee
  • Review Article |

    The stress that a material can sustain before fracture increases as the sample size decreases. This size effect is associated with the defects present in a material. In this Review, we explore this size effect in micro- and nanoscale materials from experimental and theoretical perspectives.

    • Alessandro Taloni
    • , Michele Vodret
    • , Giulio Costantini
    •  & Stefano Zapperi
  • Review Article |

    Point defects have a key role in determining the performance of photovoltaic materials. In this Review, we assess defect processes in a range of photovoltaic materials and outline how point defect engineering could be used to improve the efficiency of solar cells.

    • Ji Sang Park
    • , Sunghyun Kim
    • , Zijuan Xie
    •  & Aron Walsh