Latest Reviews

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Review Article |

    Heterostructuring and mixing of disparate materials provide new degrees of freedom to control carrier mobilities and exciton binding in solution-processed semiconductors. This Review highlights recent examples of heterostructured materials and devices, and examines the future direction of the field.

    • Oleksandr Voznyy
    • , Brandon R. Sutherland
    • , Alexander H. Ip
    • , David Zhitomirsky
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Review Article |

    Nanotheranostics are nanoscale agents with both therapeutic and diagnostic functions. Cancer nanotheranostics that can be used for characterizing individual tumours, understanding and predicting nanoparticle–tumour interactions, and tailoring nanomedicines for optimized treatment hold great potential to revolutionize drug research and development, and clinical oncology.

    • Hongmin Chen
    • , Weizhong Zhang
    • , Guizhi Zhu
    • , Jin Xie
    •  & Xiaoyuan Chen
  • Review Article |

    Nanodiagnostics is a rapidly emerging field that leverages advances in nanobiotechnology to better visualize and diagnose disease. In this Review, we provide an overview of several clinically relevant imaging modalities and discuss how nanodiagnostics are enhancing their use.

    • Seung-min Park
    • , Amin Aalipour
    • , Ophir Vermesh
    • , Jung Ho Yu
    •  & Sanjiv S. Gambhir
  • Review Article |

    Wearable electronic devices need to be flexible and breathable, as well as show high performance. In this Review, 1D energy harvesting and storage devices — in the form of fibre-based systems — are outlined, focusing on the interfaces in typical 1D configurations.

    • Hao Sun
    • , Ye Zhang
    • , Jing Zhang
    • , Xuemei Sun
    •  & Huisheng Peng
  • Review Article |

    In this Review, the interplay between materials and microfluidics is examined, with the discussion focused on how recent advances in materials fabrication have expanded the frontiers of microfluidic platforms and how the new microfluidic capabilities are, in turn, furthering materials design.

    • Xu Hou
    • , Yu Shrike Zhang
    • , Grissel Trujillo-de Santiago
    • , Mario Moisés Alvarez
    • , João Ribas
    • , Steven J. Jonas
    • , Paul S. Weiss
    • , Anne M. Andrews
    • , Joanna Aizenberg
    •  & Ali Khademhosseini
  • Review Article |

    Emerging materials and methods for fabricating 3D micro- and nanostructures provide powerful capabilities of relevance across diverse areas of technology. This Review highlights the latest results and future trends associated with the most powerful methods in 3D printing, folding and assembly.

    • Yihui Zhang
    • , Fan Zhang
    • , Zheng Yan
    • , Qiang Ma
    • , Xiuling Li
    • , Yonggang Huang
    •  & John A. Rogers
  • Review Article |

    Photonic metasurfaces can be used to control the polarization, phase and amplitude of light. Nonlinear metasurfaces enable giant nonlinear optical chirality, realization of the geometric Berry phase, wavefront engineering, and optical switching and modulation, and hold potential for on-chip applications.

    • Guixin Li
    • , Shuang Zhang
    •  & Thomas Zentgraf
  • Review Article |

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based approaches enable the characterization and manipulation of biological and synthetic biointerfaces, including tissues, cells, membranes, proteins, nucleic acid and functional materials. In this Review, the advantages and limitations of imaging, sensing, parameterizing and designing biointerfaces using AFM techniques are discussed.

    • David Alsteens
    • , Hermann E. Gaub
    • , Richard Newton
    • , Moritz Pfreundschuh
    • , Christoph Gerber
    •  & Daniel J. Müller
  • Review Article |

    Domains and domain walls are relevant for the engineering of materials functionalities. In this Review, a new classification scheme for topological domain configurations is presented and applied to several materials, including multiferroics, ferroelectrics, transition metal dichalcogenides and magnetic superconductors.

    • Fei-Ting Huang
    •  & Sang-Wook Cheong