Table of contents

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Embracing the organics world p591


Mature fabrication technologies and a healthy research and development environment promise a glowing future for organic semiconductors.



Measuring internal quantum efficiency to demonstrate hot exciton dissociation p593

Ardalan Armin, Yuliang Zhang, Paul L. Burn, Paul Meredith & Almantas Pivrikas


See also: Correspondence by Grancini et al.

Reply to 'Measuring internal quantum efficiency to demonstrate hot exciton dissociation' pp594 - 595

G. Grancini, M. Binda, L. Criante, S. Perissinotto, M. Maiuri, D. Fazzi, A. Petrozza, H-J. Egelhaaf, D. Brida, G. Cerullo & G. Lanzani


See also: Correspondence by Scharber | Correspondence by Armin et al.


News and Views

Organic light-emitting diodes: Bright design pp597 - 598

Chris Groves


In all likelihood, cheap and bright white organic light-emitting diodes will someday light up our homes. Three-dimensional models can now simulate the dynamics of charges and excitons governing the operation of these light sources and predict their performance with molecular precision.

See also: Article by Mesta et al.

Organic semiconductors: Made to order pp598 - 600

Antonio Facchetti


Fabricating thin films of organic semiconductors that have molecular order across large areas has proved challenging. Now, three complementary approaches — molecular design, fluid-flow control and the use of nucleating agents — offer unprecedented opportunities for next-generation optoelectronic applications.

See also: Article by Diao et al. | Letter by Treat et al. | Article by Kim et al.

Superconductivity: Fewer atoms, more information pp600 - 601

Sergey Borisenko


A complete understanding of the mechanism underpinning high-temperature superconductivity is notoriously elusive. The growing body of evidence suggesting that monolayer iron selenide superconducts up to 65 K indicates it may become an ideal model system for testing theoretical ideas.

See also: Letter by He et al. | Article by Tan et al.

Material witness: Nano contraception p602

Philip Ball


Ferroelectric tunnel junctions: Beyond the barrier pp602 - 604

E. Y. Tsymbal & A. Gruverman


Employing a semiconducting electrode in a ferroelectric tunnel junction boosts the resistance switching effect.

See also: Letter by Wen et al.



Phase diagram and electronic indication of high-temperature superconductivity at 65K in single-layer FeSe films pp605 - 610

Shaolong He, Junfeng He, Wenhao Zhang, Lin Zhao, Defa Liu, Xu Liu, Daixiang Mou, Yun-Bo Ou, Qing-Yan Wang, Zhi Li, Lili Wang, Yingying Peng, Yan Liu, Chaoyu Chen, Li Yu, Guodong Liu, Xiaoli Dong, Jun Zhang, Chuangtian Chen, Zuyan Xu, Xi Chen, Xucun Ma, Qikun Xue & X. J. Zhou


The unconventional superconductivity associated with iron pnictide materials has been the subject of intense interest. Using an annealing procedure to control the charge-carrier concentration, the behaviour of an FeSe monolayer deposited on SrTiO3 is now investigated, and indications of superconductivity at temperatures up to 65K observed.

Subject term: Superconductors

See also: Article by Tan et al. | News and Views by Borisenko

Current-driven dynamics of chiral ferromagnetic domain walls pp611 - 616

Satoru Emori, Uwe Bauer, Sung-Min Ahn, Eduardo Martinez & Geoffrey S. D. Beach


Controlling the direction of propagation of domain walls in magnetic nanowires is essential for their use in proposed device applications. It is now shown that Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interactions determine the chirality of domain walls in metallic ferromagnets placed between a heavy metal and an oxide, which in turn means the direction of propagation can be determined by choosing suitable material properties.

Ferroelectric-field-effect-enhanced electroresistance in metal/ferroelectric/semiconductor tunnel junctions pp617 - 621

Zheng Wen, Chen Li, Di Wu, Aidong Li & Naiben Ming


A ferroelectric tunnelling heterostructure is presented in which both the height and the width of the tunnelling barrier can be electrically modulated, leading to a greatly enhanced tunnelling electroresistance. In Pt/BaTiO3/Nb:SrTiO3 heterostructures, an ON/OFF conductance ratio that is about an order of magnitude greater than those reported in normal ferroelectric tunnelling junctions, is demonstrated at room temperature.

See also: News and Views by Tsymbal & Gruverman

Solution-processed organic spin–charge converter pp622 - 627

Kazuya Ando, Shun Watanabe, Sebastian Mooser, Eiji Saitoh & Henning Sirringhaus


The conversion of a spin current into an electric signal is known as the inverse spin Hall effect, and is expected to enable the full potential of spintronic devices to be realized. Although the effect has been extensively studied in inorganic metals and semiconductors, it is now shown also to occur in a solution-processed organic polymer placed in proximity to a magnetic insulator.

Subject terms: Colloids | Molecular electronics

Microstructure formation in molecular and polymer semiconductors assisted by nucleation agents pp628 - 633

Neil D. Treat, Jennifer A. Nekuda Malik, Obadiah Reid, Liyang Yu, Christopher G. Shuttle, Garry Rumbles, Craig J. Hawker, Michael L. Chabinyc, Paul Smith & Natalie Stingelin


Difficulties in controlling the nucleation and growth of thin films of organic semiconductors have impaired progress in organic electronics. Now, efficient control of the crystallite nucleation and microstructure of a broad range of organic semiconductors without detriment to their electronic properties has been achieved through the addition of small quantities of additives—a widely used strategy in bulk polymer crystallization.

See also: News and Views by Facchetti



Interface-induced superconductivity and strain-dependent spin density waves in FeSe/SrTiO3 thin films pp634 - 640

Shiyong Tan, Yan Zhang, Miao Xia, Zirong Ye, Fei Chen, Xin Xie, Rui Peng, Difei Xu, Qin Fan, Haichao Xu, Juan Jiang, Tong Zhang, Xinchun Lai, Tao Xiang, Jiangping Hu, Binping Xie & Donglai Feng


Iron pnictide superconductors represent a suggestive alternative to cuprate superconductors for achieving high transition temperatures. Using in situ angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, the electronic properties of FeSe are examined as a function of film thickness, providing valuable insights into the mechanism driving the superconductivity in this material.

See also: Letter by He et al. | News and Views by Borisenko

Crafting the magnonic and spintronic response of BiFeO3 films by epitaxial strain pp641 - 646

D. Sando, A. Agbelele, D. Rahmedov, J. Liu, P. Rovillain, C. Toulouse, I. C. Infante, A. P. Pyatakov, S. Fusil, E. Jacquet, C. Carrétéro, C. Deranlot, S. Lisenkov, D. Wang, J-M. Le Breton, M. Cazayous, A. Sacuto, J. Juraszek, A. K. Zvezdin, L. Bellaiche, B. Dkhil, A. Barthélémy & M. Bibes


The ferroelectric properties of BiFeO3 have been the subject of extensive study. Using a range of experimental tools and numerical modelling, it is now shown that its ferroic properties can also be manipulated by strain effects, giving rise to a variety of magnonic phenomena.

Subject terms: Electronic materials | Magnetic materials

Proton trapping in yttrium-doped barium zirconate pp647 - 651

Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Frédéric Blanc, Yuji Okuyama, Lucienne Buannic, Juan C. Lucio-Vega, Clare P. Grey & Sossina M. Haile


Although high proton conductivity and chemical stability in yttrium-doped barium zirconate are of interest for intermediate-temperature solid-oxide fuel cells, there are remaining issues regarding its defect chemistry and macroscopic proton-transport mechanism. Proton transport in this compound is shown to be limited by proton–dopant association, and the presence of two types of proton environment above room temperature are observed, reflecting differences in proton–dopant configurations.

Molecular-scale simulation of electroluminescence in a multilayer white organic light-emitting diode pp652 - 658

Murat Mesta, Marco Carvelli, Rein J. de Vries, Harm van Eersel, Jeroen J. M. van der Holst, Matthias Schober, Mauro Furno, Björn Lüssem, Karl Leo, Peter Loebl, Reinder Coehoorn & Peter A. Bobbert


The variety of electronic processes occurring within an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) make the prediction of their emission characteristics problematic. It is now shown that all the relevant processes occurring in a stacked OLED can be modelled down to the molecular scale, in turn leading to accurate emission profiles.

Subject terms: Optical, photonic and optoelectronic materials | Computation, modelling and theory

See also: News and Views by Groves

A molecular design principle of lyotropic liquid-crystalline conjugated polymers with directed alignment capability for plastic electronics pp659 - 664

Bong-Gi Kim, Eun Jeong Jeong, Jong Won Chung, Sungbaek Seo, Bonwon Koo & Jinsang Kim


The molecular alignment and order of conjugated polymers within organic electronic devices is an important consideration for the enhancement of device performance. Now, some design rules are revealed that promote the directed alignment of the polymers and result in the fabrication of well-aligned films with highly anisotropic carrier mobilities.

Subject terms: Liquid crystals | Polymers | Electronic materials | Molecular electronics

See also: News and Views by Facchetti

Solution coating of large-area organic semiconductor thin films with aligned single-crystalline domains pp665 - 671

Ying Diao, Benjamin C-K. Tee, Gaurav Giri, Jie Xu, Do Hwan Kim, Hector A. Becerril, Randall M. Stoltenberg, Tae Hoon Lee, Gi Xue, Stefan C. B. Mannsfeld & Zhenan Bao


Solution printing of organic semiconductors could in principle be scaled to industrial needs, yet attaining aligned single-crystals directly with this method has been challenging. By using a micropillar-patterned printing blade designed to enhance the control of crystal nucleation and growth, thin films of macroscopic, highly aligned single crystals of organic semiconductors can now be fabricated.

See also: News and Views by Facchetti

A transparent organic transistor structure for bidirectional stimulation and recording of primary neurons pp672 - 680

Valentina Benfenati, Stefano Toffanin, Simone Bonetti, Guido Turatti, Assunta Pistone, Michela Chiappalone, Anna Sagnella, Andrea Stefani, Gianluca Generali, Giampiero Ruani, Davide Saguatti, Roberto Zamboni & Michele Muccini


A transparent organic field-effect transistor allows the stimulation and recording of the bioelectrical activity of primary neural cells. The cells grow, differentiate and function on the device, which then provides the electrical stimulation, and enables the recording of extracellular current and optical imaging of the modulation of neuronal membrane potential.

Subject terms: Biomedical materials | Molecular electronics | Sensors and biosensors