Table of contents

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Silence of science p997


Scotland's independence debate saw too many scientists absent from the public square.


News and Views

Metal nanocrystals: Deforming like liquid droplets pp999 - 1000

Claude R. Henry


Metallic nanocrystals can be deformed pseudoelastically at room temperature without generating dislocations.

See also: Letter by Sun et al.

Electron microscopy: Shape of a crystal from one image pp1000 - 1001

Leslie J. Allen


Aberration-corrected electron microscopes are now being exploited to achieve quantitative atomic-resolution information about surface morphology from a single image.

See also: Article by Jia et al.

Triplet excitons: Bringing dark states to light pp1001 - 1003

Christopher J. Bardeen


Semiconducting quantum dots have been used to harvest triplet excitons produced through singlet fission in organic semiconductors. These hybrid organic–inorganic materials may boost the efficiency of solar cells.

See also: Article by Tabachnyk et al. | Article by Thompson et al.

Material witness: Beyond the crystal p1003

Philip Ball


Active matter: Playful topology pp1004 - 1005

Julia M. Yeomans


The combination of topological constraints and deformability in an active system of microtubules and molecular motors leads to rich dynamic behaviour.



Liquid-like pseudoelasticity of sub-10-nm crystalline silver particles pp1007 - 1012

Jun Sun, Longbing He, Yu-Chieh Lo, Tao Xu, Hengchang Bi, Litao Sun, Ze Zhang, Scott X. Mao & Ju Li


Crystalline silver nanoparticles can be deformed at room temperature and without generating dislocations through the diffusion of surface atoms, as high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and atomistic simulations show.

See also: News and Views by Henry

Redox shuttle mechanism enhances photocatalytic H2 generation on Ni-decorated CdS nanorods pp1013 - 1018

Thomas Simon, Nicolas Bouchonville, Maximilian J. Berr, Aleksandar Vaneski, Asmir Adrović, David Volbers, Regina Wyrwich, Markus Döblinger, Andrei S. Susha, Andrey L. Rogach, Frank Jäckel, Jacek K. Stolarczyk & Jochen Feldmann


Photocatalytic efficiency can be limited by slow transfer of photoexcited holes and high charge recombination rates. Using a hydroxyl anion–radical redox couple leads to enhanced photocatalytic H2 generation on Ni-decorated CdS nanorods.



Direct observation of ferroelectric field effect and vacancy-controlled screening at the BiFeO3/LaxSr1xMnO3 interface pp1019 - 1025

Young-Min Kim, Anna Morozovska, Eugene Eliseev, Mark P. Oxley, Rohan Mishra, Sverre M. Selbach, Tor Grande, S. T. Pantelides, Sergei V. Kalinin & Albina Y. Borisevich


A combination of microscopy and spectroscopy techniques are used to directly observe a ferroelectric field effect and screening by oxygen vacancies at the BiFeO3/LaxSr1−xMnO3 interface.

Topologically protected excitons in porphyrin thin films pp1026 - 1032

Joel Yuen-Zhou, Semion K. Saikin, Norman Y. Yao & Alán Aspuru-Guzik


Exciton transport in organic materials is negatively affected by molecular disorder. It is now theoretically shown that metalloporphyrin layers support topological edge states that allow exciton currents even in disordered molecular lattices.

Resonant energy transfer of triplet excitons from pentacene to PbSe nanocrystals pp1033 - 1038

Maxim Tabachnyk, Bruno Ehrler, Simon Gélinas, Marcus L. Böhm, Brian J. Walker, Kevin P. Musselman, Neil C. Greenham, Richard H. Friend & Akshay Rao


Triplet excitons generated in a pentacene layer by singlet exciton fission are transferred to lead selenide colloidal nanocrystals with high efficiency when their energy matches the bandgap of the nanocrystals.

See also: Article by Thompson et al. | News and Views by Bardeen

Energy harvesting of non-emissive triplet excitons in tetracene by emissive PbS nanocrystals pp1039 - 1043

Nicholas J. Thompson, Mark W. B. Wilson, Daniel N. Congreve, Patrick R. Brown, Jennifer M. Scherer, Thomas S. Bischof, Mengfei Wu, Nadav Geva, Matthew Welborn, Troy Van Voorhis, Vladimir Bulović, Moungi G. Bawendi & Marc A. Baldo


Lead sulphide colloidal nanocrystals are now used to harvest non-emissive triplet excitons generated in a tetracene layer. Depending on the length of the ligands capping the nanocrystals, exciton transfer efficiency as high as 90% can be achieved.

See also: Article by Tabachnyk et al. | News and Views by Bardeen

Determination of the 3D shape of a nanoscale crystal with atomic resolution from a single image pp1044 - 1049

C. L. Jia, S. B. Mi, J. Barthel, D. W. Wang, R. E. Dunin-Borkowski, K. W. Urban & A. Thust


The three-dimensional atomic structure of a thin MgO crystal is reconstructed from one high-resolution transmission electron microscopy image.

See also: News and Views by Allen

Atomic structure and dynamic behaviour of truly one-dimensional ionic chains inside carbon nanotubes pp1050 - 1054

Ryosuke Senga, Hannu-Pekka Komsa, Zheng Liu, Kaori Hirose-Takai, Arkady V. Krasheninnikov & Kazu Suenaga


Successful synthesis of stable one-dimensional ionic crystals composed of two atomic species and encapsulated in carbon nanotubes is now demonstrated.

Direct correlation of single-molecule properties with bulk mechanical performance for the biomimetic design of polymers pp1055 - 1062

Jaeyoon Chung, Aaron M. Kushner, Adam C. Weisman & Zhibin Guan


Single-molecule force spectroscopy is used to correlate the single-molecule nanomechanical properties of a biomimetic polymer with the bulk mechanical performance of the material by means of the derivation of the potential energy landscape.

Collective and individual migration following the epithelial–mesenchymal transition pp1063 - 1071

Ian Y. Wong, Sarah Javaid, Elisabeth A. Wong, Sinem Perk, Daniel A. Haber, Mehmet Toner & Daniel Irimia


Malignant cells in tumours invade surrounding tissues. Single-cell-resolution measurements of the migration—through micropillar arrays—of a cell population following the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition show intriguing emergent dynamics.