Table of contents



Crystallizing glassy issues p541


Understanding the behaviour of metallic glasses requires answers to complex scientific questions, which are also critical for their successful commercialization.



New horizons for glass formation and stability pp542 - 546

A. Lindsay Greer


It has long been thought impossible for pure metals to form stable glasses. Recent work supports earlier evidence of glass formation in pure metals, shows the potential for devices based on rapid glass–crystal phase change, and highlights the lack of an adequate theory for fast crystal growth.

Tuning order in disorder pp547 - 552

Evan Ma


Recent research has revealed considerable diversity in the short-range ordering of metallic glass, identifying favoured and unfavoured local atomic configurations coexisting in an inhomogeneous amorphous structure. Tailoring the population of these local motifs may selectively enhance a desired property.



Is metallic glass poised to come of age? pp553 - 555

Interview with William L. Johnson


There have been a number of attempts to commercialize bulk metallic glass over the past 20 years. William L. Johnson, the Mettler Professor of Materials Science at California Institute of Technology, has been a prominent figure in these efforts and gives Nature Materials his perspective on the topic.


News and Views

Organic–inorganic perovskites: Lower threshold for nanowire lasers pp557 - 558

Anthony Fu & Peidong Yang


Hybrid perovskite is introduced as a new material for nanowire lasers. One-dimensional nanostructures of these perovskites can be optically pumped to lase with tunable wavelength at relatively low threshold, which marks a step towards their use in integrated photonics.

See also: Article by Zhu et al.

Implanted materials: Larger is stealthier pp558 - 559

Ruud A. Bank


Implanted spheres with a diameter larger than 1.5 mm escape fibrotic responses, thereby extending the survival time of the encapsulated therapeutic cells.

See also: Article by Veiseh et al.

Photovoltaics: Perovskite cells charge forward pp559 - 561

Martin A. Green & Thomas Bein


Now that certified energy conversion efficiencies for perovskite solar cells are above 20%, researchers are exploring other critical areas, such as understanding device hysteresis and film growth, as well as the replacement of lead and the development of tandem cell stacks. Cell stability remains a crucial issue.

Superconducting qubits: Solving a wonderful problem pp561 - 563

Simon Benjamin & Julian Kelly


Superconducting qubits are used to demonstrate features of quantum fault tolerance, making an important step towards the realization of a practical quantum machine.

Material witness: Pushing nanotubes to the limit p563

Philip Ball


2D semiconductors: One at a time p564

Maria Maragkou


Superconductivity: The persistence of pairs pp565 - 566

Alex Edelman & Peter Littlewood


Fingerprints of electron pairing in a range of temperature and magnetic field above the bulk superconducting phase transition have been found, which may be evidence for the long-sought 'preformed pairs' expected in strongly coupled or very dilute superconductors.



Photochemical transformations on plasmonic metal nanoparticles pp567 - 576

Suljo Linic, Umar Aslam, Calvin Boerigter & Matthew Morabito


Optically excited plasmonic nanoparticles can activate chemical reactions on their surfaces. The underlying physical mechanisms responsible for the chemical activity and advances in photocatalysis on plasmonic metallic nanostructures are discussed.



Spectroscopic evidence for negative electronic compressibility in a quasi-three-dimensional spin–orbit correlated metal pp577 - 582

Junfeng He, T. Hogan, Thomas R. Mion, H. Hafiz, Y. He, J. D. Denlinger, S-K. Mo, C. Dhital, X. Chen, Qisen Lin, Y. Zhang, M. Hashimoto, H. Pan, D. H. Lu, M. Arita, K. Shimada, R. S. Markiewicz, Z. Wang, K. Kempa, M. J. Naughton, A. Bansil, S. D. Wilson & Rui-Hua He


Electron filling causes a reduction of the chemical potential in (Sr1−x Lax)3Ir2O7, which suggests negative electronic compressibility. Studying the concomitant change of the bandgap provides insight into the physical mechanism behind this effect.

Solid friction between soft filaments pp583 - 588

Andrew Ward, Feodor Hilitski, Walter Schwenger, David Welch, A. W. C. Lau, Vincenzo Vitelli, L. Mahadevan & Zvonimir Dogic


Soft filamentous bundles, including F-actin, microtubules or bacterial flagella, can experience large frictional forces that scale logarithmically with sliding velocity, and such frictional coupling can be tuned by modifying lateral interfilament interactions.

Memoryless self-reinforcing directionality in endosomal active transport within living cells pp589 - 593

Kejia Chen, Bo Wang & Steve Granick


A general memoryless molecular mechanism explains the self-organization of Brownian-like steps into truncated Lévy walks in the classic system of intracellular trafficking.



In situ atomic-scale observation of twinning-dominated deformation in nanoscale body-centred cubic tungsten pp594 - 600

Jiangwei Wang, Zhi Zeng, Christopher R. Weinberger, Ze Zhang, Ting Zhu & Scott X. Mao


Little is known about the micromechanisms by which deformation twinning occurs in body-centred cubic crystals. An atomic-scale microscopy study now provides new insight, by the in situ testing of tungsten nanowires.

Phonon-induced diamagnetic force and its effect on the lattice thermal conductivity pp601 - 606

Hyungyu Jin, Oscar D. Restrepo, Nikolas Antolin, Stephen R. Boona, Wolfgang Windl, Roberto C. Myers & Joseph P. Heremans


The thermal conductivity of diamagnetic InSb decreases as a magnetic field is increased at low temperatures and is attributed to local dynamic diamagnetism, bringing forth evidence of the magnetic response of phonons.

Continuous control of the nonlinearity phase for harmonic generations pp607 - 612

Guixin Li, Shumei Chen, Nitipat Pholchai, Bernhard Reineke, Polis Wing Han Wong, Edwin Yue Bun Pun, Kok Wai Cheah, Thomas Zentgraf & Shuang Zhang


A concept for the phase control of the nonlinear susceptibility using the left- and right-circular polarization basis for fundamental and harmonic generated light is introduced and tested using metasurfaces containing plasmonic antennas.

Single-layer ionic conduction on carboxyl-terminated silane monolayers patterned by constructive lithography pp613 - 621

Jonathan Berson, Doron Burshtain, Assaf Zeira, Alexander Yoffe, Rivka Maoz & Jacob Sagiv


Local oxidation of the methyl groups of self-assembled silane monolayers into carboxylic acid functional groups allows the realization of solid ion-conducting channels, on top of which single layers of metal ions can drift when a voltage is applied.

Flexible n-type thermoelectric materials by organic intercalation of layered transition metal dichalcogenide TiS2 pp622 - 627

Chunlei Wan, Xiaokun Gu, Feng Dang, Tomohiro Itoh, Yifeng Wang, Hitoshi Sasaki, Mami Kondo, Kenji Koga, Kazuhisa Yabuki, G. Jeffrey Snyder, Ronggui Yang & Kunihito Koumoto


A flexible n-type material has been developed with a thermoelectric figure of merit of 0.28 at 373 K via the intercalation of organic cations between titanium disulphide monolayers.

Synthesis of ultrathin polymer insulating layers by initiated chemical vapour deposition for low-power soft electronics pp628 - 635

Hanul Moon, Hyejeong Seong, Woo Cheol Shin, Won-Tae Park, Mincheol Kim, Seungwon Lee, Jae Hoon Bong, Yong-Young Noh, Byung Jin Cho, Seunghyup Yoo & Sung Gap Im


Initiated chemical vapour deposition enables the conformal growth of ultrathin insulating polymer layers. These polymer films can be deposited on a broad range of materials used for organic and flexible electronics, including graphene.

Lead halide perovskite nanowire lasers with low lasing thresholds and high quality factors pp636 - 642

Haiming Zhu, Yongping Fu, Fei Meng, Xiaoxi Wu, Zizhou Gong, Qi Ding, Martin V. Gustafsson, M. Tuan Trinh, Song Jin & X-Y. Zhu


A surface-initiated solution growth method is used to synthesize single-crystal nanowires of organic–inorganic perovskite that show very low lasing threshold. Coating the nanowires with metallic films marginally affects the lasing performance.

See also: News and Views by Fu & Yang

Size- and shape-dependent foreign body immune response to materials implanted in rodents and non-human primates pp643 - 651

Omid Veiseh, Joshua C. Doloff, Minglin Ma, Arturo J. Vegas, Hok Hei Tam, Andrew R. Bader, Jie Li, Erin Langan, Jeffrey Wyckoff, Whitney S. Loo, Siddharth Jhunjhunwala, Alan Chiu, Sean Siebert, Katherine Tang, Jennifer Hollister-Lock, Stephanie Aresta-Dasilva, Matthew Bochenek, Joshua Mendoza-Elias, Yong Wang, Merigeng Qi, Danya M. Lavin, Michael Chen, Nimit Dholakia, Raj Thakrar, Igor Lacík, Gordon C. Weir, Jose Oberholzer, Dale L. Greiner, Robert Langer & Daniel G. Anderson


Implanted spheres of a broad variety of material classes significantly abrogate foreign body reactions and fibrosis in rodent and non-human primates when the spheres are larger than 1.5 mm in diameter.

See also: News and Views by Bank