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Showing: 1–25 of 49

  1. Printable elastic conductors by in situ formation of silver nanoparticles from silver flakes

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    Printing and heating of a fluorinated elastomer mixed with silver flakes, a fluorine surfactant and methylisobutylketone leads to the formation of in situ silver nanoparticles, which boost the conductivity of this highly stretchable composite material.

  2. Photoelectrochemical water splitting in separate oxygen and hydrogen cells

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    Solar water splitting is promising for hydrogen production and solar energy storage, but for large-scale utilization cost must be reduced. A membrane-free approach in separate oxygen and hydrogen cells brings water splitting closer to applications.

  3. The rise of graphene

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    Graphene is a rapidly rising star on the horizon of materials science and condensed-matter physics. This strictly two-dimensional material exhibits exceptionally high crystal and electronic quality, and, despite its short history, has already revealed a cornucopia of new physics and potential applications, which are briefly discussed here. Whereas one can be certain of the realness of applications only when commercial products appear, graphene no longer requires any further proof of its importance in terms of fundamental physics. Owing to its unusual electronic spectrum, graphene has led to the emergence of a new paradigm of 'relativistic' condensed-matter physics, where quantum relativistic phenomena, some of which are unobservable in high-energy physics, can now be mimicked and tested in table-top experiments. More generally, graphene represents a conceptually new class of materials that are only one atom thick, and, on this basis, offers new inroads into low-dimensional physics that has never ceased to surprise and continues to provide a fertile ground for applications.

  4. A metal-free polymeric photocatalyst for hydrogen production from water under visible light

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    Hydrogen generated from splitting water using a catalyst and solar energy is an ideal energy source. A polymeric carbon nitride photocatalyst that is thermally and chemically stable is now shown to produce hydrogen from water even in the absence of noble metal catalysts.

  5. Dynamic chemical expansion of thin-film non-stoichiometric oxides at extreme temperatures

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    Designing stable mechanical actuators and sensors for applications in extreme environments is difficult. A high-temperature and low-voltage electromechanical oxide actuator based on PrxCe1−xO2−δ and exhibiting dynamic chemical expansion is now reported.

  6. Unravelling surface and interfacial structures of a metal–organic framework by transmission electron microscopy

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    The operational conditions used for electron microscopy can limit the insight that can be gained from fragile material samples. It is shown here how high-resolution TEM analysis of delicate MOFs can be achieved.

  7. Pursuing prosthetic electronic skin

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    This Review discusses the materials and electronic requirements for flexible sensors and electronic systems to mimic the mechanical and sensing properties of natural skin, with the goal of providing artificial prostheses with sensing capabilities.

  8. Synthesis of Ti3AuC2, Ti3Au2C2 and Ti3IrC2 by noble metal substitution reaction in Ti3SiC2 for high-temperature-stable Ohmic contacts to SiC

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    Substitution of Si with Au and Ir in Ti3SiC2 through a solid-state diffusion process allows the synthesis of Ti3AuC2, Ti3Au2C2 and Ti3IrC2 phases able to form Ohmic contacts with SiC stable at high temperatures under ambient air conditions.

  9. Graded bandgap perovskite solar cells

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    The use of monolayers of hexagonal boron nitride as the cationic diffusion barrier and graphene aerogel mixed with spiro-OMeTAD as the hole transport layer allows the fabrication of graded bandgap perovskite solar cells with high efficiency.

  10. Solvent engineering for high-performance inorganic–organic hybrid perovskite solar cells

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    The performance of solar cells based on organic–inorganic perovskites strongly depends on the device architecture and processing conditions. It is now shown that solvent engineering enables the deposition of very dense perovskite layers on mesoporous titania, leading to photovoltaic devices with a high light-conversion efficiency and no hysteresis.

  11. Materials for electrochemical capacitors

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    Electrochemical capacitors, also called supercapacitors, store energy using either ion adsorption (electrochemical double layer capacitors) or fast surface redox reactions (pseudo-capacitors). They can complement or replace batteries in electrical energy storage and harvesting applications, when high power delivery or uptake is needed. A notable improvement in performance has been achieved through recent advances in understanding charge storage mechanisms and the development of advanced nanostructured materials. The discovery that ion desolvation occurs in pores smaller than the solvated ions has led to higher capacitance for electrochemical double layer capacitors using carbon electrodes with subnanometre pores, and opened the door to designing high-energy density devices using a variety of electrolytes. Combination of pseudo-capacitive nanomaterials, including oxides, nitrides and polymers, with the latest generation of nanostructured lithium electrodes has brought the energy density of electrochemical capacitors closer to that of batteries. The use of carbon nanotubes has further advanced micro-electrochemical capacitors, enabling flexible and adaptable devices to be made. Mathematical modelling and simulation will be the key to success in designing tomorrow's high-energy and high-power devices.

  12. Direct 3D mapping of the Fermi surface and Fermi velocity

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    Time-of-flight momentum microscopy is developed. It enables direct three-dimensional mapping of the topology of the Fermi surface, identification of electron and hole pockets, and quantification of Fermi velocity as a function of wavevector.

  13. Negating interfacial impedance in garnet-based solid-state Li metal batteries

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    Garnet-type electrolytes are attractive for lithium metal batteries due to their high ionic conductivity. A strategy to decrease interfacial impedance between a lithium metal anode and garnet electrolyte is found promising for all-solid-state batteries.

  14. Tuning crystallization pathways through sequence engineering of biomimetic polymers

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    AFM measurements of peptoids assembling into sheets and networks show that the crystallization mechanism is determined by the molecular structure, where the addition of a hydrophobic segment alters the crystal formation process into a two-step pathway.

  15. Nanoscale capillary freezing of ionic liquids confined between metallic interfaces and the role of electronic screening

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    Ionic liquids are important for energy storage and lubrication but their behaviour at electrified interfaces remains elusive. Confined ionic liquids are now shown to exhibit a dramatic change to a solid-like phase pointing to capillary freezing.

  16. Selective nitrogen capture by porous hybrid materials containing accessible transition metal ion sites

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    Mesoporous metal–organic frameworks containing unsaturated Cr(III) sites are able to thermodynamically and selectively capture nitrogen from mixtures with oxygen and methane.