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Showing: 1–25 of 50

  1. Valley magnetoelectricity in single-layer MoS2

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    Valley magnetization in single-layer MoS2 is demonstrated by breaking the three-fold rotational symmetry via uniaxial stress. The results are consistent with a theoretical model of valley magnetoelectricity driven by Berry curvature effects.

  2. Excitation-wavelength-dependent small polaron trapping of photoexcited carriers in α-Fe2O3

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    The effect of polaron formation on photoconversion efficiency for oxide photocatalysts is not well known. Femtosecond extreme-ultraviolet measurements suggest that polaron localization is responsible for ultrafast trapping of photoexcited carriers in haematite.

  3. Dynamic surface self-reconstruction is the key of highly active perovskite nano-electrocatalysts for water splitting

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    The development of robust and active anode materials for oxygen evolution reaction is challenging. Perovskite nanocatalysts with high mass activity towards water splitting and electronic structures changing drastically during operando conditions are reported.

  4. Intrinsically patterned two-dimensional materials for selective adsorption of molecules and nanoclusters

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    PtSe2 and CuSe monolayers obtained by selenization of a metal substrate are shown to intrinsically form periodic patterns by varying the amount of Se atoms deposited. These patterns are used for the localized absorption of molecules and nanoclusters.

  5. The MOF-driven synthesis of supported palladium clusters with catalytic activity for carbene-mediated chemistry

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    Mixed-valence clusters of Pd4 organized within a metal–organic framework exhibit robust catalytic capacities during carbene-mediated chemical reactions.

  6. Playing with defects in metals

    Xiuyan Li and K. Lu discuss a strategy, alternative to alloying, to tailor the mechanical properties of metals. By engineering defects, metals with bespoke performance might be obtained while reducing the materials' compositional complexity.
  7. 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.

  8. Electrochemical strain microscopy probes morphology-induced variations in ion uptake and performance in organic electrochemical transistors

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    Electrochemical strain microscopy reveals the interconnection between ion uptake and nanoscale variations of morphology in organic semiconductor films. Such changes locally affect the operation regime of organic transistors exposed to electrolytes.

  9. 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.

  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. Universal quinone electrodes for long cycle life aqueous rechargeable batteries

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    Aqueous rechargeable batteries are promising for grid storage and electric vehicles, but they suffer from poor cycle life due to anode instability. Exploiting stable ion-coordination charge storage and chemical inertness towards aqueous electrolytes, quinones are now reported as stable anodes.

  12. 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.

  13. Biomimetic 4D printing

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    Printed hydrogel composites with plant-inspired architectures dynamically change shape on immersion in water to yield prescribed complex morphologies.

  14. A sustainable material world

    By considering the environmental impact of materials through their whole life cycle, materials scientists can help develop more sustainable alternatives.
  15. 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.

  16. Stimuli-responsive nanocarriers for drug delivery

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    Nanoscale materials that deliver drugs in response to specific stimuli offer enhanced control of the drugs' release profile and distribution. This Review provides a comprehensive discussion of progress during the past five years in the design of nanoscale systems that can respond to exogenous stimuli such as temperature or variations in light or magnetic-field intensities, or to endogenous stimuli such as redox gradients or changes in pH or enzyme concentration.

  17. An intrinsic growth instability in isotropic materials leads to quasi-two-dimensional nanoplatelets

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    Quasi-two-dimensional CdSe nanoplatelets are shown to grow in concentrated solvent-free melts, without mixed surfactants. A model explaining such results proposes that nanoscale instability triggers anisotropic growth of isotropic materials.

  18. The role of graphene for electrochemical energy storage

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    Graphene is potentially attractive for electrochemical energy storage devices but whether it will lead to real technological progress is still unclear. Recent applications of graphene in battery technology and electrochemical capacitors are now assessed critically.