Table of contents

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Exploring the energy landscape p101


The search for emerging properties in far-from-equilibrium supramolecular systems is just beginning.

Can we be more social? p101


The social and economic issues surrounding nanotechnology should not be forgotten.


Research Highlights

Our choice from the recent literature p102



News and Views

Molecular histology: More than a picture pp103 - 104

Richard W. Vachet


A label-free mass spectrometry imaging method maps the locations of carbon nanomaterials injected into mice through the detection of small carbon clusters.

See also: Article by Chen et al.

Nitrogen–vacancy centres: Nanoscale MRI pp104 - 106

Vidya Praveen Bhallamudi & P. Chris Hammel


Sensitive measurement of nitrogen–vacancy centres close to the surface of diamond enables magnetic resonance imaging with a resolution of a few nanometres in ambient conditions.

See also: Letter by Rugar et al. | Letter by Häberle et al. | Letter by DeVience et al.

Piezoelectricity: Now in two dimensions pp106 - 107

Evan J. Reed


Single layers of molybdenum disulphide can exhibit piezoelectric effects.

See also: Letter by Zhu et al.

Nanostructured lasers: Electrons and holes get closer pp107 - 109

Chee-Keong Tan & Nelson Tansu


Nanowires that exhibit very sharp emission due to the formation of quantum states within them have been used to fabricate low threshold current lasers emitting ultraviolet light.

See also: Letter by Li et al.

Ferroelectric nanostructures: Domain walls in motion pp109 - 110

Jan Seidel


Voltage pulses can be used to controllably displace ferroelectric domain walls at the nanoscale.

See also: Letter by McGilly et al.



Supramolecular systems chemistry pp111 - 119

Elio Mattia & Sijbren Otto


The merging of supramolecular chemistry and systems chemistry is beginning to unveil the richness of emerging physicochemical properties attainable by exploiting far-from-equilibrium systems, as this Review explains.



Proton magnetic resonance imaging using a nitrogen–vacancy spin sensor pp120 - 124

D. Rugar, H. J. Mamin, M. H. Sherwood, M. Kim, C. T. Rettner, K. Ohno & D. D. Awschalom


Two-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging of hydrogen in organic samples with a resolution of 12 nm can be achieved by using the spin of a nitrogen–vacancy centre in diamond as a sensor.

See also: News and Views by Bhallamudi & Hammel

Nanoscale nuclear magnetic imaging with chemical contrast pp125 - 128

T. Häberle, D. Schmid-Lorch, F. Reinhard & J. Wrachtrup


A nitrogen–vacancy centre in diamond can be used as a probe in a scanning probe microscope to image different chemical species on various substrates.

See also: News and Views by Bhallamudi & Hammel

Nanoscale NMR spectroscopy and imaging of multiple nuclear species pp129 - 134

Stephen J. DeVience, Linh M. Pham, Igor Lovchinsky, Alexander O. Sushkov, Nir Bar-Gill, Chinmay Belthangady, Francesco Casola, Madeleine Corbett, Huiliang Zhang, Mikhail Lukin, Hongkun Park, Amir Yacoby & Ronald L. Walsworth


A nitrogen–vacancy centre in diamond can be used as a probe for nanoscale NMR and MRI of multiple nuclear species.

See also: News and Views by Bhallamudi & Hammel

Ultrafast electronic readout of diamond nitrogen–vacancy centres coupled to graphene pp135 - 139

Andreas Brenneis, Louis Gaudreau, Max Seifert, Helmut Karl, Martin S. Brandt, Hans Huebl, Jose A. Garrido, Frank H. L. Koppens & Alexander W. Holleitner


Excitation transfer between nitrogen–vacancy centres and graphene can be used to detect the spin of the electron in the nitrogen–vacancy centre through electrical measurements.

Ultralow-threshold electrically injected AlGaN nanowire ultraviolet lasers on Si operating at low temperature pp140 - 144

K. H. Li, X. Liu, Q. Wang, S. Zhao & Z. Mi


Anderson localization of light in AlGaN–GaN nanowires is exploited to fabricate ultraviolet laser arrays with a lasing threshold of only a few tens of amperes per centimetre squared at cryogenic temperature.

See also: News and Views by Tan & Tansu

Controlling domain wall motion in ferroelectric thin films pp145 - 150

L. J. McGilly, P. Yudin, L. Feigl, A. K. Tagantsev & N. Setter


The nucleation and position of multiple domain walls in thin films of Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 can be controlled by voltage pulses applied to a top Pt electrode.

See also: News and Views by Seidel

Observation of piezoelectricity in free-standing monolayer MoS2 pp151 - 155

Hanyu Zhu, Yuan Wang, Jun Xiao, Ming Liu, Shaomin Xiong, Zi Jing Wong, Ziliang Ye, Yu Ye, Xiaobo Yin & Xiang Zhang


Free-standing monolayers of MoS2 exhibit piezoelectric behaviour due to inversion symmetry breaking.

See also: News and Views by Reed

Molecular bandgap engineering of bottom-up synthesized graphene nanoribbon heterojunctions pp156 - 160

Yen-Chia Chen, Ting Cao, Chen Chen, Zahra Pedramrazi, Danny Haberer, Dimas G. de Oteyza, Felix R. Fischer, Steven G. Louie & Michael F. Crommie


Width-modulated heterostructures are created in graphene nanoribbons using a bottom-up approach, thus achieving molecular-scale bandgap engineering.

Macroscopic contraction of a gel induced by the integrated motion of light-driven molecular motors pp161 - 165

Quan Li, Gad Fuks, Emilie Moulin, Mounir Maaloum, Michel Rawiso, Igor Kulic, Justin T. Foy & Nicolas Giuseppone


The coordinated motion of molecular rotors embedded in a gel network causes the material to contract on constant irradiation.

Molecular wear of microtubules propelled by surface-adhered kinesins pp166 - 169

Emmanuel L. P. Dumont, Catherine Do & Henry Hess


Microtubules gliding across a surface coated with kinesin-1 motor proteins undergo wear; a process that energetic considerations suggest involves a molecule-by-molecule removal of tubulin proteins.



Non-blinking quantum dot with a plasmonic nanoshell resonator pp170 - 175

Botao Ji, Emerson Giovanelli, Benjamin Habert, Piernicola Spinicelli, Michel Nasilowski, Xiangzhen Xu, Nicolas Lequeux, Jean-Paul Hugonin, Francois Marquier, Jean-Jacques Greffet & Benoit Dubertret


Quantum dots encapsulated in a gold nanoshell provide a hybrid plasmonic–fluorescent emitter with increased stability against high power excitation or drastic changes in the environment.

Mass spectrometry imaging reveals the sub-organ distribution of carbon nanomaterials pp176 - 182

Suming Chen, Caiqiao Xiong, Huihui Liu, Qiongqiong Wan, Jian Hou, Qing He, Abraham Badu-Tawiah & Zongxiu Nie


Ionic species produced from carbon-based nanomaterials on exposure to an ultraviolet laser can be detected by the mass spectrometer, and these carbon cluster species are used to map and quantify the distribution of nanomaterials in mice.

See also: News and Views by Vachet


In The Classroom

Remodelling technology transfer p184

Emmanuel L. P. Dumont


Should inventors control the fate of their own inventions? In the US, most universities think not. But, as Emmanuel Dumont explains, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in New York City bets otherwise.


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