Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer).
Surfaces, interfaces and thin films are planar structures that occur on the boundary of a material or at the junction between two different media. The physics of these systems is often heavily influenced by their two-dimensional nature.
Hydrogenated amorphous carbon is a promising solid lubricant, but the underlying mechanisms surrounding its superlubricity remain unclear. Here the authors reveal that the attainment of a superlubricious state is dependent on the in-situin-situ formation of a nanostructured tribolayer through different carbon rehybridization pathways.
The control over the crystallographic orientation at functional oxide interfaces is crucial to the performance of oxide-based electronics. Here, Zhou et al. provide a detailed insight into the thermodynamic and kinetic process of nucleation-mediated crystal growth at the ZnO and MgO interface.
The microstate of geometrically frustrated two-dimensional arrays of strongly interacting nanomagnets is controlled by means of topological defect-driven magnetic writing, to the extent that elusive configurations such as the ground state and negative-temperature states are realized.
The first race involving molecular ‘cars’ stimulated technical advances in scanning tunnelling microscopy and provided insights in surface science and synthetic chemistry — it also attracted wide interest from the public.