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  • Inspired by the anti-stone phenomenon of normal renal tubule, we report that superhydrophilic nanohair hydrogel coating shows high anti-adhesion against mineral scales under flowing conditions. The experiment and theory simulation reveal the crucial role of superhydrophilicity and fluid-assisted motion of nanohair in the anti-scale property. Even at a high temperature of 80 °C, it still shows high anti-scale performance, which is much better than the flat hydrogel coating and commercial water pipe with polyvinylchloride surface. This study may provide a promising clue to design high anti-adhesion coatings for resisting mineral scales attachment in water management systems.

    • Tianzhan Zhang
    • Yuefeng Wang
    • Shutao Wang
    Original Article Open Access
  • Smart surface with tunable properties is vital for modern intelligent applications. Here we demonstrate a novel surface that enables fast surface changing based on a bioinspired micro-air-sacs network. The pneumatic smart surface allows for rapid and large-amplitude topography deformation through pneumatic control, and permits dynamic wettability switching between dominant and latent states. A smart surface with contrastive rose-petal-like and lotus-leaf-like wetting characters is presented and utilized as a droplet manipulator for in situ capture and release of water droplets on demand.

    • Jian-Nan Wang
    • Yu-Qing Liu
    • Hong-Bo Sun
    Original Article Open Access
  • We introduce a mechanism that can result in metallicity at stoichiometric interphase boundaries between semiconductors, based on the idea of polar catastrophe induced by charge density discontinuity. As an example, we demonstrate metallicity at the stoichiometric (110) interphase boundary of the semiconductors SnO and SnO2. The proposed mechanism is of general validity and expected to have an important role at interphase boundaries between polar materials.

    • Arwa Albar
    • Hassan Ali Tahini
    • Udo Schwingenschlögl
    Original Article Open Access
  • Quasi-free-standing trilayer graphene with ABA or ABC stacking was selectively synthesized on hydrogen-terminated silicon carbide. The electronic structure was investigated by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. While ABA graphene exhibits a massless Dirac-cone-like band at the K point in the Brillouin zone, ABC graphene was found to show a parabolic non-Dirac-like band. The present success in selective fabrication of ABA and ABC graphene would open a pathway toward graphene-based nano electronic devices with variable layer number and stacking sequence such as high-speed transistor and photodetector.

    • Katsuaki Sugawara
    • Norifumi Yamamura
    • Takashi Takahashi
    Original Article Open Access
  • NaCl-assisted APCVD technique to synthesize multi-stacked MoS2 crystals with different stacking orientations and shape has been developed. We found that the stacking orientation of multi-stacked MoS2 crystals shows the underlying variation in the crystalline phases, symmetry inversion, spin–orbit coupling and interlayer interactions through intensive optical study based on Raman spectroscopy, PL spectroscopy and nonlinear technique of FWM correlated SHG imaging technique. Our study based on the crystals with different shape and multiple stacking configurations provide a new avenue for the possibilities of future optoelectronic devices.

    • Sachin M Shinde
    • Krishna P Dhakal
    • Jong-Hyun Ahn
    Original Article Open Access
  • The built Cu2S/MnSe heterostructures belong to a novel type of Chern insulators, owning unique half-metallic chiral edge states and a very high Fermi velocity (0.87 × 106 m s−1). The full spin-polarization of the edge states is found to be robust against the tuning of chemical potential. This heterostructure has quadratic bands with normal band order, that is, the p/d-like band is below the s-like band. Charge transfer between the Cu2S and the substrate causes the variation of the occupied bands, which together with the spin–orbit coupling triggers the exotic topological state in the system.

    • Yang Xue
    • Bao Zhao
    • Zhongqin Yang
    Original Article Open Access
  • Using functionalized particles for treatment of cancer is advantageous because they can access remote parts of the body and is minimally invasive. However, current chemical and biological methods still face challenges. A novel approach that uses the physical force of stimuli-responsive hydrogels is introduced. Temperature-responsive hydrogels were coated with cell-adherent molecules. After attaching cancer cells on its surface and changing the temperature, the force of the expanding stimuli-responsive hydrogel ruptures the cells. Comparing to other chemical and biological methods, this physical approach may be conceptually simpler, technically easier to implement, and more general for different types of cancer cells.

    • Yan Fang
    • Jiajun Tan
    • Siowling Soh
    Original Article Open Access
  • Chiral magnetic domain-wall (DW) speed variation is investigated. We demonstrate that the symmetric contribution in the DW speed attributes to the chiral DW energy density. Next, by deducing this symmetric contribution, the additional asymmetry was extracted. The extracted additional asymmetry exhibits truly antisymmetric nature and is governed by DW chirality. Moreover, this antisymmetry (additional asymmetry) changes overall DW speed more than a factor of 100 to the extent of dominating the symmetric contribution. These findings not only provide the artifact-free Dyzaloshinskii–Moriya interaction measurement scheme, but also contribute to the investigation of the origin of the additional asymmetry.

    • Dae-Yun Kim
    • Min-Ho Park
    • Sug-Bong Choe
    Original Article Open Access
  • Gyroid-structured Au periodic metallic materials were fabricated by an electroless deposition method. By controlling the deposition time, we successfully acquired 3D-distributed hotspots of high density. The as-required plasmonic substrates demonstrate ultra-high SPR enhancement (~109) with superior reproducibility and uniformity. Combined with FDTD simulations, we revealed that the ultrahigh enhancement is originated from the interconnected helices, which not only increase the density of the hotspots but also increase the scattering cross-section of the incidence light. The mechanism deduced here will provide insight into the future design and selection of novel surface plasmonic resonance (SPR) substrates, as many other bicontinuous interconnected systems are available.

    • Liping Wu
    • Wanlin Wang
    • Di Zhang
    Original Article Open Access
  • A simple and robust single-step in situ synthesis of carbon dots (C-dots) within a porous silicon oxide (PSiO2) matrix is reported. The resulting new hybrid guest–host material exhibits promising capabilities as a label-free dual-mode optical biosensor via modulation of both the optical reflectance associated with the PSiO2 matrix, as well as the C-dots’ fluorescence, and these two signals can be observed and collected simultaneously. The resulting sensing platform exhibits enhanced sensitivity, improved linear response, as well as a wider dynamic range in comparison to its single components.

    • Naama Massad-Ivanir
    • Susanta Kumar Bhunia
    • Raz Jelinek
    Original Article Open Access
  • A N-doped carbon nanotube catalyst containing a high concentration of single Fe atoms was prepared by a simple and scalable atomic isolation method, in which a metal isolation agent was introduced to isolate single Fe atoms and was then evaporated to produce abundant micropores that host single Fe atom active sites. As a result, the catalysts obtained showed excellent ORR performance, even better than that of commercial Pt/C catalysts in an acidic medium.

    • Jin-Cheng Li
    • Zhi-Qing Yang
    • Hui-Ming Cheng
    Original Article Open Access
  • Superelastic alloys suitable for low-temperature environments are crucially lacking. Here, we report an excellent superelastic (rubber-like) strain of more than 7% at 4.2 K using a Cu–Al–Mn shape-memory alloy. This alloy also possesses a small stress hysteresis of less than 30 MPa down to 4.2 K, resulting in particularly persistent elastocaloric cooling ability in the low-temperature region. The present Cu–Al–Mn alloy will have significant engineering impact, especially in the fields of aerospace engineering, superconducting technologies, and liquefied-gas-storage technologies, as a new class of materials combining superelastic properties and persistent elastocaloric cooling properties even at cryogenic environments.

    • Kodai Niitsu
    • Yuta Kimura
    • Ryosuke Kainuma
    Original Article Open Access
  • High mechanical strength hydrogel material was fabricated from egg white proteins. Egg white proteins were condensed at a regular interval with ionic surfactants and gelled by heating. The maximum compressive fracture strength was 34.5 MPa, which is 150-fold higher than that of boiled egg white. The high strength is due to the synergic effects of both covalent and non-covalent networks.

    • Tatsuya Nojima
    • Tomokazu Iyoda
    Original Article Open Access
  • Spontaneous nematodynamic standing waves in liquid crystal medium is demonstrated. The standing wave manipulates the molecular orientation to form tunable periodic defect arrays with concentric director profiles, which can serve as optical vortex array inducer or as tunable micro-liquid crystal lens array. In addition, the standing waves hold unique features such as diagonal nodal lines, self-adaption to broad resonance frequencies, and a step-like increase of wavelength with increasing frequency. It also exerts asymmetric mechanical pressure that can relocate small particles. The results lead to new approaches in director manipulation, colloidal assembly, and singular optics.

    • L K Migara
    • Jang-Kun Song
    Original Article Open Access
  • Herein, an idea of creating MoS2/GO nanocomposites was brought about, which were constructed to integrate the merits for both materials with additional benefits and shield the mutual weaknesses. It turned out that MoS2/GO nanocomposites manifested beneficial multi-functionalities including favorable lung targeting, enhanced drug loading capacity, increased tumor killing efficacy and improved biosafety as well. This study would open a new path that may lead to desirable use of MoS2/GO nanocomposites in cancer therapeutics.

    • Yun Liu
    • Jian Peng
    • Sijin Liu
    Original Article Open Access
  • A simple one-pot solvent exchange method is developed to prepare non-swellable, thermoplastic and tough supramolecular gelatin hydrogels based on two synergistic physical crosslinking, namely, the self-assembled tri-helix structure of gelatin and hydrophobic aggregation of gelatin-grafted and free hydrophobic motifs. The obtained hydrogels possess stable water content >70% with extended incubation in water and these hydrogels are highly malleable upon heating but are extremely stretchable and tough after cooling to room temperature. Furthermore, the supramolecular gelatin hydrogels exhibit robust adhesion to various material surfaces and minimal cytotoxicity.

    • Qian Feng
    • Kongchang Wei
    • Liming Bian
    Original Article Open Access
  • We have developed a phage display-based solution for breast cancer precision medicine. The patient-specific tumor-targeting peptide was first selected through in vivo biopanning. The as-selected peptide was then coupled with an anti-cancer nanomaterial drug. Enhanced nanodrug accumulation was achieved, which resulted in improved tumor killing efficacy. This study demonstrates a systematic strategy for discovering and testing patient-specific tumor targeting small molecules for cancer precision medicine.

    • Xuewei Qu
    • Penghe Qiu
    • Chuanbin Mao
    Original Article Open Access
  • Well-defined and stable nanomicelles (20−30 nm in diameter) were demonstrated for the first time by the self-assembly of amphiphilic brush (comb-like) cyclic and tadpole-shaped copolymers based on a poly(glycidyl ether) backbone. In particular, the brush cyclic topology formed the most compact and most stable nanomicelles with an extremely narrow (pseudo-monodisperse) size distribution, which are unattainable by other conventional means. This study provides a unique opportunity for designing advanced functional high-performance amphiphile materials for micelles and facilitating their applications in various fields.

    • Brian J Ree
    • Yusuke Satoh
    • Moonhor Ree
    Original Article Open Access
  • Highly efficient voltage control of magnetic anisotropy has been demonstrated utlizing an ultrathin Ir-doped Fe layer in MgO-based magnetic tunnel junctions. Ir adoms are dispersed inside the ultrathin Fe layer through the interdiffusion process. Large spin–orbit interaction of Ir atoms having proximity-induced magnetism is attributed to the enhancement of the voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) effect. High speed response of the VCMA effect was also confirmed by voltage-induced ferromagnetic resonance. The achieved properties first satisfy the required specification for the new type of magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) driven by voltage.

    • Takayuki Nozaki
    • Anna Kozioł-Rachwał
    • Shinji Yuasa
    Original Article Open Access