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  • This Perspective illustrates how theory and experiment can be combined to study the interfacial charge transfer between transition metal nanoparticles and oxide supports, the short- or long-range natures of interactions between them and the effects of oxide nanostructuring on the properties of supported metal particles. These studies deepen our understanding of the role of metal-oxide interactions in industrially relevant nanocomposites thus helping to design interfaces with unique properties for future applications

    • Konstantin M. Neyman
    • Sergey M. Kozlov
    Perspective Open Access
  • Given the current needs for lasers on flexible substrates or as disposable, low-cost appliances, solution-processable lasers based on tunable colloidal quantum dots (QD) could revolutionize the field of laser-based opto-electronics, much as these QD materials currently do for the growing markets of displays and lighting. In this perspective, we present the status of this rapidly advancing field, followed by a discussion of the remaining challenges and possible avenues for future research and valorization.

    • Pieter Geiregat
    • Dries Van Thourhout
    • Zeger Hens
    Perspective Open Access
  • Spin transport is the key process for the operation of spinbased devices. Here the recent progress of spin transport in antiferromagnetic insulators (AFMI) is briefed. The observations of the temperature dependence of spin transmission, spin current switching in AFMI and the negative spin Hall magnetoresistance are discussed. The challenges for developing the functionality of antiferromagnetic insulator as well as the unresolved problems from the experimental observations are also discussed.

    • Dazhi Hou
    • Zhiyong Qiu
    • Eiji Saitoh
    Perspective Open Access
  • This perspective highlights various representative manufacturing methods of 3D microelectronic devices and their specific features/limitations. It offers an outlook on future developments in the manufacturing of 3D multifunctional microelectronics devices, and provides some perspectives on the remaining challenges as well as possible solutions. Mechanically guided 3D assembly based on compressive buckling is proposed as a versatile platform that can be merged with micromanufacturing technologies and/or other assembly methods to provide access to microelectronic devices with more types of integrated functions and highly increased densities of functional components.

    • Xiaogang Guo
    • Zhaoguo Xue
    • Yihui Zhang
    Perspective Open Access
  • With two-thirds of the primary energy produced every year rejected as heat, the need for techniques that harvest low-grade waste heat with higher fractions of Carnot efficiency is clear. This article develops a perspective on pyroelectric energy conversion (PEC), that leverages the intrinsic coupling between electrical polarization and temperature in pyroelectric materials where a change in temperature begets a flow of electrical charge. This article will shed light on what thermo-electrical properties are crucial for PEC and the routes to enhance them. Subsequent discussion will cover thermodynamic cycles and device design rules to extract maximum work and power.

    • Shishir Pandya
    • Gabriel Velarde
    • Lane W. Martin
    Perspective Open Access
  • Progress in soft machines and electronics depends on new classes of soft multifunctional materials that can self-repair and heal when damaged so that they can survive the same real-world conditions that human skin and other soft biological materials are typically subjected too. Here, we provide a perspective on current trends and future opportunities in self-healing soft systems that enhance the durability, mechanical robustness, and longevity of soft-matter machines and electronics.

    • Michael D. Bartlett
    • Michael D. Dickey
    • Carmel Majidi
    Perspective Open Access
  • Chemical cross-linking represents a unique approach for creating hybrid materials with enriched properties. This method facilitates the formation of interconnected networks within the material, which can modulate its porosity, conductivity and photophysical properties. Porous morphologies are beneficial for electrochemical applications as they enable the smooth diffusion and penetration of ions, effective ion transport at material interfaces, and also offer a synergy of the properties of the constituent materials and cross-linker. This perspective article highlights the recent advances in the area of covalently cross-linked hybrid metal oxides.

    • Roshini Ramachandran
    • Dahee Jung
    • Alexander M. Spokoyny
    Perspective Open Access
  • Biological structures such as amino acids, peptides, and proteins are emerging as promising candidates for piezoelectric energy harvesting and sensing. Here we highlight the position of biological materials in the diverse world of piezoelectric structures, and emphasise how a nanoscale insight into these assemblies, particularly in crystalline form, can pave the way for development of a diverse new array of biocompatible sensors for a greener future. By harnessing advances in high performance computing, we can begin to screen the vast library of biomolecules for optimum candidates, with the ultimate goal of re-engineering biological piezoelectricity by first principles design.

    • Sarah Guerin
    • Syed A. M. Tofail
    • Damien Thompson
    Perspective Open Access