Fifth anniversary

Fifth anniversary highlights

September 2007 marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of Nature Materials. To celebrate, the editors have put together their highlights of influential articles that have appeared since 2002. The topics in the selection reflect the diversity of Nature Materials content. We hope that you will enjoy browsing through the list, and join us in looking forward to an enjoyable and successful future.


March 2003

Progress Article:
The role of soft colloidal templates in controlling the size and shape of inorganic nanocrystals

Marie-Paule Pileni

The efficacy of surfactant-based templates in controlling the size, shape and crystallinity of inorganic nanocrystals are discussed.


May 2003

DNA-assisted dispersion and separation of carbon nanotubes

Ming Zheng, Anand Jagota, Ellen D. Semke, Bruce A. Diner, Robert S. Mclean, Steve R. Lustig, Raymond E. Richardson and Nancy G. Tassi

Bundled single-walled carbon nanotubes are effectively dispersed in water by their sonication in the presence of single-stranded DNA.


December 2004

Giant tunnelling magnetoresistance at room temperature with MgO (100) tunnel barriers

Stuart S. P. Parkin, Christian Kaiser, Alex Panchula, Philip M. Rice, Brian Hughes, Mahesh Samant and See-Hun Yang

Magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) has been touted as a universal memory for application in portable computers, consumer electronics and wireless devices. Thin-film tunnel barriers with excellent crystalline order provide significantly improved signal strengths in devices, and are expected to help advance the commercialization of MRAM.


March 2005

Ultra-high-Q photonic double-heterostructure nanocavity

Bong-Shik Song, Susumu Noda, Takashi Asano and Yoshihiro Akahane

To achieve the perfect photonic crystal, not only precise fabrication technology but also a smart device design is necessary. Designs that rely on similar concepts used for semiconductor laser structures are particularly successful at this task.


June 2005

Quantum dot bioconjugates for imaging, labelling and sensing

Igor L. Medintz, H. Tetsuo Uyeda, Ellen R. Goldman and Hedi Mattoussi

The unique optical properties of quantum dots make them appealing as in vivo and in vitro fluorophores in a variety of biological investigations, with potential for long-term stability and simultaneous detection of multiple signals – capabilities that the traditional fluorescent labels lack.

Nanowire dye-sensitized solar cells

Matt Law, Lori E. Greene, Justin C. Johnson, Richard Saykally and Peidong Yang

Excitonic solar cells are attractive devices for inexpensive, large-scale solar energy conversion. A dye-sensitized cell in which the traditional nanoparticle film is replaced by an array of oriented and crystalline nanowires exhibits an efficiency of 1.5% in full sunlight.


January 2006

Temperature rise at shear bands in metallic glasses

J. J. Lewandowski and A. L. Greer

The development of materials that are capable of handling large mechanical stress requires the understanding of energy dissipation within the material. A clever experimental technique demonstrates that deformation-induced shear bands take most of the heat.


April 2006

Liquid-crystalline semiconducting polymers with high charge-carrier mobility

Iain McCulloch, Martin Heeney, Clare Bailey, Kristijonas Genevicius, Iain MacDonald, Maxim Shkunov, David Sparrowe, Steve Tierney, Robert Wagner, Weimin Zhang, Michael L. Chabinyc, R. Joseph Kline, Michael D. McGehee and Michael F. Toney

A new class of polymer semiconductors – liquid-crystalline polythiophenes – are developed by using the appropriate synthetic building blocks to promote supramolecular organization of the conjugated polymers. The charge-carrier mobilites of the polymers, when used in field-effect transistors, are found to be on a par with those of amorphous silicon, and demonstrate real potential for applications.


March 2007

Progress Article:
The rise of graphene

A. K. Geim and K. S. Novoselov

Graphene is a two-dimensional material that exhibits exceptionally high crystal and electronic quality, and, despite its short history, has already revealed a wide range of new physics and potential device applications.


June 2007

Lipophilic polyelectrolyte gels as super-absorbent polymers for nonpolar organic solvents

Toshikazu Ono, Takahiro Sugimoto, Seiji Shinkai and Kazuki Sada

Polyelectrolyte gels are currently used as superabsorbers for polar solvents such as water. Designing them so that the polyelectrolyte chains and their counterions don't get too close to each other makes them useful for absorbing less-polar solvents too.

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