Browse Articles

  • Editorial
    | Open Access

    Trust is the theme of this year’s peer review week. Confidence in the most broadly used form of assessment, and often considered a quality seal, of scholarly communication, remains high. However, the continuously evolving means of disseminating science and the exponential growth of research output require journals to do more to reassure their authors and readers on the rigour of peer review, while maintaining an open dialogue aimed at improving the system.

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Droplet self-propulsion on surfaces with wetting gradients is relevant for wide-ranging practical applications, and such motion is typically unidirectional. Here, the authors show how bidirectional motion of droplets can be achieved and controlled on liquid-infused surfaces with texture gradients.

    • Muhammad Subkhi Sadullah
    • , Gaby Launay
    • , Jayne Parle
    • , Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar
    • , Yonas Gizaw
    • , Glen McHale
    • , Gary George Wells
    •  & Halim Kusumaatmaja
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Thin films of complex oxides can be grown and transferred on substrates, which provides opportunities for their manipulation, characterization and potential applications. Here, the authors fabricate and characterize nanodrum resonators of suspended thin single-crystal complex oxides and investigate the temperature dependent properties and associated phase transitions of the isolated ultrathin form.

    • D. Davidovikj
    • , D. J. Groenendijk
    • , A. M. R. V. L. Monteiro
    • , A. Dijkhoff
    • , D. Afanasiev
    • , M. Šiškins
    • , M. Lee
    • , Y. Huang
    • , E. van Heumen
    • , H. S. J. van der Zant
    • , A. D. Caviglia
    •  & P. G. Steeneken
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Interaction of active matter with geometrical constraints is an emerging topic of research due to its potential for design and control of flow patterns. By exploring various modes of swimming and strength of cell-liquid crystal interaction, the authors present a computational model of a microswimmer propulsion in a liquid crystal probing a range of non-trivial swimming dynamics.

    • Hai Chi
    • , Mykhailo Potomkin
    • , Lei Zhang
    • , Leonid Berlyand
    •  & Igor S. Aranson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The origin of charge density waves in high-temperature cuprates and its connection with the superconducting state is a longstanding topic of debate. Here, the authors investigate the underlying mechanisms of charge density waves in an underdoped cuprate and describe the relationship with the electron-phonon coupling of bond-buckling phonons.

    • S. Banerjee
    • , W. A. Atkinson
    •  & A. P. Kampf
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Precision magnetometry has emerged as a sensitive means to probe spin dynamics at a fundamental level. Here, a broadband a photon-magnon hybrid system is demonstrated, capable of detecting quanta of magentisation induced by tiny effective magnetic fields

    • N. Crescini
    • , C. Braggio
    • , G. Carugno
    • , R. Di Vora
    • , A. Ortolan
    •  & G. Ruoso
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many organic molecules exhibit interesting electronic and magnetic properties, but as they are deposited onto a metallic substrate, their hybridisation often impacts on the observed characteristics. Here, the authors report a method to electronically decouple molecules from the substrate in order to observe the intrinsic physical properties of molecules without interference.

    • Mohammed S. G. Mohammed
    • , Luciano Colazzo
    • , Roberto Robles
    • , Ruth Dorel
    • , Antonio M. Echavarren
    • , Nicolás Lorente
    •  & Dimas G. de Oteyza
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Can living systems function as artificial neural networks for biophysical applications? Here, the authors show that living tumor spheroids can be employed as random optical learning machines and used to investigate cancer morphodynamics and quantify the effect of chemotherapy.

    • D. Pierangeli
    • , V. Palmieri
    • , G. Marcucci
    • , C. Moriconi
    • , G. Perini
    • , M. De Spirito
    • , M. Papi
    •  & C. Conti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The work function is a fundamental quantity applied to many aspects of physics and describes the minimum energy required to remove an electron from the surface of a metal and eject it into the vacuum. Here, the authors demonstrate a method to determine the work function to five significant figures, a higher order of magnitude than previously reported.

    • Y. Ishida
    • , J. K. Jung
    • , M. S. Kim
    • , J. Kwon
    • , Y. S. Kim
    • , D. Chung
    • , I. Song
    • , C. Kim
    • , T. Otsu
    •  & Y. Kobayashi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recent spectroscopic studies have elucidated light-matter interactions in exciton-polaritons at room temperature, yet their precise excited-state dynamics remain unclear. Here, broadband 2D Fourier transform spectroscopy reveals the relaxation between polaritonic states and the role of dark states.

    • Lars Mewes
    • , Mao Wang
    • , Rebecca A. Ingle
    • , Karl Börjesson
    •  & Majed Chergui
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The ability to tune nanophotonic components is vital for their incorporation into complex on-chip architectures. Here, a fully-integrated LiNbO3 piezoelectric nanobender is presented, providing  ~ 5 nm/V and permitting tuning of an optical cavity to a resonance in the infrared.

    • Wentao Jiang
    • , Felix M. Mayor
    • , Rishi N. Patel
    • , Timothy P. McKenna
    • , Christopher J. Sarabalis
    •  & Amir H. Safavi-Naeini
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Inspired by the Japanese art of Kirigami, microscopic self-folding structures are gaining interest due to the possible implementation of controlled drug encapsulation and release driven by thermal fluctuations. Here, the authors show that folding time scales can be accurately predicted by mapping the dynamics into a set of competing Brownian processes.

    • H. P. M. Melo
    • , C. S. Dias
    •  & N. A. M. Araújo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recently dispersion-free propagation of spatiotemporally-modulated optical pulses over long distances has been demonstrated, but acoustic analogues are less well-explored. Here, anomalous dispersion and strong anisotropy is demonstrated for the long-distance non-spreading propagation of acoustic waves through an underwater metamaterial.

    • Yurii Zubov
    • , Bahram Djafari-Rouhani
    • , Yuqi Jin
    • , Mathew Sofield
    • , Ezekiel Walker
    • , Arup Neogi
    •  & Arkadii Krokhin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Decreasing the acquisition time of spectroscopies permits measurement of dynamic systems to be obtained at increasingly high speeds. Here, a time-stretch mid-infrared spectrometer is presented, operating at eighty million spectra per second and tested via absorption measurements of two molecular species.

    • Akira Kawai
    • , Kazuki Hashimoto
    • , Tatsuo Dougakiuchi
    • , Venkata Ramaiah Badarla
    • , Takayuki Imamura
    • , Tadataka Edamura
    •  & Takuro Ideguchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Crystal defects in 2D materials play an important role in their physical properties and it important to understand the underlying physics to maximise certain characteristics. Here, the authors calculate how point defects in h-BN impact on its optical and magnetic properties and the variations which occur due to the location of the defect from bulk to edge.

    • A. Sajid
    • , Kristian S. Thygesen
    • , Jeffrey R. Reimers
    •  & Michael J. Ford
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While exquisite control over multiple degrees of freedom of laser beams has accelerated the use of vector beams in many areas of research, the ability to simultaneously characterise properties of interest lags behind. Here, full characterisation of spatial and temporal polarization properties of an unknown vector beam is achieved via a hybrid interferometric approach.

    • Benjamín Alonso
    • , Ignacio Lopez-Quintas
    • , Warein Holgado
    • , Rokas Drevinskas
    • , Peter G. Kazansky
    • , Carlos Hernández-García
    •  & Íñigo J. Sola
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantum key distribution is a method to enable secure communication between two parties and prevent an eavesdropper from stealing information. Here, the authors use twin-field quantum key distribution combined with discrete phase randomisation to improve on the distance at which secure communication can be achieved.

    • Rong Wang
    • , Zhen-Qiang Yin
    • , Feng-Yu Lu
    • , Shuang Wang
    • , Wei Chen
    • , Chun-Mei Zhang
    • , Wei Huang
    • , Bing-Jie Xu
    • , Guang-Can Guo
    •  & Zheng-Fu Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Multicycle pulsed Terahertz radiation has appealing applications in medicine, applications in medicine, biology, material science, and could power emerging laser-based table-top accelerators and diagnostics. However a simple way to generate such pulses with high energy is not straightforward. The authors report on generation of high-peak-intensity THz pulses using a Lithium-Niobate wafer-chain and achieving a 35 megawatt in peak intensity.

    • François Lemery
    • , Thomas Vinatier
    • , Frank Mayet
    • , Ralph Aßmann
    • , Elsa Baynard
    • , Julien Demailly
    • , Ulrich Dorda
    • , Bruno Lucas
    • , Alok-Kumar Pandey
    •  & Moana Pittman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A quantum critical point describes a phase transition at zero temperature when an order is suppressed, for instance by application of pressure. Here, the authors investigate the pressure dependence of a heavy fermion antiferromagnet using nuclear quadrupole resonance and reveal two quantum critical points (QCP), among which the first one marks a Fermi surface change and triggers unusual superconducting state.

    • Shinji Kawasaki
    • , Toshihide Oka
    • , Akira Sorime
    • , Yuji Kogame
    • , Kazuhiro Uemoto
    • , Kazuaki Matano
    • , Jing Guo
    • , Shu Cai
    • , Liling Sun
    • , John L. Sarrao
    • , Joe D. Thompson
    •  & Guo-qing Zheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The bulk boundary effects of non-hermitian systems are a burgeoning area of interest with the potential to unveil new and interesting physics. Here, the authors investigate how the non-Hermitian skin effect can drastically affect the emission and absorption quanta and Rabi oscillations in a driven non-Hermitian two-level lattice, which is sustainable even the system possess gain or loss.

    • Ching Hua Lee
    •  & Stefano Longhi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Phonon mediated superconductivity is understood using Migdal’s approximation and models with linear electron-phonon coupling, but there are limitations to the information these approximations can provide. Here, the authors investigate the influence of nonlinear electron-phonon interactions on the charge density wave and superconducting phases to determine their relevance on the validity of Migdal’s approximation.

    • Philip M. Dee
    • , Jennifer Coulter
    • , Kevin G. Kleiner
    •  & Steven Johnston
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fan-out capability, permitting one photon to switch many others, is a crucial ingredient of practical all-optical switching schemes. Exploiting an optical event horizon, high contrast switching is experimentally and theoretically demonstrated with above-unity fan-out.

    • Oliver Melchert
    • , Carsten Brée
    • , Ayhan Tajalli
    • , Alexander Pape
    • , Rostislav Arkhipov
    • , Stephanie Willms
    • , Ihar Babushkin
    • , Dmitry Skryabin
    • , Günter Steinmeyer
    • , Uwe Morgner
    •  & Ayhan Demircan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quarks in the interior of hadrons make up most of ordinary matter, yet their observation is not possible, and their properties can only be probed indirectly. Adopting an analogy between physics of superinsulators and high energy physics, the authors present direct observations of the interior of electric mesons made of Cooper pairs by standard transport measurements.

    • M. C. Diamantini
    • , S. V. Postolova
    • , A. Yu. Mironov
    • , L. Gammaitoni
    • , C. Strunk
    • , C. A. Trugenberger
    •  & V. M. Vinokur
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Topological defects such as vortices and phase slips in a superconductor system manifest spatial patterns and dynamics that are closely associated with the geometry of the system. Here, the authors investigate the topological transitions between vortex-chain and phase-slip transport regimes in curved superconductor nanostructures as a function of an applied magnetic field and how they impact on the magnetic-field-voltage and current-voltage characteristics.

    • R. O. Rezaev
    • , E. I. Smirnova
    • , O. G. Schmidt
    •  & V. M. Fomin
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Executable papers take transparency and openness in research communication one step further. In this comment, an early career researcher reports her experience of creating an executable paper as a journey through Open Science.

    • Jana Lasser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    So far, chiral topological operations around an exceptional point singularity were experimentally observable through the system’s initial and final states only. Here, the authors propose an experimental set up that allows them to access the full time-resolved evolution during encircling-an-exceptional-point operations.

    • Youngsun Choi
    • , Jae Woong Yoon
    • , Jong Kyun Hong
    • , Yeonghwa Ryu
    •  & Seok Ho Song
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many-body formalism for light transmission is developed to identify light-induced quantum effects and entanglement in atomic planar arrays and disks. Outside the regimes of pronounced quantum effects, potent semiclassical models reveal many-body analogues of power broadening and vacuum Rabi splitting.

    • Robert J. Bettles
    • , Mark D. Lee
    • , Simon A. Gardiner
    •  & Janne Ruostekoski
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Antiferromagnets may hold potential as spintronic devices due to their robustness to external magnetic fields, if a suitable control method is realised. Here, a transient rotation of the global spin arrangement of GdRh2Si2 is demonstrated via femtosecond optical excitation.

    • Y. W. Windsor
    • , A. Ernst
    • , K. Kummer
    • , K. Kliemt
    • , Ch. Schüßler-Langeheine
    • , N. Pontius
    • , U. Staub
    • , E. V. Chulkov
    • , C. Krellner
    • , D. V. Vyalikh
    •  & L. Rettig
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantum technologies have seen a remarkable development in recent years and are expected to contribute to quantum internet technologies. The authors present an experimental implementation over commercial telecom fibres of a two-photon comb source for quantum communications with long coherence times and narrow bandwidth, which is used in a 20 km distribution experiment to show the presence of remote two-photon correlations.

    • Kazuya Niizeki
    • , Daisuke Yoshida
    • , Ko Ito
    • , Ippei Nakamura
    • , Nobuyuki Takei
    • , Kotaro Okamura
    • , Ming-Yang Zheng
    • , Xiu-Ping Xie
    •  & Tomoyuki Horikiri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Floquet engineering describes the control of a quantum system using light-matter interactions and has received renewed interest due to recent developments in ultrafast spectroscopy techniques. Here, the authors use light scattering spectroscopy to investigate the Floquet state in MoS2 and apply dynamical symmetries to understand the polarisation selection rules

    • Kohei Nagai
    • , Kento Uchida
    • , Naotaka Yoshikawa
    • , Takahiko Endo
    • , Yasumitsu Miyata
    •  & Koichiro Tanaka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    What makes a given knot's unlinking pathway more likely to appear in certain topological decay processes—from DNA to vortex dynamics? Here, the authors introduce a measure of topological complexity as distance in a suitably defined knot polynomial space, allowing them to quantify the probability of decay pathways as geodesic flows in this space.

    • Xin Liu
    • , Renzo L. Ricca
    •  & Xin-Fei Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient spin injection and detection with a high degree of polarization are fundamental requirements for any potential device relying on the spin degree of freedom rather than electronic charge. Here, the authors use two weakly coupled semiconductor quantum dots as electrically tunable spin injector and detector to achieve extremely large spin polarization controllable by the ferromagnetic split-gates.

    • Arunav Bordoloi
    • , Valentina Zannier
    • , Lucia Sorba
    • , Christian Schönenberger
    •  & Andreas Baumgartner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Laser cooling of rare-earth-doped silica may provide a route to vibration-free refrigeration of integrated photonic circuits and quantum sensors to reduce the thermal noise. Here, cooling of high-purity Yb-doped silica to 0.7 K below ambient temperature is demonstrated using sub-optimal laser parameters, and in spite of a substantial extra thermal load.

    • Esmaeil Mobini
    • , Saeid Rostami
    • , Mostafa Peysokhan
    • , Alexander Albrecht
    • , Stefan Kuhn
    • , Sigrun Hein
    • , Christian Hupel
    • , Johannes Nold
    • , Nicoletta Haarlammert
    • , Thomas Schreiber
    • , Ramona Eberhardt
    • , Andreas Tünnermann
    • , Mansoor Sheik-Bahae
    •  & Arash Mafi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Laser-driven ion acceleration is an important topic for next-generation compact accelerators and material characterisation. The authors present a theoretical study on ion acceleration with near-critical double-layer targets that supports the experimental realisation of these targets and the interpretation of experiments of laser-ion acceleration.

    • Andrea Pazzaglia
    • , Luca Fedeli
    • , Arianna Formenti
    • , Alessandro Maffini
    •  & Matteo Passoni
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    The neutron-rich, weakly bound fluorine isotope 29F has been extensively investigated theoretically, but its significance has been revived by recent experiments. The authors present the latest developments and make prediction on the electromagnetic transitions occurring in this isotope that may be observed in the near future.

    • L. Fortunato
    • , J. Casal
    • , W. Horiuchi
    • , Jagjit Singh
    •  & A. Vitturi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many features of a superconductor are encoded in the Josephson effect and understanding changes at the local level can help explain related phenomena. Here, the authors use scanning tunnelling microscopy to study local changes in the Josephson effect and how they relate to the transport channel configuration.

    • Jacob Senkpiel
    • , Simon Dambach
    • , Markus Etzkorn
    • , Robert Drost
    • , Ciprian Padurariu
    • , Björn Kubala
    • , Wolfgang Belzig
    • , Alfredo Levy Yeyati
    • , Juan Carlos Cuevas
    • , Joachim Ankerhold
    • , Christian R. Ast
    •  & Klaus Kern
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The concept of arrow of time expressing time asymmetric nature is intrinsically related to the second law of thermodynamics and increase of entropy. The authors show how a thermodynamic bath expected to add to entropy increase can be the key to time reversal for an unknown quantum state, paving the way to universal algorithms sending temporal evolution of an arbitrary system backward in time.

    • A. V. Lebedev
    •  & V. M. Vinokur
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Curvature effects in a magnetic system are usually described by treating local and non-local interactions separately. Here, the authors develop a theory of curvilinear micromagnetism and report a non-local chiral interaction which is absent in flat systems.

    • Denis D. Sheka
    • , Oleksandr V. Pylypovskyi
    • , Pedro Landeros
    • , Yuri Gaididei
    • , Attila Kákay
    •  & Denys Makarov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An outstanding challenge in active matter physics is to control the motion of active particles. Here, the authors present a motility trap that can be applied to any self-propulsion scheme, and combine experiments, theory, and simulations to demonstrate robust spatio-temporal control of active particles.

    • Soudeh Jahanshahi
    • , Celia Lozano
    • , Benno Liebchen
    • , Hartmut Löwen
    •  & Clemens Bechinger
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How friction in liquids emerges from conservative forces between atoms is currently not well-understood, but it is a crucial parameter for dynamic processes in liquid matter. Here, the authors combine frequency-resolved simulation data with theory to show that the friction felt by a single molecule occurs abruptly below a certain frequency.

    • Arthur V. Straube
    • , Bartosz G. Kowalik
    • , Roland R. Netz
    •  & Felix Höfling
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Yu–Shiba–Rusinov subgap excitations are associated with a range of interesting physics such as Majorana fermions, and so it is important to understand their intrinsic features. Here, the authors investigate the temperature dependence of the Yu–Shiba–Rusinov states in a hybrid nanowire–quantum dot system, demonstrating that the shift in energy does not follow the behaviour predicted by current models.

    • Juan Carlos Estrada Saldaña
    • , Alexandros Vekris
    • , Victoria Sosnovtseva
    • , Thomas Kanne
    • , Peter Krogstrup
    • , Kasper Grove-Rasmussen
    •  & Jesper Nygård
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While shock waves are widely used in clinical and biological research due to their ability to deform the cell’s membrane and its permeability, the mechanisms of such interaction are still unclear. Here, the authors propose a method that allows to monitor the dynamic deformation of a cell’s membrane in response to shock waves and its effect on permeability.

    • Yusuke Ito
    • , David Veysset
    • , Steven E. Kooi
    • , Dmitro Martynowych
    • , Keiichi Nakagawa
    •  & Keith A. Nelson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Magnetism in the cuprates is crucial to understanding their superconducting properties and most studies focus on the antiferromagnetism related to Cu spins. Here, using polarised neutron diffraction the authors find evidence of a type of short range magnetic ordering in Ca-doped SrCuO spin-ladder compound whose origins may lie in magnetoelectric loop currents rather than Cu spins

    • Dalila Bounoua
    • , Lucile Mangin-Thro
    • , Jaehong Jeong
    • , Romuald Saint-Martin
    • , Loreynne Pinsard-Gaudart
    • , Yvan Sidis
    •  & Philippe Bourges
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intrinsic randomness, also known as spontaneous stochasticity, has been suggested to limit the finite-time predictability of multiscale chaotic dynamics, but an explicit demonstration of its effect is still lacking. Here, the authors use numerical simulations to show the existence of spontaneous stochasticity in the discontinuous shear layer leading to the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

    • Simon Thalabard
    • , Jérémie Bec
    •  & Alexei A. Mailybaev
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Successful translation of quantum optical communication schemes from the laboratory to real-world use requires compatibility and integration with existing infrastructure. Here, an entangled LED is used as a single-photon source to demonstrate high-fidelity transfer of multiplexed quantum and classical information across a real-world city.

    • Zi-Heng Xiang
    • , Jan Huwer
    • , Joanna Skiba-Szymanska
    • , R. Mark Stevenson
    • , David J. P. Ellis
    • , Ian Farrer
    • , Martin B. Ward
    • , David A. Ritchie
    •  & Andrew J. Shields
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Optical analogues of gravitational systems probe general relativity in the laboratory, yet exactly mimicking black holes remains challenging. The authors model light propagating in optical analogues of equatorial Kerr–Newman black holes with regular materials, with clear advantages to realization.

    • R. A. Tinguely
    •  & Andrew P. Turner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The microscopic mechanisms underlying the discontinuous shear thickening transition in dense granular systems are still under debate. Here, the authors explore this transition by characterizing the shape of invasion patterns in Hele-Shaw cell experiments with confined cornstarch suspensions.

    • Deren Ozturk
    • , Miles L. Morgan
    •  & Bjørnar Sandnes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In accordance with the relativistic addition of velocities, the Fizeau experiment shows the dragging of light inside a moving medium which can be enhanced in dispersive medium. Here a strong dispersion, induced by stimulated Brillouin scattering, is shown to significantly enhance the light drag effect in a moving optical microcavity.

    • Tian Qin
    • , Jianfan Yang
    • , Fangxing Zhang
    • , Yao Chen
    • , Dongyi Shen
    • , Wei Liu
    • , Lei Chen
    • , Xiaoshun Jiang
    • , Xianfeng Chen
    •  & Wenjie Wan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether two dimensional magnetic ordering exists in monolayers of VSe2 has been the subject of recent debate. Here, the authors investigate monolayers of VSe2 grown on an NbSe2 substrate and demonstrate a reduction in the superconducting gap of the NbSe2 and absence of charge density wave formation supporting the presence of a magnetic ground state in the VSe2.

    • Shawulienu Kezilebieke
    • , Md Nurul Huda
    • , Paul Dreher
    • , Ilkka Manninen
    • , Yifan Zhou
    • , Jani Sainio
    • , Rhodri Mansell
    • , Miguel M. Ugeda
    • , Sebastiaan van Dijken
    • , Hannu-Pekka Komsa
    •  & Peter Liljeroth