Browse Articles

  • Review Article |

    Picoscale engineering of bonds is a powerful method to tune materials properties. Transcending nanoscience, picoscience offers the ultimate length scale to manipulate materials through subtle bond distortions between individual atoms, as this Review discusses through several examples ranging from perovskites to superconductors and to topological materials.

    • Sohrab Ismail-Beigi
    • , Frederick J. Walker
    • , Ankit S. Disa
    • , Karin M. Rabe
    •  & Charles H. Ahn
  • Review Article |

    This Review summarizes recent advances in the field of mRNA therapeutics. The synthetic materials that encapsulate and deliver mRNA payloads are described, alongside an overview of commercial development of mRNA drugs.

    • Khalid A. Hajj
    •  & Kathryn A. Whitehead
  • Review Article |

    Tetradymite-type materials, such as Bi2Te3, have for decades been of interest as excellent thermoelectrics near ambient temperature and have recently enabled many seminal studies on topological insulators. In this Review, we discuss the recent progress in optimizing the properties of bulk and thin-film tetradymites for such studies.

    • Joseph P. Heremans
    • , Robert J. Cava
    •  & Nitin Samarth
  • Review Article |

    Inorganic oxide materials are used in semiconductor electronics, ion exchange, catalysis, coatings, gas sensors and as separation materials. In this Review, we explain how polyoxometalate clusters are amenable to molecular control and can be assembled into inorganic frameworks owing to the molecular nature of their building blocks.

    • Laia Vilà-Nadal
    •  & Leroy Cronin
  • Review Article |

    The discovery of new thermoelectric materials is challenging owing to the diversity of the chemical space and to the serial nature of experimental work. This Review highlights the recent progress in computationally guided discovery of thermoelectric materials and identifies the key outstanding challenges.

    • Prashun Gorai
    • , Vladan Stevanović
    •  & Eric S. Toberer
  • Review Article |

    Graphene and its macroscopic assemblies and composites are currently enabling a range of high-performance ‘smart’ materials that are responsive to various stimuli. In this Review, different graphene-based smart materials are described, along with their potential applications in actuators, chemical or strain sensors, self-healing materials, photothermal therapy and controlled drug delivery.

    • Xiaowen Yu
    • , Huhu Cheng
    • , Miao Zhang
    • , Yang Zhao
    • , Liangti Qu
    •  & Gaoquan Shi
  • Review Article |

    Overall water splitting using powdered photocatalysts is a promising approach to large-scale solar hydrogen production. This Review details recent developments in particulate photocatalysts for overall water splitting based on one- and two-step photoexcitation systems.

    • Shanshan Chen
    • , Tsuyoshi Takata
    •  & Kazunari Domen
  • Review Article |

    Low-bandgap (<1.6 eV) polymers enable polymer solar cells to form effective tandem structures for harvesting near-infrared solar energy as well as reducing thermal loss. This Review summarizes recent progress and provides a perspective on various low-bandgap polymer-containing tandem solar cells; namely, pure polymer–polymer tandem, hybrid polymer–amorphous silicon tandem and unconventional perovskite–polymer tandem solar cells.

    • Gang Li
    • , Wei-Hsuan Chang
    •  & Yang Yang
  • Review Article |

    This Review details the structural and chemical features of state-of-the-art metal–organic frameworks for their application in the entire carbon cycle of capturing, purifying and transforming CO2 into valuable products.

    • Christopher A. Trickett
    • , Aasif Helal
    • , Bassem A. Al-Maythalony
    • , Zain H. Yamani
    • , Kyle E. Cordova
    •  & Omar M. Yaghi
  • Review Article |

    The field of active matter studies how internally driven motile components self-organize into large-scale dynamical states and patterns. This Review discusses how active matter concepts are important for understanding cell biology, and how the use of biochemical components enables the creation of new inherently non-equilibrium materials with unique properties that have so far been mostly restricted to living organisms.

    • Daniel Needleman
    •  & Zvonimir Dogic
  • Review Article |

    Asymmetric chiroplasmonic structures comprising nanoparticles or nanorods can be assembled using DNA scaffolds by a range of methods. In this Review, these assembly methods, the chiroplasmonic properties of static and dynamically reconfigurable systems, theoretical modelling of the chiroplasmonic structures, their applications for sensing and information processing, and future perspectives are discussed.

    • Alessandro Cecconello
    • , Lucas V. Besteiro
    • , Alexander O. Govorov
    •  & Itamar Willner
  • Comment |

    Wood has great potential as a building material, because it is strong and lightweight, environmentally friendly and can be used in prefabricated buildings. However, only changes in building codes will make wood competitive with steel and concrete.

    • Guido Wimmers
  • Review Article |

    The discovery of nanoporous materials is now being propelled by the analysis of big data combined with traditional computational thermodynamics calculations. In this Review, we analyse the current state of the art, with a focus on the generation of computational databases and results from large-scale screening for gas separations.

    • Peter G. Boyd
    • , Yongjin Lee
    •  & Berend Smit
  • Review Article |

    Studying nature to reveal the mechanisms of special wetting phenomena in biological systems can effectively inspire the design and fabrication of functional interfacial materials with superwettability. In this Review, the historical development, new phenomena and emerging applications of superwettability systems are discussed.

    • Mingjie Liu
    • , Shutao Wang
    •  & Lei Jiang