Browse Articles

  • Perspective |

    Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) offer a unique opportunity to ‘invisibly’ integrate semi-transparent photovoltaic architectural elements, such as electrodeless glazing units, into the building envelope. This Review highlights the advancements making LSCs a realistic technology for near zero-energy buildings, along with the remaining challenges and strategies for further device optimization.

    • Francesco Meinardi
    • , Francesco Bruni
    •  & Sergio Brovelli
  • Review Article |

    The field of DNA nanotechnology takes the DNA molecule out of its biological context and uses its information to assemble structural motifs and connect these motifs together. In this Review, a historical account of the field and the approaches used to assemble DNA nanostructures are outlined, followed by a discussion of emerging applications.

    • Nadrian C. Seeman
    •  & Hanadi F. Sleiman
  • Review Article |

    Nanoscale semiconductor materials have large tolerance to lattice mismatches, which enables an almost arbitrary control of alloy composition and bandgap energy. In this Review, semiconductor alloy nanomaterials are examined, and their synthesis, properties and potential for applications — such as lasers, solid-state lighting and solar cells — are discussed.

    • Cun-Zheng Ning
    • , Letian Dou
    •  & Peidong Yang
  • Review Article |

    Mechanical metamaterials exhibit exotic properties that cannot be realized in conventional materials. In this Review, recently developed shape-morphing, topological and nonlinear metamaterials are discussed together with their functionalities and design principles, and future challenges for the field are outlined.

    • Katia Bertoldi
    • , Vincenzo Vitelli
    • , Johan Christensen
    •  & Martin van Hecke
  • Review Article |

    Coherent perfect absorbers (CPAs) are electromagnetic structures in which the absorption of electromagnetic energy is assisted by the interference of incident waves. This Review summarizes the fundamental principles, implementations and promising applications of CPAs for the linear control of light with light.

    • Denis G. Baranov
    • , Alex Krasnok
    • , Timur Shegai
    • , Andrea Alù
    •  & Yidong Chong
  • Review Article |

    Singlet exciton fission is a carrier multiplication process in organic semiconductors that could be used to enhance the efficiency of conventional inorganic solar cells and break the Shockley–Queisser limit of single-junction photovoltaics. In this Review, recent progress in the field is assessed, highlighting the key results and identifying the crucial challenges ahead.

    • Akshay Rao
    •  & Richard H. Friend
  • Review Article |

    Tuning the surface strain in multimetallic nanomaterials represents an effective strategy to improve their electrocatalytic properties. In this Review, using the oxygen reduction reaction as a model, the underlying relationship between surface strain and catalytic activity is discussed, along with the introduction, tuning and quantification of strain in nanocatalysts.

    • Mingchuan Luo
    •  & Shaojun Guo
  • 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