Latest Reviews

  • Perspective |

    Sodium-ion batteries are an appealing alternative to lithium-ion batteries because they use raw materials that are less expensive, more abundant and less toxic. The background leading to such promises is carefully assessed in terms of cell and battery production, as well as raw material supply risks, for sodium-ion and modern lithium-ion batteries.

    • Christoph Vaalma
    • , Daniel Buchholz
    • , Marcel Weil
    •  & Stefano Passerini
  • Review Article |

    Carbon nanomaterials have greatly advanced non-volatile memory technology. In this Review, applications of various carbon nanomaterials as memory electrodes, interfacial engineering layers, memory selectors and resistive-switching media are discussed in the context of emerging non-volatile memory devices.

    • Ethan C. Ahn
    • , H.-S. Philip Wong
    •  & Eric Pop
  • Review Article |

    Experimental and computational studies reveal numerous aspects of the molecular and hierarchical structure of spider silk and of its molecular dynamics. In this Review, we discuss the structure–function relationships of spider silk that can be elucidated from these studies and how this knowledge may enable the reverse engineering of spider silk.

    • Jeffery L. Yarger
    • , Brian R. Cherry
    •  & Arjan van der Vaart
  • Review Article |

    Non-fullerene acceptors have been widely used in organic solar cells over the past 3 years. This Review focuses on the two most promising classes of non-fullerene acceptors — rylene diimide-based materials and fused-ring electron acceptors — and discusses structure–property relationships, donor– acceptor matching criteria and device physics, as well as future research directions for the field.

    • Cenqi Yan
    • , Stephen Barlow
    • , Zhaohui Wang
    • , He Yan
    • , Alex K.-Y. Jen
    • , Seth R. Marder
    •  & Xiaowei Zhan
  • Review Article |

    Material engineering offers the possibility to guide the fate of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This Review highlights integrin–growth factor receptor crosstalk mechanisms in MSC growth and differentiation, and material design strategies to trigger the synergistic signalling of integrins and growth factor receptors.

    • Matthew J. Dalby
    • , Andrés J. García
    •  & Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez
  • Review Article |

    Epitaxial hybrid nanostructures can show different functionalities and superior performance in applications from those of the individual components. This Review discusses the methods of preparation and techniques for characterization of epitaxial hybrid nanostructures with various architectures, and examines the role of epitaxial growth in influencing the properties and application performance of hybrid nanostructures.

    • Chaoliang Tan
    • , Junze Chen
    • , Xue-Jun Wu
    •  & Hua Zhang
  • Review Article |

    Light can initiate chemistries with high spatial and temporal control. In this Review, photoresponsive biomaterials developed for controlled drug delivery and complex tissue engineering are investigated with a focus on photochemistries that provide dynamic precision.

    • Emily R. Ruskowitz
    •  & Cole A. DeForest
  • Review Article |

    Organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) function as a result of ion injection from electrolytes into organic semiconductors. In this Review, the authors discuss OECT physics, organic materials and fabrication technologies, and the application of OECTs in circuits, bioelectronics and memory devices.

    • Jonathan Rivnay
    • , Sahika Inal
    • , Alberto Salleo
    • , Róisín M. Owens
    • , Magnus Berggren
    •  & George G. Malliaras
  • Review Article |

    The spin of the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defect in diamond acts as a sensitive, atomic-sized magnetic field sensor that provides nanoscale access to the properties of condensed matter systems. This Review introduces NV magnetometry and discusses its application to the exploration of static and dynamic magnetism and electric current distributions.

    • Francesco Casola
    • , Toeno van der Sar
    •  & Amir Yacoby
  • Review Article |

    Mechanical forces and electrical fields are crucial for cellular signalling and can be both inducers and indicators of disease. This Review highlights advances in nanoscale, in vivo, optical probes, discussing spatial and temporal resolution, stability and stimuli sensitivity in bioimaging.

    • Randy D. Mehlenbacher
    • , Rea Kolbl
    • , Alice Lay
    •  & Jennifer A. Dionne
  • Review Article |

    Designer materials and advanced fabrication technologies are transforming architecture, so that architects, engineers and materials scientists now work side by side to develop innovative architectural solutions. This Review follows these developments for different materials, in particular wood, ceramics, metals, concrete, glass, synthetic composites and polymers.

    • Martin Bechthold
    •  & James C. Weaver
  • Review Article |

    Nanomaterials derived from metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) show good performance in sensing, gas storage, catalysis and energy-related applications. In this Review, the influence of the morphology of MOF-derived nanostructures on their performance is elucidated, and the opportunities in this field are discussed.

    • Song Dang
    • , Qi-Long Zhu
    •  & Qiang Xu
  • Review Article |

    Advances in electronic devices have opened opportunities for extracting a variety of data from the human body, and for the treatment of diseases. In this Review, tissue properties affecting device integration are described and electronic systems interfacing with organs and engineered tissues are highlighted.

    • Ron Feiner
    •  & Tal Dvir
  • 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