Image: European XFEL. Cover design: Charlotte Gurr.

In the July issue

Experimental advances in high-dimensional quantum entanglement, nanoscale control by chemically vapour-deposited polymers, quantum certification and benchmarking and a special Focus on XFELs.

Latest Reviews

  • Review Article |

    Despite comprising only about 15% of the known molecular inventory of the interstellar medium, molecular ions have an outsized role in driving chemical evolution. This Review examines the advances — and challenges — in laboratory spectroscopy that have enabled the study of ions in space.

    • Brett A. McGuire
    • , Oskar Asvany
    • , Sandra Brünken
    •  & Stephan Schlemmer
  • Technical Review |

    Quantum simulation with ultracold atomic gases is an established platform for investigating complex quantum processes. Focusing on optical lattice experiments, this Technical Review overviews the available tools and their applications to the simulation of solid-state physics problems.

    • Florian Schäfer
    • , Takeshi Fukuhara
    • , Seiji Sugawa
    • , Yosuke Takasu
    •  & Yoshiro Takahashi
  • Review Article |

    The study of higher-dimensional quantum states has seen numerous conceptual and technological developments. This review discusses various techniques for the generation and processing of qudits, which are stored in the momentum, path, time-/frequency-bins, or the orbital angular momentum of photons.

    • Manuel Erhard
    • , Mario Krenn
    •  & Anton Zeilinger
  • Review Article |

    Chemical vapour deposition (CVD) enables the synthesis of high-purity, pinhole-free and conformal polymer thin films. This Review discusses the recent breakthroughs in mechanistically based CVD polymerization processes and designing CVD polymers for a diverse array of applications.

    • Karen K. Gleason
  • Technical Review |

    Quantum technologies require an extremely precise functioning of their components which is ensured by sophisticated tools for device characterization. This Technical Review surveys and assesses the currently available tools according to their overall complexity, information gain, and underlying assumptions.

    • Jens Eisert
    • , Dominik Hangleiter
    • , Nathan Walk
    • , Ingo Roth
    • , Damian Markham
    • , Rhea Parekh
    • , Ulysse Chabaud
    •  & Elham Kashefi
  • Technical Review |

    Methods for measuring stress in living cells, tissues and organs are advancing steadily and are increasingly being used for biomedical applications. In this Review, we discuss the concept of tissue stress and the techniques available to measure it in 2D and 3D cell and tissue cultures and in vivo.

    • Manuel Gómez-González
    • , Ernest Latorre
    • , Marino Arroyo
    •  & Xavier Trepat

News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    This month in a dedicated Focus issue, we look back at the first decade of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) and forward to the challenges and opportunities lying ahead.

  • Research Highlight |

    Over the past decade, several X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) facilities have been constructed and started operation worldwide. New, high-repetition XFELs are expected to open to users in the next 5 years.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • Research Highlight |

    Twenty-five years ago a paper in Science reported the first observation of the exotic state of matter predicted in the 1920s by Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein: a Bose–Einstein condensate.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • Comment |

    Why the Hall conductance is quantized was an open problem in condensed matter theory for much of the past 40 years. Spyridon Michalakis who worked on the solution — published in 2015 — gives a personal take on how the field evolved.

    • Spyridon Michalakis
  • Research Highlight |

    Analysis of citation behaviours in neuroscience indicate that papers led by men are cited more than would be expected based on other characteristics; the discrepancy is most prominent in the citation behaviours of men and is getting worse over time.

    • Zoe Budrikis
  • Comment |

    Miguel Mostafa describes the Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON), an online network that enables real-time coincidence searches using data from the leading multimessenger observatories and astronomical facilities.

    • Miguel Mostafá


X-ray Free Electron Lasers

European XFEL

X-ray Free Electron Lasers

In this Focus issue we look back at the first decade of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). In a series of six Comment pieces, leading scientists discuss the challenges in making XFEL science routine and outline the opportunities that lie ahead.