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  • Liquid crystal (LC) applications typically rely on defining the non-topological spatial patterns of the optical axis. Here, the authors demonstrate the topological steering of light by LC nematic vortices, futher establishing an analogy between topological light steering by LC vortices and cosmic strings.

    • Cuiling Meng
    • Jin-Sheng Wu
    • Ivan I. Smalyukh
  • Viscoelasticity is a universal mechanical feature of the extracellular matrix. Here the authors show that the extracellular matrix viscoelasticity guides tissue growth and symmetry breaking, a fundamental process in morphogenesis and oncogenesis.

    • Alberto Elosegui-Artola
    • Anupam Gupta
    • David J. Mooney
  • Zhi-Wei Shan, a professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University (School of Materials Science and Engineering), talks to Nature Materials about the non-negligible impact of trace impurities in metallic structural materials.

    • Xin Li
  • An apparent quirk of mathematics draws on a symmetry and resolves the issue of how to determine the equilibrium shape of crystals of two-dimensional materials with asymmetric terminations.

    • Paul Erhart
    • J. Magnus Rahm
    News & Views
  • About 700 scientists from 45 countries gathered in Dresden for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to share their latest findings on metal–organic frameworks and open frameworks compounds.

    • Veronique Van Speybroeck
    • Guillaume Maurin
    Meeting Report
  • This Review discusses recent progress in bioinspired nanocomposite design, emphasizing the role of hierarchical structuring at distinct length scales to create multifunctional, lightweight and robust structural materials for diverse technological applications.

    • Dhriti Nepal
    • Saewon Kang
    • Hendrik Heinz
    Review Article
  • Experiments with entangled photons, which enabled the pioneering of quantum information science, have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics.

  • As metal–organic frameworks move towards practical application, data for an expanded range of physical properties are needed. Molecular-level modelling and data science can play an important role.

    • Randall Q. Snurr
    News & Views
  • Angle-resolved photo-emission spectroscopy measurements demonstrate that different types of three-dimensional charge-order pattern are realized in distinct members of a newly discovered family of superconductors with underlying kagome lattices.

    • Rafael M. Fernandes
    News & Views
  • A transition from three- to two-dimensional magnon transport in ultrathin yttrium iron garnet films reveals giant spin conductivity at room temperature.

    • M. Benjamin Jungfleisch
    News & Views
  • Coupling charge transfer with molecular protonation processes yields electronic systems that display negative differential conductance, an effect that can be harnessed to implement a wide range of device configurations from logic gates to synaptic behaviour.

    • Joshua Hihath
    News & Views
  • To realize electronic operations beyond the von Neumann bottleneck, a new type of switch that can mimic self-learning is needed. Here, the authors demonstrate all-in-one-place logic and memory operations based on dynamic molecular switch that can emulate brain-like synaptic and Pavlovian response, bringing the field a step closer to molecular-scale hardware.

    • Yulong Wang
    • Qian Zhang
    • Christian A. Nijhuis
  • Spectral shifts in transient photoluminescence measurements performed with a confocal microscope allow tracking of charge carrier mobilities in polycrystalline halide perovskites.

    • Thomas Kirchartz
    News & Views
  • The authors report a crossover from easy-plane to easy-axis magnetic anisotropy in monolayer RuCl3, which they attribute to an in-plane distortion of the Cl atoms observed in electron diffraction that modify the non-Kitaev exchange terms. The results are useful for overcoming the challenge of realizing a quantum spin liquid.

    • Bowen Yang
    • Yin Min Goh
    • Adam W. Tsen