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  • Ferroelectric dead layers can form at perovskite interfaces—a major challenge in integrating oxide thin films into devices. Here, by depositing an in-plane-polarized epitaxial buffer layer of Bi5FeTi3O15, out-of-plane polarization is demonstrated in ultrathin films down to the single-unit-cell level.

    • Elzbieta Gradauskaite
    • Quintin N. Meier
    • Morgan Trassin
    ArticleOpen Access
  • An additively manufactured AlSi10Mg alloy shows high fatigue strength, even close to its tensile strength, for micro-sized samples. The fine cells in its inherent three-dimensional network are considered as cages to limit damage accumulation.

    • Christopher Hutchinson
    News & Views
  • Quantum dots couple to form artificial molecules that allow for variable colour emission in response to an electric field.

    • James Cassidy
    • Justin Ondry
    • Dmitri V. Talapin
    News & Views
  • Remotely powered vertical electrochemical transistors are demonstrated to track subtle nerve-cell activity even when the transistor core is fully shielded from the biological environment.

    • C. Eckel
    • R. T. Weitz
    News & Views
  • Oxide glasses can be intrinsically toughened by forming crystal-like, medium-range order clusters, which transform inversely to the amorphous state under stress, exciting multiple shear bands for plastic deformation.

    • Hewei Zhao
    • Lin Guo
    News & Views
  • Overcoming the intrinsic brittleness of inorganic glasses and ceramics improves structural reliability under operation, while also increasing their competitiveness for flexible devices.

  • Extracting information about polymer network topology from mechanical properties alone remains challenging. Here the authors develop a forensic approach to quantify network structural information by analysing their nonlinear mechanics.

    • Andrey V. Dobrynin
    • Yuan Tian
    • Sergei S. Sheiko
  • Self-healing behaviour in a nanotwinned diamond composite, at room temperature, has been quantitatively evaluated through tensile testing. The phenomenon is shown to arise from a transition of atomic interactions from repulsion to attraction and the formation of nanoscale diamond ‘osteoblasts’, in analogy to the process of bone healing in living organisms.

    Research Briefing
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) tape is widely used for lithium-ion batteries but its chemical stability has been largely overlooked. Reversible self-discharge is now shown to be virtually eliminated in LiFePO4–graphite cells by replacing PET with polypropylene jellyroll tape.

    • Anu Adamson
    • Kenneth Tuul
    • Michael Metzger
  • The room-temperature self-healing behaviour of a nanotwinned diamond composite is quantitatively evaluated and found to stem from both the formation of nanoscale diamond osteoblasts and the atomic interaction transition from repulsion to attraction.

    • Keliang Qiu
    • Jingpeng Hou
    • Lin Guo
  • Unit-cell-thick films of metal–organic frameworks with ordered porosity would be attractive for membrane applications as these thin systems combine large molecular flux with high selectivity. Here crystalline ZIF films are grown on a crystalline substrate with high H2/N2 gas separation performance.

    • Qi Liu
    • Yurun Miao
    • Kumar Varoon Agrawal
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Trapped films of air known as plastrons are promising for underwater engineering but typically have short lifetimes. Here, aerophilic titanium alloy surfaces are developed with thermodynamically stabilized plastrons for antifouling applications.

    • Alexander B. Tesler
    • Stefan Kolle
    • Wolfgang H. Goldmann
  • Dynamic disorder reduces the carrier mobility in organic semiconductors (OSs) to an extent that depends on their specific electronic band structure. Here the authors study the temperature-dependent hole mobility of two structurally similar OSs and find that thermal access to transiently delocalized states enhances hole mobility in C8-DNTT-C8 compared to DNTT.

    • Samuele Giannini
    • Lucia Di Virgilio
    • David Beljonne
  • The rational design of out-of-equilibrium demixing transitions remains challenging. Active fluids are used to control the liquid–liquid phase separation of passive DNA nanostars and establish the activity-based control of the phase diagram.

    • Alexandra M. Tayar
    • Fernando Caballero
    • Zvonimir Dogic