• Comment |

    Strong light–matter coupling in quantum cavities provides a pathway to break fundamental materials symmetries, like time-reversal symmetry in chiral cavities. This Comment discusses the potential to realize non-equilibrium states of matter that have so far been only accessible in ultrafast and ultrastrong laser-driven materials.

    • Hannes Hübener
    • , Umberto De Giovannini
    • , Christian Schäfer
    • , Johan Andberger
    • , Michael Ruggenthaler
    • , Jerome Faist
    •  & Angel Rubio
  • Comment |

    Electron microscopy touches on nearly every aspect of modern life, underpinning materials development for quantum computing, energy and medicine. We discuss the open, highly integrated and data-driven microscopy architecture needed to realize transformative discoveries in the coming decade.

    • Steven R. Spurgeon
    • , Colin Ophus
    • , Lewys Jones
    • , Amanda Petford-Long
    • , Sergei V. Kalinin
    • , Matthew J. Olszta
    • , Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
    • , Norman Salmon
    • , Khalid Hattar
    • , Wei-Chang D. Yang
    • , Renu Sharma
    • , Yingge Du
    • , Ann Chiaramonti
    • , Haimei Zheng
    • , Edgar C. Buck
    • , Libor Kovarik
    • , R. Lee Penn
    • , Dongsheng Li
    • , Xin Zhang
    • , Mitsuhiro Murayama
    •  & Mitra L. Taheri
  • Comment |

    Classical experiments from solid-state electrochemistry can be used to determine the charge of ions in solids. This Comment also clarifies how the charge of point defects fits with the standard picture of ionic charge, and highlights differences between these electrochemical experiments and methods that probe electrons directly.

    • Roger A. De Souza
    •  & David N. Mueller
  • Comment |

    Shirakawa, MacDiarmid and Heeger received the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of conducting polymers. Here we summarize the impact of (semi)conducting polymers on fundamental research, synthetic accessibility at scale, industrial applicability and the future.

    • Xugang Guo
    •  & Antonio Facchetti
  • Comment |

    Meteoritic diamonds and synthesized diamond-related materials contain a wide variety of complex nanostructures. This Comment highlights and classifies this structural complexity by a systematic hierarchical approach, and discusses the perspectives on nanostructure and properties engineering of diamond-related materials.

    • Péter Németh
    • , Kit McColl
    • , Laurence A. J. Garvie
    • , Christoph G. Salzmann
    • , Mara Murri
    •  & Paul F. McMillan
  • Comment |

    Consensus among experts is that only an effective COVID-19 vaccine will end the pandemic. This Comment focuses on how this pandemic has accelerated the development of vaccine platforms distinct from classical vaccines; these novel platforms may also increase the response time when new viruses emerge in the future.

    • Debby van Riel
    •  & Emmie de Wit
  • Comment |

    The restoration of fire-damaged historical monuments entails a wide range of scientific questions. Taking as a starting point the case of Notre-Dame de Paris, this Comment defines the materials science challenges of post-fire restoration, and also briefly outlines the issues of structural integrity, fire safety and preservation ethics.

    • Ylenia Praticò
    • , John Ochsendorf
    • , Stefan Holzer
    •  & Robert J. Flatt
  • Comment |

    The complexity of DNA-programmed nanoparticle assemblies has reached an unprecedented level owing to recent advances that enable delicate and comprehensive control over the formation of DNA bonds.

    • Shuoxing Jiang
    • , Fei Zhang
    •  & Hao Yan
  • Comment |

    The COVID-19 pandemic has reignited efforts to develop materials science innovations aimed at stopping viral infections. One of the greatest opportunities lies in developing broad-spectrum antiviral technologies that work against many viruses, which could be the key to thwarting outbreaks in the future.

    • Nam Joon Cho
    •  & Jeffrey S. Glenn
  • Comment |

    New evidence suggests that the mechanism of nanoparticle entry into solid tumours may be driven by an active process. This insight paves the way for approaches to enhance the efficiency of nanomedicine delivery by harnessing active transport mechanisms, and encourage researchers to rethink how tumours are treated.

    • Subehndu Pandit
    • , Debapriya Dutta
    •  & Shuming Nie
  • Comment |

    This is a turning point for nanofluidics. Recent progress allows envisioning both fundamental discoveries for the transport of fluids at the ultimate scales, and disruptive technologies for the water–energy nexus.

    • Lydéric Bocquet
  • Comment |

    3D printing is now widely used in aerospace, healthcare, energy, automotive and other industries. Metal printing, in particular, is the fastest growing sector, yet its development presents scientific, technological and economic challenges that must be understood and addressed.

    • T. DebRoy
    • , T. Mukherjee
    • , J. O. Milewski
    • , J. W. Elmer
    • , B. Ribic
    • , J. J. Blecher
    •  & W. Zhang
  • Comment |

    Electronic and photonic devices based on graphene have unique properties, leading to outstanding performance figures of merit. Mastering the integration of this unconventional material into an established semiconductor fabrication line represents a critical step towards commercialization.

    • Daniel Neumaier
    • , Stephan Pindl
    •  & Max C. Lemme
  • Comment |

    The past few years have witnessed significant development in graphene research, yet a number of challenges remain for its commercialization and industrialization. This Comment discusses relevant issues for industrial-scale graphene synthesis, one of the critical aspects for the future graphene industry.

    • Li Lin
    • , Hailin Peng
    •  & Zhongfan Liu
  • Comment |

    Oxides of non-magnetic cations exhibit elusive signs of weak temperature-independent ferromagnetism. The effect is associated with surface defects, but it defies conventional explanation. Possible hypotheses are a spin-split defect impurity band, or giant orbital paramagnetism related to zero-point vacuum fluctuations.

    • J. M. D. Coey
  • Comment |

    Highly quantitative, robust, single-cell analyses can help to unravel disease heterogeneity and lead to clinical insights, particularly for complex and chronic diseases. Advances in computer vision and machine learning can empower label-free cell-based diagnostics to capture subtle disease states.

    • Minh Doan
    •  & Anne E. Carpenter
  • Comment |

    At the recent Artificial Intelligence Applications in Biopharma Summit in Boston, USA, a panel of scientists from industry who work at the interface of machine learning and pharma discussed the diverging opinions on the past, present and future role of AI for ADME/Tox in drug discovery and development.

    • Barun Bhhatarai
    • , W. Patrick Walters
    • , Cornelis E. C. A. Hop
    • , Guido Lanza
    •  & Sean Ekins
  • Comment |

    Rapid progress in machine learning is enabling opportunities for improved clinical decision support. Importantly, however, developing, validating and implementing machine learning models for healthcare entail some particular considerations to increase the chances of eventually improving patient care.

    • Po-Hsuan Cameron Chen
    • , Yun Liu
    •  & Lily Peng
  • Comment |

    Topological structures have considerable potential in nanoelectronics and new device concepts. They are key to the design and understanding of novel functionalities in ferroic materials — that is, materials that have one or more types of built-in order such as magnetic, ferroelectric, ferroelastic and multiferroic materials.

    • Jan Seidel
  • Comment |

    This Comment describes some of the common pitfalls encountered in deriving and validating predictive statistical models from high-dimensional data. It offers a fresh perspective on some key statistical issues, providing some guidelines to avoid pitfalls, and to help unfamiliar readers better assess the reliability and significance of their results.

    • Andrew E. Teschendorff
  • Comment |

    Space missions require materials that can preserve functional integrity under extreme conditions of heat, impact and radiation. This Comment outlines the materials properties needed for some of the most ambitious space missions and presents the design and testing principles before their incorporation.

    • Tommaso Ghidini
  • Comment |

    Solar cells based on metal halide perovskites continue to approach their theoretical performance limits thanks to worldwide research efforts. Mastering the materials properties and addressing stability may allow this technology to bring profound transformations to the electric power generation industry.

    • Henry J. Snaith