Perspectives

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  • Perspective |

    Although low-temperature water electrolysers are crucial for decarbonizing the industrial sector, substantial improvements in performance and deployment rates are needed. Recent developments in devices with modified architectures and designs, and practical challenges hampering large-scale deployment are discussed.

    • Marie Francine Lagadec
    •  & Alexis Grimaud
  • Perspective |

    Lewis acid aluminium sites in zeolites enable some industrially relevant catalytic reactions, such as biomass valorization. This Perspective explores the origin and interpretation of these species, and discusses characterization techniques that can close knowledge gaps.

    • Manoj Ravi
    • , Vitaly L. Sushkevich
    •  & Jeroen A. van Bokhoven
  • Perspective |

    Chiral surfaces are fundamental materials for the preparation of enantiomerically pure pharmaceuticals. This Perspective discusses the recent advances in the fabrication of chiral surfaces and the progress towards scalable, high-surface-area, enantiomerically pure surfaces.

    • Nisha Shukla
    •  & Andrew J. Gellman
  • Perspective |

    Semimetal photodetectors provide high-speed and broadband operation but suffer from serious drawbacks such as high dark currents. This Perspective discusses the opportunities offered by topological effects to overcome these issues and improve their performance.

    • Jing Liu
    • , Fengnian Xia
    • , Di Xiao
    • , F. Javier García de Abajo
    •  & Dong Sun
  • Perspective |

    The carbon dioxide reduction reaction can enable renewable energy storage by producing valuable products such as ethylene. This Perspective provides an overview of strategies that use molecular enhancement of heterogeneous catalysts to improve activity, efficiency and selectivity.

    • Dae-Hyun Nam
    • , Phil De Luna
    • , Alonso Rosas-Hernández
    • , Arnaud Thevenon
    • , Fengwang Li
    • , Theodor Agapie
    • , Jonas C. Peters
    • , Osama Shekhah
    • , Mohamed Eddaoudi
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective explores correlative characterization for bringing together multiple imaging modalities with maps of local chemistry, structure and functional performance to improve our understanding and manufacturing of existing materials and facilitate data-centric materials innovation.

    • T. L. Burnett
    •  & P. J. Withers
  • Perspective |

    Disorder in two-dimensional materials largely affects their properties and performance. This Perspective discusses disorder sources in graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides, the progress in disorder control, and possible uses of disorder.

    • Daniel Rhodes
    • , Sang Hoon Chae
    • , Rebeca Ribeiro-Palau
    •  & James Hone
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective describes the application of machine learning models in the design, synthesis and characterisation of molecules at different stages in the drug discovery and development process.

    • Sean Ekins
    • , Ana C. Puhl
    • , Kimberley M. Zorn
    • , Thomas R. Lane
    • , Daniel P. Russo
    • , Jennifer J. Klein
    • , Anthony J. Hickey
    •  & Alex M. Clark
  • Perspective |

    Electrolyte gating of complex oxides enables substantial control of electronic phase transitions, allowing electrical control of complex phenomena. Here, the role of both electrostatic and electrochemical mechanisms in this process is elucidated.

    • Chris Leighton
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective explores the history and usage of the concept of oxidation state, its relation to atomic charge and bonding, and opportunities that arise from applying this analysis to systems with mixed valence or correlated electrons.

    • Aron Walsh
    • , Alexey A. Sokol
    • , John Buckeridge
    • , David O. Scanlon
    •  & C. Richard A. Catlow
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective describes the recent advances in understanding and controlling the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes as well as the progress towards the fabrication of new electrically driven single-photon sources.

    • X. He
    • , H. Htoon
    • , S. K. Doorn
    • , W. H. P. Pernice
    • , F. Pyatkov
    • , R. Krupke
    • , A. Jeantet
    • , Y. Chassagneux
    •  & C. Voisin
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective explores the optical, mechanical and thermal properties required to successfully design an ultralight spacecraft that can reach Proxima Centauri b, which is the goal of the Starshot Breakthrough Initiative.

    • Harry A. Atwater
    • , Artur R. Davoyan
    • , Ognjen Ilic
    • , Deep Jariwala
    • , Michelle C. Sherrott
    • , Cora M. Went
    • , William S. Whitney
    •  & Joeson Wong
  • Perspective |

    Catalysts for CO2 photo- or electroreduction must balance activity, selectivity and efficiency. Here, the authors discuss the use of metal–organic frameworks for these processes and the role reticular chemistry may play in designing new catalysts.

    • Christian S. Diercks
    • , Yuzhong Liu
    • , Kyle E. Cordova
    •  & Omar M. Yaghi
  • Perspective |

    Advances in biomaterials have enabled control over desired cell responses. Here, the authors highlight key analytical and bioprocessing techniques, outlining a framework for incorporating these tools into designing functionally optimal biomaterials.

    • Max Darnell
    •  & David J. Mooney
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective discusses recent progress in the field of topological states in condensed matter; initiated by the quantum Hall effect, it now includes systems like topological insulators, topological superconductors, and Weyl/Dirac semimetals.

    • Jing Wang
    •  & Shou-Cheng Zhang
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective discusses the spin-dependent properties emerging at the interfaces of molecular and inorganic materials, and describes possible future developments for spin-based technologies.

    • Mirko Cinchetti
    • , V. Alek Dediu
    •  & Luis E. Hueso
  • Perspective |

    The current state-of-the-art and possible future developments on two-dimensional silicene, germanene, and stanene sheets (called 2D-Xenes), and their ligand-functionalized derivatives (Xanes), are discussed.

    • Alessandro Molle
    • , Joshua Goldberger
    • , Michel Houssa
    • , Yong Xu
    • , Shou-Cheng Zhang
    •  & Deji Akinwande
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective provides an overview of the contributions of materials science to a sustainable energy future, and discusses possible regulatory paths to support this transition.

    • Steven Chu
    • , Yi Cui
    •  & Nian Liu