News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    The expanding realm of diamond and related superhard materials requires understanding their structural complexity and the correlation with synthesis conditions for potential properties engineering.

  • News & Views |

    In situ metabolic labelling and targeted modulation of dendritic cells has been achieved using a hydrogel system in combination with covalent capture of antigens and adjuvants, facilitating improved tumour-specific immune response.

    • Joshua M. Gammon
    •  & Christopher M. Jewell
  • News & Views |

    Light is known to induce segregation of iodine and bromine in mixed-halide perovskites. Counterintuitively, it is now shown that irradiation at higher intensity reverses this process, leading to halide remixing.

    • Masaru Kuno
  • Editorial |

    Zeolites have proven to be a boon for industrial catalysis, and our knowledge of how chemical processes work in these materials continues to increase.

  • Q&A |

    Avelino Corma, professor at the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ-CSIC-Polytechnical University of Valencia), talks to Nature Materials about challenges facing zeolites, and issues faced in commercializing research.

    • Stephen Shevlin
  • News & Views |

    Zeolitic catalyst particles are grown with nanosized fins that improve mass transport into the interior of the particle. This delays catalyst deactivation in the methanol-to-hydrocarbons process.

    • German Sastre
  • News & Views |

    Polymeric glasses with significant thermodynamic and kinetic stability have been fabricated using physical vapour deposition, providing a mean to gather insight into the properties of glasses aged for millions of years.

    • Juan J. de Pablo
  • News & Views |

    Controlling nuclear spins coupled to an electron spin in silicon carbide has enabled development of a ‘quantum register’ interfaced with telecom photons, leading to the possibility of distant transport of quantum information.

    • Siddharth Dhomkar
    •  & John J. L. Morton
  • News & Views |

    Correlated real-space imaging and optical measurements of twisted MoSe2/WSe2 bilayers reveal strain-induced modulations of the moiré potential landscape, tuning arrays of 0D traps into 1D stripes and leading to substantial changes in the optical response of the heterostructures.

    • Long Zhang
    •  & Hui Deng
  • News & Views |

    Carbon nanotubes with single-digit diameter embedded in a solid artificial membrane show pressure-sensitive ionic conductance that is similar to the mechanically activated currents of biological ion channels.

    • Sanjin Marion
    •  & Aleksandra Radenovic
  • 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
  • News & Views |

    The discovery of intrinsic quantum confinement effects in the form of oscillations in the optical absorption of formamidinium lead triiodide thin films is a vivid example of the surprising physical properties of these hybrid organic–inorganic materials.

    • Alejandro R. Goñi
  • Editorial |

    Twenty years after the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of conducting polymers, we reflect on the open research questions and the status of commercial development of these materials.

  • News & Views |

    Functional single-cell liver hemi-canaliculi have been generated in a synthetic microenvironment using a reductionist approach. It is shown that the interaction between the extracellular matrix and static cadherin is sufficient to develop an apicobasal polarity independently of the contact with neighbouring cells.

    • Covadonga Díaz-Díaz
    •  & Fernando Martín-Belmonte
  • News & Views |

    Controlling the handedness of magnetic excitations in magnetic materials is crucial for magnonic applications. Ferrimagnets provide a promising route.

    • Satoshi Okamoto
  • News & Views |

    A crystallographic brick wall design for polycrystalline dielectric ceramics now allows the application of high electric fields at minimal misfit strain, yielding supreme reliability and high energy density.

    • Jürgen Rödel
  • 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
  • News & Views |

    The generation of charge-neutral anti-Frenkel defects in a complex transition metal oxide provides a useful pathway for controlling electronic conductivity while minimizing the impact on existing functions.

    • Ji Soo Lim
    •  & Chan-Ho Yang
  • 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
  • Editorial |

    Within a few weeks of the novel coronavirus genome sequence being published, numerous therapies and vaccines have entered clinical trials with a few showing great promise in alleviating symptoms and accelerating recovery.

  • 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
  • News & Views |

    Nanoformulations of cabotegravir prodrugs have been developed to prolong the pharmacokinetics of the antiretroviral agent. They can be present in the plasma of mice and non-human primates for a year following a single injection.

    • Vicente Soriano
    • , Pablo Barreiro
    •  & Carmen de Mendoza
  • News & Views |

    Flat sub-bands induced by moiré patterns and correlation effects are demonstrated in a twisted bilayer of the transition metal dichalcogenide WSe2 through a series of transport experiments.

    • Junwei Liu
  • 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
  • Q&A |

    Aline Magnien, director of the Historical Monuments Research Laboratory in Champs-sur-Marne in France, talks to Nature Materials about their work in materials damage assessment serving for the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris.

    • Xin Li
  • News & Views |

    The integration of silicon-based waveguides with barium titanate thin films enables the realization of efficient electro-optic switches and modulators operating at cryogenic temperatures, offering promising opportunities for quantum technologies.

    • Goran Z. Mashanovich
  • Editorial |

    Prompted by advances in the programmability of DNA nanostructures and their hybridization, the complexity of nanomaterial lattices guided by DNA continues to increase.

  • News & Views |

    Reprogramming normal cells into tumour precursors involves complex reconditioning of the tissue microenvironment. Cumulative integration of genetic drivers with extrinsic mechanical inputs is now shown to engage YAP/TAZ to rewire cell mechanics and initiate tumorigenic reprogramming.

    • Sayan Chakraborty
    •  & Wanjin Hong
  • News & Views |

    Creation of bioinspired ion channels that separate ions without compromising selectivity, conductivity or rectification ability has long been a challenge. Integration of metal–organic frameworks into asymmetric nanopore membranes overcomes this limitation.

    • Alexandre Legrand
    •  & Shuhei Furukawa
  • News & Views |

    Programmable DNA building blocks hosting diverse nano-objects assemble into three-dimensional nanoparticle lattices whose geometry is determined by the shape and valence of the DNA block.

    • Veikko Linko
    •  & Mauri A. Kostiainen
  • News & Views |

    Programmable DNA hybridization is used to mediate the self-assembly of substrate-bound DNA-grafted gold nanoparticles into single-crystalline Winterbottom and non-Winterbottom constructions with particular size, shape and orientation.

    • Chang Liu
    •  & Qian Chen
  • 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
  • News & Views |

    Organic neuromorphic devices are now able to take direct input from cellular neurotransmitter release.

    • Tobias Cramer
  • Editorial |

    Interlayer excitons trapped within van der Waals heterostructures hold great promise for the design of quantum materials, but investigations into their fundamental properties are crucial for future developments in the field.

  • News & Views |

    Two studies investigate the behaviour of localized interlayer excitons in van der Waals heterostructures, offering insights into their dipolar interactions and the effect of moiré trapping potentials for the design of quantum optical applications based on 2D materials.

    • Alexander Tartakovskii
  • News & Views |

    While integrin-based adhesions are thought to underlie many aspects of cell response to localized tension, another matrix receptor, syndecan-4, has now been shown to act as a mechanosensor, which triggers cell-wide integrin activation and adhesion reinforcement.

    • Christophe Guilluy
    •  & Monika E. Dolega
  • News & Views |

    Two independent studies describe the discovery of structurally pure cubic ice Ic made from either ice XVII or a high-pressure hydrogen hydrate.

    • Christoph G. Salzmann
    •  & Benjamin J. Murray
  • 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
  • News & Views |

    First-principles calculations predicted electronic topological properties for 2D honeycomb–kagome polymers, which have been now confirmed experimentally thanks to improvements in on-surface synthesis.

    • Yu Jing
    •  & Thomas Heine
  • Obituary |

    Father of modern ferroelectrics.

    • Gustau Catalan
    • , Matthew Dawber
    • , Marty Gregg
    • , Finlay Morrison
    • , Ramamoorthy Ramesh
    •  & Pavlo Zubko
  • Why it Matters |

    Litao Sun, Yongming Tang and Wei Zuo reflect on their experience of nationwide distance learning in China’s universities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    • Litao Sun
    • , Yongming Tang
    •  & Wei Zuo
  • Editorial |

    A collective effort from materials scientists, life scientists and clinicians is required to systematically address fundamental questions in the mechanisms of nanoparticle delivery in order to overcome the hurdles in translating nanomedicines for tumour therapy.

  • 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