Volume 19 Issue 9, September 2020

Volume 19 Issue 9

High-voltage aqueous electrolytes

Developing cheap and sustainable aqueous electrolytes with a wide voltage window is key to achieving safe and high-energy Li-ion batteries. An electrolyte using the polymer poly(ethylene glycol) as a crowding agent to decrease water activity achieves a wide operation window at low salt concentration.

See Xie et al.

Cover Design: Thomas Wilson

Editorial

  • 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.

Comment

  • 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

  • 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 |

    The lifetime of plasmonic excitations in semiconducting carbon nanotubes is found to strongly depend on the carrier density, offering a platform to study non-conventional one-dimensional electron dynamics and realize integrated nanophotonic devices.

    • Leonid I. Glazman
  • 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
  • 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

Perspectives

  • 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

Review Articles

  • Review Article |

    Thermoplasmonics is based on the use of plasmonic nanoparticles as sources of heat remotely controlled by light. This Review discusses its current applications and challenges in a broad range of scientific fields, from nanomedicine to hot-electron chemistry and nanofluidics.

    • Guillaume Baffou
    • , Frank Cichos
    •  & Romain Quidant

Matters Arising

Letters

  • Letter |

    The spectral range of long-lived and confined phonon polaritons in a polar van der Waals crystal is shown to be tunable by intercalation of Na atoms, expanding their potential for nanophotonic applications in the mid-infrared domain.

    • Javier Taboada-Gutiérrez
    • , Gonzalo Álvarez-Pérez
    • , Jiahua Duan
    • , Weiliang Ma
    • , Kyle Crowley
    • , Iván Prieto
    • , Andrei Bylinkin
    • , Marta Autore
    • , Halyna Volkova
    • , Kenta Kimura
    • , Tsuyoshi Kimura
    • , M.-H. Berger
    • , Shaojuan Li
    • , Qiaoliang Bao
    • , Xuan P. A. Gao
    • , Ion Errea
    • , Alexey Y. Nikitin
    • , Rainer Hillenbrand
    • , Javier Martín-Sánchez
    •  & Pablo Alonso-González
  • Letter |

    A cell culture interfacing an organic neuromorphic device in a microfluidic system reversibly modifies the device synaptic weight through chemical reactions mediated by the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter used in biological synapses.

    • Scott T. Keene
    • , Claudia Lubrano
    • , Setareh Kazemzadeh
    • , Armantas Melianas
    • , Yaakov Tuchman
    • , Giuseppina Polino
    • , Paola Scognamiglio
    • , Lucio Cinà
    • , Alberto Salleo
    • , Yoeri van de Burgt
    •  & Francesca Santoro

Articles

  • Article |

    Electric-field tunable plasmonic excitations in semiconducting carbon nanotubes are shown to behave consistently with the nonlinear Luttinger liquid theory, providing a platform to study non-conventional one-dimensional electron dynamics and realize integrated nanophotonic devices.

    • Sheng Wang
    • , Sihan Zhao
    • , Zhiwen Shi
    • , Fanqi Wu
    • , Zhiyuan Zhao
    • , Lili Jiang
    • , Kenji Watanabe
    • , Takashi Taniguchi
    • , Alex Zettl
    • , Chongwu Zhou
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Article |

    Radiation-induced segregation is widely observed in metals. Here it is discovered that radiation-induced segregation also occurs in a ceramic, with carbon atoms in silicon carbide segregating to the grain boundaries under irradiation.

    • Xing Wang
    • , Hongliang Zhang
    • , Tomonori Baba
    • , Hao Jiang
    • , Cheng Liu
    • , Yingxin Guan
    • , Omar Elleuch
    • , Thomas Kuech
    • , Dane Morgan
    • , Juan-Carlos Idrobo
    • , Paul M. Voyles
    •  & Izabela Szlufarska
  • Article |

    The energy density of dielectric ceramic capacitors is limited by low breakdown fields. Here, by considering the anisotropy of electrostriction in perovskites, it is shown that <111>-textured Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3–Sr0.7Bi0.2TiO3 ceramics can sustain higher electrical fields and achieve an energy density of 21.5 J cm−3.

    • Jinglei Li
    • , Zhonghui Shen
    • , Xianghua Chen
    • , Shuai Yang
    • , Wenlong Zhou
    • , Mingwen Wang
    • , Linghang Wang
    • , Qiangwei Kou
    • , Yingchun Liu
    • , Qun Li
    • , Zhuo Xu
    • , Yunfei Chang
    • , Shujun Zhang
    •  & Fei Li
  • Article |

    Developing cheap and sustainable aqueous electrolytes with a wide voltage window is key to achieving safe and high-energy Li-ion batteries. An electrolyte using the polymer poly(ethylene glycol) as a crowding agent to decrease water activity achieves a wide operation window at low salt concentration.

    • Jing Xie
    • , Zhuojian Liang
    •  & Yi-Chun Lu
  • Article |

    Melamine is shown to associate with two poly(thymine) strands, forming antiparallel duplexes that can be used for the dynamic assembly of DNA-based nanostructures.

    • Qian Li
    • , Jiemin Zhao
    • , Longfei Liu
    • , Sagun Jonchhe
    • , Felix J. Rizzuto
    • , Shankar Mandal
    • , Huawei He
    • , Sansen Wei
    • , Hanadi F. Sleiman
    • , Hanbin Mao
    •  & Chengde Mao
  • Article |

    Atomic force microscopy indentation measurements of cells cultured on soft substrates may result in an underestimation of cell stiffness. A model has now been developed that takes this soft substrate effect into account, revealing that cortical cell stiffness is largely independent of substrate mechanics.

    • Johannes Rheinlaender
    • , Andrea Dimitracopoulos
    • , Bernhard Wallmeyer
    • , Nils M. Kronenberg
    • , Kevin J. Chalut
    • , Malte C. Gather
    • , Timo Betz
    • , Guillaume Charras
    •  & Kristian Franze
  • Article |

    The polarity of primary hepatocytes has now been shown to be inducible at the single-cell level by passive artificial micro-niches, indicating that the early development of polarity occurs largely independently of the types and response of the neighbouring cells.

    • Yue Zhang
    • , Richard De Mets
    • , Cornelia Monzel
    • , Vidhyalakshmi Acharya
    • , Pearlyn Toh
    • , Jasmine Fei Li Chin
    • , Noémi Van Hul
    • , Inn Chuan Ng
    • , Hanry Yu
    • , Soon Seng Ng
    • , S. Tamir Rashid
    •  & Virgile Viasnoff

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