Volume 3 Issue 6, June 2004

Volume 3 Issue 6

Three-dimensional reconstruction of the morphological evolution of topologically complex systems during coarsening

Cover design by Karen Moore

Editorial

Commentary

  • Commentary |

    Older, established disciplines, such as physics and chemistry, cover clearly identifiable fields. Is materials science a similarly coherent discipline, or is it rather an expedient and ephemeral label? And should materials science departments define a stable curriculum, or instead adapt and readapt to an ever-changing market?

    • Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
    •  & Arne Hessenbruch

Research News

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Semiconductors that exhibit room-temperature ferromagnetism are central to the development of semiconductor spintronics. Manganese-doped chalcopyrites are a promising class of such materials, but their success will depend on our ability to understand and optimize their behaviour. First-principles materials design could provide a way to achieve these goals.

    • Silvia Picozzi
  • News & Views |

    Structural applications of nanostructured metals often require both high strength and good ductility. But although these metals usually have high strength, their ductility is often too low. New experimental work suggests that it is possible to retain the ductility of metals after nanostructuring by activating certain deformation mechanisms.

    • Yuntian T. Zhu
    •  & Xiaozhou Liao
  • News & Views |

    Two-phase mixtures can have both complex morphologies and behaviour that is far from that predicted by the classical mathematical models developed for dispersions of spherical particles. Coupling experimental structural data with phase-field calculations provides a useful tool to predict the morphological evolution of these complicated systems.

    • David T. Wu
  • News & Views |

    Passing a DNA strand many times back-and-forth through a protein nanopore would enable the interaction between them to be studied more closely. This may now be possible, using a dumbbell-shaped DNA–polymer complex, which may lead to a more reliable analysis of DNA sequences using nanopores.

    • John J. Kasianowicz
  • News & Views |

    Many techniques for growing metallic and semiconducting nanowires have been developed, but most are slow, complicated or material specific. A new approach based on creating and then filling nanosized cracks in a thin film could enable horizontal nanowires to be made more quickly and easily, and from a wider range of materials.

    • Silke Christiansen
    •  & Ulrich Gösele

Letters

Articles