Volume 13 Issue 6, June 2018

Volume 13 Issue 6

When light becomes water

Solar water evaporation has the potential to offer an attractive method of energy harvesting for water desalination and purification. To fare well in real-life applications, this technology requires cost-effective, high-performance and compact solar vapour generators. Zhao, Zhou and co-workers have designed a hierarchically nanostructured gel formulated of hydrophilic polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and light absorbing polypyrrole (PPy) capable of fast and efficient solar energy conversion into pure water. The water collected in a PVA network can rapidly diffuse via multiple micron channels and internal gaps, allowing the PVA molecular meshes to replenish with water to match high-rate vapour generation. The cover image represents water molecules confined in the molecular mesh of the PVA network.

See Zhao, F et al.

Image: Ella Maru Studio. Cover Design: Alex Wing

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    The 2018 Kavli Prize recognizes scientists working in the field of basic biology and reminds us of the importance of fundamental research for uncovering the technologies of the future.

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Biomimetic devices that mimic butterfly wing nanostructures will help the fight against glaucoma.

    • Wolfgang Fink
  • News & Views |

    Degenerately doped semiconductors can sustain spin-polarized populations of electrons at room temperature.

    • Vassilios Kapaklis
  • News & Views |

    An automated robotic system is capable of assembling 2D van der Waals heterostructures of unprecedented complexity in a timely fashion.

    • Riccardo Frisenda
    •  & Andres Castellanos-Gomez
  • News & Views |

    A graphene sheet near a metal nanoantenna squeezes infrared photons into a subnanometric gap, pushing the limits of nanophotonics.

    • Alberto G. Curto
    •  & Jaime Gómez Rivas

Perspectives

Letters

  • Letter |

    Electron holography enables direct experimental verification of the existence of chiral bobbers in thin films of chiral magnets.

    • Fengshan Zheng
    • , Filipp N. Rybakov
    • , Aleksandr B. Borisov
    • , Dongsheng Song
    • , Shasha Wang
    • , Zi-An Li
    • , Haifeng Du
    • , Nikolai S. Kiselev
    • , Jan Caron
    • , András Kovács
    • , Mingliang Tian
    • , Yuheng Zhang
    • , Stefan Blügel
    •  & Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
  • Letter |

    A new matrix engineering strategy enables improvements of CQD solar cell efficiency via considerable enhancement of the photocarrier diffusion length.

    • Jixian Xu
    • , Oleksandr Voznyy
    • , Mengxia Liu
    • , Ahmad R. Kirmani
    • , Grant Walters
    • , Rahim Munir
    • , Maged Abdelsamie
    • , Andrew H. Proppe
    • , Amrita Sarkar
    • , F. Pelayo García de Arquer
    • , Mingyang Wei
    • , Bin Sun
    • , Min Liu
    • , Olivier Ouellette
    • , Rafael Quintero-Bermudez
    • , Jie Li
    • , James Fan
    • , Lina Quan
    • , Petar Todorovic
    • , Hairen Tan
    • , Sjoerd Hoogland
    • , Shana O. Kelley
    • , Morgan Stefik
    • , Aram Amassian
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Letter |

    Protein-actuated clustering of magnetic nanoparticles enables MRI-based measurement of extracellular calcium ion dynamics in the living rodent brain.

    • Satoshi Okada
    • , Benjamin B. Bartelle
    • , Nan Li
    • , Vincent Breton-Provencher
    • , Jiyoung J. Lee
    • , Elisenda Rodriguez
    • , James Melican
    • , Mriganka Sur
    •  & Alan Jasanoff

Articles

Amendments & Corrections

In the Classroom

  • In the Classroom |

    Kostya S. Novoselov, professor of physics at the University of Manchester, UK, has been digging into the details of the life of an editor by asking Fabio Pulizzi, Chief Editor of Nature Nanotechnology, some inside information on his work.

    • Kostya S. Novoselov
    •  & Fabio Pulizzi