Engineering

  • Article |

    The PiezoMem membrane responsive to hydraulic pressure is introduced, showing the ability to convert pressure pulses into electroactive responses for in situ self-cleaning and enabling broad-spectrum antifouling action towards a range of membrane foulants.

    • Yang Zhao
    • , Yuna Gu
    •  & Guandao Gao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To perch safely, large birds minimize the distance flown after stalling when swooping up from a dive to a perch, but not the time or energy required.

    • Marco KleinHeerenbrink
    • , Lydia A. France
    •  & Graham K. Taylor
  • Perspective |

    Developments, challenges and opportunities in using two-dimensional materials for the next generation of non-volatile spin-based memory technologies are reviewed, and possible disruptive improvements are discussed.

    • Hyunsoo Yang
    • , Sergio O. Valenzuela
    •  & Stephan Roche
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An organic bipolar junction transistor composed of highly crystalline rubrene thin films has a device architecture that could be used in organic electronics with greatly improved high-frequency performance

    • Shu-Jen Wang
    • , Michael Sawatzki
    •  & Karl Leo
  • Article |

    Lab experiments show that spontaneously propagating ruptures navigate fault regions through intermittent slip with dramatic friction evolution, providing support that weakening mechanisms may allow ruptures to break through stable faults.

    • V. Rubino
    • , N. Lapusta
    •  & A. J. Rosakis
  • Article |

    Using a three-layer opto-electronic neural network, direct, clock-less sub-nanosecond image classification on a silicon photonics chip is demonstrated, achieving a classification time comparable with a single clock cycle of state-of-the-art digital implementations.

    • Farshid Ashtiani
    • , Alexander J. Geers
    •  & Firooz Aflatouni
  • Article |

    A comparison of the energetics of jumping between biological and engineered systems shows that engineered systems can greatly increase energy limits using the process of work multiplication, and this analysis leads to the demonstration of a 30-centimetre device jumping over 30 metres.

    • Elliot W. Hawkes
    • , Charles Xiao
    •  & Günter Niemeyer
  • Perspective |

    The benefits and future prospects of neuromorphic, or bio-inspired, computing technologies are discussed, as is the need for a global, coordinated approach to funding, research and collaboration.

    • A. Mehonic
    •  & A. J. Kenyon
  • Article |

    In the standard Si transistor gate stack, replacing conventional dielectric HfO2 with an ultrathin ferroelectric–antiferroelectric HfO2–ZrO2 heterostructure exhibiting the negative capacitance effect demonstrates ultrahigh capacitance without degradation in leakage and mobility, promising for ferroelectric integration into advanced logic technology.

    • Suraj S. Cheema
    • , Nirmaan Shanker
    •  & Sayeef Salahuddin
  • Article |

    A material design strategy and fabrication process is described to produce all-polymer light-emitting diodes with high brightness, current efficiency and good mechanical stability, with applications in skin electronics and human–machine interfaces.

    • Zhitao Zhang
    • , Weichen Wang
    •  & Zhenan Bao
  • Article |

    A piezoelectric fibre woven into a machine-washable fabric converts tenuous sound pressure into electric signals and is used to listen to cardiac sound, determine the source direction of a sound, and record and play back audio.

    • Wei Yan
    • , Grace Noel
    •  & Yoel Fink
  • Article |

    A dandelion-inspired wireless solar-powered sensing device weighing 30 milligrams that transmits data through radio backscatter achieves dispersal over a wide area by travelling on the breeze, and successfully lands upright.

    • Vikram Iyer
    • , Hans Gaensbauer
    •  & Shyamnath Gollakota
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A study reports a quantum gravity gradient sensor with a design that eliminates the need for long measurement times, and demonstrates the detection of an underground tunnel in an urban environment.

    • Ben Stray
    • , Andrew Lamb
    •  & Michael Holynski
  • Perspective |

    The concept of 'Embodied Energy'—in which the components of a robot or device both store energy and provide a mechanical or structural function—is put forward, along with specific robot-design principles.

    • Cameron A. Aubin
    • , Benjamin Gorissen
    •  & Robert F. Shepherd
  • Perspective |

    The economic, technical, environmental and safety requirements of battery-powered aircraft are considered, and promising technologies and future prospects for battery innovation are discussed.

    • Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan
    • , Alan H. Epstein
    •  & Michael Winter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Three-dimensional reconstructions of morphology and flight mechanics of the beetle Paratuposa placentis reveal adaptations that enable extremely small insects to fly at speeds similar to those of much larger insects.

    • Sergey E. Farisenkov
    • , Dmitry Kolomenskiy
    •  & Alexey A. Polilov
  • Article |

    A framework for selective sulfidation is proposed for the practical separation and enrichment of numerous metallic elements, to enable environmentally and economically sustainable metal processing.

    • Caspar Stinn
    •  & Antoine Allanore
  • Article |

    A stretchable anode, cathode, semiconductor and current collector have been developed to create stretchable diodes that can operate at megahertz frequencies for use in wirelessly operated, skin-like wearable electronics.

    • Naoji Matsuhisa
    • , Simiao Niu
    •  & Zhenan Bao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The successful in-orbit operation of an electric space propulsion system based on iodine, rather than the more expensive and difficult-to-store xenon, is demonstrated.

    • Dmytro Rafalskyi
    • , Javier Martínez Martínez
    •  & Ane Aanesland
  • Article |

    An all-in-one methodology for fabricating soft robotics reported here uses interfacial flows in elastomers that cure to produce actuators that can be tailored to suit applications from artificial muscles to grippers.

    • Trevor J. Jones
    • , Etienne Jambon-Puillet
    •  & P.-T. Brun
  • Article |

    Carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuels can be produced using sunlight and air via a thermochemical solar fuel production chain, thus representing a pathway towards the long-term decarbonization of the aviation sector.

    • Remo Schäppi
    • , David Rutz
    •  & Aldo Steinfeld
  • Article |

    A global inventory of utility-scale solar photovoltaic generating units, produced by combining remote sensing imagery with machine learning, has identified 68,661 facilities — an increase of over 400% on previously available asset-level data —  the majority of which were sited on cropland.

    • L. Kruitwagen
    • , K. T. Story
    •  & C. Hepburn
  • Perspective |

    Computing approaches based on mechanical mechanisms are discussed, with a view towards a framework in which adaptable materials and structures act as a distributed information processing network.

    • Hiromi Yasuda
    • , Philip R. Buskohl
    •  & Jordan R. Raney
  • Article |

    Multiple redox transitions in a molecular memristor can be harnessed as ‘decision trees’ to undertake complex and reconfigurable logic operations in a single time step.

    • Sreetosh Goswami
    • , Rajib Pramanick
    •  & R. Stanley Williams
  • Article |

    A structured fabric constructed of linked hollow polyhedral particles (resembling chain mail) can be simply and reversibly tuned between flexible and rigid states; when it is compressed, its linked particles become jammed.

    • Yifan Wang
    • , Liuchi Li
    •  & Chiara Daraio
  • Article |

    Flexible electronic platforms would enable the integration of functional electronic circuitry with many everyday objects; here, a low-cost and fully flexible 32-bit microprocessor is produced.

    • John Biggs
    • , James Myers
    •  & Scott White
  • Article |

    An intensity−duration−frequency model linking food shock risk to supply chain diversity in the USA finds that boosting a city’s food supply chain diversity increases the resistance of a city to food shocks of mild to moderate severity.

    • Michael Gomez
    • , Alfonso Mejia
    •  & Richard R. Rushforth
  • Article |

    Cellular fluidics provides a platform of unit-cell-based, three-dimensional structures for the deterministic control of multiphase flow, transport and reaction processes.

    • Nikola A. Dudukovic
    • , Erika J. Fong
    •  & Eric B. Duoss
  • Article |

    Machine learning tools are used to greatly accelerate chip layout design, by posing chip floorplanning as a reinforcement learning problem and using neural networks to generate high-performance chip layouts.

    • Azalia Mirhoseini
    • , Anna Goldie
    •  & Jeff Dean
  • Article |

    Origami-inspired multistable structures that can be inflated from flat to three dimensions have been designed; a library of foldable shapes is created and then combined to build metre-scale functional structures.

    • David Melancon
    • , Benjamin Gorissen
    •  & Katia Bertoldi
  • Article |

    A two-tiered dynamic design strategy achieves topological transformations of two-dimensional polymeric cellular microstructures in a reversible and temporally controllable manner through exposure to different liquids.

    • Shucong Li
    • , Bolei Deng
    •  & Joanna Aizenberg
  • Article |

    A large electronic display textile that is flexible, breathable and withstands repeated machine-washing is integrated with a keyboard and power supply to create a wearable, durable communication tool.

    • Xiang Shi
    • , Yong Zuo
    •  & Huisheng Peng
  • Article |

    A free-swimming soft robot inspired by deep-sea creatures, with artificial muscle, power and control electronics spread across a polymer matrix, successfully adapts to high pressure and operates in the deep ocean.

    • Guorui Li
    • , Xiangping Chen
    •  & Wei Yang
  • Article |

    A compact, high-performance silicon photonics-based light detection and ranging system for three-dimensional imaging is developed that should be amenable to low-cost mass manufacturing

    • Christopher Rogers
    • , Alexander Y. Piggott
    •  & Remus Nicolaescu
  • Perspective |

    Opportunities for the application of fibrillated cellulose materials—which can be extracted from renewable resources—and broader manufacturing issues of scale-up, sustainability and synergy with the paper-making industry are discussed.

    • Tian Li
    • , Chaoji Chen
    •  & Liangbing Hu