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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Artificial cilia composed of surface electrochemical actuators are combined in arrays to create arbitrary flow patterns in liquids, and, when integrated with light-powered CMOS circuits, enable programmable wireless operation at low voltage.
Microfluidic chain reactions encode programs structurally in situ, and can form a frugal, versatile, bona fide lab-on-a-chip with wide-ranging applications in liquid handling and point-of-care diagnostics
By using a programmable electric current to allow rapid pulsed heating and quenching, a non-equilibrium, continuous synthesis technique shows improved performance in thermochemical reactions, as well as lower energy costs.
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.
Tunable quantum geometric properties of moiré graphene enable the use of a convolutional neural network to simultaneously decipher the light polarization, power and wavelength in a subwavelength-scale smart device.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Structured thermal armours on the surface of a solid inhibit the Leidenfrost effect, even when heated to temperatures in excess of 1,000 °C, pointing the way towards new cooling strategies for high-temperature solids.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries produced in the form of metre-long fibres can be woven into sturdy, washable textiles on an industrial loom and used to power other fabric-based electronic components.
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.
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.
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.
Single-crystal monolayer hexagonal boron nitride is unexpectedly tough owing to its asymmetric lattice structure, which facilitates repeated crack deflection, crack branching and edge swapping, enhancing energy dissipation.
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.
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.
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.
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.