Nanoscale materials

  • Article
    | Open Access

    NEMS devices, nano-electro-mechanical systems, by virtue of their minute size, offer ultra-high sensitivity, though at the expense of manufacturing complexity. Here, Stassi et al succeed in manufacturing high quality factor NEMS devices using high resolution 3D printing.

    • Stefano Stassi
    • , Ido Cooperstein
    •  & Carlo Ricciardi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient theoretical methods for the structural analysis of nanoparticles are very much needed. Here the authors demonstrate the use of machine-learning force fields and of a data-driven approach to study the thermodynamical stability and elucidate the melting process of gold nanoparticles.

    • Claudio Zeni
    • , Kevin Rossi
    •  & Francesca Baletto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A space-time crystal (STC) is a nonequilibrium phase of matter displaying long-range order in both space and time. Here, the authors propose that the high-Tc cuprate superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+x is a candidate of a classical discrete STC, when a parametric modulation periodic in time and uniform in space is applied.

    • Reinhold Kleiner
    • , Xianjing Zhou
    •  & Dafei Jin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Identifying new, active material phases provides a promising avenue in the development of efficient catalysts. Here, authors demonstrate a metastable 1T-phase IrO2 metallene oxide as an oxygen evolution electrocatalyst in acidic electrolytes.

    • Qian Dang
    • , Haiping Lin
    •  & Mingwang Shao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Development of real-time sensing capability in artificial vision system requires an integration that allow sensing, computation, and storage, whilst remain energy efficient and compact. Here, the authors mimic the lobula giant movement detector to achieve this objective via light-mediated threshold switching memristor.

    • Yan Wang
    • , Yue Gong
    •  & Su-Ting Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There is an urgent need of cleaner and energy-efficient technologies for future sustainable chemicals and fuels. Here the authors report the gas phase synthesis of long hydrocarbon chains from atomic carbon and molecular hydrogen precursors in an inert carrier gas, avoiding the use of metal catalysts.

    • Lidia Martínez
    • , Pablo Merino
    •  & José A. Martín-Gago
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While magnetism, hyperferroelectricity, and topological phases in the two-dimensional limit have been widely explored, the direct experimental study on bulk photovoltaic effect in 2D materials remains unimplemented. Here, the authors find bulk photovoltaic effect in 2D ferroelectric CuInP2S6.

    • Yue Li
    • , Jun Fu
    •  & Hualing Zeng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Creating atomically-precise quantum architectures with high digital fidelity and desired quantum states is an important goal for quantum technology applications. Here the authors devise an on-surface synthetic protocol to construct atomically-precise covalently linked organic quantum corrals with the formation of a series of new quantum resonance states.

    • Xinnan Peng
    • , Harshitra Mahalingam
    •  & Jiong Lu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photophysical and photochemical features of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) strongly depend on their chemical nature that remains challenging to be controlled in a systematic and uniform manner. Here the authors report an efficient solvent-catalyst-aided growth of chemically tailored N-doped GQDs.

    • Byung Joon Moon
    • , Sang Jin Kim
    •  & Sukang Bae
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Electron-phonon interaction is essential for understanding electronic and optical properties of lead halide perovskites. Here, using multiphonon Raman scattering and THz time-domain spectroscopy, the authors characterize the full phonon spectrum of CsPbBr3 and identify a single phonon mode that dominates electron-phonon scattering.

    • Claudiu M. Iaru
    • , Annalisa Brodu
    •  & Andrei Yu. Silov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The use of chalcogenide glass in optical science and applications at the UV frequencies has been so far hindered by its absorption in this spectral region. Here the authors demonstrate that a nanostructured chalcogenide glass can efficiently generate third harmonic radiation, leading to a strong UV light source at the nanoscale.

    • Jiannan Gao
    • , Maria Antonietta Vincenti
    •  & Natalia M. Litchinitser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The separation of propadiene from propyne/propadiene mixtures remains challenging. Here, the authors report a sorbent screening protocol and show that metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with open metal sites and cage-based molecule traps exhibit high performance for propyne/propadiene separation.

    • Yun-Lei Peng
    • , Ting Wang
    •  & Zhenjie Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors investigate the lattice dynamics of twisted hexagonal boron nitride layers via nano-infrared spectroscopy, showing local and stacking-dependent variations of the optical phonon frequencies associated to the interaction with the graphite substrate.

    • S. L. Moore
    • , C. J. Ciccarino
    •  & D. N. Basov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Boltzmann Machines offer the potential of more efficient solutions to combinatorial problems compared to von Neumann computing architectures. Here, Yan et al introduce a stochastic memristor with dynamically tunable properties, a vital feature for the efficient implementation of a Boltzmann Machine.

    • Xiaodong Yan
    • , Jiahui Ma
    •  & Han Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In conjugated polymers, n-doping is often limited by the tradeoff between doping efficiency and charge carrier mobilities, since dopants often randomly distribute within polymers, leading to significant structural and energetic disorder. Here, the authors screen a large number of polymer building block combinations and explore the possibility of designing n-type conjugated polymers with good tolerance to dopant-induced disorder.

    • Xinwen Yan
    • , Miao Xiong
    •  & Ting Lei
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Colloidal self-assembly enables bottom-up manufacture of materials with designed hierarchies and functions. Here the authors develop a facile method to construct multidimensional colloidal architectures via the association of soft block copolymer micelles with simple unvarnished hard nanoparticles.

    • Yan Cui
    • , Hongyan Zhu
    •  & Huibin Qiu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Achieving ultra-low friction at macroscopic scales is highly desirable. In this work molecular dynamics simulations of graphitic contacts incorporating corrugated grain boundaries reveal an unusual non-monotonic variation of friction with normal load and temperature due to dynamic buckling effects.

    • Xiang Gao
    • , Wengen Ouyang
    •  & Oded Hod
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The spatial configuration of heterostructured nanocrystals has important roles in their applications, but it is difficult to fine tune. Here the authors report a surface lattice engineering approach that can be used to achieve precise control of geometrical symmetry, spatial composition, and dimension of metal heterostructured nanocrystals.

    • Bo Jiang
    • , Yifei Yuan
    •  & Jun Lu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Naturally occurring hyperbolic polaritons exist in a class of layered materials. Here, the authors show evidence, via optical spectroscopy, of hyperbolic exciton-polaritons in phosphorene, originating from its in-plane anisotropy and strong exciton resonances.

    • Fanjie Wang
    • , Chong Wang
    •  & Hugen Yan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Controlled breaking of a chemical bond by mechanical forces can provide key insight into reaction mechanisms. Here the authors, using atomic force microscopy and computations, measure the forces involved in breaking a single dative bond between a CO molecule and a ferrous phthalocyanine complex.

    • Pengcheng Chen
    • , Dingxin Fan
    •  & Nan Yao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Twisted van der Waals systems are known to host flat electronic bands, originating from moire potential. Here, the authors predict from purely geometric considerations a new type of nearly dispersionless bands in twisted bilayer MoS2, resulting from destructive interference between effective lattice hopping matrix elements.

    • Lede Xian
    • , Martin Claassen
    •  & Angel Rubio
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It was predicted that lattice reconstruction can lead to the emergence of multiple ultra-flat electronic bands in twisted bilayer transition metal dichalcogenides. Here, by using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, the authors demonstrate such bands in twisted bilayer WSe2.

    • En Li
    • , Jin-Xin Hu
    •  & Nian Lin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The behaviour of Tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) in few-layer form is not yet fully characterized. Here the authors use a near-field terahertz microscopy technique to observe the electromagnetic responses of WTe2 flakes from one to several layers and to study their semimetallic/ semiconducting behavior.

    • Ran Jing
    • , Yinming Shao
    •  & D. N. Basov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though high-index dielectric metasurfaces are attractive due to their nonlinear effects, channelling of 2nd and 3rd harmonic generation into a single beam remains a challenge. The authors addressed this using transition-metal-dichalcogenide metasurfaces with tunable nonlinear emission direction.

    • Mudassar Nauman
    • , Jingshi Yan
    •  & Dragomir N. Neshev
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though broadband achromatic metalens are attractive for biological applications, existing metalenses show limited performance in the biological imaging window. Here, the authors report high-efficiency broadband achromatic metalens featuring record-high aspect ratio titanium dioxide metasurfaces.

    • Yujie Wang
    • , Qinmiao Chen
    •  & Shumin Xiao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Graphene nanoribbons are potential systems for engineering topological phases of matter, but the pre-required gapped phases are difficult to find. Here, the authors show that chiral graphene nanoribbons undergo a transition from metallic to topological insulators, and then to trivial band insulators as they are narrowed down to nanometer widths.

    • Jingcheng Li
    • , Sofia Sanz
    •  & Jose Ignacio Pascual
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The development of robust and efficient catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation to value-added chemicals is an urgent task. Here the authors report two-dimensional carbide catalyst based on earth-abundant molybdenum that hydrogenates CO2 with high activity, stable performance and tunable selectivity.

    • Hui Zhou
    • , Zixuan Chen
    •  & Christoph R. Müller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Enhancing electrode capacitance without compromising one other metrics for solid-state supercapacitors is of high interest yet difficult to achieve. Here the authors demonstrate a strategy of using nanofluidic electrode with very low porosity to increase the electrochemical capacitance of gel-based solid state supercapacitor.

    • Kefeng Xiao
    • , Taimin Yang
    •  & Da-Wei Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene exhibits a quantum anomalous Hall effect at 3/4 filling; however, its mechanism is debated. Here, the authors show that such a phase can be realized in a lattice model of twisted bilayer graphene in the strong coupling limit, and interpret the results in terms of a topological Mott insulator phase.

    • Bin-Bin Chen
    • , Yuan Da Liao
    •  & Zi Yang Meng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the catalysts’ structure evolution under working conditions is challenging. Here the authors use a multiscale simulation approach and machine learning to study the structures and nucleation of CeO2-supported Pd clusters and single atoms at various catalyst loadings, temperatures, and exposures to CO.

    • Yifan Wang
    • , Jake Kalscheur
    •  & Dionisios G. Vlachos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Van der Waals structures provide a new platform to explore novel physics of superconductor/ferromagnet interfaces. Here, NbSe2 Josephson junction with Cr2Ge2Te6 enables non-trivial Josephson phase by spin-dependent interaction, boosting the study of superconducting states with spin-orbit coupling and phase-controlled quantum electronic device.

    • H. Idzuchi
    • , F. Pientka
    •  & P. Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wong et al. demonstrate the efficacy of super-amphiphobic surfaces for in situ defoaming and inhibition of foam growth while handling aqueous solutions. Without the use of chemical additives, their passive approach suggests a facile alternative route to froth management in industrial processes.

    • William S. Y. Wong
    • , Abhinav Naga
    •  & Doris Vollmer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Electrochemical conversion of CO2 to fuels is a promising strategy to reduce the ever-increasing CO2 emission. Here, the authors developed graphene quantum dots (GQDs) catalysts to efficiently convert CO2 to CH4 and revealed the significance of electron-donating functional groups in regulating the reactivity of GQDs.

    • Tianyu Zhang
    • , Weitao Li
    •  & Jingjie Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Free carriers and electrical polarization coexist in ferroelectric metals. Here, the authors use a capacitive method to probe the electronic compressibility of free carriers in a tunable semimetal, extract the polarized contribution, and study the carrier dependence of the ferroelectric state.

    • Sergio C. de la Barrera
    • , Qingrui Cao
    •  & Benjamin M. Hunt