Nanoscience and technology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Atomic point defects formed by irradiation can dramatically alter material properties, but are difficult to probe, limiting understanding of their impact. Here, the authors introduce an x-ray microscopy approach, based on Bragg ptychography, to visualise the distortion caused by these otherwise invisible defects.

    • Peng Li
    • , Nicholas W. Phillips
    •  & Virginie Chamard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The metal-insulator transition is typically controlled by carrier accumulation or chemical doping. Here, the authors realize an alternative method based on resonant tunnelling in a double quantum well structure of strongly correlated oxides, which offers practical advantages over conventional methods.

    • R. Yukawa
    • , M. Kobayashi
    •  & H. Kumigashira
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ice nucleation in confined geometries is a ubiquitous phenomenon, but difficult to characterize. Here the authors investigate experimentally the freezing of water nanodroplets surrounded by octane in nanopores down to 2 nm, and demonstrate that the soft curved oil-water interface suppresses heterogeneous ice nucleation, which occurs at a lower temperature than homogenous bulk nucleation.

    • Alireza Hakimian
    • , Mohammadjavad Mohebinia
    •  & Hadi Ghasemi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While meta-optics have the potential to dramatically miniaturize camera technology, the quality of the captured images remains poor. Co-designing a single meta-optic and software correction, here the authors report on full-color imaging with quality comparable to commercial cameras.

    • Ethan Tseng
    • , Shane Colburn
    •  & Felix Heide
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Two-dimensional magnetic semiconductors hold promise for spin- and valleytronic applications. Here, the authors report the realization of light helicity detectors based on graphene/CrI3 van der Waals heterostructures, exhibiting a photocurrent behaviour determined by the magnetic state of CrI3.

    • Xing Cheng
    • , Zhixuan Cheng
    •  & Lun Dai
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors present a super-resolution hyperspectral imaging technique using a nanoscale white light source generated by superfocusing light from a tungsten-halogen lamp. They achieve 6 nm resolution, measuring longitudinal and transverse optical electronic transitions in single-walled carbon nanotubes.

    • Xuezhi Ma
    • , Qiushi Liu
    •  & Ming Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A charge density wave (CDW) normally creates a gap at the Fermi level, inducing a metal-insulator transition. Here, the authors report that a CDW gap resides in the unoccupied states but induces a topological metal-metal transition at the Fermi level in monolayer VS2.

    • Camiel van Efferen
    • , Jan Berges
    •  & Thomas Michely
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors design a planar photonic chip with several multilayers of photonic band gaps and a region of dielectric nanoparticles for tailored angular transmission. They use it as sample substrate for high-contrast darkfield and total internal reflection microscopy on a conventional microscope.

    • Yan Kuai
    • , Junxue Chen
    •  & Douguo Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Carbon dots have garnered great interest due to their optical properties, however, engineering of the optical properties remains a challenge. Here, Zhang et al. produce carbon dots with a high color purity, providing a useful approach for engineering the optical properties of carbon dots.

    • Qing Zhang
    • , Ruoyu Wang
    •  & Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The self-assembly of colloidal particles can be applied to create new structures and materials in the framework of systems chemistry. The authors demonstrate the realization of autonomous oscillating structure formation on the meso-scale, relevant for systems relying on DNA interactions.

    • H. Dehne
    • , A. Reitenbach
    •  & A. R. Bausch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Research on water confinement in small hydrophobic pores remains scarce because of a preconception that small hydrophobic pores repulse water molecules. Here, the authors demonstrate water confinement across hydrophobic microporous channels in crystalline covalent organic frameworks.

    • Ke Tian Tan
    • , Shanshan Tao
    •  & Donglin Jiang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tracking single molecule movements is a challenging task, but highly desired for applications and fundamental studies. Here the authors reconstruct the sub-angstrom relative movements of a molecule interacting with a metal adatom, by measuring its vibrational spectrum in a self-assembled monolayer, continuously modified by the adatom in a nanoparticle-on-mirror construct.

    • Jack Griffiths
    • , Tamás Földes
    •  & Jeremy J. Baumberg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors invented a textile magnetoelastic generator, weaving 1D soft fibers with conductive yarns to couple the observed magnetoelastic effect with magnetic induction, which paves a new way for biomechanical-to-electrical energy conversion.

    • Xun Zhao
    • , Yihao Zhou
    •  & Jun Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The integration of 2D materials on photonic devices provides advanced functionalities in sensing applications. The authors demonstrate a graphene functionalized microcomb sensor by exploiting spectrally trapped Stokes solitons. They obtain both multispecies gas identification and individual molecule sensitivity.

    • Teng Tan
    • , Zhongye Yuan
    •  & Baicheng Yao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Constructing strong metal-support interactions (SMSI) is an effective means of regulating the interfacial properties of noble metal-based supported catalysts. Here, the authors propose a strategy of ultrafast laser-induced SMSI that can be constructed on a CeO2-supported Pt system by confining electric field in localized interface.

    • Jian Zhang
    • , Dezhi Zhu
    •  & Chang-An Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While Silicon is widely used for electronic devices, its band-gap limits its use for infrared detection. Here, Zheng et al present a method for overcoming this limitation, by integrating colloidal quantum dots, with the resulting structure exhibiting high sensitivity to infrared radiation.

    • Wen Zhou
    • , Li Zheng
    •  & Yuehui Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many standard techniques for investigating magnetic properties in the bulk are ill suited to atomically thin van der Waals materials. Here, Wang et al take a prototypical van der Waals ferromagnet, Chromium Bromide, and show how tunneling conductance can elucidate the material magnetic properties.

    • Zhe Wang
    • , Ignacio Gutiérrez-Lezama
    •  & Alberto F. Morpurgo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photoelectrochemical cells are promising tools for C–H functionalisation coupled with H2 production. In this work, Duan et. al., reported the photoelectrocatalytic C–H halogenation to produce organic halides of industrial and medicinal importance with promoted H2 production.

    • Zhenhua Li
    • , Lan Luo
    •  & Haohong Duan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Semiconductor nanowires are promising candidates for the realization of novel transistor concepts. Here, the authors demonstrate that electron mobility in strained coaxial nanowire heterostructures can be higher than in the corresponding bulk crystals.

    • Leila Balaghi
    • , Si Shan
    •  & Emmanouil Dimakis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The superconductor-ferromagnet interface provides a unique opportunity to study the interplay between superconductivity and ferromagnetism. Here, the authors build a van der Waals ferromagnetic Josephson junction evidencing a strong 0 and π phase Josephson coupling.

    • Linfeng Ai
    • , Enze Zhang
    •  & Shaoming Dong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Thermoresponsive polymers are used in numerous technological applications but well established, direct techniques for elucidating their elevated temperature, solution-phase, nanoscale morphologies and dynamics are lacking. Here, the authors examine thermoresponsive polymeric materials by liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy and gain insight into their thermal-responsive behaviour.

    • Joanna Korpanty
    • , Lucas R. Parent
    •  & Nathan C. Gianneschi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Controlling the dispersion of femtosecond light pulses remains a key challenge for their application. Here, the authors report dispersion-engineered transmissive nanocoatings for ultrashort laser pulse compression in the vis-NIR spectral region.

    • M. Ossiander
    • , Y.-W. Huang
    •  & F. Capasso
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Exciton-polaritons are typically formed in organic systems when the molecules are confined between metallic or dielectric mirrors. Here, the authors reveal that interactions between excitons and moderately confined photonic states within the bare organic film can also lead to polariton formation, making them the primary photoexcitation.

    • Raj Pandya
    • , Richard Y. S. Chen
    •  & Akshay Rao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though low-dimensional (LD) materials are attractive for polarization-type photodetectors, their low anisotropic photocurrent rate hinders widespread application. Here, the authors report an amplification system for enhanced photocurrent in polarization-sensitive LD material-based photodetectors.

    • Wenhao Ran
    • , Zhihui Ren
    •  & Guozhen Shen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Factors controlling release of loaded cargo from polycationic gene delivery vectors are still poorly understood. Here, the authors report on a study of mechanisms of RNA release, highlighting the role of competitive binding, and characterise the interactome associated with vectors upon cytosolic entry.

    • Aji Alex M. Raynold
    • , Danyang Li
    •  & Julien E. Gautrot
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wave based computing has sparked much interest for neuromorphic computing due to the inherent interconnectedness of such wave based approaches. Here, Papp, Porod and Csaba show how neural networks can be implemented using spin-waves, taking advantage of spin-waves intrinsic non-linearity.

    • Ádám Papp
    • , Wolfgang Porod
    •  & Gyorgy Csaba
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Magneto-oscillations have revealed many interesting phenomena in graphene and quantum Hall systems, but they are typically measured at low currents and in equilibrium. Here, the authors report several non-equilibrium quantum effects observed in magneto-oscillations in graphene at high currents.

    • M. T. Greenaway
    • , P. Kumaravadivel
    •  & L. Eaves
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Antibody therapies have huge potential in treating cancer but currently suffer from problems with delivery. Here the authors report on a study into then conjugation of Ramucirumab to gold nanoparticles to improve delivery and add theranostic capabilities, demonstrating preferential toxicity in gastric cancer cells.

    • Linyang Fan
    • , Weizhi Wang
    •  & Minzhi Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors show that the interaction between microcavity photons and excitons in an atomically thin WSe2 results in a hybridized regime of strong light-matter coupling. Coherence build-up is accompanied by a threshold-like behaviour of the emitted light intensity, which is a fingerprint of a polariton laser effect.

    • Hangyong Shan
    • , Lukas Lackner
    •  & Carlos Antón-Solanas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Targeting damage to mitochondria has become an effective strategy antitumor therapies. Here, the authors report on nanoagents with upconversion nanoparticles as cores and photoacid-loaded MOFs as shells for NIR triggered Fenton reaction, acidification and calcium overload to provide synergistic mitochondrial damage.

    • Weier Bao
    • , Ming Liu
    •  & Zhiyuan Tian
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tracking of nanoparticle dynamics in solution often require labelling. Here, the authors use a high-finesse microcavity and simultaneously measure dispersive frequency shifts of three transverse modes, demonstrating 3D tracking of unlabelled single nanospheres, and quantitatively determine their physical properties.

    • Larissa Kohler
    • , Matthias Mader
    •  & David Hunger
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the mechanism of formation of solid-state spin defects underpins their future applications in quantum technologies. Here, the authors use a combination of ab initio molecular dynamics, enhanced sampling, and density functional theory to clarify the formation process of spin defects in silicon carbide.

    • Elizabeth M. Y. Lee
    • , Alvin Yu
    •  & Giulia Galli
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ferroelectric ordering of water has been at the heart of intense debates due to its importance in enhancing our understanding of the condensed matter. Here, the authors observe ferroelectric properties of water ice in a two dimensional phase under confinement between two graphene layers.

    • Hao-Ting Chin
    • , Jiri Klimes
    •  & Ya-Ping Hsieh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A major challenge in magnon based approaches to information processing lies in developing valves to allow or supress the magnon signal. Here, Chen et al demonstrate a van der Waals magnet based magnon valve which can be tuned electrically over an exceptionally wide range.

    • Guangyi Chen
    • , Shaomian Qi
    •  & Jian-Hao Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It remains challenging to integrate topological insulators (TI) with magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ) for spintronics applications. Here, the authors achieve a large tunneling magnetoresistance ratio and a low switching current density in a TI-MTJ device at room temperature, very promising for TI-driven magnetic memory.

    • Hao Wu
    • , Aitian Chen
    •  & Kang L. Wang