Physical sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Conventional compositions of garnet solid electrolytes have limited access to the cubic phase for a high Li content of 7.0, which is beneficial for stability against Li metals. Here, the authors unlock the hidden chemical space via a high entropy strategy, enabling stable long-term battery cycling.

    • Sung-Kyun Jung
    • , Hyeokjo Gwon
    •  & Ju-Sik Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A direct comparison of stability data of perovskite solar cells is challenging due to widely different measurement conditions and reporting standards. Here, the authors propose a single indicator to assess the stability under different environmental stress and analyse the data of over 7000 devices.

    • Zhuang Zhang
    • , Huanhuan Wang
    •  & Jingshan Luo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Three decades of research in molecular nanomagnets have enabled the preparation of compounds displaying magnetic memory at liquid nitrogen temperature. Here, the authors provide an innovative framework for the design of molecular magnets based on data mining, and develop an interactive dashboard to visualize the dataset.

    • Yan Duan
    • , Lorena E. Rosaleny
    •  & Alejandro Gaita-Ariño
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The synthesis of ionic olefin linked threedimensional covalent organic frameworks (3D COFs) is challenging because of the difficulties in forming stable carbon-carbon double bonds. Here, the authors report a general synthesis of an ionic sp2 carbon linked COFs and demonstrate selective capture of ReO4 ions.

    • Cheng-Rong Zhang
    • , Wei-Rong Cui
    •  & Jian-Ding Qiu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Renormalisation group methods serve for finding analytic solutions, critical points and computing phase diagrams of many-body systems. Here the authors demonstrate that renormalisation group schemes can be constructed for undecidable many-body systems, giving rise to the types of renormalisation group flow which are strictly more unpredictable than chaotic flows.

    • James D. Watson
    • , Emilio Onorati
    •  & Toby S. Cubitt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    2D and 3D conductive MOFs have performed well in the fields of energy and catalysis. Here, authors synthesise a 1D conductive MOF in which DDA ligands are connected by double Cu ions, forming nanoribbon layers with π-d conjugated nanoribbon planes and out-of-plane π-π stacking, which facilitates charge transport along two dimensions.

    • Shengcong Shang
    • , Changsheng Du
    •  & Jianyi Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Closed-loop chemical recycling provides a solution to the end-of-use problem of synthetic polymers but the design of dynamic bonds for preparing chemically recyclable cross-linked polymers remains challenging. Here, the authors report a dynamic reversible amidation reaction between maleic anhydrides and secondary amines.

    • Bo Qin
    • , Siyuan Liu
    •  & Xi Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Attaining high selectivity for CO2 electroreduction in acid is usually difficult due to competing hydrogen evolution. Here, the authors demonstrate efficient CO2 reduction to multicarbon products in strongly acidic medium (pH ≤ 1) on a porous Cu catalyst by combining confinement and cation effects.

    • Zesong Ma
    • , Zhilong Yang
    •  & Hongwen Huang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Today solid-state cooling technologies below 77 K are greatly limited. Here, the authors report the colossal Nernst power factor in NbSb2 single crystal, providing a high performance thermomagnetic material for solid-state cooling at low temperature.

    • Peng Li
    • , Pengfei Qiu
    •  & Xun Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Integrating bottom-up and top-down fabrication techniques can overcome limits in nanofabrication. Here authors demonstrate an approach for area selective deposition using Ti as an inhibitor in the atomic layer deposition process to achieve controlled growth of seamless TiO2 layers on 3D structures.

    • Chi Thang Nguyen
    • , Eun-Hyoung Cho
    •  & Han-Bo-Ram Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    ATPPRT is a multi-protein allosteric enzyme where the regulatory protein HisZ enhances catalysis by HisGs. Here, the authors report catalytically impaired active site mutants of HisGs that are allosterically rescued by HisZ despite the HisZ:HisGs interface lying ~20 Å away from the active site.

    • Gemma Fisher
    • , Marina Corbella
    •  & Rafael G. da Silva
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Synthetic health data have the potential to mitigate privacy concerns when sharing data to support biomedical research and the development of innovative healthcare applications. In this work, the authors introduce a use case oriented benchmarking framework to evaluate data synthesis models through a set of utility and privacy metrics.

    • Chao Yan
    • , Yao Yan
    •  & Bradley A. Malin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    ‘Giant atom’ physics occurs when the size of the atomic system becomes comparable to the wavelength of the light it interacts with. For atoms, such a regime is impossible to reach, however, for artificial atomic systems such ‘giant atom’ physics can be explored. Here, Wang et al demonstrate giant spin ensembles, consisting of magnetic spheres coupled to a microwave waveguide.

    • Zi-Qi Wang
    • , Yi-Pu Wang
    •  & J. Q. You
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hydrocarboxylation of olefins with CO2 provides a useful approach for the synthesis of aliphatic carboxylic acids. Here, the authors report a rhodium-catalysed hydrocarboxylation of styrenes with CO2, using hydrogen as the terminal reductant.

    • Yushu Jin
    • , Joaquim Caner
    •  & Nobuharu Iwasawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lowering the Pt loading while maintaining high fuel-cell performance is an important but difficult task. Here the authors report modified polymers with intrinsic microporosity as binder for preferential retention of phosphoric acid in the catalyst layer, which offers great opportunities to lower the catalyst loading for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    • Hongying Tang
    • , Kang Geng
    •  & Nanwen Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In moiré materials, structural relaxation phenomena can lead to unexpected and novel material properties. Here, the authors characterize an unconventional non-local relaxation process in twisted double trilayer graphene, in which an energy gain in one domain of the moiré lattice is paid for by a relaxation that occurs in the other.

    • Dorri Halbertal
    • , Simon Turkel
    •  & D. N. Basov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Syntheses of quinine have fascinated organic chemists for over a hundred years. Here, the authors developed an organocatalyst-mediated pot-economical enantioselective total synthesis using five reaction vessels.

    • Takahiro Terunuma
    •  & Yujiro Hayashi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Interaction-free measurements typically use repeated interrogations of an object that suppress the coherent evolution of the system. Dogra et al. demonstrate in a superconducting circuit a novel protocol that employs coherent repeated interrogations, and show that it yields a higher detection probability.

    • Shruti Dogra
    • , John J. McCord
    •  & Gheorghe Sorin Paraoanu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The realization of Jones matrix with full eight free parameters is particularly challenging. Here, the authors construct spatially varying Jones matrix with eight free parameters by cascading two-layer metasurfaces and use it for new optical functionalities.

    • Yanjun Bao
    • , Fan Nan
    •  & Baojun Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lattice anchoring, in its varied forms, has proven effective at regulating the energetics of metastable phases of polymorphic crystals. Here, the authors utilize top-down photolithography to embed a tessellating 3D interfacial network into otherwise-unstable CsPbI3 perovskite thin films and devices, stabilizing the perovskite phase.

    • Julian A. Steele
    • , Tom Braeckevelt
    •  & Maarten B. J. Roeffaers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Liquid water is key for life as we know it. Here, the authors show even with a modest geothermal heat flow, subglacial oceans of liquid water can form at the base of and within the ice sheets on exo-Earths, which may provide habitable conditions for an extended period.

    • Lujendra Ojha
    • , Bryce Troncone
    •  & George McDonald
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Artificial Intelligence has achieved success in a variety of single-player or competitive two-player games with no communication between players. Here, the authors propose an approach where Artificial Intelligence agents have ability to negotiate and form agreements, playing the board game Diplomacy.

    • János Kramár
    • , Tom Eccles
    •  & Yoram Bachrach
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The existing paradigms of system-bath control typically assume that the bath state is unchanged. By using spin defects in diamond, Dasari et al. demonstrate a scheme for controlling the state of the nuclear spin bath via selective measurements of the central qubit as a way of extending the qubit coherence time.

    • Durga Bhaktavatsala Rao Dasari
    • , Sen Yang
    •  & Jörg Wrachtrup
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is unclear what constraints exist on cellular life in frigid environments. Here, the authors demonstrate that reactive oxygen species and gene-expression speed impose a barrier to replication at low temperatures in yeast, with lower levels enabling quicker replication, and develop a model to describe this phenomenon.

    • Diederik S. Laman Trip
    • , Théo Maire
    •  & Hyun Youk
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Qutrits, or quantum three-level systems, can provide advantages over qubits in certain quantum information applications, and high-fidelity single-qutrit gates have been demonstrated. Goss et al. realize high-fidelity entangling gates between two superconducting qutrits that are universal for ternary computation.

    • Noah Goss
    • , Alexis Morvan
    •  & Irfan Siddiqi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bacteriophage are natural antibiotic agents and provide natural building blocks for living biomaterials. Here, the authors crosslink self-organised bacteriophages to make sprayable microgels which preserves the natural antibacterial action, have tuneable auto-fluorescence and demonstrate application in food decontamination.

    • Lei Tian
    • , Leon He
    •  & Zeinab Hosseinidoust
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Halogen bonding is widely adopted in organic synthesis and supramolecular crystal engineering but application of halogen bonding in the design of stimuli-responsive materials is challenging. Here, the authors report a liquid crystalline network that contains dynamic halogen-bond crosslinks and possesses reversible thermo-responsive shape memory behaviour.

    • Hongshuang Guo
    • , Rakesh Puttreddy
    •  & Arri Priimagi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Carbon capture, utilization and storage technology is limited by the need for a separate CO2 capture step. Here, the authors propose a strategy and economic analysis for simultaneous dilute CO2 capture from flue gas and direct electrochemical reduction to synthesis gas via reaction swing absorption.

    • Kezia Megagita Gerby Langie
    • , Kyungjae Tak
    •  & Ung Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Engineering quantum states requires precise manipulations at the atomic level. Here, the authors use deep reinforcement learning to manipulate Ag adatoms on Ag surfaces, which combined with path planning algorithms enables autonomous atomic assembly.

    • I-Ju Chen
    • , Markus Aapro
    •  & Adam S. Foster
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Federated ML (FL) provides an alternative to train accurate and generalizable ML models, by only sharing numerical model updates. Here, the authors present the largest FL study to-date to generate an automatic tumor boundary detector for glioblastoma.

    • Sarthak Pati
    • , Ujjwal Baid
    •  & Spyridon Bakas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Getting a grip on the chaotic properties of quantum systems is difficult. Now, the effect of translational invariance in space in time in an ensemble of random quantum circuits is shown to lead to largely universal scaling laws describing the system without the need of knowing microscopic details.

    • Amos Chan
    • , Saumya Shivam
    •  & Andrea De Luca
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is still challenging to discover plastically deformable inorganic semiconductors. Here, the authors report a high-throughput screening of tens of potential 2D van der Waals crystals that can deform plastically accompanied with experimental verification.

    • Zhiqiang Gao
    • , Tian-Ran Wei
    •  & Xun Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Object detection using machine learning universally requires vast amounts of training datasets. Midtvedt et al. proposes a deep-learning method that enables detecting microscopic objects with sub-pixel accuracy from a single unlabeled image by exploiting the roto-translational symmetries of the problem.

    • Benjamin Midtvedt
    • , Jesús Pineda
    •  & Giovanni Volpe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here the authors introduce dual communities, characterized by strong connections at their boundaries, and show that they are formed as a trade-off between efficiency and resilience in supply networks.

    • Franz Kaiser
    • , Philipp C. Böttcher
    •  & Dirk Witthaut
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recent experiments have revealed a metal-insulator transition in a moire bilayer at band filling away from the strongly-correlated regime, which has rarely been addressed. Here the authors develop a theory that provides a complete understanding of experimental features in terms of a disorder-driven transition.

    • Yuting Tan
    • , Pak Ki Henry Tsang
    •  & Vladimir Dobrosavljević
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Experimentally following the ultrafast dynamics of microsolvated molecules is challenging due to the inherently produced soup mix of various gas-phase aggregates. Here, the authors exploit neutral-species selection to reveal intimate details of the UV-induced ultrafast dynamics in the prototypical indole-water system.

    • Jolijn Onvlee
    • , Sebastian Trippel
    •  & Jochen Küpper