Physical sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aromatic compounds can be prepared via dehydrogenation of cyclic compounds. Here the authors report the dehydroaromatization of endocyclic and exocyclic olefins via chain-walking isomerization and transfer-dehydrogenation catalyzed by palladium N-heterocyclic carbene complexes in the presence of alkenes as sacrificial reagents.

    • Weihao Chen
    • , Yang Chen
    •  & Chun-Yu Ho
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The classical stellar evolution concept assumes that when the stars arrive on the main sequence, there is no traceable mark remains about their early evolutionary history. Here, the authors show that the accretion history leaves an imprint on the interior structure of the stars that are potentially detectable via asteroseismology.

    • Thomas Steindl
    • , Konstanze Zwintz
    •  & Eduard Vorobyov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    CO2 reduction rate shows a strong dependence on alkali metal cation identity but a unified molecular picture for underlying mechanism requires further investigation. Using advanced molecular simulations and experimental kinetic studies, here the authors establish a unified mechanism for cation-coupled electron transfer.

    • Seung-Jae Shin
    • , Hansol Choi
    •  & Chang Hyuck Choi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantum sensors based on NV centers in diamond find applications in high spatial resolution NMR spectroscopy, but their operation is typically limited to low fields. Sahin et al. demonstrate a high-field sensor based on nuclear spins in diamond, where NV centers play a supporting role in optical initialization.

    • Ozgur Sahin
    • , Erica de Leon Sanchez
    •  & Ashok Ajoy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis related TDP-43 protein translocates to stress granules with a concomitant reduction in mobility. Here, the authors use single molecule tracking and find a stress-induced reduction in TDP-43 mobility also in the cytoplasm potentially relevant for TDP-43 aggregation.

    • Lisa Streit
    • , Timo Kuhn
    •  & Karin M. Danzer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    2D transition metal ditellurides exhibit nontrivial topological phases, but the controlled bottom-up synthesis of these materials is still challenging. Here, the authors report the layer-by-layer growth of large-area bilayer and trilayer 1T’ MoTe2 films, showing thickness-dependent ferroelectricity and nonlinear Hall effect.

    • Teng Ma
    • , Hao Chen
    •  & Kian Ping Loh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantum Hall edge channels provide a platform to study electron interference, however understanding decoherence in these systems remains an open problem. Jo et al. realize a regime of suppressed decoherence in an electronic Mach-Zehnder interferometer formed in a graphene quantum Hall pn junction.

    • M. Jo
    • , June-Young M. Lee
    •  & P. Roulleau
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A molecular-level understanding of the Au-catalyzed CO oxidation on a fast time-resolved scale is still lacking. Here the authors monitor the rapid dynamic changes during CO oxidation over Au/TiO2 using in situ DRIFTS and UV-Vis spectroscopy, and reveal that the catalyst undergoes a surprising structural change at the beginning of the reaction.

    • Xianwei Wang
    • , Arnulf Rosspeintner
    •  & Thomas Bürgi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The low conductivity of LiF disturbs Li+ diffusion across solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) and induces Li+ transfer-driven dendritic growth. Herein, the authors establish a mechanistic model to decipher how the SEI affects realistic Li plating in high-fluorine electrolytes.

    • Shuoqing Zhang
    • , Ruhong Li
    •  & Xiulin Fan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Unsubstituted aromatic polymers are materials with multiple potential applications, but their preparation remains challenging. Here, the authors report a dendrimer-enabled synthesis of soluble bare aromatic polymers and explore their properties; these compounds can be further transformed into other materials.

    • Shusei Fujiki
    • , Kazuma Amaike
    •  & Kenichiro Itami
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Water is an essential part of any biological system, yet many aspects of its role remain elusive. Here the authors show, in a paradigmatic ligand-protein system, that water modulates the ligand residence time in a complex and non-local way, with possible implications in drug design.

    • Narjes Ansari
    • , Valerio Rizzi
    •  & Michele Parrinello
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The effect of aliovalent doping on grain boundary is not yet fully understood at the atomic level. Here, the authors report grain boundary structural transformation in α-Al2O3 is induced by co-segregation of multiple dopants using atomic-resolution electron microscopy and theoretical calculations.

    • Toshihiro Futazuka
    • , Ryo Ishikawa
    •  & Yuichi Ikuhara
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Growth at liquid-liquid interfaces differ inherently from that on solids, making it attractive for nanomaterial formation. Here, the authors use X-ray scattering to derive a detailed microscopic picture of lead-halide growth on liquid mercury that reveals the key importance of anion adsorption.

    • Andrea Sartori
    • , Rajendra P. Giri
    •  & Olaf M. Magnussen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Superconductivity at megabar pressures has recently attracted interest in the context of hydrides. Here, the authors demonstrate superconductivity up to 26 K at high pressure in elemental titanium, and further suggest that electron correlations contribute to the high Tc.

    • Changling Zhang
    • , Xin He
    •  & Changqing Jin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Self-powered sensors are of interest in wearable technology and other applications. Here, the authors report on the creation of a metal-air redox reaction humidity sensor where the conductance and charge generated is influenced by the amount of absorbed water and demonstrate application in respiration monitoring.

    • Shuo Li
    • , Yong Zhang
    •  & Yingying Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Van der Waals heterostructures made of 2D materials offer a rich platform for the study of novel proximity effects. Here, by means of Hall effect measurements, the authors show a proximity-induced ferromagnetic/ferrovalley ground state with spontaneous spin-valley polarization in a V5Se8/NbSe2 heterostructure.

    • Hideki Matsuoka
    • , Tetsuro Habe
    •  & Masaki Nakano
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Defect-free integration of 2D materials onto semiconductor wafers is desired to implement heterogeneous electronic devices. Here, the authors report a method to transfer high-quality graphene on target wafers via gradient surface energy modulation, leading to improved structural and electronic properties.

    • Xin Gao
    • , Liming Zheng
    •  & Hailin Peng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sorption-based atmospheric water harvesting has the potential to realize flexible water production but reaching high water yield in semi-arid climate is still challenging. Here, the authors report a portable and modularized water harvester with scalable, low-cost, and lightweight hygroscopic composite sorbent which shows an exceptional water production in semi-arid climate with low relative humidity of 15%.

    • He Shan
    • , Chunfeng Li
    •  & Ruzhu Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Van der Waals magnetic materials are composed of atomically thin magnetically ordered layers stacked together. Here, aiming to control magnetism locally, Klein et al use an electron beam to create small regions where van der Waals layers are orientated perpendicular to the rest of the sample.

    • J. Klein
    • , T. Pham
    •  & F. M. Ross
  • Article
    | Open Access

    GTP-triggered release from drug carriers has huge potential in cancer therapy but current carriers suffers from off target release due to ATP also acting as a trigger. Here, the authors report on the development of a microtubule capsule which is engineered to be responsive to only GTP not ATP and demonstrate targeted drug delivery.

    • Noriyuki Uchida
    • , Ai Kohata
    •  & Takuzo Aida
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spin qubits are a platform for quantum computing. There are many advantages for quantum information processing if the spin qubit can move. Here, Helgers et al. use a surface acoustic wave to define a moving quantum dot and demonstrate the magneticfield-free control of the spin precession, bringing “flying” spin qubits a step closer.

    • Paul L. J. Helgers
    • , James A. H. Stotz
    •  & Paulo V. Santos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bose-Einstein condensate of excitons is expected in photo-excited bulk semiconductors, but a direct experimental evidence has been lacking. Here the authors report the observation of a condensate of 1s paraexcitons in Cu2O using real-space mid-infrared absorption imaging realized in a dilution refrigerator.

    • Yusuke Morita
    • , Kosuke Yoshioka
    •  & Makoto Kuwata-Gonokami
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Increasing the capacity of existing lines or adding new lines in power grids may, counterintuitively, reduce the system performance and promote blackouts. The authors propose an approach for prediction of edges that lower system performance and defining potential constrains for grid extensions.

    • Benjamin Schäfer
    • , Thiemo Pesch
    •  & Marc Timme
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Coupling CO2 capture and electrolysis offers new opportunities to reduce energy cost. Here, the authors identify that the integrated electrolyser must show similar performance to the gas-fed electrolyser to ensure an energy benefit of up to 44% versus sequential capture and conversion processes.

    • Mengran Li
    • , Erdem Irtem
    •  & Thomas Burdyny
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spontaneous droplet jumping and control of dropwise condensation are relevant for water-harvesting, heat transfer and anti-frosting applications. The authors design a superhydrophobic surface with microscale thin-walled lattice structure to achieve effective jumping of droplets with specified radius range.

    • Chen Ma
    • , Li Chen
    •  & Quanshui Zheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Alpha-helix nanopores have a range of potential applications and the inclusion of non-natural amino acids allows for modification. Here, the authors report on the creation of alpha-helix pores using D-amino acids and show the pores formed, have different properties to the L-counterparts and were resistant to proteases.

    • Smrithi Krishnan R
    • , Kalyanashis Jana
    •  & Kozhinjampara R. Mahendran
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Characterizing the soft protein corona on nanoparticles i.e. the outer layer of the corona, remains a longstanding challenge. Here, the authors develop an in situ method to monitor the dynamic processes of multilayered corona formation and evolution that offers a universal strategy to characterize the soft corona proteome.

    • Didar Baimanov
    • , Jing Wang
    •  & Chunying Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) has been used extensively to encapsulate other van der Waals materials, protecting them from environmental degradation, and allowing integration into more complex heterostructures. Here, the authors make use of boron vacancy spin defects in h-BN using them to image the magnetic properties of a Fe3GeTe2 flake.

    • Mengqi Huang
    • , Jingcheng Zhou
    •  & Chunhui Rita Du
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Estimating the angular separation between two incoherent sources below the diffraction limit is challenging. Hypothesis testing and quantum state discrimination techniques are used to super-resolve sources of different brightness with a simple optical interferometer.

    • Ugo Zanforlin
    • , Cosmo Lupo
    •  & Zixin Huang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Organic radicals, which have unique doublet spin-configuration, provide an alternative method to overcome the efficiency limitation of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) but extending their fluorescence into a short-wavelength region remains challenging. Here, the authors significantly expand the scope of luminescent radicals by showing a new platform of carbon-centered radicals that produce blue to green emission.

    • Xin Li
    • , Yi-Lin Wang
    •  & Ying-Feng Han