Physical sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Developing an oscillating actuator that can directly convert solar energy into mechanical energy is highly desirable. Here, authors report a solvent-assisted light-driven oscillator by porous film that achieves excellent oscillating actuation performance and can even oscillate by carrying a load under light irradiation.

    • Jingjing Li
    • , Linlin Mou
    •  & Yongsheng Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Assembling multicomponent catalysts to harness synergic effects is challenging. Now, flame spray pyrolysis permits the synthesis of ternary Pd-In2O3-ZrO2 catalysts with an optimal architecture and an enriched density of oxygen vacancies for maximal performance in CO2-based methanol synthesis.

    • Thaylan Pinheiro Araújo
    • , Cecilia Mondelli
    •  & Javier Pérez-Ramírez
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Evaporation and crystal growth occur at different rates on different surfaces. Here authors show dissociative evaporation from ZnO (0001) polar surfaces is accelerated by the formation of a Zn-deficient quasi-liquid layer derived from the formation and inward diffusion of Zn vacancies that stabilize the polar surface.

    • Zhen Wang
    • , Jinho Byun
    •  & Sang Ho Oh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The origin of the plateau observed in the early X-ray light curves of gamma ray bursts (GRBs) is debated. Here, the authors show that the observed plateau can be explained within the classical GRB model by considering expanding shell with initial Lorentz factor of a few tens.

    • Hüsne Dereli-Bégué
    • , Asaf Pe’er
    •  & Maria G. Dainotti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Marine ecosystems are dominated by microbial communities. Inspired by the photoelectric conversion feature of the marine ecosystems, the authors design a four-species microbial community to mimic primary producer, primary degrader, and ultimate consumers, and show its ability to convert light into electricity for over one month.

    • Huawei Zhu
    • , Liru Xu
    •  & Yin Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fluorescent tracers facilitate the identification and subsequent collection of tumour draining lymph node biopsies, enabling important clinical assessment. Here, the authors present a molecular gold nanocluster NIR-II fluorescent imaging probe and demonstrate its utility to visualise draining lymph nodes in breast and colon cancer mouse models.

    • Ani Baghdasaryan
    • , Feifei Wang
    •  & Hongjie Dai
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The topological properties of square-root Weyl semimetals are derived from the square of the Hamiltonian. Here, the authors propose a tight-binding model for a square-root higher-order Weyl semimetal hosting both Fermi-arc surface and hinge states.

    • Lingling Song
    • , Huanhuan Yang
    •  & Peng Yan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Low modulus materials that can change shape in response to external stimuli are promising for a wide range of applications. The authors here introduce a shape-reprogrammable construct, based on liquid metal microfluidic networks and electromagnetic actuation, that supports a unique collection of capabilities.

    • Xinchen Ni
    • , Haiwen Luan
    •  & John A. Rogers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The challenge of high-speed and high-accuracy coherent photonic neurons for deep learning applications lies to solve noise related issues. Here, Mourgias-Alexandris et al. address this problem by introducing a noise-resilient hardware architectural and a deep learning training platform.

    • G. Mourgias-Alexandris
    • , M. Moralis-Pegios
    •  & N. Pleros
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are effective vehicles to deliver mRNA vaccines and therapeutics but assessing the mRNA packaging characteristics in LNPs is challenging. Here, the authors report that mRNA and lipid contents in LNP formulations can be quantitatively examined by multi-laser cylindrical illumination confocal spectroscopy at the single-nanoparticle level.

    • Sixuan Li
    • , Yizong Hu
    •  & Hai-Quan Mao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are interesting for nanophotonic applications due to their high refractive index and excitonic properties. Here, the authors report a scalable bottom-up fabrication method to realize arrays of TMDC metastructures showing dielectric optical modes and self-coupled exciton-polaritons.

    • Fuhuan Shen
    • , Zhenghe Zhang
    •  & Zefeng Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bayesian networks are applied to resolve several types of probabilistic problems. Here, Das et al. develop a stochastic computing hardware platform using two-dimensional memtransistors for the implementation of Bayesian network with high accuracy.

    • Yikai Zheng
    • , Harikrishnan Ravichandran
    •  & Saptarshi Das
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cross-scale energy transfers in collisionless plasmas help understanding involved mechanisms. Here, the authors show simultaneous macro- and micro-scale wave-ion interactions provide an efficient mechanism for cross-scale energy transfer and plasma energization in astrophysical and space plasmas.

    • Z.-Y. Liu
    • , Q.-G. Zong
    •  & G. Le
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Scaling up anisotropic freeze-casting processes can be challenging due to the temperature gradient farther from the cold source. Here, authors report an additive freeze-casting technique able to produce large-scale aerogel panels and demonstrate it towards practical passive cooling applications.

    • Kit-Ying Chan
    • , Xi Shen
    •  & Jang-Kyo Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A major challenge for the effective use of Ti-based MXenes in applications with harsh environmental conditions is their poor resistance to oxidation. Here, authors report an air-stable Ti3C2Tx composite with extracted bentonite able to endure high-temperature annealing in air by an oxygen adsorption competition mechanism.

    • Na Liu
    • , Qiaoqiao Li
    •  & Xu Xiao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ambipolar organic electrochemical transistors simplify bioelectronics circuitry but are challenging due to complicated material design and synthesis. Here, the authors demonstrate that p- and n-type blends offer a simple and tuneable approach for the fabrication of ambipolar devices and circuits.

    • Eyal Stein
    • , Oded Nahor
    •  & Gitti L. Frey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Observation of a Bloch-Siegert shift has remained elusive. Here, Wu et al, reports spin-selective Bloch-Siegert shift in lead halide perovskite quantum dots, and highlights the importance of many-body interactions in correctly modeling the shift.

    • Yuxuan Li
    • , Yaoyao Han
    •  & Jingyi Zhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fluorogenic detection of H2O2 in cells is established, but equivalent tools to monitor its cellular targets remain in their infancy. Here authors develop fluorogenic probes for detecting cysteine sulfenic acid, a redox modification inextricably linked to H2O2 signalling and oxidative stress.

    • Renan B. Ferreira
    • , Ling Fu
    •  & Kate S. Carroll
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Carbon neutrality initiative has stimulated the development of the sustainable methodologies for hydrogen generation and safe storage. Here the authors demonstrate that the dual-active sites of Pt single-atoms and frustrated Lewis pairs on porous nanorods of CeO2 enable the efficient additive-free H2 generation with a low CO generation through reforming of methanol and water.

    • Sai Zhang
    • , Yuxuan Liu
    •  & Yongquan Qu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In a ferrimagnet, there are two magnetic sublattices coupled antiferromagnetically. The dynamics of the two magnetic sublattices isn’t well understood, as the magnetic moments for each reside at different energy levels. Here, Park et al show that the magnetic moments at deeper energy levels show spin-glass like characteristics.

    • Ji-Ho Park
    • , Won Tae Kim
    •  & Kab-Jin Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the how silicon deforms under pressure is important for several fields, including planetary science and materials design. Laser-driven shock compression experiments now confirm that shear stress generated during compression is released via a high-pressure phase transition.

    • Silvia Pandolfi
    • , S. Brennan Brown
    •  & A. E. Gleason
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Engineered living materials (ELMs) embed living cells in a biopolymer matrix to create novel materials with tailored functions. In this work, the authors engineered bacteria to grow novel macroscopic materials that can be reshaped, functionalized, and used to filter contaminated water while also showing that the stiffness of these materials can be tuned through genetic changes.

    • Sara Molinari
    • , Robert F. Tesoriero Jr.
    •  & Caroline M. Ajo-Franklin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient oxygen evolution relies on the development of promising catalysts. Herein, the authors demonstrate that cobalt tetrahedra, stabilized over the surface of YBCo4O7 material, can catalyze oxygen evolution reaction efficiently.

    • Yubo Chen
    • , Joon Kyo Seo
    •  & Zhichuan J. Xu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There are several proposals for quantum algorithms solving optimisation problems, but so far none of them has provided a clear speedup. Here, the authors propose an iterative protocol featuring periodic cycling around the tricritical point of a many-body localization transition.

    • Hanteng Wang
    • , Hsiu-Chung Yeh
    •  & Alex Kamenev
  • 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