Physical sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study demonstrates how reaction network characterization can be performed on heterogeneous catalytic surfaces predictively, rather than retrospectively, using automated exploration algorithms on an ethylene oligomerization exemplar reaction.

    • Qiyuan Zhao
    • , Yinan Xu
    •  & Brett M. Savoie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Copper catalysts derived from oxidized precursors typically exhibit high selectivity for CO2 electroreduction to multicarbon products, yet the influencing factors that control the selectivity need further investigation. Here, the authors reveal that the high selectivity stems from small grain size and lattice strain due to in situ reduction of precursors.

    • Qiong Lei
    • , Liang Huang
    •  & Yu Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stretchable ionic conductors are attractive candidates for flexible ionotronics but combining high conductivity with excellent mechanical properties is challenging. Herein, the authors combine these properties in a dynamic supramolecular ionic conductive elastomer enabling lithium-ion transport in the soft phase and dynamic disulfide and supramolecular hydrogen bonding in the hard segments.

    • Jing Chen
    • , Yiyang Gao
    •  & Shujiang Ding
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The piezoelectricity of PVDF composites is mainly determined by the crystalline phases and spontaneous polarization. Here, the authors propose a Ti3C2Tx anchoring method to modulate the molecular interactions and conformation of polymer matrix.

    • Yuanjie Su
    • , Weixiong Li
    •  & Jun Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Reversible on/off switches for enzyme activity are foundational in nature but are challenging to design using tools of synthetic chemistry. Here the authors design chemical zymogens amenable for activation via biomolecular interactions.

    • Mireia Casanovas Montasell
    • , Pere Monge
    •  & Alexander N. Zelikin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bacterial biofilm formation is a major risk of surgical implantation, and necessitates implant removal and aggressive antibiotic treatment. Here authors show that post-surgical application of Manganese-containing inorganic nanosheets reduces residual and recurrent infection by improving antigen presentation and humoral immune response against the biofilms.

    • Chuang Yang
    • , Yao Luo
    •  & Xianlong Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Networks with higher-order interactions are relevant to variety of real-world applications, they can be good description of data even if the system has only pairwise interactions. The authors uncover the hypernetwork emergence in coupled nonlinear oscillators and electrochemical experiments.

    • Eddie Nijholt
    • , Jorge Luis Ocampo-Espindola
    •  & Tiago Pereira
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Accurate forecasts of lithium-ion battery performance will ease concerns about the reliability of electric vehicles. Here, the authors leverage electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and machine learning to show that future capacity can be predicted amid uneven use, with no historical data requirement.

    • Penelope K. Jones
    • , Ulrich Stimming
    •  & Alpha A. Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Engineering quantum correlations between light modes at different frequency would open new avenues for quantum networks and sensing. Here, the authors propose and demonstrate a way for obtaining high-purity strongly entangled continuous variable states with more than 200 nm difference in wavelength.

    • Tulio Brito Brasil
    • , Valeriy Novikov
    •  & Eugene S. Polzik
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Most SERS-active nanostructures suffer from low robustness against misalignment to field polarization. Here, the authors demonstrate three-dimensional nanoframes of octahedral geometry, with two rims engraved on each facet, as polarization-independent SERS nanoprobes.

    • Hajir Hilal
    • , Qiang Zhao
    •  & Sungho Park
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Inverse vulcanization is a process that enables to convert sulfur, a by-product of the petroleum industry, into polymers. Here the authors report a synthetic method of inverse vulcanization via mechanochemical synthesis; compared to thermal routes, a broader range of monomers can be used, and the protocol yields materials with enhanced mercury capture capacity.

    • Peiyao Yan
    • , Wei Zhao
    •  & Tom Hasell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Large impacts can create deep lying porosity far away from the crater. This result explains GRAIL’s findings and suggests impacts could support widespread fluid circulation, which has implications for habitable environments on early Earth and Mars.

    • Sean E. Wiggins
    • , Brandon C. Johnson
    •  & Simone Marchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Skyrmions in synthetic antiferromagnets are appealing for use in future memory and computing devices, combining small size and fast motion, but creating, stabilizing, and observing them remains a challenge. Here, Juge et al demonstrate the stabilization and current and light induced nucleation of skyrmions in a synthetic antiferromagnet, observing the magnetization texture in each layer using X-ray magnetic microscopy.

    • Roméo Juge
    • , Naveen Sisodia
    •  & Olivier Boulle
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Twisted heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides host the so-called moiré excitons, or intralayer excitons modified by the moiré potential. Here the authors show tunability of the moiré excitons and the coexisting correlated electronic states in WSe2/WS2 superlattices with varying WSe2 layer thickness

    • Dongxue Chen
    • , Zhen Lian
    •  & Su-Fei Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The high solar reflectance needed by radiative cooling is easily dampened by environmental aging. Here, authors describe durable cooling performance against heavy soiling and long-term ultraviolet exposure of paint-based coatings, enhancing the potential of radiative cooling for real-world applications.

    • Jianing Song
    • , Wenluan Zhang
    •  & Xu Deng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    3D printing is prone to errors and continuous monitoring and real-time correction during processing remains a significant challenge limiting its applied potential. Here, authors train a neural network to detect and correct diverse errors in real time across many geometries, materials and even printing setups.

    • Douglas A. J. Brion
    •  & Sebastian W. Pattinson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The separation of butane isomers, raw materials in petrochemical industry, is challenging. Here the authors report the separation of n-butane and isobutane using a metal-organic framework slurry; the separation can be performed at large scale in a pilot-scale separation tower.

    • Mingke Yang
    • , Huishan Wang
    •  & Guangjin Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Small variations in the density of dopants change the physical properties of complex oxides. Here, the authors resolve doping levels in three dimension, imaging the atomic sites that donors occupy in the small band gap semiconductor Er(Mn,Ti)O3.

    • K. A. Hunnestad
    • , C. Hatzoglou
    •  & D. Meier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dislocations in high-entropy alloys encounter pinning during glide resulting in jerky motion. Here the authors demonstrate that the density of high local Peierls force is proportional to the critical stress required for their glide and mobility.

    • Daniel Utt
    • , Subin Lee
    •  & Karsten Albe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding how order emerges in active matter may facilitate macroscopic control of microscopic objects. Here, Williams et al. show how to control the transport of passive microscopic particles in presence of motile algae in conjunction with boundary-induced accumulation of microswimmers.

    • Stephen Williams
    • , Raphaël Jeanneret
    •  & Marco Polin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It has been predicted that longitudinal coupling between a qubit and a superconducting resonator can mediate efficient interactions among distant qubits. Here the authors implement such a coupling between a singlet-triplet qubit in a semiconductor double quantum dot and a high-impedance superconducting resonator.

    • C. G. L. Bøttcher
    • , S. P. Harvey
    •  & A. Yacoby
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Advanced computer vision technology can provide near real-time home monitoring to support "aging in place” by detecting falls and symptoms related to seizures and stroke. In this paper, the authors propose a strategy that uses homomorphic encryption, which guarantees information confidentiality while retaining action detection.

    • Miran Kim
    • , Xiaoqian Jiang
    •  & Shayan Shams
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Next-generation lipid nanoparticles that target non-hepatocytes could be important clinical tools. Using in vivo DNA barcoding, the authors identify piperazine-containing lipids deliver mRNA to immune cells without targeting ligands.

    • Huanzhen Ni
    • , Marine Z. C. Hatit
    •  & James E. Dahlman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rapid investigation of chemical reactions is a challenge in bio-medical analysis. Here, the authors demonstrate sensitive in-situ real-time reaction-monitoring of conformational changes in protein solution, based on a fingertip-sized mid-IR lab-on-a-chip.

    • Borislav Hinkov
    • , Florian Pilat
    •  & Gottfried Strasser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Liquid metals that have enormous surface tension are difficult to pattern into films. Here, authors report the spontaneous and selective wetting of a gallium-based liquid metal, which is induced by imbibition on a micro-structured metallized substrate.

    • Ji-Hye Kim
    • , Sooyoung Kim
    •  & Hyung-Jun Koo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors find the missing link for soliton microcombs that exist at the boundary where the group velocity dispersion of light changes sign: zero-dispersion solitons. The resulting microresonator frequency comb, based in Si3N4, spans almost an octave.

    • Miles H. Anderson
    • , Wenle Weng
    •  & Tobias J. Kippenberg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton underlies cell movement, but is challenging to characterize at the molecular level. Here, the authors present a method to extract actin filament velocities in living cells, and compare their results to current models of cytoskeletal dynamics.

    • Cayla M. Miller
    • , Elgin Korkmazhan
    •  & Alexander R. Dunn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors report tunable luminescence from a single lanthanide ion upon changing excitation conditions through co-doping an energy-modulator ion, thus adjusting the photon transition process of the lanthanide activator ion. Optical encryption has also been demonstrated as an application of this universal strategy.

    • Xiao Fu
    • , Shuai Fu
    •  & Qingsong Mei
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Molecular flexiblity and conformational dynamics of chiral catalysts are not often taken into account in models of enantiodiscrimination. Here the authors design a catalytic system in which two conformers of the same catalyst can lead to axially chiral products of opposite absolute configurations.

    • Shouyi Cen
    • , Nini Huang
    •  & Zhipeng Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This paper reports an experimental observation of irrotational, inviscid, and incompressible electromagnetic power flow within an epsilon-near-zero medium, exhibiting an analogy to an ideal fluid.

    • Hao Li
    • , Ziheng Zhou
    •  & Yue Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Continuous-variable QKD protocols are usually easier to implement than discrete-variables ones, but their security analyses are less developed. Here, the authors propose and demonstrate in the lab a CVQKD protocol that can generate composable keys secure against collective attacks.

    • Nitin Jain
    • , Hou-Man Chin
    •  & Ulrik L. Andersen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The catalytic activity of regenerable nanozymes is currently the bottle neck for their wider employment. Here, the authors report on single-atom nanozymes of RhN4, VN4, and Fe-Cu-N6 with higher catalytic activities than natural enzymes, and demonstrate the Rh/VN4 recyclability and scalp healing properties in bioactive sutures.

    • Shaofang Zhang
    • , Yonghui Li
    •  & Xiao-Dong Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantum interference effect in the conductance of single molecule junctions has been attracting intensive interest in recent years. Here, Li and Selzer show the presence of intermolecular quantum interference over 40,000 molecules in a molecular ensemble junction with bismuth as the top electrode.

    • Ping’an Li
    •  & Yoram Selzer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nanosized Pd-based catalysts are widely used in the direct hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) synthesis from H2 and O2, while the selectivity and yield of H2O2 remain inferior. Here, a remarkable H2O2 yield of 115 mol/gPd/h and H2O2 selectivity higher than 99% are reported using a Pd single-atom catalyst for the direct synthesis of H2O2.

    • Shiming Yu
    • , Xing Cheng
    •  & Ge Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A 2D magnet CrSBr has attracted interest for applications in spintronics due to its high critical temperature and interesting magneto-electrical properties. Here the authors report a detailed study of its magnetic and structural phases and uncover a hidden magnetic order inside the magnetically-ordered phase.

    • Sara A. López-Paz
    • , Zurab Guguchia
    •  & Fabian O. von Rohr
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In contrast with well-established dearomatization protocols such as the Birch reduction, sigmatropic rearrangement-based dearomatizations are a less-explored but potentially effective route to saturated compounds. Here, the authors show a [5,5]-rearrangement-enabled dearomatization of aryl sulfoxides.

    • Mengjie Hu
    • , Yanping Liu
    •  & Bo Peng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In network systems governed by oscillatory activity, such as brain networks or power grids, configurations of synchrony may define network functions. The authors introduce a control approach for the formation of desired synchrony patterns through optimal interventions on the network parameters.

    • Tommaso Menara
    • , Giacomo Baggio
    •  & Fabio Pasqualetti