Soft materials

Soft materials are materials that can be easily deformed by thermal stresses or thermal fluctuations at about room temperature. Soft materials include liquids, polymers, foams, gels, colloids, granular materials, as well as most soft biological materials.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Colloidal structures and lattices made of patchy particles with chemically distinct lobes are formed by exploring site-specific depletion forces. This approach introduces a simple route to assemble colloidal superlattices.

    • Bas G. P. van Ravensteijn
    • , Patrick A. Hage
    •  & Ilja K. Voets
    Nature Materials 19, 1261-1263
  • News & Views |

    Non-fullerene acceptors have successfully overcome energy losses that were thought to be unavoidable in organic solar cells based on fullerene derivatives. However, it is now shown that they have limits too.

    • Justin M. Hodgkiss
  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    In light of the surging research on porous organic materials, we herein discuss the key issues of their porous structures, surface properties, and end functions. We also present an outlook on emerging opportunities, new applications, and data science-assisted materials discovery.

    • Tianyu Liu
    •  & Guoliang Liu
  • Research Highlights |

    An article in Communications Materials reports untethered magnetic soft robots that can perform large-degree deformations at high frequencies in low magnetic fields.

    • Christine Horejs
  • News & Views |

    After years of speculation on the origins of symmetry-making and -breaking during crystallization, time-resolved in situ scanning probe microscopy and all-atom molecular dynamics simulations have shown that the formation of olanzapine crystals largely occurs by the incorporation of centrosymmetric dimers into growth sites.

    • Susan M. Reutzel-Edens
    Nature Chemistry 12, 887-888