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  • Luminescent solar concentrators for building-integrated photovoltaics
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-11-21
    Francesco Meinardi, Francesco Bruni, Sergio Brovelli

    The transition to fully energetically sustainable architecture through the realization of so-called net zero-energy buildings is currently in progress in areas with low population density. However, this is not yet true in cities, where the cost of land for the installation of ground photovoltaic (PV) is prohibitively high and the rooftop space is too scarce to accommodate the PV modules necessary for sustaining the electrical requirements of tall buildings. Thus, new technologies are being investigated to integrate solar-harvesting devices into building façades in the form of PV windows or envelope elements. Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are the most promising technology for semi-transparent, electrodeless PV glazing systems that can be integrated ‘invisibly’ into the built environment without detrimental effects to the aesthetics of the building or the quality of life of the inhabitants. After 40 years of research, recent breakthroughs in the realization of reabsorption-free emitters with broadband absorption have boosted the performance of LSCs to such a degree that they might be commercialized in the near future. In this Perspective, we explore the successful strategies that have allowed this change of pace, examining and comparing the different types of chromophores and waveguide materials, and discuss the issues that remain to be investigated for further progress.

    更新日期:2017-11-21
  • Biophysics: Swing the balance
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-11-14
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Biophysics: Swing the balanceBiophysics: Swing the balance, Published online: 14 November 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.77

    更新日期:2017-11-14
  • DNA nanotechnology
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-11-08
    Nadrian C. Seeman, Hanadi F. Sleiman

    DNA is the molecule that stores and transmits genetic information in biological systems. The field of DNA nanotechnology takes this molecule out of its biological context and uses its information to assemble structural motifs and then to connect them together. This field has had a remarkable impact on nanoscience and nanotechnology, and has been revolutionary in our ability to control molecular self-assembly. In this Review, we summarize the approaches used to assemble DNA nanostructures and examine their emerging applications in areas such as biophysics, diagnostics, nanoparticle and protein assembly, biomolecule structure determination, drug delivery and synthetic biology. The introduction of orthogonal interactions into DNA nanostructures is discussed, and finally, a perspective on the future directions of this field is presented.

    更新日期:2017-11-08
  • Metal–organic frameworks: Molten MOFs
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-31
    Claire Ashworth

    Metal–organic frameworks: Molten MOFsNature Reviews Materials, Published online: 31 October 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.74

    更新日期:2017-10-31
  • Bandgap engineering in semiconductor alloy nanomaterials with widely tunable compositions
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-31
    Cun-Zheng Ning, Letian Dou, Peidong Yang

    Over the past decade, tremendous progress has been achieved in the development of nanoscale semiconductor materials with a wide range of bandgaps by alloying different individual semiconductors. These materials include traditional II–VI and III–V semiconductors and their alloys, inorganic and hybrid perovskites, and the newly emerging 2D materials. One important common feature of these materials is that their nanoscale dimensions result in a large tolerance to lattice mismatches within a monolithic structure of varying composition or between the substrate and target material, which enables us to achieve almost arbitrary control of the variation of the alloy composition. As a result, the bandgaps of these alloys can be widely tuned without the detrimental defects that are often unavoidable in bulk materials, which have a much more limited tolerance to lattice mismatches. This class of nanomaterials could have a far-reaching impact on a wide range of photonic applications, including tunable lasers, solid-state lighting, artificial photosynthesis and new solar cells.

    更新日期:2017-10-31
  • Biomaterials: By any stretch
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-25
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Biomaterials: By any stretch Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 25 October 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.73

    更新日期:2017-10-30
  • Flexible mechanical metamaterials
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-17
    Katia Bertoldi, Vincenzo Vitelli, Johan Christensen, Martin van Hecke

    Mechanical metamaterials exhibit properties and functionalities that cannot be realized in conventional materials. Originally, the field focused on achieving unusual (zero or negative) values for familiar mechanical parameters, such as density, Poisson's ratio or compressibility, but more recently, new classes of metamaterials — including shape-morphing, topological and nonlinear metamaterials — have emerged. These materials exhibit exotic functionalities, such as pattern and shape transformations in response to mechanical forces, unidirectional guiding of motion and waves, and reprogrammable stiffness or dissipation. In this Review, we identify the design principles leading to these properties and discuss, in particular, linear and mechanism-based metamaterials (such as origami-based and kirigami-based metamaterials), metamaterials harnessing instabilities and frustration, and topological metamaterials. We conclude by outlining future challenges for the design, creation and conceptualization of advanced mechanical metamaterials.

    更新日期:2017-10-17
  • Surface reconstructions: Polaron bricklayers at work
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-17
    Giulia Pacchioni

    Surface reconstructions: Polaron bricklayers at work Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 17 October 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.71

    更新日期:2017-10-17
  • Nanomedicine: You shall not pass
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-10
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Nanomedicine: You shall not pass Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 10 October 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.69

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Coherent perfect absorbers: linear control of light with light
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-04
    Denis G. Baranov, Alex Krasnok, Timur Shegai, Andrea Alù, Yidong Chong

    The absorption of electromagnetic energy by a material is a phenomenon that underlies many applications, including molecular sensing, photocurrent generation and photodetection. Typically, the incident energy is delivered to the system through a single channel, for example, by a plane wave incident on one side of an absorber. However, absorption can be made much more efficient by exploiting wave interference. A coherent perfect absorber is a system in which the complete absorption of electromagnetic radiation is achieved by controlling the interference of multiple incident waves. Here, we review recent advances in the design and applications of such devices. We present the theoretical principles underlying the phenomenon of coherent perfect absorption and give an overview of the photonic structures in which it can be realized, including planar and guided-mode structures, graphene-based systems, parity-symmetric and time-symmetric structures, 3D structures and quantum-mechanical systems. We then discuss possible applications of coherent perfect absorption in nanophotonics, and, finally, we survey the perspectives for the future of this field.

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Harnessing singlet exciton fission to break the Shockley–Queisser limit
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-10-04
    Akshay Rao, Richard H. Friend

    Singlet exciton fission is a carrier multiplication process in organic semiconductors that generates two electron–hole pairs for each photon absorbed. Singlet fission occurs on sub-100 fs timescales with yields of up to 200%, and photovoltaic devices based on singlet fission have achieved external quantum efficiencies above 100%. The major challenge for the field is to use singlet fission to improve the efficiency of conventional inorganic solar cells, such as silicon, and to break the Shockley–Queisser limit on the efficiency of single-junction photovoltaics. Achieving this goal requires a broader and more collaborative effort than the one used at present. Synthetic chemists, spectroscopists, theorists, materials scientists, device physicists and engineers will need to work together. In this Review, we critically assess the current status of the field, highlight the key results and identify the challenges ahead. In doing so, we seek to open the field to new expertise and ideas, which will in turn promote both fundamental science and device applications.

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Graphene nanoribbons: Joining the pieces
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-09-26
    Giulia Pacchioni

    Graphene nanoribbons: Joining the pieces Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 26 September 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.62

    更新日期:2017-09-26
  • Strain-controlled electrocatalysis on multimetallic nanomaterials
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-09-26
    Mingchuan Luo, Shaojun Guo

    Electrocatalysis is crucial for the development of clean and renewable energy technologies, which may reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Multimetallic nanomaterials serve as state-of-the-art electrocatalysts as a consequence of their unique physico-chemical properties. One method of enhancing the electrocatalytic performance of multimetallic nanomaterials is to tune or control the surface strain of the nanomaterials, and tremendous progress has been made in this area in the past decade. In this Review, we summarize advances in the introduction, tuning and quantification of strain in multimetallic nanocrystals to achieve more efficient energy conversion by electrocatalysis. First, we introduce the concept of strain and its correlation with other key physico-chemical properties. Then, using the electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen as a model reaction, we discuss the underlying mechanisms behind the strain–adsorption–reactivity relationship based on combined classical theories and models. We describe how this knowledge can be harnessed to design multimetallic nanocrystals with optimized strain to increase the efficiency of oxygen reduction. In particular, we highlight the unexpectedly beneficial (and previously overlooked) role of tensile strain from multimetallic nanocrystals in improving electrocatalysis. We conclude by outlining the challenges and offering our perspectives on the research directions in this burgeoning field.

    更新日期:2017-09-26
  • Picoscale materials engineering
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-09-19
    Sohrab Ismail-Beigi, Frederick J. Walker, Ankit S. Disa, Karin M. Rabe, Charles H. Ahn

    The way in which atoms bond to form a material — in particular the pattern of bond lengths and angles — is the fundamental determinant of the properties of the resulting material. Functional materials often derive their properties from alterable or reversible bond distortions at the picometre length scale that modify the electronic configuration. By considering several examples, we discuss how picoscale bond perturbations can be used to achieve specific materials properties. In particular, we examine the orbital engineering demonstrated in nickelates, the functional properties obtained in perovskite superlattices and the influence of interfacial effects on the high superconductive transition temperature of iron selenide. Moreover, we emphasize the relation between band topology and picoscale distortions in transition metal dichalcogenides and the effect of the excitation of lattice modes on materials properties. We use these examples to highlight how the combination of first-principles methods, materials growth techniques that allow control of the composition of individual atomic layers and state-of-the-art methods to characterize or dynamically excite picoscale bond distortions provides a powerful approach for discovering rules and concepts for picoscale materials engineering.

    更新日期:2017-09-19
  • Biomaterials: Don't stress over it
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-09-19
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Biomaterials: Don't stress over it Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 19 September 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.67

    更新日期:2017-09-19
  • Super-resolution microscopy: Always look on the bright side of the fluorophore
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-09-19
    Giulia Pacchioni

    Super-resolution microscopy: Always look on the bright side of the fluorophore Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 19 September 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.65

    更新日期:2017-09-19
  • Tools for translation: non-viral materials for therapeutic mRNA delivery
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-09-12
    Khalid A. Hajj, Kathryn A. Whitehead

    In recent years, messenger RNA (mRNA) has come into the spotlight as a versatile therapeutic with the potential to prevent and treat a staggering range of diseases. Billions of dollars have been invested in the commercial development of mRNA drugs, with ongoing clinical trials focused on vaccines (for example, influenza and Zika viruses) and cancer immunotherapy (for example, myeloma, leukaemia and glioblastoma). Although significant progress has been made in the design of in vitro-transcribed mRNA that retains potency while minimizing unwanted immune responses, the widespread use of mRNA drugs requires the development of safe and effective drug delivery vehicles. In this Review, we provide an overview of the field of mRNA therapeutics and describe recent advances in the development of synthetic materials that encapsulate and deliver mRNA payloads.

    更新日期:2017-09-12
  • Tetradymites as thermoelectrics and topological insulators
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-09-05
    Joseph P. Heremans, Robert J. Cava, Nitin Samarth

    Tetradymites are M2X3 compounds — in which M is a group V metal, usually Bi or Sb, and X is a group VI anion, Te, Se or S — that crystallize in a rhombohedral structure. Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 are archetypical tetradymites. Other mixtures of M and X elements produce common variants, such as Bi2Te2Se. Because tetradymites are based on heavy p-block elements, strong spin-orbit coupling greatly influences their electronic properties, both on the surface and in the bulk. Their surface electronic states are a cornerstone of frontier work on topological insulators. The bulk energy bands are characterized by small energy gaps, high group velocities, small effective masses and band inversion near the centre of the Brillouin zone. These properties are favourable for high-efficiency thermoelectric materials but make it difficult to obtain an electrically insulating bulk, which is a requirement of topological insulators. This Review outlines recent progress made in bulk and thin-film tetradymite materials for the optimization of their properties both as thermoelectrics and as topological insulators.

    更新日期:2017-09-05
  • Design and synthesis of polyoxometalate-framework materials from cluster precursors
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-08-31
    Laia Vilà-Nadal, Leroy Cronin

    Inorganic oxide materials are used in semiconductor electronics, ion exchange, catalysis, coatings, gas sensors and as separation materials. Although their synthesis is well understood, the scope for new materials is reduced because of the stability limits imposed by high-temperature processing and top-down synthetic approaches. In this Review, we describe the derivatization of polyoxometalate (POM) clusters, which enables their assembly into a range of frameworks by use of organic or inorganic linkers. Additionally, bottom-up synthetic approaches can be used to make metal oxide framework materials, and the features of the molecular POM precursors are retained in these structures. Highly robust all-inorganic frameworks can be made using metal-ion linkers, which combine molecular synthetic control without the need for organic components. The resulting frameworks have high stability, and high catalytic, photochemical and electrochemical activity. Conceptually, these inorganic oxide materials bridge the gap between zeolites and metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and establish a new class of all-inorganic POM frameworks that can be designed using topological and reactivity principles similar to MOFs.

    更新日期:2017-08-31
  • Computationally guided discovery of thermoelectric materials
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-08-22
    Prashun Gorai, Vladan Stevanović, Eric S. Toberer

    The potential for advances in thermoelectric materials, and thus solid-state refrigeration and power generation, is immense. Progress so far has been limited by both the breadth and diversity of the chemical space and the serial nature of experimental work. In this Review, we discuss how recent computational advances are revolutionizing our ability to predict electron and phonon transport and scattering, as well as materials dopability, and we examine efficient approaches to calculating critical transport properties across large chemical spaces. When coupled with experimental feedback, these high-throughput approaches can stimulate the discovery of new classes of thermoelectric materials. Within smaller materials subsets, computations can guide the optimal chemical and structural tailoring to enhance materials performance and provide insight into the underlying transport physics. Beyond perfect materials, computations can be used for the rational design of structural and chemical modifications (such as defects, interfaces, dopants and alloys) to provide additional control on transport properties to optimize performance. Through computational predictions for both materials searches and design, a new paradigm in thermoelectric materials discovery is emerging.

    更新日期:2017-08-22
  • Drug delivery: Ultrasound soothes the pain
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-08-16
    Adam Brotchie

    Drug delivery: Ultrasound soothes the pain Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 16 August 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.58

    更新日期:2017-08-16
  • Lithium batteries: A protective film
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-08-16
    Alison Stoddart

    Lithium batteries: A protective film Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 16 August 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.61

    更新日期:2017-08-16
  • Lithium-ion batteries: Stress relief for silicon
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-08-08
    Alison Stoddart

    Lithium-ion batteries: Stress relief for silicon Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 8 August 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.57

    更新日期:2017-08-08
  • Graphene-based smart materials
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-08-01
    Xiaowen Yu, Huhu Cheng, Miao Zhang, Yang Zhao, Liangti Qu, Gaoquan Shi

    The high specific surface area and the excellent mechanical, electrical, optical and thermal properties of graphene make it an attractive component for high-performance stimuli-responsive or ‘smart’ materials. Complementary to these inherent properties, functionalization or hybridization can substantially improve the performance of these materials. Typical graphene-based smart materials include mechanically exfoliated perfect graphene, chemical vapour deposited high-quality graphene, chemically modified graphene (for example, graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide) and their macroscopic assemblies or composites. These materials are sensitive to a range of stimuli, including gas molecules or biomolecules, pH value, mechanical strain, electrical field, and thermal or optical excitation. In this Review, we outline different graphene-based smart materials and their potential applications in actuators, chemical or strain sensors, self-healing materials, photothermal therapy and controlled drug delivery. We also introduce the working mechanisms of graphene-based smart materials and discuss the challenges facing the realization of their practical applications.

    更新日期:2017-08-02
  • Particulate photocatalysts for overall water splitting
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-08-01
    Shanshan Chen, Tsuyoshi Takata, Kazunari Domen

    The conversion of solar energy to chemical energy is a promising way of generating renewable energy. Hydrogen production by means of water splitting over semiconductor photocatalysts is a simple, cost-effective approach to large-scale solar hydrogen synthesis. Since the discovery of the Honda–Fujishima effect, considerable progress has been made in this field, and numerous photocatalytic materials and water-splitting systems have been developed. In this Review, we summarize existing water-splitting systems based on particulate photocatalysts, focusing on the main components: light-harvesting semiconductors and co-catalysts. The essential design principles of the materials employed for overall water-splitting systems based on one-step and two-step photoexcitation are also discussed, concentrating on three elementary processes: photoabsorption, charge transfer and surface catalytic reactions. Finally, we outline challenges and potential advances associated with solar water splitting by particulate photocatalysts for future commercial applications.

    更新日期:2017-08-02
  • Low-bandgap conjugated polymers enabling solution-processable tandem solar cells
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-25
    Gang Li, Wei-Hsuan Chang, Yang Yang

    The technology of polymer-based organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells has made great progress in the past decade, with the power conversion efficiency increasing from just a few per cent to around 12%, and the stability increasing from hours to years. One of the important milestones in this progress has been the invention of infrared-absorbing low-bandgap polymers, which allows the OPV cells to form effective tandem structures for harvesting near-infrared energy from the solar spectrum. In this Review, we focus on the progress in low-bandgap conjugated polymers and several tandem OPV cells enabled by these low-bandgap polymers. Specifically, we cover polymer-based tandem solar cells; hybrid tandem solar cells combining polymers with hydrogenated amorphous silicon; and unconventional solar cells. For each of these technologies, we address the challenges and offer our perspectives for future development.

    更新日期:2017-07-28
  • Polymers: Phosphorus analogues of rubber
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-25
    Alison Stoddart

    Polymers: Phosphorus analogues of rubber Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 25 July 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.55

    更新日期:2017-07-28
  • The chemistry of metal–organic frameworks for CO2 capture, regeneration and conversion
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-25
    Christopher A. Trickett, Aasif Helal, Bassem A. Al-Maythalony, Zain H. Yamani, Kyle E. Cordova, Omar M. Yaghi

    The carbon dioxide challenge is one of the most pressing problems facing our planet. Each stage in the carbon cycle — capture, regeneration and conversion — has its own materials requirements. Recent work on metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) demonstrated the potential and effectiveness of these materials in addressing this challenge. In this Review, we identify the specific structural and chemical properties of MOFs that have led to the highest capture capacities, the most efficient separations and regeneration processes, and the most effective catalytic conversions. The interior of MOFs can be designed to have coordinatively unsaturated metal sites, specific heteroatoms, covalent functionalization, other building unit interactions, hydrophobicity, porosity, defects and embedded nanoscale metal catalysts with a level of precision that is crucial for the development of higher-performance MOFs. To realize a total solution, it is necessary to use the precision of MOF chemistry to build more complex materials to address selectivity, capacity and conversion together in one material.

    更新日期:2017-07-28
  • Active matter at the interface between materials science and cell biology
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-20
    Daniel Needleman, Zvonimir Dogic

    The remarkable processes that characterize living organisms, such as motility, self-healing and reproduction, are fuelled by a continuous injection of energy at the microscale. The field of active matter focuses on understanding how the collective behaviours of internally driven components can give rise to these biological phenomena, while also striving to produce synthetic materials composed of active energy-consuming components. The synergistic approach of studying active matter in both living cells and reconstituted systems assembled from biochemical building blocks has the potential to transform our understanding of both cell biology and materials science. This methodology can provide insight into the fundamental principles that govern the dynamical behaviours of self-organizing subcellular structures, and can lead to the design of artificial materials and machines that operate away from equilibrium and can thus attain life-like properties. In this Review, we focus on active materials made of cytoskeletal components, highlighting the role of active stresses and how they drive self-organization of both cellular structures and macroscale materials, which are machines powered by nanomachines.

    更新日期:2017-07-21
  • Chiroplasmonic DNA-based nanostructures
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-20
    Alessandro Cecconello, Lucas V. Besteiro, Alexander O. Govorov, Itamar Willner

    Chiroplasmonic properties of nanoparticles, organized using DNA-based nanostructures, have attracted both theoretical and experimental interest. Theory suggests that the circular dichroism spectra accompanying chiroplasmonic nanoparticle assemblies are controlled by the sizes, shapes, geometries and interparticle distances of the nanoparticles. In this Review, we present different methods to assemble chiroplasmonic nanoparticle or nanorod systems using DNA scaffolds, and we discuss the operations of dynamically reconfigurable chiroplasmonic nanostructures. The chiroplasmonic properties of the different systems are characterized by circular dichroism and further supported by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy or cryo-transmission electron microscopy imaging and theoretical modelling. We also outline the applications of chiroplasmonic assemblies, including their use as DNA-sensing platforms and as functional systems for information processing and storage. Finally, future perspectives in applying chiroplasmonic nanoparticles as waveguides for selective information transfer and their use as ensembles for chiroselective synthesis are discussed. Specifically, we highlight the upscaling of the systems to device-like configurations.

    更新日期:2017-07-21
  • Spin qubits: Useful defects in silicon carbide
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-11
    Giulia Pacchioni

    Spin qubits: Useful defects in silicon carbide Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.52

    更新日期:2017-07-11
  • Wood: a construction material for tall buildings
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-11
    Guido Wimmers

    Wood: a construction material for tall buildings Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.51 Wood has great potential as a building material, because it is strong and lightweight, environmentally friendly and can be used in prefabricated buildings. However, only changes in building codes will make wood competitive with steel and concrete.

    更新日期:2017-07-11
  • Understanding the physical properties of hybrid perovskites for photovoltaic applications
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-04
    Jinsong Huang, Yongbo Yuan, Yuchuan Shao, Yanfa Yan

    New photovoltaic materials have been searched for in the past decades for clean and renewable solar energy conversion with an objective of reducing the levelized cost of electricity (that is, the unit price of electricity over the course of the device lifetime). An emerging family of semiconductor materials — organic–inorganic halide perovskites (OIHPs) — are the focus of the photovoltaic research community owing to their use of low cost, nature-abundant raw materials, low-temperature and scalable solution fabrication processes, and, in particular, the very high power conversion efficiencies that have been achieved within the short time of their development. In this Review, we summarize and critically assess the most recent advances in understanding the physical properties of both 3D and low-dimensional OIHPs that favour a small open-circuit voltage deficit and high power conversion efficiency. Several prominent topics in this field on the unique properties of OIHPs are surveyed, including defect physics, ferroelectricity, exciton dissociation processes, carrier recombination lifetime and photon recycling. The impact of ion migration on solar cell efficiency and stability are also critically analysed. Finally, we discuss the remaining challenges in the commercialization of OIHP photovoltaics.

    更新日期:2017-07-05
  • Computational development of the nanoporous materials genome
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-07-04
    Peter G. Boyd, Yongjin Lee, Berend Smit

    There is currently a push towards big data and data mining in materials research to accelerate discovery. Zeolites, metal–organic frameworks and other related crystalline porous materials are not immune to this phenomenon, as evidenced by the proliferation of porous structure databases and computational gas-adsorption screening studies over the past decade. The endeavour to identify the best materials for various gas separation and storage applications has led not only to thousands of synthesized structures, but also to the development of algorithms for building hypothetical materials. The materials databases assembled with these algorithms contain a much wider range of complex pore structures than have been synthesized, with the reasoning being that we have discovered only a small fraction of realizable structures and expanding upon these will accelerate rational design. In this Review, we highlight the methods developed to build these databases, and some of the important outcomes from large-scale computational screening studies.

    更新日期:2017-07-05
  • Acoustic metasurfaces: Ultrathin sound diffusers
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-27
    Giulia Pacchioni

    Acoustic metasurfaces: Ultrathin sound diffusers Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 27 June 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.47

    更新日期:2017-06-28
  • Nature-inspired superwettability systems
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-27
    Mingjie Liu, Shutao Wang, Lei Jiang

    Superwettability is a centuries-old concept that has been rediscovered in past decades, largely owing to new understanding of the mechanisms of special wetting phenomena in nature. Combining multiscale structures and surface chemical compositions is crucial to fabricate interfacial materials with superwettability. In this Review, we detail the historical development and summarize the various combined superwetting states in superwettability systems. Nature-inspired design principles of superwettable materials are also briefly introduced. Superwettability systems can be extended from 2D surfaces to 0D nanoparticles, 1D fibres and channels, and 3D integrated materials. We discuss new phenomena and the advantages that superwettability-based systems have for chemical reactions and materials fabrication, including emerging applications that utilize single extreme wetting states or that combine two extreme wetting states. Finally, we provide our perspective for future research directions.

    更新日期:2017-06-28
  • Metamaterials: Graphene makes ceramics multifunctional
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-20
    Adam Brotchie

    Metamaterials: Graphene makes ceramics multifunctional Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 20 June 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.44

    更新日期:2017-06-21
  • Engineering charge transport by heterostructuring solution-processed semiconductors
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-23
    Oleksandr Voznyy, Brandon R. Sutherland, Alexander H. Ip, David Zhitomirsky, Edward H. Sargent

    Solution-processed semiconductor devices are increasingly exploiting heterostructuring — an approach in which two or more materials with different energy landscapes are integrated into a composite system. Heterostructured materials offer an additional degree of freedom to control charge transport and recombination for more efficient optoelectronic devices. By exploiting energetic asymmetry, rationally engineered heterostructured materials can overcome weaknesses, augment strengths and introduce emergent physical phenomena that are otherwise inaccessible to single-material systems. These systems see benefit and application in two distinct branches of charge-carrier manipulation. First, they influence the balance between excitons and free charges to enhance electron extraction in solar cells and photodetectors. Second, they promote radiative recombination by spatially confining electrons and holes, which increases the quantum efficiency of light-emitting diodes. In this Review, we discuss advances in the design and composition of heterostructured materials, consider their implementation in semiconductor devices and examine unexplored paths for future advancement in the field.

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • Antifouling surfaces: Peeling back the solid layers
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-23
    Angela Babi

    Antifouling surfaces: Peeling back the solid layers Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 23 May 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.35

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • Functional carbon nitride materials — design strategies for electrochemical devices
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-31
    Fabian K. Kessler, Yun Zheng, Dana Schwarz, Christoph Merschjann, Wolfgang Schnick, Xinchen Wang, Michael J. Bojdys

    In the past decade, research in the field of artificial photosynthesis has shifted from simple, inorganic semiconductors to more abundant, polymeric materials. For example, polymeric carbon nitrides have emerged as promising materials for metal-free semiconductors and metal-free photocatalysts. Polymeric carbon nitride (melon) and related carbon nitride materials are desirable alternatives to industrially used catalysts because they are easily synthesized from abundant and inexpensive starting materials. Furthermore, these materials are chemically benign because they do not contain heavy metal ions, thereby facilitating handling and disposal. In this Review, we discuss the building blocks of carbon nitride materials and examine how strategies in synthesis, templating and post-processing translate from the molecular level to macroscopic properties, such as optical and electronic bandgap. Applications of carbon nitride materials in bulk heterojunctions, laser-patterned memory devices and energy storage devices indicate that photocatalytic overall water splitting on an industrial scale may be realized in the near future and reveal a new avenue of ‘post-silicon electronics’.

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • The first nanocar race
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-06
    Gwénaël Rapenne, Christian Joachim

    The first nanocar race Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 6 June 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.40 The first race involving molecular ‘cars’ stimulated technical advances in scanning tunnelling microscopy and provided insights in surface science and synthetic chemistry — it also attracted wide interest from the public.

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • Smart materials: To grip or not to grip
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-06
    Nina Meinzer

    Smart materials: To grip or not to grip Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 6 June 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.38

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • Magnetic skyrmions: advances in physics and potential applications
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-13
    Albert Fert, Nicolas Reyren, Vincent Cros

    Magnetic skyrmions are small swirling topological defects in the magnetization texture. Their stabilization and dynamics depend strongly on their topological properties. In most cases, they are induced by chiral interactions between atomic spins in non-centrosymmetric magnetic compounds or in thin films with broken inversion symmetry. Skyrmions can be extremely small, with diameters in the nanometre range, and behave as particles that can be moved, created and annihilated, which makes them suitable for ‘abacus’-type applications in information storage and logic technologies. Until recently, skyrmions had been observed only at low temperature and, in most cases, under large applied magnetic fields. An intense research effort has led to the identification of thin-film and multilayer structures in which skyrmions are now stable at room temperature and can be manipulated by electrical currents. The development of skyrmion-based topological spintronics holds promise for applications in the mid-term furure, even though many challenges, such as the achievement of writing, processing and reading functionalities at room temperature and in all-electrical manipulation schemes, still lie ahead.

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • 2D transition metal dichalcogenides
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-13
    Sajedeh Manzeli, Dmitry Ovchinnikov, Diego Pasquier, Oleg V. Yazyev, Andras Kis

    Graphene is very popular because of its many fascinating properties, but its lack of an electronic bandgap has stimulated the search for 2D materials with semiconducting character. Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), which are semiconductors of the type MX2, where M is a transition metal atom (such as Mo or W) and X is a chalcogen atom (such as S, Se or Te), provide a promising alternative. Because of its robustness, MoS2 is the most studied material in this family. TMDCs exhibit a unique combination of atomic-scale thickness, direct bandgap, strong spin–orbit coupling and favourable electronic and mechanical properties, which make them interesting for fundamental studies and for applications in high-end electronics, spintronics, optoelectronics, energy harvesting, flexible electronics, DNA sequencing and personalized medicine. In this Review, the methods used to synthesize TMDCs are examined and their properties are discussed, with particular attention to their charge density wave, superconductive and topological phases. The use of TMCDs in nanoelectronic devices is also explored, along with strategies to improve charge carrier mobility, high frequency operation and the use of strain engineering to tailor their properties.

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • Synthetic biology: Phagocytic protocells
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-06-13
    Adam Brotchie

    Synthetic biology: Phagocytic protocells Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 13 June 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.41

    更新日期:2017-06-17
  • External triggering and triggered targeting strategies for drug delivery
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-09
    Yanfei Wang, Daniel S. Kohane

    Drug delivery systems that are externally triggered to release drugs and/or target tissues hold considerable promise for improving the treatment of many diseases by minimizing nonspecific toxicity and enhancing the efficacy of therapy. These drug delivery systems are constructed from materials that are sensitive to a wide range of external stimuli, including light, ultrasound, electrical and magnetic fields, and specific molecules. The responsiveness conferred by these materials allows the release of therapeutics to be triggered on demand and remotely by a physician or patient. In this Review, we describe the rationales for such systems and the types of stimuli that can be deployed, and provide an outlook for the field.

    更新日期:2017-05-29
  • Rethinking cancer nanotheranostics
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-09
    Hongmin Chen, Weizhong Zhang, Guizhi Zhu, Jin Xie, Xiaoyuan Chen

    Advances in nanoparticle synthesis and engineering have produced nanoscale agents affording both therapeutic and diagnostic functions that are often referred to by the portmanteau ‘nanotheranostics’. The field is associated with many applications in the clinic, especially in cancer management. These include patient stratification, drug-release monitoring, imaging-guided focal therapy and post-treatment response monitoring. Recent advances in nanotheranostics have expanded this notion and enabled the characterization of individual tumours, the prediction of nanoparticle–tumour interactions, and the creation of tailor-designed nanomedicines for individualized treatment. Some of these applications require breaking the dogma that a nanotheranostic must combine both therapeutic and diagnostic agents within a single, physical entity; instead, it can be a general approach in which diagnosis and therapy are interwoven to solve clinical issues and improve treatment outcomes. In this Review, we describe the evolution and state of the art of cancer nanotheranostics, with an emphasis on clinical impact and translation.

    更新日期:2017-05-29
  • Plant physiology: Organic electronics take root
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-09
    Adam Brotchie

    Plant physiology: Organic electronics take root Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 9 May 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.32

    更新日期:2017-05-29
  • Nanomedicine: Design and conquer
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-16
    Amos Matsiko

    Nanomedicine: Design and conquer Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 16 May 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.34

    更新日期:2017-05-29
  • Cancer Immunotherapy: T cells tackle tumours
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-03
    Alison Stoddart

    Cancer Immunotherapy: T cells tackle tumours Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 3 May 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.27

    更新日期:2017-05-29
  • Corrigendum: Printing, folding and assembly methods for forming 3D mesostructures in advanced materials
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-03
    Yihui Zhang, Fan Zhang, Zheng Yan, Qiang Ma, Xiuling Li, Yonggang Huang, John A. Rogers

    Corrigendum: Printing, folding and assembly methods for forming 3D mesostructures in advanced materials Nature Reviews Materials, Published online: 3 May 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.29

    更新日期:2017-05-29
  • Nanomedicine: Design and conquer
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-16
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@558d7b50[name=Amos Matsiko,email=none()]

    Nanomedicine: Design and conquer

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • Plant physiology: Organic electronics take root
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-09
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@386b348d[name=Adam Brotchie,email=none()]

    Plant physiology: Organic electronics take root

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • Rethinking cancer nanotheranostics
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-09
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@4973e1aa[name=Hongmin Chen,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@327f7c16[name=Weizhong Zhang,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@3aa21800[name=Guizhi Zhu,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@5b8c8c85[name=Jin Xie,email=some(jinxie@uga.edu)], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@d2458ef[name=Xiaoyuan Chen,email=some(shawn.chen@nih.gov)]

    Nanotheranostics are nanoscale agents with both therapeutic and diagnostic functions. Cancer nanotheranostics that can be used for characterizing individual tumours, understanding and predicting nanoparticle–tumour interactions, and tailoring nanomedicines for optimized treatment hold great potential to revolutionize drug research and development, and clinical oncology.

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • External triggering and triggered targeting strategies for drug delivery
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-09
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@44f20a91[name=Yanfei Wang,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@6eba7817[name=Daniel S. Kohane,email=some(daniel.kohane@childrens.harvard.edu)]

    Externally triggered drug delivery systems use both new and established materials that are sensitive to various stimuli. These systems provide opportunities to improve the treatment of many diseases.

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • Corrigendum: Printing, folding and assembly methods for forming 3D mesostructures in advanced materials
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-03
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@51ed39e1[name=Yihui Zhang,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@7e21e013[name=Fan Zhang,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@2a53dbc4[name=Zheng Yan,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@17946459[name=Qiang Ma,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@2f0e657b[name=Xiuling Li,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@5ede39f1[name=Yonggang Huang,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@6ae75415[name=John A. Rogers,email=none()]

    Corrigendum: Printing, folding and assembly methods for forming 3D mesostructures in advanced materials

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • Cancer Immunotherapy: T cells tackle tumours
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-03
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@5e6543bc[name=Alison Stoddart,email=none()]

    Cancer Immunotherapy: T cells tackle tumours

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • Erratum: Interplay between materials and microfluidics
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-03
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@21cd0b6[name=Xu Hou,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@2d2270b5[name=Yu Shrike Zhang,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@7d35cef8[name=Grissel Trujillo-de Santiago,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@9391a41[name=Mario Moisés Alvarez,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@6d44e2b0[name=João Ribas,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@53dd8075[name=Steven J. Jonas,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@4cd6f8[name=Paul S. Weiss,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@41662fa2[name=Anne M. Andrews,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@bfd045c[name=Joanna Aizenberg,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@341cf37e[name=Ali Khademhosseini,email=none()]

    Erratum: Interplay between materials and microfluidics

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • Towards clinically translatable in vivo nanodiagnostics
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-05-03
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@52811813[name=Seung-min Park,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@226a36de[name=Amin Aalipour,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@4156192b[name=Ophir Vermesh,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@1202957c[name=Jung Ho Yu,email=none()], com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@481946af[name=Sanjiv S. Gambhir,email=some(sgambhir@stanford.edu)]

    Nanodiagnostics is a rapidly emerging field that leverages advances in nanobiotechnology to better visualize and diagnose disease. In this Review, we provide an overview of several clinically relevant imaging modalities and discuss how nanodiagnostics are enhancing their use.

    更新日期:2017-05-18
  • Filtration membranes: The silk road
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-04-25
    com.springer.oscar.shared.search.Author@3b3645b4[name=Giulia Pacchioni,email=none()]

    Filtration membranes: The silk road

    更新日期:2017-05-18
Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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