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  • Point defect engineering in thin-film solar cells
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-06-22
    Ji Sang Park, Sunghyun Kim, Zijuan Xie, Aron Walsh

    Control of defect processes in photovoltaic materials is essential for realizing high-efficiency solar cells and related optoelectronic devices. Native defects and extrinsic dopants tune the Fermi level and enable semiconducting p–n junctions; however, fundamental limits to doping exist in many compounds. Optical transitions from defect states can enhance photocurrent generation through sub-bandgap absorption; however, these defect states are also often responsible for carrier trapping and non-radiative recombination events that limit the voltage in operating solar cells. Many classes of materials, including metal oxides, chalcogenides and halides, are being examined for next-generation solar energy applications, and each technology faces distinct challenges that could benefit from point defect engineering. Here, we review the evolution in the understanding of point defect behaviour from Si-based photovoltaics to thin-film CdTe and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 technologies, through to the latest generation of halide perovskite (CH3NH3PbI3) and kesterite (Cu2ZnSnS4) devices. We focus on the chemical bonding that underpins the defect chemistry and the atomistic processes associated with the photophysics of charge-carrier generation, trapping and recombination in solar cells. Finally, we outline general principles to enable defect control in complex semiconducting materials.

    更新日期:2018-06-22
  • A gut instinct
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-06-21
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    A gut instinctA gut instinct, Published online: 21 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0031-xA gut instinct

    更新日期:2018-06-22
  • Solar cells take the strain
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-06-21
    Claire Ashworth

    Solar cells take the strainSolar cells take the strain, Published online: 21 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0030-ySolar cells take the strain

    更新日期:2018-06-22
  • Tissue repair and regeneration with endogenous stem cells
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-06-19
    Huimin Xia, Xin Li, Weiwei Gao, Xin Fu, Ronnie H. Fang, Liangfang Zhang, Kang Zhang

    In contrast to non-mammalian vertebrates, mammals and humans have limited innate capacity for the self-regeneration of tissues and organs owing to differences in genetics, development, immune systems and tissue complexity. Endogenous stem cells are tissue-specific adult stem cells with the capacity to self-renew and differentiate into specific cell types. Therefore, endogenous stem cells are being explored for the regeneration of tissues in situ and in vivo. Stem cells reside in specific niches in the body, and stem cell activation depends on progressive changes in the niche. Niches are specific and instructive microenvironments that can be recreated using biomaterial-based scaffolds. Such scaffolds can be fabricated into a variety of shapes and formulations, and they can be functionalized with biochemical and biophysical cues to guide stem cell fate and migration. In this Review, we discuss important differences in the self-regeneration abilities of non-mammalian vertebrates and mammals, including humans, and investigate adult stem cell populations and their niches involved in tissue repair and regeneration. We highlight natural and synthetic biomaterials and their potential for improving applications of endogenous stem cells and examine the role of interspecies chimaeras in regenerative medicine.

    更新日期:2018-06-20
  • Publisher Correction: Probing dynamics in quantum materials with femtosecond X-rays
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-06-12
    Michele Buzzi, Michael Först, Roman Mankowsky, Andrea Cavalleri

    Publisher Correction: Probing dynamics in quantum materials with femtosecond X-rays Publisher Correction: Probing dynamics in quantum materials with femtosecond X-rays, Published online: 12 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0028-5 Publisher Correction: Probing dynamics in quantum materials with femtosecond X-rays

    更新日期:2018-06-12
  • Probing dynamics in quantum materials with femtosecond X-rays
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-06-01
    Michele Buzzi, Michael Först, Roman Mankowsky, Andrea Cavalleri

    Optical pulses are routinely used to drive dynamic changes in the properties of solids. In quantum materials, many new phenomena have been discovered, including ultrafast transitions between electronic phases, switching of ferroic orders and non-equilibrium emergent behaviours, such as photoinduced superconductivity. Understanding the underlying non-equilibrium physics requires detailed measurements of multiple microscopic degrees of freedom at ultrafast time resolution. Femtosecond X-rays are key to this endeavour, as they can probe the dynamics of structural, electronic and magnetic degrees of freedom. Here, we review a series of representative experimental studies in which ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers have been used, opening up new horizons for materials research.

    更新日期:2018-06-01
  • Extracellular matrix-based materials for regenerative medicine
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-29
    George S. Hussey, Jenna L. Dziki, Stephen F. Badylak

    In tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, a biomaterial provides mechanical support and biochemical signals to encourage cell attachment and modulate cell behaviour. Nature’s template for a biomaterial is the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM contains intrinsic biochemical and mechanical cues that regulate cell phenotype and function in development, in homeostasis and in response to injury. The use of ECM-based materials in biomedical research has advanced from coating cell culture plates with purified ECM components to the design of ECM-mimicking biomaterials and the engineering of decellularized tissues aimed at recapitulating the dynamics, composition and structure of the ECM. In this Review, we highlight important matrix properties and functions in the context of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, consider techniques such as proteomics for the investigation of matrix structure and composition and discuss different engineering strategies for the design of matrix-mimicking biomaterials. Tissue, whole organ and cell culture decellularization approaches are examined for their potential to preserve the tissue-specific biochemical composition and ultrastructure of the ECM and for the development of biomaterials that promote the formation of functional tissues in clinical applications. Finally, we investigate challenges and opportunities of ECM biomaterials for the design of organotypic models to study disease progression, for the ex vivo creation of engineered tissue and for the clinical translation of functional tissue reconstruction strategies in vivo.

    更新日期:2018-05-30
  • The soft touch of robots
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-25

    The soft touch of robotsThe soft touch of robots, Published online: 25 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0017-8Materials and technologies used to make soft robots that can safely interact with humans are avidly explored. A wealth of applications are in reach for soft robots but a number of challenges remain.

    更新日期:2018-05-25
  • Head over heels
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-25
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Head over heelsHead over heels, Published online: 25 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0025-8Head over heels

    更新日期:2018-05-25
  • Biomedical applications of soft robotics
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-23
    Matteo Cianchetti, Cecilia Laschi, Arianna Menciassi, Paolo Dario

    Soft robotics enables the design of soft machines and devices at different scales. The compliance and mechanical properties of soft robots make them especially interesting for medical applications. Depending on the level of interaction with humans, different levels of biocompatibility and biomimicry are required for soft materials used in robots. In this Review, we investigate soft robots for biomedical applications, including soft tools for surgery, diagnosis and drug delivery, wearable and assistive devices, prostheses, artificial organs and tissue-mimicking active simulators for training and biomechanical studies. We highlight challenges regarding durability and reliability, and examine traditional and novel soft and active materials as well as different actuation strategies. Finally, we discuss future approaches and applications in the field.

    更新日期:2018-05-23
  • Hiding in reflections
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-15
    Maria Longobardi

    Hiding in reflectionsHiding in reflections, Published online: 15 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0021-zHiding in reflections

    更新日期:2018-05-16
  • Hydrogel ionotronics
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-14
    Canhui Yang, Zhigang Suo

    An ionotronic device functions by a hybrid circuit of mobile ions and mobile electrons. Hydrogels are stretchable, transparent, ionic conductors that can transmit electrical signals of high frequency over long distance, enabling ionotronic devices such as artificial muscles, skins and axons. Moreover, ionotronic luminescent devices, ionotronic liquid crystal devices, touchpads, triboelectric generators, artificial eels and gel–elastomer–oil devices can be designed based on hydrogels. In this Review, we discuss first-generation hydrogel ionotronic devices and the challenges associated with the mechanical properties and the chemistry of the materials. We examine how strong and stretchable adhesion between hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymer networks can be achieved, how water can be retained in hydrogels and how to design hydrogels that resist fatigue under cyclic loads. Finally, we highlight applications of hydrogel ionotronic devices and discuss the future of the field.

    更新日期:2018-05-15
  • Bioinspired microrobots
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-10
    Stefano Palagi, Peer Fischer

    Bioinspired microrobots Bioinspired microrobots, Published online: 10 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0016-9 Microrobots are envisioned to revolutionize microsurgery and targeted drug delivery. Their design, operation, locomotion and interaction with the environment are inspired by microorganisms. This Review highlights soft, responsive and active materials for the development of (semi-)autonomous microrobots.

    更新日期:2018-05-10
  • Design, fabrication and control of origami robots
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-09
    Daniela Rus, Michael T. Tolley

    Origami robots are created using folding processes, which provide a simple approach to fabricating a wide range of robot morphologies. Inspired by biological systems, engineers have started to explore origami folding in combination with smart material actuators to enable intrinsic actuation as a means to decouple design from fabrication complexity. The built-in crease structure of origami bodies has the potential to yield compliance and exhibit many soft body properties. Conventional fabrication of robots is generally a bottom-up assembly process with multiple low-level steps for creating subsystems that include manual operations and often multiple iterations. By contrast, natural systems achieve elegant designs and complex functionalities using top-down parallel transformation approaches such as folding. Folding in nature creates a wide spectrum of complex morpho-functional structures such as proteins and intestines and enables the development of structures such as flowers, leaves and insect wings. Inspired by nature, engineers have started to explore folding powered by embedded smart material actuators to create origami robots. The design and fabrication of origami robots exploits top-down, parallel transformation approaches to achieve elegant designs and complex functionalities. In this Review, we first introduce the concept of origami robotics and then highlight advances in design principles, fabrication methods, actuation, smart materials and control algorithms. Applications of origami robots for a variety of devices are investigated, and future directions of the field are discussed, examining both challenges and opportunities.

    更新日期:2018-05-09
  • 3D printing of soft robotic systems
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-04
    T. J. Wallin, J. Pikul, R. F. Shepherd

    Soft robots are capable of mimicking the complex motion of animals. Soft robotic systems are defined by their compliance, which allows for continuous and often responsive localized deformation. These features make soft robots especially interesting for integration with human tissues, for example, the implementation of biomedical devices, and for robotic performance in harsh or uncertain environments, for example, exploration in confined spaces or locomotion on uneven terrain. Advances in soft materials and additive manufacturing technologies have enabled the design of soft robots with sophisticated capabilities, such as jumping, complex 3D movements, gripping and releasing. In this Review, we examine the essential soft material properties for different elements of soft robots, highlighting the most relevant polymer systems. Advantages and limitations of different additive manufacturing processes, including 3D printing, fused deposition modelling, direct ink writing, selective laser sintering, inkjet printing and stereolithography, are discussed, and the different techniques are investigated for their application in soft robotic fabrication. Finally, we explore integrated robotic systems and give an outlook for the future of the field and remaining challenges.

    更新日期:2018-05-05
  • Soft robot design methodology for ‘push-button’ manufacturing
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-04
    Jamie Paik

    Soft robot design methodology for ‘push-button’ manufacturing Soft robot design methodology for ‘push-button’ manufacturing, Published online: 04 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0014-y ‘Push-button’ or fully automated manufacturing would enable the production of robots with zero intervention from human hands. Realizing this utopia requires a fundamental shift from a sequential (design–materials–manufacturing) to a concurrent design methodology.

    更新日期:2018-05-05
  • Publisher Correction: Biofabrication strategies for 3D in vitro models and regenerative medicine
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Lorenzo Moroni, Jason A. Burdick, Christopher Highley, Sang Jin Lee, Yuya Morimoto, Shoji Takeuchi, James J. Yoo

    Publisher Correction: Biofabrication strategies for 3D in vitro models and regenerative medicine Publisher Correction: Biofabrication strategies for 3D in vitro models and regenerative medicine, Published online: 03 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0020-0 Publisher Correction: Biofabrication strategies for 3D in vitro models and regenerative medicine

    更新日期:2018-05-04
  • Publisher Correction: Eternal blood vessels
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-02
    Jordan Hindson

    Publisher Correction: Eternal blood vessels Publisher Correction: Eternal blood vessels, Published online: 02 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0019-6 Publisher Correction: Eternal blood vessels

    更新日期:2018-05-03
  • Human-in-the-loop development of soft wearable robots
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-02
    Conor Walsh

    Human-in-the-loop development of soft wearable robots Human-in-the-loop development of soft wearable robots, Published online: 02 May 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0011-1 The field of soft wearable robotics offers the opportunity to wear robots like clothes to assist the movement of specific body parts or to endow the body with functionalities. Collaborative efforts of materials, apparel and robotics science have already led to the development of wearable technologies for physical therapy. Optimizing the human–robot system by human-in-the-loop approaches will pave the way for personalized soft wearable robots for a variety of applications.

    更新日期:2018-05-02
  • Majorana zero modes in superconductor–semiconductor heterostructures
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-05-01
    R. M. Lutchyn, E. P. A. M. Bakkers, L. P. Kouwenhoven, P. Krogstrup, C. M. Marcus, Y. Oreg

    Realizing topological superconductivity and Majorana zero modes in the laboratory is a major goal in condensed-matter physics. In this Review, we survey the current status of this rapidly developing field, focusing on proposals for the realization of topological superconductivity in semiconductor–superconductor heterostructures. We examine materials science progress in growing InAs and InSb semiconductor nanowires and characterizing these systems. We then discuss the observation of robust signatures of Majorana zero modes in recent experiments, paying particular attention to zero-bias tunnelling conduction measurements and Coulomb blockade experiments. We also outline several next-generation experiments probing exotic properties of Majorana zero modes, including fusion rules and non-Abelian exchange statistics. Finally, we discuss prospects for implementing Majorana-based topological quantum computation.

    更新日期:2018-05-01
  • Material platforms for spin-based photonic quantum technologies
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Mete Atatüre, Dirk Englund, Nick Vamivakas, Sang-Yun Lee, Joerg Wrachtrup

    A central goal in quantum optics and quantum information science is the development of quantum networks to generate entanglement between distributed quantum memories. Experimental progress relies on the quality and efficiency of the light–matter quantum interface connecting the quantum states of photons to internal states of quantum emitters. Quantum emitters in solids, which have properties resembling those of atoms and ions, offer an opportunity for realizing light–matter quantum interfaces in scalable and compact hardware. These quantum emitters require a material platform that enables stable spin and optical properties, as well as a robust manufacturing of quantum photonic circuits. Because no emitter system is yet perfect and different applications may require different properties, several light–matter quantum interfaces are being developed in various platforms. This Review highlights the progress in three leading material platforms: diamond, silicon carbide and atomically thin semiconductors.

    更新日期:2018-04-30
  • Making the switch
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-26
    Zoe Budrikis

    Making the switch Making the switch, Published online: 26 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0010-2 Making the switch

    更新日期:2018-04-27
  • Eternal blood vessels
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-26
    Jordan Hindson

    Eternal blood vessels Eternal blood vessels, Published online: 26 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0015-x Eternal blood vessels

    更新日期:2018-04-27
  • Accelerating the discovery of materials for clean energy in the era of smart automation
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-26
    Daniel P. Tabor, Loïc M. Roch, Semion K. Saikin, Christoph Kreisbeck, Dennis Sheberla, Joseph H. Montoya, Shyam Dwaraknath, Muratahan Aykol, Carlos Ortiz, Hermann Tribukait, Carlos Amador-Bedolla, Christoph J. Brabec, Benji Maruyama, Kristin A. Persson, Alán Aspuru-Guzik

    The discovery and development of novel materials in the field of energy are essential to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Bringing recent technological innovations in automation, robotics and computer science together with current approaches in chemistry, materials synthesis and characterization will act as a catalyst for revolutionizing traditional research and development in both industry and academia. This Perspective provides a vision for an integrated artificial intelligence approach towards autonomous materials discovery, which, in our opinion, will emerge within the next 5 to 10 years. The approach we discuss requires the integration of the following tools, which have already seen substantial development to date: high-throughput virtual screening, automated synthesis planning, automated laboratories and machine learning algorithms. In addition to reducing the time to deployment of new materials by an order of magnitude, this integrated approach is expected to lower the cost associated with the initial discovery. Thus, the price of the final products (for example, solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles) will also decrease. This in turn will enable industries and governments to meet more ambitious targets in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a faster pace.

    更新日期:2018-04-27
  • Biofabrication strategies for 3D in vitro models and regenerative medicine
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-26
    Lorenzo Moroni, Jason A. Burdick, Christopher Highley, Sang Jin Lee, Yuya Morimoto, Shoji Takeuchi, James J. Yoo

    Organs are complex systems composed of different cells, proteins and signalling molecules that are arranged in a highly ordered structure to orchestrate a myriad of functions in our body. Biofabrication strategies can be applied to engineer 3D tissue models in vitro by mimicking the structure and function of native tissue through the precise deposition and assembly of materials and cells. This approach allows the spatiotemporal control over cell–cell and cell–extracellular matrix communication and thus the recreation of tissue-like structures. In this Review, we examine biofabrication strategies for the construction of functional tissue replacements and organ models, focusing on the development of biomaterials, such as supramolecular and photosensitive materials, that can be processed using biofabrication techniques. We highlight bioprinted and bioassembled tissue models and survey biofabrication techniques for their potential to recreate complex tissue properties, such as shape, vasculature and specific functionalities. Finally, we discuss challenges, such as scalability and the foreign body response, and opportunities in the field and provide an outlook to the future of biofabrication in regenerative medicine.

    更新日期:2018-04-26
  • Interrogating the interphase
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-24
    Claire Ashworth

    Interrogating the interphase Interrogating the interphase, Published online: 24 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0013-z Interrogating the interphase

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Welcome to the holodeck
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-24
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Welcome to the holodeck Welcome to the holodeck, Published online: 24 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0007-x Welcome to the holodeck

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Assemble, extrude and reform
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-24
    Alison Stoddart

    Assemble, extrude and reform Assemble, extrude and reform, Published online: 24 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0012-0 Assemble, extrude and reform

    更新日期:2018-04-24
  • Antagonistic actuation and stiffness control in soft inflatable robots
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-20
    Kaspar Althoefer

    Antagonistic actuation and stiffness control in soft inflatable robots Antagonistic actuation and stiffness control in soft inflatable robots, Published online: 20 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0004-0 Soft robots promise solutions for a wide range of applications that cannot be achieved with traditional, rigid-component robots. A key challenge is the creation of robotic structures that can vary their stiffness at will, for example, by using antagonistic actuators, to optimize their interaction with the environment and be able to exert high forces.

    更新日期:2018-04-23
  • Miniature soft robots — road to the clinic
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-19
    Metin Sitti

    Miniature soft robots — road to the clinic Miniature soft robots — road to the clinic, Published online: 19 April 2018; doi:10.1038/s41578-018-0001-3 Soft small robots offer the opportunity to non-invasively access human tissue to perform medical operations and deliver drugs; however, challenges in materials design, biocompatibility and function control remain to be overcome for soft robots to reach the clinic.

    更新日期:2018-04-19
  • All-organic thermally activated delayed fluorescence materials for organic light-emitting diodes
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-10
    Yuchao Liu, Chensen Li, Zhongjie Ren, Shouke Yan, Martin R. Bryce

    Thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) emitters, which produce light by harvesting both singlet and triplet excitons without noble metals, are emerging as next-generation organic electroluminescent materials. In the past few years, there have been rapid advances in molecular design criteria, our understanding of the photophysics underlying TADF and the applications of TADF materials as emitters in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). This topic is set to remain at the forefront of research in optoelectronic organic materials for the foreseeable future. In this Review, we focus on state-of-the-art materials design and understanding of the photophysical processes, which are being leveraged to optimize the performance of OLED devices. Notably, we also appraise dendritic and polymeric TADF emitters — macromolecular materials that offer the potential advantages of low cost, solution processable and large-area OLED fabrication.

    更新日期:2018-04-10
  • Alkali metal batteries: Preventing failure
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-05
    Alison Stoddart

    Alkali metal batteries: Preventing failure Alkali metal batteries: Preventing failure, Published online: 05 April 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.21 Alkali metal batteries: Preventing failure

    更新日期:2018-04-05
  • Nanofibrils in nature and materials engineering
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-04-05
    Shengjie Ling, David L. Kaplan, Markus J. Buehler

    Nanofibrillar materials, such as cellulose, chitin and silk, are highly ordered architectures, formed through the self-assembly of repetitive building blocks into higher-order structures, which are stabilized by non-covalent interactions. This hierarchical building principle endows many biological materials with remarkable mechanical strength, anisotropy, flexibility and optical properties, such as structural colour. These features make nanofibrillar biopolymers interesting candidates for the development of strong, sustainable and biocompatible materials for environmental, energy, optical and biomedical applications. However, recreating their architecture is challenging from an engineering perspective. Rational design approaches, applying a combination of theoretical and experimental protocols, have enabled the design of biopolymer-based materials through mimicking nature's multiscale assembly approach. In this Review, we summarize hierarchical design strategies of cellulose, silk and chitin, focusing on nanoconfinement, fibrillar orientation and alignment in 2D and 3D structures. These multiscale architectures are discussed in the context of mechanical and optical properties, and different fabrication strategies for the manufacturing of biopolymer nanofibril-based materials are investigated. We highlight the contribution of rational material design strategies to the development of mechanically anisotropic and responsive materials and examine the future of the material-by-design paradigm.

    更新日期:2018-04-05
  • Scalable fabrication of perovskite solar cells
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-27
    Zhen Li, Talysa R. Klein, Dong Hoe Kim, Mengjin Yang, Joseph J. Berry, Maikel F. A. M. van Hest, Kai Zhu

    Perovskite materials use earth-abundant elements, have low formation energies for deposition and are compatible with roll-to-roll and other high-volume manufacturing techniques. These features make perovskite solar cells (PSCs) suitable for terawatt-scale energy production with low production costs and low capital expenditure. Demonstrations of performance comparable to that of other thin-film photovoltaics (PVs) and improvements in laboratory-scale cell stability have recently made scale up of this PV technology an intense area of research focus. Here, we review recent progress and challenges in scaling up PSCs and related efforts to enable the terawatt-scale manufacturing and deployment of this PV technology. We discuss common device and module architectures, scalable deposition methods and progress in the scalable deposition of perovskite and charge-transport layers. We also provide an overview of device and module stability, module-level characterization techniques and techno-economic analyses of perovskite PV modules.

    更新日期:2018-03-27
  • 2D Materials: The thick and the thin
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-20
    Claire Ashworth

    2D Materials: The thick and the thin 2D Materials: The thick and the thin, Published online: 20 March 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.19 2D Materials: The thick and the thin

    更新日期:2018-03-20
  • A cost and resource analysis of sodium-ion batteries
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-13
    Christoph Vaalma, Daniel Buchholz, Marcel Weil, Stefano Passerini

    Sodium-ion batteries have been identified as appealing alternatives to lithium-ion batteries because they are made from raw materials that are less expensive, more abundant and less toxic. However, the frequently discussed cost advantage of sodium-ion batteries has, so far, not been examined in detail. In this Perspective, we use the Battery Performance and Cost (BatPaC) model to undertake a cost analysis of the materials for sodium-ion and lithium-ion cells, as well as complete batteries, and determine the effect of exchanging lithium with sodium, as well as the effect of replacing the material used for the anode current collector foil, on the cost. Moreover, we compare the calculated production costs of exemplary sodium-ion and lithium-ion batteries and highlight the most relevant parameters for optimization. Finally, the major raw materials for lithium-ion cathodes are examined in terms of potential supply risks because supply issues may lead to increased costs. Through the use of a scenario-based supply and demand analysis, the risks to the supply of lithium and cobalt are assessed, and implications for battery research are discussed. Overall, we provide a broad and interdisciplinary perspective on modern batteries and future directions for this field, with a focus on sodium-ion batteries.

    更新日期:2018-03-13
  • Magnetism: Doping rehabilitates failed materials
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-13
    Zoe Budrikis

    Magnetism: Doping rehabilitates failed materials Magnetism: Doping rehabilitates failed materials, Published online: 13 March 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.18 Magnetism: Doping rehabilitates failed materials

    更新日期:2018-03-13
  • DNA nanotechnology: Crosslinked, not stirred
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-06
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    DNA nanotechnology: Crosslinked, not stirred DNA nanotechnology: Crosslinked, not stirred, Published online: 06 March 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.15 DNA nanotechnology: Crosslinked, not stirred

    更新日期:2018-03-06
  • Carbon nanomaterials for non-volatile memories
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-06
    Ethan C. Ahn, H.-S. Philip Wong, Eric Pop

    Carbon nanomaterials for non-volatile memories Carbon nanomaterials for non-volatile memories, Published online: 06 March 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.9 Carbon nanomaterials have greatly advanced non-volatile memory technology. In this Review, applications of various carbon nanomaterials as memory electrodes, interfacial engineering layers, memory selectors and resistive-switching media are discussed in the context of emerging non-volatile memory devices.

    更新日期:2018-03-06
  • Uncovering the structure–function relationship in spider silk
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-06
    Jeffery L. Yarger, Brian R. Cherry, Arjan van der Vaart

    Uncovering the structure–function relationship in spider silk Uncovering the structure–function relationship in spider silk, Published online: 06 March 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.8 Experimental and computational studies reveal numerous aspects of the molecular and hierarchical structure of spider silk and of its molecular dynamics. In this Review, we discuss the structure–function relationships of spider silk that can be elucidated from these studies and how this knowledge may enable the reverse engineering of spider silk.

    更新日期:2018-03-06
  • Electronic devices: Making multi-terminal memtransistors
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-06
    Alison Stoddart

    Electronic devices: Making multi-terminal memtransistors Electronic devices: Making multi-terminal memtransistors, Published online: 06 March 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.14 Electronic devices: Making multi-terminal memtransistors

    更新日期:2018-03-06
  • The European Microkelvin Platform
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-03-06
    George Pickett, Christian Enss

    The European Microkelvin Platform The European Microkelvin Platform, Published online: 06 March 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.12 The growing demands of quantum materials, engineering and technology make access to microkelvin temperatures ever more essential. Experience in Europe suggests that new working methods, encouraged by an imaginative funding atmosphere, can accelerate progress in this frontier field.

    更新日期:2018-03-06
  • Optofluidics: You never hop alone
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-02-27
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Optofluidics: You never hop alone Optofluidics: You never hop alone, Published online: 27 February 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.11 Optofluidics: You never hop alone

    更新日期:2018-02-27
  • Energy-storage devices: All charged up
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-02-27
    Claire Ashworth

    Energy-storage devices: All charged up Energy-storage devices: All charged up, Published online: 27 February 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.10 Energy-storage devices: All charged up

    更新日期:2018-02-27
  • Non-fullerene acceptors for organic solar cells
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-02-13
    Cenqi Yan, Stephen Barlow, Zhaohui Wang, He Yan, Alex K.-Y. Jen, Seth R. Marder, Xiaowei Zhan

    Non-fullerene acceptors (NFAs) are currently a major focus of research in the development of bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells (OSCs). In contrast to the widely used fullerene acceptors (FAs), the optical properties and electronic energy levels of NFAs can be readily tuned. NFA-based OSCs can also achieve greater thermal stability and photochemical stability, as well as longer device lifetimes, than their FA-based counterparts. Historically, the performance of NFA OSCs has lagged behind that of fullerene devices. However, recent developments have led to a rapid increase in power conversion efficiencies for NFA OSCs, with values now exceeding 13%, demonstrating the viability of using NFAs to replace FAs in next-generation high-performance OSCs. This Review discusses the important work that has led to this remarkable progress, focusing on the two most promising NFA classes to date: rylene diimide-based materials and materials based on fused aromatic cores with strong electron-accepting end groups. The key structure–property relationships, donor–acceptor matching criteria and aspects of device physics are discussed. Finally, we consider the remaining challenges and promising future directions for the NFA OSCs field.

    更新日期:2018-02-13
  • Soft robotics: Do the locomotion with me
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-02-06
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Soft robotics: Do the locomotion with me Soft robotics: Do the locomotion with me, Published online: 06 February 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.7 Soft robotics: Do the locomotion with me

    更新日期:2018-02-06
  • Nanoparticle surfactants: Active assemblies
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-31
    Alison Stoddart

    Nanoparticle surfactants: Active assemblies Nanoparticle surfactants: Active assemblies, Published online: 31 January 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.6 Nanoparticle surfactants: Active assemblies

    更新日期:2018-01-31
  • Receptor control in mesenchymal stem cell engineering
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-31
    Matthew J. Dalby, Andrés J. García, Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez

    Materials science offers a powerful tool to control mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) growth and differentiation into functional phenotypes. A complex interplay between the extracellular matrix and growth factors guides MSC phenotypes in vivo. In this Review, we discuss materials-based bioengineering approaches to direct MSC fate in vitro and in vivo, mimicking cell–matrix–growth factor crosstalk. We first scrutinize MSC–matrix interactions and how the properties of a material can be tailored to support MSC growth and differentiation in vitro, with an emphasis on MSC self-renewal mechanisms. We then highlight important growth factor signalling pathways and investigate various materials-based strategies for growth factor presentation and delivery. Integrin–growth factor crosstalk in the context of MSC engineering is introduced, and bioinspired material designs with the potential to control the MSC niche phenotype are considered. Finally, we summarize important milestones on the road to MSC engineering for regenerative medicine.

    更新日期:2018-01-31
  • Cancer immunotherapy: Copycat scaffolds induce T cell expansion
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-31
    Shimona Starling

    Cancer immunotherapy: Copycat scaffolds induce T cell expansion Cancer immunotherapy: Copycat scaffolds induce T cell expansion, Published online: 31 January 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.5 Cancer immunotherapy: Copycat scaffolds induce T cell expansion

    更新日期:2018-01-31
  • Epitaxial growth of hybrid nanostructures
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-23
    Chaoliang Tan, Junze Chen, Xue-Jun Wu, Hua Zhang

    Hybrid nanostructures are a class of materials that are typically composed of two or more different components, in which each component has at least one dimension on the nanoscale. The rational design and controlled synthesis of hybrid nanostructures are of great importance in enabling the fine tuning of their properties and functions. Epitaxial growth is a promising approach to the controlled synthesis of hybrid nanostructures with desired structures, crystal phases, exposed facets and/or interfaces. This Review provides a critical summary of the state of the art in the field of epitaxial growth of hybrid nanostructures. We discuss the historical development, architectures and compositions, epitaxy methods, characterization techniques and advantages of epitaxial hybrid nanostructures. Finally, we provide insight into future research directions in this area, which include the epitaxial growth of hybrid nanostructures from a wider range of materials, the study of the underlying mechanism and determining the role of epitaxial growth in influencing the properties and application performance of hybrid nanostructures.

    更新日期:2018-01-23
  • Flexible electronics: Lasting memories are in sight
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-23
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Flexible electronics: Lasting memories are in sight Flexible electronics: Lasting memories are in sight, Published online: 23 January 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.2 Flexible electronics: Lasting memories are in sight

    更新日期:2018-01-23
  • Polymers: Sticking together under pressure
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-23
    Claire Ashworth

    Polymers: Sticking together under pressure Polymers: Sticking together under pressure, Published online: 23 January 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.4 Polymers: Sticking together under pressure

    更新日期:2018-01-23
  • Photoresponsive biomaterials for targeted drug delivery and 4D cell culture
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-16
    Emily R. Ruskowitz, Cole A. DeForest

    Biological signalling is regulated through a complex and tightly choreographed interplay between cells and their extracellular matrix. The spatiotemporal control of these interactions is essential for tissue function, and disruptions to this dialogue often result in aberrant cell fate and disease. When disturbances are well understood, correct biological function can be restored through the precise introduction of therapeutics. Moreover, model systems with modifiable physiochemical properties are needed to probe the effects of therapeutic molecules and to investigate cell–matrix interactions. Photoresponsive biomaterials benefit from spatiotemporal tunability, which allows for site-specific therapeutic delivery in vivo and 4D modulation of synthetic cell culture platforms to mimic the dynamic heterogeneity of the human body in vitro. In this Review, we discuss how light can be exploited to modify different biomaterials in the context of photomediated drug delivery and phototunable cell culture platforms. We survey various photochemistries for their applicability in vitro and in vivo and for the biochemical and biophysical modification of materials. Finally, we highlight emerging tools and provide an outlook for the field of photoresponsive biomaterials.

    更新日期:2018-01-16
  • Organic electrochemical transistors
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-16
    Jonathan Rivnay, Sahika Inal, Alberto Salleo, Róisín M. Owens, Magnus Berggren, George G. Malliaras

    Organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) make effective use of ion injection from an electrolyte to modulate the bulk conductivity of an organic semiconductor channel. The coupling between ionic and electronic charges within the entire volume of the channel endows OECTs with high transconductance compared with that of field-effect transistors, but also limits their response time. The synthetic tunability, facile deposition and biocompatibility of organic materials make OECTs particularly suitable for applications in biological interfacing, printed logic circuitry and neuromorphic devices. In this Review, we discuss the physics and the mechanism of operation of OECTs, focusing on their identifying characteristics. We highlight organic materials that are currently being used in OECTs and survey the history of OECT technology. In addition, form factors, fabrication technologies and applications such as bioelectronics, circuits and memory devices are examined. Finally, we take a critical look at the future of OECT research and development.

    更新日期:2018-01-16
  • Electronic devices: Finding flaws in a flash
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    Alison Stoddart

    Electronic devices: Finding flaws in a flash Electronic devices: Finding flaws in a flash, Published online: 09 January 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2018.1 Electronic devices: Finding flaws in a flash

    更新日期:2018-01-09
  • Probing condensed matter physics with magnetometry based on nitrogen-vacancy centres in diamond
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-04
    Francesco Casola, Toeno van der Sar, Amir Yacoby

    The magnetic fields generated by spins and currents provide a unique window into the physics of correlated-electron materials and devices. First proposed only a decade ago, magnetometry based on the electron spin of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defects in diamond is emerging as a platform that is excellently suited for probing condensed matter systems; it can be operated from cryogenic temperatures to above room temperature, has a dynamic range spanning from direct current to gigahertz and allows sensor–sample distances as small as a few nanometres. As such, NV magnetometry provides access to static and dynamic magnetic and electronic phenomena with nanoscale spatial resolution. Pioneering work has focused on proof-of-principle demonstrations of its nanoscale imaging resolution and magnetic field sensitivity. Now, experiments are starting to probe the correlated-electron physics of magnets and superconductors and to explore the current distributions in low-dimensional materials. In this Review, we discuss the application of NV magnetometry to the exploration of condensed matter physics, focusing on its use to study static and dynamic magnetic textures and static and dynamic current distributions.

    更新日期:2018-01-05
  • DNA nanotechnology: Building big with DNA bricks
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2018-01-03
    Claire Ashworth

    DNA nanotechnology: Building big with DNA bricks DNA nanotechnology: Building big with DNA bricks, Published online: 03 January 2018; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.92 DNA nanotechnology: Building big with DNA bricks

    更新日期:2018-01-04
  • Soft robotics: The art of folding
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-12-19
    Christine-Maria Horejs

    Soft robotics: The art of folding Soft robotics: The art of folding, Published online: 19 December 2017; doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.90 Soft robotics: The art of folding

    更新日期:2017-12-19
  • Nanomaterials for in vivo imaging of mechanical forces and electrical fields
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-12-19
    Randy D. Mehlenbacher, Rea Kolbl, Alice Lay, Jennifer A. Dionne

    Cellular signalling is governed in large part by mechanical forces and electromagnetic fields. Mechanical forces play a critical role in cell differentiation, tissue organization and diseases such as cancer and heart disease; electrical fields are essential for intercellular communication, muscle contraction, neural signalling and sensory perception. Therefore, quantifying a biological system's forces and fields is crucial for understanding physiology and disease pathology and for developing medical tools for repair and recovery. This Review highlights advances in sensing mechanical forces and electrical fields in vivo, focusing on optical probes. The emergence of biocompatible optical probes, such as genetically encoded voltage indicators, molecular rotors, fluorescent dyes, semiconducting nanoparticles, plasmonic nanoparticles and lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles, offers exciting opportunities to push the limits of spatial and temporal resolution, stability, multi-modality and stimuli sensitivity in bioimaging. We further discuss the materials design principles behind these probes and compare them across various metrics to facilitate sensor selection. Finally, we examine which advances are necessary to fully unravel the role of mechanical forces and electrical fields in vivo, such as the ability to probe the vectorial nature of forces, the development of combined force and field sensors, and the design of efficient optical actuators.

    更新日期:2017-12-19
  • Materials science and architecture
    Nat. Rev. Mater. Pub Date : 2017-12-05
    Martin Bechthold, James C. Weaver

    Materiality — the use of various materials in architecture — has been fundamental to the design and construction of buildings, and materials science has traditionally responded to needs formulated by design, engineering and construction professionals. Material properties and processes are shaping buildings and influencing how they perform. The advent of technologies such as digital fabrication, robotics and 3D printing have not only accelerated the development of new construction solutions, but have also led to a renewed interest in materials as a catalyst for novel architectural design. In parallel, materials science has transformed from a field that explains materials to one that designs materials from the bottom up. The conflation of these two trends is giving rise to materials-based design research in which architects, engineers and materials scientists work as partners in the conception of new materials systems and their applications. This Review surveys this development for different material classes (wood, ceramics, metals, concrete, glass, synthetic composites and polymers), with an emphasis on recent trends and innovations.

    更新日期:2017-12-05
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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