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Nature Materials

Mahsa Siavashpouri, Christian H Wachauf, Mark J Zakhary, Florian Praetorius, Hendrik Dietz, Zvonimir Dogic
Establishing precise control over the shape and the interactions of the microscopic building blocks is essential for design of macroscopic soft materials with novel structural, optical and mechanical properties. Here, we demonstrate robust assembly of DNA origami filaments into cholesteric liquid crystals, one-dimensional supramolecular twisted ribbons and two-dimensional colloidal membranes. The exquisite control afforded by the DNA origami technology establishes a quantitative relationship between the microscopic filament structure and the macroscopic cholesteric pitch...
May 22, 2017: Nature Materials
T Ideue, T Kurumaji, S Ishiwata, Y Tokura
Multiferroics, in which dielectric and magnetic orders coexist and couple with each other, attract renewed interest for their cross-correlated phenomena, offering a fundamental platform for novel functionalities. Elementary excitations in such systems are strongly affected by the lattice-spin interaction, as exemplified by the electromagnons and the magneto-thermal transport. Here we report an unprecedented coupling between magnetism and phonons in multiferroics, namely, the giant thermal Hall effect. The thermal transport of insulating polar magnets (ZnxFe1-x)2Mo3O8 is dominated by phonons, yet extremely sensitive to the magnetic structure...
May 15, 2017: Nature Materials
Naoji Matsuhisa, Daishi Inoue, Peter Zalar, Hanbit Jin, Yorishige Matsuba, Akira Itoh, Tomoyuki Yokota, Daisuke Hashizume, Takao Someya
Printable elastic conductors promise large-area stretchable sensor/actuator networks for healthcare, wearables and robotics. Elastomers with metal nanoparticles are one of the best approaches to achieve high performance, but large-area utilization is limited by difficulties in their processability. Here we report a printable elastic conductor containing Ag nanoparticles that are formed in situ, solely by mixing micrometre-sized Ag flakes, fluorine rubbers, and surfactant. Our printable elastic composites exhibit conductivity higher than 4,000 S cm(-1) (highest value: 6,168 S cm(-1)) at 0% strain, and 935 S cm(-1) when stretched up to 400%...
May 15, 2017: Nature Materials
Jessica G Swallow, Jae Jin Kim, John M Maloney, Di Chen, James F Smith, Sean R Bishop, Harry L Tuller, Krystyn J Van Vliet
Actuator operation in increasingly extreme and remote conditions requires materials that reliably sense and actuate at elevated temperatures, and over a range of gas environments. Design of such materials will rely on high-temperature, high-resolution approaches for characterizing material actuation in situ. Here, we demonstrate a novel type of high-temperature, low-voltage electromechanical oxide actuator based on the model material PrxCe1-xO2-δ (PCO). Chemical strain and interfacial stress resulted from electrochemically pumping oxygen into or out of PCO films, leading to measurable film volume changes due to chemical expansion...
May 8, 2017: Nature Materials
J-Y Chauleau, E Haltz, C Carrétéro, S Fusil, M Viret
Among the variety of magnetic textures available in nature, antiferromagnetism is one of the most 'discrete' because of the exact cancellation of its staggered internal magnetization. It is therefore very challenging to probe. However, its insensitivity to external magnetic perturbations, together with the intrinsic sub-picosecond dynamics, make it very appealing for tomorrow's information technologies. Thus, it is essential to understand the microscopic mechanisms governing antiferromagnetic domains to achieve accurate manipulation and control...
May 8, 2017: Nature Materials
Yanhang Ma, Peter Oleynikov, Osamu Terasaki
Chiral crystals can be exploited for applications in enantioselective separation and catalysis. However, the study of chirality at the atomic level in a sub-micrometre-sized crystal is difficult due to the lack of adequate characterization methods. Herein, we present two efficient and practical methods of characterization that are based on electron crystallography. These methods are successfully applied to reveal the handedness of a chiral, zeolite nanocrystal. The handedness is identified through either a comparison of two high-resolution transmission electron microscope images, taken from the same nanocrystal but along different zone axes by tilting it around its screw axis, or the intensity asymmetry of a Bijvoet pair of reflections in a single precession electron-diffraction pattern...
May 1, 2017: Nature Materials
Mayur Saxena, Shuaimin Liu, Bo Yang, Cynthia Hajal, Rishita Changede, Junqiang Hu, Haguy Wolfenson, James Hone, Michael P Sheetz
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) interacts with integrins during cell spreading and motility, but little is known about the role of EGFR in these mechanosensing processes. Here we show, using two different cell lines, that in serum- and EGF-free conditions, EGFR or HER2 activity increase spreading and rigidity-sensing contractions on rigid, but not soft, substrates. Contractions peak after 15-20 min, but diminish by tenfold after 4 h. Addition of EGF at that point increases spreading and contractions, but this can be blocked by myosin-II inhibition...
May 1, 2017: Nature Materials
Hossein Fashandi, Martin Dahlqvist, Jun Lu, Justinas Palisaitis, Sergei I Simak, Igor A Abrikosov, Johanna Rosen, Lars Hultman, Mike Andersson, Anita Lloyd Spetz, Per Eklund
The large class of layered ceramics encompasses both van der Waals (vdW) and non-vdW solids. While intercalation of noble metals in vdW solids is known, formation of compounds by incorporation of noble-metal layers in non-vdW layered solids is largely unexplored. Here, we show formation of Ti3AuC2 and Ti3Au2C2 phases with up to 31% lattice swelling by a substitutional solid-state reaction of Au into Ti3SiC2 single-crystal thin films with simultaneous out-diffusion of Si. Ti3IrC2 is subsequently produced by a substitution reaction of Ir for Au in Ti3Au2C2...
May 1, 2017: Nature Materials
Xiang Ma, Shuai Zhang, Fang Jiao, Christina J Newcomb, Yuliang Zhang, Arushi Prakash, Zhihao Liao, Marcel D Baer, Christopher J Mundy, James Pfaendtner, Aleksandr Noy, Chun-Long Chen, James J De Yoreo
Two-step nucleation pathways in which disordered, amorphous, or dense liquid states precede the appearance of crystalline phases have been reported for a wide range of materials, but the dynamics of such pathways are poorly understood. Moreover, whether these pathways are general features of crystallizing systems or a consequence of system-specific structural details that select for direct versus two-step processes is unknown. Using atomic force microscopy to directly observe crystallization of sequence-defined polymers, we show that crystallization pathways are indeed sequence dependent...
April 17, 2017: Nature Materials
Kaiming Cai, Meiyin Yang, Hailang Ju, Sumei Wang, Yang Ji, Baohe Li, Kevin William Edmonds, Yu Sheng, Bao Zhang, Nan Zhang, Shuai Liu, Houzhi Zheng, Kaiyou Wang
All-electrical and programmable manipulations of ferromagnetic bits are highly pursued for the aim of high integration and low energy consumption in modern information technology. Methods based on the spin-orbit torque switching in heavy metal/ferromagnet structures have been proposed with magnetic field, and are heading toward deterministic switching without external magnetic field. Here we demonstrate that an in-plane effective magnetic field can be induced by an electric field without breaking the symmetry of the structure of the thin film, and realize the deterministic magnetization switching in a hybrid ferromagnetic/ferroelectric structure with Pt/Co/Ni/Co/Pt layers on PMN-PT substrate...
April 3, 2017: Nature Materials
Andreas Riedinger, Florian D Ott, Aniket Mule, Sergio Mazzotti, Philippe N Knüsel, Stephan J P Kress, Ferry Prins, Steven C Erwin, David J Norris
Colloidal nanoplatelets are atomically flat, quasi-two-dimensional sheets of semiconductor that can exhibit efficient, spectrally pure fluorescence. Despite intense interest in their properties, the mechanism behind their highly anisotropic shape and precise atomic-scale thickness remains unclear, and even counter-intuitive for commonly studied nanoplatelets that arise from isotropic crystal structures (such as zincblende CdSe and lead halide perovskites). Here we show that an intrinsic instability in growth kinetics can lead to such highly anisotropic shapes...
April 3, 2017: Nature Materials
A Stern, M Dzero, V M Galitski, Z Fisk, J Xia
SmB6 is a strongly correlated mixed-valence Kondo insulator with a newly discovered surface state, proposed to be of non-trivial topological origin. However, the surface state dominates electrical conduction only below T(∗) ≈ 4 K (ref. ), limiting its scientific investigation and device application. Here, we report the enhancement of T(∗) in SmB6 under the application of tensile strain. With 0.7% tensile strain we report surface-dominated conduction at up to a temperature of 240 K, persisting even after the strain has been removed...
April 3, 2017: Nature Materials
Christian Teichert
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2017: Nature Materials
Jean Comtet, Antoine Niguès, Vojtech Kaiser, Benoit Coasne, Lydéric Bocquet, Alessandro Siria
Room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) are new materials with fundamental importance for energy storage and active lubrication. They are unusual liquids, which challenge the classical frameworks of electrolytes, whose behaviour at electrified interfaces remains elusive, with exotic responses relevant to their electrochemical activity. Using tuning-fork-based atomic force microscope nanorheological measurements, we explore here the properties of confined RTILs, unveiling a dramatic change of the RTIL towards a solid-like phase below a threshold thickness, pointing to capillary freezing in confinement...
June 2017: Nature Materials
Ghislain M Rupp, Alexander K Opitz, Andreas Nenning, Andreas Limbeck, Jürgen Fleig
Improvement of solid oxide fuel cells strongly relies on the development of cathode materials with high catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction. Excellent activity was found for perovskite-type oxides such as La1-xSrxCoO3-δ (LSC), but performance degradation, probably caused by surface composition changes, hinders exploitation of the full potential of LSC. This study reveals that the potentially very high activity of the LSC surface can be traced back to few very active sites. Already tiny amounts of SrO, for example, 4% of a monolayer, deposited on an LSC surface, lead to severe deactivation...
June 2017: Nature Materials
Joshua C Doloff, Omid Veiseh, Arturo J Vegas, Hok Hei Tam, Shady Farah, Minglin Ma, Jie Li, Andrew Bader, Alan Chiu, Atieh Sadraei, Stephanie Aresta-Dasilva, Marissa Griffin, Siddharth Jhunjhunwala, Matthew Webber, Sean Siebert, Katherine Tang, Michael Chen, Erin Langan, Nimit Dholokia, Raj Thakrar, Meirigeng Qi, Jose Oberholzer, Dale L Greiner, Robert Langer, Daniel G Anderson
Host recognition and immune-mediated foreign body response to biomaterials can compromise the performance of implanted medical devices. To identify key cell and cytokine targets, here we perform in-depth systems analysis of innate and adaptive immune system responses to implanted biomaterials in rodents and non-human primates. While macrophages are indispensable to the fibrotic cascade, surprisingly neutrophils and complement are not. Macrophages, via CXCL13, lead to downstream B cell recruitment, which further potentiated fibrosis, as confirmed by B cell knockout and CXCL13 neutralization...
June 2017: Nature Materials
J A Mundy, J Schaab, Y Kumagai, A Cano, M Stengel, I P Krug, D M Gottlob, H Dog Anay, M E Holtz, R Held, Z Yan, E Bourret, C M Schneider, D G Schlom, D A Muller, R Ramesh, N A Spaldin, D Meier
Ferroelectric domain walls hold great promise as functional two-dimensional materials because of their unusual electronic properties. Particularly intriguing are the so-called charged walls where a polarity mismatch causes local, diverging electrostatic potentials requiring charge compensation and hence a change in the electronic structure. These walls can exhibit significantly enhanced conductivity and serve as a circuit path. The development of all-domain-wall devices, however, also requires walls with controllable output to emulate electronic nano-components such as diodes and transistors...
June 2017: Nature Materials
Avigail Landman, Hen Dotan, Gennady E Shter, Michael Wullenkord, Anis Houaijia, Artjom Maljusch, Gideon S Grader, Avner Rothschild
Solar water splitting provides a promising path for sustainable hydrogen production and solar energy storage. One of the greatest challenges towards large-scale utilization of this technology is reducing the hydrogen production cost. The conventional electrolyser architecture, where hydrogen and oxygen are co-produced in the same cell, gives rise to critical challenges in photoelectrochemical water splitting cells that directly convert solar energy and water to hydrogen. Here we overcome these challenges by separating the hydrogen and oxygen cells...
June 2017: Nature Materials
Caroline Henneke, Janina Felter, Daniel Schwarz, F Stefan Tautz, Christian Kumpf
Metal/organic interfaces and their structural, electronic, spintronic and thermodynamic properties have been investigated intensively, aiming to improve and develop future electronic devices. In this context, heteromolecular phases add new design opportunities simply by combining different molecules. However, controlling the desired phases in such complex systems is a challenging task. Here, we report an effective way of steering the growth of a bimolecular system composed of adsorbate species with opposite intermolecular interactions-repulsive and attractive, respectively...
June 2017: Nature Materials
K Medjanik, O Fedchenko, S Chernov, D Kutnyakhov, M Ellguth, A Oelsner, B Schönhense, T R F Peixoto, P Lutz, C-H Min, F Reinert, S Däster, Y Acremann, J Viefhaus, W Wurth, H J Elmers, G Schönhense
We performed a full mapping of the bulk electronic structure including the Fermi surface and Fermi-velocity distribution vF(kF) of tungsten. The 4D spectral function ρ(EB; k) in the entire bulk Brillouin zone and 6 eV binding-energy (EB) interval was acquired in ∼3 h thanks to a new multidimensional photoemission data-recording technique (combining full-field k-microscopy with time-of-flight parallel energy recording) and the high brilliance of the soft X-rays used. A direct comparison of bulk and surface spectral functions (taken at low photon energies) reveals a time-reversal-invariant surface state in a local bandgap in the (110)-projected bulk band structure...
June 2017: Nature Materials
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