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Nature Materials

Deping Qian, Zilong Zheng, Huifeng Yao, Wolfgang Tress, Thomas R Hopper, Shula Chen, Sunsun Li, Jing Liu, Shangshang Chen, Jiangbin Zhang, Xiao-Ke Liu, Bowei Gao, Liangqi Ouyang, Yingzhi Jin, Galia Pozina, Irina A Buyanova, Weimin M Chen, Olle Inganäs, Veaceslav Coropceanu, Jean-Luc Bredas, He Yan, Jianhui Hou, Fengling Zhang, Artem A Bakulin, Feng Gao
The open-circuit voltage of organic solar cells is usually lower than the values achieved in inorganic or perovskite photovoltaic devices with comparable bandgaps. Energy losses during charge separation at the donor-acceptor interface and non-radiative recombination are among the main causes of such voltage losses. Here we combine spectroscopic and quantum-chemistry approaches to identify key rules for minimizing voltage losses: (1) a low energy offset between donor and acceptor molecular states and (2) high photoluminescence yield of the low-gap material in the blend...
July 16, 2018: Nature Materials
Kyoo Kim, Junho Seo, Eunwoo Lee, K-T Ko, B S Kim, Bo Gyu Jang, Jong Mok Ok, Jinwon Lee, Youn Jung Jo, Woun Kang, Ji Hoon Shim, C Kim, Han Woong Yeom, Byung Il Min, Bohm-Jung Yang, Jun Sung Kim
Topological semimetals host electronic structures with several band-contact points or lines and are generally expected to exhibit strong topological responses. Up to now, most work has been limited to non-magnetic materials and the interplay between topology and magnetism in this class of quantum materials has been largely unexplored. Here we utilize theoretical calculations, magnetotransport and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy to propose Fe3 GeTe2 , a van der Waals material, as a candidate ferromagnetic (FM) nodal line semimetal...
July 16, 2018: Nature Materials
Raphaël Chattot, Olivier Le Bacq, Vera Beermann, Stefanie Kühl, Juan Herranz, Sebastian Henning, Laura Kühn, Tristan Asset, Laure Guétaz, Gilles Renou, Jakub Drnec, Pierre Bordet, Alain Pasturel, Alexander Eychmüller, Thomas J Schmidt, Peter Strasser, Laetitia Dubau, Frédéric Maillard
Tuning the surface structure at the atomic level is of primary importance to simultaneously meet the electrocatalytic performance and stability criteria required for the development of low-temperature proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). However, transposing the knowledge acquired on extended, model surfaces to practical nanomaterials remains highly challenging. Here, we propose 'surface distortion' as a novel structural descriptor, which is able to reconciliate and unify seemingly opposing notions and contradictory experimental observations in regards to the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) reactivity...
July 16, 2018: Nature Materials
Sencer Selcuk, Xunhua Zhao, Annabella Selloni
The excellent photocatalytic properties of titanium oxide (TiO2 ) under ultraviolet light have long motivated the search for doping strategies capable of extending its photoactivity to the visible part of the spectrum. One approach is high-pressure and high-temperature hydrogenation, which results in reduced 'black TiO2 ' nanoparticles with a crystalline core and a disordered shell that absorbs visible light. Here we elucidate the formation mechanism and structural features of black TiO2 using first-principles-validated reactive force field molecular dynamics simulations of anatase TiO2 surfaces and nanoparticles at high temperature and under high hydrogen pressures...
July 16, 2018: Nature Materials
Xiaolong Liu, Zhuhua Zhang, Luqing Wang, Boris I Yakobson, Mark C Hersam
Two-dimensional (2D) boron (that is, borophene) was recently synthesized following theoretical predictions1-5 . Its metallic nature and high in-plane anisotropy combine many of the desirable attributes of graphene6 and monolayer black phosphorus7 . As a synthetic 2D material, its structural properties cannot be deduced from bulk boron, which implies that the intrinsic defects of borophene remain unexplored. Here we investigate borophene line defects at the atomic scale with ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) scanning tunnelling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) and density functional theory (DFT)...
July 16, 2018: Nature Materials
X He, H Htoon, S K Doorn, W H P Pernice, F Pyatkov, R Krupke, A Jeantet, Y Chassagneux, C Voisin
In the version of this Perspective originally published, the x-axis label of Fig. 1d was missing; it should have read 'Wavelength (nm)'. The units of the y axis of Fig. 3b were incorrect; they should have been meV. And the citation of Fig. 3c in the main text was incorrect; it should have been to Fig. 3b. These issues have now been corrected.
July 11, 2018: Nature Materials
Omid Zandi, Ankit Agrawal, Alex B Shearer, Lauren C Reimnitz, Clayton J Dahlman, Corey M Staller, Delia J Milliron
Degenerately doped semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) exhibit a localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Unlike metals, semiconductor NCs offer tunable LSPR characteristics enabled by doping, or via electrochemical or photochemical charging. Tuning plasmonic properties through carrier density modulation suggests potential applications in smart optoelectronics, catalysis and sensing. Here, we elucidate fundamental aspects of LSPR modulation through dynamic carrier density tuning in Sn-doped In2 O3 (Sn:In2 O3 ) NCs...
July 9, 2018: Nature Materials
Manfred Fiebig
In the version of this News & Views originally published, the placement of the white circle in Fig. 1 was in the wrong position; it should have been over the six-domain vortex. This has now been corrected; see the correction notice for details.
July 9, 2018: Nature Materials
Fred Etoc, Elie Balloul, Chiara Vicario, Davide Normanno, Domenik Liße, Assa Sittner, Jacob Piehler, Maxime Dahan, Mathieu Coppey
The diffusivity of macromolecules in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells varies over orders of magnitude and dictates the kinetics of cellular processes. However, a general description that associates the Brownian or anomalous nature of intracellular diffusion to the architectural and biochemical properties of the cytoplasm has not been achieved. Here we measure the mobility of individual fluorescent nanoparticles in living mammalian cells to obtain a comprehensive analysis of cytoplasmic diffusion. We identify a correlation between tracer size, its biochemical nature and its mobility...
July 2, 2018: Nature Materials
Delphine Geyer, Alexandre Morin, Denis Bartolo
Spontaneously flowing liquids have been successfully engineered from a variety of biological and synthetic self-propelled units1-11 . Together with their orientational order, wave propagation in such active fluids has remained a subject of intense theoretical studies12-17 . However, the experimental observation of this phenomenon has remained elusive. Here, we establish and exploit the propagation of sound waves in colloidal active materials with broken rotational symmetry. We demonstrate that two mixed modes, coupling density and velocity fluctuations, propagate along all directions in colloidal-roller fluids...
July 2, 2018: Nature Materials
Andrea Morales, Philip Zupancic, Julian Léonard, Tilman Esslinger, Tobias Donner
Controlling matter to simultaneously support coupled properties is of fundamental and technological importance1 (for example, in multiferroics2-5 or high-temperature superconductors6-9 ). However, determining the microscopic mechanisms responsible for the simultaneous presence of different orders is difficult, making it hard to predict material phenomenology10,11 or modify properties12-16 . Here, using a quantum gas to engineer an adjustable interaction at the microscopic level, we demonstrate scenarios of competition, coexistence and mutual enhancement of two orders...
July 2, 2018: Nature Materials
M J Krogstad, P M Gehring, S Rosenkranz, R Osborn, F Ye, Y Liu, J P C Ruff, W Chen, J M Wozniak, H Luo, O Chmaissem, Z-G Ye, D Phelan
Correlating electromechanical and dielectric properties with nanometre-scale order is the defining challenge for the development of piezoelectric oxides. Current lead (Pb)-based relaxor ferroelectrics can serve as model systems with which to unravel these correlations, but the nature of the local order and its relation to material properties remains controversial. Here we employ recent advances in diffuse scattering instrumentation to investigate crystals that span the phase diagram of PbMg1/3 Nb2/3 O3 -xPbTiO3 (PMN-xPT) and identify four forms of local order...
June 25, 2018: Nature Materials
Hiroyuki Takenaka, Ilya Grinberg, Andrew M Rappe
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 25, 2018: Nature Materials
Hugh Simons, Astri Bjørnetun Haugen, Anders Clemen Jakobsen, Søren Schmidt, Frederik Stöhr, Marta Majkut, Carsten Detlefs, John E Daniels, Dragan Damjanovic, Henning Friis Poulsen
The characteristic functionality of ferroelectric materials is due to the symmetry of their crystalline structure. As such, ferroelectrics lend themselves to design approaches that manipulate this structural symmetry by introducing extrinsic strain. Using in situ dark-field X-ray microscopy to map lattice distortions around deeply embedded domain walls and grain boundaries in BaTiO3 , we reveal that symmetry-breaking strain fields extend up to several micrometres from domain walls. As this exceeds the average domain width, no part of the material is elastically relaxed, and symmetry is universally broken...
June 25, 2018: Nature Materials
X He, H Htoon, S K Doorn, W H P Pernice, F Pyatkov, R Krupke, A Jeantet, Y Chassagneux, C Voisin
Progress in quantum computing and quantum cryptography requires efficient, electrically triggered, single-photon sources at room temperature in the telecom wavelengths. It has been long known that semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) display strong excitonic binding and emit light over a broad range of wavelengths, but their use has been hampered by a low quantum yield and a high sensitivity to spectral diffusion and blinking. In this Perspective, we discuss recent advances in the mastering of SWCNT optical properties by chemistry, electrical contacting and resonator coupling towards advancing their use as quantum light sources...
June 18, 2018: Nature Materials
Wei Zhang, Evan Ma
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 18, 2018: Nature Materials
F P Chmiel, N Waterfield Price, R D Johnson, A D Lamirand, J Schad, G van der Laan, D T Harris, J Irwin, M S Rzchowski, C-B Eom, P G Radaelli
Vortices, occurring whenever a flow field 'whirls' around a one-dimensional core, are among the simplest topological structures, ubiquitous to many branches of physics. In the crystalline state, vortex formation is rare, since it is generally hampered by long-range interactions: in ferroic materials (ferromagnetic and ferroelectric), vortices are observed only when the effects of the dipole-dipole interaction are modified by confinement at the nanoscale1-3 , or when the parameter associated with the vorticity does not couple directly with strain 4 ...
June 18, 2018: Nature Materials
Martin Salinga, Benedikt Kersting, Ider Ronneberger, Vara Prasad Jonnalagadda, Xuan Thang Vu, Manuel Le Gallo, Iason Giannopoulos, Oana Cojocaru-Mirédin, Riccardo Mazzarello, Abu Sebastian
Phase change memory has been developed into a mature technology capable of storing information in a fast and non-volatile way1-3 , with potential for neuromorphic computing applications4-6 . However, its future impact in electronics depends crucially on how the materials at the core of this technology adapt to the requirements arising from continued scaling towards higher device densities. A common strategy to fine-tune the properties of phase change memory materials, reaching reasonable thermal stability in optical data storage, relies on mixing precise amounts of different dopants, resulting often in quaternary or even more complicated compounds6-8 ...
June 18, 2018: Nature Materials
Manfred Fiebig
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 18, 2018: Nature Materials
Yuhan Lee, Tara E Deelman, Keyue Chen, Dawn S Y Lin, Ali Tavakkoli, Jeffrey M Karp
The gastrointestinal tract is the site of most drug delivery and therapeutic interventions for the management and treatment of numerous diseases. However, selective access to its mucosa, especially in the small bowel, is challenging. Here we develop an orally administered gut-coating formulation that provides a transient coating of the bowel. Through a materials screening campaign, we identified a sucrose octasulfate aluminium complex and further engineered the pH-dependent material into a complex coacervate formulation linked via pH-independent electrostatic interaction, which allowed an effective transient physical coating on the gastrointestinal mucosa, independent of gastric acid exposure...
June 11, 2018: Nature Materials
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