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Nanoscale circuits are fabricated by assembling different conducting materials (e.g., metal nanoparticles, metal nano-wires, graphene, carbon nanotubes, and conducting polymers) on inkjet-printing patterned substrates. This nonlitho-graphy strategy opens a new avenue for integrating conducting building blocks into nanoscale devices in a cost-efficient manner.
Suckerins are block copolymer-like structural proteins constituting the building blocks of the strong squid sucker-ring teeth. Here, recombinant suckerin-19 is processed into biomaterials spanning a wide range of elasticity, from very soft hydrogels to stiff films with elastic modulus in the gigapascal range. The elasticity is controlled by the interplay between β-sheet content and induced di-tyrosine crosslinking.
Perfectly aligned horizontal ZnSe nano-wires are obtained by guided growth, and easily integrated into high-performance blue-UV photodetectors. Their crystal phase and crystallographic orientation are controlled by the epitaxial relations with six different sapphire planes. Guided growth paves the way for the large-scale integration of nanowires into optoelectronic devices.
2D vertical stacking and lateral stitching growth of monolayer (ML) hexagonal transition-metal dichalcogenides are reported. The 2D heteroepitaxial manipulation of MoS2 and WS2 MLs is achieved by control of the 2D nucleation kinetics during the sequential vapor-phase growth. It enables to create the hexagon-on-hexagon unit cell stacking and the hexagon-by-hexagon stitching without interlayer rotation misfits.
A hybrid organic-inorganic compound, (pyrrolidinium)MnBr3 , distinguished from rare earth (RE)-doped inorganic peroveskites, is discovered as a new member of the ferroelectrics family, having excellent luminescent properties and relatively large spontaneous polarization of 6 μC cm(-2) , as well as a weak ferromagnetism at about 2.4 K. With a quantum yield of >28% and emission lifetime >0.1 ms, such multiferroic photoluminescence is a suitable candidate for future applications in luminescence materials, pho...
A novel strategy for the controlled synthesis of 2D MoS2 /C hybrid nanosheet consisting of the alternative layer-by-layer interoverlapped single-layer MoS2 and mesoporous carbon (m-C) is demonstrated. Such special hybrid nanosheets with maximized MoS2 /m-C interface contact show very good performance for lithium ion batteries in terms of high reversible capacity, excellent rate capability, and outstanding cycling stability.
Wearable double-twisted fibrous perovskite solar cells are developed based on flexible carbon nanotube fiber electrodes, which exhibit a maximum power conversion efficiency of 3.03%, bending stability larger than 1000 cycles, and maintain 89% efficiency after 96 h in ambient condition if sealed by a transparent polymer layer. The obtained superior performance can shed light on future self-powering e-textiles.
Adaptable hydrogels have recently emerged as a promising platform for three-dimensional (3D) cell encapsulation and culture. In conventional, covalently crosslinked hydrogels, degradation is typically required to allow complex cellular functions to occur, leading to bulk material degradation. In contrast, adaptable hydrogels are formed by reversible crosslinks. Through breaking and re-formation of the reversible linkages, adaptable hydrogels can be locally modified to permit complex cellular functions while...
Simultaneous increases in electrical conductivity (up to 200%) and thermopower (up to 70%) are demonstrated by introducing native defects in Bi2 Te3 films, leading to a high power factor of 3.4 × 10(-3) W m(-1) K(-2) . The maximum enhancement of the power factor occurs when the native defects act beneficially as electron donors as well as energy filters to mobile electrons. They also act as effective phonon scatterers.
High-Tc , flexible MgB2 -nanowire-based superconducting arrays are fabricated via a direct pen writing method on both copper foils and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) substrates. Such superconducting arrays constitute a new approach for fabricating superconducting devices. The realization of a PDMS-based device demonstrates the potential for expanding this material into other high-Tc superconductor systems, which may lead to novel ways of driving the development of "real-life" applications.
The front cover illustrates the in vivo imaging and controlled swimming of a swarm of microrobots in deep tissue, which is described in detail by K. Kostarelos, B. J. Nelson, and co-workers on page 2981. These microrobots, called artificial bacterial flagella (ABFs), are similar in size and geometry to bacterial flagella, and are capable of 3D navigation in fluids under low-strength rotating magnetic fields (
A photoswitchable peptide-modified nanoporous membrane transporting molecules of interest as a function of the wavelength of exposed light is described by J. Yu, A. D. Abell, D. Losic, and co-workers on page 3019. The inside front cover shows molecular transport of model molecules across a nanoporous anodic alumina membrane with photoresponsive groups, when actuated at two different wavelengths of light. The molecular transport across this membrane switches reversibly between high and low rates on repeated ...
Cholesteric liquid crystals with a new heliconical structure are demonstrated to change the color of reflected light when acted upon an alternating current electric field. As demonstrated by O. D. Lavrentovich and co-workers on page 3014, the colors are tuned dynamically in a very broad range, from ultraviolet to visible and infrared. The electrically controlled selective reflection can be used in energy-saving smart windows, "see-through" displays, tunable lasers, and filters.
Molecular devices are among the most promising candidates for the ultimate minimization of electronic devices and the construction of super-integrated circuits, the foundation of which is the fabrication of nanogap electrodes through which molecules can be connected into devices and circuits. A new method for facile fabrication nanogap electrodes is a pre-requirement for molecular devices. A method for the fabrication of nanogap electrodes through the breakage of a single grain-boundary (GB) junction is pre...
A new solution for enhancing interfacial adhesion between the hydrocarbon (HC) membrane and a perfluorinated catalyst layer (CL) in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFCs) is successfully demonstrated by J.-K. Park, H.-T. Kim, and co-workers on page 2974. This is realized by the intrusion of micrometer-sized pillars fabricated on the HC membrane into the perfluorinated CL, forming an interlocking interface, like Lego blocks. Owing to a higher expansion with hydration for the HC membrane than for the perfluo...
A millimeter thin rubber-like solid-state lighting module is reported. The fabrication of the lighting module incorporates assembly and electrical connection of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The assembly is achieved using a roll-to-roll fluidic self-assembly. The LEDs are sandwiched in-between a stretchable top and bottom electrode to relieve the mechanical stress. The top contact is realized using a lamination technique that eliminates wire-bonding.
Spontaneous, highly ordered large-scale fibronectin networks driven by electrostatic polymer patterns are fabricated. On page 2838, K. K. Parker, K Shin, and co-workers show that these self-organized protein networks can be used as flexible, transferrable substrates for tissue engineering.
Solution-processed hybrid photovoltaics are a potentially disruptive third-generation solar cell technology. On page 2859, A. Amassian and co-workers demonstrate that an electrospun hyperbranched electron-transporting material is capable of achieving highly efficient hybrid solar cells across different platforms, including lead-halide perovskites (15.5%) and dye-sensitized solar cells (11.2%).
An integrated, selective graphene/TiO2 interlayer structure is developed by Z. Yang, S. Huang, and co-workers on page 2891 to further mitigate polysulfide (PS) diffusion. In this rational design, the porous graphene affords an additional electrically conductive network and physically traps PS; as an added bonus, the TiO2 in the graphene/TiO2 barrier film further chemically suppresses the dissolution of PS, and alleviates the undesirable shuttle effect.
Highly stretchable electroluminescent (EL) devices are fabricated by P. S. Lee and co-workers using an all-solution processable method as described on page 2876. The stretchable EL devices can be strained up to 100% stretching strain with excellent performance stability. A novel self-deformable EL device is also demonstrated by integrating the EL device on a dielectric elastomer actuator. The idea inspires a plethora of new applications and structurability in soft electronics.
Shape-persistent molecular triangles comprising three electron-deficient, electronically coupled naphthalenediimide units provide a unique scaffold for stable electrochemical redox reactions and fast ion diffusion in the solid state. On page 2907, J. F. Stoddart and co-workers demonstrate the high rate performance of these lightweight active materials for advancing the state of rechargeable organic lithium-ion batteries. Image credits: Aleksandr Bosoy and Dr. Paul R. McGonigal.