Materials Horizons Symposium: Electronic & Photonic Materials 2017

We had a great time in Japan in November for the Materials Horizons Symposium on Electronic & Photonic Materials!

Accompanied by Dr Simon Neil (Materials Horizons, Managing Editor) and Hiromitsu Urakami (RSC Manager, Japan), a great line-up of speakers visited Kyoto University and the National Institute for Materials Science to showcase a wide variety of cutting-edge work in and around the areas of electronic and photonic materials. We were delighted to hear some fantastic talks from Professor Yasuhiko Arakawa, Professor Lay-Lay Chua, Professor Maria Antonietta Loi, Materials Horizons Founding Chair Professor Seth Marder, and many more!

This event was also supported by Division of Molecular Electronics and Bioelectronics – The Japan Society of Applied Physics, The Japanese Photochemistry Association, Research Group on Electrical and Electronic Properties of Polymer and Organics – The Japan Society for Polymer Science.

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Congratulations to prize winners from NGSE 2017

We are delighted to congratulate the poster prize winners from 4th International Congress on Next Generation Solar Energy, which took place 4 – 7 December 2017 in Cali, Columbia.

 

The meeting was a great success and discussed recent developments in advanced photovoltaics including special sessions on perovskites, organics and hybrids. The applied aspects of photovoltaics and renewable energies were specifically addressed by an industry day, and the direct social impact of using solar cells in order to enhance the life of Wayúu community in Guajira Colombia was discussed.

 

 

Congratulations to…

  • Juan David Villada, Universidad del Valle (Colombia)

 

  • Juanita Hidalgo, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)

 

  • Juana Marlene Pinanjota, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (Ecuador)

 

 

 

Poster prizes were sponsored by Materials Horizons, Journal of Materials Chemistry A and Journal of Materials Chemistry C. All posters were judged by Professor Nazario Martin (Editor-in-Chief  JMC A), Professor Wolfgang Tress (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), and Dr Juan Pablo Correa (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) before being awarded by Dr Walter Torres (Universidad del Valle).

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Enhanced lithium storage properties of oriented metal oxide nanodots on graphene

Article written by Markus Müllner and Olivia McRae

The synthesis of oriented metal oxide nanodots on graphene oxide (GO) sheets using a surfactant-directed assembly strategy was recently reported by Professor Liqiang Mai and co-workers in Materials Horizons. This technique presents a versatile and general method for the synthesis of carbon-confined metal oxide nanodots, as well as a way to significantly enhance the energy storage properties of metal oxide nanocomposites.

Tin dioxide (SnO2) is a promising candidate electrode material for high performance lithium-ion batteries, due to its high theoretical capacity. However, the large volume expansion caused by lithium intercalation into SnO2 (up to 300%) results in poor cycling stability. In this article, metal-ligand bonds were used to immobilise SnO2 nanodot precursors onto a functionalised GO surface. The nanodots were complexed with organic ligands and subsequently carbonised to form nanocrystalline carbon-confined metal oxide nanodots (C@SnO2@Gr). Nanocrystallinity was achieved through the mismatched coordination of the organic ligands, as the distortion prevented aggregation of the precursor and crystal growth across larger areas.

When tested in a lithium-ion battery, the C@SnO2@Gr nanodots were found to have exceptional cycling stability and capacity over 1200 cycles in comparison to similar carbonised SnO2 nanocomposites. The material also demonstrated excellent rate capabilities, facilitated by its high surface area.

This paper highlights a promising method for the general synthesis of metal oxide nanodots, including SnO2, Cr2O3, Fe3O4, and Al2O3. Furthermore, this method could be used to enhance the lithium storage capabilities of metal oxide materials for future energy storage applications.

 

Read the full paper here:
Jiashen Meng, Ziang Liu, Chaojiang Niu, Linhan Xu, Xuanpeng Wang, Qi Li, Xiujuan Wei, Wei Yang, Lei Huang and Liqiang Mai
Mater. Horiz., 2018, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7MH00801E

 

Markus Müllner is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons and an academic at The University of Sydney. Markus and Honours student Olivia McRae are interested in nanostructuring electrode materials to advance performance of lithium ion batteries. https://www.polymernanostructures.com/

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Congratulations to our Highly Cited board members!

We are delighted to have many world-leading materials science researchers on our Editorial Board and on our Advisory Board, helping to guide Materials Horizons as a premier journal publishing first reports of exceptional significance.

Many have been recognized in Clarivate Analytics’ recently published 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list!

Congratulations from the Materials Horizons team to…

…Editorial Board members

…and Advisory Board members

  • Paul Blom, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Germany
  • Yong Cao, South China University of Technology, China
  • Naomi Halas, Rice University, USA, Rice University, USA
  • Martin Heeney, Imperial College London, UK
  • Taeghwan Hyeon, Seoul National University, South Korea
  • René Janssen, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
  • Susumu Kitagawa, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Frederik Krebs, Elite Science, Denmark
  • Nathan Lewis, California Institute of Technology, USA
  • Bin Liu, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University, USA
  • John A Rogers, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Yi Xie, University of Science and Technology of China, China
  • Peidong Yang, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Shu-Hong Yu, University of Science and Technology of China, China
  • Dongyuan Zhao, Fudan University, China

Click on their names to check out some of their most recently published work in Materials Horizons.

If you think you might have some work that represents a brand new concept of exceptional significance then get in touch on materialshorizons-rsc@rsc.org

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4th International Conference on Organic Electronics – 2018

Materials Horizons is pleased to be sponsoring the 14th International Conference on Organic Electronics – 2018 (ICOE-2018) to be held on June 18 – 22, 2018 in Bordeaux, France.

ICOE is an annual serie of conferences dedicated to the state-of-the-art research in organic electronics. The ICOE-2018, organized by Professor Guillaume Wantz, Associate Editor of Materials Chemistry Frontiers, and Professor Natalie Stingelin, Associate Editor Journal of Materials Chemistry C , will bring together the most excellent researchers from academy as well as industry to discuss fundamental aspects of organic semiconductors, demonstrate their vision of the road-map of organic electronics and to exchange ideas on future materials, technologies, and applications.

Some excellent speakers are confirmed, including members of the Materials Horizons Editorial Board: Editor-in-Chief Professor Seth Marder, Scientific Editor Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, and Editorial Board member Professor Kazuo Takimiya.

Important dates

  • 2017, November 1st – Abstract submission start
  • 2018, January 15th – Abstracts submission deadline
  • 2018, March 1st – Early bird registration deadline
  • 2018, June 1st – Standard registration deadline

Visit the conference homepage for more information.

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Crystallizing Ideas on Amorphous MOFs in Kyoto – A Short Term Visit

Materials Horizons Community Board member Dr Thomas Bennett tells us about a research trip he recently took to Kyoto, Japan which was funded by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science short term fellowship.

Tom started a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge in 2016, along with a visiting adjunct professor position at The Wuhan University of Technology. He also holds a visiting scientist position at CSIRO Melbourne. In 2017/2018, Tom is also Director of Studies for Materials Science, at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University. He has been fortunate enough to receive the EPSRC post-doctoral prize (2012) and the Panalytical award for an outstanding contribution to X-ray diffraction (2013).

 

His latest research on the discovery of the first liquid metal-organic-framework was featured in Chemistry World earlier this month.

 

You recently spent a month in Kyoto, Japan visiting the group of Professor Satoshi Horike and Professor Susumu Kitagawa on a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) short term post-doctoral fellowship. What motivated you to consider making this journey?

The research of my group is focused on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are sponge-like compounds formed by networks of inorganic ‘bricks’ linked organic ligands. However, we place an emphasis on the amorphous, or non-crystalline state, and specifically MOF-liquids and melt quenched glasses. The latter is the first new family of glass-formers discovered since the 1970s, and has been gathering much attention.

The group based in the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (ICeMS) is world renowned for excellence in the field of coordination polymers, and are also interested in the glassy and liquid states of hybrid polymeric systems. I’ve met both Satoshi and Susumu on multiple occasions at conferences, and we share the same desire to broaden the field and investigate the non-crystalline domain. We made a conscious decision to take the time to set up a lasting collaborative relationship between our two groups, given our common research interests. This was made easier by the fact we get along extremely well and we can be open about our research with one another!

 

How did you go about applying for the JSPS fellowship? Do you have any tips for others who might be thinking of applying as well?

The application form is short and easy to fill out – and the JSPS office in London is extremely helpful. There are several deadlines per year, and your Japanese proposed host institution will guide you through the process if unsure. I’d strongly encourage anyone interested in a stay with a Japanese Institution to get in touch with a local contact and discuss the possibilities.

 

What was the focus of the research that you carried out in Japan?

We focused on the links between coordination polymers and MOFs in the non-crystalline domain, and carried out some experiments aimed at understanding the chemical opportunities and variability in the area. We also have set up our two groups to work together experimentally, and samples should start to be exchanged soon!

 

Do you have any exciting results or collaborations planned in the future as a result? Are there any publications we should keep an eye out for?

We do! Aside from some promising early experimental results which are being followed up upon now, we hope to be able to provide our thoughts on how the non-crystalline coordination polymer and metal-organic field will develop in the long run. We’ve had some excellent advice on how to do this along the way, which will hopefully make it an enjoyable read when it comes together!

 

What impact do you think this experience will have on you and your research in the future?

The Royal Society University Research Fellowship that I am extremely fortunate to have, offers me freedom to explore the real edges and interfaces of science as it evolves, and there is no doubt that the exchange will benefit both our research groups – be it through student exchanges or sharing our different experimental capabilities.

I’m currently looking for new students and members, full details of which can be found on the group website: https://tdbennettgroup.wordpress.com/.

Personally, the experience was invaluable. I am busy building up my group as a Royal Society University Research Fellow, and it’s really valuable to be able to learn from Satoshi, who is further on in his career. Long term planning, strategy and research environment is particularly important.

 

What were the best and most challenging aspects of your month away?

Well, the research first and foremost! Aside from that, Kyoto is simply a stunning city, and a bike is absolutely the best way to get around it. Waking up with sunrise at 6am and cycling around beautiful gardens, temples and cobbled lanes gives you a real taste of peace and quiet before the day really gets going! One of my hobbies is travelling – seeing beautiful sights, learning about different cultures, meeting new people and (especially) eating wonderful cuisines. In all cases, Kyoto was perfect.

As always when you are away from home, the occasional loneliness could have been an issue – you always want to share the best experiences with somebody. This was never an issue in Kyoto. Alongside my hosts, I’m particularly grateful to Prof. Shuhei Furukawa, Dr. Sanjog Nagarkar, Dr. Jet Lee, Dr. Gavin Craig and Ms. Azuma for making me feel so welcome!

My partner, Helena, also joined me for a week in the middle of the stay, and we took the opportunity to visit the mountainous Hida region.

 

Are you attending any conferences or events next year where our readers might meet you?

I will be at EuroMOF 2017 in Delft in late October, and then giving an inorganic seminar in Berkeley with Prof. Omar Yaghi in January 2017. Beyond that, I’m part of the organising team for the Annual UK MOF Symposium, which will be held at the University of Southampton on the 9th and 10th April 2018. I will be back in Japan for the ICCC 2018 in Sendai, early August, and then in New Zealand for the biannual MOF conference in December 2018.

I’ve recently gotten into Twitter, so follow me @thomasdbennett for a rough idea of my whereabouts!

 

And finally, what is the one piece of career-related advice that you wish you’d received as an early-career scientist?

I’ve had the immense privilege of working with many great scientists (too many to name them all!) who have supported me no end, including Prof. Tony Cheetham, Prof. David Keen, Prof. Andrew Goodwin, Dr Nick Bampos and Prof. Dirk De Vos. Dr. Ross Forgan, University of Glasgow, is a Royal Society Research Fellow about 5 years on from me and he has been great as well.

A new idea and a novel area always help, although it’s easy for me to say now! I think that as long as you look after your students, appreciate the value of your collaborators, stay grounded and keep a smile on your face, then you will be able to remain grateful for what is a fantastic career.

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Smart stretch expands hip implant performance

Article written by Simon Neil

Material designed to get thicker as it bends

Scientists in the Netherlands have designed a material that offers to lengthen the lifetime of hip implants using an unprecedented property: the material gets thicker when compressed and when stretched.


Source: Eline Kolken
The new material could improve implant longevity

The average owner of an artificial hip is no lazy bones. Each year, they take around four million steps. All this movement takes its toll, though. After around 15 years, implants tend to work loose from the femur bone and need replacing.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Rationally designed meta-implants: a combination of auxetic and conventional meta-biomaterials
Helena M. A. Kolken, Shahram Janbaz, Sander M. A. Leeflang, Karel Lietaert, Harrie H. Weinans and Amir A. Zadpoor
Mater. Horiz., 2017, Advance Article
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7MH00699C

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Deep sight into the brain: organic nanoparticles for imaging in the second near-infrared window

Article written by Ester Kwon

Researchers have long been interested in peering into the brain. Added to the inherent challenge of imaging through biological medium, the skull presents a major barrier that highly attenuates light.

To overcome this barrier, in a recent communication in Materials Horizons, Guo et al. have synthesized an organic nanoparticle for photoacoustic imaging with absorbance in the second near-infrared window. At this wavelength, there is relatively low scattering from tissue allowing for deeper penetration of light.

Photoacoustic images of a brain tumor after nanoparticle injection. The grey ultrasound image shows the skin and the skull margin, and the green signal indicates the nanoparticle distribution. Image adapted from Guo et al., Mater. Horiz., 2017, Advance Article with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry. 

Nanoparticles were made from benzodithiophene-benzobithiadiazole donor-acceptor pairs co-polymerized and nanoprecipitated using biocompatible materials. When these imaging nanoparticles were applied to mice with orthotopic brain tumors, tumors 3.4 nm below the skull were resolved with a nearly 100-fold increase in photoacoustic signal compared to before intravenous administration of nanoparticles. The stable, high contrast photoacoustic imaging nanoparticle presented in this work offers a versatile platform for simple chemical modifications such as ligand targeting or drug loading.

Future work remains on the horizon to advance these materials for imaging through the ~5 mm thickness of human skulls.

 

Read the full article here:
Bing Guo, Zonghai Sheng, Kenry, Dehong Hu, Xiangwei Lin, Shidang Xu, Chengbo Liu, Hairong Zheng and Bin Liu

 

Ester Kwon is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, she works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at University of California San Diego, USA. Check out her personal website here.

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Prize winners at chem2Dmat

Congratulations to the poster prize winners at chem2Dmat, which took place in Strasbourg on 22 – 26 August 2017. Both prize winners received a signed certificate and a free online subscription to the sponsor journal for a year.

 

First Poster Session AWARDS

KEMPT Roman

Title: Intercalation of 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides: from Bulk to Monolayer Stacks

One year online subscription to RSC Materials Horizons delivered by Paolo Samori

Second Poster Session AWARDS

Elaheh MOHEBBI

Title: Bottom-up synthesized covalent organic nanowires by halogen-based molecules on Ag (110) surface

One year online subscription to RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry C delivered by Paolo Samori

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A simple gradient makes biomimetic surfaces extremely durable

Article written by Mengye Wang

A new and highly controllable technique to manufacture functional gradient nanocomposites has been reported in a recent article, published in Materials Horizons. The technique enables smooth and programmable stiff-to-compliant (or compliant-to-stiff) transitions within micro-scale regions.

This technique, developed by Dr. Zhengzhi Wang and colleagues at Wuhan University, is based on a typical two-step process:

  1. Use a magnetic field to generate a desired concentration gradient of magnetic-responsive nano-reinforcements inside a polymer matrix in liquid state.
  2. Polymerize and solidify the redistributed polymer nanocomposites.

Using this technique, Wang et al. fabricated various biomimetic interfaces and surfaces and found that the functional gradient designs, with reduced stress concentrations, simultaneously improved the mechanical strength and durability over an order of magnitude compared with the traditional homogeneous counterparts.

The magnetically-actuated functional gradient nanocomposites can be further integrated into advanced additive manufacturing techniques to create a wide range of functional heterogeneous materials with unprecedented combinations of mechanical properties.

TEM image of functional gradient nanocomposites for compliant-stiff-compliant transitions

Read the full article here:
Zhengzhi Wang,* Xiaoming Shi, Houbing Huang,* Chenmin Yao, Wen Xie, Cui Huang, Ping Gu, Xingqiao Ma, Zuoqi Zhang and LongQing Chen
DOI: 10.1039/c7mh00223h

 

Mengye Wang is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has a keen interest in advanced materials for environmental and energy applications, including photocatalysis and electrocatalysis.

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