Author Archive

Metamaterials’2018

The 12th International Congress on Artificial Materials for Novel Wave Phenomena – Metamaterials’2018, will comprise a 4-day Conference (27–30 August), and a 2-day Doctoral School (31 August–1 September).

Organized by the METAMORPHOSE VI AISBL (www.metamorphose-vi.org) and hosted by Aalto University (Espoo, Finland), this Congress follows the success of Metamaterials 2007-2017 and continues the traditions of the highly successful series of International Conferences on Complex Media and Metamaterials (Bianisotropics) and Rome International Workshops on Metamaterials and Special Materials for Electromagnetic Applications and Telecommunications.

The Congress will provide a unique topical forum to share the latest results of the metamaterials research in Europe and worldwide and bring together the engineering, physics, applied mathematics and material science communities working on artificial materials and their applications from microwaves to optical frequencies, as well as in acoustics, mechanics, hydrodynamics and thermodynamics.

 

Plenary Speakers include:

  • Nader EnghetaUniversity of Pennsylvania – Metamaterials for Informatics.
  • Martin van HeckeLeiden University/AMOLF – Complex Mechanical Metamaterials.
  • Stefano Maci, University of Siena – Metasurface Design.
  • Arno Rauschenbeutel, Technische Universität Wien – Chiral Quantum Nanophotonics.

 

Materials Horizons and Journal of Materials Chemistry C are delighted to support Metamaterials’2018 with student prizes.

Register before 25 June 2018 for early-bird registration rates. Visit the conference website for more information.

Follow Metamaterials’2018 on social media: TwitterFacebook

 

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2018 International Conference of Young Researchers on Advanced Materials

Materials Horizons and Journal of Materials Chemistry AB and are pleased to support the 2018 International Conference of Young Researchers on Advanced Materials (ICYRAM2018).

This conference aims to give researchers from around the world the opportunity to engage and network with peers, industry and friends, in the field of advanced materials.  Specifically ICYRAM2018 gives a platform for researchers up to 15 years post-PhD to present their R&D.  From 4 – 5 November 2018, Adelaide in South Australia will be the global focus for the scientific presentations, conversations, and chance meetings that will set forth the future discoveries and innovations to drive society forward. This 4th edition of ICYRAM, will build on the original mission by providing a fair and equitable event for all early stage researcher’s to meet, discuss and network in a safe and welcoming environment.  Whether they be specialised materials researchers or those who utilise and apply materials to their R&D – ICYRAM2018 welcomes all.

Important Dates!

  • 30th March 2018 – Abstract submission deadline
  • 30th June 2018 – Early bird registration closure

For more information and how to submit an abstract please visit the conference website

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Some of the most popular 2017 articles in Materials Horizons

We are delighted to share with you some of the most popular articles that were published in Materials Horizons in 2017.

Last year our Materials Horizons community published a larger number of articles of exceptional significance than ever before. We hope you enjoy reading this selection of some of the most highly cited* and most frequently downloaded articles from 2017.


Focus

Thermoresponsive polymers with lower critical solution temperature: from fundamental aspects and measuring techniques to recommended turbidimetry conditions
Qilu Zhang, Christine Weber, Ulrich S. Schubert and Richard Hoogenboom

Review

Metal organic framework based catalysts for CO2 conversion
James W. Maina, Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo, Lingxue Kong, Jürg Schütz, Matthew Hill and Ludovic F. Dumée

Heteroatom-doped graphene as electrocatalysts for air cathodes
Huijuan Cui, Zhen Zhou and Dianzeng Jia

Atomic layer deposition for nanomaterial synthesis and functionalization in energy technology
Xiangbo Meng, Xinwei Wang, Dongsheng Geng, Cagla Ozgit-Akgun, Nathanaelle Schneider and Jeffrey W. Elam

Metal-organic frameworks: a novel host platform for enzymatic catalysis and detection
Effrosyni Gkaniatsou, Clémence Sicard, Rémy Ricoux, Jean-Pierre Mahy, Nathalie Steunou and Christian Serre

Communication

Searching for promising new perovskite-based photovoltaic absorbers: the importance of electronic dimensionality
Zewen Xiao, Weiwei Meng, Jianbo Wang, David B. Mitzi and Yanfa Yan

Quaternisation-polymerized N-type polyelectrolytes: synthesis, characterisation and application in high-performance polymer solar cells
Zhicheng Hu, Rongguo Xu, Sheng Dong, Kai Lin, Jinju Liu, Fei Huang and Yong Cao

Functional conductive nanomaterials via polymerisation in nano-channels: PEDOT in a MOF
Tiesheng Wang, Meisam Farajollahi, Sebastian Henke, Tongtong Zhu, Sneha R. Bajpe, Shijing Sun, Jonathan S. Barnard, June Sang Lee, John D. W. Madden, Anthony K. Cheetham and Stoyan K. Smoukov

Efficient triplet–triplet annihilation upconversion in binary crystalline solids fabricated via solution casting and operated in air
Kenji Kamada, Yusuke Sakagami, Toshiko Mizokuro, Yutaka Fujiwara, Kenji Kobayashi, Kaishi Narushima, Shuzo Hirata and Martin Vacha

Programming 2D/3D shape-shifting with hobbyist 3D printers
Teunis van Manen, Shahram Janbaz and Amir A. Zadpoor


 

Check out our most recent articles from 2018…

 

At Materials Horizons, our reviewing standards are set extremely high to ensure we only publish first reports of new concepts across the breadth of materials research. Our impact factor of 10.706** is testament to the exceptionally significant work of our community.

Contact us: materialshorizons-rsc@rsc.org

Follow us: Homepage | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | E-alerts | RSS

 

 

*Web of Science (February 2018) © Clarivate Analytics.
**2016 Journal Citation Reports (June 2017) © Clarivate Analytics.

 

 

 

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Solar-Driven Nitrogen Fixation to Ammonia: Lighting the Way toward Green Chemistry

Is it feasible to convert nitrogen to ammonia using water and light?

With international collaboration, scientists from China and Singapore have looked into the aspect of the state-of-the-art engineering of photocatalysts for the nitrogen (N2) fixation toward understanding the ammonia (NH3) synthesis. The work was recently reported by Dr. Wee-Jun Ong and co-workers in Materials Horizons, which is featured on the Inside Front Cover in Volume 5, Issue 1 in 2018.

(a) An overview of the N2 cycle and circulation of N2 in various forms. (b) Diagram of the state-of-the-art milestone in the development of photocatalysts for N2 fixation.  Images adapted from Chen et al., Mater. Horiz., 2018, Advance Article with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry. 

N2 is one of the most abundant gases on the Earth, comprising 78% in our atmosphere. Nonetheless, N2 in the gaseous state cannot be effectively utilized by organisms. Therefore, N2 must be “fixed” to make it valuable by breaking the strong NN triple bonds to transform it into a form that can be consumed by plants, animals and human beings. Hitherto, two typical methods to realize the fixation of N2 are: (1) a natural and bacterial process, and (2) the Haber-Bosch process in industry. For the last 100 years, the N2 conversion has led to the commercial fertilizer production and sustained the food intake supply for the worldwide population. However, the Haber-Bosch process consumes high pressures and temperatures, hence demanding a huge quantity (~2%) of the fossil fuel source. Thus, it is envisaged that the alternative process, which utilizes nanomaterials to absorb photon to mimic the natural photosynthesis in green leaves, can act as a paradigm shift for fixing nitrogen.

In this Review, the photo(electro)catalysts are classified based on the chemical compositions ranging from metal oxide to metal sulfide, bismuth oxyhalides, carbonaceous nanomaterials and other potential materials. The significance and relationship between the modification (e.g. nanoarchitecture design, crystal facet engineering, doping, and heterostructuring) and influences on the photo(electro)chemical activity of the catalysts are highlighted. Last but not least, to divert from the present laboratory-scale level to industrial applications, additional thoughts must be devoted to translating from academic research to practicality. How to amplify the yield of developed catalysts while preserving the intrinsic structures for the commercialization of “ammonia photosynthesis” is of universal challenge.

 

Read the full article here:
Xingzhu Chen, Neng Li,* Zhouzhou Kong, Wee-Jun Ong* and Xiujian Zhao
DOI: 10.1039/C7MH00557A

 

Wee-Jun Ong is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, he works as a Staff Scientist in the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) at Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. His research interests focus on photocatalytic, photoelectrochemical and electrochemical H2O splitting, CO2 reduction, N2 fixation and H2O2 production for energy conversion and storage via experimental and density functional theory (DFT) studies. At present, he also serves as the Associate Editor of Frontiers in Chemistry and Frontiers in Materials, and an Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports, Nanotechnology and Nano Futures. Check out his personal research website here.

 

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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

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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