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Nature Materials contents: November 2016 Volume 15 Number 11 pp 1139 - 1221

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November 2016 Volume 15, Issue 11

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Beyond particle physics   p1139
Topological semimetals give access to new quantum phenomena — for example, massless fermions have not been observed as elementary particles, yet they can be realized in the form of quasiparticles in these materials — and could allow the development of robust quantum devices.



Weyl semimetals, Fermi arcs and chiral anomalies   pp1140 - 1144
Shuang Jia, Su-Yang Xu and M. Zahid Hasan
Physicists have discovered a new topological phase of matter, the Weyl semimetal, whose surface features a non-closed Fermi surface whereas the low-energy quasiparticles in the bulk emerge as Weyl fermions. A brief review of these developments and perspectives on the next steps forward are presented.

Topological semimetals   pp1145 - 1148
A. A. Burkov
Topological semimetals and metals have emerged as a new frontier in the field of quantum materials. Novel macroscopic quantum phenomena they exhibit are not only of fundamental interest, but may hold some potential for technological applications.

News and Views


Weyl semimetals: Magnetically induced   pp1149 - 1150
Claudia Felser and Binghai Yan
The half-Heusler GdPtBi is found to show transport and calorimetric signatures of the existence of Weyl fermions under the application of a magnetic field. The half-Heusler alloys form a big family of tunable compounds that may substantially enlarge the number of Weyl semimetals known.

See also: Letter by Hirschberger et al.

Amorphous solids: Rayleigh scattering revisited   pp1150 - 1151
Jeppe C. Dyre
Scaling of the phonon damping with the wavevector in glasses is found to be different from the traditionally assumed Rayleigh scattering, and related to surprising, long-range correlations in the local elasticity matrix.

See also: Article by Gelin et al.

Colloidal crystals: Stresses come to light   pp1151 - 1152
Mark Bowick and Paul Chaikin
Confocal microscopy and computational analysis, now used for measuring microscale stresses in colloidal crystals, could be developed for investigation of amorphous materials, crystal melting, and mechanical properties of tissues.

See also: Letter by Lin et al.

Materials synthesis: Two-dimensional gallium nitride   pp1153 - 1154
Nikhil A. Koratkar
Graphene is used as a capping sheet to synthesize 2D gallium nitride by means of migration-enhanced encapsulation growth. This technique may allow the stabilization of 2D materials that are not amenable to synthesis by traditional methods.

See also: Letter by Al Balushi et al.

Material witness: Searching the web   p1154
Philip Ball

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Spectroscopic evidence for a type II Weyl semimetallic state in MoTe2   pp1155 - 1160
Lunan Huang, Timothy M. McCormick, Masayuki Ochi, Zhiying Zhao, Michi-To Suzuki et al.
MoTe2 is reported to host type II topological Weyl semimetal states. Two sets of Weyl points exist at different energies above the Fermi energy. Fermi arcs that form closed loops and are unique to type II Weyl semimetals are also found.

The chiral anomaly and thermopower of Weyl fermions in the half-Heusler GdPtBi   pp1161 - 1165
Max Hirschberger, Satya Kushwaha, Zhijun Wang, Quinn Gibson, Sihang Liang et al.
The half-Heusler GdPtBi is reported to exhibit negative longitudinal magnetoresistance. This is attributed to the chiral anomaly due to the formation of Weyl nodes with an applied magnetic field. The anomaly is also found to suppress the thermopower.

See also: News and Views by Felser & Yan

Two-dimensional gallium nitride realized via graphene encapsulation   pp1166 - 1171
Zakaria Y. Al Balushi, Ke Wang, Ram Krishna Ghosh, Rafael A. Vila, Sarah M. Eichfeld et al.
A method to synthesize 2D layers of gallium nitride on SiC is reported. Epitaxial graphene preliminarily grown on SiC allows intercalation of gallium atoms on the SiC substrate and stabilizes the 2D gallium nitride islands formed by ammonolysis.

See also: News and Views by Koratkar

Measuring nonlinear stresses generated by defects in 3D colloidal crystals   pp1172 - 1176
Neil Y. C. Lin, Matthew Bierbaum, Peter Schall, James P. Sethna and Itai Cohen
Nonlinear stresses surrounding defect cores in three-dimensional colloidal crystals are experimentally determined at the single-particle level.

See also: News and Views by Bowick & Chaikin

Focus: Exciton — polariton devices

Since the proposal for lasing from a condensate of exciton-polaritons, the properties of these quasiparticles have been rigorously studied. Nature Materials presents a Focus which explores the challenges towards the fabrication of practical devices as well as their potential for the demonstration of unique physical phenomena.

Read the Focus



Anomalous phonon scattering and elastic correlations in amorphous solids   pp1177 - 1181
Simon Gelin, Hajime Tanaka and Anaël Lemaître
Studies of the phonon damping mechanism in glasses reveal scaling with the wavevector k which is different from the traditionally assumed Rayleigh scattering. These findings are related to long-range correlations in the local stress.

See also: News and Views by Dyre

Electrochemical stiffness in lithium-ion batteries   pp1182 - 1187
Hadi Tavassol, Elizabeth M. C. Jones, Nancy R. Sottos and Andrew A. Gewirth
Electrochemically induced stresses in battery electrodes leading to performance degradation are still poorly understood. In situ measurements show that stress scales proportionally with lithium intercalation rate and strain with capacity.

Anisotropic phase segregation and migration of Pt in nanocrystals en route to nanoframe catalysts   pp1188 - 1194
Zhiqiang Niu, Nigel Becknell, Yi Yu, Dohyung Kim, Chen Chen et al.
Anisotropic phase segregation and migration of Pt in nanocrystals is important in designing enhanced catalysts. Insight into the mechanism of Pt–Ni rhombic dodecahedra growth may provide a way to produce nanocatalysts with improved performance.

The nanocomposite nature of bone drives its strength and damage resistance   pp1195 - 1202
Ottman A. Tertuliano and Julia R. Greer
Nanomechanical experiments on samples of the ordered and disordered phases of trabecular bone show a transition from plastic deformation to brittle failure.

Detection and imaging of quorum sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm communities by surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering   pp1203 - 1211
Gustavo Bodelón, Verónica Montes-García, Vanesa López-Puente, Eric H. Hill, Cyrille Hamon et al.
Nanostructured plasmonic substrates are used for in situ, label-free detection, by surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering spectroscopy, of quorum sensing in growing Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

Mechanism of hard-nanomaterial clearance by the liver   pp1212 - 1221
Kim M. Tsoi, Sonya A. MacParland, Xue-Zhong Ma, Vinzent N. Spetzler, Juan Echeverri et al.
The blood clearance mechanism, by the liver, of administered hard nanomaterials is reported in relation to blood flow dynamics, organ microarchitecture and cellular phenotype.

Lithium-ion batteries are efficient energy storage devices that have transformed personal electronics. However, questions still remain as to whether they will realise their full market potential. Find out more about the key challenges facing their development here.
npj Computational Materials is a new online only, fully open access journal dedicated to publishing the finest articles on materials by design and integrated computational and experimental materials research.

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