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Themed collection Nanoscale Emerging Investigators

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Nanoscale profiles: contributors to the Emerging Investigators 2021 issue

Our inaugural Emerging Investigators collection gathers some of the best research being conducted by nanoscientists in the early stages of their independent career. Congratulations to all of the researchers featured.

Graphical abstract: Nanoscale profiles: contributors to the Emerging Investigators 2021 issue
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Minireview

Photodoping of metal oxide nanocrystals for multi-charge accumulation and light-driven energy storage

Light-driven multi-charge accumulation (i.e., photodoping) of doped metal oxide nanocrystals opens the way to innovative solutions for the direct conversion and storage of the solar energy.

Graphical abstract: Photodoping of metal oxide nanocrystals for multi-charge accumulation and light-driven energy storage
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Genetically encoded RNA nanodevices for cellular imaging and regulation

Recent design and applications of emerging genetically encoded RNA nanodevices in regulating cellular gene expression, imaging, logic operation, structural biology, and optogenetics.

Graphical abstract: Genetically encoded RNA nanodevices for cellular imaging and regulation
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Control of light–valley interactions in 2D transition metal dichalcogenides with nanophotonic structures

Valley pseudospin of 2D transition-metal dichalcogenides is promising for information technologies, but its robust manipulation is challenging. This minireview highlights recent progress on using nanophotonic strategies to address this challenge.

Graphical abstract: Control of light–valley interactions in 2D transition metal dichalcogenides with nanophotonic structures
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Emergent electrochemical functions and future opportunities of hierarchically constructed metal–organic frameworks and covalent organic frameworks

Hierarchically constructed metal–organic frameworks and covalent organic frameworks toward emergent electrochemical applications.

Graphical abstract: Emergent electrochemical functions and future opportunities of hierarchically constructed metal–organic frameworks and covalent organic frameworks
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Boosting the performance of printed thermoelectric materials by inducing morphological anisotropy

Printing holds potential for low-cost and large-area patterning of thermoelectric materials. The process can be also engineered to induce morphological anisotropy in (in)organic materials, which boost the performance along a preferential direction.

Graphical abstract: Boosting the performance of printed thermoelectric materials by inducing morphological anisotropy
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Recent advances in biofluid detection with micro/nanostructured bioelectronic devices

Micro/nanostructured bioelectronic devices for various biofluid detection applications are systematically summarized and discussed with new insights for future health monitoring.

Graphical abstract: Recent advances in biofluid detection with micro/nanostructured bioelectronic devices
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Recent advances in colour-tunable soft actuators

This review summarizes the recent advances of colour-tunable soft actuators, with emphasis on their colour-change mechanisms and highlighting their applications.

Graphical abstract: Recent advances in colour-tunable soft actuators
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Electrocatalysis in confined spaces: interplay between well-defined materials and the microenvironment

In this minireview, we summarize recent advances in electrocatalysis in confined spaces. Emerging electrochemical reactions are covered and discussed.

Graphical abstract: Electrocatalysis in confined spaces: interplay between well-defined materials and the microenvironment
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Operando spectroscopy of nanoscopic metal/covalent organic framework electrocatalysts

Metal and covalent organic frameworks (MOFs and COFs) are increasingly finding exceptional utility in electrocatalytic systems.

Graphical abstract: Operando spectroscopy of nanoscopic metal/covalent organic framework electrocatalysts
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Minireview

Conjugated nanomaterials for solar fuel production

Photocatalytic hydrogen production from water has the potential to fulfil future energy needs by producing a clean and storable fuel. Here the discuss the recent advances in using nanosized materials as photocatalysts.

Graphical abstract: Conjugated nanomaterials for solar fuel production
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Open Access Review Article

Hot carriers in graphene – fundamentals and applications

Hot charge carriers in graphene exhibit fascinating physical phenomena and have great promise for exciting optoelectronic applications. The current understanding of the relevant fundamental physics and the most promising applications are reviewed.

Graphical abstract: Hot carriers in graphene – fundamentals and applications
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

Fabrication and application of macroscopic nanowire aerogels

We provide a comprehensive review on the latest advances in three-dimensional macroscopic aerogels assembled from one-dimensional inorganic nanowires.

Graphical abstract: Fabrication and application of macroscopic nanowire aerogels
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

Self-limiting self-assembly of supraparticles for potential biological applications

Self-limiting self-assembly supraparticles produce new nanostructures and display great priorities to create biomimicking nanostructures with desired functionalities.

Graphical abstract: Self-limiting self-assembly of supraparticles for potential biological applications
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

Information processing based on DNA toehold-mediated strand displacement (TMSD) reaction

We reviewed the recent research on information processing with the DNA toehold-mediated strand displacement reaction, including the basic principles and applications in logic circuit, analog circuit, combinational circuit, and information relay.

Graphical abstract: Information processing based on DNA toehold-mediated strand displacement (TMSD) reaction
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

Liquid metal-based nanocomposite materials: fabrication technology and applications

Research on liquid metals has been steadily garnering more interest in recent times, especially in flexible electronics applications because of their properties like possesing high conductivity and being liquid state at room temperature.

Graphical abstract: Liquid metal-based nanocomposite materials: fabrication technology and applications
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

Advances in self-powered chemical sensing via a triboelectric nanogenerator

Self-powered chemical sensing via triboelectric nanogenerators is an emerging approach to continuous detection and analysis of chemical molecules on the human body and the surroundings.

Graphical abstract: Advances in self-powered chemical sensing via a triboelectric nanogenerator
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Open Access Review Article

Ordered polymer composite materials: challenges and opportunities

Polymer nanocomposites are an important class of materials whose properties are generally tuned as a function of their composition. New opportunities for controlling these properties lie in manipulating the 3D organization of their nanofillers.

Graphical abstract: Ordered polymer composite materials: challenges and opportunities
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

Advanced nitric oxide donors: chemical structure of NO drugs, NO nanomedicines and biomedical applications

Nitric oxide (NO), as an endogenous diatomic molecule, plays a key regulatory role in many physiological and pathological processes.

Graphical abstract: Advanced nitric oxide donors: chemical structure of NO drugs, NO nanomedicines and biomedical applications
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

Covalent functionalization of carbon materials with redox-active organic molecules for energy storage

Carbon-based materials (CBMs) have shown great versatility because they can be chemically combined with other materials for various applications.

Graphical abstract: Covalent functionalization of carbon materials with redox-active organic molecules for energy storage
From the themed collection: Recent Review Articles
Review Article

The microbial adhesive arsenal deciphered by atomic force microscopy

Microbes employ a variety of strategies to adhere to abiotic and biotic surfaces, as well as host cells.

Graphical abstract: The microbial adhesive arsenal deciphered by atomic force microscopy
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Review Article

Advanced nanomaterials for hypoxia tumor therapy: challenges and solutions

This article provides brief summary about advances of nanotechnology and nanostructures in hypoxia tumor therapy including hypoxia overcoming strategies and developments. The potential challenges and solutions for future research are also discussed.

Graphical abstract: Advanced nanomaterials for hypoxia tumor therapy: challenges and solutions
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

An excimer to exciplex transition through realization of donor–acceptor interactions in luminescent solvent-free liquids

An exclusive dual-mode sensing of TNT achieved using donor–acceptor emissive “exciplex liquids” is otherwise not possible using individual molecules or their corresponding solid counterparts.

Graphical abstract: An excimer to exciplex transition through realization of donor–acceptor interactions in luminescent solvent-free liquids
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Hydrocarbon contamination in angström-scale channels

Air-borne hydrocarbon contamination is investigated for slit-like angstrom-channels made from 2D-materials, using gas flow measurements. Our results constitute a new way to monitor, assess and alleviate the hydrocarbon contamination in nanochannels.

Graphical abstract: Hydrocarbon contamination in angström-scale channels
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Thermally activated processes in an organic long-persistent luminescence system

Organic long-persistent luminescence (OLPL) was achieved through photo-induced charge separation, charge accumulation, and emission from charge recombination. The presence of thermal activation processes in the OLPL system was confirmed.

Graphical abstract: Thermally activated processes in an organic long-persistent luminescence system
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Incorporating a redox active entity to attain electrical bistability in a polymer semiconductor

Incorporating a redox active anthraquinone acceptor group to a polymer semiconductor is found to induce electrical bistability. Resistive memory devices based on the redox switch mechanism is thus materialized in a sandwich device.

Graphical abstract: Incorporating a redox active entity to attain electrical bistability in a polymer semiconductor
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Graphene oxide fibers by microfluidics assembly: a strategy for structural and dimensional control

Graphene oxide (GO) microfibers with controlled and homogeneous shapes and tunable diameters were fabricated using the 3 dimensional (3D) hydrodynamic focusing concept on a microfluidic device.

Graphical abstract: Graphene oxide fibers by microfluidics assembly: a strategy for structural and dimensional control
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Two dimensional CrGa2Se4: a spin-gapless ferromagnetic semiconductor with inclined uniaxial anisotropy

The CrGa2Se4 monolayer is predicated as a 2D spin-gapless ferromagnetic semiconductor, in which the type of spin conductivity with 100% polarization is sensitive to the gate voltage.

Graphical abstract: Two dimensional CrGa2Se4: a spin-gapless ferromagnetic semiconductor with inclined uniaxial anisotropy
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Communication

Mechanical switching of orientation-related photoluminescence in deep-blue 2D layered perovskite ensembles

The optical anisotropy of layered perovskites is exploited in flexible free-standing polymer films through multiple stretch/release cycles at low tensile stress, to enhance the emission intensity of the resulting composites.

Graphical abstract: Mechanical switching of orientation-related photoluminescence in deep-blue 2D layered perovskite ensembles
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Boosting the cycling stability of Ni-rich layered oxide cathode by dry coating of ultrastable Li3V2(PO4)3 nanoparticles

Dry coating of ultrastable Li3V2(PO4)3-carbon (LVP-C) nanoparticles on LiNi0.6Co0.2Mn0.2O2 (NCM622) leads to a robust composite cathode with improved rate capability and cycling life without sacrificing the specific energy density compared with pristine NCM622.

Graphical abstract: Boosting the cycling stability of Ni-rich layered oxide cathode by dry coating of ultrastable Li3V2(PO4)3 nanoparticles
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Electrocatalytic reduction of furfural with high selectivity to furfuryl alcohol using AgPd alloy nanoparticles

The study of composition-dependent electrocatalysis reveals that Ag60Pd40 alloy nanoparticles allow the selective reduction of furfural to furfuryl alcohol.

Graphical abstract: Electrocatalytic reduction of furfural with high selectivity to furfuryl alcohol using AgPd alloy nanoparticles
From the themed collection: 2021 Nanoscale HOT Article Collection
Communication

Colloidal BaZrS3 chalcogenide perovskite nanocrystals for thin film device fabrication

Surface modification of BaZrS3 nanocrystals for colloidal dispersions and field effect transistors. A rare example of solution processed chalcogenide perovskite thin films.

Graphical abstract: Colloidal BaZrS3 chalcogenide perovskite nanocrystals for thin film device fabrication
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Customizing oil-wettability in air—without affecting extreme water repellency

A common, catalyst-free and facile synthetic approach is introduced for developing three distinct and extremely water repellent coatings that are embedded with different oil wettabilities in air.

Graphical abstract: Customizing oil-wettability in air—without affecting extreme water repellency
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Hybrid DNA/RNA nanostructures with 2′-5′ linkages

We report here the first instance of nucleic acid nanostructures that contain 2′-5′ linkages and characterize structures of different complexities: a simple duplex to a 4-arm junction, a double crossover (DX) motif and a tensegrity triangle motif.

Graphical abstract: Hybrid DNA/RNA nanostructures with 2′-5′ linkages
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Communication

Flexible low-power source-gated transistors with solution-processed metal–oxide semiconductors

Flexible light weight In2O3-based source-gated transistors are achieved with high gain, fast saturation and low power consumption.

Graphical abstract: Flexible low-power source-gated transistors with solution-processed metal–oxide semiconductors
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Paper

Inorganic nanohybrids combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria hiding within human macrophages

Ceria/bioglass nanohybrids significantly reduce bacterial survival inside human cells without harming the latter and overcome major shortcomings of conventional antibiotics.

Graphical abstract: Inorganic nanohybrids combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria hiding within human macrophages
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Paper

Formation and growth mechanism for niobium oxide nanoparticles: atomistic insight from in situ X-ray total scattering

Understanding the mechanisms for nanoparticle nucleation and growth is crucial for the development of tailormade nanomaterials.

Graphical abstract: Formation and growth mechanism for niobium oxide nanoparticles: atomistic insight from in situ X-ray total scattering
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Paper

The effects of overhang placement and multivalency on cell labeling by DNA origami

Through targeted binding to the cell membrane, structural DNA nanotechnology has the potential to guide and affix biomolecules such as drugs, growth factors and nanobiosensors to the surfaces of cells.

Graphical abstract: The effects of overhang placement and multivalency on cell labeling by DNA origami
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Physicochemical implications of surface alkylation of high-valent, Lindqvist-type polyoxovanadate-alkoxide clusters

Modeling physicochemical consequences of surface functionalization of metal oxide nanocrystals using polyoxovanadate clusters.

Graphical abstract: Physicochemical implications of surface alkylation of high-valent, Lindqvist-type polyoxovanadate-alkoxide clusters
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Supersensitive CeOx-based nanocomposite sensor for the electrochemical detection of hydroxyl free radicals

An electrochemical sensor comprised of cerium oxide nanoclusters grafted to a highly conductive carbon provided a limit of detection of 0.6 μM ˙OH and successfully detected in vitro the presence of ˙OH in preosteoblast cells from mouse bone tissue.

Graphical abstract: Supersensitive CeOx-based nanocomposite sensor for the electrochemical detection of hydroxyl free radicals
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Paper

Stabilization effects in binary colloidal Cu and Ag nanoparticle electrodes under electrochemical CO2 reduction conditions

Colloidal Cu and Ag nanoparticles retain their shape during the CO2 reduction reaction (−0.8 V vs. RHE) due to immiscibility of the lattices and synergy at the nanoscale results in enhanced methane and C2 product formation.

Graphical abstract: Stabilization effects in binary colloidal Cu and Ag nanoparticle electrodes under electrochemical CO2 reduction conditions
From the themed collection: 2021 Nanoscale HOT Article Collection
Paper

Large-scale investigation of the effects of nucleobase sequence on fluorescence excitation and Stokes shifts of DNA-stabilized silver clusters

We present a high-throughput study of the steady state Stokes shifts of >300 fluorescent DNA-stabilized silver clusters and the correlations of DNA sequence with the optical properties of these fluorophores.

Graphical abstract: Large-scale investigation of the effects of nucleobase sequence on fluorescence excitation and Stokes shifts of DNA-stabilized silver clusters
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Paper

Shape retaining self-healing metal-coordinated hydrogels

We introduce pyrogallol end-functionalized telechelic PEGs that are crosslinked with di- or trivalent ions to result in self-healing, adhesive hydrogels whose mechanical properties can be varied over an unprecedented range.

Graphical abstract: Shape retaining self-healing metal-coordinated hydrogels
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Promoting CO2 electroreduction on CuO nanowires with a hydrophobic Nafion overlayer

A hydrophobic electrode surface was constructed by modifying the CuO nanowire electrode with a thick Nafion overlayer, which exhibited enhanced selectivity toward the CO2 electroreduction reaction and suppressed hydrogen evolution activity.

Graphical abstract: Promoting CO2 electroreduction on CuO nanowires with a hydrophobic Nafion overlayer
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Tailored growth of graphene oxide liquid crystals with controlled polymer crystallization in GO-polymer composites

Kinetics of polymer crystallization determines the liquid crystallinity of graphene oxide and its long range alignment.

Graphical abstract: Tailored growth of graphene oxide liquid crystals with controlled polymer crystallization in GO-polymer composites
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Photocatalytic hydrogen generation using mesoporous silicon nanoparticles: influence of magnesiothermic reduction conditions and nanoparticle aging on the catalytic activity

High crystallinity, low oxide content, and low sintering lead to optimally performing mesoporous Si photocatalysts for solar-driven hydrogen production.

Graphical abstract: Photocatalytic hydrogen generation using mesoporous silicon nanoparticles: influence of magnesiothermic reduction conditions and nanoparticle aging on the catalytic activity
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Effects of the thickness and laser irradiation on the electrical properties of e-beam evaporated 2D bismuth

E-beam evaporated uniform 2D bismuth exhibits (thermo)electrical response tunable by either laser irradiation or the layer thickness.

Graphical abstract: Effects of the thickness and laser irradiation on the electrical properties of e-beam evaporated 2D bismuth
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Green and far-red-light induced electron injection from perylene bisimide to wide bandgap semiconductor nanocrystals with stepwise two-photon absorption process

Green and far-red-light induced electron injection from a higher excited state, which is quite short-lived, of perylene bisimide to wide bandgap semiconductor nanocrystals was achieved with a stepwise two-photon absorption process.

Graphical abstract: Green and far-red-light induced electron injection from perylene bisimide to wide bandgap semiconductor nanocrystals with stepwise two-photon absorption process
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Towards the identification of the gold binding region within trypsin stabilized nanoclusters using microwave synthesis routes

Elucidating the location of stabilized nanoclusters within their protein hosts is an existing challenge towards the optimized development of functional protein-nanoclusters.

Graphical abstract: Towards the identification of the gold binding region within trypsin stabilized nanoclusters using microwave synthesis routes
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Transporting mitochondrion-targeting photosensitizers into cancer cells by low-density lipoproteins for fluorescence-feedback photodynamic therapy

Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) reconstituted with a multifunctional mitochondrion-targeting photosensitizer are able to achieve fluorescence-feedback photodynamic therapy of LDL receptor-overexpressing cancer cells.

Graphical abstract: Transporting mitochondrion-targeting photosensitizers into cancer cells by low-density lipoproteins for fluorescence-feedback photodynamic therapy
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Triplet energy migration pathways from PbS quantum dots to surface-anchored polyacenes controlled by charge transfer

Kinetic pathways of triplet energy transfer from photoexcited PbS QDs to surface-anchored tetracene and pentacene derivatives are dictated by charge-transfer energetics at the QD/molecule interface.

Graphical abstract: Triplet energy migration pathways from PbS quantum dots to surface-anchored polyacenes controlled by charge transfer
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Size-controlled nanocrystals reveal spatial dependence and severity of nanoparticle coalescence and Ostwald ripening in sintering phenomena

Colloidal nanocrystals allow investigating sintering phenomena in supported catalysts.

Graphical abstract: Size-controlled nanocrystals reveal spatial dependence and severity of nanoparticle coalescence and Ostwald ripening in sintering phenomena
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Core–shell gold nanorod@mesoporous-MOF heterostructures for combinational phototherapy

A core–shell heterostructure consisting of plasmonic gold nanorods and porphyrinic metal–organic frameworks is synthesized as a promising platform to combine photodynamic therapy and photothermal therapy for enhanced tumor treatment.

Graphical abstract: Core–shell gold nanorod@mesoporous-MOF heterostructures for combinational phototherapy
From the themed collection: 2021 Nanoscale HOT Article Collection
Paper

Exciting clusters, what does off-resonance actually mean?

Noble metal clusters have unique photophysical properties, especially as a new class of materials for multiphoton biomedical imaging.

Graphical abstract: Exciting clusters, what does off-resonance actually mean?
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Extended gate-type organic transistor functionalized by molecularly imprinted polymer for taurine detection

An extended-gate organic field-effect transistor functionalized by a molecularly imprinted polymer was fabricated for selective and sensitive detection of taurine.

Graphical abstract: Extended gate-type organic transistor functionalized by molecularly imprinted polymer for taurine detection
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Synthesis of lead-free Cs4(Cd1−xMnx)Bi2Cl12 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) layered double perovskite nanocrystals with controlled Mn–Mn coupling interaction

Lead-free perovskites and their analogues have been extensively studied as a class of next-generation luminescent and optoelectronic materials.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of lead-free Cs4(Cd1−xMnx)Bi2Cl12 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) layered double perovskite nanocrystals with controlled Mn–Mn coupling interaction
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Open Access Paper

Drawing WS2 thermal sensors on paper substrates

Paper based thermoresistive sensors are fabricated by rubbing WS2 powder against a piece of standard copier paper, like the way a pencil is used to write on paper.

Graphical abstract: Drawing WS2 thermal sensors on paper substrates
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
Paper

Two-dimensional growth mode of thiolate-protected gold nanoclusters Au28+4n(SR)20+2n (n = 0–8): compared with their one-dimensional growth mode

In this paper, six new atomic structures of thiolate-protected gold nanoclusters, i.e. Au32(SR)20, Au40(SR)26, Au48(SR)30, two Au56(SR)34, and Au60(SR)36, are predicted.

Graphical abstract: Two-dimensional growth mode of thiolate-protected gold nanoclusters Au28+4n(SR)20+2n (n = 0–8): compared with their one-dimensional growth mode
From the themed collection: Nanoscale Emerging Investigators
58 items

About this collection

Nanoscale is proud to present this themed issue highlighting 2021’s rising stars of nanoscience and nanotechnology research. This issue gathers the very best work from researchers in the early stages of their independent career.

Each contributor was recommended by experts in their fields for carrying out work with the potential to influence future directions in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Congratulations to all the featured researchers on their important work so far in the field.

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