Communications Materials publishes first papers

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I am delighted to announce that Communications Materials published its first articles this week. Communications Materials is a new selective, open access journal from Nature Research, publishing important advances across all areas of materials science. The editorial model for the journal combines an in-house team of full-time editors with an external Editorial Board of active researchers. We are delighted that Xiaoyan Li (Tsinghua University, China), Milica Todorovic (Aalto University, Finland) and Jie Xu (Argonne National Lab, USA) are the journal’s first board members. Important themes for the journal include promoting transparency in peer review – authors can choose to publish reviewer reports, rebuttal letters and journal decision letters – and the support of early career researchers. A full introduction to the journal can be found in the launch Editorial

Six research papers accompany the launch of Communications Materials

Active spatial control of terahertz plasmons in graphene
Ngoc Han Tu, Katsumasa Yoshioka, Satoshi Sasaki, Makoto Takamura, Koji Muraki and Norio Kumada
A number of devices would benefit from the spatial confinement of plasmons in graphene. However, conductivity patterning may disturb the electromagnetic environment of the plasmons, degrading performance. Now, plasmons are confined to desired regions in a graphene sheet by modulating the carrier density, minimizing electromagnetic coupling in the terahertz regime. 

Concurrent tracking of strain and noise bursts at ferroelastic phase fronts
Benoıt Blaysat, Xavier Balandraud, Michel Grediac, Eduard Vives, Noemi Barrera and Giovanni Zanzotto
First-order ferroelastic transitions, such as those seen in shape memory alloys, are the basis for a number of applications, including sensors and actuators and elastocaloric refrigeration. In this paper, a method is presented for simultaneously tracking the temporal and spatial dynamics of a martensitic transformation in a CuZnAl shape memory alloy.

Design of a multifunctional polar metal via first-principles high-throughput structure screening
Yue-Wen Fang and Hanghui Chen
Polar metals, characterized by intrinsic conduction and inversion symmetry breaking, are rarely found. Here, ab initio high-throughput structure screening of more than 1000 crystal structures reveals that BiPbTi2O6 is a promising polar metal. The authors further study a BiPbTi2O6/PbTiO3 heterostructure, finding that multiple states can be stabilized, suggesting possible use in memory devices. 
An accompanying ‘Behind the Paper’ piece from the authors can be read here.

Hydrodynamic inflation of ring polymers under shear
Maximilian Liebetreu and Christos Likos
Ring polymers show interesting behavior during flow due to their topology. This paper explores computationally the dynamic behavior of ring polymers under shear, identifying several regions in which the ring might inflate, unfold and behave as a non-Brownian particle, all affected by the presence of knots in the ring.  

Identifying superionic conductors by materials informatics and high-throughput synthesis
Masato Matsubara, Akitoshi Suzumura, Nobuko Ohba and Ryoji Asahi
Superionic conductors are a key component of solid oxide fuel cells, for which there is a continuous need for materials with high ionic conductivity. In this paper, materials informatics is combined with high-throughput synthesis to experimentally realize a class of Ca-(Nb,Ta)-Bi-O conductors with good thermal stability.

Optical modulation in Ge-rich SiGe waveguides in the mid-infrared wavelength range up to 11 µm
Miguel Montesinos-Ballester, Vladyslav Vakarin, Joan Manel Ramirez, Qiankun Liu, Carlos Alonso-Ramos, Xavier Le Roux, Jacopo Frigerio, Andrea Ballabio, Andrea Barzaghi, Lucas Deniel, David Bouville, Laurent Vivien, Giovanni Isella and Delphine Marris-Morini
The mid-infrared wavelength regime has substantial potential for compound detection for a range of gases, liquids and solids, via photonic circuits. This paper extends the working infrared wavelength of SiGe waveguides, achieving optical modulation from 5.5 µm to 11 µm.

We hope that you enjoy reading these papers, and we would like to sincerely thank every author, referee and Editorial Board member for their support of the journal. 

Go to the profile of John Plummer

John Plummer

Chief Editor, Communications Materials, Nature Research

John received MEng and PhD degrees from the University of Sheffield, followed by postdoctoral work at Imperial College London. His research focused on structure-mechanical property relationships in metals, glasses and ceramics. John joined Nature Research as an editor for Nature Communications in 2013 followed by editorial positions at Nature Materials and the Nature Partner Journals, where he oversaw journals in the physical, life and social sciences. In August 2019 he became the launch Chief Editor for Communications Materials. John has been based in the Shanghai office since 2015.

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