Rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse gas emission are needed to avoid dangerous climate change. But despite recent rapid growth in renewable electricity generation, the rate of progress toward this wider goal of deep decarbonization remains slow. Moreover, many policy-oriented energy and climate researchers and models remain wedded to disciplinary approaches that focus on a single piece of the low-carbon transition puzzle, yet avoid many crucial real-world elements for accelerated transitions (1). We present a "sociotechnical" framework to address the multidimensionality of the deep decarbonization challenge and show how coevolutionary interactions between technologies and societal groups can accelerate low-carbon transitions.
Simulations and theory suggest that the thermodynamic anomalies of water may be related to a phase transition between two supercooled liquid states, but so far this phase transition has not been observed experimentally because of preemptive ice crystallization. We used calorimetry, infrared spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate a water-rich hydrazinium trifluoroacetate solution in which the local hydrogen bond structure surrounding a water molecule resembles that in neat water at elevated pressure, but which does not crystallize upon cooling. Instead, this solution underwent a sharp, reversible phase transition between two homogeneous liquid states. The hydrogen-bond structures of these two states are similar to those established for high- and low-density amorphous (HDA and LDA) water. Such structural similarity supports theories that predict a similar sharp transition in pure water under pressure if ice crystallization could be suppressed.
The metal-insulator transition in correlated materials is usually coupled to a symmetry-lowering structural phase transition. This coupling not only complicates the understanding of the basic mechanism of this phenomenon but also limits the speed and endurance of prospective electronic devices. We demonstrate an isostructural, purely electronically driven metal-insulator transition in epitaxial heterostructures of an archetypal correlated material, vanadium dioxide. A combination of thin-film synthesis, structural and electrical characterizations, and theoretical modeling reveals that an interface interaction suppresses the electronic correlations without changing the crystal structure in this otherwise correlated insulator. This interaction stabilizes a nonequilibrium metallic phase and leads to an isostructural metal-insulator transition.