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  1. Polyamide reverse osmosis (PA-RO) membranes achieve remarkably high water permeability and salt rejection, making them a key technology for addressing water shortages through processes including seawater desalination and wastewater reuse. However, current state-of-the-art membranes suffer from challenges related to inadequate selectivity, fouling, and a poor ability of existing models to predict performance. In this Perspective, we assert that a molecular understanding of the mechanisms that govern selectivity and transport of PA-RO and other polymer membranes is crucial to both guide future membrane development efforts and improve the predictive capability of transport models. We summarize the current understanding of ion, water, and polymer interactions in PA-RO membranes, drawing insights from nanofiltration and ion exchange membranes. Building on this knowledge, we explore how these interactions impact the transport properties of membranes, highlighting assumptions of transport models that warrant further investigation to improve predictive capabilities and elucidate underlying transport mechanisms. We then underscore recent advances in in situ characterization techniques that allow for direct measurements of previously difficult-to-obtain information on hydrated polymer membrane properties, hydrated ion properties, and ion–water–membrane interactions as well as powerful computational and electrochemical methods that facilitate systematic studies of transport phenomena. 
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  2. Abstract Women have made significant contributions to applied physics research and development, and their participation is vital to continued progress. Recognizing these contributions is important for encouraging increased involvement and creating an equitable environment in which women can thrive. This Roadmap on Women in Applied Physics, written by women scientists and engineers, is intended to celebrate women’s accomplishments, highlight established and early career researchers enlarging the boundaries in their respective fields, and promote increased visibility for the impact women have on applied physics research. Perspectives cover the topics of plasma materials processing and propulsion, super-resolution microscopy, bioelectronics, spintronics, superconducting quantum interference device technology, quantum materials, 2D materials, catalysis and surface science, fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, neuromorphic computing and devices, nanophotonics and nanophononics, and nanomagnetism. Our intent is to inspire more women to enter these fields and encourage an atmosphere of inclusion within the scientific community. 
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  3. Abstract

    Solid-state electrolytes such as Li2S-P2S5compounds are promising materials that could enable Li metal anodes. However, many solid-state electrolytes are unstable against metallic lithium, and little is known about the chemical evolution of these interfaces during cycling, hindering the rational design of these materials. In this work, operando X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and real-time in situ Auger electron spectroscopy mapping are developed to probe the formation and evolution of the Li/Li2S-P2S5solid-electrolyte interphase during electrochemical cycling, and to measure individual overpotentials associated with specific interphase constituents. Results for the Li/Li2S-P2S5system reveal that electrochemically driving Li+to the surface leads to phase decomposition into Li2S and Li3P. Additionally, oxygen contamination within the Li2S-P2S5leads initially to Li3PO4phase segregation, and subsequently to Li2O formation. The spatially non-uniform distribution of these phases, coupled with differences in their ionic conductivities, have important implications for the overall properties and performance of the solid-electrolyte interphase.

     
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