Table of contents



Good on paper? p421


Are the days of print journals numbered — and if they are, what will that mean for how we interact with the scientific literature?

Subject Category: General chemistry


Books and Arts

Comprehending catalysis p423

Adriaan J. Minnaard reviews Fundamentals of Asymmetric Catalysis by Patrick J. Walsh & Marisa C. Kozlowski


Subject Category: Synthesis


Research Highlights

Our choice from the recent literature pp424 - 425


Blogroll: Avoid clichés like... p425



News and Views

Metal–organic frameworks: Putting the squeeze on hydrogen pp426 - 427

Randall Snurr


One of the challenges facing the hydrogen economy is how to store and release the gas controllably. Although the large internal volumes of metal–organic frameworks offer promise, how can you keep the hydrogen inside?

Subject Categories: Inorganic chemistry | Materials chemistry

Lindau 2009: Eyes on the prize pp427 - 429

Stuart Cantrill


For six days during the summer of 2009, hundreds of young researchers gathered in Germany on the shores of Lake Constance to take part in the 59th Meeting of Nobel Laureates at Lindau — this year dedicated to the topic of chemistry.

Subject Category: General chemistry

Chemical sensing: Nanonose for sniffing out proteins pp429 - 430

Andrew J. Wilson


Diagnosing disease states relies on sensing imbalances in the quantities of markers present in biological fluids. Now a biologically compatible gold nanoparticle sensing-system that detects proteins in serum has been developed, offering great potential for medical diagnostics.

Subject Categories: Analytical chemistry | Nanotechnology | Chemical biology

Electron holography: Measuring magnetism p431

Neil Withers


Subject Categories: Materials chemistry | Nanotechnology

Gold catalysis: Carbene or cation? pp431 - 433

Antonio M. Echavarren


The exact nature of the gold–carbon bond formed during homogeneous gold catalysis has recently attracted a lot of interest and is somewhat controversial. Now a study of the bonding and trends in reactivity of various gold complexes offers new insights into whether such structures can be defined as gold-stabilized cations or gold carbenes.

Subject Categories: Catalysis | Inorganic chemistry | Organic chemistry

Organic synthesis: New uses for old building blocks pp433 - 434

Varinder K. Aggarwal


New methodology that couples together carbonyl compounds with boronic acids shows much promise for synthesis owing to ease of access of the building blocks, functional group tolerance and broad scope of the reaction.

Subject Categories: Organic chemistry | Synthesis

Molecular modelling: Supporting Saytzeff pp435 - 436

Matthew J. Webber & Alan C. Spivey


Saytzeff's rule is the result of empirical observations, and can be used to predict the outcome of elimination reactions. Now, ab initio calculations have provided the long-sought evidence to show that hyperconjugation is the key that unlocks the origin of this rule.

Subject Categories: Organic chemistry | Theoretical chemistry



Anion-tuning of supramolecular gel properties pp437 - 442

Gareth O. Lloyd & Jonathan W. Steed


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Small anions can be used to modulate the physical properties of supramolecular gels by interacting with the low-molecular-weight gelators from which such materials are composed. A better understanding of this anion-tuning effect will aid in the rational design of responsive gels that may prove useful for a number of practical applications.

Subject Categories: Materials chemistry | Supramolecular chemistry

Charge-shift bonding and its manifestations in chemistry pp443 - 449

Sason Shaik, David Danovich, Wei Wu & Philippe C. Hiberty


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The two established models of chemical bonding, covalent and ionic, do not accurately describe all forms of bonds. This article explains how 'charge-shift' bonds — with a large covalent–ionic resonance interaction energy — are a third type of bond, and discusses some examples.

Subject Categories: General chemistry | Theoretical chemistry



The stabilization of fused-pentagon fullerene molecules pp450 - 460

Yuan-Zhi Tan, Su-Yuan Xie, Rong-Bin Huang & Lan-Sun Zheng


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The most stable fullerenes obey the isolated-pentagon rule (IPR): hexagons of carbon atoms entirely surround pentagons to minimize strain. Recently, some examples of fused-pentagon fullerenes have been reported and this review summarizes current work to stabilize non-IPR fullerenes.

Subject Category: Nanotechnology



Sensing of proteins in human serum using conjugates of nanoparticles and green fluorescent protein pp461 - 465

Mrinmoy De, Subinoy Rana, Handan Akpinar, Oscar R. Miranda, Rochelle R. Arvizo, Uwe H. F. Bunz & Vincent M. Rotello


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Protein imbalances in serum can be correlated with disease, but measurement and subsequent diagnosis is made difficult by the complex composition of serum. Now an array-based sensor, containing synthetic gold nanoparticles and biocompatible green fluorescent protein, has been developed that can detect proteins in undiluted human serum at physiologically relevant concentrations.

Subject Categories: Analytical chemistry | Nanotechnology | Chemical biology

See also: News and Views by Wilson

The role of non-covalent interactions in electrocatalytic fuel-cell reactions on platinum pp466 - 472

D. Strmcnik, K. Kodama, D. van der Vliet, J. Greeley, V. R. Stamenkovic & N. M. Marković


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Better understanding of the fundamental bonding interactions at electrified metal–liquid interfaces is critical for improving the electrochemical reactions of fuel cells, but now traditional models are shown to be insufficient. Using experimental measurements of various electrocatalytic reactions on platinum and density functional theory it is shown that non-covalent interactions must be considered.

Subject Categories: Electrochemistry | Catalysis | Surface chemistry

The rational design of nitric oxide selectivity in single-walled carbon nanotube near-infrared fluorescence sensors for biological detection pp473 - 481

Jong-Ho Kim, Daniel A. Heller, Hong Jin, Paul W. Barone, Changsik Song, Jingqing Zhang, Laura J. Trudel, Gerald N. Wogan, Steven R. Tannenbaum & Michael S. Strano


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Single-walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with a carbohydrate-based polymer bearing diaminophenyl groups can be used to detect nitric oxide (NO) — an important messenger molecule for biological signalling. These polymer–nanotube hybrids are capable of real-time and spatially resolved sensing of NO in living cells, and could ultimately prove useful for in vivo detection.

Subject Categories: Analytical chemistry | Materials chemistry | Nanotechnology

A bonding model for gold(I) carbene complexes pp482 - 486

Diego Benitez, Nathan D. Shapiro, Ekaterina Tkatchouk, Yiming Wang, William A. Goddard, III & F. Dean Toste


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An analysis of key intermediates relevant to gold(I) catalysis has been performed using density functional theory. A bonding model is proposed whereby the reactivity of gold(I)-coordinated carbenes is dependent on carbene substituents and ancillary ligands that dictate where these gold structures lie on a continuum ranging from a metal-stabilized singlet carbene to a metal-coordinated carbocation.

Subject Categories: Catalysis | Inorganic chemistry | Organic chemistry

See also: News and Views by Echavarren

Cation-induced kinetic trapping and enhanced hydrogen adsorption in a modulated anionic metal–organic framework pp487 - 493

Sihai Yang, Xiang Lin, Alexander J. Blake, Gavin S. Walker, Peter Hubberstey, Neil R. Champness & Martin Schröder


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Porous metal–organic frameworks are promising for hydrogen storage applications, but adsorption capacities have remained too low for practical use. Now, the adsorption behaviour of such a framework has been modulated by exchanging cations within its pores resulting in either kinetic trapping or enhanced hydrogen affinity.

Subject Categories: Inorganic chemistry | Materials chemistry

See also: News and Views by Snurr

Metal-free carbon–carbon bond-forming reductive coupling between boronic acids and tosylhydrazones pp494 - 499

José Barluenga, María Tomás-Gamasa, Fernando Aznar & Carlos Valdés


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New economic and environmentally benign methods for achieving carbon–carbon bond formation are in constant demand. Here, a remarkably efficient and functional-group-tolerant, metal-free reductive cross-coupling of carbonyl compounds with boronic acids is described.

Subject Categories: Organic chemistry | Synthesis

See also: News and Views by Aggarwal

Decorated carbon nanotubes with unique oxygen sensitivity pp500 - 506

Douglas R. Kauffman, Chad M. Shade, Hyounsoo Uh, Stéphane Petoud & Alexander Star


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Carbon-nanotube networks have been used to study the sensitivity to molecular oxygen of a dendrimer complexed with europium ions. Optically transparent devices made by coating nanotubes with the metal-containing dendrimer show a linear and reversible electrical response to O2, and may prove useful for oxygen-sensing applications.

Subject Categories: Materials chemistry | Nanotechnology


In Your Element

Tellurium in a twist p508

Jim Ibers


Jim Ibers takes a look at the intriguing structures and bonding found in tellurium and its compounds, and considers their uses in a diversity of fields ranging from metallurgy to electronics.


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