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Inorganic, Nanoscale and Physical Chemistry

Jacilynn Brant: materials chemistry and functional materials.

Long Chen: photo- and heterogeneous catalysis.

Margherita Citroni: physical and analytical chemistry.

Ariane Vartanian: nanoscale and supramolecular chemistry.

Welcome to the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights webpage on inorganic, nanoscale and physical chemistry. Each month our editors select a small number of Articles recently published in Nature Communications that they believe are particularly interesting or important.

The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the area of inorganic, nanoscale and physical chemistry at Nature Communications.

Make sure to check the Editors' Highlights page each month for new featured articles.

Developing simple routes for construction of multi-compartmental cages is a compelling and challenging task. Here, the authors report modular construction of multi-3D-cavity cages featuring one, two or three units of a [Pd2L4] entity conjoined with a [Pd3L6] core.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Weak interactions between functional groups are often difficult to characterize in host–guest complexes. Here, the authors report the metal-free active template synthesis of a series of rotaxanes that permit a range of kinetically stabilized, weak crown ether-axle interactions to be characterized in solution and the solid state.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The formation of Marks truncated decahedra in nanoparticles is ubiquitous but the mechanism has not been fully understood. Here, the authors provide atomic-level insights by creating a non-truncated Au52Cu72(SR)55 decahedral nanocluster and comparing it with the truncated homogold decahedra.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Constructing molecular cages from entangled molecules is a complex task requiring precise topological control. Here, the authors thread together six metal-peptide rings into a giant cubic molecular capsule with a defined cavity and 24 crossover points.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Covalently bridged π-stacked dimers are excellent molecular platforms for understanding the relationship between stacking orientation and properties. Here, the authors synthesize a pair of π-stacked dimers that are aligned either cofacially or crosswise, allowing them to compare how the intramolecular stacking mode affects each dimer’s photoswitching properties.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Extending the π‐conjugation of phthalocyanine dyes, while synthetically challenging, has the potential to produce desirable new molecular materials. Here, the authors use a templated on‐surface approach to synthesize several extended phthalocyanine derivatives from the same building block, including a lanthanide superphthalocyanine and an open‐chain polycyanine.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The orientation of a molecule on a surface affects many processes, so the ability to control single-molecule rotation could be powerful. Here, the authors use the electric field from a scanning tunneling microscope tip to precisely induce unidirectional rotation of a polar molecule, allowing visualization of the molecule’s internal dipole moment.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy is able to distinguish the contrasts between light elements. Here, the authors directly image the bonding configurations of oxygen and nitrogen atoms in defective graphene, and surprisingly identify instances of unusual triple-coordinated oxygen with three carbon neighbors.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications