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Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Molecules that can switch between multiple stable states in response to stimuli are promising for many applications, but are challenging to construct. Here, the authors design a resorcinarene switching manifold with multiple oxidation states and coupled charge-transfer states, which can access up to five distinct switch-states with unique optical outputs.

    • Daniel T. Payne
    • , Whitney A. Webre
    • , Yoshitaka Matsushita
    • , Nianyong Zhu
    • , Zdenĕk Futera
    • , Jan Labuta
    • , Wipakorn Jevasuwan
    • , Naoki Fukata
    • , John S. Fossey
    • , Francis D’Souza
    • , Katsuhiko Ariga
    • , Wolfgang Schmitt
    •  &  Jonathan P. Hill
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    The halogen bond is well known for its ability to assemble supramolecules. Here, using NMR experiments, the authors reveal the role of these bonds in dynamic processes, finding that the halogen bond directly catalyzes dynamical rotation in solid cocrystals by reducing the associated energy barrier.

    • Patrick M. J. Szell
    • , Scott Zablotny
    •  &  David L. Bryce
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    For interlocking ring structures, knot theory predicts that the number of topologically different links increases with ring and crossing number. Here, the authors use a peptide folding-and-assembly strategy to selectively realize two highly entangled catenanes with 4 rings and 12 crossings, representing two of the 100 predicted topologies with this complexity.

    • Tomohisa Sawada
    • , Ami Saito
    • , Kenki Tamiya
    • , Koya Shimokawa
    • , Yutaro Hisada
    •  &  Makoto Fujita
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    While many processes in biological cells can be understood in terms of molecular logic gates that process information sequentially and combinationally, the design and construction of such devices in the laboratory are unknown. Here the authors achieve this by the reversibly-controlled capture and release of guest molecules from host containers.

    • Brian Daly
    • , Thomas S. Moody
    • , Allen J. M. Huxley
    • , Chaoyi Yao
    • , Benjamin Schazmann
    • , Andre Alves-Areias
    • , John F. Malone
    • , H. Q. Nimal Gunaratne
    • , Peter Nockemann
    •  &  A. Prasanna de Silva
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Strand displacement is commonly used in DNA nanotechnology to program dynamic interactions between individual DNA strands. Here, the authors describe a tile displacement principle that is similar in concept but occurs on a larger structural level: the displacement reactions take place between DNA origami tiles, allowing reconfiguration of entire systems of interacting DNA structures.

    • Philip Petersen
    • , Grigory Tikhomirov
    •  &  Lulu Qian
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Hierarchical non-intertwined ring-in-ring complexes are intriguing but challenging supramolecular targets. Here, the authors describe a box-in-box assembly based on radical-pairing interactions between two rigid diradical dicationic cyclophanes; the inner box can further accommodate guests to form Russian doll-like assemblies.

    • Kang Cai
    • , Mark C. Lipke
    • , Zhichang Liu
    • , Jordan Nelson
    • , Tao Cheng
    • , Yi Shi
    • , Chuyang Cheng
    • , Dengke Shen
    • , Ji-Min Han
    • , Suneal Vemuri
    • , Yuanning Feng
    • , Charlotte L. Stern
    • , William A. Goddard III
    • , Michael R. Wasielewski
    •  &  J. Fraser Stoddart
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Adapting the cavity of a coordination capsule generally involves the addition or removal of subcomponents. Here, the authors report two vanadium-organic coordination nanocapsules with the same number of components but variable cavity sizes—an expanded ball and contracted octahedron—whose solvent-controlled interconversion is attributed to the versatile coordination geometry of the vanadium centers.

    • Kongzhao Su
    • , Mingyan Wu
    • , Daqiang Yuan
    •  &  Maochun Hong
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Nanographenes with zig-zag peripheries are expected to have unique electronic properties, but their application in organic electronics has been curbed by their difficult synthesis. Here, the authors develop a facile route to zig-zag nanographenes based on a key dehydrative π-extension reaction.

    • Dominik Lungerich
    • , Olena Papaianina
    • , Mikhail Feofanov
    • , Jia Liu
    • , Mirunalini Devarajulu
    • , Sergey I. Troyanov
    • , Sabine Maier
    •  &  Konstantin Amsharov
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Induced-fit binding, common in biological systems, is still relatively rare in artificial hosts. Here, the authors assemble a molecular cube from six gear-shaped faces, whose interdigitated design allows the cube to expand and contract in response to the size, shape, and charge of a guest molecule.

    • Yi-Yang Zhan
    • , Tatsuo Kojima
    • , Takashi Nakamura
    • , Toshihiro Takahashi
    • , Satoshi Takahashi
    • , Yohei Haketa
    • , Yoshiaki Shoji
    • , Hiromitsu Maeda
    • , Takanori Fukushima
    •  &  Shuichi Hiraoka
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Molecular tessellations of complex tilings are difficult to design and construct. Here, the authors show that molecular tessellations can be formed from a single building block that gives rise to two distinct supramolecular phases, whose self-similar subdomains serve as tiles in the periodic tessellations.

    • Fang Cheng
    • , Xue-Jun Wu
    • , Zhixin Hu
    • , Xuefeng Lu
    • , Zijing Ding
    • , Yan Shao
    • , Hai Xu
    • , Wei Ji
    • , Jishan Wu
    •  &  Kian Ping Loh
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Determining the arrangement of ligands on a nanoparticle is challenging, given the limitations of existing characterization tools. Here, the authors describe an accessible method for resolving ligand shell morphology that uses simple MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry measurements in conjunction with an open-access Monte Carlo fitting program.

    • Zhi Luo
    • , Yanfei Zhao
    • , Tamim Darwish
    • , Yue Wang
    • , Jing Hou
    •  &  Francesco Stellacci
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Supramolecular containers are promising enzyme mimics, but they currently accommodate only a limited range of chemical transformations. Here, the authors describe coordination cages that catalyze two-component cascade reactions without relying on an external or encapsulated catalytic species.

    • Jingjing Jiao
    • , Zijian Li
    • , Zhiwei Qiao
    • , Xu Li
    • , Yan Liu
    • , Jinqiao Dong
    • , Jianwen Jiang
    •  &  Yong Cui
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Molecular capsules typically bind only guests with volumes smaller than their cavities. Here, the authors find that a polyaromatic capsule accommodates linear amphiphilic oligomers in a length-dependent manner, whereas short chains are fully crammed into the cavity, long chains can be incorporated into the capsule in a threaded fashion.

    • Masahiro Yamashina
    • , Shunsuke Kusaba
    • , Munetaka Akita
    • , Takashi Kikuchi
    •  &  Michito Yoshizawa
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Multimetallic clusters are difficult to synthesize with control over elemental composition and organization. Here, the authors use dendrimers to precisely template the formation of five-element sub-nanoclusters, providing an elegant route to otherwise-inaccessible multinary compounds.

    • Takamasa Tsukamoto
    • , Tetsuya Kambe
    • , Aiko Nakao
    • , Takane Imaoka
    •  &  Kimihisa Yamamoto
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    The weak and directional CH-π hydrogen bond has rarely been exploited in the design of supramolecular complexes and molecular machinery. Here, the authors construct a bowl-in-tube complex stabilized solely by concyclic CH-π hydrogen bonds, and show that the guest exhibits single-axis rotational motion despite tight association with the host.

    • Taisuke Matsuno
    • , Masahiro Fujita
    • , Kengo Fukunaga
    • , Sota Sato
    •  &  Hiroyuki Isobe
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Polynuclear metal-organic coordination complexes are often inaccessible by traditional synthetic chemistry methods. Here, the authors use on-surface supramolecular chemistry to form a planar trinuclear Fe complex, in which an accumulation of electrons around the positive mixed-valence polynuclear centre suggests a catalytically active core.

    • Cornelius Krull
    • , Marina Castelli
    • , Prokop Hapala
    • , Dhaneesh Kumar
    • , Anton Tadich
    • , Martina Capsoni
    • , Mark T. Edmonds
    • , Jack Hellerstedt
    • , Sarah A. Burke
    • , Pavel Jelinek
    •  &  Agustin Schiffrin
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Atomic shell closure and electronic shell closure are generally considered to be competing effects in stabilizing magic-sized metal nanoclusters. Here, the authors show, by co-crystallizing two differently-sized clusters, that both mechanisms can work concurrently during magic cluster synthesis.

    • Juanzhu Yan
    • , Sami Malola
    • , Chengyi Hu
    • , Jian Peng
    • , Birger Dittrich
    • , Boon K. Teo
    • , Hannu Häkkinen
    • , Lansun Zheng
    •  &  Nanfeng Zheng
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Molecules exhibiting Möbius topology are fascinating but challenging synthetic targets. Here, the authors report the elegant synthesis and crystal structure of a catenane formed from two fully conjugated, interlocked Möbius nanohoops, and use theoretical calculations to understand its conformational stability and aromaticity.

    • Yang-Yang Fan
    • , Dandan Chen
    • , Ze-Ao Huang
    • , Jun Zhu
    • , Chen-Ho Tung
    • , Li-Zhu Wu
    •  &  Huan Cong
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Chiral-icosahedral symmetry is exceptionally rare in molecular systems. Here, the authors predict the spontaneous formation of a stable chiral-icosahedral gold shell, in which all 60 atoms are symmetrically equivalent.

    • S.-M. Mullins
    • , H.-Ch. Weissker
    • , R. Sinha-Roy
    • , J. J. Pelayo
    • , I. L. Garzón
    • , R. L. Whetten
    •  &  X. López-Lozano
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Complex assembly pathways often involve transient, partly-formed intermediates that are challenging to characterize. Here, the authors present a simple and rapid spectroscopic thermal hysteresis method for mapping the energy landscapes of supramolecular assembly.

    • Robert W. Harkness V
    • , Nicole Avakyan
    • , Hanadi F. Sleiman
    •  &  Anthony K. Mittermaier
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Metallic clusters with an excess electron beyond a closed shell have very low ionization energies, in analogy to alkali atoms. Here, the authors use select ligands to lower the ionization energy of metallic clusters without changing the number of valence electrons, introducing a route to alkali-like superatoms that is independent of the final shell occupancy.

    • Vikas Chauhan
    • , Arthur C. Reber
    •  &  Shiv N. Khanna
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Colloidal nanoparticles self-assembled under spherical confinement can form a rich variety of structures. Here, the authors study the self-assembly of sharp and rounded nanocubes under such confinement, revealing the influence of particle and face geometry on positional and orientational behavior.

    • Da Wang
    • , Michiel Hermes
    • , Ramakrishna Kotni
    • , Yaoting Wu
    • , Nikos Tasios
    • , Yang Liu
    • , Bart de Nijs
    • , Ernest B. van der Wee
    • , Christopher B. Murray
    • , Marjolein Dijkstra
    •  &  Alfons van Blaaderen
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Incorporating carbon-carbon triple bonds into conjugated chains typically requires acetylenic precursors. Here, the authors synthesize poly(p-phenylene ethynylene) molecular wires on Cu(111) by directly coupling trichloromethyl-containing precursors, forming C-C triple bonds in situ

    • Chen-Hui Shu
    • , Meng-Xi Liu
    • , Ze-Qi Zha
    • , Jin-Liang Pan
    • , Shao-Ze Zhang
    • , Yu-Li Xie
    • , Jian-Le Chen
    • , Ding-Wang Yuan
    • , Xiao-Hui Qiu
    •  &  Pei-Nian Liu
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Doping carbon nanomaterials with heteroatoms is the most common way to change their catalytic activity. Here, the authors show that the catalytic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes can be modified by non-covalently encapsulating them within electron-accepting or electron-donating macrocycles to form rotaxane-like structures.

    • Matías Blanco
    • , Belén Nieto-Ortega
    • , Alberto de Juan
    • , Mariano Vera-Hidalgo
    • , Alejandro López-Moreno
    • , Santiago Casado
    • , Luisa R. González
    • , Hidetaka Sawada
    • , José M. González-Calbet
    •  &  Emilio M. Pérez
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Translating high-resolution imaging methods to the curved organic surface of a nanoparticle has been challenging. Here, the authors are able to spatially resolve the sub-molecular surface details of a silver nanocluster by comparing scanning tunneling microscopy images and simulated topography data through a pattern recognition algorithm.

    • Qin Zhou
    • , Sami Kaappa
    • , Sami Malola
    • , Hui Lu
    • , Dawei Guan
    • , Yajuan Li
    • , Haochen Wang
    • , Zhaoxiong Xie
    • , Zhibo Ma
    • , Hannu Häkkinen
    • , Nanfeng Zheng
    • , Xueming Yang
    •  &  Lansun Zheng
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Homo radical spin-pairing interactions between two identical aromatic radicals are common in supramolecular chemistry, but hetero interactions between two different aromatic radicals are seldom observed. Here, the authors find that hetero radical pairing between a radical cation and a radical anion, together with Coulombic attraction, can drive host-guest recognition, representing a new supramolecular recognition motif.

    • Xujun Zheng
    • , Yang Zhang
    • , Ning Cao
    • , Xin Li
    • , Shuoqing Zhang
    • , Renfeng Du
    • , Haiying Wang
    • , Zhenni Ye
    • , Yan Wang
    • , Fahe Cao
    • , Haoran Li
    • , Xin Hong
    • , Andrew C.-H. Sue
    • , Chuluo Yang
    • , Wei-Guang Liu
    •  &  Hao Li