Focus |

Inorganic, Nanoscale and Physical Chemistry

Long Chen: photo- and heterogeneous catalysis.

Margherita Citroni: physical and analytical chemistry.

Victoria Richards: metal-organic frameworks and molecular inorganic 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.

Achieving both high stereoselectivity and yield is a challenge for conventional asymmetric catalysis. Here, the authors report two metal nanoparticle-loaded and porphyrin-containing homochiral covalent organic framework-based composite catalysts that exhibit high stereoselectivity and yield in the thermally-driven asymmetric reactions.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Generating and quantifying the effect of the promoter speciation in heterogeneous catalysts is very challenging. Here, the authors show that the precise palladium atoms architecture reached by controlled co-precipitation overcomes selectivity and stability limitations associated with palladium nanoparticles for CO2-based methanol synthesis.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The general synthesis of single atom catalysts (SACs) is of broad interest to chemists but remains a formidable challenge. Here, with the precursor-dilution strategy, the authors successfully prepare 24 different SACs and the Pt SACs exhibit superior chemo- and regio-selectivity in hydrogenation.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Molecular photoswitches provide an extremely simple solution for solar energy conversion and storage. Here, the authors report on the assembly of an operational solar energy-storing organic-oxide hybrid interface, which consists of a tailor-made molecular photoswitch and an atomically-defined semiconducting oxide film.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Confidently separating the photothermal effect from the generation of energetic charge carriers and quantifying their relative contribution to chemical reactions remain a great challenge in plasmon-mediated chemical reactions. Here, authors describe a strategy based on the construction of a plasmonic electrode coupled with photoelectrochemistry to quantitatively disentangle these two effects.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

While metal nanoparticles (NPs) stabilized by metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been intensively studied, the determination of the location of guest metal NPs relative to host MOF particles remains challenging. Here the authors develop several techniques to determine the specific location of metal NPs relative to the MOF particles.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The ratio of syringyl (S) and guaiacyl (G) units in lignin has been regarded as a major factor in determining the maximum monomer yield. Here, the authors challenge this common conception using reductive catalytic fractionation in flow-through reactors as an analytical tool to depolymerize lignin in poplar with naturally varying S/G ratios.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The search for robust heterogeneous catalysts for the production of linear α-olefins is still a challenge as they do not show well-defined sites and lack the high selectivity reported for homogeneous counterparts. Here the authors show how the precise engineering of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) holds promise for a sustainable process.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications