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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.

Designing materials with large thermal expansion is highly desirable to fabricate microscale devices. The authors report unusually large anisotropic negative and positive thermal expansion in a simple crystalline material, through temperature-driven orientation of imidazole cations acting as molecular wheels.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Lead-halide perovskites have promising optoelectronic properties, determined by interplay of electronic and structural properties. Here the authors probe CsPbI3 nanocrystals by two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, showing liquid-like structural dynamics signature of polaron formation.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Incorporating mesopores and active sites into metal-organic framework materials has proven advantageous for their catalytic application, but remains challenging to achieve. Here the authors obtain mesoporous, defect-rich metal-organic frameworks through templated electrosynthesis using ionic liquids as both electrolyte and template.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Single crystal X-ray diffraction is an invaluable tool for molecular structure determination, but growing single crystals is often an arduous process. Here the authors find that the structures of a wide array of molecules can be determined by SCXRD when included in hydrogen-bonded guanidinium organosulfonate host frameworks in a single-step crystallization.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Numerous techniques have been used to study the crystallization process of metal-organic frameworks, but little is known about their prenucleation clusters. Here the authors use single-molecule atomic-resolution real-time electron microscopic video imaging to identify prenucleation clusters in the synthesis of MOF-2 and MOF-5.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Insulating materials combining a high mechanical stability, a low dielectric constant and the ability to completely fill narrow gaps are essential to fabricate interconnects for future high-performance chips. Here, the authors integrate zeolitic imidazolate frameworks as ultra-low-k dielectrics within a 90 nm pitch metallization layer via selective vapor-based conversion of metal oxide films.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Composite metal-organic framework materials can display useful synergetic properties, but typically suffer from disordered interfaces. Here the authors computationally identify optimal MOF pairings, looking at specific interactions between linkers and nodes, and synthesize six single crystal MOF@MOF composites.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The study of main group complexes remains important to our fundamental understanding of main group element bonding and properties. Here the authors isolate and spectroscopically characterize a series of 8-coordinated alkaline earth metal–dinitrogen complexes M(N2)8 (M=Ca, Sr, Ba) in a low-temperature neon matrix.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Semiconductors that display spontaneous magnetization are attractive for spintronic applications. Here the authors report a p-type semiconducting layered metal–organic framework that displays a room temperature carrier mobility of 15 ± 2 cm2 V−1 s−1 as well as long-range magnetic correlations.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications