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  • Supersaturated amorphous drug–salt–polymer systems are known to improve the aqueous solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs as well as their bioavailability, however, the rational optimization of such systems is largely unexplored. Here, the authors optimize the polymer and salt combination for the drug celecoxib and achieve improved biopharmaceutical performance by experimental and computational characterization of their amorphous solid dispersions.

    • Sumit Mukesh
    • Goutam Mukherjee
    • Rebecca C. Wade
    ArticleOpen Access
  • D-Amino acids are widely present in nature and display diverse physiological functions, however, their large-scale synthesis remains challenging for specific amino acids. Here, the authors design hyper-thermostable ancestral L-amino acid oxidases (HTAncLAAO2), catalyzing the chemoenzymatic synthesis of D-tryptophan from L-tryptophan at a preparative scale.

    • Yui Kawamura
    • Chiharu Ishida
    • Shogo Nakano
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The simultaneous electroreduction of carbon dioxide and nitrate is a promising and environmentally benign route to urea production, but achieving high selectivity for urea electrosynthesis via this route remains challenging. Here, CuOxZnOy electrodes are shown to enable the efficient and selective production of urea under mild conditions, with the efficiency found to strongly depend on the metal ratio within the catalyst composition.

    • Dimitra Anastasiadou
    • Bianca Ligt
    • Marta Costa Figueiredo
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Heterogeneous reaction of NO2 with atmospheric humic like substances is a potentially important source of volatile organic compounds, but the role of ubiquitous water-soluble aerosol components in this chemistry remains largely unexplored. Here, secondary electrospray ionization ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry is used to obtain real-time measurements of VOCs formed during the heterogeneous reaction of gas phase NO2 and a solution containing gallic acid as a model for moderately acidic aerosol particles.

    • Pan Li
    • Rachel Gemayel
    • Sasho Gligorovski
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Fluorinated ketones can function as covalent warheads applied in the design of reversible covalent inhibitors, however, the reactivity of certain fluorinated moieties remains underexplored. Here, the authors investigate the species-specific lipophilicities of fluorinated geminal diketones in multicomponent equilibrium systems and reveal their potential as multifaceted warheads for reversible covalent drugs.

    • Ishay Columbus
    • Lee Ghindes-Azaria
    • Yossi Zafrani
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Co-electrolysis of nitrogen oxides and carbon oxides has been studied for over two decades but remains largely inefficient with numerous persisting knowledge voids. Here, the authors report a thermodynamic basis for modelling urea production via co-electrolysis using several exchange-correlation functionals, highlighting the importance of gas-phase error assessment in computational electrocatalysis.

    • Ricardo Urrego-Ortiz
    • Santiago Builes
    • Federico Calle-Vallejo
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The formation of Li dendrites at the Li/electrolyte interface at practically relevant current densities (> 1 mA cm−2) is a critical issue hindering the deployment of non-flammable and non-toxic Li7La3Zr2O12 (LLZO) electrolyte in solid-state batteries. In this comment, the authors argue for an agreement to standardize measurements of the critical current density at which Li dendrites begin to penetrate the LLZO solid-state electrolyte.

    • Matthias Klimpel
    • Huanyu Zhang
    • Kostiantyn V. Kravchyk
    CommentOpen Access
  • Attosecond science is nowadays a well-established research field, and table-top attosecond sources based on high-harmonic generation are routinely used to access electronic motion in matter at its natural time scale. Here, the authors describe a new way of doing chemistry—attochemistry—by directly acting on the electronic motion, and discuss a few key open questions in this emerging field.

    • Francesca Calegari
    • Fernando Martin
    CommentOpen Access
  • Fluorochemicals have a wide range of applications in industry, but accessing these relies on the energy intensive conversion of acid-grade fluorspar (CaF2) to toxic hydrogen fluoride (HF) gas, which is in turn used for the downstream production of fluorochemicals via multistep processes. Now, directly treating acid-grade fluorspar with dipotassium hydrogen phosphate (K2HPO4) under mechanochemical conditions affords a fluorinating reagent for direct S–F and C(sp3/sp2)–F bond construction, bypassing the need for HF production.

    • Huijuan Guo
    Research HighlightOpen Access
  • Vat-polymerization 3D printing (3DP) enables the high speed printing of precise and intricate 3D models, yet it inevitably produces highly crosslinked polymers that are not easily degradable or recyclable. Here, the author highlights recent work that realizes the formation of fully degradable polymers based on organocatalytic vat-ring-opening photopolymerization 3DP.

    • Satoshi Honda
    CommentOpen Access
  • Dr Zoe Schnepp and Professor David Smith share their experiences of working part-time in academia, discussing some of the benefits and challenges, and offering advice to those who may be seeking to work part-time.

    Q&AOpen Access
  • Dr Satoshi Honda talks to us about pursuing his scientific dreams, scientific developments he is excited about, directions polymer synthesis and materials development should focus on, as well as his experience of being an Editorial Board Member for Communications Chemistry.

    Q&AOpen Access

Open Questions in Chemistry

In spite of decades of research and the enormous progress made, chemists continue to grapple with poorly understood aspects of the world around us. This collection aims to uncover open questions across the breadth of the chemical sciences. Each Comment provides an overview of a focused field of research, identifies key open questions, and gives expert opinion on how challenges in answering these questions might be overcome.


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