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  • head shot of  Professor Minh Tho Nguyen

    This month we thank Professor Minh Tho Nguyen from the University of Leuven, Belgium, for his outstanding contribution as a reviewer. Professor Nguyen and team explore the structures and reactivities of a variety of compounds - ranging from prebiotic molecules, to nanoclusters, to polymers - using computational quantum chemical methods.

  • symbol image of question marks

    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.

  • François-Xavier Coudert

    We asked Dr. François-Xavier Coudert about his experience on the Editorial Board of Communications Chemistry and the journal's community-driven values.

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  • The chemical nature of molecules encapsulated within fullerenes remain debated, with reports proposing a Faraday cage effect. Here, the authors show that H2O and HF molecules encapsulated inside a C60 cage experience a substantial intra-cage electrostatic interaction that results in off-center locations; despite this, the endofullerene’s frontier orbitals is unaffected, resulting in chemical shielding of the caged molecule.

    • Samuel P. Jarvis
    • Hongqian Sang
    • Robert G. Jones
    Article Open Access
  • Ferrihydrite is the most bioavailable source of ferric iron, but its variable structure and composition are poorly understood because of its small size and lack of ordering. Here ab initio thermodynamics reveals that ferrihydrite can be described as a nanocomposite of at least two previously-proposed single-phase models.

    • Michel Sassi
    • Anne M. Chaka
    • Kevin M. Rosso
    Article Open Access
  • A current trend towards the sustainable production of valuable chemicals consists in coupling nuclear energy with the chemical industry. Here, the authors propose to use γ radiation to transform glycerol (a waste product of biorefineries) into high-value solketal.

    • Arran George Plant
    • Bor Kos
    • Malcolm John Joyce
    Article Open Access
  • Polymer–polymer coupling reactions using an excess amount of chemical oxidants are wasteful. Here the authors report an electrochemical route for chain extension and topological transformations of poly(dimethylsiloxane).

    • Minami Oka
    • Satoshi Honda
    Article Open Access
  • Crystallization is observed in both nature and in the lab, and is critical to diverse areas of science and technology. Here, the author summarizes the theories that have been proposed to explain crystal growth from melts, and raises some open questions that remain.

    • Feier Hou
    Comment Open Access
  • Porous materials play a significant role in modern chemistry and materials science; despite recent scientific interest, they have a history dating back to antiquity. Here the authors provide a brief overview of the past that has contributed to their evolution.

    • Gregory S. Day
    • Hannah F. Drake
    • Matthew R. Ryder
    Comment Open Access
  • Aimed to decipher the levels of metabolites, metabolomics can now advance to unraveling their functionalities in various contexts. Here, the authors present the metabolite medicine concept, integrating classical metabolomics methods with advanced computational and structural tools to facilitate functional studies.

    • Shira Shaham-Niv
    • Sigal Rencus-Lazar
    • Ehud Gazit
    Comment Open Access
  • DNA-templated synthesis of chiral inorganic assemblies often requires chemical modification of the template. Now, a route exploiting the native chemistry of unmodified DNA origami templates provides access to 3D chiral assemblies.

    • Andrew J. Bissette
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Water adsorption in soft nanoporous materials can trigger large-scale structural transitions and introduce new properties in the confined water phase. Here, we look at some of the outstanding questions in this lively field of research.

    • François-Xavier Coudert
    • Anne Boutin
    • Alain H. Fuchs
    Comment Open Access
  • The Hückel rule defines that monocyclic and planar conjugated systems containing [4n + 2] π electrons are aromatic. Here, the authors highlight boron species that feature a globally 4n π system, defying the Hückel rule, but nonetheless exhibit aromaticity.

    • Kei Ota
    • Rei Kinjo
    Comment Open Access
Open Questions in Chemistry

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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