Molecular model of a 4-layered supramolecular network on a HOPG surface

Toward conformational identification of molecules in 2D and 3D self-assemblies on surfaces

  • Ali Hamadeh
  • Frank Palmino
  • Frédéric Chérioux


  • Schematic of a Diamond Anvil Cell where atoms, depicted as colored spheres, enter, get squeezed, as depicted by red arrows pointing towards the center of the cell diamonds, and exit as chemical compounds represented by stick-ball-models in different colors.

    We currently welcome submissions to Collections on On-surface synthesis, Coacervation in systems chemistry, Chemoenzymatic synthesis, Plasmon-mediated chemistry, Mechanically interlocked molecules, High-pressure chemistry, and Covalent chemical probes.

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  • Emmanuel Ren

    This month we thank Dr Emmanuel Ren for his invaluable contributions to peer review. Dr Ren's PhD work focused on the development of computational tools to enable faster screening of nanoporous material databases for gas separation using new energy sampling or machine learning techniques.

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    Communications Chemistry has a 2-year impact factor of 7.211 (2022), and mean decision times of 3 days to first editorial decision and 31 days to first post-review decision (2021).


  • Non-cell-permeable cryoprotectants exhibit cryopreserving effects by preventing intracellular ice crystal formation, but these can damage cells due to high osmotic pressure and dehydration. Here, the authors developed a poly(zwitterion) isotonic cryoprotectant that forms a firm matrix around cells that prevents the influx of ice crystal nuclei without the need for high osmotic pressure and dehydration.

    • Yui Kato
    • Yuya Matsuda
    • Kosuke Kuroda
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Atom-centered neural networks represent the state-of-the-art for approximating quantum chemical properties of molecules, such as internal energies, but the final atom pooling operation that is necessary to convert from atomic to molecular representations in most models remains relatively undeveloped. Here, the authors report a learnable pooling operation, usable as a drop-in replacement, that leverages an attention mechanism to model interactions between atom representations.

    • David Buterez
    • Jon Paul Janet
    • Pietro Liò
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The variable frequency microwave (VFM) technology is known for its theoretically uniform microwave E-field distribution, although the experimental distribution remains poorly understood. Here, the authors examine the effectiveness of VFM irradiation experimentally by in situ 3D observation of the E-field, and apply VFM to the large scale synthesis of 4-methylbiphenyl via the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction catalyzed by solid Pd supported on activated carbon particulates.

    • Satoshi Horikoshi
    • Haruka Mura
    • Nick Serpone
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Seleno-insulins (SeIns) are known to exhibit different in vitro properties from wild-type insulin, upon replacement of one of the three disulfide bonds with diselenide bonds; however, the in vivo hypoglycemic effect remains poorly understood. Here, the authors optimize the synthesis of SeIns via native chain assembly and reveal in vitro resistance against the insulin-degrading enzyme, as well as the in vivo hypoglycemic effect in diabetic rats at a dose of 150 μg/300 g rat.

    • Kenta Arai
    • Masaki Okumura
    • Michio Iwaoka
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Late-stage functionalization of drug molecules can tune their properties without the need for entirely new syntheses, however, predicting reactivity and planning synthesis for late-stage C-H activation remains challenging. Here, the authors develop a reaction screening approach combining high-throughput experimentation with computational graph neural networks to identify suitable substrates that can be used for late-stage C-H alkylation via Minisci-type chemistry.

    • David F. Nippa
    • Kenneth Atz
    • Gisbert Schneider
    ArticleOpen Access
  • β-Amino acid-containing macrolactams are a known natural product family exhibiting structural and functional diversity, however, the natural chemical space of this family remains underexplored. Here, the authors use a targeted β-amino acid-specific homology-based multi-query search to identify their potential microbial producers, explore the variation of their biosynthetic gene clusters, heterologously produce ciromicin A, and identify new macrotermycin derivatives.

    • Elena Seibel
    • Soohyun Um
    • Christine Beemelmanns
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a key enabler of sustainable chemical energy storage. Here, the author assesses the current status of protocols for benchmarking the OER in materials- and device-centered investigations and makes suggestions for more comparable data.

    • Marcel Risch
    CommentOpen Access
  • Molecular skeletal editing has a wide range of applications in late-stage derivatization, but metal–carbon exchange is underexplored due to the challenges in selectively cleaving highly inert chemical bonds and forming stable intermediates. Here, skeletal metalation of lactams enables a carbonyl-to-nickel exchange via Ni(0) reagent-mediated selective C–N bond oxidative addition and decarbonylation, generating synthetically useful organonickel reagents for the deletion and exchange of single atoms in the lactam core.

    • Huijuan Guo
    Research HighlightOpen Access
  • Andrew Goodwin is Professor of Materials Chemistry and a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the dual aspects of flexibility and disorder in functional materials, and his group of about 10–15 researchers is based in Oxford’s Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory.

    Q&AOpen Access
  • Dr Camille Bishop is an incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University. She obtained her PhD in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where she prepared glasses with liquid crystal-like packing using physical vapor deposition, after obtaining her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Chicago.

    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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