Browse Articles

  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Polymorphs, crystals with different structure and properties but the same molecular composition, arise from the subtle interplay between thermodynamics and kinetics during crystallisation. In this opinion piece, the authors review the latest developments in the field of polymorphism and discuss standing open questions.

    • Aurora J. Cruz-Cabeza
    • , Neil Feeder
    •  & Roger J. Davey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Formose chemistry has been proposed as a prebiotic route to carbohydrates, but simple mechanisms that impart selectivity are few. Here a range of minerals thought to have existed in the Hadean environment are shown to bias the product distribution of mechanochemical carbohydrate synthesis towards pentoses and hexoses.

    • Maren Haas
    • , Saskia Lamour
    • , Sarah Babette Christ
    •  & Oliver Trapp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Alloy systems like Si/FeSi2 nano composites have great potential as stable anode materials in Li-ion batteries, but their characterization at different scales and throughout their ageing remains challenging. Here the authors use scattering and 2D/3D imaging techniques combined with modeling to elucidate morphology changes upon cycling of the anode.

    • Thomas Vorauer
    • , Praveen Kumar
    • , Christopher L. Berhaut
    • , Fereshteh F. Chamasemani
    • , Pierre-Henri Jouneau
    • , David Aradilla
    • , Samuel Tardif
    • , Stephanie Pouget
    • , Bernd Fuchsbichler
    • , Lukas Helfen
    • , Selcuk Atalay
    • , Widanalage D. Widanage
    • , Stefan Koller
    • , Sandrine Lyonnard
    •  & Roland Brunner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The properties of nano-crystalline materials depend heavily on their size, therefore, understanding early crystallization processes is crucial. Here, the relationship between phosphorescence and crystal structures of three crystallizing Au(I) complexes bearing n-alkyl chains of different lengths is studied.

    • Yuki Kuroda
    • , Masakazu Tamaru
    • , Hitoya Nakasato
    • , Kyosuke Nakamura
    • , Manami Nakata
    • , Kyohei Hisano
    • , Kaori Fujisawa
    •  & Osamu Tsutsumi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hydrogen for fuel cells is commonly stored in pressurized tanks, whereby safety and portability can be problematic. Here, a rechargeable proton exchange membrane fuel cell with an internal hydrogen storage polymer that is cyclable up to 50 times is presented.

    • Junpei Miyake
    • , Yasunari Ogawa
    • , Toshiki Tanaka
    • , Jinju Ahn
    • , Kouki Oka
    • , Kenichi Oyaizu
    •  & Kenji Miyatake
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ordered nanostructures generated by block copolymer microphase separation are promising templates for nanopatterning technologies, but achieving ultrasmall microphase-separated structures is highly challenging. Here the authors report a discrete block co-oligomer system capable of forming self-assembled nanostructures with ultrasmall periodicity.

    • Takuya Isono
    • , Ryoya Komaki
    • , Chaehun Lee
    • , Nao Kawakami
    • , Brian J. Ree
    • , Kodai Watanabe
    • , Kohei Yoshida
    • , Hiroaki Mamiya
    • , Takuya Yamamoto
    • , Redouane Borsali
    • , Kenji Tajima
    •  & Toshifumi Satoh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photocatalytic CO2 reduction requires catalysts that are both active and selective. Here, a mixture of CaGa4O7-loaded Ga2O3 and CaO, decorated with Ag@Cr core-shell particles, delivers over 835 µmol h−1 of CO at >95 % selectivity.

    • Rui Pang
    • , Kentaro Teramura
    • , Masashige Morishita
    • , Hiroyuki Asakura
    • , Saburo Hosokawa
    •  & Tsunehiro Tanaka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the downstream signal transduction process of the CXCL12–CXCR4–Gαi tricomplex could prove useful in the development of anticancer and antimetastatic drugs. Here the authors propose an internal water channel formation model for CXCL12-bound CXCR4 in complex with Gαi-protein upon activation for downstream signaling.

    • Chun-Chun Chang
    • , Je-Wen Liou
    • , Kingsley Theras Primus Dass
    • , Ya-Tzu Li
    • , Shinn-Jong Jiang
    • , Sheng-Feng Pan
    • , Yu-Chen Yeh
    •  & Hao-Jen Hsu
  • Research Highlight
    | Open Access

    Organic materials are highly sensitive to electron beam irradiation and thus easily damaged upon imaging by electron microscopy. Now, low-dose aberration-corrected high resolution transmission electron microscopy allows for less invasive near-atomic-scale imaging of a two-dimensional polymer.

    • Victoria Richards
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The visible light-promoted [2 + 2] cycloaddition is a useful and extended route to prepare cyclobutanes and their derivatives. Here, we present an aza variant, in which heterocycles and olefins undergo a cycloaddition-ring opening rearomatization sequence, providing access to functionalised nitrogen heterocycles.

    • Noelia Salaverri
    • , Rubén Mas-Ballesté
    • , Leyre Marzo
    •  & José Alemán
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Citrate-stabilised gold nanoparticles are used in a range of applications, but their interaction with lipid membranes is not fully understood. Here the effect of nanoparticle size on the interaction with POPC and DOPC vesicles is studied experimentally.

    • Claudia Contini
    • , James W. Hindley
    • , Thomas J. Macdonald
    • , Joseph D. Barritt
    • , Oscar Ces
    •  & Nick Quirke
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    The activation of very inert small molecules generally requires highly reactive activating species, but the high energy of these species makes their regeneration, and thus also catalytic turnover of the reaction, difficult to achieve. Here, the authors highlight the formidable challenge of overcoming the tradeoff between activating power and catalytic turnover in the context of main-group ambiphiles.

    • Rian D. Dewhurst
    • , Marc-André Légaré
    •  & Holger Braunschweig
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Catalytic oxidation of methane to syngas is an important process, but efficient and stable catalyts remain in demand. Here dispersion of nickel on zeolites yields nickel oxide nanoparticles as small as 1.6 nm which act as selective and efficient catalysts for conversion of methane to syngas.

    • Shuhei Yasuda
    • , Ryota Osuga
    • , Yusuke Kunitake
    • , Kazuya Kato
    • , Atsushi Fukuoka
    • , Hirokazu Kobayashi
    • , Min Gao
    • , Jun-ya Hasegawa
    • , Ryo Manabe
    • , Hisashi Shima
    • , Susumu Tsutsuminai
    •  & Toshiyuki Yokoi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Floridoside is a glycerol glycoside that is biosynthesised by most species of red algae and has been implicated as an intracellular regulator of various homeostatic functions. Here the authors report and characterise previously unforeseen crystal forms of floridoside: an anhydrous polymorph and a crystalline stoichiometric monohydrate.

    • Andrew J. Maneffa
    • , Adrian C. Whitwood
    • , A. Steve Whitehouse
    • , Hugh Powell
    • , James H. Clark
    •  & Avtar S. Matharu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    DNA-encoded libraries offer a powerful method for identifying small molecules with valuable functions, but efficiently designing libraries is a challenge. Here an algorithm called eDESIGNER is used to systematically screen and identify libraries with maximal structural diversity.

    • Alfredo Martín
    • , Christos A. Nicolaou
    •  & Miguel A. Toledo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A single amyloid-forming protein or peptide can adopt many different fibrillar 3D structures, but this polymorphism is poorly understood. Here, detailed AFM imaging allows for the reconstruction of 3D models of individual fibrils which can be clustered on the basis of their individual structural properties.

    • Liam D. Aubrey
    • , Ben J. F. Blakeman
    • , Liisa Lutter
    • , Christopher J. Serpell
    • , Mick F. Tuite
    • , Louise C. Serpell
    •  & Wei-Feng Xue
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a widely used, biocompatible material, but can promote the development of anti-PEG antibodies. Here, crystal structures of an anti-PEG antibody binding fragment bound to PEG are reported and key binding residues are identified by site-directed mutagenesis.

    • Justin T. Huckaby
    • , Tim M. Jacobs
    • , Zhongbo Li
    • , Robert J. Perna
    • , Anting Wang
    • , Nathan I. Nicely
    •  & Samuel K. Lai
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How phosphorylation regulates the binding of the intrinsically disordered protein kinase inducible domain to KIX is unclear. Here bias-exchanged metadynamics simulations of the macromolecular complex suggest that hydrophobic interactions in the phosphorylated domain create a hydrophobic residue cluster which is selective for KIX binding.

    • Na Liu
    • , Yue Guo
    • , Shangbo Ning
    •  & Mojie Duan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Escherichia coli glutamate decarboxylase is highly selective for its natural substrate, L-glutamate, which it converts to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Here this enzyme is shown to also decarboxylate a phosphinyl analogue of glutamate, suggesting that the phosphinic group can be considered a bioisostere of the carboxylic group.

    • Daniela De Biase
    • , Francesca Cappadocio
    • , Eugenia Pennacchietti
    • , Fabio Giovannercole
    • , Antonio Coluccia
    • , Jouko Vepsäläinen
    •  & Alex Khomutov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fragment-based screening offers a valuable method for identifying ligands and can be expanded to crude reaction mixtures. Here, high-throughput crystallographic screening of crystals soaked with crude reaction mixtures is assessed as a method to rapidly obtain ligands with improved affinity.

    • Lisa M. Baker
    • , Anthony Aimon
    • , James B. Murray
    • , Allan E. Surgenor
    • , Natalia Matassova
    • , Stephen D. Roughley
    • , Patrick M. Collins
    • , Tobias Krojer
    • , Frank von Delft
    •  & Roderick E. Hubbard
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Aluminum dual-ion batteries have attracted considerable attention due to their low cost, safety, high energy density, energy efficiency, and long cycling life. Here the authors review working principles, electrolytes, and corrosion effects of this battery type.

    • Kostiantyn V. Kravchyk
    •  & Maksym V. Kovalenko
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Circularly polarized luminescence from chiral organic molecules is used in devices such as security tags, lasers, or data storage. Here, the authors use (+)-3-(trifluoroacetyl)camphor and a glass-promoting phosphine oxide ligand to achieve a chiral Eu(III) lumino-glass.

    • Yuichi Kitagawa
    • , Satoshi Wada
    • , M. D. Jahidul Islam
    • , Kenichiro Saita
    • , Masayuki Gon
    • , Koji Fushimi
    • , Kazuo Tanaka
    • , Satoshi Maeda
    •  & Yasuchika Hasegawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Water in the atmosphere can be indicated by vapochromic systems, especially where electrical detection cannot be used. Here, the authors explore the hydrochromic behaviour of a van der Waals porous crystal with a dibenzophenazine core and multibranched carbazole dendrons, finding that the outermost carbazole units alone are mobile in the crystal upon water adsorption.

    • Hiroshi Yamagishi
    • , Sae Nakajima
    • , Jooyoung Yoo
    • , Masato Okazaki
    • , Youhei Takeda
    • , Satoshi Minakata
    • , Ken Albrecht
    • , Kimihisa Yamamoto
    • , Irene Badía-Domínguez
    • , Maria Moreno Oliva
    • , M. Carmen Ruiz Delgado
    • , Yuka Ikemoto
    • , Hiroyasu Sato
    • , Kenta Imoto
    • , Kosuke Nakagawa
    • , Hiroko Tokoro
    • , Shin-ichi Ohkoshi
    •  & Yohei Yamamoto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Regenerated cellulose is a natural, renewable and biodegradable material but is commonly obtained via environmentally hazardous processes. Here, a simple, environmentally friendly route is presented involving rapid coagulation of dissolved cellulose by nontoxic organic carbonates.

    • Mai N. Nguyen
    • , Udo Kragl
    • , Ingo Barke
    • , Regina Lange
    • , Henrik Lund
    • , Marcus Frank
    • , Armin Springer
    • , Victoria Aladin
    • , Björn Corzilius
    •  & Dirk Hollmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Partially oxidised pillar[n]arenes exhibit interesting redox behaviour, but the pillar[6]arenes are poorly characterised in this context. Here stepwise oxidation of 1,4-diethoxypillar[6]arene allows detailed study of the structural and electrochemical properties of molecules with 2, 3, and 4 oxidised units.

    • Mehdi Rashvand Avei
    • , Sedigheh Etezadi
    • , Burjor Captain
    •  & Angel E. Kaifer
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Bis(arylimino)acenaphthene ligands were recognized as robust scaffolds for metal complexes decades ago, but their redox non-innocence as well as their potential to mediate electro- or photo-catalysis remain subjects of active research. Here, the authors review the synthesis and properties of these poly-aromatic diimine ligands complexed to nominally redox-innocent p-block elements.

    • Jingyi Wang
    • , Han Sen Soo
    •  & Felipe Garcia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A comprehensive understanding of soot nucleation in flame combustion is still lacking. Here the authors identify homo- and heterodimers of small-to-moderate size polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the gas to soot transition region of a laminar diffusion methane flame as viable intermediates in the soot nucleation process.

    • Alessandro Faccinetto
    • , Cornelia Irimiea
    • , Patrizia Minutolo
    • , Mario Commodo
    • , Andrea D’Anna
    • , Nicolas Nuns
    • , Yvain Carpentier
    • , Claire Pirim
    • , Pascale Desgroux
    • , Cristian Focsa
    •  & Xavier Mercier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nucleic acid probes that bind to cancer-related genes have potential as diagnostic tools. Here parameters governing the binding of locked nucleic acid probes to three oncogenes, including effects of molecular crowding and polyelectrolytes, are characterized and used to inform the design of a bead-bait RNA genotyping assay.

    • Ivana Domljanovic
    • , Maria Taskova
    • , Pâmella Miranda
    • , Gerald Weber
    •  & Kira Astakhova
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Chemical reaction networks (CRNs) are prototypical complex systems because reactions are nonlinear and connected in intricate ways, and they are also essential to understand living systems. Here, the author discusses how recent developments in nonequilibrium thermodynamics provide new insight on how CRNs process energy and perform sophisticated tasks, and describes open challenges in the field.

    • Massimiliano Esposito
  • Editorial
    | Open Access

    Today, Communications Chemistry launches a series of Comment articles discussing key open questions in specific fields of fundamental chemical research. Here we outline the aims of this series and highlight each contribution within.

  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Over the past decade, momentous progress has been made in the characterization of late actinide compounds. Here the authors highlight how advances in spectroscopic and computational tools have developed our understanding of fundamental transplutonium bonding interactions, and discuss whether covalency and heterogeneity changes in 5f-orbital bonding could be harnessed in environmentally and industrially relevant systems.

    • Korey P. Carter
    • , Roger M. Pallares
    •  & Rebecca J. Abergel
  • Research Highlight
    | Open Access

    Mass spectrometry allows the pattern of glycosylation in proteins to be mapped, but can be limited by the lability of glycosidic bonds. Now, a method exploiting this lability allows for direct mapping of glycan moieties in glycoproteins.

    • Andrew J. Bissette
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Water can form a vast number of topological frameworks owing to its hydrogen-bonding ability, with 19 different forms of ice experimentally confirmed at present. Here, the authors comment on open questions and possible future discoveries, covering negative to ultrahigh pressures.

    • Thomas Loerting
    • , Violeta Fuentes-Landete
    • , Christina M. Tonauer
    •  & Tobias M. Gasser
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Glycans are ubiquitous in biology, but their complex structure and biosynthesis have challenged research of their wide-ranging roles. Here, the authors comment on current trends on the role of chemical methodologies in the field of glycobiology.

    • Mia I. Zol-Hanlon
    •  & Benjamin Schumann
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Airborne particles have significant impacts on health, visibility, and climate. Here, an overview of what is known about particle chemical composition is presented, along with open questions and challenges that are central to relating composition to life cycles and impacts.

    • Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts
    • , Lisa M. Wingen
    • , Véronique Perraud
    •  & Michael J. Ezell
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Aerosols are highly dynamic, non-equilibrium systems exhibiting unique microphysical properties relative to bulk systems. Here the authors discuss the roles aerosols play in (bio)chemical transformations and identify open questions in aerosol-mediated reaction rate accelerations, aerosol optical properties, and microorganism survival.

    • Bryan R. Bzdek
    • , Jonathan P. Reid
    •  & Michael I. Cotterell
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Cloud droplets form in the atmosphere on aerosol particles, many of which result from nucleation of vapors. Here the authors comment on current knowledge and open questions regarding the condensational growth of nucleated particles to sizes where they influence cloud formation.

    • Taina Yli-Juuti
    • , Claudia Mohr
    •  & Ilona Riipinen
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    First-row transition metals play several roles in biological processes and in medicine, but can be toxic in high concentrations. Here the authors comment on the sensitive biochemistry and speciation chemistry of the first-row transition metals, and outline some of the remaining questions that have yet to be answered.

    • Debbie C. Crans
    •  & Kateryna Kostenkova
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lipoarabinomannan is a carbohydrate expressed on mycobacterial cell surfaces and implicated in host-pathogen interactions, but its structure is not well-characterised. Here mass spectrometry studies of enzymatic digests reveal the presence of secondary extended mannan pendants and indicate a revised structure for the connectivity of the core domains.

    • Shiva K. Angala
    • , Wei Li
    • , Claudia M. Boot
    • , Mary Jackson
    •  & Michael R. McNeil
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Multidimensional NMR spectroscopy can provide insight into the unfolding of proteins in cells, but may be sensitive to the choice of residue used as a reference. Here 2D 1H-15N NMR is used to obtain thermodynamic parameters of unfolding of Yfh1, relying on an internal standard to normalise peak volumes.

    • Rita Puglisi
    • , Oliver Brylski
    • , Caterina Alfano
    • , Stephen R. Martin
    • , Annalisa Pastore
    •  & Piero A. Temussi
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    While the bulk structures of metal–organic frameworks can be solved by diffraction-based techniques, characterization of their local structures has been lacking. Here the authors review recent advances in (scanning) transmission electron microscopy that have made it possible to probe the local structures of MOFs at atomic resolution.

    • Lingmei Liu
    • , Daliang Zhang
    • , Yihan Zhu
    •  & Yu Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The radical C–F cleavage of fluoroalkanes offers a valuable method for the synthesis of fluorinated products. Here, photoredox catalysis promotes tandem intermolecular defluoroalkylation/intramolecular heteroaryl migration of unactivated alkenes to yield difluorobenzyl ketones, proposed to proceed via a radical mechanism.

    • Xin Yuan
    • , Kai-Qiang Zhuang
    • , Yu-Sheng Cui
    • , Long-Zhou Qin
    • , Qi Sun
    • , Xiu Duan
    • , Lin Chen
    • , Ning Zhu
    • , Guigen Li
    • , Jiang-Kai Qiu
    •  & Kai Guo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intramolecular ring-opening metathesis oligomerisation is a useful method for constructing multicyclic polymer cages. Here, it is applied to the synthesis of spirocyclic polymers with figure-8, trefoil, and quatrefoil structures with low polydispersity.

    • Yoshinobu Mato
    • , Kohei Honda
    • , Brian J. Ree
    • , Kenji Tajima
    • , Takuya Yamamoto
    • , Tetsuo Deguchi
    • , Takuya Isono
    •  & Toshifumi Satoh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Soft x-ray magnetic circular dichroism is typically used to study ferro- or paramagnetic materials, but not diamagnetism. Here XMCD fine structures are used to distinguish diamagnetic states in molecular polyoxopalladates in conjunction with theoretical calculations.

    • Alevtina Smekhova
    • , Detlef Schmitz
    • , Natalya V. Izarova
    • , Maria Stuckart
    • , S. Fatemeh Shams
    • , Konrad Siemensmeyer
    • , Frank M. F. de Groot
    • , Paul Kögerler
    •  & Carolin Schmitz-Antoniak
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The reaction of HO2 radicals with NO is a critical part of the atmospheric ozone cycle, but the plethora of involved species makes it hard to fully decipher. Here, quantitative and simultaneous determination of multiple reaction species, including HO2 and OH radicals, is achieved by means of high-resolution time-resolved dual-comb spectroscopy.

    • Pei-Ling Luo
    •  & Er-Chien Horng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bicyclic aromatic olefins are promising chromic materials but the equilibrium between their folded and twisted conformers is not well understood. Here, a combination of experimental and computational methods allows measurement of the equilibrium constants and thermodynamic parameters, offering insight into their chromic behaviour.

    • Ya Wang
    • , Yue Ma
    • , Keisuke Ogumi
    • , Bing Wang
    • , Takafumi Nakagawa
    • , Yao Fu
    •  & Yutaka Matsuo