Browse Articles

  • Article | | open

    There is a continuous demand to develop new procedures for the synthesis of pristine graphene for device applications. Here the authors report gold catalyzed in situ formation of graphene from hydrocarbon contaminants in a transmission electron microscope within a few milliseconds at room temperature.

    • Ignacio G. Gonzalez-Martinez
    • , Alicja Bachmatiuk
    • , Thomas Gemming
    • , Barbara Trzebicka
    • , Zhongfan Liu
    •  & Mark H. Rummeli
  • Q&A | | open

    The importance of collaboration and good working relationships is unquestionable in chemistry, and is vital for the effective publication of research articles. In this series of Q&A’s we talk to people involved in all aspects of the process and explore the relationships between them. Here we discuss the mentor-mentee relationship with Professor Gisbert Schneider and Dr Francesca Grisoni (both ETH Zurich).

  • Editorial | | open

    This month Communications Chemistry celebrates its first anniversary of publishing research, reviews and commentary in all areas of the chemical sciences. Here we look back at the past 12 months of the journal and think about the many things still to achieve.

  • Q&A | | open

    The importance of collaboration and good working relationships is unquestionable in our field, and is vital for the effective publication of research articles. In this series of Q&A’s we talk to people involved in all aspects of the process and explore the relationships between them. Here we discuss interactions between authors and reviewers with Professor Jennifer Andexer (University of Freiburg) and Professor Wolfgang Kroutil (University of Graz).

  • Article | | open

    The direct glycosylation of ribose by nucleobases offers an intuitive route to nucleosides, but is known to be challenging under prebiotically plausible reaction conditions. Here, the addition of amino acids is shown to influence the product distribution, and a dynamic exchange of nucleobases between nucleosides and nucleotides is observed.

    • Irene Suárez-Marina
    • , Yousef M. Abul-Haija
    • , Rebecca Turk-MacLeod
    • , Piotr S. Gromski
    • , Geoffrey J. T. Cooper
    • , Andrea Olivé Olivé
    • , Stephanie Colón-Santos
    •  & Leroy Cronin
  • Article | | open

    It is important to identify heterogeneous catalyst compositions which minimize use of precious metals. Here the authors analyse the size-activity behaviour of platinum-based formaldehyde oxidation catalysts, identifying a volcano relationship with nanometer scale nanoclusters being the most effective.

    • Xiucheng Sun
    • , Jian Lin
    • , Yang Chen
    • , Yuehan Wang
    • , Lin Li
    • , Shu Miao
    • , Xiaoli Pan
    •  & Xiaodong Wang
  • Article | | open

    Mechanically interlocked molecules are widely studied, but the pathways by which they assemble are less well understood. Here the formation process of a quadruply-locked Pd4L8 cage is studied by NMR and mass spectrometry, with intermediates inferred by kinetic analysis.

    • Tomoki Tateishi
    • , Yuichi Yasutake
    • , Tatsuo Kojima
    • , Satoshi Takahashi
    •  & Shuichi Hiraoka
  • Article | | open

    Fluorinated solvents such as hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) are often useful in reactions involving radical cations. Here the role of HFIP in photoredox and electrochemical Diels-Alder reactions is explored experimentally and theoretically, and attributed to solvation of anions to reduce their nucleophilicity.

    • Naoki Shida
    • , Yasushi Imada
    • , Shingo Nagahara
    • , Yohei Okada
    •  & Kazuhiro Chiba
  • Article | | open

    The Strecker reaction is thought to offer a prebiotically plausible synthesis of amino acids, but is reversible at the high or low pH ranges needed to promote reactivity. Here the reaction of hydrogen cyanide and diamidophosphate is shown to provide stable phosphorylated amino acid precursors at neutral pH, which can be hydrolysed to amino acids or thiolysed to thioamides.

    • Kathryn Ashe
    • , Christian Fernández-García
    • , Merina K. Corpinot
    • , Adam J. Coggins
    • , Dejan-Krešimir Bučar
    •  & Matthew W. Powner
  • Article | | open

    Probing intermolecular interactions and film heterogeneity in organic semiconductors is challenging. Here, the authors use micro-Raman spectroscopy to assign vibrational modes of isomerically pure functionalized anthradithiophenes, which are then used to image crystalline sub-domains in mixed-isomer samples.

    • Chiung-Wei Huang
    • , Xiao You
    • , Peter J. Diemer
    • , Anthony J. Petty II
    • , John E. Anthony
    • , Oana D. Jurchescu
    •  & Joanna M. Atkin
  • Article | | open

    Isoprene is a key compound emitted into the atmosphere, which reacts rapidly with hydroxyl radicals and contributes to aerosol formation. Here the authors conduct flow tube measurements to observe the early stages of isoprene oxidation product formation in low hydroperoxy radical and nitric oxide environments.

    • Torsten Berndt
    • , Noora Hyttinen
    • , Hartmut Herrmann
    •  & Armin Hansel
  • Article | | open

    Structural phase transitions induced by external stimuli play crucial roles in controlling the functions of solid-state materials. Here the authors report the photo-triggered phase transition of a photochromic chiral salicylideneamine crystal, and probe the local effects driving the transition.

    • Takuya Taniguchi
    • , Hiroyasu Sato
    • , Yuki Hagiwara
    • , Toru Asahi
    •  & Hideko Koshima
  • Article | | open

    The ceramide transport protein CERT is of potential therapeutic interest but is typically targeted using ceramide-derived ligands. Here the authors use virtual screening and a quantitative surface plasmon resonance assay to identify ceramide-nonmimetic inhibitors of a CERT subdomain and test their activity in live cells.

    • Naoki Nakao
    • , Masaharu Ueno
    • , Shota Sakai
    • , Daichi Egawa
    • , Hiroyuki Hanzawa
    • , Shohei Kawasaki
    • , Keigo Kumagai
    • , Makoto Suzuki
    • , Shu Kobayashi
    •  & Kentaro Hanada
  • Article | | open

    Stable single-atomic and noble-metal free catalysts are crucial in light driven hydrogen evolution but their behavior upon visible light irradiation remains unclear. Here the authors develop and analyze atomic palladium on graphitic carbon nitride with enhanced catalytic activity under visible light.

    • Liping Liu
    • , Xi Wu
    • , Li Wang
    • , Xuejun Xu
    • , Lin Gan
    • , Zhichun Si
    • , Jia Li
    • , Qun Zhang
    • , Yuxiang Liu
    • , Yanyan Zhao
    • , Rui Ran
    • , Xiaodong Wu
    • , Duan Weng
    •  & Feiyu Kang
  • Article | | open

    The oxidative cleavage of the C–C bonds in 1,2-diols is an important transformation but lacks a recyclable, mild aerobic catalytic system. Here the authors present atomically dispersed cobalt on N-doped carbon to deliver improved catalytic activity and recyclability, and probe the reaction pathway.

    • Huihui Luo
    • , Lianyue Wang
    • , Sensen Shang
    • , Jingyang Niu
    •  & Shuang Gao
  • Article | | open

    Several catalytic methods for N-formylation of amines using noble metals or manganese pincer complexes are known. Here an air-stable and reusable chromium-based polyoxometalate is shown to catalyze the N-formylation of amines and diamines using methanol and hydrogen peroxide.

    • Han Yu
    • , Zhikang Wu
    • , Zheyu Wei
    • , Yongyan Zhai
    • , Shi Ru
    • , Qixin Zhao
    • , Jingjing Wang
    • , Sheng Han
    •  & Yongge Wei
  • Article | | open

    Phase change random access memory relies on phase transformation, from a metastable rock salt structure to a stable hexagonal structure, details of which remain unclear. Here the authors use atomic resolution energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to probe the atomic-level rearrangements during the phase transition.

    • Yonghui Zheng
    • , Yong Wang
    • , Tianjiao Xin
    • , Yan Cheng
    • , Rong Huang
    • , Pan Liu
    • , Min Luo
    • , Zaoli Zhang
    • , Shilong Lv
    • , Zhitang Song
    •  & Songlin Feng
  • Article | | open

    Copper(II)-superoxide complexes are known to behave as electrophiles but there are few examples of nucleophilic reactivity by such species. Here a mononuclear copper(II)-superoxide species is shown to promote simple aldol reactions, and this reactivity is found to be sensitive to minor changes to the ligand structure.

    • Tsukasa Abe
    • , Yuta Hori
    • , Yoshihito Shiota
    • , Takehiro Ohta
    • , Yuma Morimoto
    • , Hideki Sugimoto
    • , Takashi Ogura
    • , Kazunari Yoshizawa
    •  & Shinobu Itoh
  • Article | | open

    Oxygen vacancies in metal oxide based catalytic materials are pivotal to improving their performance. Here the authors use density functional theory and experimental data to show that introduction of hydroxyl groups in clay-supported cobalt oxides can introduce oxygen vacancies and enhance its catalytic activity.

    • Qihang Zhao
    • , Liangjie Fu
    • , Denghui Jiang
    • , Jing Ouyang
    • , Yuehua Hu
    • , Huaming Yang
    •  & Yunfei Xi
  • Article | | open

    Liquid domains can coexist within lipid membranes, and directly manipulating them in situ may offer a useful tool. Here optical tweezers are used to directly move liquid-ordered domains within the lipid bilayers of individual giant vesicles.

    • Mark S. Friddin
    • , Guido Bolognesi
    • , Ali Salehi-Reyhani
    • , Oscar Ces
    •  & Yuval Elani
  • Article | | open

    The coupling between excited state intramolecular proton transfer and excimer formation is a phenomenon of fundamental importance but rarely observed. Here the authors observe this interaction in thiazole based organic crystals using a combination of steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques.

    • Yu-Chen Wei
    • , Zhiyun Zhang
    • , Yi-An Chen
    • , Cheng-Ham Wu
    • , Zong-Ying Liu
    • , Ssu-Yu Ho
    • , Jiun-Chi Liu
    • , Jia-An Lin
    •  & Pi-Tai Chou
  • Article | | open

    Rotenoid natural products have attracted interest as synthetic targets. Here N-heterocyclic carbene-catalysed dynamic kinetic resolution is used to rapidly and enantioselectively assemble the rotenoid core, enabling the modular asymmetric total synthesis of several rotenoid natural products

    • Saima Perveen
    • , Shuang Yang
    • , Miao Meng
    • , Weici Xu
    • , Guoxiang Zhang
    •  & Xinqiang Fang
  • Article | | open

    Polyoxometalate based solids are promising candidates for proton-conducting electrolytes but their low durability and low proton conductivities remains an on-going challenge. Here the authors describe the preparation of polyoxometalate-based solids with much improved stability and proton conductivities.

    • Tsukasa Iwano
    • , Satoru Miyazawa
    • , Ryota Osuga
    • , Junko N. Kondo
    • , Kayako Honjo
    • , Takashi Kitao
    • , Takashi Uemura
    •  & Sayaka Uchida
  • Article | | open

    Beta-lactams are important antiobiotics but synthesising functionalised derivatives in high enantiomeric purity can be challenging. Here malonyl-CoA derivatives are applied in an enantioselective multi-enzyme cascade, yielding beta-lactams bearing three contiguous chiral centres in high diastereomeric purity.

    • Refaat B. Hamed
    • , J. Ruben Gomez-Castellanos
    • , Luc Henry
    • , Sven Warhaut
    • , Timothy D. W. Claridge
    •  & Christopher J. Schofield
  • Article | | open

    Wacker oxidation is widely used to convert alkenes to carbonyls, but selective oxidation of unbiased internal alkenes can be difficult. Here a nickel-catalyzed alkene isomerisation-oxidation strategy is used to regioconvergently convert mixtures of unactivated internal alkenes to benzylic ketones.

    • Binbin Liu
    • , Penghui Hu
    • , Fangning Xu
    • , Lu Cheng
    • , Mingxi Tan
    •  & Wei Han
  • Article | | open

    Nitride based photoelectrodes are promising candidates for photoelectrochemical water splitting and hydrogen generation but suffer from quick degradation. Here the authors show indium gallium nitride activated by InN quantum dots on silicon which can be used as stable photoanode for efficient water splitting.

    • Praveen Kumar
    • , Pooja Devi
    • , Rishabh Jain
    • , S. M. Shivaprasad
    • , R. K. Sinha
    • , Guofu Zhou
    •  & Richard Nötzel
  • Article | | open

    Glucagon is a key therapeutic for hypoglycemia but its application is limited by low aqueous solubility. Here, the absolute configuration each residue of glucagon is systematically inverted, yielding several biologically active analogues with therapeutically relevant solubility arising from epimerisation at a single position.

    • Piotr A. Mroz
    • , Diego Perez-Tilve
    • , John P. Mayer
    •  & Richard D. DiMarchi
  • Article | | open

    The n→π* interaction between carbonyls in peptide bonds has been proposed to contribute to protein conformational stability. Here the authors report gas-phase rotational spectroscopy of the glycine-proline dipeptide, revealing that the n→π* interaction stabilizes the trans conformation of the dipeptide with energetics comparable to those of hydrogen bonds.

    • I. León
    • , E. R. Alonso
    • , C. Cabezas
    • , S. Mata
    •  & J. L. Alonso
  • Article | | open

    Liquid layering at heterogeneous surfaces is a general phenomenon but is poorly understood. Here the authors probe pre-nucleation liquid layering at the sapphire–Al solid/liquid interface using a combination of in situ X-ray crystal truncation rod analysis and ab-initio molecular dynamics simulations.

    • Sida Ma
    • , Adam J. Brown
    • , Rui Yan
    • , Ruslan L. Davidchack
    • , Paul B. Howes
    • , Chris Nicklin
    • , Qijie Zhai
    • , Tao Jing
    •  & Hongbiao Dong
  • Article | | open

    The rational construction of hollow nanostructures is challenging owing to difficulties in elucidating formation pathways and observing intermediates. Here the authors probe the formation of the hollow Ag56 cluster and identify a catalyst-like self-releasing template formation mechanism.

    • Zi-Ang Nan
    • , Yu Wang
    • , Zhi-Xin Chen
    • , Shang-Fu Yuan
    • , Zhong-Qun Tian
    •  & Quan-Ming Wang
  • Review Article | | open

    Three-dimensional covalent organic frameworks are attractive functional materials, although there are fewer examples than their two-dimensional counterparts. Here, the authors review the synthetic approaches yielding these compounds, and highlight key challenges facing researchers in the field.

    • Xingjian Ma
    •  & Timothy F. Scott
  • Article | | open

    Domino reactions can offer efficient synthetic access to complex products, but characterisation of unstable intermediates is often not possible. Here the photochemical domino cyclisation of tetrafluorostilbene is characterised by NMR and X-ray crystallography of each intermediate, and shown to terminate in an unusual double fluorine atom transfer reaction.

    • Takashi Murase
    • , Chikako Matsuda
    • , Kiyohiro Adachi
    • , Tomohisa Sawada
    •  & Makoto Fujita
  • Article | | open

    The mean rate concept breaks-down in real-world situations when the reactants are present in nanomolar concentrations. Here, the authors show the full distribution of reaction times, introduce the concepts of geometry and reaction-control, and quantify each regime by calculating the corresponding reaction depth.

    • Denis S. Grebenkov
    • , Ralf Metzler
    •  & Gleb Oshanin
  • Article | | open

    Molybdenum-based electrocatalysts are widely investigated as water splitting catalysts but they suffer from low efficiency due to surface oxidation. Here the authors report the synthesis of air-stable molybdenum nitride which displays enhanced hydrogen evolution activity.

    • Junqing Yan
    • , Lingqiao Kong
    • , Yujin Ji
    • , Youyong Li
    • , Jai White
    • , Shengzhong (Frank) Liu
    • , Xiaopeng Han
    • , Shuit-Tong Lee
    •  & Tianyi Ma
  • Article | | open

    The mechanism underlying synergistic interactions between metal nanoparticles and graphene is poorly understood but has implications for catalytic applications. Here, the authors describe an interface dipole layer catalytic mechanism induced by the interaction between graphene and nickel nanoparticles.

    • Chunfei Zhang
    • , Byong-June Lee
    • , Haiping Li
    • , Jitendra Samdani
    • , Tong-Hyun Kang
    •  & Jong-Sung Yu
  • Article | | open

    Generating and detecting neutral biomolecular beams is an important analytical challenge, particularly for high-mass peptides. Here, femtosecond laser desorption is shown to enable the intact volatilization of complex polypeptides that can still be photoionized at masses beyond 20 kDa, because they are tryptophan-rich.

    • Jonas Schätti
    • , Philipp Rieser
    • , Ugur Sezer
    • , Georg Richter
    • , Philipp Geyer
    • , Gustavo G. Rondina
    • , Daniel Häussinger
    • , Marcel Mayor
    • , Armin Shayeghi
    • , Valentin Köhler
    •  & Markus Arndt
  • Article | | open

    Self-sorting is an attractive approach to produce complex supramolecular systems and materials with controlled structures. Here the authors show geometrical complementarity in the self-sorting behaviour of pentagonal and hexagonal pillararenes on heterogeneous surface through layer-by-layer deposition.

    • Tomoki Ogoshi
    • , Shu Takashima
    • , Natsumi Inada
    • , Hitoshi Asakawa
    • , Takeshi Fukuma
    • , Yoshiaki Shoji
    • , Takashi Kajitani
    • , Takanori Fukushima
    • , Tomofumi Tada
    • , Tomonori Dotera
    • , Takahiro Kakuta
    •  & Tada-aki Yamagishi
  • Article | | open

    Stereo-inverted oligonucleic acids are promising tools for bioengineering but are limited by low availability of suitable monomers. Here the controlled interconversion of helical screw sense in peptide nucleic acid oligomers is achieved through strand displacement.

    • Wei-Che Hsieh
    • , Gustavo R. Martinez
    • , Ashley Wang
    • , Sharon F. Wu
    • , Raunaq Chamdia
    •  & Danith H. Ly
  • Article | | open

    Homo Förster resonance energy transfer is a key process in natural photosynthesis, among other systems, but model systems for this process are complicated by emission from both donor and acceptor. Here desymmetrisation of identical chromophores within DNA allows quantitative study of the distance and orientation dependence of homo-FRET.

    • Hiromu Kashida
    • , Hayato Kawai
    • , Ryoko Maruyama
    • , Yuta Kokubo
    • , Yasuyuki Araki
    • , Takehiko Wada
    •  & Hiroyuki Asanuma
  • Article | | open

    Transition metal-catalyzed cyclization of alkynes and carbonyls offers a useful route to cyclic allylic alcohols, but typically uses precious metal catalysts. Here, enantioselective nickel-catalyzed reductive cyclization of N-alkynones gives tertiary allylic alcohols in up to 99:1 er with catalyst loadings of 0.1 mol%

    • Guodu Liu
    • , Wenzhen Fu
    • , Xingye Mu
    • , Ting Wu
    • , Ming Nie
    • , Kaidi Li
    • , Xiaodong Xu
    •  & Wenjun Tang
  • Article | | open

    The lanthanide cubane is an interesting motif for the design of magnetic molecules but typically exhibits weak magnetic exchange between ions. Here the authors report the synthesis of lanthanide cubanes incorporating air-stable radical ligands, and subsequent enhancement of intramolecular magnetic coupling.

    • Gabriel Brunet
    • , Milad Hamwi
    • , Maykon A. Lemes
    • , Bulat Gabidullin
    •  & Muralee Murugesu
  • Article | | open

    Carbonylative homologation reactions are typically catalysed by precious metal catalysts such as palladium and rhodium. Here, aryl iodides are reductively homologated using a nickel triflate catalyst and simple bipyridine ligand, using Mo(CO)6 as the carbonyl source and phenyl silane as the reductant.

    • Jin-Bao Peng
    • , Fu-Peng Wu
    • , Xinxin Qi
    • , Jun Ying
    •  & Xiao-Feng Wu
  • Article | | open

    Rechargeable sodium ion batteries are a promising alternative to lithium technologies, however there are fewer high-performing anode materials. Here, the authors prepare a cobalt-doped tin disulfide/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposite and demonstrate its enhanced sodium kinetics and improved rate performance.

    • Hao Jia
    • , Chen Chen
    • , Olabode Oladele
    • , Yongan Tang
    • , Guoqing Li
    • , Xiangwu Zhang
    •  & Fei Yan
  • Article | | open

    Several rare earth carbides are superconducting at ambient pressure and low temperature. Here global structure searching predicts high-pressure metallic phases of yttrium dicarbide with phonon-mediated superconductivity and increased carbon network evolution from dimers to sheets with increasing pressure.

    • Xiaolei Feng
    • , Siyu Lu
    • , Chris J. Pickard
    • , Hanyu Liu
    • , Simon A. T. Redfern
    •  & Yanming Ma