Browse Articles

  • Article | | open

    Regioselective methods for the reversible formation and breakage of C-O-ether bonds under mild conditions are desired. Here, the authors present a biocatalytic shuttle concept using corrinoid-dependent methyl transferases for demethylating various phenyl methyl ethers and functionalizing substituted catechols.

    • Judith E. Farnberger
    • , Nina Richter
    • , Katharina Hiebler
    • , Sarah Bierbaumer
    • , Mathias Pickl
    • , Wolfgang Skibar
    • , Ferdinand Zepeck
    •  & Wolfgang Kroutil
  • Article | | open

    Metal sulfide batteries suffer from low electrical conductivity which limits their application in sodium ion batteries. Here, the authors report a manganese sulfide anode in sodium ion batteries with capacity of 340 mAh g−1 maintained over more than 1000 cycles at a current density of 5.0 A g−1.

    • Duong Tung Pham
    • , Balaji Sambandam
    • , Sungjin Kim
    • , Jeonggeun Jo
    • , Seokhun Kim
    • , Sohyun Park
    • , Vinod Mathew
    • , Yang-Kook Sun
    • , Kwangho Kim
    •  & Jaekook Kim
  • Article | | open

    Calcium phosphate is an important biomineral and is thought to crystallise through non-classical pathways. Here, time-resolved liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy offers confirmatory evidence gained through continuous monitoring of mineralisation in solution.

    • Xiaoyue Wang
    • , Jie Yang
    • , Carmen M. Andrei
    • , Leyla Soleymani
    •  & Kathryn Grandfield
  • Article | | open

    Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) can invade canonical nucleic acid dimers but may be limited to certain sequences or perform poorly under physiological conditions. Here PNAs containing Janus bases invade a range of RNA and DNA sequences via Watson-Crick base pairing under near-physiological conditions.

    • Shivaji A. Thadke
    • , V. M. Hridya
    • , J. Dinithi R. Perera
    • , Roberto R. Gil
    • , Arnab Mukherjee
    •  & Danith H. Ly
  • Article | | open

    The detailed molecular-level speciation of organic aerosol is a highly challenging task. Here, the authors show an extensive molecular-level intercomparison of functionalized organic aerosol from three diverse field sites revealing large compositional variability between samples at each field site.

    • Jenna C. Ditto
    • , Emily B. Barnes
    • , Peeyush Khare
    • , Masayuki Takeuchi
    • , Taekyu Joo
    • , Alexander A. T. Bui
    • , Julia Lee-Taylor
    • , Gamze Eris
    • , Yunle Chen
    • , Bernard Aumont
    • , Jose L. Jimenez
    • , Nga Lee Ng
    • , Robert J. Griffin
    •  & Drew R. Gentner
  • Article | | open

    Exciton/recombination events in semiconductor quantum dots are highly dependent on surface coordination environments and these processes are well studied. Here, conversely, the authors use sum-frequency generation spectroscopy to probe the effect of the quantum dot on the vibrational structure of the ligands.

    • T. Noblet
    • , L. Dreesen
    • , S. Boujday
    • , C. Méthivier
    • , B. Busson
    • , A. Tadjeddine
    •  & C. Humbert
  • Article | | open

    Materials with switchable colour and opacity hold promise as components of ‘smart windows’. Here a photo- and electrochromic device based on a self-assembled naphthalene diimide gel is shown to undergo reversible photo or electrochemical transition from transparent to black.

    • Laura Gonzalez
    • , Chung Liu
    • , Bart Dietrich
    • , Hao Su
    • , Stephen Sproules
    • , Honggang Cui
    • , Dirk Honecker
    • , Dave J. Adams
    •  & Emily R. Draper
  • Article | | open

    Solid-state NMR of nitrogen nuclei offers a powerful way to solve protein structures but often requires isotopic labeling. Here through-space interactions between nitrogen-14 and protons allows structural assignment of cyclosporin without the need for isotopic enrichment with nitrogen-15.

    • Diego Carnevale
    • , Benoit Grosjean
    •  & Geoffrey Bodenhausen
  • Article | | open

    Silicates are abundant in the Earth’s crust but their high-pressure solution chemistry has not been studied by NMR. Here the complexation chemistry of aqueous silicates is studied at pressures of up to 1.8 GPa by 29Si NMR spectroscopy.

    • Corey D. Pilgrim
    • , Christopher A. Colla
    • , Gerardo Ochoa
    • , Jeffrey H. Walton
    •  & William H. Casey
  • Article | | open

    Metal-organic frameworks are attractive candidates as catalyst materials. Here, the authors report a highly symmetric hierarchical framework with a rare nha net topology catalyzing microwave-assisted radical polymerization of methyl methacrylate in high yields.

    • Ha L. Nguyen
    • , Thanh T. Vu
    • , Dinh-Khoi Nguyen
    • , Christopher A. Trickett
    • , Tan L. H. Doan
    • , Christian S. Diercks
    • , Viet Q. Nguyen
    •  & Kyle E. Cordova
  • Article | | open

    Kinetic control of self-assembly at interfaces offers a promising route to new two dimensional materials. Here high-resolution dynamic atomic force microscopy experiments combined with DFT calculations reveal the kinetic pathways by which 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid sequentially assembles on calcite.

    • Chiara Paris
    • , Andrea Floris
    • , Simon Aeschlimann
    • , Julia Neff
    • , Felix Kling
    • , Angelika Kühnle
    •  & Lev Kantorovich
  • Article | | open

    Efficient capture of iodine has important applications in nuclear waste processing. Here a class of imidazolate-derived ionic liquids are shown to chemically capture up to 17.5 grams of iodine per gram of ionic liquid at useful temperatures.

    • Ruipeng Li
    • , Yanfei Zhao
    • , Yu Chen
    • , Zhimin Liu
    • , Buxing Han
    • , Zhiyong Li
    •  & Jianji Wang
  • Article | | open

    Artificial intelligence approaches to medicinal chemistry are increasingly powerful but struggle to predict bioactive molecules. Here a machine learning model generates synthetically accessible mimetics of natural products, which are shown to be bioactive against the retinoid X receptor.

    • Daniel Merk
    • , Francesca Grisoni
    • , Lukas Friedrich
    •  & Gisbert Schneider
  • Article | | open

    Intercalated metal-organic frameworks hold promising potential as supercapacitors. Here the performance of 4,4′-biphenyl dicarboxylate dilithium is explored using both experimental and computational methods, offering insight into the basis for high electron and lithium-ion conduction in this material.

    • Yuka Ozawa
    • , Nobuhiro Ogihara
    • , Masaki Hasegawa
    • , Osamu Hiruta
    • , Nobuko Ohba
    •  & Yoshihiro Kishida
  • Article | | open

    Chiral allenes are useful chemical reagents, but efficient access to chiral heteroaryl allenes remains challenging. Here the authors report a copper-catalyzed asymmetric allenylation of quinoline N-oxides using 1,3-enynes, providing efficient access to axially chiral allenes bearing heteroarenes.

    • Songjie Yu
    • , Hui Leng Sang
    • , Shuo-Qing Zhang
    • , Xin Hong
    •  & Shaozhong Ge
  • Article | | open

    Transition metal nanoparticle-MOF systems have promising hydrogen storage properties but the nature of the interfacial interaction remains ambiguous. Here, the authors use computational and spectroscopic methods to investigate the electronic structure and charge transfer processes in a palladium nanocube-MOF system.

    • Yanna Chen
    • , Osami Sakata
    • , Yusuke Nanba
    • , Loku Singgappulige Rosantha Kumara
    • , Anli Yang
    • , Chulho Song
    • , Michihisa Koyama
    • , Guangqin Li
    • , Hirokazu Kobayashi
    •  & Hiroshi Kitagawa
  • Article | | open

    Decoquinate is a drug used in veterinary practice, which displays antimalarial activity in vitro but has poor bioavailability. Here, the authors convert decoquinate into more soluble amide and carbamate derivatives and assess their efficacy against tuberculosis bacteria and apicomplexan parasites.

    • Richard M. Beteck
    • , Ronnett Seldon
    • , Dina Coertzen
    • , Mariëtte E. van der Watt
    • , Janette Reader
    • , Jared S. Mackenzie
    • , Dirk A. Lamprecht
    • , Matthew Abraham
    • , Korina Eribez
    • , Joachim Müller
    • , Feng Rui
    • , Guang Zhu
    • , Ruel Valerio de Grano
    • , Ian D. Williams
    • , Frans J. Smit
    • , Adrie J. C. Steyn
    • , Elizabeth A. Winzeler
    • , Andrew Hemphill
    • , Lyn-Marie Birkholtz
    • , Digby F. Warner
    • , David D. N’Da
    •  & Richard K. Haynes
  • Article | | open

    Doubly aromatic systems composed of two independent, circularly delocalised orbitals have long been predicted but are poorly explored experimentally. Here double aromaticity arising from independent σ and π orbitals is experimentally demonstrated in the hexakis(phenylselenyl)benzene dication.

    • Shunsuke Furukawa
    • , Masahiro Fujita
    • , Yoshihiko Kanatomi
    • , Mao Minoura
    • , Miho Hatanaka
    • , Keiji Morokuma
    • , Kazuya Ishimura
    •  & Masaichi Saito
  • Article | | open

    Indirect control over the phase transition of luminogens by other stimuli-responsive materials in blends is challenging. Here, the authors report the self-assembly of photoresponsive solid and a mechanochromic luminescent materials, demonstrating a light-induced liberation of the sequestered luminophores.

    • Takuji Kobayashi
    • , Yuichi Kitamoto
    • , Yu Hirai
    • , Takashi Kajitani
    • , Tomohiro Seki
    •  & Shiki Yagai
  • Article | | open

    Single-molecule studies of fast-folding proteins can reveal key mechanisms of folding. Here atomic force microscopy studies of single gpW proteins reveals an energetic barrier to folding induced by the low external force of 3–10 pN applied by the microscope.

    • Jörg Schönfelder
    • , David De Sancho
    • , Ronen Berkovich
    • , Robert B. Best
    • , Victor Muñoz
    •  & Raul Perez-Jimenez
  • Article | | open

    Nucleation is a ubiquitous process, but key kinetic parameters governing the rate of nucleation can be difficult to measure. Here a combination of in situ GISAXS and ex situ AFM measurements allows experimental determination of the activation energy and pre-exponential kinetic factor for heterogeneous CaCO3 nucleation on quartz.

    • Qingyun Li
    •  & Young-Shin Jun
  • Article | | open

    The hydrophobicity of nanomaterials can strongly influence their behaviour and particularly their interaction with biological systems, but quantifying this in solution can be difficult. Here the surface hydrophobicity of nanoparticles in solution is quantitatively measured by analysing the kinetics of binding to engineered collectors.

    • Andrea Valsesia
    • , Cloé Desmet
    • , Isaac Ojea-Jiménez
    • , Arianna Oddo
    • , Robin Capomaccio
    • , François Rossi
    •  & Pascal Colpo
  • Editorial | | open

    This year Peer Review Week takes place between 10th–15th September. Here we acknowledge the contributions of the researchers who have reviewed for Communications Chemistry during our first 12 months and highlight some of our top reviewers.

  • Article | | open

    Cationic species are implicated in many catalytic processes, but can be hard to detect owing to their low abundance and short lifetimes. Here a model micro catalytic reactor is integrated directly to the ion inlet of an  Orbitrap mass spectrometer, allowing direct detection of hundreds of cationic species in the catalytic dehydration of short-chain alcohols

    • Fangjun Wang
    • , Zheyi Liu
    •  & Guofeng Weng
  • Article | | open

    Iron-based oxides are promising oxygen carriers for thermochemical syngas production, but can be prone to deactivation during the reaction. Here an iron-based catalyst is shown to transform reversibly between perovskite and core–shell structures during methane-to-syngas conversion, accounting for its high stability toward coke deposition.

    • Chuande Huang
    • , Jian Wu
    • , You-Tao Chen
    • , Ming Tian
    • , Alexandre I. Rykov
    • , Baolin Hou
    • , Jian Lin
    • , Chun-Ran Chang
    • , Xiaoli Pan
    • , Junhu Wang
    • , Aiqin Wang
    •  & Xiaodong Wang
  • Article | | open

    Silicon cages encapsulating group 5 elements have been proposed to exhibit ‘superatomic’ behavior, but this has not been quantitatively explored. Here the oxidation kinetics of a series of group 5 M@Si16 cages is shown to exhibit periodic trends analogous to those seen in the periodic table.

    • Masahiro Shibuta
    • , Toshiaki Kamoshida
    • , Tsutomu Ohta
    • , Hironori Tsunoyama
    •  & Atsushi Nakajima
  • Article | | open

    The alignment of dyes within liquid crystals has significant consequences for their applications in microscopy and LCDs. Here the negative fluorescence anisotropy of a series of phosphole oxide-based dyes in liquid crystals is rationalised by theoretical analysis of their structures.

    • Takuya Ohzono
    • , Tetsuo Yatabe
    • , Chenguang Wang
    • , Aiko Fukazawa
    •  & Shigehiro Yamaguchi
  • Article | | open

    Conductive organic materials have promising potential applications in molecular electronics, but a limit range of conductive organic structures are known. Here a series of trioxotriangulenes and their mixed-valence salts are characterized; one mixed-valence salt exhibits conductivity of 125 S cm−1 at room temperature.

    • Tsuyoshi Murata
    • , Chiaki Yamada
    • , Ko Furukawa
    •  & Yasushi Morita
  • Article | | open

    Nucleation of quartz can take years under ambient conditions, and the harsh conditions needed to achieve faster nucleation on a useful timescale preclude formation of nanocrystalline phases. Here quartz nanoparticles are nucleated from microemulsions; subsequent refinement under mild hydrothermal conditions yields nanocrystalline quartz within days.

    • Phil Buckley
    • , Natasha Hargreaves
    •  & Sharon Cooper
  • Article | | open

    Electrochemistry can offer deep insight into chemical reaction mechanisms, but is typically carried out in the liquid or solid phases. Here a proof-of-principle study of gas-phase cyclic voltammetry electrochemically resolves the fragmentation products of eight amino acids.

    • Maria Calleja
    • , Atif Elahi
    •  & Daren J. Caruana
  • Article | | open

    Obtaining dynamic information on atmospheric aerosol particle size and morphology is typically challenging. Here, the authors introduce holographic imaging of unsupported aerosol particles in air that are spatially confined by optical traps, allowing contact free observation over multiple timescales.

    • Grégory David
    • , Kιvanç Esat
    • , Ioannis Thanopulos
    •  & Ruth Signorell
  • Article | | open

    Phenol and cyclohexenone can interconvert by controlled palladium-catalyzed hydrogenation or oxidation, allowing N-functionalization of amines. Here this is applied to amino acids and small peptides, allowing a range of challenging substrates to be N-arylated using cyclohexenone or N-alkylated using phenol.

    • Alejandra Dominguez-Huerta
    • , Inna Perepichka
    •  & Chao-Jun Li
  • Article | | open

    The successful prediction of drug-like structures by scaffold hopping can be limited by the structural complexity of natural products. Here, a molecular descriptor which captures partial charge, atom density distributions, and molecular shape is used to predict novel active compounds which are simpler than the original natural products.

    • Francesca Grisoni
    • , Daniel Merk
    • , Viviana Consonni
    • , Jan A. Hiss
    • , Sara Giani Tagliabue
    • , Roberto Todeschini
    •  & Gisbert Schneider
  • Article | | open

    Thermochemical reduction of silica by molten salts is known to yield promising microstructured silica energy materials. Here a combined experimental and computational study suggests a mechanism for low temperature thermochemical reduction of silica by molten aluminum chloride.

    • Gyujin Song
    • , Jaegeon Ryu
    • , Jin Chul Kim
    • , Jeong Hyeon Lee
    • , Sungho Kim
    • , Chongmin Wang
    • , Sang Kyu Kwak
    •  & Soojin Park
  • Article | | open

    Carbon materials, in particular graphene-like materials, are well studied as electrochemical phenol sensors. Here, the authors fabricate nanodiamond and amorphous nanocarbon-modified electrodes and assess their sensitivity and durability for phenol compound sensing applications.

    • Luyun Jiang
    • , Ibon Santiago
    •  & John Foord
  • Article | | open

    Partial oxidation of methane is an efficient route to syngas, and would benefit from base metal catalysts which operate below 650 °C. Here, the authors demonstrate that modification of a zeolite-supported cobalt catalyst with trace rhodium improves both catalyst activity and durability under such conditions.

    • Yuhui Hou
    • , Shinichi Nagamatsu
    • , Kiyotaka Asakura
    • , Atsushi Fukuoka
    •  & Hirokazu Kobayashi
  • Article | | open

    Ring-opening polymerisation of amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides is an established route to polypeptides, but controlling the product distribution can require careful optimisation. Here, simple variation of the choice of initiator provides a general route to linear or cyclic polypeptides and under mild conditions.

    • Yu Zhang
    • , Renjie Liu
    • , Hua Jin
    • , Wenliang Song
    • , Rimesh Augustine
    •  & Il Kim
  • Article | | open

    Carbonylation of alkyl bromides can be limited by competing beta-hydride elimination or nucleophilic substitution, hence few methods are available. Here a combination of copper and iron catalyzes the alkoxycarbonylation of unactivated bromides, providing efficient access to a range of primary, secondary, and tertiary alkyl esters.

    • Yahui Li
    •  & Xiao-Feng Wu
  • Article | | open

    Combining chiral monomers can enhance chiroptical properties, but there are few principles to guide design. Here a combined experimental and computational study suggests rational principles for the design of double hexahelicenes with improved chiroptical responses in circular dichroism and circularly polarized luminescence.

    • Hiroki Tanaka
    • , Mina Ikenosako
    • , Yuka Kato
    • , Michiya Fujiki
    • , Yoshihisa Inoue
    •  & Tadashi Mori
  • Article | | open

    Studying the early stages of aerosol formation is a challenge in physical and environmental chemistry. Here photoelectron spectroscopy, quantum chemical calculations, and molecular dynamics simulations quantify how specific functional group interactions stabilize clusters of bisulfate anions and organic molecules.

    • Gao-Lei Hou
    • , Wei Lin
    •  & Xue-Bin Wang
  • Article | | open

    Lead carbonate is found in historical pigments used in paint and cosmetics since antiquity, but radiocarbon dating of inorganic materials is uncommon. Here ancient Egyptian and Greek cosmetics are radiocarbon dated based on their lead carbonate content, allowing synthetic and artificial pigments to be distinguished.

    • Lucile Beck
    • , Ingrid Caffy
    • , Emmanuelle Delqué-Količ
    • , Christophe Moreau
    • , Jean-Pascal Dumoulin
    • , Marion Perron
    • , Hélène Guichard
    •  & Violaine Jeammet
  • Article | | open

    Insulin and related heterodimeric peptides are challenging synthetic targets, and are commonly made using biomimetic N-to-C chemical linkers which can take two steps to remove. Here a symmetrical N-to-N linker is used to efficiently obtain six different peptides, with the linker removed in one chemical step.

    • Kishore Thalluri
    • , John P. Mayer
    • , Joseph R. Chabenne
    • , Vasily Gelfanov
    •  & Richard D. DiMarchi
  • Article | | open

    The insertion of membrane proteins into synthetic membranes is a challenging task that can require considerable optimization. Here design of experiments is used to efficiently identify conditions for reconstitution of a proteorhodopsin-green fluorescent protein fusion protein into liposome and polymersome membranes.

    • Roland Goers
    • , Johannes Thoma
    • , Noah Ritzmann
    • , Alfredo Di Silvestro
    • , Claudio Alter
    • , Gesine Gunkel-Grabole
    • , Dimitrios Fotiadis
    • , Daniel J. Müller
    •  & Wolfgang Meier