Browse Articles

  • Article
    | Open Access

    The lower decomposition barriers of cyclo-N6 anions hinder their application as high-energy-density materials. Here, first-principles calculations reveal that enhancing the covalent component of the interaction between cyclo-N6 anions and cations can effectively improve stability at high pressure.

    • Zhao Liu
    • , Da Li
    • , Quan Zhuang
    • , Fubo Tian
    • , Defang Duan
    • , Fangfei Li
    •  & Tian Cui
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Organic polymers have demonstrated promise as photocatalysts, but their photocatalytic efficiencies remain relatively low. Now, borrowing principles from organic photovoltaics, heterojunctions of polymer photocatalysts and small molecule acceptors have been shown to have excellent solar hydrogen production efficiencies.

    • Reiner Sebastian Sprick
    • , Marc A. Little
    •  & Andrew I. Cooper
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Octa-coordinated complexes or ions have a bond order of seven, yet they accommodate eight lone-pairs of ligands. Here the Jellium model is demonstrated to be an appropriate description of the valence bonding structures of M(CO)8 species, where each coordinative bond contains 7/8ths of the bonding orbitals and 1/8th non-bonding orbitals.

    • Kun Wang
    • , Chang Xu
    • , Dan Li
    •  & Longjiu Cheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The efficiency of perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells is affected by silicon surface texture, however fabrication processes in solution limit surface studies. Here a perovskite layer on textured silicon is formed through a dry two-step conversion process with lead oxide sputtering and direct contact with methyl ammonium iodide.

    • Sang-Won Lee
    • , Soohyun Bae
    • , Jae-Keun Hwang
    • , Wonkyu Lee
    • , Solhee Lee
    • , Ji Yeon Hyun
    • , Kyungjin Cho
    • , Seongtak Kim
    • , Friedemann D. Heinz
    • , Sung Bin Choi
    • , Dongjin Choi
    • , Dongkyun Kang
    • , Jeewoong Yang
    • , Sujeong Jeong
    • , Se Jin Park
    • , Martin C. Schubert
    • , Stefan Glunz
    • , Won Mok Kim
    • , Yoonmook Kang
    • , Hae-Seok Lee
    •  & Donghwan Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The biochemical phosphate cycle is dependent on interfacial reactions between humic acid and iron-bearing minerals, but the role of humic acid remains unclear. Here the authors study the reaction of siderite with humic acid and its influence on phosphate adsorption.

    • Bobo Xing
    • , Nigel Graham
    •  & Wenzheng Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Strong spin-spin interactions between surface-deposited magnetic molecules are desirable for quantum computing applications. Here the authors use scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to investigate the spin-spin interactions between neighbouring porphyrazine-derivatives on Au(111).

    • Jie Hou
    • , Yu Wang
    • , Keitaro Eguchi
    • , Chihiro Nanjo
    • , Tsuyoshi Takaoka
    • , Yasuyuki Sainoo
    • , Ryuichi Arafune
    • , Kunio Awaga
    •  & Tadahiro Komeda
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Colour polymorphism is a rare phenomenon that occurs when a compound possesses packing or conformational polymorphs of different colours. Here the authors review representative chemical systems that display colour polymorphism and explore the origins of this property.

    • Bernardo A. Nogueira
    • , Chiara Castiglioni
    •  & Rui Fausto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Compound crystallization is typically achieved from supersaturated solutions over time, through melting, or via sublimation. Here the authors show how a 10-fs laser pulse vaporizes a sample of thioglucoside without heating to produce a solvent-free single crystal from an undersaturated solution.

    • Izumi Iwakura
    • , Keiko Komori-Orisaku
    • , Sena Hashimoto
    • , Shoji Akai
    • , Kenta Kimura
    •  & Atsushi Yabushita
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How small molecules could have accumulated within hypothetical protocells on the early Earth is an open question. Here automated microfluidic experiments provide evidence for abiotic accumulation of small molecules within cell-sized liposomes under hydrodynamic flow evoking a surface-mediated mechanism.

    • Hironori Sugiyama
    • , Toshihisa Osaki
    • , Shoji Takeuchi
    •  & Taro Toyota
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Two-dimensional covalent organic frameworks (2D COFs) are commonly synthesised through dynamic covalent chemistry, as it allows for thermodynamic ‘error correction' which enhances crystallinity. Here a crystalline 2D COF with amine and hydroxyl functional groups within the pores is synthesised through kinetically-controlled reactions.

    • Javeed Mahmood
    • , Ishfaq Ahmad
    • , Minbok Jung
    • , Jeong-Min Seo
    • , Soo-Young Yu
    • , Hyuk-Jun Noh
    • , Young Hyun Kim
    • , Hyung-Joon Shin
    •  & Jong-Beom Baek
  • Article
    | Open Access

    High-nuclearity lanthanide clusters can exhibit interesting properties such as magnetism, but the mechanisms by which they assemble are poorly understood. Here, the formation of two dysprosium nanoclusters containing 30 or 60 atoms is followed over time by mass spectrometry and proposed to follow a seven-step assembly mechanism.

    • Zhi-Rong Luo
    • , Hai-Ling Wang
    • , Zhong-Hong Zhu
    • , Tong Liu
    • , Xiong-Feng Ma
    • , Hui-Feng Wang
    • , Hua-Hong Zou
    •  & Fu-Pei Liang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Strained alkenes are valuable reagents for rapid and selective labeling of biomolecules but may undergo side-reactions. Here direct excitation of an azobenzene generates a strained nitrogen-nitrogen double bond in situ which reacts with a photochemically-generated nitrile imine, allowing the labeling of live cells with spatiotemporal control.

    • Jingshuo Gao
    • , Qin Xiong
    • , Xueting Wu
    • , Jiajie Deng
    • , Xiaocui Zhang
    • , Xiaohu Zhao
    • , Pengchi Deng
    •  & Zhipeng Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To understand the self-assembly of semiconductor nanocrystals, the formation mechanism of two-dimensional superlattices needs to be deciphered. Here the authors observe lead selenide nanocrystal organization at the ethylene glycol-air interface combining in-situ grazing-incidence small -and-wide-angle X-ray scattering, X-ray reflectivity and analytical calculations to obtain a three-dimensional picture of the adsorption geometry of the nanocrystals.

    • Jaco J. Geuchies
    • , Giuseppe Soligno
    • , Ellenor Geraffy
    • , Cedric P. Hendrikx
    • , Carlo van Overbeek
    • , Federico Montanarella
    • , Marlou R. Slot
    • , Oleg V. Konovalov
    • , Andrei V. Petukhov
    •  & Daniel Vanmaekelbergh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The interface friction on solid surfaces is generally regarded as consistent with the wetting behaviour. Here the authors use molecular dynamics simulations and experiments to show that a small surface charge difference causes a change in the solid/water friction coefficient of over an order of magnitude, while the contact angles stay similar.

    • Chunlei Wang
    • , Haijun Yang
    • , Xian Wang
    • , Chonghai Qi
    • , Mengyang Qu
    • , Nan Sheng
    • , Rongzheng Wan
    • , Yusong Tu
    •  & Guosheng Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tumor cells express high levels of integrins, which can be labeled using cyclic peptides, but selective labeling of target cells can be a challenge. Here in situ ligation of strongly binding cyclic peptides with weakly binding glycans allows discrimination of cancerous and non-cancerous cells which both express integrins on the surface.

    • Shogo Nomura
    • , Yasuko Egawa
    • , Sayaka Urano
    • , Tsuyoshi Tahara
    • , Yasuyoshi Watanabe
    •  & Katsunori Tanaka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Zeolites are industrially important heterogeneous catalysts with promising applications in acid-catalysed conversion. Here the relationship between the distribution of aluminium atoms in the ZSM-5 framework with the mechanism of ethanol dehydration is elucidated using FT-IR spectroscopy.

    • Kinga Gołąbek
    • , Edyta Tabor
    • , Veronika Pashkova
    • , Jiri Dedecek
    • , Karolina Tarach
    •  & Kinga Góra-Marek
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Although a geologically important mineral, the atomic-scale structure of ferrihydrite remains unresolved. Here the authors combine X-ray total scattering and reverse Monto Carlo to evaluate the two principal contending models, explicitly considering the material’s complex nanocomposite structure.

    • Nicholas P. Funnell
    • , Maxwell F. Fulford
    • , Sayako Inoué
    • , Karel Kletetschka
    • , F. Marc Michel
    •  & Andrew L. Goodwin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Flexible supercapacitors are versatile energy storage devices owing to their light weight, flexibility and high power density. Here a scalable, flexible, tubular supercapacitor possessing the diameter of an electrical wire is presented.

    • Chao Lu
    •  & Xi Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ab initio prediction of aqueous pKa values is complicated by the presence of tautomerisable moieties. Here a model based on a small number of easily-calculated bond lengths is shown to accurately predict the pKas of 1,3-dicarbonyls including industrially significant herbicides.

    • Beth A. Caine
    • , Maddalena Bronzato
    • , Torquil Fraser
    • , Nathan Kidley
    • , Christophe Dardonville
    •  & Paul L. A. Popelier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The folding and conformational dynamics of proteins can be studied using optical tweezers with the aid of DNA handles. Here this assay is extended to simultaneously visualize the binding of complexing partners while monitoring the induced conformational changes on the protein.

    • Mario J. Avellaneda
    • , Eline J. Koers
    • , David P. Minde
    • , Vanda Sunderlikova
    •  & Sander J. Tans
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Accurate prediction of protein-ligand binding is limited by our ability to model solvation. Here, in addition to protein and ligand information, density maps for hydration site occupancy are used to train a convolutional neural network in order to predict binding poses more accurately compared to common scoring functions.

    • Amr H. Mahmoud
    • , Matthew R. Masters
    • , Ying Yang
    •  & Markus A. Lill
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cations influence the electrostatic, chemical and mechanical properties of lipid bilayers. Here, label-free second harmonic microscopy shows that cation-induced transient ordering of water also plays a role in driving membrane curvature fluctuations, linking molecular hydration to macroscopic properties.

    • O. B. Tarun
    • , H. I. Okur
    • , P. Rangamani
    •  & S. Roke
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The origin of the excellent photoluminescence properties of embedded cesium lead halide perovskite nanocrystals remains to be fully understood. Here the authors visualize lattice alignments in dual-phase Cs4PbBr6 and CsPb2Br5 composites synthesized by sonochemistry and find that the CsPbBr3 nanocrystals are responsible for the luminescence.

    • Sangyeon Cho
    •  & Seok Hyun Yun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Computational methods are a powerful tool for rapidly searching the optoelectronic property space of organic molecules. Here the property landscape of around 250,000 arenes and quinones is systematically explored, providing guidance for the design of new functional organic molecules.

    • Liam Wilbraham
    • , Denisa Smajli
    • , Isabelle Heath-Apostolopoulos
    •  & Martijn A. Zwijnenburg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Collision theory predicts the spectral peak of the sodium D-line to have a red-shift dependent on pressure and temperature. Using the serendipitous presence of sodium in octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX), the authors calibrate the D-line shift up to 1.5 GPa during deflagration.

    • Olivia J. Morley
    •  & David M. Williamson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Porous materials are efficient heterogeneous catalysts, but the continuous uptake of reagents to substitute products in the cavities remains unsettled. Here the authors fabricate a self-assembled tubular structure with breathing characteristics for efficient exchange of reactants and products in a nucleophilic substitution reaction.

    • Shanshan Wu
    • , Liping Huang
    • , Yu Hou
    • , Xin Liu
    • , Jehan Kim
    • , Yongri Liang
    • , Jiong Zhao
    • , Liwei Zhang
    • , Hongbing Ji
    • , Myongsoo Lee
    •  & Zhegang Huang
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Organic 2D materials display valuable properties that are unique from their bulk counterparts, but creating covalent sheets with long-ranging order remains a formidable challenge. Now, reacting complementary monomers right below a surfactant monolayer on water proves to be a powerful method to create organic 2D materials with long-range order.

    • A. Dieter Schlüter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The inclusion of nickel and manganese in layered sodium metal oxide cathodes for sodium ion batteries is known to improve stability, but the redox behaviour at high voltage is poorly understood. Here in situ X-ray spectroscopy studies show that the redox behaviour of oxygen anions can account for an increase in specific capacity at high voltages.

    • Charifa Hakim
    • , Noha Sabi
    • , Le Anh Ma
    • , Mouad Dahbi
    • , Daniel Brandell
    • , Kristina Edström
    • , Laurent C. Duda
    • , Ismael Saadoune
    •  & Reza Younesi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rare earth elements are critical components of clean energy technologies, but less than 1% are recycled due to high costs of recovery. Here the authors develop a ligand that selectively precipitates rare earth elements from aqueous media as a function of pH to facilitate the separation of binary rare earth mixtures.

    • Joshua J. M. Nelson
    • , Thibault Cheisson
    • , Haley J. Rugh
    • , Michael R. Gau
    • , Patrick J. Carroll
    •  & Eric J. Schelter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fluorescent probes are essential tools in chemical biology but their size may perturb systems under investigation. Here a small triazapentalene fluorophore is shown to selectively label thiols without influencing properties such as binding potency.

    • Atsushi Nakayama
    • , Akira Otani
    • , Tsubasa Inokuma
    • , Daisuke Tsuji
    • , Haruka Mukaiyama
    • , Akira Nakayama
    • , Kohji Itoh
    • , Akira Otaka
    • , Keiji Tanino
    •  & Kosuke Namba
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The ability to digest and regenerate metal-organic frameworks is valuable for their application in catalysis and drug delivery, but challenging to achieve. Here, the authors develop a facile method to digest and regenerate a series of zirconium-based metal-organic frameworks using bicarbonate or carbonate salts.

    • Jun Chu
    • , Fu-Sheng Ke
    • , Yunxiao Wang
    • , Xiangming Feng
    • , Weihua Chen
    • , Xinping Ai
    • , Hanxi Yang
    •  & Yuliang Cao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Statistical models are useful to approximate reaction rates, bypassing the need for detailed dynamical considerations. Here the authors use nonlinear dynamics to visualize the high dimensional phase space and identify the dynamical origins of nonstatisticality in unimolecular reactions.

    • Sourav Karmakar
    • , Pankaj Kumar Yadav
    •  & Srihari Keshavamurthy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    As a byproduct of organic syntheses including the Wittig, Staudinger, and Mitsunobu reactions, triphenylphosphine oxide is often not recycled. Here a transformation of the waste product with metallic sodium to three organophosphorous compounds is presented.

    • Jian-Qiu Zhang
    • , Jingjing Ye
    • , Tianzeng Huang
    • , Hiroyuki Shinohara
    • , Hiroyoshi Fujino
    •  & Li-Biao Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Primary hyperoxaluria is a rare genetic condition which involves elevated levels of oxalate in the body, but its role in causing symptoms is not well understood. Here self-assembled oxalate fibrils are implicated in the mechanism of retinopathy in primary hyperoxaluria in humans.

    • Dor Zaguri
    • , Shira Shaham-Niv
    • , Efrat Naaman
    • , Michael Mimouni
    • , Daniella Magen
    • , Shirley Pollack
    • , Topaz Kreiser
    • , Rina Leibu
    • , Sigal Rencus-Lazar
    • , Lihi Adler-Abramovich
    • , Ido Perlman
    • , Ehud Gazit
    •  & Shiri Zayit-Soudry
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rational photosensitizer design for the effective use of low-energy light is important for photofunctional materials. Here the authors develop a stacked nanocarbon photosensitizer based on a rigid polyaromatic framework, which allows efficient energy transfer to a Eu(III) center.

    • Yuichi Kitagawa
    • , Fumiya Suzue
    • , Takayuki Nakanishi
    • , Koji Fushimi
    • , Tomohiro Seki
    • , Hajime Ito
    •  & Yasuchika Hasegawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    ‘Molecular tweezers' offer a powerful design strategy for catalysts that can be activated or deactivated by conformational change. Here this design is extended to allow a regioselective allosteric effect upon binding of zinc ions.

    • Lorien Benda
    • , Benjamin Doistau
    • , Caroline Rossi-Gendron
    • , Lise-Marie Chamoreau
    • , Bernold Hasenknopf
    •  & Guillaume Vives
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Droplet networks capable of transporting molecules between compartments can function as tissue-like materials. Here an encapsulated transcription/translation system generates a Zn-controlled membrane pore, which allows interdroplet transport, enzymatic deprotection and controlled release of a small molecule to the external environment.

    • Michael J. Booth
    • , Idil Cazimoglu
    •  & Hagan Bayley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The thermodynamic parameters of molecules dispersed in water are influenced by the polarizability of their substituents. Here the formation of discrete aggregates from gear-shaped amphiphiles is determined by isothermal titration calorimetry, showing that substituents with higher polarizability stabilize the nanocubes enthalpically.

    • Yi-Yang Zhan
    • , Qi-Chun Jiang
    • , Kentaro Ishii
    • , Takuya Koide
    • , Osamu Kobayashi
    • , Tatsuo Kojima
    • , Satoshi Takahashi
    • , Masanori Tachikawa
    • , Susumu Uchiyama
    •  & Shuichi Hiraoka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the working mechanisms of electrochemical energy storage devices is crucial for the design of those with improved performances. Here the authors use Kelvin probe force microscopy to dynamically image the internal potential distribution in an operating all-solid-state Li ion battery.

    • Hideki Masuda
    • , Kyosuke Matsushita
    • , Daigo Ito
    • , Daisuke Fujita
    •  & Nobuyuki Ishida
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Amphiphilic block co-polymer vesicles have emerged as attractive artificial systems. Here the authors employ a continuously stirred tank reactor for the polymerization-induced self-assembly of giant polymer vesicles, mediated by radicals generated by an oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction.

    • Liman Hou
    • , Marta Dueñas-Díez
    • , Rohit Srivastava
    •  & Juan Pérez-Mercader
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Due to loss of sulfur to the electrolyte, maintaining high charge cycle stability is a key challenge for lithium sulfur batteries. Here a highly stable cathode material is obtained through molybdenum sulfide particle loading on a laser synthesised S- and N-doped graphene electrode.

    • Yihe Huang
    • , Richard Field
    • , Qian Chen
    • , Yudong Peng
    • , Monika S. Walczak
    • , Hu Zhao
    • , Guangyu Zhu
    • , Zhu Liu
    •  & Lin Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Azomethine ylides have long been identified as reactive intermediates in organic synthesis, but very little concrete structural data has been obtained. Here the authors report on the preparation, isolation and characterization of a stable 2-azaphenalenyl-based azomethine ylide.

    • Koji Katayama
    • , Akihito Konishi
    • , Koki Horii
    • , Makoto Yasuda
    • , Chitoshi Kitamura
    • , Jun-ichi Nishida
    •  & Takeshi Kawase