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  • Crystallization is observed in both nature and in the lab, and is critical to diverse areas of science and technology. Here, the author summarizes the theories that have been proposed to explain crystal growth from melts, and raises some open questions that remain.

    • Feier Hou
    Comment Open Access
  • Porous materials play a significant role in modern chemistry and materials science; despite recent scientific interest, they have a history dating back to antiquity. Here the authors provide a brief overview of the past that has contributed to their evolution.

    • Gregory S. Day
    • Hannah F. Drake
    • Matthew R. Ryder
    Comment Open Access
  • Aimed to decipher the levels of metabolites, metabolomics can now advance to unraveling their functionalities in various contexts. Here, the authors present the metabolite medicine concept, integrating classical metabolomics methods with advanced computational and structural tools to facilitate functional studies.

    • Shira Shaham-Niv
    • Sigal Rencus-Lazar
    • Ehud Gazit
    Comment Open Access
  • Water adsorption in soft nanoporous materials can trigger large-scale structural transitions and introduce new properties in the confined water phase. Here, we look at some of the outstanding questions in this lively field of research.

    • François-Xavier Coudert
    • Anne Boutin
    • Alain H. Fuchs
    Comment Open Access
  • The Hückel rule defines that monocyclic and planar conjugated systems containing [4n + 2] π electrons are aromatic. Here, the authors highlight boron species that feature a globally 4n π system, defying the Hückel rule, but nonetheless exhibit aromaticity.

    • Kei Ota
    • Rei Kinjo
    Comment Open Access
  • The commercial use of natural methane hydrate is hampered by several open questions that remain regarding hydrate formation. Here the authors comment on past interpretations and aim to provide a roadmap for developing a predictive theory of methane hydrate nucleation.

    • Guang-Jun Guo
    • Zhengcai Zhang
    Comment Open Access
  • The process of thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) converts non-radiative triplet states into emissive singlet states. Herein we outline the fundamentals of TADF, some of the recent progress in understanding the key material properties responsible for promoting TADF and finally discuss some remaining challenges for the  potential applications of this phenomenon.

    • Julien Eng
    • Thomas J. Penfold
    Comment Open Access
  • Superheavy elements are ideal for furthering our understanding of relativistic effects and how they affect physicochemical properties of heavy elements. In this comment, the author discusses the role of chemistry in the synthesis of new elements before addressing the future challenges concerning the chemical characterization of superheavy elements.

    • Patrick Steinegger
    Comment Open Access
  • Ultrafast singlet fission has the potential to facilitate highly efficient photovoltaics through the multiplication of excitons in organic molecular architectures. Here, we consider the interplay of molecular structure and intermolecular coupling toward enabling ultrafast singlet fission and discuss open questions in the field.

    • Justin C. Johnson
    Comment Open Access
  • Preorganization is an effective strategy for f-element separation, but the complexity of extractant synthesis hinders large-scale application. Here the authors discuss an alternative strategy induced by in situ self-assembly that borrows principles of multivalent cooperativity from Nature to separate f-elements.

    • Lixi Chen
    • Shuao Wang
    Comment Open Access
  • Permanent magnets constructed from metal ions and organic linkers using molecular design principles could bring transformative advances in areas such as energy conversion, transportation, and information storage. This comment highlights the recent discovery of a metal–organic magnet ordering at 242 °C, and discusses future research directions and possible applications involving such materials.

    • Ryan A. Murphy
    • Jeffrey R. Long
    • T. David Harris
    Comment Open Access
  • Criegee intermediates are reactive intermediates formed in Earth’s atmosphere through ozonolysis of alkenes. Here the authors outline the fundamental chemistry that influences their highly conformer- and substituent-dependent unimolecular and bimolecular reactivity, and discuss open questions of fundamental and atmospheric interest.

    • Rebecca L. Caravan
    • Michael F. Vansco
    • Marsha I. Lester
    Comment Open Access
  • Nanoscience has progressed tremendously in the exploration of new phenomena not seen in bulk materials, however, the transition between nanoscale and bulk properties is not yet fully understood. Here the authors identify and discuss remaining open questions that call for future efforts.

    • Rongchao Jin
    • Tatsuya Higaki
    Comment Open Access
  • Carbon mineralization is a versatile and thermodynamically downhill process that can be harnessed for capturing, storing, and utilizing CO2 to synthesize products with enhanced properties. Here the author discusses the advances in and challenges of carbon mineralization, and concludes that tuning the chemical interactions involved will allow us to unlock its potential for advancing low carbon energy and resource conversion pathways.

    • Greeshma Gadikota
    Comment Open Access
  • The chemical space of prebiotic chemistry is extremely large, while extant biochemistry uses only a few thousand interconnected molecules. Here we discuss how the connection between these two regimes can be investigated, and explore major outstanding questions in the origin of life.

    • Christopher J. Butch
    • Markus Meringer
    • H. James Cleaves II
    Comment Open Access
  • Molecular knots are evolving from academic curiosities to a practically useful class of mechanically interlocked molecules, capable of performing unique tasks at the nanoscale. In this comment, the author discusses the properties of molecular knots, and highlights future challenges for chemical topology.

    • Fredrik Schaufelberger
    Comment Open Access
  • The chemistry of carbon monoxide (CO) as a ligand has evolved significantly and transition-metal carbonyl complexes have been widely used as catalysts in many important catalytic processes. Here the authors comment on the recent progress of main-group element carbonyl complexes along with their future prospects.

    • Shiori Fujimori
    • Shigeyoshi Inoue
    Comment Open Access
  • Understanding the biogeochemistry of radionuclides in the environment is essential for effective isolation of nuclear waste in repositories, management of contaminated sites, ensuring long-term protection of our ecosystems, and limiting impacts on human health. Here the authors discuss the extreme complexity of this multidimensional chemistry problem, highlighting the outstanding open questions for the next generations of environmental radiochemists.

    • Gauthier J.-P. Deblonde
    • Annie B. Kersting
    • Mavrik Zavarin
    Comment Open Access
  • While sp2-hybridized carbon atoms in hydrocarbons typically contribute only one electron to their aromaticity, metals have more electrons from d or f orbitals available for participating in conjugation in organometallics, complicating the electron counting as well as analysis of their aromaticity. Here, the author comments on the challenges towards understanding aromaticity in organometallics and outlines several remaining questions that have yet to be answered.

    • Jun Zhu
    Comment Open Access
  • The chemistry of stable low oxidation state group 2 metal compounds was initiated in 2007 and has since expanded rapidly, yielding many surprises. Here the author outlines advances in the field and discusses some of the open questions and challenges that remain to be answered in coming years.

    • Cameron Jones
    Comment Open Access