Browse Articles

  • 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
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Molecular spin processors are promising for quantum computing, but for universal applicability the available computational space needs to be expanded beyond three qubits while retaining the ability to perform universal quantum operations. Here, the authors report dissymetric molecular Gadolinium(III) dimers acting as 6-qubit quantum processors.

    • Fernando Luis
    • , Pablo J. Alonso
    • , Olivier Roubeau
    • , Verónica Velasco
    • , David Zueco
    • , David Aguilà
    • , Jesús I. Martínez
    • , Leoní A. Barrios
    •  & Guillem Aromí
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis demands multiple modes of action for robust therapeutic efficacy. Here the authors design and optimize a triple modulator of farnesoid X receptor and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors α and δ that counteracts hepatic inflammation and reverses hepatic fibrosis in mice.

    • Pascal Heitel
    • , Giuseppe Faudone
    • , Moritz Helmstädter
    • , Jurema Schmidt
    • , Astrid Kaiser
    • , Amelie Tjaden
    • , Martin Schröder
    • , Susanne Müller
    • , Simone Schierle
    • , Julius Pollinger
    •  & Daniel Merk
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The force fields used in molecular simulations typically assign varied Lennard-Jones parameters to the atoms of a given element, depending on the neighborhood of each atom in the chemical graph of a compound, but optimizing so many parameters without overfitting is challenging. Here, the authors provide evidence that far fewer LJ parameters may be needed.

    • Michael Schauperl
    • , Sophie M Kantonen
    • , Lee-Ping Wang
    •  & Michael K Gilson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The 1-aryl-tetrahydroisoquinoline moiety is a desirable synthetic target, but generating single enantiomers of THIQ products is synthetically challenging. Here the authors demonstrate that the M97V variant of enzyme norcoclaurine synthase catalyzes the synthesis of (1 S)-aryl-THIQs in high yields and enantiomeric excesses.

    • Rebecca Roddan
    • , Altin Sula
    • , Daniel Méndez-Sánchez
    • , Fabiana Subrizi
    • , Benjamin R. Lichman
    • , Joseph Broomfield
    • , Michael Richter
    • , Jennifer N. Andexer
    • , John M. Ward
    • , Nicholas H. Keep
    •  & Helen C. Hailes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Co-assembly of peptide mixtures can yield interesting materials, but predictive understanding of assembly pathways is lacking. Here the self- and co-assembly preferences of oppositely-charged peptides are systematically studied experimentally and by molecular dynamics simulations.

    • Dillon T. Seroski
    • , Xin Dong
    • , Kong M. Wong
    • , Renjie Liu
    • , Qing Shao
    • , Anant K. Paravastu
    • , Carol K. Hall
    •  & Gregory A. Hudalla
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Low-bandgap polymers hold great potential for photocatalytic generation of hydrogen peroxide, but increasing catalytic activity remains challenging. Here, a solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency of 0.7 % is reached for a resorcinol-formaldehyde resin powder prepared via acid-catalyzed high-temperature hydrothermal synthesis.

    • Yasuhiro Shiraishi
    • , Takumi Hagi
    • , Masako Matsumoto
    • , Shunsuke Tanaka
    • , Satoshi Ichikawa
    •  & Takayuki Hirai
  • 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
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Self-assembling peptides have broad biomedical relevance, but the relationship between molecular properties of monomers, intermediates and the supramolecular assembly process remains somewhat elusive. Here, studies of fibril-forming surfactant-like peptides with different β-sheet propensities and charged residues show that the amount of formed peptide nanofibers is defined by oligomeric nucleation propensities.

    • Chun Yin Jerry Lau
    • , Federico Fontana
    • , Laurens D. B. Mandemaker
    • , Dennie Wezendonk
    • , Benjamin Vermeer
    • , Alexandre M. J. J. Bonvin
    • , Renko de Vries
    • , Heyang Zhang
    • , Katrien Remaut
    • , Joep van den Dikkenberg
    • , João Medeiros-Silva
    • , Alia Hassan
    • , Barbara Perrone
    • , Rainer Kuemmerle
    • , Fabrizio Gelain
    • , Wim E. Hennink
    • , Markus Weingarth
    •  & Enrico Mastrobattista
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dimethyl sulfoxide is a commonly used solvent, but its permeability and effect on cells is problematic. Here, an alternative solvent, a zwitterion-type ionic liquid, and its plasma membrane affinity as well as cryo-protecting property and drug-dissolution ability are reported.

    • Kosuke Kuroda
    • , Tetsuo Komori
    • , Kojiro Ishibashi
    • , Takuya Uto
    • , Isao Kobayashi
    • , Riki Kadokawa
    • , Yui Kato
    • , Kazuaki Ninomiya
    • , Kenji Takahashi
    •  & Eishu Hirata
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ullmann-type reactions on metal surfaces are widely studied examples of on-surface synthesis. Here the combination of normal incidence X-ray standing wave analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and scanning tunneling microscopy enables the characterisation of molecular conformations in two such reactions.

    • Chris J. Judd
    • , Filipe L. Q. Junqueira
    • , Sarah L. Haddow
    • , Neil R. Champness
    • , David A. Duncan
    • , Robert G. Jones
    •  & Alex Saywell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Amphiphilic cosolvents can cause both swelling and collapse of stimuli responsive polymers, but the mechanisms governing this behavior remain unclear. Here the authors use molecular dynamics simulations to explain interfacial solvation thermodynamics, rationalizing coil-to-globule transitions of thermoresponsive polymers.

    • Swaminath Bharadwaj
    • , Divya Nayar
    • , Cahit Dalgicdir
    •  & Nico F. A. van der Vegt
  • 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
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aromatic molecules often afford strong and tunable absorption, desirable for lighting applications, but incorporating them in inorganic structures without luminescence quenching is challenging. Here the broad absorption from terephthalic acid is combined with inorganic fluoride-like lanthanide luminescence in a composite material.

    • Per-Anders Hansen
    • , Tomas Zikmund
    • , Ting Yu
    • , Julie Nitsche Kvalvik
    • , Thomas Aarholt
    • , Øystein Prytz
    • , Andries Meijerink
    •  & Ola Nilsen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    H3has great astronomical significance, but its formation mechanisms are not fully understood. Here a combined experimental and theoretical study of H3+ formation dynamics from ethane dications shows that roaming occurs at a much longer timescale than the transition state, and is accompanied by nuclear motion of larger amplitudes.

    • Yu Zhang
    • , Baihui Ren
    • , Chuan-Lu Yang
    • , Long Wei
    • , Bo Wang
    • , Jie Han
    • , Wandong Yu
    • , Yueying Qi
    • , Yaming Zou
    • , Li Chen
    • , Enliang Wang
    •  & Baoren Wei
  • 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
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Experimental methods to evaluate electrocatalytic performance typically only address one sample at a time. Here the authors show that scanning electrochemical microscopy can screen product selectivity and electrocatalytic activity of CO2 reduction catalyst arrays.

    • Francis D. Mayer
    • , Pooya Hosseini-Benhangi
    • , Carlos M. Sánchez-Sánchez
    • , Edouard Asselin
    •  & Előd L. Gyenge
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Anthracenes typically undergo Diels-Alder reactions or electrophilic substitutions at the central ring, but can be biased towards reacting at the terminal ring by appropriate blocking groups at the 9,10-positions. Here an alternative approach involving electron-donating groups at the 1,4-positions induces regioselective reactivity at the terminal ring.

    • Vinh Ngoc Huynh
    • , Michael Leitner
    • , Aditya Bhattacharyya
    • , Lisa Uhlstein
    • , Peter Kreitmeier
    • , Patrick Sakrausky
    • , Julia Rehbein
    •  & Oliver Reiser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Serinol nucleic acid and L-threoninol nucleic acid can bind to RNA and DNA, endowing them with potential as nucleic acid-based drugs. Here the authors prepare single crystals of L-aTNA/RNA and SNA/RNA heteroduplexes to further our structural understanding of how synthetic nucleic acids hybridize with natural nucleic acids.

    • Yukiko Kamiya
    • , Tadashi Satoh
    • , Atsuji Kodama
    • , Tatsuya Suzuki
    • , Keiji Murayama
    • , Hiromu Kashida
    • , Susumu Uchiyama
    • , Koichi Kato
    •  & Hiroyuki Asanuma
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The properties of conducting polymers are known to be controlled by counterions, but this remains poorly understood. Here the aqueous hydrolysis and oxidation of PEDOT is studied as a function of counterion pKa.

    • Vithyasaahar Sethumadhavan
    • , Kamil Zuber
    • , Christopher Bassell
    • , Peter R. Teasdale
    •  & Drew Evans
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Controlling protein–protein interactions through non-covalent bonding is desirable for the assembly of protein arrays. Here the authors demonstrate that pH-tunable π–π stacking interactions between Histidine motifs can direct the assembly of 3D protein arrays.

    • Xiaoyi Tan
    • , Hai Chen
    • , Chunkai Gu
    • , Jiachen Zang
    • , Tuo Zhang
    • , Hongfei Wang
    •  & Guanghua Zhao
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    Tight regulation of protein levels is so crucial for cellular function that mammalian cells have evolved two parallel degradation systems. This article discusses how these systems can be exploited to selectively target proteins of interest for therapeutic purposes.

    • Mohamed A. Eldeeb
    • , Cornelia E. Zorca
    •  & Thomas Goiran
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Metal clusters are known to catalyze hydrogen evolution from water, but reaction mechanisms and reactivities are still not fully understood. Here, mass spectrometry of cationic vanadium clusters reacting with water vapor shows significant hydrogen evolution reactions for V3+, V5+ and V9+ that point to a hydrogen release mechanism from the transition metal cluster cations.

    • Hanyu Zhang
    • , Haiming Wu
    • , Yuhan Jia
    • , Baoqi Yin
    • , Lijun Geng
    • , Zhixun Luo
    •  & Klavs Hansen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Protein-lipid interactions can mediate the function of membrane proteins. Here coarse-grained molecular dynamics free energy perturbation simulations yield binding free energies for phosphoinositide lipids to hKir channels and mutants, in agreement with electrophysiological measurements.

    • Tanadet Pipatpolkai
    • , Robin A. Corey
    • , Peter Proks
    • , Frances M. Ashcroft
    •  & Phillip J. Stansfeld
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The nitrogenase FeMo-cofactor is chelated by homocitrate, but the protonation state of this key ligand is debated. Here vibrational circular dichroism studies of the extracted cofactor suggest that it is protonated.

    • Lan Deng
    • , Hongxin Wang
    • , Christie H. Dapper
    • , William E. Newton
    • , Sergey Shilov
    • , Shunlin Wang
    • , Stephen P. Cramer
    •  & Zhao-Hui Zhou
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The selective CO2 absorption properties of ionic liquids make them attractive for CO2 capture purposes, but their tendency to crystallize poorly hampers structural investigations. Here a soft crystalline material is used as a surrogate for single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis to visualize interactions between CO2 and NTf2, the fluorinated component that is responsible for high CO2 solubility.

    • Xin Zheng
    • , Katsuo Fukuhara
    • , Yuh Hijikata
    • , Jenny Pirillo
    • , Hiroyasu Sato
    • , Kiyonori Takahashi
    • , Shin-ichiro Noro
    •  & Takayoshi Nakamura
  • Research Highlight
    | Open Access

    Controlling molecular conformation through macroscopic mechanical stimulus may have applications in chiroptical devices, but achieving this in a 3D material is challenging. Now, a quantitative relationship between stretching of an elastomer and reversible conformational changes of a crosslinked molecule has been established.

    • Andrew J. Bissette
  • 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